Tour route: Sri Lanka: Negombo - Anuradhapura - Sigiriya - Kandy - Galle - Colombo, Maldives: Male
Welcome to Sri Lanka, the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean'! On arrival at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, you're met by your private chauffeur-guide and driven to your hotel in Negombo, a seaside town which is only 20 minutes away from the airport. Rest of the day is at your leisure.
In the morning, start your exploration of Negombo, this historical commercial centre surrounded by a fascinating network of canals teeming with rural life. Wake up early and catch the action at the Negombo fish market.
Afternoon, head for one of the best-preserved ruins of ancient Ceylon - the UNESCO World Heritage City of Anuradhapura (approx. 5 hrs), known as one of the 3 ancient cities in Sri Lanka's cultural triangle. Check in to your Anuradhapura hotel.
After breakfast at hotel, start your cultural triangle tour with the city tour of Anuradhapura including the Abayagiri complex and passing ancient monuments such as Sri Maha Bodhi and Thuparamaya. Anuradhapura is famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization. From the 4th century BC, it was the capital of Sri Lanka until the beginning of the 11th century AD. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles.
In the late afternoon, head for Sigiriya by private A/C vehicle approximately 2 hours, check in to your hotel upon arrival. Rest of the day is at your leisure.
In the morning, start with a visit to the Landmark of this country, the 5th-century legendary sky citadel of “Lion Rock” - arguably the most impressive site in Sri Lanka; although a steep climb is requested, the story behind the monument, and the panoramic view of Dambulla seen on the top are definitely worth the effort.
In the afternoon, continue your exploration in the rural village of Hiriwadunna. Travel into the lush Sri Lankan countryside by a jeep or a tuk tuk. Hop into a bullock cart alongside paddy fields and rural vegetable plantations. At dusk, take a boat ride and sail to the other side of a lake, enjoying the fantastic sunset view, and looking out for birds, butterflies, as well as the villagers fishing or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake.
Today, get started with the famous Dambulla Cave Temple, home to many magnificent Buddha images and rock painting dating back to 2nd century BC. Then head for Ceylon's old capital of Kandy, en route stop for an interesting visit to learn a wide range of spices at one of spice garden, a 15-minute complimentary Ayurveda Massage is recommended.
After arriving in Kandy (approx. 3.5 hrs by road), appreciate a vivid and traditional Rangahala Cultural Dance (Kandyan Dance) before walking to the nearby Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic - Sri Lanka's most sacred Buddhist shrine, the Puja Ritual held in the temple with all the fanfare, drums, trumpets and brightly colored Monks definitely shows you how special and spiritually important the temple means to Sri Lanka.
In the morning, take an interesting visit to Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya which boasts 300+ varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees at. This afternoon is at your leisure. You could either rest at your lovely hotel or explore the city with your chauffeur, e.g. walking around Kandy Lake in city centre or go some shopping in the downtown markets.
Ceylon tea is known as one of the best tea in the world and is crucial to the Sri Lankan economy. Today you will take a morning half day excursion to Geragama Tea Estate, 20 minutes away from Kandy city, where you could visit see the tea plantation, visit a tea factory and are treated to a lesson in the intricate steps required to process tea leaves into tea. After enjoying a cup of estate grown and processed tea, you will be driven to Galle (approx. 6 hours). Upon arrival at Galle, a colonial port fortified by Portuguese first then Dutch, check in to hotel and rest of day is at your leisure.
Today your guide will show you around the Dutch Fort, the colonial heart of Galle. It is regarded as one of the Sri Lanka's best-preserved fortress, where you will see a few small museums and imposing Dutch churches; Later, you could wander the rampart walls. In the evening, it is suggested that you try one of the local restaurants for dinner in the fort, is lit up at night and many of the small boutiques stay open into the evening.
Today you will board a train at Galle Railway station northwards to Colombo City, the capital of Sri Lanka. The railway from Galle to Colombo follows the coastal route and is scenic and enjoyable. The 3-4 hours train journey offers chances of photos with locals, as well as beautiful views of the ocean and some spectacular places the train passes by.
