For almost 30 years the North of Sri Lanka was unexplored by the rest of the world. With the end of the civil war and the birth of peace in the country, the North & East opens its arms out to you. Explore the unexplored North and East with a well-rounded tour of the must-see places. From ancient wonders to the mysterious jungles filled with incredible animals to the sandy beaches of our paradise. Enjoy it all in this tour, travelling to the far north and discovering the hidden jewels.
Upon arrival at the airport you will meet a chauffeur guide from Hayley’s Tours. Thereafter you will travel directly to the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura. A city full of bell-shaped stupas or dagobas, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Buddhism's holiest places - partly because of the 2200-year-old Sri Maha Bodhi tree, grown from a cutting of the Indian tree beneath which Buddha found enlightenment.
You may either spend the day relaxing by the pool, enjoying the ambiance of Sri Lanka or visit the Anuradhapura town.
Overnight in Anuradhapura.
After an early breakfast at the hotel, leave for Jaffna. After a 5-hour journey, you will arrive in Jaffna for lunch and to explore the amazing North town. Visit the glorious Jaffna Library, the iconic Nallur Temple and also, don't forget to relish in some delicious ice cream at Rio Ice cream - the best.
Overnight in Jaffna.
Today, you will set off to a sandy island called the Nagadeepa sheltered by Coconut palm groves and palm trees; you will have to take a 15-minute boat ride from the coast as it is the only possible access to the island. This island has a connection with the story of the Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka in the 6th century B.C. There are two main jetties in order to enter the island, one leads to a Hindu temple and the other to the Nagadeepa Vihara.
The Nagadeepa Purana Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the sixteen most sacred places of devotion by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Since the 1st century AC, pilgrims have been coming to worship at its famous Rajayathana stupa in Nagadeepa. The Rajayathana stupa was constructed by two battling Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara, during the time of Lord Buddha's second visit to Sri Lanka, five years after attaining enlightenment, negotiated in calming a fight over the ownership of a gem-studded throne. The precious throne was offered to the Lord Buddha who pacified them and was later returned to the Naga Kings, where they later enshrined in this Rajayathana stupa.
After returning, have a delicious lunch and continue to have a bath in one of the purest and freshwater ponds in Sri Lanka- the Keeri Malai Kovil & freshwater pond. This destination is historically also known as the Thirutambaleswaram Kovil of Keeri Malai. It’s a famous Hindu temple in Keeri Malai, located north of Jaffna. Keeri Malai translates into Mongoose Mound in Tamil. A bathing tank is built surrounding this pool and only the walls separate the waters of the spring and the sea. Although the tank is so close to the sea, the water is fresh coming from an underground freshwater spring in Tellipallai-Maviddapuram Spring, popular among the Hindus for the miraculous powers it holds.
Legend tells that, an Indian Princess named Maruthapura Veeravalli built the Hindu Kovil at Keeri Malai when she was cured of her horse shaped head after bathing at Keeri Malai freshwater pond. Moreover, an Indian priest called Nagula Swami (Nagula Muni); his mongoose face was restored and healed into a human face after bathing in this pond!
Overnight in Jaffna.
DAY 04 - 07:
Trincomalee houses one of the largest natural harbors in the world. This amazing multicultural town will jump out many wonders for you to witness. Spend the evening at the pool and tuck in early for a tour of the Trinco town tomorrow.
You have the option of an excursion to Pigeon Island- a powdery white sandy beach with glittering coral gardens (best coral site), pigeons and many other fantasies. One of the best things to try when in Trinco is snorkeling in Pigeon Island and diving into the reefs which are home to dozens of corals, hundreds of reef fish (including black tip reef sharks) and turtles!
Thereafter, visit Trincomalee War Cemetery. This cemetery is arranged in a beautiful garden-like ground and is very well taken care of and maintained. It is a place where mostly the British soldiers and sailors rest in peace and not be forgotten. It is one of the six Commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka.
After breakfast head out to Pasikuda- the Pasikuda beach is a pristine beach of turquoise waters. Experience a truly amazing beach adventure of collecting seashells, making sand castles with your little ones and trying out some of the most daring water activities.
Since the day has been spent enjoying the sights of the town, sit back and relax with a cocktail on the smooth, quiet beach in Trincomalee.
Overnight in Trincomalee.
Visit the town of Habarana and take in the ancient culture of Buddhism at the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. If time permits, you may embark on a safari at Minneriya National Park. The dry tropical forest with lush wetlands and an unbelievable variety of wildlife: Take a chance to witness crocodiles and fish, little cormorants, painted storks, herons and large pelicans all fish in the shallow waters, red-lipped lizards, trees frogs, hanging parrots, Sri Lankan jungle fowl and grey horn-bills and many more incredible animals. The surrounding evergreen forest is peppered with satinwood and rosewood.
However, the main attraction in this park is the elephants, you'll be able to witness around 300 elephants in the annual event often called the Great Elephant Gathering, and this is the largest gathering of Asian elephants. Elephants migrate from Trincomalee to drink, bathe and feed on the fresh grass that grows up from the lake, as well as to search for mates.
Overnight in Habarana.
Today is the last day of your adventurous tour of the North and witnessing the elephants. After breakfast, you will be dropped off at the airport to catch your flight back home. We wish you a safe flight.