Having arrived at the airport in Colombo, you’ll meet with your guide before being transferred to your accommodation at Horathapola. Having stopped en-route to sample Sri Lanka’s sweet pineapple, the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the lovingly restored plantation bungalow where you will spend the first night of your trip. Built in the early 1900s, the bungalow is located in the beautiful surroundings of a working coconut estate of some 50 acres.
Your exploration of the island gets underway with the journey through woodlands and paddy fields towards the Cultural Triangle, the area in the centre of Sri Lanka where many of its ancient sites can be found. En-route, there is the option to pay a visit to the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela where you’ll be able to watch the animals bathe in the local river or being feed by the keepers who now care for them. Arriving at your resort, you’ll have the opportunity to relax in your eco-friendly accommodation located on stilts amongst reed beds and paddy fields in a private reserve.
You’ll start the day with a trip to Hiriwadunna for a village tour, which will see you given the chance to see Sri Lankan life first hand while travelling by tuk tuk, by bullock cart and on water on a traditional catamaran. Following time back at your resort, you’ll then head out to one of Sri Lanka’s main attractions in the afternoon as you climb to the summit of the 200m high rock fortress at Sigiriya. Dating back thousands of years, the former citadel is now a World Heritage site and the climb to the top, which will see you pass a range of ancient wall paintings, will allow you to marvel at the view of the surrounding area – including the moat and gardens below.
Today, you’ll you leave Sigiriya behind and journey to the city of Kandy, stopping off en-route to pay a visit to a local spice garden. After checking into your hotel, you’ll enjoy a tour of the city before paying a visit to the world famous, and religiously significant, Temple of the Sacred Tooth. Following a traditional Puja ceremony and Kandyan dance performance, you’ll head for your overnight accommodation, which will be in a colonial period bungalow that has been restored using period furniture that sits alongside the kind of luxuries to be expected in the modern day.
- Elephant Stable Hotel (B)
Before you leave for the highlands, you’ll pay a visit to the stunning botanical gardens at Peradeniya, which were originally created for the pleasure of a Sinhala king. Having been expanded over time, the gardens are now home to more than 4,000 species of plant that have combined to create an oasis of tranquillity where anyone is free to take a relaxing and peaceful stroll. Your journey will then take you to the area around Nuwara Eliya and one of the key areas for tea production in the country. It is perhaps apt therefore that your overnight accommodation will be in a stunning tea bungalow resort.
- Tea Trails Bungalow (B,D)
Enjoy a day at leisure where you can make full use of the facilities at your bungalow, and also take time to explore the surrounding area. Investigate the breathtaking mountains, lakes, winding roads and waterfalls either on foot or by bicycle, discover more on the art of tea making at a local factory or enjoy a relaxing spa experience to help you unwind. Throughout your bungalow stay, you’ll have use of your own butler to help cater for your every need, while a personal chef will prepare all meals – including a four-course gourmet dinner with drinks.
- Tea Trails Bungalow (B,L,D)
Leave hill country to head back towards Colombo, stopping off in the town of Kotugoda for a stay at the Wallawwa. An old colonial manor house, the boutique hotel is the perfect location to spend your final night on Sri Lankan soil, with your final afternoon being set aside to spend at your own leisure. Simply relax by the pool, enjoy a spa treatment or take a leisurely stroll around the extensive private gardens.
Head to the airport and bid Sri Lanka farewell as you take your flight home, or continue on your journey elsewhere.