Colonial Sri Lanka

12 Nights / 13 Days

Overview

Colonial Sri Lanka Tour is directed at a pundit of the colonial era’s high-end living and architectural elegance. When touring Sri Lanka’s major attractions, you will stay at authentic colonial hotels, extensively renovated to their old glory.Enjoy this long-lived tour of the finest of culture, heritage, natural beauty and colonial sights Sri Lanka has to show. You can witness the island with all its richness, from the ancient rock fortress at Sigiriya and temples to the exotic dance performances, the centuries-old buildings in Colombo, the holy town of Kandy and the tea country filled with vibrant towns and villages. As a highlight of the tour, you shall meet with the surviving indigenous population of Sri Lanka known as the “Veddahs” who were also the ancient custodians of the jungles of Thambapanni –known name for Sri Lanka in the past.

Highlights

  • Colombo City Tour
  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  • Ancient Veddah Village
  • Kandy Tooth Relic Temple
  • Peradeniya Botanical Garden
  • Kandyan Dance Performance
  • Scenic Train Journey to Nanu Oya
  • Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
  • Half day tea experience
  • Galle City Tour

Colombo

Kandy

Nuwara Eliya

Galle

Mt. Lavinia

Tour Route

2 Nights

Colombo

2 Nights

3 Nights

Kandy

3 Nights

3 Nights

Nuwara Eliya

3 Nights

2 Nights

Galle

2 Nights

2 Nights

Mt Lavinia

2 Nights

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
  • Day 13

Arrive Colombo

Upon arrival in Bandaranaike International Airport you are met and greeted by our driver and transferred to Colombo (approximate travel time from Airport to Colombo is 45 mins.) You will then check in to your pre-booked Hotel in Colombo and be welcomed by your Local Tour Manager who will brief you on the line up for the next few days.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Colombo

Colombo

Breakfast at Hotel

Colombo City Tour

The Gangarama Buddhist Temple - where you will be able to get an insight on Buddhist Culture & if you are lucky take a picture with the Temples Sacred Elephant. Hindu Temple –The Hindu architecture with its vibrant colored statues of the thousand deities. The Wolfendhal Dutch Church– the oldest Protestant church of Sri Lanka built according to Dutch colonial architecture between 1749 -1751 & an iconic monument of the Dutch Christian zeal.
Fort Rail Way Station - Introduced by the British the Railway Service in old Ceylon began in 1864, which was initially built with the intension of transportation of Tea and Coffee from hill country to Colombo. Consequently the Colombo Fort Railway Station was built and put into operation in 1908. Independence Square– Independence Commemoration Hall or Independence Square is a national monument built in commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) from the British Colonial rule in 1948.
The Viharamahadevi park – The Viharamahadevi Park formerly called the “Victoria Park” is a public leisure park built during the British rule named after Queen Victoria. Today it is used as a resting place & for evening leisure walks by the locals. Colombo Habour-One of the oldest & busiest ports in South Asia. The British decided to build houses and civilian buildings rather than making it into a military center, giving birth to the modern Port of Colombo. The Galle Face Hotel -Built in 1864 by the British entrepreneurs, The Galle Face Hotel is one of the oldest colonial hotels remaining in Colombo. With modern day 5 star hotels booming in Colombo the Galle face Hotel has still managed to be prominent from rest with its old time grandeur. The Galle Face Green-This famous stretch of walkway overlooking the Indian ocean was initially laid out in 1859 by the British Governor Sir Henry Ward, and was also used for horse racing and as a golf course. Today it is popular with locals as well as foreigners for evening walks & picnics & one of best place to watch the sunset.
The National Museum-Built in the Italian Architectural style, The Colombo Museum as it was called initially was established in 1877 by Sir William Henry Gregory who was the British Governor of Ceylon at that time. During the colonial days some of the some of the unique Sri Lankan historical artifacts such as the “Tara Devi” statue are sent to museums in Britain. Other places of interest are the Devatagaha Muslim Mosque, The BMICH, Cinnamon Gardens & Municipal Council & The Grand Oriental Hotel.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Colombo

Colombo – Pinnawela – Kandy (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel

Proceed to Kandy, en route visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department in a 25-acre coconut property adjoining the Maha Oya River. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned Elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka.In 1978 the orphanage was taken over by the National Zoological Gardens from the Department of Wildlife. A captive breeding program was launched in 1982. Since the inception of the program over 20 elephants have been bred here. The aim of the orphanage is to simulate a natural habitat to these elephants. However, there are some exceptions: the elephants are taken to the river twice a day for a bath, and all the babies less than three years of age are still bottle fed by the mahouts and volunteers.The orphanage which boasts to have the largest herd of captive elephants in the world is very popular and visited daily by many Sri Lankan and foreign tourists. The main attraction is clearly to observe the elephants bathing which is quite a spectacle. We make way for you to experience an enchanting adventure and to observe the majesty of these tuskers.

