Day 1 + 2: Negombo - a quaint fishing village with sprawling beaches
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"Ayubovan - welcome from the heart", our driver greets you when you arrive at the international airport of Colombo and then you drive to the nearby Negombo. Arrived at the hotel you can recover well from the hardships of the journey. Negombo is a traditional fishing town in Sri Lanka and its economy is based on tourism and a centuries-old fishing industry. If you stroll along the Negombo coastal road, you will find a wealth of restaurants offering delicious and above all fresh seafood. The city has a Roman Catholic history and has been given the name "Little Rome", so you can find several buildings dating back to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial era, such as the Dutch Canal, the old administration buildings and many of the city's landmarks Churches The 100 km long canal that runs through the city offers the opportunity to discover Negombo from a different perspective. Today is for acclimatization and rest after a long flight!
If you feel like doing something the next day, we are happy to organize activities for you, such as a canal cruise through Negombo and a city tour!
Day 3: The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka
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After breakfast we drive towards the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, to Sigiriya.
The "cultural triangle" of Sri Lanka is the perfect starting point for a trip across the island. Here you can daily visit new highlights of Sri Lankan history and culture without having to change hotel. Spend three days here to familiarize yourself with the local history and culture
In the afternoon visit the famous rock fortress, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 370-meter high granite rock with a magnificent palace built by King Kashyapa around 475 AD, a true marvel of old building technology, art and culture. The palace complex at the foot of the rock still has the remains of four indoor pools, where once the 500 concubines of the king used to bath. The structure of the palace was built with a complex water pipe system in the walls, which provided natural air conditioning during the hot months. At the summit, reached by metal stairs and ladders, you can visit the remains of palace walls, gardens and ponds. The mirrored walls of the Sigiriya Rock still show the world-famous frescoes of the king's concubines from all parts of the world. Once you reach the plateau, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the area.
Day 4: Polonnaruwa and the famous Buddha Image of Gal Vihare
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Today is dedicated to the former royal city of Polonnaruwa. After breakfast drive to the royal city and visit the impressive archaeological site. The ancient holy city is the former capital of Sri Lanka in the 11th and 12th centuries. In his heyday, the city, surrounded by a 6 km long city wall, housed hundreds of people. You will visit the Gal Vihara stone sculptures and the three giant Buddha carvings in granite by an unknown sculptor in the 12th century. This tour you can as well do by bike, which makes the visit much more enjoyable as the ancient monuments extend for several kilometers. Please note that the driver will continue with his vehicle, then wait for you at each of the various spots to explain the sites and then drive on while you continue by bike to the various cultural spots.
You can enjoy lunch in one of the many family restaurants in the area. The local food is rice and curry and it tastes best when cooked in a family restaurant at open fire and in clay pots. After lunch, head towards the East Coast / Trincomalee. Upon arrival at the hotel, you can relax in the afternoon by the pool / beach.
Day 5: Trincomalee
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Today you can choose the day. Relax, splash around in the water, etc. Explore at your own discretion the beach at the hotel or the beaches of the area. Take it easy. So you want to find some attractions in the immediate area of Trinco. Definitely worth a visit to Fort Frederick with the well-known Wellington House - also called Wellesley Lodge. Swami Rock, popularly known as "Lover's Leap" or the Hindu temple Thiru Koneswaram Kovil are other destinations that you can discover on your own.
Day 6: The lagoon of Batticaloa
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The north and east of Sri Lanka are blessed with many beaches and our tour takes you to the attractions of these unexplored areas. The city of Batticaloa is located in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, with picturesque beaches and lagoons and a history dating back to antiquity, ruled by both Tamil and Sinhalese royal dynasties and later by European colonists. The beaches to the east of Sri Lanka are wide sandy beaches or palm-lined coves are lapped by shallow lagoons or high waves. Batticaloa is certainly not a city that attracts a lot of tourists, but that makes it all the more interesting to visit the city and its few highlights on the way to Arugam Bay.
Sights certainly include the "St. Mary Cathedral". It is one of the most striking churches in Batticaloa and is painted light blue on the outside and decorated on the inside with a light green design. Near the entrance there is also a Lourdes cave. Just take a look at it when you visit Batticaloa! The church was originally built in the late 1880s. This place of worship for the local Catholic community is definitely worth a visit!
The Fort - Batticaloa was built by the Portuguese in 1628 and conquered 10 years later by the Dutch. This fort was later taken over by the British. All three European colonial powers that ruled Sri Lanka had control of this fort. It is still used for government administration offices. The history book at the entrance informs about all important events in Batticaloa. Two English cannons guard the entrance on both sides. Part of it is still surrounded by a moat. Nearby is the beautiful Batticaloa Gate with Mahatma Gandhi's statue; best seen from a boat from the lagoon! The lagoon is a narrow but large body of water that stretches from Eravur (Batticaloa district) to Kalmunai (Ampara district), 56 km long and 200 m wide. It also contains eight islands, of which Palanmeenmadu, Bone Island and Buffalo Island are the most popular.
The Kallady Beach is also a beautiful stretch of beach, which is still very untouched and invites you to linger on the beach!
The Eco-Park is located on the island of Palanmeenmadu and can be reached by boat. It is a popular place with locals and children. Children's playgrounds, an education center and a bird watching tower are some of the highlights that must be seen, with the possibility of a beautiful boat trip in the lagoon to realize.
