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16 days

Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Be enchanted by Sri Lanka’s picturesque scenery, wildlife and unique UNESCO sites, and round it all off on the white sandy beaches of the Maldives at the 4-star Villa Nautica.

Sri Lanka and the Maldives
Sri Lanka and the Maldives
16 days
HomeAsiaMaldivesSri Lanka and the Maldives

Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Be enchanted by Sri Lanka’s picturesque scenery, wildlife and unique UNESCO sites, and round it all off on the white sandy beaches of the Maldives at the 4-star Villa Nautica.

HomeAsiaMaldivesSri Lanka and the Maldives
What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flight from the UK to Colombo
  • 9 nights in Sri Lanka at 3- and 4-star hotels
  • 9 x breakfast (days 3-11)
  • 1 x lunch (day 5)
  • 2 x dinner (days 8-9)
  • Travelling in a car or minibus with air conditioning
  • Local English-speaking driver/guide on transfers and excursions
  • All the transfers and excursions mentioned take place in international groups of 1–14 people, and with TourCompass’ own guests only
  • Flight from Colombo to Malé in the Maldives
  • Return speedboat transfer from Malé airport to Villa Nautica
  • 4 nights in the Maldives at the 4-star resort Villa Nautica in a Beach Villa incl. full board
  • You have the option to extend your stay, upgrade your room category and upgrade to all inclusive
  • Flight from Malé to the UK
  • 24-hour manned emergency hotline throughout the tour
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour goes ahead regardless of the number of participants

Extensive excursion package:

  • Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Lion Rock of Sigiriya
  • The village of Weheragala Gama
  • Train ride from Nanu Oya to Ella
  • Ravana Falls and Buduruwagala Temple
  • Safari in Yala National Park
  • Admission and fees to the sights and attractions mentioned

THE TOUR IN SHORT

Kill two birds with one stone and make your dream come true by combining Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

On this tour, you’ll experience the absolute highlights of Sri Lanka, rounding off with the Maldives’ bounty beaches, where you can digest all that you’ve seen and done on the tour.

You start out with a night by the beach in Negombo, where you can relax on a sun lounger after the long flight or explore the city and enjoy your first impressions of the country.

You’ll then be heading to Sigiriya, visiting Dambulla’s fascinating cave temple on the way.

In Sigiriya, you’ll climb Sri Lanka’s landmark, Lion Rock, with the ruins of an ancient royal palace at the top, not to mention a truly amazing view.

Situated between Sigiriya and Kandy is the small village of Weheragala Gama, which is part of Project Orange Elephant. Here, you’ll learn more about the success the village has had in tackling the conflict between humans and elephants.

You’ll then be going on an unforgettable train ride from Kandy through the lush highlands. The end station is the small and incredibly scenically situated town of Ella, which is famous for Little Adam’s Peak and the Nine Arch Bridge.

Your Sri Lanka adventure concludes with a rich safari in Yala National Park.

It’s all digested on the white, sandy beaches of the Maldives, where coconut palms sway in the light breeze and herons fly over the clear, turquoise sea.

Why choose this tour

  • The absolute highlights of Sri Lanka and the Maldives’ paradise sandy beaches on one and the same holiday
  • Enjoy the view from the top of the 200-metre-high Sigiriya rock, be enchanted by Dambulla’s impressive cave temples and discover the sacred city of Kandy – 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Fall in love with Ella’s seductive highlands with picturesque tea plantations and waterfalls, and get right up close to the exotic wildlife of Yala National Park
  • Digest all that you have seen and done at Villa Nautica, where the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the Maldives await

Our tours always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All accommodations
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • 24/7 telephone – We’re with you all the way
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from chosen airport

Today, you depart from your chosen airport and fly to Sri Lanka, a gem of an island in the Indian Ocean with flight connection(s) on the way.

Day 2: Arrival in Sri Lanka – Negombo

You land at Sri Lanka’s international airport Bandaranaike in Colombo. After arriving, you pick up your luggage and pass through immigration. Your guide/driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall, holding up a TourCompass sign, and you will be driven to the beach hotel in Negombo, a 30-minute drive from the airport.

On your arrival at the hotel, you check in, and then the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. If you’re tired after the long flight, there’s plenty of time to relax and just enjoy the sun on a sun lounger with a good book.

Negombo is known for its wide, golden sandy beaches, where tall palm trees sway in the gentle breeze. The sea can be a bit choppy, but luckily the hotel has a nice swimming pool.