Upon arrival in Kandy check in at your pre-booked Hotel

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Kandy

Kandy – Dambana – Kandy

Breakfast at Hotel

Transfer to Dambana

Dambana located 19km north east of Mahiyangana bordering the Maduru Oya Sanctuary is home to the indigenous “Vedda” community numbering close to 1000 individuals. The natural habitat of these people, whose livelihood once depended solely on hunting, was confined to the forest. However, during the recent decades, they have been shifting in a slow transformation into Chena dry land for cultivation. ‘Veddha’ are so influenced by the imposing dominant culture that they risk losing their traditions and what has been their livelihood for centuries. Over and above the transition, these aborigines of Sri Lanka have begun to intermarry with the Sinhalese villagers living in the region surrounding Dambana. The total extinction of their traditions of hunting for food, cooking in open fire with a group, collecting Bees Honey, their songs and dances has now become a rare possibility. Visitors to this fascinating village have the opportunity to meet and chat with the people who live there, learn about their traditions, and gain a unique insight into their way of life.

Ancient Veddah Village
This tour will give you the opportunity to meet the surviving indigenous population of Sri Lanka the “Veddah” population, whose history spans close to 2000 years. The true plight of “Veddah” will help you to look at them as group of human beings rather than an array of exhibits. They were the ancient custodians of the jungles and they were “at home” in the jungles. Since the department of Wild Life was established and the Fauna & Flora ordinance was empowered to protect the forests and the wild life of Sri Lanka the “Veddah” population was deprived of their natural habitats and livelihoods & their tools and weapons and they were forced out of the jungles. Jungles were declared National Parks and most of other prosperous land was taken over by the Mahaweli Development projects. Today, with the intension of further protecting the “Veddah” population they are restricted to Dambana and they were given alternative methods of survival, farming. Originally the young “Veddah” boys observed & learnt the art of catching a game from their fathers and girls took after their mothers in managing the home and rearing children. But today the children from “Veddah” population are sent to school to get more ‘civilized’ education. “Veddah” population was never used to being confined to “a village” as they were much used to the rustic abodes in the jungles. So, what is normal & civilized for the rest of us is “abnormal” for the “Veddah”. Ironically, today the “Veddah” themselves and the various customs and tribal dances that they perform when visitors come to their “village” are not mere exhibition or a performing art, but the innate life style that they dearly miss. The silent appeal from the “Veddah” population is to be back in their natural forest habitats where they lived harmoniously with nature, protecting each other.

Proceed to Kandy on the recently renovated Mahiyangana Kandy Road which is famous for its winding misty roads with “18 bends”.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Kandy

Kandy – Peradeniya – Kandy

Breakfast at Hotel

Visit Kandy Tooth Relic Temple

Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) is the place that houses the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Originally part of the Royal Palace complex of the Kandyan Kingdom, it is one of the holiest places of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhist around the world. The Palace of the Tooth relic, the palace complex and the holy city of Kandy are associated with the history of the dissemination of Buddhism. The temple is the product of the last peregrination of the relic of the tooth of Buddha and the testimony of a religion which continues to be practiced today.

Shopping in Kandy – known for exotic arts and crafts and world-famous gem stones

Further sightseeing of Kandy.