Picked up by your chauffeur guide at Colombo railway station upon your arrival, and then take a guided city tour to explore Colombo's colonial legacies including the Independence Square, Gangarama Temple of Colombo, mile-long promenade of Galle Face Green and Colombo's National Museum etc. Stop for taking pictures when driving by the former British Administrative Center etc.
Morning at leisure. In time, you will be escorted to CMB airport (1-hour drive from Colombo city) for your onward flight to Male, the capital island of Maldive Island.
Upon arrival, met and welcomed by your resort representative, who will escort you to your resort on one of the Maldive islands by speedboat or seaplane. Rest of the day is at your leisure after you check in.
Overnight: Maldive Island
Free at your leisure on the island.
Overnight: Maldive Island
Enjoy your free day in Maldive Island.
Overnight: Maldive Island
Take speedboat or seaplane back to the Male airport to board your flight home.
Recommended Accommodation for Your Journey
Good accommodation choice will in no doubt enhance your tour experience. Our well-established partnership network with key hotel chains in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri-Lanka will bring you the benefits of competitive hotel rate and guaranteed room availability.
We pick hotels for you based on:Location: geographically convenience values for your precious holiday time. So properties we use are either in downtown area close to main city attractions and amenities, or convenient for sightseeing or transportation.
Hotel Criteria for Each Tour Class
Note: Bhutan is less developed with fewer hotels criteria for choice, and most of the hotels there aren't as high standard as those in Western society.
Hotel Arrangement for Standard Tour ClassUsually conveniently located and meet the basic requirements of a comfortable stay: decorative lobbies and nice guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants may be average in size but offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. In most cases, staffs have basic command of English. Usually 3 star hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for Comfortable Tour Class
Normally you'll stay at formal and large hotels conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, room service, fitness center and swimming pool (in some cases there is no pool) all together offer an above-average accommodation experience.
Usually good 4-star hotels are adopted or boutique hotels at request. Hotels best available will be arranged if no qualified choice, e.g. in remote area.
Hotel Arrangement for Superior Tour Class
Usually properties are conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby and offer a better service and hotel facility than that in hotels of Comfortable Tour Class. Usually 4-4.5 star hotels or boutique hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for First Tour Class
Deluxe hotels with high-end service and an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site with extensive menus for choice, room service available 24/7, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience. Usually 5 star hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for Deluxe Tour Class
The most luxury hotels are used and only available in some particular cities. These properties have top-notch service and unique location, such as a lake or a historic site, and usually incorporate some of the country’s most exquisite architecture traditions. Usually top 5 star or the best available hotels are adopted.
Normally, India Odyssey Tours put breakfast in your itinerary except for in Bhutan (all meals included). Lunch won’t be included for the sake of tour convenience, while dinner is also excluded as some travelers might want a little culinary adventure themselves. But surely your tour guide/driver is always glad to offer their advice.
It is normally served at the hotel where you stay. Depending on the hotel, the breakfast would be in western style, local style, or a combination.
Usually lunch won’t be included considering the fact that sometimes travelers may want to stay somewhere longer/shorter or need other minor changes during daily sightseeing, and it’s better to decide the lunch site then rather than pre-arranging it. For sure our tour guides/drivers will be happy to advice good places to you, and we strongly suggest qualified local restaurant or hotels around the scenic spots for the sake of your health.
Dinners will not be included in your meal plan unless you have that requirement. Enjoying the local food could be one of your best experiences in the incredible India & South Asia. This is why we offer you this flexibility of food choice, and you can always get advice from your tour guides/drivers.
If you have certain food allergies or special requirements such as vegetarian food, let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Private Guide & Transfer
You will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel across South Asia. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.
All tour guides of India Odyssey Tours are qualified professionals and registered English Speaking Tourist Guides who are reassessed annually. All of our tour vehicles are clean and in excellent condition, manned with licensed & experienced drivers.
You will always be greeted punctually on arrival at each destination airport. At every departure, you’ll be escorted & assisted until you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint.
All of our tour guides in every destination are locals. Knowing the area well, they are good at guiding you around and telling background stories of the tour sites, as well as showing you the secret spots for best photos.
If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.
With our comfortable and safe private transportation, your tour will be more relaxing and less tiresome, keeping you in the best spirits to make the most out of your journey across South Asia.
Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained. Your private driver is licensed and always put your safety first.
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