If you’d like to see a little of the area in and around Negombo, you might like to visit Negombo Lagoon south of the city, a unique wetland where you can experience the abundant wildlife. Or how about the 100-km-long Dutch canals that run through the city and which were originally a supply route for the Dutch administration during the colonial era? There are also many lovely churches and temples around the city.

In the evening, you can go for a stroll along the beach and enjoy the beautiful sunset and traditional fishing boats with their batik sails.

Accommodation:
Possible upgrades:
Day 3: Negombo – Dambulla Cave Temple - Sigiriya

Today, you can choose to enjoy a quiet morning at the hotel, or you can visit the nearby Llelama fish market, where fishermen sell the catch of the night.

After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel and driven to Sigiriya. You’ll make a stop in Dambulla on the way, where you’ll experience the town’s impressive cave temple, located in a wide cliff measuring 160 x 600 metres. Steep stairs lead up to the cave, and on a clear day, you can glimpse Lion Rock in Sigirya from the top step. The cave houses no fewer than 153 Buddha statues, statues of former Sri Lankan kings, as well as statues of gods and goddesses. Aside from the many statues, impressive murals can be found here, spread over a total area of 2,100 m². The cave was established by King Valagamba in the first century BC and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

After the visit, you’ll be drive to your hotel in Sigiriya, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Enjoy a dip in the pool, or take a walk and experience the local area. The road you walk on is dusty and red – a beautiful contrast to the green fields. Perhaps you will meet some locals coming back from work, making their way home to beautiful, colourful houses nestled amidst the tropical trees and plants.

Accommodation:
Possible upgrades:
Day 4: The Lion Rock of Sigiriya

After breakfast, you will visit Sri Lanka’s landmark, the Lion Rock, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  You will be picked up from the hotel and driven to the famous rock.

From 455 to 473, King Dhatusena ruled over Sri Lanka in the city of Anuradhapura. Dhatusena’s son, Moggallana, stood to inherit the throne from him, but the eldest son, Kashyapa, was displeased by this. Both of Moggallan’s parents were royal, whereas Kashyapa’s mother was just one of King Dhatusen’s mistresses, which was why he could not take succeed his father, even though he was the eldest son.

Kashyapa resorted to walling up his father before assuming full power. This caused his half-brother, Moggallana, to flee to Southern India to avoid suffering the same fate.

The new regent, King Kashyapa, was not well-liked among the people, and he feared an attack by his half-brother Moggallana. He therefore chose to move the capital from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya due to its strategic location. On the flat top of the Sigiriya rock, he built his sumptuous royal palace with surrounding ramparts, gardens, large ornamental pools and fountains.

Half way up the rock, he built the entrance to the palace, which depicted a giant lion – hence the name Lion Rock. Today, only the enormous lion paws remain.

King Kashyapa lived here with his harem and servants until the return of his half-brother Moggallana from Southern India with a whole army. King Kashyapa and his army lost the battle to Moggallana, and Kashyapa ended up taking his own life in 495. Moggallana moved the capital back to Anuradhapura, from where he ruled the country, and Sigiriya was then converted into a Buddhist monastery.

The rock, which towers 200 metres from the ground in the midst of the lush surroundings, may look unclimbable – and for good reason! The climb to the top is hard! No fewer than 1,202 steps await you, and we recommend that you take it slow, with breaks to enjoy the beautiful views that become increasingly breathtaking, the higher up you come.

On the way to the top, you will also discover the beautiful and well-preserved frescoes of women and the remains of a polished rock wall. A little over halfway up, you will encounter the remains of the giant lion that served as an entrance to Kong Kashyapa’s royal palace. If the climb is too strenuous, you can opt to stop here.

If you choose to proceed, we guarantee it will be worth it. At the top, you will find the ruins of the ancient royal palace and stunning views of lakes, verdant mountains and the nearby Pidurangala rock. You might even spot a wild elephant. Take your time and enjoy the surroundings before starting the climb down.

It takes around 2 hours to climb and descend the rock + the time you spend on the top.

Remember good walking shoes and water for the trip.

You are driven back to the hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 5: Sigiriya – The village of Weheragala Gama - Kandy

Today, you’ll be leaving Sigiriya. After breakfast and check-out, your guide/driver will drive you to Kandy.

On the way, you’ll make a stop at the village of Weheragala Gama, situated at Wasgamuwa National Park. The small village is part of Project Orange Elephant, which was started by Ravi Corea, the founder of Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS). The aim of the project is to resolve the bloody conflict that exists between elephants and humans in Sri Lanka.

