THE SRI LANKA RALLY
4 X 4 TOURING INCLUDED
January 17 to February 8, 2020
THE LAND OF LIMITLESS BEAUTY
Marco Polo called Sri Lanka the most beautiful island in the world and he was right. Here there are stunning views from high peaks, tropical rainforest teeming with fantastic and prolific animals, a delightful people now reunited after a gruelling 20 year war.
The cultural triangle between Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla is a jungle-covered plain strewn with granite boulders 200m high, with a profusion of wildlife, exotic plants and World Heritage Sites. The forests are mostly teak, mahogany, ebony and names like rosewood and satinwood that you only come across in antique shops. On the outskirts of villages are mangoes and papayas, cloves and cinnamon and profusion of wild flowers, animals and birds. It’s a country of rare beauty and diversity and is a jewel in our crown of rallies.
SRI LANKA 4X4 CAR RALLY IN DETAIL
Day 01 Arrive at Colombo Airport
You will be met at Colombo Airport and taken to your hotel. Change money in the airport
Day 02 Colombo
Collect car and Driving license. Walking tour of old Colombo.
Day 03 Colombo to Galle – 158kms
After breakfast we take to the roads for the first time to Millaniya, a remote village just outside Colombo where we see traditional village life. On show is Cinnamon production, rubber tapping in a small plantation and a local oil making process. Following that we visit a Moonstone mine.
Day 04 Galle Day off
A chance to look round Galle Fort and enjoy the bustling town. The narrow streets are lined with Dutch merchant villas, pillared verandas, carved doors and windows. You can get lost walking round the narrow streets where gemstone shops abound, next to restaurants, cafes and juice shops.
Day 05 Galle to Yala – 168kms
In the morning we drive to Mirissa beach for a spot of whale watching followed by a visit to Dondre, the most southerly point of Sri Lanka. On the way to Yala we drive through Bundala National Park.
Day 06 Yala Day off – Safari day
Early start for a Safari in Yala National Park to search for the elusive Leopard. Back to the hotel for breakfast then relax in the beautiful surroundings of the Jetwing Yala. If you are up for another Safari, there is an afternoon drive as well.
Day 07 Yala to Udawalawe – 98kms
After a lazy Breakfast/early lunch we drive to Udawalawe. It’s a relatively short drive so there’s time after arrival for a drive around Udawalawe National Park – this is a must. Udawalawe is one of the best elephant sanctuaries in the world. Plenty of wild elephants here plus a multitude of other wildlife.
Day 08 Udawalawe to Haputale – 143kms
After breakfast we visit the nearby Elephant Transit Home where orphaned elephants are brought up with the aim of returning them to the wild. We are there at morning feeding time. Afterwards back to the hotel to collect bags and then we head for the lush green hills on narrow winding roads. Lunch in Rakwana in a private house. Akway Hotel is perched on a hillside with amazing views across the southern mountains.
Day 09 Haputale Day off to explore – 92kms
A stunning drive up to Lipton Seat. On the way we stop off at the Dambettana tea factory and then take tuk-tuks to Lipton Seat viewpoint. Afterwards we visit the dramatic Diyaluma waterfalls at Koslanda. Option of a short trek to the top of the waterfall. Or take a train ride to Ella through the hills.
Day 10 Haputale – Horton Plains – Nuwara Eliya – 70kms
A mere 70 kms today but it’s an all-day drive! First we tackle the amazing Devil’s Staircase. Incredible views and tough roads making a fabulous drive. We arrive at Horton Plains at noon for a well earned break. If the weather is good we take the 9km walk around the plains which includes the amazing World’s End which has the finest view in all of Sri Lanka where the awesome escarpment drops vertically for about 4,000 feet. The Grand Hotel lives up to its name as it’s an impressive colonial building still serving afternoon tea. Can be cool here – not called Little England for nothing.
Day 11 Nuwara Eliya Day off to explore – 15kms
A gentle day to explore the local Lover’s Leap waterfall, Pidurutalagala, the highest point in Sri Lanka at 2524metres (8281 feet), the Pedro Tea factory and the Aadishakti Seeta Amman Temple.
