- Sri Lanka
- Jewels of Sri Lanka - Private Tour
Our 9 day, 7 night tour allows you to experience the beautiful interior of Sri Lanka, exploring the delights of Dambulla, Sigiriya Rock and the colonial cities of Kandy and Galle. Visit ancient temples of past civilisations, wonder at the beautiful botanical gardens in Peradeniya, meet the elephants at the Pinnawala Orphanage and take a safari through Yala National Park.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Colombo International Airport.
On arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to Dambulla which will take approximately 4 hours. The rest of your evening at leisure.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Depart in the morning to explore the stunning Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a World Heritage Site dating back to the 5th century AD. Also known as the 'Lion Rock', it is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the jungle. Following lunch continue on to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa which was once a royal capital of the Sinhalese kingdom and is over 1000 years old. It was chosen as the capital as it was advantageously positioned to safeguard against possible attacks from the southeast, as well as supposedly having fewer mosquitoes! Here you can admire the ruins of the Royal Palace and wander around the Gal Vihara, famous for its splendid carved Buddha statues. Please note: photography is prohibited in parts of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Prohibited areas will be clearly signposted.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast, visit the Dambulla Rock Temple, where the impressive caves contain over 2000sq metres of painted walls and ceilings which were once gilded by the ancient King to mark his place of worship. You will then travel to Kandy en route visiting a spice garden followed by lunch and check in at your hotel. Continue to the famous Temple of Tooth Relic in the afternoon - Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic and one of the holiest shrines in the Buddhist world. After dinner relax whilst watching an eclectic cultural show, where performers will dazzle you with ornate costumes and traditional dances.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Today you will travel to the beautiful botanical gardens in Peradeniya, boasting more than 4,000 species of trees, plants, orchids and creepers. Next, a highlight of this tour is a trip to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975 to care for abandoned and wounded elephants. Witness these magnificent creatures in close quarters and see elephants being fed, bathed and trained by the wildlife authorities. This evening enjoy a city tour of Kandy, including the bazaar and arts and crafts centre and a gem museum. Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings and after defending themselves for over three centuries from the Dutch and Portuguese it finally fell to the hands of the British in 1815.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Leaving Kandy you will stop in Giragama to visit a tea plantation before continuing to Nuwara Eliya where you will participate in a walking tour of the town. Your journey continues through Sri Lanka's striking scenery to your hotel near Yala.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
The morning is at leisure before your exciting jeep safari around the magnificent Yala National Game Park, the largest national park in Sri Lanka with a unique ocean front setting. The park is home to elephants, wild boars, buffaloes, bears, deer and crocodiles as well as a number of migratory and indigenous birds. You may even spot a leopard!
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Following breakfast, you will arrive in Galle, once the chief port of Ceylon and the centre of the Dutch regime in the 17th century. A city tour lets you discover the majestic Galle Fort and the surrounding historic buildings which reflect the Dutch heritage which once reined the country. Travel north for your final night at the world famous Mount Lavinia Hotel. This 200-year-old hotel was once the Governor's Residence when Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was under British rule.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Gwendoline Aldred19 Feb 20
Very happy with all the hotels
D Lindsay13 Feb 20
Tour manager Ernest was 5 star the best!
Susan Garside12 Feb 20
All hotels on tour were clean and comfortable with good food and very helpful, friendly staff.
Bridget Tanti27 Jan 20
All 4 hotels were lovely and the staff were very efficient and helpful. Improvements may be suggested for Chaarya Resort where the Wifi was poor and, over all, vegetarian meal options were relatively limited.
Jacqueline Goodhew23 Jan 20
Lovely clean hotels , great food, polite staff. Excellent overall.
Graham Reeves25 Apr 19
Nice hotels used throughout
Rhian Jones12 Apr 19
beautiful, good value for money
Leslie Wilkinson06 Apr 19
The hotels we stayed ranged from good to excellent. The staff at each hotel were polite, friendly and welcoming. The checking in process was smooth and efficient and we were highly satisfied with the rooms chosen for us. We particularly liked the Amaya Hills Hotel and the Mount Lavinia Hotel.
Monika Wallace03 Apr 19
All the hotels were very clean, the service was friendly,excellent and all in beautiful surroundings
Elizabeth Watson30 Mar 19
The hotels selected were amazing and surpassed our expectations. Each one was very different with its own character and the locations were perfect. Standard of accomodation was excellent as was the service and the food.