The conflict has basically come about as a result of the villages growing and the elephants’ territories shrinking. It’s not unusual to see elephants in Sri Lankan villages, where they raid houses, gardens and farms in search of food. Some 1,400 elephants are said to have been killed by humans over the past 11 years, while 350 humans have been killed by elephants. Attempts have been made to find the right solution to the conflict for many years. Among other things, a number of areas have been given over to the elephants, which humans are not allowed to exploit or build on. In several places, villages have also been razed to the ground to create “corridors” between the elephants’ habitats, allowing them to move around freely. And then there are villages such as Weheragala Gama, which are part of Project Orange Elephant.

Ravi Corea, the man behind Project Orange Elephant, has through various studies discovered that Sri Lankan elephants don’t like citrus trees, and that the scent of the citrus trees veils the scent of rice and other crops. In the village of Weheragala Gama, citrus trees are therefore planted to protect homes, gardens and farms from the ravages of the elephants. This has proved so effective that the conflict in Weheragala is pretty much non-existent.

When you arrive in the village, you’ll be welcomed by a local host and served a glass of freshly squeezed juice. You’ll then be drive by jeep into the heart of the village, where you’ll discover how the families live, build houses, farm and make food. You’ll also meet some of the villagers who will tell you more about the conflict between the elephants and humans.

You will also have the possibility of participating in various activities such as watering and fertilising the citrus plantations, and if you’re here outside the dry season, July to September, you will actively participate in the planting of a citrus tree, which is donated to a selected family. This way, you’re doing your bit to reduce the risk of conflict between the villagers and the elephants in the area. The planting of the citrus trees also benefits the climate, biodiversity in the area and the local economy.

Finally, you’ll be invited to enjoy a delicious Sri Lankan lunch made from local produce before continuing to Kandy.

After the visit, you’ll be driven to the former capital Kandy, which is scenically situated in a valley surrounded by green-clad mountains, tea plantations and rivers. The city centre is home to elegant colonial buildings, and this is also where the picturesque Kandy Lake is located. We highly recommend a stroll around the lake, and along the way you can sit down on a bench and enjoy the city’s atmosphere and the view of the 26-metre-high Buddha statue above Bahirawakanda Temple. At the northern end of the lake is Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddhist temple, the Temple of the Tooth, which is said to house one of the Buddha’s teeth. The beautiful temple is actually one of the reasons why Kandy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998. A temple ceremony is held three times a day – a totally unique experience that you simply mustn’t miss.

In the evening, you can explore the city’s restaurants. You almost have to try one of Sri Lanka’s most famous dishes, “kottu roti”, which consists of flatbread cut into small pieces, eggs, vegetables, a lot of delicious spices and possibly meat. We also highly recommend “rice and curry” or “dhal curry”, which is made from lentils. The guide knows all the good restaurants, so feel free to ask his advice.

Accommodation:
Possible upgrades:
Day 6: Kandy – Train ride from Nanu Oya to Ella

After breakfast, your guide/driver is ready to drive you to the train station in Nanu Oya. From here, you’ll be going on a scenic train ride through the incredibly scenic highlands to the town of Ella. All you need to bring with you is your hand luggage, as your guide/driver will drive the rest of your luggage all the way to Ella by car. We recommend that on the day before your departure, you ask the hotel in Kandy to make a packed lunch for you (extra charge). However, it is possible to buy fruit, snacks and beverages from the local vendors walking around outside the train at the various stations.

Travelling by train in Sri Lanka is a wonderful experience. These are not modern trains like those we’re used to at home, but we can guarantee you the experience of a lifetime. Not only do you get right up close to the local people, but you also experience the enchanting nature through the large windows as the train winds its way past small villages and scenic tea plantations, green-clad mountains and rushing waterfalls. After around 3 hours, you arrive in Ella, where your guide/driver is waiting to welcome you. He will drive you the last bit of the way to the hotel in Ella, which enjoys a fabulous location.

After check-in, you can enjoy the rest of the day on your own.

In the evening, you can head down into the town and eat at one of the cosy little cafés or restaurants along the main street, where there is a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.

Day 7: Ella on your own

There are no excursions planned for today, so the day is yours to do as you please. You might like to stay at the hotel and relax by the pool while enjoying the exceptional view, or how about an excursion to Nine Arch Bridge or a hike to Little Adam’s Peak? Read more about your excursion options below – they won’t cost you a penny!

