The Colonial Heritage of Ceylon
Sri Lanka Tours – Sri Lanka Travel Guide – Sri Lanka Travel Agency – Sri Lanka’s colonial past is evident everywhere you go in this wonderful country and in recent times a fabulous collection of luxurious ‘heritage-style’ hotels have appeared in many of the classic colonial bungalows that are generously scattered around the Island. This tour is an easy paced journey through Sri Lanka’s past and is ideal for those who are looking for a reclusive and relaxing holiday or honeymoon.
After a couple of nights in Colombo, you are taken for 3 nights up into the hills outside Kandy before continuing into the heart of the old tea country for a two night stay at Tea Trails, in an old tea planters bungalow, exquisitely renovated and guaranteed to take you back in time. After 2 nights staying inside the old Dutch fort in Galle, finish your holiday with 3 nights on the coast in Bentota at relaxing old villa, converted, in part, by the famous architect, Geoffrey Bawa.
Day 1: Colombo Arrival
On arrival in Colombo you will be welcomed to Sri Lanka by your private driver and transferred into Colombo to check into your hotel. This afternoon is at leisure to relax at your hotel and recover from your flight.
Day 2: Colombo
This morning drive through the commercial and city centre area known as the “Fort”, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century where grand colonial era buildings stand alongside the huge modern office structures of this fast moving city. Drive past the Town hall, and the Independence Square. Visit a Buddhist temple and a Hindu Kovil to experience the diversity of religion, ethnicity and customs of the people. Lunch today is included at the famous Galle Face Hotel looking out into the ocean.
This afternoon is at leisure to relax at your hotel and explore independently.
Day 3: Colombo – Kandy
After breakfast, your driver will meet you at your hotel and you will set off for Sri Lanka’s second city, Kandy, a journey of approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in the countryside outside Kandy.
This afternoon is at leisure to relax at your hotel and explore the surrounding area independently. The hotel has a number of Mountain bicycles which can be used free of charge.
Day 4: Kandy
After breakfast visit the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, where a rare collection of tropical exotic and indigenous flora including the famous Orchid House could be viewed. The Gardens are renowned for the collection of a variety of orchids and include more than 4000 species of plants, including of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to the gardens is the National Herbarium. Your guide will leave you to have some time at leisure to potter around the area and explore independently before being taken into Kandy, where you will have the opportunity if you wish to visit a local gem museum to learn about the vast selection of gems that are mined in the nearby countryside.
After some time at leisure to relax back at your hotel, you will be driven into Kandy and up the hill south of the lake to a special vista point, where you can get a bird’s eye view of this remarkable city. The famous Kandy Lake was built in 1807 and forms an attractive centre-piece for the town. Return to your hotel in the afternoon for some time at leisure to relax. In the late afternoon you will be met again by your guide and taken to the atmospheric old Red Cross Hall in the centre of the city to see a Kandyan Cultural Show. The show features graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers demonstrating some traditional Kandyan dance and music.
The show culminates in an impressive fire-walking display. After the show take a short walk along the lakeside to visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most important places in all of Sri Lanka, housing the country’s most sacred religious relic, the tooth of the Buddha. You will arrive in time to see the evening ‘Puja’ or ceremony which lasts for around one hour and involves lots of noisy drumming and excitement. Most of the ceremony actually takes place behind closed doors, but at the end, the tooth relic is opened to the public gaze. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 5: Kandy
Today is at leisure to relax at the hotel or explore the surrounding countryside.
Day 6: Kandy – Hatton
This morning, your private guide will drive you from your hotel in Kandy to Tea Trails, in the heart of the Hill Country. As you climb steadily on windy roads you will pass a number of large tea plantations. Today’s journey time is approximately 3 hours. On arrival, check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
This afternoon you are at leisure to enjoy your scenic surroundings and explore the hotel.
Day 7: Hatton
Today is at leisure to enjoy your stunning surroundings. There are many scenic walks and hikes that can be taken through the rolling tea plantations or you might like to take a stroll with the Tea Trails resident tea planter who will teach you about the tea making process. Complimentary mountain bikes are provided and all the bungalows also have their own croquet lawns, no better way to spend a relaxing afternoon.
Day 8: Hatton – Galle
After breakfast, your driver will transfer you south-west, out of the hill country to the city of Galle, with its famous old Dutch fort. With stops en-route, the total journey time today is approximately 4 hours.
After settling into your hotel, your driver will take you into the famous Galle Fort. The magnificent Dutch fort is the most popular attraction of the town and is one of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The old colonial atmosphere is still very much alive around the fort and amidst its many historical buildings. Walk around the fort stopping at various points of interest and soaking in the fine views out over the Indian Ocean and into the famous Galle Cricket Ground.
Day 9: Galle
Today is at leisure to explore Galle independently and relax in its colonial charm. You might like to head out to one of the coastal areas outside the city to see the famous ‘stick-fishermen’.
Day 10: Galle – Bentota
At the agreed time this morning, your driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you around an hour up the coast to Bentota.
This afternoon you are at leisure to relax on the beach and explore the town independently.
Day 11 & Day 12: Bentota
These days are at leisure to relax by the beach return to your hotel on the beach for some time at leisure.
Day 13: Sri Lanka Departure
After breakfast you will be met by your driver and transferred to the Colombo airport, around 2 hours away, for your flight home. Sri Lanka Tours – Sri Lanka Travel Guide – Sri Lanka Travel Agency
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