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Flavours of Sri Lanka

? NEW TOUR!
Indulge your tastebuds on a beautiful journey through the highlights of Sri Lanka. Enjoy aromatic cooking classes with local families and learn from a famous culinary team. Discover the iconic tea and spice plantations, admire the rock fortress of Sigiriya and explore Minneriya and Yala National Parks.Unique flavoursLearn about cooking techniques and utensils unique to Sri Lanka in coastal Negombo and savour the flavours at dinner overlooking the sea.Unforgettable accommodationSpend 3 nights at the incredible Heritance Kandalama, built into the mountainside overlooking Kandalama Reservoir and Sigiriya. Experience the gourmet highlights of the hotel over a 6-course dinner in the Bawa Cave and a hands-on lesson with the famous culinary team.History & WildlifeTravel inland to the sprawling forest and scrub of Minneriya National Park and search for elephants and sambar deer. Visit the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, brimming with archaeological treasures and explore the famous rock fortress of Sigiriya.Tea & SpiceDiscover the famous spice plantations of Matale and explore the cultural heart of Kandy. Journey to the lush tea-growing region of Nuwara Eliya by train and visit a plantation and a vegetable farm. Safari through Yala National Park on the south-east coast, believed to have one of the highest-density leopard populations in the world.Feast your eyesRelax in the resort town of Hambantota on the ancient spice route at the stunning Shangri La Resort & Spa. Spend time working alongside experienced chefs and admire dinner being prepared before your eyes at Sera restaurant. Take a sunset boat cruise to witness the myriad of birdlife. End your journey in the capital of Colombo, visit the famous Cricket Club Caf and stay at the majestic Galle Face Hotel.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy class flights from Australia to Sri Lanka. Taxes included
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding jeep-safari vehicle and water based activities)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $200pp prepaid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 14 nights in good quality hotels (4 - 5 star)
  • Day use of hotel on day of departure
  • 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking driver/guide throughout for 2-6 Pax
  • English-speaking national guide, driver & assistant throughout for 7+ Pax

Sightseeing

Immerse yourself in Sri Lankan nature and cuisine

  • Cruise the beautiful Gin Oya River, surrounded by lush vegetation, while listening to the amazing bird sounds as the evening breaks. Watch the sun set over the beach before joining a local family for a cooking demonstration and hosted dinner
  • Visit a local fishing village en route to Kandalama
  • Enjoy an afternoon jeep safari in Minneriya National Park searching for Sri Lankan wildlife including sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank, built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasena. During the dry season (June-September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze as well as huge flocks of birds, cormorants and painted storks to mention just a few
  • Join Kandalama's famous culinary team as they provide an insight into one of Sri Lanka's largest kitchens. Then enjoy a 6-course set dinner at the famous Bawa Cave, the perfect way to end the day

Sri Lanka's historic and cultural treasures

  • Tour the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. Explore the ruins of the capital, built by the Parricidal King Kasyapa (477-95). This UNESCO World Heritage site is both a geological and historical marvel. Formed by magma from an extinct volcano, for centuries it was home to buddhist monks
  • Visit a typical home in a Sri Lankan village for lunch. Walk through the paddy fields and enjoy the cool breeze whilst getting acquainted with local village life
  • Tour the serene cave temples of Dambulla, filled with hundreds of hand-carved statues and hand-painted frescoes. These cave temples were built by King Valagam Bahu in the 1st century BC in gratitude for the shelter he sought in the caves when fleeing India's invaders. The caves are completely covered by ancient frescoes depicting both religious and secular scenes
  • Visit the Matale Spice Plantations, growing a variety of spices such as cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. Sri Lanka is renowned for its spices having been initially colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and British
  • Explore Kandy, known for its sacred Buddhist sites and as the home to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Budha. Visit the Gem Museum and learn about the design, cutting, polishing and setting processes
  • Tour the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Ever since it was founded in the 16th century, it has housed one of the most sacred relics of Buddhism, a tooth of Buddha collected from his funeral pyre. It is now protected within the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth. Witness the blessing ceremony wiith all the fanfare, drums, trumpets and Monks dressed in bright colours performing their rituals
  • Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. Initially a royal park, in 1821 under British rule it became a Botanical Garden. Here exotic crops such as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber and cinchona (quinine) were first tested and went on to play an important role in the country's economy
  • Enjoy a cultural show and traditional Kandyan dance performance including the cobra and mask dances
  • Join the locals and marvel at the stunning highland scenery for a short journey by train before continuing by road to the colonial city of Nuwara Eliya, winding through lush countryside and tea plantations.
  • Learn about the tea-making process and sample some high-grade Ceylon tea at a plantation. It all started around 1867 when Ceylon tea was first being developed by British planter James Taylor. The rest is history!
  • Visit a local farm and learn how vegetables are planted and taken care of before enjoying a cooking class using local ingredients
  • Visit the spectacular waterfalls at Ella

The Southern Coast

  • Visit the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, a halfway house for orphaned elephants who are rehabilitated for release back into the wild
  • Enjoy a jeep safari in Yala National Park, home for one of the highest density leopard populations in the world
  • Work alongside experienced chefs at the Shangri-La's Hambantota resort before dinner
  • Tour Sri Lanka's bustling capital of Colombo including the famous Cricket Club which is run by two Australians, visit the Gangarama Temple and the historical Museum of Colombo
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $7,595
Start Location
Sri Lanka
End Location
Sri Lanka
Age Range
Avg. 100+
Group Size
4 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Slow paced
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
28 May 201812 Jun 2018AvailableAUD $7,150
17 Sep 201802 Oct 2018AvailableAUD $7,150
ItineraryExpand
Flavours of Sri Lanka

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive Negombo

Welcome to amazing Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean!

