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With a Kenyan father, Indian grandparents, and a Portuguese surname, travel is in my blood. I am enthralled by East Africa and would happily talk about Africa’s wildlife, cultures and experiences all day, every day.
- from $2,502 PP
- Nov - Apr
Some say Sri Lanka was the original Garden of Eden, and this holiday will reveal why. Travel to three of its most enchanting destinations, for a blissful mix of luxuries, nature, rich history and outdoor adventure. Explore the historic Dutch fort in Galle, take a cooking lesson and visit all the Cultural Triangle’s major sites. You’ll marvel at unspoiled palm-lined beaches and journey to a national park to watch for exotic animals like leopards and elephants, and learn all about Sri Lankan tea on a tour, tasting included. Finally, a kayaking excursion on Castlereagh Lake brings breathing views of the lush, tea-blanketed mountains.
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Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
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- 9 nights 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation, staying on a bed and breakfast basis
- Private airport departure and arrival transfers
- Domestic transfers as detailed on the itinerary
- Local tours as detailed on the itinerary
- Galle cooking lesson
- Galle tea plantation visit
- Udawalawe National Park safari and elephant sanctuary visit
- Palapotta artisan village tour
- Dunkeld tea factory tour and lunch
- Bogawantalawa Valley kayak tour and guided walk
- Expert trip planning advice
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Galle: Arrival into Bandaranaike International Airport
Upon your arrival into Bandaranaike International Airport, you’ll be met by your driver who will bring you to your hotel in Galle along the southwest coast of the country. A beautifully preserved colonial town, it’s streets are lined with Dutch villas while the Indian Ocean is just beyond. Galle Fort, built over the 16th and 17th centuries, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with car-free streets and architecture that reflects Portuguese, Dutch and British rule, the 18th-century Dutch Reformed Church is one of the most notable. Enjoy the rest of the day enjoying the boutiques, cafes and restaurants in the fort.
Day 2 Galle: Cooking Lesson
This morning you’ll enjoy a half-day excursion that will allow you to embrace your inner chef. You’ll be met by a local chef who will introduce you to the region’s wide array of ingredients in the market, choosing from the colourful fresh fruits and vegetables while enjoying the fragrant aromas of cinnamon, turmeric and curry. Head to the fish market, the heart of the seaside town, selecting your favourite and then prepare your feast with the help of the chef. You’ll discover family secrets while making dishes like sweetened coconut sambal and spicy fish balls. The afternoon can be enjoyed at your leisure.
Day 3 Galle: Tea Plantation Visit
Enjoy the morning at your leisure, relaxing at your hotel or perhaps walking along the ramparts of the walled city that were built by Dutch merchants. You’ll enjoy a beautiful ocean view, see the old prison between the waves and the ramparts, and you can check out the light house too. In the afternoon, a tour to the Handunugoda tea plantation is on the agenda. The only tea estate in Sri Lanka’s coastal belt specialising in artisanal manufacturing of virgin white tea, you’ll find out how they pick the leaves and more about the process, followed by tea and cake with the planter.
Day 4 Tangalle: Scenic transfer from Galle
After checking out of your accommodation, enjoy the scenic drive along the southern coast, making your way to Tangalle. There are many beautiful beaches along the way like Mirissa, considered one of Sri Lanka’s best. It runs the entire length of Mirissa town, lined with laid-back restaurants and bars with warm waves for splashing around. Once you reach Tangalle, get settled into your room where you’ll spend the next three nights, and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. The palm-fringed fishing port is famous for its surfing and its fresh seafood, providing many great choices for dining while enjoying the tranquil atmosphere.
Day 5 Tangalle: Udawalawe National Park Safari
An exciting full day safari in Udawalawe National Park is on your itinerary today, including a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary, which provides a home and rehabilitation for baby elephants that were orphaned, injured or became ill. On your safari, some of the animals you might spot include elephants, leopards, deer, water buffalos and crocodiles. There are also a wide range of bird species with many eagles and their enormous nests, along with parrots and herons. When visiting the Elephant Sanctuary, where the calves roam freely and aren’t restricted by cages or chains, you’ll observe them during a milk feeding.
Day 6 Tangalle: Palapotta Village Visit
A morning tour brings you to the village of Palapotta today. Like many parts of Sri Lanka, the jungle region around Tangalle is home to villages where artisans have been perfecting their crafts for generations. Visiting Palapotta, you’ll discover its pottery heritage and learn the secrets of terracotta from a master potter. The afternoon is at your leisure, relax and take advantage of the facilities at your hotel, walk along the beach or if you’re here between April and July or October and January, you can join a turtle watch in the evening to see them lay their eggs or return to sea.
Day 7 Bogawantalawa Valley: Scenic transfer from Tangalle
After checking out of your hotel, you’ll enjoy a scenic, approximately four-hour drive north to the Bogawantalawa Valley. Sri Lanka is the largest tea exporter in the world, and much of it is grown here in the Central Highlights, where it’s remained largely as it has existed for centuries. The varied landscapes in the heart of tea growing country feature brilliant emerald tea plantations, sparkling lakes, and mountainous forests for observing exotic flora, wildlife, and impressive views. Get settled into your accommodation, unwind and soak up the scenery, with the rest of the day yours to enjoy at your leisure.
Day 8 Bogawantalawa Valley: Dunkeld Tea Factory
This morning you’ll a quintessential Sri Lankan tea experience with a guided tour of the Dunkeld Tea Factory led by the resident tea specialist. You’ll learn all about the history of the tea industry here, from the earliest days of planting and the colonial settlers’ lifestyles to today’s manufacturing process, including how the various flavors are created. Afterwards, you’ll get to enjoy a special tea planter’s lunch in a charming rustic watch hut, that sits high on the mountain behind the tea factory for a breathtaking vista over Castlereagh Lake. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or explore.
Day 9 Bogawantalawa Valley: Kayaking and Guided Walk
After taking in Castlereagh Lake from above, you’ll get a closer encounter, gliding across the sparkling waters on a kayak tour. Paddling in the morning brings the chance to watch the tea-blanketed mountains that surround the lake emerge from the mist, with the sun breaking through, gleaming over the still, glassy waters. A guided walk will be enjoyed this afternoon, traversing through tea gardens, lush forest and jungle while passing gurgling streams and cascading falls. It’s the perfect way to spend your last full day on this beautiful island, with time upon your return and unwind and begin to pack for the journey home.
Day 10 Departure
After nine unforgettable nights enjoy the tastes of heaven in Sri Lanka, it’s time to say farewell. After checking out of your hotel, you’ll enjoy a scenic, approximately 4.5-hour transfer to Colombo to catch your overnight flight home. Now that you’ve gotten a “taste,” odds are, you’ll be back – if you’re not ready to leave just yet, talk to our travel experts about extended your time here.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
Speak to experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and trip preferences
Why book with Unforgettable Travel Co.
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The Best Guides
What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.
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