Days 7 - 9: Arugam Bay - beautiful beaches and a relaxed atmosphere
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During the summer, Arugam Bay is one of the best known surfing spots in Asia. Surfers from all over the world visit the bay in the summer months when surfing is not possible on the west coast due to the monsoon!
The beautiful Arugam Bay, a moon-shaped curl of soft sand, houses the famous "Point Break", considered by many to be the best surfing spot in the country. It is a tiny village with a few hundred inhabitants and all is scattered along a single road that runs parallel to the beach. In other words; the epitome of the relaxed beach scene that brought surfers and sun seekers to Sri Lanka for the first time. If you're not a surfer, there are many other attractions to choose from, including beautiful beaches, oceanfront restaurants and a peaceful atmosphere that invites you to spend another day in the hammock, away from the bustling seaside resorts of the West Coast. The Arugam Bay is also an ideal starting point for a variety of adventures in the surrounding hinterland with lots of greenery. You can visit many places nearby and in the low season (November to April) it is a real quiet spot.
Day 10: Ella and its beautiful landscape
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From Arugam Bay it goes to the Sri Lankan highlands. Ella is a small town in the highlands, an equally popular place for locals and tourists to relax in nature. Ella is known for the best viewpoints and easy trekking trails, surrounded by an endless green as far as the eye can see. After a short evening walk through Ella, before returning to your booked hotel, enjoy a delicious dinner in one of the many small eateries. Our tip: Visit the popular "Cafe Chill", which looks more like a beach bar than a restaurant in the mountains. However, if you like it "down-to-earth" and prefer good authentic food, we recommend the Adam's Breeze where you can enjoy a variety of delicious Curry's or Kotthu dishes.
Day 11: Lipton's Seat - Tea Trekking
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Today we start early in the morning! Breakfast is included as a picnic on the way. Drive towards Haputale to Lipton's Seat. The Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton (1850-1931) liked to climb the named after him 1935 m high Lipton's Seat, from which offers a magnificent view. The ascent to about 7 km distant lookout is not a very leisurely walk, but without question worth the effort, as you walk in part through beautiful tea plantations. Once at the top, the almost vertical abyss opens dramatically before the feet of the visitor. The depending on the condition 1 ˝ - 2 hour ascent should start early, as the mountain in the early morning often covered in clouds. In the small cafe on the viewing platform you can treat yourself to a good cup of tea before you start the return journey. Afterwards, visit the Dambatenne tea factory, which was founded in 1890 by the merchant Thomas Lipton, son of a Glasgow grocery retailer. As early as the end of the 19th century, Lipton owned 2200 hectares of land, which he used for his own tea production and who does not know them, the tea bags with the striking yellow label and the red inscription. Within a few years Lipton created a huge tea empire and was knighted for it in 1898 as royal purveyor to Queen Victoria.
Day 12: The Safari Park of Yala
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Today you continue towards Tissamaharama, which is located in the south of the country. On the way from Ella to Tissa you can still admire the famous buddha reliefs of Buduruwagala.
At that time Tissamaharama was also known as Mahagama and was founded by Prince Mahanaga, the brother of King Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century BC. The settlement became famous during the reign of King Kavantissa, the father of King Dutugamunu. During this time, the three stupas of Tissamaharama and the two old irrigation reservoirs were built. Today Tissamaharama is known for the ancient Kataragama Temple and Yala National Park. Upon arrival in Tissamaharama you will check-in at your booked hotel you will start at 14.30 with your safari through the Yala National Park.
Day 13: Drive along the beautiful coast to Galle - the Old Fort!
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The drive along the coast goes through many of the island's famous seaside resorts and famous surfing spots, namely Tangalle, Dickwella, Mirissa, Weligama, Kabalana, Unawatuna to Galle. There are many ways to shoot unforgettable holiday photos, e.g. the well-known pole fishermen, turtle farms and unique cliff formations. Enjoy the ride!
The penultimate stage Your tour will take you to the 17th century Dutch fortress of Galle (UNESCO World Heritage Site), near the southernmost point of the island, which may be called the best preserved sea fortress in South Asia. If you enter the imposing stones bastions, you go on a journey through time. Inside the fortress you can feel that it radiates the charm of the old world. In the narrow streets you will find numerous Dutch colonial villas, several museums and antique shops that exhibit curiosities from the colonial period of the island. Of the many colonial buildings, the most intriguing is probably the Dutch Reformed Church, where artfully carved monuments have been erected for the city's Dutch settlers. The fortress also houses some of the island's most exclusive boutique accommodation, set in former mansions restored to their colonial splendor. Furthermore, you will find a good selection of restaurants, galleries and boutiques, some of which offer exclusive designer fashion and decorative items.
Your current hotel is located on the beach of Unawatuna and thus you have got to know all the important coastlines and beaches during this very special round trip!
Day 14 + 15: Beach stay in Unawatuna
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On the 14th day we organize a bike tour through the hinterland of Unawatuna for you. This is fun for all ages! And in order that it does not get boring you can join a cooking class on day 15 to discover the secrets of the local cuisine. Both activities are ideal for gaining local impressions outside the normal routes.
Day 16: Time to say Goodbye
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One last time you have breakfast in Sri Lanka, then you go to the airport. Depending on the departure time, the pick-up from the hotel varies. We hope that you have spent a great time in Sri Lanka and have taken the country and its people to heart. Come back soon! Until then we wish you safe trip home.