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  • Secrets of Sri Lanka with See the Highlights of Kerala

Secrets of Sri Lanka with See the Highlights of Kerala

9 Day Escorted Tour With 5 Day Extension

Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean
Intermediate Pace

Why not continue your trip beyond Sri Lanka with a mini tour of the beautiful Indian state of Kerala from 549pp. This 4 night extension includes a tour of Cochin, one of India's major ports and trading centres and an overnight trip on an authentic Keralan Houseboat.

2021 Dossier

2022 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Authentic Keralan Houseboat Trip
  • Thekkady Hill Station Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Periyar Lake
  • Cochin City Tour
  • 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
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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: Photo

Day 9
Colombo to Cochin

Breakfast

Depart Sri Lanka in the morning for your flight to Kochi in India's beautiful southern state of Kerala, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 10
Cochin to Alleppey

Breakfast

Today you will board a traditional houseboat which will be both your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals whilst enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding villages.

Day 11
Alleppey to Thekkady

Breakfast

Disembarking your houseboat after breakfast, your tour continues with a drive through the spectacular countryside. Journey on to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market await you.

Day 12
Thekkady to Cochin

Breakfast

A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you can view various species of wildlife and enjoy picturesque scenery. Proceed to Cochin for a city tour to see the impressive Chinese fishing nets, before taking a ride through the village roads in a tuk-tuk. You will see the Mattanchery Duch Palace and St. Francis, the oldest European church in India.

Day 13
Cochin to the UK

Breakfast

Depart after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Dates
Price (per person)
Dates available
January 2023
from £2,388
1 Date
17th Jan -30th Jan
£2,388
February 2023
from £2,288
1 Date
21st Feb -6th Mar
£2,288
March 2023
from £2,288
1 Date
21st Mar -3rd Apr
£2,288
April 2023
from £2,218
1 Date
25th Apr -8th May
£2,218
May 2023
from £1,898
2 Dates
9th May -22nd May
£2,048
23rd May -5th Jun
£1,898
June 2023
from £1,998
1 Date
20th Jun -3rd Jul
£1,998
August 2023
from £2,318
1 Date
29th Aug -11th Sep
£2,318
September 2023
from £2,178
1 Date
12th Sep -25th Sep
£2,178
October 2023
from £2,218
1 Date
10th Oct -23rd Oct
£2,218
November 2023
from £2,288
2 Dates
7th Nov -20th Nov
£2,288
21st Nov -4th Dec
£2,288

Accommodation

The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 90 days before you travel
Holiday Inn Cochin
2 nights
Kochi-Cochin, Kerala
More details
Houseboats
1 nights
Alleppey, Kerala
More details
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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 India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £96 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.

You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices: <br /><br /> <table class="basic" cellspacing="0"><thead><tr><th><b>Age in Years</b></th><th><b>Up to 64</b></th><th><b>65 - 74</b></th><th><b>75 - 85</b></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Up to 17 days cover</td><td>£39</td><td>£75</td><td>£129</td></tr></tbody></table> For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. 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 Direct 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.

All flights are operated by Sri Lankan Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 20kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only & subject to change. These timings are for the Jewels of Sri Lanka tour only and may vary. If you have booked an optional add on please contact our reservations department for more information.

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.

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. 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.<br /><br />The currency in Kerala is the Indian Rupee (RS). The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Kerala. 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.

Tipping is common practice and seen as a way of life in Sri Lanka. It is customary to tip both your driver and guide 200 rupees (approximately £1) per person per day.

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!