Highlights: Sri Lanka - Dambulla - Kandalama Reservoir - Dambulla cave temple - Sigiriya- Polonnaruwa - Anuradhapura - Parakrama Samudra - Kandy - Galle
Other Departures: Manchester - £3425, Birmingham - £3259, George Belfast City - £3375, Glasgow - £3299, Edinburgh - £3319, Newcastle - £3299, Bristol - £3359, Norwich - £3275, Southampton - £3499, Cardiff - £3325
Day 1: Arriving in Sri Lanka
On arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, You will be greeted by your Sri Lanka Prestige representative who will introduce you to your English-speaking chauffeur guide. Thereafter we drive to our beautiful hotel near Airport, The Wallawwa, located approximately 30 minutes away.
Night at The Wallawwa.
Day 2: The Cultural Triangle
After breakfast we drive to the Cultural Triangle with a stop at Dambulla enroute.
Lunch on route at Lake Lodge, which boasts spectacular views over Kandalama Lake.
After lunch we visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Located in the north central province this UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 01st century BC, is an amazing complex of 05 caves, first used as a refuge by an ancient king who on regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent carved images within the living rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of
which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 meters. Cave inscriptions from the 2nd Century BC are found and on the walls are many paintings most of which belong to the Kandy period (early 19th century). This temple is a perfect location to view evolution of ancient Sri Lankan art and is an important historical site due to the amalgamation of the material from many eras.. We proceed to Ulagalla Resort, in the town of Thiriappane. Night at Ulagalla Resort. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Day 3: Archeolgical Marvels Morning guided visit UNESCO Sigiriya Rock Fortress. We depart our hotel early this morning to climb one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the Frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti, the Lion platform and the Summit of 1.6 hectares, which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory. Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 A.D), the “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200m from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town and the base is ringed by a moat, rampart, and extensive gardens. The world-renowned frescoes (originally 500, of which only 19 remain today) which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway are painted in earth pigments on plaster. The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a crouching lion but today only the huge paws remain giving an indication of the massive proportions of the head. Remains of the handsome royal citadel are on the summit and several caves for meditation, audience platforms and baths complete the unique site. Lunch on route at the Sigiriya Village Hotel. Afternoon we visit Polonnaruwa. This medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rose to fame as the capital (10th - 12th century AD) after the decline of Anuradhapura. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the Parakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama, larger in size than the Colombo harbour. The monuments are relatively well preserved and give clear evidence of the glory of Sri Lanka's past. Highlights are the Royal Palace complex including the Kings Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle with its concentration of ancient heritage and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite - a highlight of ancient Sri Lankan rock carving. Some of the best examples of the Hindu influence – the Temples of Shiva, intricate statues of Hindu Gods, fascinating Buddhist temples, the Lankatileka and Watadage, the Galpotha, the Lotus bath, the Kiri Vihare Dagoba and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth are other impressive sights. We return to Ulagalla in the late afternoon where we can relax before dinner. Those interested might like to go on a nature walk with a naturalist from the resort. Dinner and Night at Ulagalla Resort. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4: The Spice Road To Kandy
After breakfast we travel towards Kandy. On route, we stop at a spice garden and we stop for lunch at Ena de Silva’s private residence in Matale. Ena De Silva is a pioneer artist from an elite Kandyan family and a wellloved cultural icon, who introduced the art of batik to Sri Lanka in the early 1960s. She remains the undisputed master of batik and Kandyan embroidery, and of Sri Lankan traditional design. Her unsurpassable batik designs are inspired by ancient Sinhalese flags and traditional motifs butare instilled with originality. Her finest work is carried out on a monumental scale. Her exquisite appliqué and embroidered patchwork quilts and wall hangings are a dizzying confusion of colour and stitching that only de Silva can carry off with aplomb. Afternoon (late): Check into the Kandy House. Late afternoon if interested we could arrange a visit to a renowned artist living in the hills of Kandy. You could join him for tea and discuss art, yoga, meditation and music, each of which he’s fluent in. Dinner and Night at the Kandy House. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Day 5: Rhythmic Kandy After breakfast we visit the Royal Botanical Gardens with a professor from the Peradeniya University. Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is one of the best botanical gardens in Sri Lanka, and one of the most beautiful in Asia. It is located just 6 km from Kandy, the second largest city in Sri Lanka. The botanical gardens is huge & well-organized gardens, It is renowned for the collection the variety of Orchids, and has more than 300 varieties of Orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palms trees attach it is the National Herbarium. Total land mass of the botanical garden is 147 acres; it is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture. The origins of the Botanic Gardens date as far back. The Classical Avenue of Palms is located in this Garden. One tree with a significant history is the Cannon ball Tree planted by King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary in 1901. The tree is bent with their fruit which looks like Cannon Ball, which is how it came to be named Lunch: A light lunch is served at the Botanical Gardens. In the afternoon, we visit the British Garrison Cemetery dedicated to British Nationals who died in Sri Lanka during the colonial times. The highly informed caretaker who had accompanied Prince Charles himself around the graveyard has a story to tell about each of the 163 graves in this cemetery, if you have the time! Afterwards we take you for afternoon tea to the Queens Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Asia, and then we head into the Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka’s most sacred site. Temple of the Tooth - is the most important place for the present Buddhist because it is the final resting place of the sacred tooth relic of Buddha known as “Sri Dalada Maligawa.” It is famous for its carvings and the beautiful art that is unique to Sri Lanka. The most important part of the Dalada Maligawa is the octagon (Pathirppuwa). Thousands of people line up each day to get a glimpse of its majesty. Kandy is also the one of the most beautiful cities of Sri Lanka with its picturesque lake built by its last king, it’s hills surrounding the city, it’s devales the oldest the natha devale belonging to the 14th century and the palace of the last king of Kandy which are presently the districts courts and the archaeological museum. Kandy also is the centre for Buddhist cultural affairs with meditation centres and Buddhist publication societies. We head back to the Kandy House. Dinner and Night at the Kandy House. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Day 6: Explore Through Rolling Hills After an early breakfast we depart for Peradeniya Train station to board the train leaving to Hatton at 0830hrs. It is recommended that you reach the
Peradeniya Station by at least 0800hrs to ensure you don’t miss this picturesque train journey as you journey across beautiful hills of tea. Lunch: At Tea Trails – in your bungalow.. Afternoon at leisure... We stop in Hatton where your driver will await at the station to take you to one of the four classic colonial bungalows managed by Tea Trails. Tea
planter’s bungalows were built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj. On arrival at Tea Trails you will be greeted by your personal butler who will attend to your every need and discuss the dinner options. Enjoy the evening at Tea Trails. Watch the sun go down over the mountains and the lakes from the splendid veranda and gardens at Tea Trails. Dinner and Night at The Ceylon Tea Trails. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Day 7: The Story of Tea After breakfast we visit the Dunkeld Tea Factory & Plantation for the essential tea experience. A Resident Tea Planter will demonstrate the ageold tea making process. First, follow the trail of the planters of old Ceylon, as they trekked through the dense jungle looking for the best slopes on which to plant tea. Then on to watch the tea pluckers pick two leaves and a bud with deft hands. Then to the factory where the all-important conversion to “made” black tea happens. The machinery used is of very traditional British design, some
as old as 100 years. The process is a very artisanal one, unchanged for a century. The daily complimentary group tour ends with a tasting of different grades of this great brew. Together with the tea-infused cuisine, tea based spa treatments and trekking trails that traverse tea-blanketed hills, you can literally lose yourself in tea. You will leave Tea Trails with a newly found appreciation of this wonder herb “Camellia Sinensis” & the terroir of Ceylon Tea. Note – Please note that plucking of Tea leaves is not done on public holidays & Sundays. As such the Tea production process does not take place, however a tour of the factory will be arranged where the process is explained. Lunch is served on the veranda at Tea Trails. Afternoon at leisure with the option of partaking in the various activities available at Tea Trails Dinner and Night at The Ceylon Tea Trails Day 8: Historical Citadel - Galle Morning: Late start travel to Galle... light lunch on route at the site of the filming of “Bridge Over River Kwai” This morning we set off early, winding our way through the tea plantations which gradually give way to tropical jungle, and eventually to the sparkling palm-fringed coastline of the Indian
Ocean. By late afternoon we arrive at the beautiful Amangalla hotel located within the 17th century Dutch fort of Galle. Afternoon at leisure. Later in the afternoon you could take a casual stroll around the Galle Fort visiting its vibrant restaurants and shops. Dinner and Night at Amangalla. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Day 9: Untill we meet again Depending on your departure flight we leave for Airport