From £3,445 per person
Includes flights, accommodation, a/c transport with chauffeur guide, activities & taxes.
Drive up to Dambulla in the island’s Cultural Triangle.
Three nights at Heritance Kandalama, which was designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most celebrated contemporary architect. The hotel was the first luxury eco-hotel built in Asia (Green Globe 21 certified) and it is set in its own 250-hectare jungle retreat with unimpeded views across wetlands to Sigiriya rock fortress.
Guided tour of the historic temples and exquisitely carved statues of the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, with visits to the Quadrangle, Northern Monuments, Royal Citadel Group and Southern Group. Bicycles are available to hire for your own self-guided tour, if preferred.
Jeep safari in Minneriya NP, which is part of an ‘elephant corridor’, along with Kaudulla NP, for the vast herds roaming the eastern region of the country from Trincomalee through to Wasgamuwa, Maduru Oya and Gal Oya NPs further south. The park is home to a variety of animals such as elephants, leopards, toque macaques, purple faced langurs, sloth bears, sambar and spotted deer, and about 160 bird species, including many endemics. Minneriya is home to the ‘gathering’ between August and October, when large herds of elephants congregate around Minneriya Lake to seek the last available water at the end of the dry season.
Early morning ascent of 200-metre high ‘Lion Rock’ at Sigiriya to view the surrounding countryside at dawn – a very special experience indeed. The unique rock fortress of Sigiriya is a national icon, despite its origins as a usurper’s pleasure palace housing erotic frescoes! Guided tour of the rock palace and ornamental gardens.
Climb gently up the granite massif at Dambulla to visit the most impressive cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, with five ornately and intricately decorated caverns under a vast overhanging rock.
Continue south to Kandy, one of the principal points of the Cultural Triangle and the seat of the last Sinhalese kingdom.
Two nights at The Kandy House, which is a stunning heritage walauwa (mansion villa) dating back to 1804 and tastefully refurbished to exceptionally high standards.
Experience the Buddhist puja (blessing ceremony) at the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most revered religious relic.
Guided walking tour of Kandy, which will take in the Hindu temples, the lake and the municipal market.
Visit the beautifully kept and well-presented Peradeniya Botanic Gardens.
Enjoy a performance of the famous Kandyan Dancers and Drummers, with a fire-walking finale.
Leave Kandy and drive through Sri Lankan ‘jungle’ and impressive mountain scenery to the Bogawantalawa valley in the western Hill Country.
You will stay as guests for two nights of Ceylon Tea Trails, the world’s first tea resort, which incorporates five luxuriously upgraded plantation bungalows.
Facilities and services include: swimming pool, tennis court, conservatory, summerhouse, sun deck, garden dining, library and indoor games, and guided walks.
All-inclusive accommodation: bed tea, breakfast, 3-course lunch or rice and curry (gourmet packed lunch if on excursion), traditional afternoon cream tea, pre-dinner cocktails, 4-course gourmet dinner, a selection of international wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, beer (alcohol is not be served on full moon Poya days or other days prohibited by the Government), juices and soft drinks, tea and coffee, laundry, telephone calls within Sri Lanka, the “Tea Experience” (tour of the neighbouring tea estate and factory with the Planter-in-Residence – not on full moon Poya days and public holidays), and bungalow amenities including Wi-Fi.
Drop down to Galle on the island’s south coast.
Five nights at Aditya, which is an all-suite boutique hotel situated in a secluded garden on the beachfront. Your Ocean Suite is light and spacious, with a King-size bed, luxury bathroom, plunge pool, period Balinese furniture and selected artwork adding to the stylish atmosphere. Your private balcony looks out over the Indian Ocean and towards the spectacular tropical sunsets. The public areas, including the dining room, sitting area, swimming pool and garden, exude an air of tranquillity and elegance.
Suggested sightseeing trips and activities (not included in price):
- Boat safari through the mangroves and lush vegetation along the Mahamodara River near Galle, which offers great opportunities for spotting birds, butterflies, monitor lizards, and much more!
- Guided cycling tours of the lush paddy fields and local villages around Galle.
- Early morning boat safari off the south coast from Mirissa to spot Blue Whales, the largest animal on Earth! Sperm, Orca, and Humpback Whales as well as large pods of dolphins are also regular sightings. Season from November to April.
- Guided tour of the house and gardens of Lunuganga, which were lovingly created over several decades by the world renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa, as his vision of a tropical garden idyll. The Italian garden with spectacular views over lakes and tropical jungle together with a simply designed plantation house are one of the lasting legacies of Asia’s most famous architect.
- Visit the tropical garden paradise of Brief, the life’s work of the late Bevis Bawa, famed bon viveur and brother of Geoffrey.
- Afternoon’s boat safari around the coastal lagoons and mangrove-clad waterways of the Madu Ganga near Balapitiya.
After a leisurely morning, head north to Kotugoda near the airport.
One night at an antique colonial manor house, nestled in acres of beautifully manicured gardens, before flying home.