Day 8: Ella – Ravana Falls – Buduruwagala Temple – Tissamaharama

After breakfast, your guide/driver picks you up at the hotel and you proceed to Tissamaharama.

Along the way, you visit the Ravana Falls, which tower at a height of 25 metres at the outskirts of Ella. The waterfall is named after the legendary King Ravana, who was said to have kept Princess Sitha hidden in the caves behind the waterfall, now known as Ravana Cave.

From here, you continue to the Buduruwagala Temple, which is renowned for its impressive and well-preserved rock carvings that date back to the 9th or 10th centuries. At the middle of the rock face is a 16-metre-tall Buddha statue, surrounded by six smaller statues showing the Buddha in different meditative poses. The level of detail and artistic precision is simply incredible!

You are then driven to your hotel, where the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Accommodation:
Possible upgrades:
Day 9: Safari in Yala National Park

You will be picked up from your hotel by your guide/driver who drives you to Yala National Park, where you’re going on an exciting safari today.

Yala National Park was designated as a game reserve in 1900 and as a national park in 1938. Today, it is Sri Lanka’s second largest national park, covering an area of 978.8 km2. The park consists of five areas, two of which are open to the public.

It is home to more than 215 different species of bird and 44 different species of mammal. Yala National Park is said to have one of Sri Lanka’s largest elephant populations and the highest concentration of leopards. Although Yala is the place with the highest number of leopards in Sri Lanka, there is no guarantee of seeing them. They often hide in the bushes and are hard to spot. However, you may be lucky enough to see bears, crocodiles, wild boar, buffaloes, monkeys and deer, so have your binoculars and the camera at the ready!

You drive with an experienced ranger who knows the park inside out. He knows where the animals go, and he’s an expert in finding their tracks in the open landscape.

After the safari, you’ll be driven back to the hotel, where you can enjoy the evening.

Accommodation:
Day 10: Yala – Negombo

Today, your driver/guide will drive you back to the golden sandy beaches of Negombo where you’ll stay for one night. Sit back in your seat and enjoy the world passing by outside your window.

When you get to the hotel in Negombo, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

Accommodation:
Day 11: Negombo – Flight to the Maldives – Villa Nautica

You will be picked up from the hotel and driven to the airport, from which you will fly to the Maldives, which are located south-west of Sri Lanka. The Maldives are Asia’s smallest country, made up of 1,190 small coral islands, which are divided into a ring of 26 smaller archipelagos called atolls. The islands are surrounded by deep blue sea and turquoise lagoons, protected by beautiful coral reefs.

After a flight which takes around an hour and a half, you arrive at Malé airport, after which you collect your luggage and pass through immigration. Our representative is waiting for you out in the arrivals hall, holding up a sign with your name on it. He or she will accompany you to the speedboat outside the airport waiting to sail you across the Indian Ocean. 20 minutes later, you arrive at Villa Nautica, where the resort staff are waiting to welcome you.

The rest of the day is your own, so get your swimwear on and find your favourite spot on the white sandy beach.

Accommodation:
Possible upgrades:
Days 12-14: Holiday on Villa Nautica

If you’re up early, you can witness the burning sun rising on the horizon. Perhaps you will encounter the island’s herons which can be seen standing at the water’s edge every morning, looking out across the turquoise lagoons.

After a delicious breakfast in the restaurant, you can throw yourself down on a sun lounger and enjoy the white sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters and coconut palms swaying in the gentle breeze. You will almost have to pinch yourself on the arm to be sure that you are not in dreamland.

The Maldives not only look like a postcard on land, but under the water, too. Put on your mask, snorkel and flippers and head off on adventure among the multitude of colourful fish straight from the beach. Perhaps you will meet Nemo and the island’s small reef sharks, which are completely harmless.

The hotel also offers a number of water sports and excursion options.

And be sure to treat yourself to a lovely, relaxing treatment at the resort’s day spa.

In the evening, take a walk along the beach to the sight of the beautiful sunset before exploring the array of delicious dishes at the restaurant.

Round off the evening with a refreshing drink in the cocktail lounge.

Accommodation:
Day 15: Departure day

Today, you will sadly be saying goodbye to this beautiful paradise. The evening before, the reception will inform you about departure times from Villa Nautica.

You will sail back to Malé airport, from which you will fly to Europe with flight connection(s) on the way.

Day 16: Arrival back home

You land at the airport of your choice after an unforgettable tour.

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Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

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