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  • Sri Lanka
  • Secrets of Sri Lanka with Colombo Extension

Secrets of Sri Lanka with Colombo Extension

9 Day Escorted Tour With 3 Day Extension

Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean
Intermediate Pace

Explore this fascinating city at your own pace. Colombo is the commercial capital of the island. Its streets are alive with colourful shops and markets, while temples and mosques reflect its multicultural heritage.

2021 Dossier

2022 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Spend some time at leisure in Colombo
  • Beautiful beaches of the East in Passikudah
  • Explore Sinharaja Rainforest
  • Tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya
  • Sigirya Rock fortress
  • Tour of charming colonial Galle
  • Stay at historical Mount Lavinia
  • Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
Train
Coach
Boat
Airplane
Walking
1
Number of nights

This map is for the main tour only

Itinerary

Day 1
UK to Colombo

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Colombo International Airport.

Day 2
Mount Lavinia

Dinner

On arrival you will be transferred to the Mount Lavinia hotel. Dating back to 1806 when it was the British Governor's residence, the hotel exudes colonial charm, has its own private beach and beautifully positioned pool and terrace. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.

Day 3
Mount Lavinia to Sinharaja

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart the capital to travel down to the South of the island to visit the colonial town of Galle, without a doubt Sri Lanka's foremost urban attraction. Your guided city tour will explore Galle Fort, a walled town built by the Dutch in the 18th Century, and now a world heritage site. Inside the walls, you will find the old Colonial traders' houses transformed into a lovely mix of boutique art galleries, shops, and bohemian cafes, infused with the scents of spices and the tropics. After enjoying lunch in Galle you will travel to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, the last major undisturbed area of rainforest in Sri Lanka, where you will spend the next two nights at the award-winning Rainforest Eco Lodge. Each of the architecturally designed 16 chalets has its own living room and private deck to enjoy the breathtaking views of the forest canopy, rice paddies, and tea gardens. Enjoy a gentle and relaxing introductory walk around the tea estate and surrounding grounds.

Day 4
Sinharaja

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Enjoy an early morning walk around the forest on a bird and butterfly trail discovering many species of flora and fauna endemic to the forest. After a well-deserved breakfast, there will be further opportunity to explore this UNESCO heritage recognised rainforest on a guided walk. Dinner will be prepared with ingredients from the lodge's own gardens.

Day 5
Sinharaja to Nuwara Eliya

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today your group will leave the tropical lowlands of Sinharaja and travel up into Sri Lanka's mountainous interior to Nuwara Eliya, the city of light. En route visit the inspirational Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe, which is a rehabilitation project for orphaned elephants so that they can be released back into their natural environment. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya enjoy a visit to a tea estate and factory nestled up in the hills to see the entire manufacturing process.

Day 6
Nuwara Eliya to Passikudah

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

This morning enjoy a tour of Nuwara Eliya passing British red post boxes, pretty Victoria Park, the 18 hole golf course and the pink bricked Victorian post office. The group will then travel to Passikudah via the small village of Mahiyangana. On arrival in Passikudah check into your hotel for your next two nights. The largely undiscovered east of the island boasts the best beaches in Sri Lanka, with pristine white sands and turquoise shallow waters.

Day 7
Passikudah

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Enjoy a full day at leisure relaxing on the beautiful Passikudah beach. Dive and snorkeling enthusiasts may choose to explore the healthy coral gardens teeming with colourful fish whilst others may take this opportunity to recharge their batteries lounging with a good book.

Day 8
Sigiriya to Marawila

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart early this morning to visit the stunning Sigiriya Rock fortress, a world heritage site dating back to the fifth century. Climb up steps carved into the rock face to the summit or enjoy the spectacular views of ancient citadel and jungle from the lily-pad-covered moats that surround the rock. Journey to Innamaluwa where you will visit a spice garden and enjoy a relaxing foot massage. After, proceed to Marawila for your overnight stay, stopping in Dambulla for lunch on the way. Please note: Photography is prohibited in parts of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Prohibited areas will be clearly signposted.

