Sri Lanka - The Spice Island10 days & 9 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Colombo / To Sigiriya
Upon arrival in Colombo, embark on a scenic drive through the lush countryside to the hill station of Sigiriya, gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Lion's Rock.
Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to relax or begin your explorations.Ulagalla Resort - 3 Nights
The impregnable rock fortress of Sigiriya looms above the surrounding jungle like a guardian spirit. Halfway up to the imposing hilltop fortress, look for some magnificent etched 6th-century frescoes, which influenced Sri Lankan art for centuries. This afternoon, visit the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa with its grand monuments to Shiva and its enchanting garden city.Ulagalla Resort (B)
The sacred city of Anuradhapura flourished as Sri Lanka's first capital for 1,400 years beginning in the 4th-century BC. Lost to the encroaching jungle for hundreds of years, it was rediscovered by British explorers in the 19th century. Explore the site with your expert guide who illuminates the history and myth of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.Ulagalla Resort (B)
Day 4To Kandy
Drive into the hills toward Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. On your way, stop to visit the Dambulla cave temple complex, which boasts stunning cave paintings (some from as early as the first century BC) and statues. This evening, enjoy a traditional Kandyan dance performance and visit the holy Temple of the Tooth. Housed in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, the relic of Buddha's tooth was believed to give its holder the rule of the country.The Clingendael - 2 Nights (B)
The hill station of Kandy has long been synonymous with luxuriant forests, cinnamon and nutmeg plantations. Take a tour of the sprawling 18th-century Royal Botanical Gardens, a 147- acre site that includes more than 4,000 varieties of plants. You'll also visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, which provides a natural habitat for nearly 100 elephants. Watch the majestic beasts eat, play and bathe on the riverbanks.The Clingendael (B)
Day 6To Hatton
Drive from Kandy to Hatton and your luxurious hideaway in Sri Lanka's verdant hills. Stay in a restored, colonial-era bungalow in the heart of lush tea country. Settle in to your luxurious estate before embarking on a scenic train journey through the "Golden Valley of Tea." British planter James Taylor introduced tea cultivation to the highlands of Sri Lanka back in the mid- 19th century. These days, tea production is an essential portion of the country's economy.Ceylon Tea Trails - 2 Nights (B)
Discover the art and science of growing, harvesting and making some of the world's finest teas. Follow the trails of the original planters as they trekked through the jungle in search of fertile land. Then learn from the master planter about caring for and harvesting the leaves and buds of the trees. And train your palate to discern the qualities that make this tea sought after the world over.Ceylon Tea Trails (B)
Day 8To Galle
This morning, drive to the 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage fort in Galle. With your expert guide, explore this stunning example of military architecture impressively situated in the Bay of Galle. First constructed in 1588 by the Portuguese, Galle Fort was extensively fortified by the Dutch beginning in the mid-17th century. Today, the interior of the fort is a heady fusion of European architecture and South Asian culture that includes hotels, restaurants and an historic Dutch Reformed church, which is located near your resort.Amangalla Resort (B)
Day 9To Colombo
Drive back to Colombo to acquaint yourself with some of the port's varied architecture, which has been influenced by the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and British.
Then take a stroll through some of the city's bustling bazaars in search of a memento of your adventure in Sri Lanka. This evening, why not head out on the town for a final festive dinner?Uga Residence (B)
Day 10Depart Colombo
Bid farewell to the lovely island of Sri Lanka as you transfer to the international airport for your onward flight.(B)
In the Indian Subcontinent, there are completely different customs when it comes to road use and road craft, and all manner of vehicles, people and animals can be found moving about, even on the main roads. To most visitors, road journeys in the Indian Subcontinent can seem quite startling at first; however, all Cox & Kings drivers are very experienced and in tune with other road users, allowing you to relax and absorb the extraordinary sights and sounds en route.
For Escorted Groups, Cox & Kings uses air-conditioned buses of an appropriate size for the number of people traveling, while on Private Journeys, Cox & Kings uses mid-size cars with an option to upgrade to luxury segment vehicles, available on request. They all feature air-conditioning and our drivers are experienced. Please refer to page 51 for further details.