Day 12 Nuwara Eliya to Kandy – 98kms
Today we have a leisurely drive to Kandy, home of the last ruler, King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. Kandy is now a World Heritage Site being the last royal capital of Sri
Lankan kings. Naturally we don’t take the main road but drive through the hills past numerous manicured tea plantations and their factories. Our hotel is outside the hectic Kandy town high above in the hills. Great location.
Day 13 Kandy day off
First must do in Kandy is to visit the wonderful Botanical Gardens. Set in 147 acres its highlights include a fine collection of orchids, a stately avenue of royal palms, the extraordinary, aptly named cannonball fruit tree and 40m-high Burma bamboo. Another big hit is the giant Javan fig tree on the great lawn, with its colossal central trunk and umbrella-like canopy of branches. Lunch to be had in the café by the Great Lawn. Later in the day visit the Temple of the Tooth where a tooth of Buddha is locked away in a casket.
Day 14 Kandy to Sigiriya – 123kms
After breakfast we drive to Sigiriya through the Knuckles Mountain range. Once again a beautiful route through rolling tea plantations. After the Pitakanada Tea Estate the views are spectacular. En route we visit the Isiwaya Ayurvedic Village spice gardens. We will include a cooking demonstration as well as a foot massage for the weary ones. After this we continue to Sigiriya via the Damballa Rock Temple. Our hotel is 1 km wide and built into the rocks. Stunning.
Day 15 Sigiriya rest day – 44kms
No rest today as we visit one of the most spectacular monuments in Sri Lanka,
the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Step through
the gigantic ‘Lion Paws’ overlooking the symmetrical royal gardens below. A truly colossal masterpiece of the age. Go to the museum first to get the history and your bearings. Climbing the rock looks daunting but it is cleverly managed in stages. Views from the top are spectacular (again).
Day 16 Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa to Trincomalee – 187kms
After breakfast we drive to Polonnaruwa the medieval capital and crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I (1153-86). The second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader. Follow this with a visit to the reclining Buddha and wood carving workshop. We suggest lunch on the road in the Thidas Arana restaurant.
Day 17 Trincomalee rest day
At leisure to enjoy the beach or simply take a rest.
Day 18 Trincomalee to Jaffna – 230kms Drive to Jaffna. En route visit War Monuments. Evening visit Point Pedro – the most northern point of Sri Lanka
Day 19 Jaffna to Anuradhapura – 304kms We take the coastal route from Jaffna to Mannar and drive to Adam’s Bridge, the nearest point to India and where a bead
of islands may once have connected the two countries. Lunch is overlooking Adam’s Bridge. From there we go proceed west to Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. It has some very fine ruins.
Day 20 Anuradhapura rest day
There are options today. For those wanting nature rather than ruins there is Wilpattu where, once again, you can go on Safari for Leopards. Those who want ruins and culture Anuradhapura beckons. It is one of the greatest and oldest civilizations in the world spanning more than 1,300 years and 113 kings. See the 2200 year-old sacred Bodhi tree sapling extracted from the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment
Day 21 Anuradhapura to Colombo – 234kms
A great run to Colombo via Puttalam and the coast road. For the final few kilometres we take to new highway for the first time! Arriving at Galle Face mid-afternoon, we have time for high tea – of course. In the evening we have the Gala dinner on the lawn of the Galle Face (weather willing).
Day 22 Colombo day off
Day off to explore Colombo Day 23 Colombo
• The ultimate Sri Lankan car rally adventure
• A 4×4 car Included with each entry
• 5 star and colonial style hotels
• Airport Transfers
• City tours
• Breakfast and most evening meals
• Tours and Excursions
• Elephant Safaris
• Local Guides
• The Bespoke Rallies Team
• The finest cuisine
• Forts and ancient ruins
• Film of the event
• Incredible wildlife
• Stunning views and mountain tops
• Island visits
• Whale watching
• And more…
WANT TO TALK TO THE RALLY TEAM? CALL US NOW ON + 44 (0)1483 271 699
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