NEW! Get in touch with Sri Lanka's spiritual side

Monday 11 May 2015

• Palm-fringed beach resort offers luxury tour base • Visit tranquil Sima Malaka Meditation Island • Look for leopards and elephants on safari in Wilpattu National Park • Explore the sacred Buddhist city of Kandy and colonial sights of Colombo

NEW! Get in touch with Sri Lanka's spiritual side

Suriya Resort is a secluded haven on a private, palm-fringed beach with an adjoining lagoon that is a magnet for birdlife.

The 62-bedroom hotel in Waikkal opened in 2014 and blends contemporary design with original Sri Lankan batik artwork to create a stylish base to relax and discover this bountiful island in the Indian Ocean.

Saga guests stay in deluxe rooms or they can upgrade to a private chalet raised above the lagoon on wooden stilts. The all-inclusive holiday includes a free bar from 11am to 11pm and there is an exclusive Saga lounge, an outdoor pool, a gym and spa (treatments extra charge).

Guests will also enjoy VIP extras including a meditation and spiritual session with Vipula Wanigasekera, author of Pointers to Enlightenment, plus a talk on Sri Lanka’s cultural legacy.

Tours on this Stay and Explore holiday include exploring Colombo's colonial Fort district and the market area of Pettah before enjoying an oasis of tranquillity on Sima Malaka Meditation Island.

An excursion to the sacred Buddhist city of Kandy will include a visit to the Holy Temple of the Tooth Relic. There is an optional tour to Sigiriya's Lion Rock where two huge paws stand either side of limestone steps - a reminder of the lion figure that once guarded a fortress.

There is also an opportunity to see the ruins of ancient Polonnaruwa. This glorious garden city was Sri Lanka’s capital during the 12th and 13th centuries and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A safari in Wilpattu National Park gives guests a chance to look for leopards and elephants. Wilpattu is Sri Lanka's largest national park and is dotted with nearly 60 lakes that attract a variety of animals and birdlife.

Wildlife enthusiasts can also opt for a boat ride around Negombo lagoon to look for monitor lizards and crocodiles while art-lovers can visit world-renowned batik artist Erik Suriyasena's workshop in Marawila to try make their own batik masterpiece.

Eight nights from £1,299 departing London Gatwick and London Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester from September to November 2015 and January to June 2016.

Price includes VIP door-to-door chauffeur service, return flights, airport taxes, accommodation, all meals, free bar from 11am to 11pm, tour manager, travel insurance and cancellation cover or a discount of £34 discount if passenger has own insurance cover.

Extend the holiday with a three-night stay at the elegant Tamarind Hill Hotel, a 19th-century converted manor, in Galle. Price on application.

For details call free on 0800 096 0078 or visit travel.saga.co.uk/holidays

-ENDS-

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