Leanne Puddefoot27 Mar 19
All hotels had a very easy check in system, they were all clean and had a good choice of food, my favourite was Amaya Hills, the view and service was amazing and could not fault it.
Bruce Hester26 Mar 19
Good choice of 4 star hotels
John Dowe06 Mar 19
A mix of tranquillity and beautiful sights, from the balcony and terrace. We would thoroughly recommend this tour and the hotels to anyone. Anyone who complains about any aspect of the whole holiday ought to "get a life". Brandy, our guide, deserves special mention. Throughout the whole trip, he kept everyone together and catered for everyone's needs, much to the annoyance of one couple in particular. He obviously is very experienced, loves his country and its people, and has a wealth of knowledge. He was very informative, had time for everyone and never stopped smiling. Great bloke !!!! The driver and helper were much the same, and you have to admire the way the driver handled that bus, particularly in the mountains, and on busy streets, where, sometimes, it seemed that the population wanted to turn themselves into "bonnet mascots" on his bus. Well done to them all !!!
Wendy Wood02 Mar 19
Each hotel was excellent, all offering a different experience in terms of environment and settings. The quality of food was good and a wide selection of food.
Kate Franklin13 Feb 19
All hotels were high standard with excellent service. They also seemed to highly value Mercury guests. We were very impressed with the overall efficiency of the organisation of 'pick ups' and hotel check-ins. Also all drivers were very friendly and courteous as well as being good drivers, with comfortable vehicles, on roads that appeared chaotic at times and very busy.
Marie Southgate25 Jan 19
No problems with the hotels
John Cheong11 Dec 18
All hotels were good, with large clean rooms; friendly and helpful staff; and with a good choice in the buffet at breakfast and dinner sufficient to suit all tastes.
Joanne Cockram12 Oct 18
All very clean and above standard.. Extremely pleased
Huw Jones04 Oct 18
Really 1st class hotels throughout, the best standard of many escorted tours I have been on.
John Rickman03 Oct 18
The first and last hotels on the escorted tour were the best. The Amaya lake the best and we would have liked to see more of it. The mount Lavinia second best.
Bernadette James03 Oct 18
All good with Amaya Lake our favourite - excellent facilities.
John Bailey29 Sep 18
All hotels were excellent.
Andrew Ok28 Sep 18
Amaya lake and Hills were fantastic hotels with excellent lacations, rooms, service and food. Chandrika Hotel good. The world famous Mount Lavinia Hotel had the wow factor from the outside and lobby area and excellent food
John Ketchell08 Sep 18
All 5 hotels used were excellent with good food and generally great service.
Margaret Coe06 Jul 18
All very good, excellent rooms, good food, excellent service! Very good swimming pools!!!!!
Philip Walton16 May 18
All hotels excellent as expected, service couldn’t have been better. Only issue could do with mosquito nets in bedrooms.
David Watt06 Apr 18
Excellent quality hotels, just a shame that so much was crammed into the tour that we didn't always get a chance to fully enjoy them. We often arrived late to the hotel, just in time for evening meal, and then have to set the alarm very early for the following morning.
Terrence Winters01 Mar 18
Overall excellent tour only comment would be length of time travelled on some excursions could include refreshment stops and more information regarding clothing and customs etc
Brian Burton01 Mar 18
all the hotels we stayed in were excellent, with really friendly staff and nice food
Pam Jones04 Feb 18
All hotels offered high standards of cleanliness, comfort & food. We loved Amaya Lake with the little lodges & Mount Lavinia was still so Colonial with exceptional cuisine.
Viola Maile30 Nov 17
The first 3 hotels were good but the last one - Mount Lavinia was excellent.
Ian Webb11 Nov 17
All excellent, but it was a pity we always arrived early evening at most of the hotels so we could not usually explore the hotel and grounds properly
Martyn Hall10 Oct 17
Good quality hotels in Sri Lanka
Peter Edwardson05 Jul 17
all hotels 10/10 just not a enough time spent at each hotel more like B&B short each days activity and have 3 days not 2 at each of first three hotels plus 1 night at the last hotel total 10 nights
Bryan Jackson18 Jun 17
Upgrades given 2 hotels.
Jayne Avards06 Apr 17
All the hotels were excellent - though very little time in each to only eat and sleep whilst touring.