Take a stroll or drive along the Kandy lake and Upper Lake Drive enjoying breath taking views of the country’s Hill Capital and visit the Kandy National Museum (Optional)
Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka and lies in the midst of hills. It is the Capital of the Central Province. It is both an administrative and religious city. Kandy is the second largest city in the country and is frequently visited by Buddhists especially of the Theravada School. Kandy is very famous among tourist for three main reasons: It is home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic; Dalada Maligawa), The Botanical Gardens (Located in Peradeniya) and it always has a special place when it comes to festivities such as the Esala Perahara.Kandy is must for anyone's itinerary when visiting Sri Lanka which is why we recommend the city as it is considered one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka which at the same time show cases the Sri Lankan Culture at its highest level. Trinity College Kandy; Founded in 1872, as an Anglican Missionary school based on the traditions of the best of the public schools in England, the missionaries took into its realm the best of the local indigenous culture. Today the Trinity College of Kandy standout as a school that produces “educated Gentlemen”. The Chapel at Trinity College is a complete masterpiece, from authentic Kandyan lacquered windows to carved marble slabs, and a beautifully carved wooden pulpit and doorways.
War Cemetery in Kandy; Kandy War Cemetery of World War II, a place largely forgotten by the normal tourist, where 203 burials had taken place out of which 107 were British, as per the plaque. It is a somber place, yet impeccably maintained like a beautiful garden.

Visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya (near Kandy City) is noted for its rich and varied collections of tropical woody plants. Occupying 59 hectares (146 acres), it has about 4,000 species of plants. The most important specimens of the garden include palms, some of which are planted in impressive avenues. Significant, too, are the collections of orchids, gymnosperms, and flowering trees. The gardens were founded in 1821 primarily to introduce coffee trees and various other tropical plants of economic importance to the region. Even after it took on a more botanical emphasis in the 1840s, the garden remained a center for horticultural activities. Under the directorship of the botanist George H.K. Thwaites, the garden played a pivotal role in establishing the country’s flourishing tea industry in the late 1870s. Thwaites also brought in and cultivated the Brazilian rubber tree, which became a crop producer vital to Sri Lanka’s economy. The botanical collection has developed into one of the finest in the region.

Evening Enjoy a Cultural Dance performance

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Kandy

Kandy – Nanu Oya (Train) &Nanu Oya – Nuwara Eliya (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel

Transfer to Kandy Railway Station board the scenic train to Nanu Oya
It’s hard to forget the experience of taking the train through Sri Lankan tea country. Nothing compares to the cold air that comes in through the windows and the endless rolling hills of tea plantations and lush forests. The Eastern train route takes you from Kandy to Nanu Oya; the views from the window will have you snapping photos at every turn. The journey through the hill country not only gives you countless breathtaking sights, it also takes you through long dark tunnels where there is always fun to be had for the passengers, yelling while the train travels through the tunnels.

Upon arrival in Nanu Oya, transfer to Nuwara Eliya and check in at pre-booked hotel

Nuwara Eliya meaning "city on the plain or "city of light" is a town in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is one of the major tea producing areas in the world. The tallest mountain in Sri Lanka "Pidurutalagala" oversees this beautiful city. It is the most visited hill country.Nuwara Eliya is said to have been founded by a couple of British officers who apparently got lost while elephant hunting. The British Governor Sir Edward Barnes was notified about the town and he himself decided to reside at Nuwara Eliya and subsequently creating a health resort that was internationally renowned. The town was later the ultimate destination for English pastimes such as golf, fox hunting, polo, etc. Nuwara Eliya also has an archeological importance as well in which pre-historic human remains are found. The city has a good reflection of the colonial period while new hotels are furnished according to the colonial era.Sri Lanka produces a significant share of the world's best tea and in the meantime is also one of the world's largest exporters of tea. Since the introduction of tea to Sri Lanka in mid 19the century Nuwara Eliya has been the capital of the tea industry. Trekking and hiking expeditions usually evolve around these land marks.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

Breakfast at Hotel

Half-Day Tea Experience

The best pleasure you will take away from visiting a tea factory would be plucking tea from a real tea plantation. You can also have the full experience of adorning the classic saree that is so synonymous with Sri Lankan tea pluckers. Obviously, men can wear sarongs and you'll be given your own basket to store your leaves in. You are then taken down to the tea fields with the full kit complete.

