Highlights: Kotugoda - Sigiriya - Kandy - Dickoya - Galle - Balapitiya
Other Departure - Birmingham - £3449, Glasgow - £3465, Manchester - £3465
Kotugoda - The Wallawwa
Sigiriya - Water Garden
Kandy - The Kandy House
Dickoya - Camellia Hills
Galle - The Fort Bazaar
Balapitiya - Kumu Beach Entrance fees to:
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Polonnaruwa Ancient City
Minneriya National Park & 1 Jeep Safari
Hiriwadunna Village Tour with Lunch
Dambulla Cave Temple
Temple of The Tooth Relic
Cookery Demonstration and Lunch at Spice Garden
Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya Tour with A Botanist
Tea Factory and Plantation Tour at Camellia Hills
Gin & Tonic at The Secret View Point at Camellia Hills
Cooking Class with Lunch at Galle.
Galle Sightseeing by a Historian Special Amenities from NextStep Journey
· Tropical flower garlands on arrival
· 01 bottle of mineral water per person, per day
Room upgrade on availability
Wet wipes on arrival
Services of a traveling porter during Sigiriya and Dambulla excursions
Tropical Sri Lankan fruit tasting once during the tour
Meetup with a local family for dinner while in Kandy
Ceylon tea with Sri Lankan sweetmeats once during the tour
Virgin white tea tour while in Galle Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a lush, tropical island paradise, known to Arab traders as Serendib – hence "serendipity", meaning discovery by happy accident. Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and un-spoilt. There are 8 world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. The 3 ancient and magnificent cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya were inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1982 followed by Galle, Kandy, and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in 1988. The Golden Temple of Dambulla in 1991 and finally the Central highlands were added in 2010. These places of historical and natural significance are not to be missed for any visitor to Sri Lanka. Having a history marked by four centuries of colonial rule, the country still manages to safeguard remnants from the past in their original grandeur. Some of the more renowned historic sites are the Galle Fort built originally by the Portuguese, Colombo Harbour and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa all of confirm Sri Lanka’s ancient and colorful past. The rock temple of the Buddha, Gal Vihara is one of the finest examples of religious heritage. Temples play an important part in everyday life and a visit to one should be a must for all visitors. Itinerary:
Day 1: Colombo Airport / Kotugoda
Arrive at Colombo Bandaranaike Airport. Our airport representative will meet you on arrival and introduce you to the chauffeur guide who will accompany you throughout the tour. Transfer to accommodation in Kotugoda and check-in to the hotel. (Private Transfer – approximate driving duration 30-45 minutes) Overnight accommodation at The Wallawwa (Wallawwa bedroom on Bed & Breakfast) Day 2: Kotugoda/ Sigirya (Breakfast & Dinner)
After breakfast leaves to visit the Millenium Elephant Foundation. (OPTIONAL). (Approximate driving duration 2-2 ½ hours) Millennium Elephant Foundation is an organization and charity set up to rescue and care for captive Asian elephants in Sri Lanka. The foundation is situated on a 15-acre estate by the name of Samaragiri, which is located 10 km northwest of Kegalle, within the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. On completion, Leave for Sigiriya. (Approximate driving duration 2 ½ -3hours)
Once reached, check-in to the hotel and relax. Special remark: You could opt for an air taxi transfer which only takes 30 minutes from Colombo to Sigiriya and will be picked by from the dock by our chauffeur and transferred to the hotel by road. Overnight accommodation at Water Garden Sigiriya (Deluxe villa on Half Board) Day 3: Sigiriya Rock Fortress/ Polonnaruwa (Breakfast & Dinner)
Today early in the morning, proceed to Sigiriya to witness the magnificent Rock Fortress (Approximate drive duration 30-45minutes). Sigiriya Rock Fortress is known as the 8th wonder of the world. This rock fortress was built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century A.D. and was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. In a sheltered pocket, approached by a spiral stairway, are the famous frescoes. The summit of the rock, with an area of nearly one hectare, was the site of the palace and the outer wall was built on the very brink of the precipice. The UNESCO sponsored Central Cultural Fund has restored Sigiriya 5th century water gardens to their former glory. On completion, proceed to Polonnaruwa and discover this ancient city. (Approximate drive duration: 1 – 1 ½ hour) Polonnaruwa was established by the Cholas as the capital city under the name Jananathapuram in the 10th century. During this period systematic destruction of the Buddhist civilization took place in the northern plains of Sri Lanka. Raja Raja Chola I built Vanavan Mahadevisvaram, a Shiva temple at Polonnaruwa named after his queen, which presently is known as Siva Devale. The temple among other contained Ganesha and Parvati statues of bronze. North and central parts of Sri Lanka were under this period ruled under Rajendra Chola I directly as a Chola province. However, following the year 1070 AD ended the Chola rule in the island, and Polonnaruwa was captured by Vijayabahu I of Polonnaruwa also known as Vijayabahu the great. On completion, return to the hotel and relax. Overnight accommodation at Water Garden Sigiriya (Deluxe villa on Half Board) Day 4: Sigiriya/ Hiriwadunna/ Minneriya (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Want to try something traditional and completely different? Enjoy a delightful evening Bullock Cart Ride. It’s pretty unconventional and definitely an adventure riding in the shade of the forests. What makes this ride exceptional is that you will visit a Sri Lankan village and enjoy a cookery demonstration and home-cooked meal from the local women and then top it off with a canoe ride across a beautiful lake! This tour will make your holiday that much more unforgettable! (Approximate drive duration: 30 minutes) On completion, proceed on a jeep safari to visit the Minneriya National Park - The park is famous for being the best place in Sri Lanka to get close to free-ranging elephants.