Christine Hughes02 Apr 17
I thought whoever had chosen the hotels had chosen them carefully. They were a special experience.
Ben Mnyama09 Feb 17
Mixed from good to excellent. Otherwise not bad at all.
Pauline & James Welch29 Nov 16
Excellent holiday, many thanks. The standards are much better than might have been expected for the price.
Anthony Meachin26 Oct 16
Overall a very good package - with a beach extension. Food and rooms in all the hotels were very good. Mount Lavinia was great.
Elena Zomer24 Oct 16
Excellent choice of hotels and restaurants, my first time away with Mercury but definitely not the last, great trip! Thank you :) The hotels were all very beautiful and of very high standards, I have no complaints as they were very clean with lovely big rooms, great staff, delicious buffets etc.
Valerie Donnan27 Sep 16
An excellent trip. The tour guide made the whole thing a wonderful experience, he went out of his way to make the trip enjoyable for everyone.
David Woodhead27 Sep 16
The tour was first class. Special thanks to our guide and driver.
Linda Copeland27 Sep 16
Our guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and friendly and he made the tour very fun, polite and exciting. Our driver and helper were excellent too. I shall be booking more tours now. Amazing!
Evelyn Mckenzie27 Sep 16
I would definitely recommend and use Mercury Holidays again.
Amanda Richards13 Jun 16
Just returned from a beautiful holiday in Sri Lanka and The Maldives. Would like to inform you that our escorted holiday in Sri Lanka was made special by one of your guides. Sam Samarakoon. He is an asset to Mercury Holidays & his knowledge of the country is amazing. He is also funny and made sure all our transfers took place without any problems. Great holiday, lovely man.
Gordon Paul09 Jun 16
It was our 40th wedding anniversary during the holiday and the recognition of this throughout the trip made this a very special holiday for both of us. Thank you
James Paul31 May 16
It was our 40th wedding anniversary during the holiday and the recognition of this throughout the trip made this a very special holiday for both of us. Thank you.
Carl Mason29 Mar 16
EXCELLENT HOTELS IN SIGIYRIA, KANDY AND BENTOTA. 1ST RATE ROOMS, SERVICE AND STAFF IN ALL 3,
Anthony Sear29 Mar 16
Would like to have spent more time in first hotel as very tired after journey and it was in a beautiful place but we had no time to enjoy it. All staff and the service in all hotels were great.
Christine Reeve02 Mar 16
all to a good standard apart from the service in the restaurant at governors hotel, mount lavinia .for a prestigious hotel this was somewhat of a let down.
Sarah Sampson20 Feb 16
All the hotels were first class.
Jacqueline Shilson15 Dec 15
All hotels were absolutely spotlessly clean, food was good and staff friendly. Lovely visits.
Sheila Scholes26 Nov 15
In the main the hotels were very good with a good choice of food and comfy beds! The beach stay hotel was very good except that because the air conditioning was on 24\7 the rooms felt damp and sometimes had an unpleasant smell. all they needed was a good blow through of fresh air - maybe whilst being cleaned by the hotel staff. Otherwise a lovely stay.
The executive chef, Aloysious at the Hotel Suda Araliya is excellent!
Pamela Hoult09 Oct 15
All the hotels were exceptionally good. The service was good and the food very enjoyable. We couldn't fault anything.
Michael Rainer07 Oct 15
All hotels were first class and beyond our expectation. The staff and service was fantastic.
Susan Palmer03 Apr 15
All hotels during the escorted tour were first class in every way. Fantastic rooms and facilities, excellent choice of food at all meals.
Sally Kennis22 Dec 14
Our second visit to this hotel and they have made a lot of improvements. Most rooms have been upgraded but the best thing is the great, friendly staff. Rooms are large and cleaned everyday with clean sheets, towels etc. We shall certainly return for another relaxing holiday.
Paul Stickley19 Dec 14
Hotel staff were excellent. We had to fly home 3 days early due to illness at home, the hotel staff were very helpful.
Carol Turff02 Dec 14
All the hotels we stayed at were of a very high standard. We were pleasantly surprised!! Some variations at each hotel of course but overall for the holidays the hotels were good.
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.
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.
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 Rupee or Rs. 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 India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
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! It is customary to tip your guide and driver, this is at your discretion but we recommend you allow approximately £30 for the duration of your tour. 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.