The local planting guides will show you which tea leaves to pluck to get the best tea tasting menu. The plucking process can be a little difficult to complete, as you will usually find yourself with the tea leaves ended up on the floor instead of the container. In spite of how many leaves you pick, the professional tea pluckers that follow you will leave you way, way behind. They are like machines filling their buckets with amazing energy. This is mainly because they must reach their 15 kilogram leaves daily target.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

Breakfast at Hotel

Optional Visit to Nuwara Eliya Golf Club

Those who prefer could play an optional round of Golf followed by optional Lunch at the Club House. Walking distance from the town center spread over 90 acres, over a hundred years old (built in 1891 during British Colonial era), and the 18 holes golf course is one of Nuwara Eliya’s biggest attractions. It is reputed to be the only Golf Course where all the holes are visible from the Club House or accessible by car. For the non-golfers there will be an optional village visit followed by optional lunch at the Club House.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya – Kitulgala – Galle

Breakfast at Hotel

Proceed to Galle

Optional Lunch at Kitulgala
Kitulgala is the setting for academy award winning British film The Bridge on the River Kwai. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British World War II film by David Lean based on the novel The Bridge over the River Kwai by French writer Pierre Boulle. The scene creation of the film was done in Sri Lanka and many of them were at Kitulgala area including the climactic scene of the bridge explosion. The Kitulgala River is very popular with both locals and foreigners alike as a hotspot for white water rafting or adventure-based activities. Around 16:30 hrs. arrive at the Entrance to the newly built Southern Expressway.

Upon arrival at Galle check in at your pre-booked Hotel

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Galle

Galle

Breakfast at hotel and relax and unwind and be at leisure.

Afternoon Sightseeing City Tour of Galle

Galle is situated in the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka; it is one of the country's integral cities. Galle has a colorful history and beauty that renders many speechless. The city is filled with Dutch-colonial buildings people come from faraway places to see. The air is filled with the sweet smell of spices and the salty winds give it an authentic recognition. The fort built by the Portuguese in 1588 holds most of the attention as you can explore the city of Galle through its walls. The Fort has a multi-religious ethnic population and embedded deep inside its walls is a rich history people are besotted with. This glorious building suffered through the Boxing Day Tsunami and was later restored to its magnificent beauty. It has been given the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its endless glory. It's a beautiful travelling location which gives you an experience that's hard to forget.Galle is filled with art that's rare, the streets are filled with people who are ambitious and hardworking, showcasing their efforts in one the best displays that please the eye immensely. The classic architecture fuses with the tropical setting that's the envy of many man-made resorts and architects. Galle is said to be a heavenly piece of art, tropical heaven and rich in history.
Later at sun down enjoy a chilled beer or a hot cup of Ceylon Tea with an impeccable view of the Galle Fort.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Galle

Galle – Mount Lavinia (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel and check out

Proceed to Mount Lavinia. Upon arrival, check into hotel and relax at leisure enjoying the beach and hotel amenities

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Mount Lavinia

Mount Lavinia

Breakfast at Hotel

Full day at the beach enjoying the sea breeze with a touch of coastal warmth

Afternoon indulge in the blend comforts of this colonial heritage hotel. One of the key attractions at the Mount Lavinia Hotel is its swimming pool which invites you to take a cooling dip on a sultry tropical day. Alternatively indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at the COCO Spa or simply relax at the adjoining Mt. Lavinia Beach.

Overnight stay at the Hotel in Mount Lavinia

Mount Lavinia – Colombo (Drive)

Breakfast at Hotel and Check Out

Proceed to the Airport with an abundance of memories from your unforgettable experience here at Sri Lanka – The Paradise Island

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Pricing*

– £ 2450 / US$ 3550 per person for a minimum of 2 travellers on a twin or double sharing basis.
– £1250 / $1725 for single room supplement.

Price Valid till 30th April 2023 , Prices Quoted in Sterling Pounds & US Dollars & based in Standard Hotels

Included

  • Accommodation on Twin / Double Sharing basis
  • Daily Breakfast and Dinner
  • Private Transfers
  • City Sightseeing
  • Air Conditioned Private Car with English speaking Driver Guide
  • Entrances to Monuments
  • Govt Taxes

Not Included

  • International Flight
  • Insurance
  • Expenses of Personal nature
  • Meals -Lunch
  • Camera and Video charges
  • Tips
  • Visa Charges

* Terms and Conditions Apply

  1. Prices applicable for standard hotels, luxury accommodations available on request.
  2. Prices valid upto 30th April 2023.
  3. Christmas and New Year supplement applicable extra.
  4. Local taxes apply.

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* Represents mandatory fields.

Tour interested in: Colonial Sri Lanka

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