(Approximate drive duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour) Overnight accommodation at Water Garden Sigiriya (Deluxe villa on Half Board) Day 5: Sigiriya/ Dambulla / Kandy (Breakfast & Lunch)
After breakfast, proceed to Dambulla Cave Temple. Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. The largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, the rock from which the caves were carved towers 160 meters (520 ft) over the surrounding plains. A total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses also stand in the site. On completion, proceed to Kandy via Matale. Stop at Matale and visit a spice garden to see many different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. (Approximate drive duration from Dambulla to Kandy: 3 – 3 ½ hours) You will be introduced to different spices and shown
how some of these spices are grown and processed. Gardens are open to visitors, a delightful place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom, a relative of ginger. It grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand. Cookery demonstration and traditional Sri Lankan lunch at spice garden. On completion, continue to Kandy and check-in to the hotel. Overnight accommodation at The Kandy House (Deluxe room on Bed Breakfast) Day 6: Kandy/ Peradeniya (Breakfast)
Today visit The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) at 0930 HRS “Thevawa”. This is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to
the temple. On completion, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya and enjoy a sightseeing tour of Kandy. A guided tour by a botanist. Kandy city – the hill capital is another “World Heritage Site”. It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha On completion, return to the hotel and relax. Overnight accommodation at The Kandy House (Deluxe room on Bed Breakfast) Day 7: Kandy/ Dickoya (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Today after breakfast, check-out the hotel and proceed to Dickoya. (Approximate drive duration: 3 – 3 ½ hours) Once reached, proceed to the hotel. Check-in to the hotel and relax. Overnight accommodation at Camellia Hills (Camellia bedroom on AI) Day 8: Camellia experiences (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Today after breakfast, enjoy the Tea tour.
Camellia Hills is surrounded by acres of verdant neatly plucked tea bushes that have been flourishing here for close to a century. This region of Sri Lanka is home to some of the island’s finest upcountry teas. Most of the tea in the immediate valley is produced by Bogalawantalawa Plantations (the mother ship of Norwood Estates) whilst in the next valley across the main holding company is Maskeliya. During this experience, you’ll learn all about the tea production process by visiting one of our local tea factories. The factories themselves are icons of the Hill Country; vast, atmospheric, and filled with heavy machinery, some dating back over a century, these multi-windowed warehouses are where the magic process of tea production happens. The leaves are brought in from the tea gardens, dried, withered and rolled, before being fired to remove as much moisture as possible. Finally, they’re sorted into fragrant particle sizes ranging from the finest dust to the most prized variety, orange pekoe. One of the factory managers will host you on this experience and take you on a guided tour, showing you the processes, introducing you to the machines, and demonstrating how each of them works. You’ll also be accompanied by a Camellia Hills butler who can assist with any in-depth interpretation. In the end, you’ll have the opportunity to taste a few varieties of tea in an insightful tea tasting session. The factories have a few
varieties of tea for sale so if you wish you can purchase some to take back home. Afternoon, if you’re interested in learning more about the pioneers of Ceylon Tea in this part of the Hill Country, this experience is for you as it offers a greater insight into the lifestyle of the British planters. We’ll take you to quaint Warleigh Church, a tiny church perched on a hill above the Castlereagh Reservoir. One of the best ways to reach the church is by boat, a 40-minute float across the reservoir, and a 10-minute hike up the bank. You can get some great photos of the church from the water The church was built in 1878 by British planters (for British planters), and its stone exterior exhibits a typical colonial style. The interior is cozy, with worn timber pews, yet it is very well preserved. There’s a trio of 19th century stained glass windows above a carved wooden altar and the church’s original, yet weather-beaten bible, is still here, along with an aging pipe organ in working condition. The church is set within a lush garden beneath towering cypress trees, and its graveyard is where the story of the British planters comes alive. Many of the tombstones you see bear names more in keeping with an English or Scottish graveyard, then one in Sri Lanka. Whole families perished here in Ceylon, in their adopted homeland, and many gravestones are of tiny children, some just a few days old. It’s time for an evening tea
