Monday, 31 July 2006 12:00 AM
If you like your travelling experiences to be adventurous and take in far flung corners of the globe, then a fifteen-day trek exploring Sri Lanka's fantastic array of culture, history and wildlife could be the perfect trip.
Sri Lanka has almost everything travellers could want - wonderful ancient sites, amazing scenery, great food, great people and idyllic beaches.
This tour takes in all the usual highlights as well as some less visited spots, and a relaxed itinerary makes it a great way to see a great variety of what the country has to offer.
Once you set off on the trek you will be taken to 12th century ruins of Panduwasnuwara before moving on to the fascinating 13th century rock fortress at Yapahuwa.
The tour will then include a relaxing cycle tour of the sacred city of Anuradhapura, the focus of the Sihala civilisation, where temples and religious statues can be visited.
Other ancient cities on the tour include Polonnaruwa, which is known for its immense Buddhas carved from stone, and a visit to Sigiriya, an extraordinary citadel built on top of an immense rock that has superb frescoes and stunning views of the scenery below.
The trek also takes in the old capital of Kandy, in the central highlands. Near the city are the spice gardens and the magnificent Buddhist caves of Dambulla, where traditional Kandyan dancing takes place, and a traditional temple can be visited.
Along the way there will be also be opportunities visit paddy fields and tea plantations and admire the view from World's End - a plateau with a precipice that drops nearly a kilometre.
Other areas of natural beauty on the itinerary include Sri Lanka's highest waterfall at Bambarakanda, and a trip to Kaudulla to search for wild elephants, which is followed by a visit to the Pinnewala elephant orphanage and a two day beach break at Bentota.
This hotel-based tour costs £435 and includes accommodation, most meals, experienced tour guides, sightseeing fees and private transport. The trip departs twice per month from August until November, with a further three trips available for booking in December (supplementary charges apply). More details are available from www.guerba.co.uk.
The tour operators will transfer travellers to their beach resort from either Negombo or Columbo. Flights to Columbo flying with Emirates from London Heathrow are £572 per person, departing August 25th 2006, booked with www.opodo.co.uk.