Itinerary - Sri Lanka 360°: from Sigiriya to Adam's Peak
Flights to and from the UK are not included in the package, so you can decide from where and when you want to leave! This gives you complete freedom of choice to adjust your travel itinerary to your needs.
First things first, checking into our hotel in Colombo and welcome meeting. We are staying in the country’s capital city, so let's open its doors and let our incredible adventure begin. During the evening we will get to know each other a bit more, in front of a delicious welcome dinner. Sri Lankan cuisine, although very similar to Indian, has its own original twists and their delightful meals often feature fish and coconut, considering the tropical location of the island. After dinner, we are going to pop into one of the many hotel-casinos for a night of live music and pool matches.
Anuradhapura: in the historical park between spirituality and Buddhism
The cultural triangle
Today we are waking up super early to head to our first stop: Anuradhapura, one of the cities of the so-called Cultural Triangle. Anuradhapura is not exactly a city, but more of a giant historical park dotted with ancient ruins. Our local guide will tell us the secrets of this magical place: take off your shoes and walk barefoot around these sacred Buddhist sites.
Temple of the Sacred Tree
This incredible temple is where the pilgrims, all dressed in white, gather for their prayers and it features what is considered the oldest tree in the world; to reach the temple we will hike a short distance, surrounded by little monkeys!
It’s a huge and majestic white Dagoba (sanctuary), the biggest in the country. Tradition dictates it is repainted white every year. You can only admire the outside structure because the inside is empty, and that is why the building doesn't have any windows.
Discovering the cradle of Buddhism and typical cuisine: Mihintale
The heart of Buddhism
Good morning, WeRoaders! Are you ready for the day? After breakfast we are heading to Mihintale, a small village with a lot of character considered by many the cradle of Buddhism. We will be climbing a small peak (1800 steps!) to reach two different Stupa as well as a refectory in which the old monks of the monastery used to share their meals and their thoughts.
Once we reach the top you won't be disappointed by the amazing view awaiting: the giant statue of the white Buddha, standing tall in the middle of the green jungle. After such a spiritual journey to the top, we deserve to be spoiled by one of the greatest pleasures in life: food! During the afternoon get ready to tuck into many different dishes during our food tour through the restaurants of Sigiriya. As we walk through the colourful local markets, wrapped by the scent of exotic spices, we will be tasting typical dishes from Sri Lankan cuisine such as idiyappam and pol roti: a true journey through the flavours of the country.
The Lion Rock in Sigiriya: the eighth wonder of the world
The Eighth Wonder of the World
Today we wake up in Sigiriya and head out to admire the famous Lion’s Rock, considered by many the Eighth Wonder of the World. It may sound like another day of hiking and climbing (1200 steps!) but we promise you, it’s totally worth it! Pose in front of the famous Lion’s Claws then head inside to admire the beautiful fresco paintings; finally, once you reach the summit, you will find a breathtaking view of the island, making this hike a truly unforgettable part of your trip.
After lunch we are off to Pollonaruwa, an archeological site dotted with ancient temples and monuments; the best way to enjoy the sights is to hire a bike or a tuk tuk in order to easily move from one area to the other, without missing out on all there is to see! Definitely a must are: The Royal Palace, the Sacred Quadrangle and Gal Viharaya, a wonderful spot to catch the sunset. Tonight we have one more night in Sigiriya, before heading out to the next stop on our trip.
From the Golden Temple of Dambulla to the Tooth Temple of Kendy
Temples and markets
The Golden Temple of Dambulla is not very far from our accommodation, so we are heading there first thing in the morning, before setting off to Kandy. Dambulla is made up of five caves, extremely well preserved and finely decorated. The complex boasts multiple Buddhist statues and the path through the caves offers scenic views overlooking the green jungle below.
A truly unmissable experience! Watch out for the cheeky little monkeys, though: they’ll try to steal what they can from you, even your sunglasses! After about an hour's journey, we will make a brief stop in Matale, located on the Spice Gardens’ route. Explore the local shops and the secrets of traditional medicine; relax with a massage and breathe in the scent of the natural essential oils.
The food is truly amazing, with dishes including plenty of vegetables, rice and noodles, as well as chicken and fish. Once we arrive in Kandy, we will take part in the extraordinary Ceremony of the Tooth, inside the temple. It happens every night and it is truly a must see! Believers pay their respects to the relic of Buddha's sacred tooth, through music, incense, prayers, lanterns, drums and dancing. Breathe in the spiritual devotion of the crowd and experience the ceremony like the locals do.