Day 9
Colombo to the UK

Breakfast

After breakfast transfer to Colombo airport for your flight back to the UK.

Day 10-11
Colombo

Breakfast

Enjoy time at leisure in the beautiful city of Colombo.

Day 12
Colombo to the UK

Breakfast

Enjoy the morning at leisure until your return flight back to the UK.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Mount Lavinia Hotel

More info
Dates
Price (per person)
Dates available
May 2021
from £1,378
1 Date
24th May - 3rd Jun
£1,378
June 2021
from £1,528
1 Date
21st Jun - 1st Jul
£1,528
August 2021
from £1,728
1 Date
30th Aug - 9th Sep
£1,728
September 2021
from £1,698
1 Date
13th Sep - 23rd Sep
£1,698
October 2021
from £1,698
1 Date
11th Oct - 21st Oct
£1,698
November 2021
from £1,778
2 Dates
9th Nov - 19th Nov
£1,778
23rd Nov - 3rd Dec
£1,778

Tour Reviews

Sandra Waller

04 Feb 19

All excellent, I wish we could of stayed 2 nights in each Hotel, to experience the facilities, on the one night only stops , we arrived in the dark and off after breakfast!

Paul Hurst

06 Nov 18

All hotels were of a very good standard

Denise Scobie

12 Jun 18

All Sri Lanka hotels were very good The eco lodge in the rainforest was lovely but needed refurbishment...but we were told they were in the progress of doing that ..it diidnt take anything away from the holiday

Stephanie Shearn

05 Mar 18

On the whole, hotels were of a good quality.

Susan Fowler

22 Feb 17

All lovely hotels and big rooms with good food and views

Gail O

31 Oct 16

Excellent service by guide and driver who got us to our destinations safely. We were well looked after and the food was plentiful. All the accommodation was of a high standard and the staff we always helpful and polite.

Martyn Wallace

03 Oct 16

All hotels were excellent.

Elizabeth Blakey

27 Sep 16

A great tour with a very good guide who looked after us excellently.

Rosamund Willis

22 Sep 16

Our guide was knowledgeable, helpful and always put the customer first. The itinerary was well balanced and we were informed daily what was in store and how to prepare for the day. An excellent tour covering a variety of different experiences and culture, covering such contrasting areas in such a short time.

Alan Mckee

22 Sep 16

Excellent! Excellent tour leader, very informative & really thorough. Lovely hotels, especially Mount Lavinia and the food was excellent throughout.

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Important Information

A visa is required for entry into Sri Lanka. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote "Mercury Holidays". The cost of the visa is from £63. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of issue. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however, please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time. Alternatively, you can visit The High Commission of Sri Lanka at 13 Hyde Park Gardens, London, W2 2LU. Please note: If you have chosen to add the 'Kerala Beach Stay' or 'Highlights of Kerala' extension to the end of your tour, you will need to obtain an Indian visa prior to your UK departure. The Travel Visa Company offers a service which takes can take up to 15 working days at busy times. The cost is approximately £134. Alternatively, you can apply for your own visa. You can apply in person or by post to the Indian Embassy in London: 142-148 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7DU. There are also regional centres elsewhere in the UK. Full details on the process can be found on the Indian Embassy website www.in.vfsglobal.co.uk.

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Your flight is to Colombo Airport is with Sri Lankan Airlines (UL), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3. Each passenger is entitled to 30kg of hold luggage and hand luggage that you are permitted to carry one item of hand baggage (max 5kg - 56x36x23cm) in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. Please note there are approximately 1,300 steps to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 6, and the maximum will be 12. If in the unlikely event there are less than 6 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Sri Lanka. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in these destinations, should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Therefore, it is very important that you budget carefully.

You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry, drinks and snacks. Approximately £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are! Tipping is customary in Sri Lanka. Should you wish to tip, this will be collected by your guide at the end of your tour for your convenience. We would recommend approximately £3-5 per person, per day for the driver and guide and £4 per person, per day for the national guides. It is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency, please do not give coins as these are difficult to exchange.