Important Note: Road conditions in the Indian Subcontinent change throughout the year, due to monsoon rains and extreme weather patterns and journey times can vary enormously at all times of the year which is beyond the control of Cox & Kings.
Air travel in the Indian Subcontinent is more affordable now. There are full service brands that operate domestic and international flights and then there are low cost airlines that have gained popularity due to low cost airfares being offered.
Flight Delays & Insurance: Due to increase in air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. Domestic flights in India can incur last minute schedule changes, delays, over flying, and / or cancellation without prior notice. November through January, fog can also create delays in Northern India airports, causing flight postponement or cancellation.
Flight delays can cause problems with onward connections, hotel and holiday arrangements. Although the airline will sometimes make arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost, costs may be involved for you, in the form of additional accommodation, transfers and onward tickets. Unfortunately, since most services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays are non-refundable. Please note many international flight tickets are restricted and nonrefundable. Therefore, Cox & Kings requires that you are insured against such eventualities, and recommends traveling with a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy from your point of origin.
Early Starts: A number of flights within the Indian Subcontinent arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Special Requests: Cox & Kings will endeavor to request any specific meals or services, on the condition that we are told at the time of booking. Specific seat requests with most major airlines can now only be requested if traveling in one of the premium classes. We are able to request general seating preferences for Economy Class passengers. However, all special requests are at the discretion of the airline and cannot be guaranteed.
Travel within the Indian Subcontinent is an adventure at every moment. We will endeavor to keep all clients apprised of any changes and or alterations to the program due to flight arrival or departure re-scheduling or other situations that may occur throughout your travel.
Important Note: Airlines and train schedules and fares are subject to last minute change. In the event that any amendment or cancellation arises or increase in fare, Cox & Kings cannot be held liable for the same.
The Indian Subcontinent has made an indelible mark in the area of hospitality. The distinctive features of these hotels are high standard and quality accommodation and service along with contemporary facilities at par with world standards. The availability of hotels in the Subcontinent ranges from Deluxe, Luxury, First Class and Budget to Heritage and Boutique.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout the Subcontinent and in general cannot be compared to the West. In larger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, the hotels we use are fully modernized with excellent facilities, while in other cities and towns the hotels are smaller but still offer good facilities. In the desert cities of Rajasthan, areas of Southern India and small hill towns, many hotels we use are small, privately owned properties or converted palaces, retaining much of their original ambience, but the room size, shape and design can vary enormously (even in the same price bracket). On certain circuits in Rajasthan, enjoy the experience of staying at one of the marvelous Heritage hotels – once the residence of Maharajas. Although palace hotels often have simple facilities and service can be slow, we ask for your patience as this is more than compensated for by their atmosphere and charm.
Check-in & Check-out Times: Most hotels work on a check-in of 1400 hours and check-out of 1200 hours. If a flight arrives in the morning, you may be taken for breakfast or sightseeing before check-in. We will endeavor to get your room as early as possible in these instances.
Game Parks & Remote Areas: Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings,you can be sure that your accommodation in game lodges, smaller hotels and tented camps is the best available. Sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases we feel that the simplicity of such accommodation is outweighed by the experience. Game park accommodation cannot be compared to that available in parts of Africa and is often reached down narrow and makeshift roads.
Meals: Meals included in the tour program are indicated in the itineraries at the end of each day with codes: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D).
Maps: Type of travel is indicated in the maps at the beginning of each itinerary with symbols:
Road Travel (), Train Travel (),Air Travel (), Day Excursion ( ).
Cox & Kings is happy to arrange for you to extend your stay in the Indian Subcontinent. We have suggested possible extension options for the tours in this brochure, however we would also be delighted to design a custom extension, either pre or post tour, to fit in with your particular interests. Please note that tour extensions are operated on the same basis as Private Journeys.
Many of the sites in the Indian Subcontinent necessitate a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. Whilst the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at ancient monuments there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Sri Lanka - The Spice Island
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.