On the Road through The Plantations to Adam's Peak
On the road
On our way to Nuwara Eliya we cannot help but stop at one of the tea plantations in the area. You will be able to sip a freshly made cup of tea right there at the factory where the tea leaves are picked and processed; you surely can’t get a better cuppa anywhere else! The whole area is one of astounding natural beauty and we can stop to visit as many places as we like, including the wonderful waterfalls of Ramboda Fall.
Get ready, because we are spending the night on Adam’s Peak, a sacred mountain to four different religions. After dinner we are setting off, together with lots of pilgrims, aiming to reach the monastery by sunrise. The journey is long but you’ll be able to find plenty of refreshments, blankets (it may get a little cold on the summit) and even massage studios on the way. Just imagine the spiritual awakening you will experience at sunrise!
Included: Excursion to Adam’s Peak and transport. Money Pot: Entrance fees. Not Included: Meals and drinks where not specified.
*(The excursion is not guaranteed from mid-May to the end of November, the itinerary may be subject to change)
Relaxing in Nuwara Eliya, the little England of Sri Lanka
After an emotional and spiritual experience such as watching the sunrise on Adam's Peak, today is all about relaxing and unwinding. That is why we have a place booked for us, to rest throughout the day. For the tireless WeRoaders we have a few more adventures to enjoy: a cooking class to embrace the art and flavours of singhalese cuisine. Or why not take a stroll down the streets of Nuwara Eliya, to admire the colonial architecture of the buildings, from the red brick post office to the magnificent hotels, all the way to the central market square, where you will be able to buy some cute souvenirs.
From Nuwara Eliya to Ella on the world's most spectacular train
Have you ever heard of the most beautiful train ride ever? Well, you are about to experience it in all its glory. The train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella takes about two and half hours; this particular type of train rides on a narrow railway, through stunning landscapes of green and lush tea plantations and mountain views. Can’t contain your enthusiasm and want to do some more? Then get ready to walk the trail to Ella’s Rock, a one and a half hour hike which will guide you to the summit, where you can take in the wonderful view and breathe in the fresh air. Ella’s town centre is quite small but here you can find everything you need: a restaurant, a guesthouse, a market, tuk-tuk and a tea shop. This little mountain village is perfect for excursions to discover the natural landscapes the place has to offer, from rocky peaks to woodlands dotted with lakes and waterfalls, rivers and streams.
Finally the Sea: Mirissa Beach and Unawatuna Beach
On the road
We’re setting off in the morning and heading to the seaside, to Mirissa and Unawatuna beaches; they are so spectacular we couldn't just pick one and that’s why we are visiting both! We’ll only be stopping for a quick lunch in one of the fishermen’s villages on the way.
This is Sri Lanka’s most popular beach, famous for its clean, fine sand and surrounded by rocks and tall palm trees. Keep an eye out and try to spot the whales in the distance, as well as turtle eggs hatching in the sand. This is also an ideal spot for water sports like surfing, if the waves are tall enough, or snorkelling.
A strip of white sand with many wooden huts along the beach, in which you can unwind with an ayurvedic massage: so relaxing! This beach is also the perfect spot to enjoy a dreamlike sunset, with the view of the buddhist temple peeking from the cliffs. We will have dinner in one of the many typical restaurants on the beach and enjoy a memorable night of dancing barefoot on the sand!
Relaxing by the sea among the Bentota turtles at sunset
Are you ready for another fun day at the beach? Let's start with a hearty breakfast and a stroll around the streets of Galle, a fascinating colonial town. After that, our first stop of the day is Induruwa, a wild paradise on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Later on, we’ll be heading to Bentota, a huge, deserted stretch of beach where you can bask in the peace and breathe in the tranquillity of this tropical paradise. Here, we will be able to visit a turtle sanctuary, where turtles are monitored and taken care of, especially when the eggs are hatching. As soon as the baby turtles are born, they are transferred to special pools where researchers can observe and protect them; holding one of them in your hands will surely be one of the highlights of your WeRoad experience!
Let's enjoy the last day
It’s the last morning in this beautiful paradise, catching the last rays of sunshine and basking in the heat. In the afternoon, we are heading back to Colombo for some last minute shopping in one of the traditional markets or perhaps at the shopping centre Laksala. In the evening we are meeting up all together for our farewell dinner, sharing some delicious food, as well as stories about our last two weeks together and celebrating the end of our wonderful adventure. It's our last night in Sri Lanka so let’s make it one we won’t forget!
Going back home
Time to say goodbye ): Until our next WeRoad Adventure!