Temples in Buddha’s Garden
3-day Polonnaruwa and Dambulla tour - Sri Lanka
This trip will take you on a discovery of Sri Lanka's fascinating Cultural Triangle. Your journey will begin by climbing Sigiriya's mighty rock fortress, before you arrive at Sri Lanka's ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Polonnaruwa, where you'll feel as if you've been transported back in time as you wander, and pedal, through the ancient stone city. If you're a food lover, then this place is a must-visit for you, well known for its fascinating food scene, and full of local restaurants, food markets and humble stalls, Polonnaruwa will take you on a great foodie adventure!
*We can only book this trip as part of a longer Sri Lanka itinerary, so you'll need to pick at least a couple more of our lovely bite-sized trips to go with it.....or you can just give us a call for some advice!
- Transport with private driver
- Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
- Farmer’s lunch
- Hired bike in Polonnaruwa (some entrance fees are payable locally)
Create your own holiday itinerary 1. Add at least 3 chosen trips to your travel plan 2. Send it our way 3. Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote
Your day-by-day itinerary
Sigiriya, and on to Polonnaruwa
Today you’ll travel towards Polonnaruwa, and after a few hours’ drive, the giant Sigiriya rock will start to loom in front of you. In earlier times, this rock fortress, also known as the ‘Lion Rock’, was covered with hundreds of frescoes and a grand palace stood atop. Once you’ve made it to the top, you’ll get the chance to take in the stunning panoramic views of the wild green jungle, before continuing your journey to the town.
Polonnaruwa is an ancient royal city dating back almost 1000 years and has plenty of interesting sites you can explore on foot. Your hotel is in an idyllic location near the lake in nearby Girithale, and your driver can take you into the main city if you want to have a look around or visit one of the town’s amazing local restaurants.
After breakfast, your driver will take you into town where you’ll collect your hired bike and cycle around the ancient ruins at your own pace. The town was once the capital city of Sri Lanka and there are still many interesting relics leftover from this period, from palaces and bathhouses to ancient temples. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the country’s history. After you’ve pedalled your way through town, you’ll head to a small farmers’ restaurant where you can refuel with some super-authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
Departure from Polonnaruwa
After breakfast today, you’ll check out of your hotel and head towards your next destination.
If you’re heading south towards Kandy then you’ll stop off at the cave temples of Dambulla, located up in the hills with sweeping countryside views. Here, you’ll find caves crammed full of statues and paintings of the kings of Anuradhapura. You’ll wander through each cave and discover fascinating statues of the grand Buddha.
If you’re really interested in Sri Lanka’s history then you can extend this trip to add a night in another former capital, Anuradhapura. You’ll start by exploring the ancient ruins, the sacred tree and famous stupas which are all found in the city. The next day you’ll head to Mihintale, a sacred rock which is now a pilgrimage site. After this, you’ll continue onto Sigiriya and continue the trip above as normal. You can also visit Anuradhapura on our Leopards, Lakes and Royal Palaces trip.
£295 - per person - Standard accommodation
Combine this trip with
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:
Or choose from our ready-made Sri Lanka itineraries
From 16 days / 15 nights (flexible)
Sri Lanka, Colombo - Negombo - Ancient Cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa - Ella - Yala National Park - Colombo - Maldives
From 15 days / 14 nights (flexible)
Sri Lanka, Colombo - Negombo - Wilpattu National Park - Ancient Capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa - Outskirts of Kandy - Ella - Sinharaja Rainforest - Mirissa - Colombo