based on 13 nights & selected experiences
* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public vacations) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
Huvafen Fushi is included on a Half Board Basis
Ceylon Tea Trails and Chena Huts are included on an All Inclusive Basis
per person based on 2 people sharing. Prices subject to peak season surcharges and minimum night stays, over periods such as Christmas and New Year.
An incredibly varied trip of Sri Lanka taking in beautiful scenery, wildlife, tea plantations and colonial history
Stay in beautiful historic hotels and bungalows that were built during the colonial period
End with time on a private island in The Maldives, home to some of the finest beaches in the world
Track a rare species of leopard in Yala National Park
Learn how tea is made and stay in luxurious restored tea planters bungalow
Sri Lanka is a year round destination and has a wonderful climate but there are regional variations across the island, which can bring a bit of rain. From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C. The sea stays at around 27°C all year. Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west and south coasts.
The Maldives follow a similar pattern to Sri Lanka. The dry northeast monsoon which runs from December to March, and the wet southwestern monsoon from May to November, with more strong winds and rain. April is a transitional period noted for clear water and heat. The temperature remains remarkably consistent at around 30°C. Storms are more likely from May to November.
This lovely itinerary provides a luxury and stylish journey through Sri Lanka with a couple of nights to end in the Maldives. Sri Lanka is an unspoiled tropical gem that is brimming with things to do, from ancient Buddhist temples to vast swathes of tea plantations and from national parks to glorious colonial forts making in perfect for an adventurous part of your trip. Then providing total luxurious relaxation, spend four nights on the pristine white sand beaches of the Maldives to end.
The itinerary begins with a night just outside the capital of Colombo, in a beautifully restored colonial bungalow. You'll notice lots of Dutch and British colonial architecture as you travel around the island and we highly recommend staying in the wonderfully restored boutique hotels that were once merchant or tea pickers bungalows. We have included a relaxing first night so that you can have some downtime after your international flight and before starting on your adventure fully.
From Colombo you'll travel with your private driver/guide in land to Kandy, home to the famous Temple of the Tooth. The Temple of The Tooth is supposedly home to the Buddha's tooth and therefore attracts throngs of pilgrims each day. Kandy is brimming with charm and history and is flanked by the most glorious green hills so spend a few days here with your private guide who will uncover the history. You may also wish to go trekking in the UNESCO protected Knuckles Range.
From Kandy it's an exciting journey south by train into the tea plantations. This four hour journey offers views of lushly forested hills before entering into the tea growing area - one of the most beautiful regions of the island. You'll notice the tiny tea pickers villages and plantations as you cruise south on board a very traditional but comfortable train. On arrival your driver will meet you and you will be taken to your luxurious accommodation, Tea Trails. Tea Trails is a selection of beautifully restored British tea bungalows in remote corners of the tea growing region. They are a real highlight and you can't miss high tea overlooking the scenery.
After two nights in the cooler tea plantations your driver will bring you south to Yala National Park to stay at the stunning Chena Huts. Yala sits on the southern coast and is home to one of the world's densest populations of Leopard. If you're lucky you may also get to see sloth bear whilst on safari.
From Yala it's a beautiful drive around the south coast to Galle, a historic fortified town with peeling colonial villas and tiny winding streets full of boutiques and restaurants. Galle is UNESCO protected and therefore has retained much of its atmosphere. Spend your time here with your guide or just wondering the streets at leisure.
After Galle it's a short and scenic drive back to Colombo for your flight to Male in The Maldives. You'll be met on arrival and will be whisked by speedboat to spend four indulgent days at the Four Seasons which is the perfect way to end this magical adventure.
During your stay at Chena Huts, the bush walk takes guests more off the beaten track and allows them to see flora and fauna that wouldn't normally be encountered during a game drive.
Visit a local market to choose ingredients before heading to Mrs Dole's house where she will explain and demonstrate the art of Sri Lankan cuisine. Visitors can participate in the cooking and then enjoy the fruits of their labour with a delicious lunch.
Enjoy a guided tour of Colombo's hidden corners. Mark Forbes or one of his team will take you on a tour of the city's historic buildings before visiting the Pettah Market. This tour lasts around two to three hours.
Enjoy this four hour tour of Colombo by tuk tuk. A fun way to get around, this tour is an interactive immersion into local life, culture and a chance to sample Sri Lankan food and of course tea. Heading to famous landmarks including the Dutch Hospital.
Cycle through the charming city of Colombo at dusk, as you visit some of its most iconic landmarks.
Colonial Colombo by Vintage Car is a fabulous way to explore this evolving city as the sun sets. Cruise around in your chauffeur driven vintage car and retrace Colombo's colonial past.
During your stay in the Hill Country, explore the tea plantations where you can see the tea pluckers at work, visit a tea factory, or go for a walk through the rolling green hills.
Today head to the center of Kandy, once known as the Kingdom of Kandy. Take some time to visit the famous UNESCO protected Temple of the Tooth. Next wander around the colorful market followed by some tea at the historic Queen's Hotel.
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Kandy, is renowned for its wide variety of plant species
and beautiful flowers. Of particular note is the collection of a variety of orchids.
Head into Yala National Park in the early morning to marvel at the range of wildlife, particularly the leopards for which the park is renowned.
Enjoy a evening safari in Yala National Park. Yala is a must for anyone wanting to spot the elusive leopard, and with over 250sqkm / 96sqm of land to explore, you will likely have some luck in spotting not only leopard, but sloth bear and elephants.
This evening you will visit The Temple of the Tooth. The stunning 17th-century Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is believed to house the left upper canine tooth of the Lord Buddha himself.
The 2 hour train journey to Hatton is a glorious way to see the rolling countryside from your observation car, as you climb into the hills and tea plantations.
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Kotugoda, Sri Lanka
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Hatton, Kandy and the Hill Country, Sri Lanka
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Galle, South Coast, Sri Lanka
North Male Atoll, Maldives
The Independent, November 2016