Day 2. Negombo

After a morning at leisure we'll take a cruise along the calm waters of the jungle-fringed Gin Oya River, listening to the tranquil sounds of the abundant birdlife. [B,D]

Special Experience: Take part in a demonstration of how locals would prepare a typical meal. We'll learn about how the various cooking utensils unique to Sri Lanka are used and then savour the flavours at dinner overlooking the ocean.

Day 3. Negombo - Kandalama

This morning we depart for the small village of Kandalama on the shores of the sparkling Kandalama Reservoir. Later this afternoon we'll explore nearby Minneriya National Park by jeep, where we'll look for the elephants and sambar deer that call this forest and scrub home. For the next 3 nights we'll be staying at the incredible Heritance Kandalama, built into the mountainside overlooking the lake and the rock fortress of Sigiriya.Enjoy dinner at Kanchana restaurant this evening, accompanied by a melodic flute and panoramic views from the 6th floor. [B,D]

Day 4. Polonnaruwa Excursion

Our day begins with a visit to the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa. Brimming with archaeological treasures, we'll discover the well-preserved ruins of palaces, stupas, bathing pools and exquisite rock sculptures of Buddha. [B,D]

Culinary Experience: Enjoy a hands-on cooking experience with the famous culinary team of the Heritance Kandalama. They'll give us insight into what gs on in one of the largest kitchens in Sri Lanka and we'll be able to learn some tricks of the trade from the leading chefs. We'll end the day with a 6-course meal in the famous Bawa Cave.

Day 5. Sigiriya Excursion

Today we explore the famous rock fortress of Sigiriya - 'Lion Rock'. Built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century, this impressive site is located on top of a vast 200-metre-high granite rock, some 750 steps up! [B,L]

Special Experience: Visit a traditional Sri Lankan village and be welcomed into a local home. Learn about daily life and traditional farming, and then feast on local delicacies at a demonstration of chena cultivation.

Day 6. Kandalama - Kandy

After breakfast we begin our journey to Kandy, stopping at the stunning Cave Temples of Dambulla. Housing hundreds of statues of Buddha, they are also completely covered in ancient frescs. We'll also stop at a spice plantation in Matale that grows a variety of spices for which the country is famous, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. [B,D]

Day 7. Kandy

The former capital of Ceylon, and the last seat of the Sinhalese kingdom, Kandy is known as Sri Lanka's cultural heart. This morning we visit the Royal Botanic Gardens of Peradeniya before touring the city. Kandy is a great place to buy gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, tourmalines and spinals and we'll see a workshop and the design, cutting and setting processes. This afternoon we'll visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. [B]

Day 8. Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

We travel to the lush tea-growing region of Nuwara Eliya by train and road, visiting a tea plantation to learn about Sri Lanka's most famous export. [B,D]

Day 9. Nuwara Eliya

Culinary Experience: In the picturesque colonial town of Nuwara Eliya we'll explore a beautiful vegetable garden and farm. Here we'll learn about how the produce is planted and nurtured before a hands-on cooking class. [B,L]

Day 10. Nuwara Eliya - Yala

Travelling south towards the coast, we visit the spectacular waterfalls at Ella. Along the way to Yala, we'll stop in Udawalawe to visit the Elephant Transit Home which prepares orphaned elephants for their release into the wild when they come of age. Our accommodation is on the border of the National Park and you may be lucky to spot some neighbouring guests! [B,D]

Day 11. Yala - Hambantota

This morning we embark on a safari in Yala National Park - the oldest and best-known of Sri Lanka's national parks. It is believed to have one of the highest-density leopard populations in the world. This afternoon we'll make the trip south to the resort town of Hambantota, along the ancient spice route. We'll be staying at the stunning Shangri-La Resort & Spa. Enjoy fresh seafood and traditional flavours over dinner tonight at Bojunhala. [B,D]

Day 12. Hambantota

The morning is at leisure on Sri Lanka's pristine southern coast. [B,D]

Culinary Experience: Spend some time working alongside experienced chefs before dinner this afternoon and learn more about Sri Lankan cuisine. Sit back and admire the dishes being prepared before your eyes over dinner at Sera restaurant.

Day 13. Hambantota

Enjoy the day at leisure to relax on the beach and resort before a sunset boat cruise where we'll be able to see a myriad of birdlife. [B]

Day 14. Hambantota - Colombo

We make our way to the island nation's capital, Colombo. We'll take a guided tour of the city, including a stop at the famous Cricket Club Caf , the iconic Gangarama Temple and the historic Museum of Colombo. Tonight we'll indulge in a group farewell dinner. [B,D]

Day 15. Depart Colombo

Today is at leisure before we bid farewell to Sri Lanka this evening and begin our journey home. [B]

Day 16. Arrive Australia