Tailored from £1,500 per person excl. flights
7 days Cultural Triangle, Kandy, Galle
7 days Cultural Triangle, Kandy, Galle
Few islands in the world offer the diversity that exists in Sri Lanka, from ancient cities, to rich religious festivals, to colonial memories, to rolling tea plantations, to the best beaches in the Indian ocean. Sri Lanka intoxicates its visitors with its potpourri of cultures, religions, races & customs.
Set off on a week-long trip that covers Sri Lanka's key highlights. The first 2 days will be used to explore the Cultural Triangle, also refereed to the King's Land or Rajarata. Here, you will discover the majestic Sigiriya or Lion Rock and Minneriya National Park, where you will have the chance to spot wild elephants and deer
During the rest of the week, this Sri Lanka holiday will take you to Kandy, Tea Country & Galle, a must-visit in Sri Lanka. This 7-day itinerary is perfect for those short in time as it contains ample experiences on this exotic island.
Upon arrival at Colombo Airport, you will be transferred directly to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, which takes around four and a half hours. This is to make the most of your time in Sri Lanka, but let us know if you’d like to spend a day exploring Colombo before your trip up to the Cultural Triangle.
You’ll be staying at Water Garden, a 35-acre retreat with views of the iconic Sigiriya (Lion Rock). This hotel was designed by renowned Sri Lankan architect Channa Dasawatte and inspired by the ancient water gardens that once surrounded the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The accommodation is beautifully and comfortably furnished, featuring artwork by local artists.
On your first full day in Sri Lanka you’ll be climbing Sigiriya, the mysterious and legendary monolith that dates to the 5th century, but the original purpose of which is unknown. There are many theories as to the original intent of the magnificent construct, including a palace, a fortress, a monastery and even cosmic intervention.
In the evening, you’ll enjoy a game drive at Minneriya National Park, which is one the best parks to see wild herds of elephants in Sri Lanka as they migrate between Minneriya, Eco and Kaudulla National Parks, according to the seasons. You might also spot other native wildlife, including deer.
The next stop on your week-long Highlights of Sri Lanka tour is Deltota, which takes around four and a half hours to get to. On the way, you’ll visit the Dambulla Cave Temples; the largest and best-preserved rock cave temple complex in the country. Towering 160 metres over the surrounding plains, the complex consists of more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area, several of which contain ancient paintings and statues of Lord Buddha.
In the UNESCO World Heritage city of Kandy, you must pay a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, Sri Dalada Maligawa, which holds a sacred relic of the tooth of Buddha. The relic has played a significant role in politics since ancient times because it is believed that whomever holds the relic is the true ruler of Sri Lanka.
A trip to Sri Lanka isn’t complete without sipping the nation’s favourite beverage, but a visit to Loolecondera Tea Factory in Taylors Hill will really open your eyes to the history and cultivation of tea. This is the country’s first tea factory, set up by historic estate owner James Taylor, which today offers a unique experience for visitors who wish to better understand the legacy of Ceylon tea and the significance the production of tea has had for Sri Lanka since the mid-19th century.
James Taylor himself was a respected and renowned man and upon his death his coffin was carried and followed by a huge procession, calling him “Sami Dorai” (the Master who is God). You may also wish to visit The Ceylon Tea Museum in Hantane, on the edge of Kandy, which has a room dedicated to James Taylor and will further your education in tea production in Sri Lanka.
The next leg of your Sri Lanka tour is a journey to Galle. This transfer takes round six hours, however there is an option to take a scheduled flight to Galle as an alternative.
You will stay inside the historical site of Galle Fort at the Fort Bazaar boutique hotel. This 18-room fort is inspired by Portuguese heritage and is fast becoming a must-see place inside the fort. We particularly love the handmade Vietnamese floor tiles and cosy furnishings.
Allow yourself to be guided around the Galle Fort by a local host, who will explain the rich history of the UNESCO World Heritage site through stories of battles, travellers and traders through the centuries. The cobbled walkways are flanked by a wide range of restaurants and shops, which showcase the site’s heritage and house precious antiques.
Depending on your flight time, you’ll check out of the hotel and take a two-and-a-half-hour transfer back to Colombo Airport. Your tour of the highlights may be over, but we hope this one-week itinerary of Sri Lanka has offered a real taste of the island, its rich history and culture.