gin & tonic at the secret viewpoint The story of tea in Sri Lanka starts with the Scottish planter James Taylor in 1866 in “Loolecondara” estate in Galaha the remnants of his cottage and tea bushes are still preserved as a permanent memento to the man credited for introducing tea to Sri Lanka, he died aged 57 and was buried in Kandy cemetery, in the country he came to love as a planter. Today, almost one hundred and fifty years after James Taylor, Sri Lanka’s central hills from Hatton, Dickoya, Bogawanthalawa, to Nuwara Eliya and every small town in higher elevations have their ground covered in a carpet of premium quality Sri Lankan tea. The view and ambiance from the “secret viewpoint” are such that nearly all our guests are mesmerized by the beauty and serenity of the tea estates and Castlereagh reservoir. The trip entails a short walk around the surrounding tea estate and up some steep steps to the viewpoint where waiters stand by or leave you in peace to take in the priceless view. Overnight accommodation at Camellia Hills (Camellia bedroom on AI). Day 9: Dickoya/ Galle (Breakfast)
After breakfast, check-out and proceed to Galle. (Approximate drive duration 5-6 hours) On completion, check-in to the hotel and relax Special remark: You could opt for an air taxi transfer which only takes 30 minutes from Castlereagh to Koggala and will be picked by from the dock by our chauffeur and transferred to the hotel in Galle by road. Overnight accommodation at The Fort Bazaar (Bazaar bedroom on Breakfast) Day 10: Galle Sightseeing (Breakfast & Lunch)
Enjoy a cooking class with the chef and enjoy the lunch. Meet with the Fort Bazaar chef for an in-depth demonstration on how to replicate some of the fabulous rice and curry dishes served at our restaurant. You’ll learn about the various spices used to flavor the dishes and the different methods of preparing each of the delicious curries. In the demonstration, the chef will use clay pots to cook each curry. These clay ‘chatties’ are the secret to providing an authentic and distinctive flavor to Sri Lankan cuisine and have been used across the island for centuries. Villagers in rural areas still use them for cooking on an open hearth. Evening, commence a sightseeing tour of Galle. Guided by a historian, you will get the chance to interact with a local family. Galle Fort is the finest and most intact fortified city built by the former European colonial powers in Asia. The narrow streets of Galle Fort are lined with Dutch merchant villas, pillared verandas, carved doors, and windows. British and Dutch period offices are still in use. This is a living world heritage city with residents walking the 300-year-old ramparts at sunset. Strolling along the high rampart walls you will see the Old Dutch and English churches, the Governor’s house, the massive VOC warehouses, the Square of Courts, the elegant pillared facade of the Old Dutch hospital, the Portuguese Black Fort, the lighthouse, the Clock Tower and much more. Day 11: Galle/ Balapitiya (Breakfast)
After breakfast, check-out and proceed to your beach hotel. (Approximate drive duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour) Overnight accommodation at Kumu Beach (Kumu Bedroom on Bed Breakfast) Day 12 & 13: Beach Stay (Breakfast)
You are at leisure. Enjoy the beach stay and hotel amenities.(Vehicle and chauffer are not at your disposal) Overnight accommodation at Kumu Beach. (Kumu Bedroom on Bed Breakfast) Day 14: Balapitiya / Colombo Airport (Breakfast)
Today you will be transferred to the Colombo Airport to catch your flight home accompanied with all the happy memories of the tropical isle, Sri Lanka. (Approximate drive duration 2-3 hours) Above price excludes:
• Chauffeur and vehicle services during the beach stay.
• Any expenses of personal nature.
• Tips & portages.
• Early check-ins & late check-outs.
• Entrance fees and services not mentioned above.
• Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions above. GENERAL NOTES
· All nationalities are required to obtain a visa to enter Sri Lanka.
· Visa could be obtained online via www.eta.gov.lk
· Nationals of Syria, Nigeria, and Pakistan have restrictions on entry to Sri Lanka.
· For more info on visa please visit www.immigration.gov.lk Ø Check-in and checkout times
· Standard check-in time is 1400hrs and standard check-out time is 1200hrs.
*This could vary from hotel to hotel.
· If the client requires a guaranteed early check-in or a late check-out, this could be offered at an additional cost Ø The above offer is made without any obligation on the hotel rooms, until such time the tour is confirmed and availability is checked.
*If the offered hotel option is not available at the time of reporting the booking, an alternative option will be offered and confirmed based on the client’s choice. Ø As Sri Lanka is a tropical country there could be sudden changes in the weather patterns which is beyond our control. If any changes requested due to this reason on the program, additional charges may apply. Ø Feel free to reach out to your Chauffeur / Guide for comfort stops and photo opportunities while on tour.