Welcome to Colombo! The capital of Sri Lanka, known for its beaches and its cosmopolitan character, Colombo derives much of its vibrancy from its age-old spice trade, which also brought in European colonial powers. Colombo combines ancient heritage with the colonial architecture and with its modern façade, has turned out to be a delightful destination On arrival, you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your accommodation.
Begin your exploration of Sri Lanka with a visit to Geoffrey Bawa’s Residence. The house in 33rd Lane is an essay in architectural bricolage. In 1958 Bawa bought the third in a row of four small houses, which lay along a short cul-de-sac at the end of a narrow suburban lane and converted it into a pied-à-terre with living room, bedroom, tiny kitchen and room for a servant. Later continue on a drive through the city which will take you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential area, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, where is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings and the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. The historic Dawatagaha Mosque and the former Eye Hospital are two buildings in Cinnamon Gardens worth looking at. Also visit the BMICH, see the replica of Avukana Buddha and the Independence Square. This evening you may like to dress up and head out for a sumptuous dinner to welcome you into the country.
Your journey takes you to Sigiriya today. En route make a stop at Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. This Orphanage is a nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants, located at Pinnawela village. It has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 39 males and 49 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala. The journey, then continues to Anuradhapura. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel. Your chauffeur will drive you to Mihintale this afternoon. This sleepy village and temple complex, 13km east of Anuradhapura, holds a special place in the annals of Sri Lankan lore. Mihintale has long been associated with the earliest introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Visit the Monastery in this village.
Begin your day with a yoga session at your hotel. Then continue your tour of Sri Lanka with a fantastic experience of viewing the Sigiriya Rock Fortress after a hike. Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning.
Your journey will take you to Kandy today. En route make a stop at the Cave temples of Dambulla. Located on a gigantic granite outcrop, which towers above the surrounding land, the caves are completely covered by ancient frescoes depicting religious and secular scenes. Protected within the caves are hundreds of statues of Buddha, many carved out of the rock itself, of which the largest is the Dying Buddha. Continue your journey to Kandy after this visit. On arrival in Kandy, check in to your hotel. The old capital of Ceylon was the seat of the last Sinhalese kingdom. Set in the mountainous area of the island, there are fantastic views over the city. Most pavements are dominated by vendors selling garments, lotteries, toys and various fancy items – making passing through look almost impossible. The main market area in the heart of the town is frequented often for its array of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meat stalls, sweets, clothes, fancy goods. Explore the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha – UNESCO lends a tag of World Heritage Site to its Temple of Sri Dalada Maligawa built over Buddha’s tooth relic. Located centrally along the hills, it also overlooks a scenic vista of sprawling tea plantation. Experience the blessing ceremony with all the fanfare, drums, trumpets and brightly colored monks performing their rituals. After temple visit enjoy an hour of cultural extravaganza at Kandy.
Your private chauffeur will drive you to Kandy Railway station to board the train to Nanu Oya. Enjoy a lovely scenic journey on the local train in first class seating. On arrival you will be driven to Nuwara Eliya. Set in the cool and misty hilly interior at an altitude of 1800m is the colonial hill station of Nuwara Eliya. Built by the British in the 19th century as an escape from the sweltering heat of the lowlands it came complete with half-timbered mock-Tudor houses with inglenook fireplaces & billiard tables, a golf course, race track, gentlemen’s clubs and botanical gardens. Now a bustling town and the vegetable garden of Sri Lanka it nonetheless gives you a glimpse into life in the colonial heyday.
Your day begins with a yoga session at your hotel amidst scenic tea plantations. During the second half of the day, walk through the beautiful tea plantations of the town. Visit a tea factory where you will learn the process how two fresh tea leaves and a bud are converted in to that fine brown dust we call tea. You may like to participate in ‘Make your own Tea’ programme where you shadow the tea pickers and blend your own tea. On your short hike through the tea plantations, enjoy a picnic lunch amidst lush greenery.
Begin your onwards journey to Yala today – the leopard site! Yala is Sri Lanka's most famous national park. Forming a total area of 1268 sq km of scrub, light forest, grassy plains and brackish lagoons, it's very rich in wildlife and you're virtually certain to encounter elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes and monkeys. On arrival in Yala, check in to your accommodation and relax in the arms of nature.
Explore the lanes of jungle in an early morning safari. You are likely to see spotted deer, wild boar and wild elephant in addition to a wide variety of birds. If you are really lucky you may also spot sloth bear and leopard. Enjoy a jungle safari in the evening as well.
Begin your onward journey to Galle today. The coastal town of Galle, the capital of the Southern Province, is best known for its impressive fort: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved colonial sea fortress in Asia. Protected within its walls, bastions and ramparts is a complete town with narrow streets, churches and cloistered inner courtyards of shuttered mansions, which clearly bear testament to their colonial past. On arrival in Galle, check into your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax and unwind. Meet Sonja today, who is well known in the region for her simple, yet delicious dishes. Visit the local market with to shop for groceries. Afterwards participate in a cooking lesson where you will learn a few tricks of the impressive Sri Lankan cuisine. Enjoy a dinner afterwards.
This morning, your day starts with a rejuvenating yoga session overlooking the sea. Then following breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Galle today. An exquisite city filled with colonial Dutch and Portuguese history and architecture, its treasure is the imposing Fort. The town houses the national Maritime Museum, the National museum and the more recent lighthouse. The Fort overlooks the sparkling turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and it is easy to get lost in its atmosphere, rich with memories of a bygone era. This evening, enjoy a private session of dressing up in local Sri Lankan attire and head out for a dinner at a beautiful location as you bid adieu to this wonderful journey.
Begin your return journey to Colombo today. En route make a stop at Bentota. Visit Lunuganga Estate - the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. As he went on to become Sri Lanka's and one of Asia's most prolific and influential architects, the garden at the Lunuganga estate remained his first muse and experimental laboratory for new ideas. Continue to Colombo airport for your international flight back home.
Duration: 11 nights
From $5,390 per person*
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Terms & Conditions Prices based on per person double/twin share. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offer is subject to availability. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. Bookings must be made direct with Concierge Traveller. Package cancellation fees apply. All savings and bonus nights (if applicable) are included in the advertised price. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Local city taxes may apply.
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