Search Icon Search Icon
Enquire Now

The Geoffrey Bawa Tour

Be enthralled by the masterworks of Geoffrey Bawa, the most celebrated architect of Sri Lanka during an unforgettable tour that will include visits to ancient architectural sites. Treat yourself to an experience of a lifetime on this truly captivating Geoffrey Bawa tour.

day Location/Route duration Overnight
Day 01 Arrival and transfer to Heritance Kandalama Two nights in Kandalama Heritance Kandalama
Day 02 Cycling in Polonnaruwa and safari tour in Minneriya Last night in Kandalama Heritance Kandalama
Day 03 Climbing Sigiriya Rock Fortress and touring in Kandy One night in Kandy Kandy House
Day 04 Drive to Bentota and visit Lunuganga One night in Bentota Lunuganga Estate
Day 05 Visit Galle Dutch Fort and drive to Tangalle One night in Tangalle The Last House
Day 06 Whale watching and sightseeing in Colombo One night in Colombo Tintagel
Day 07 Departure
Wildlife sanctuaries

Sri Lanka is an island that is teeming with flora and fauna with a large number of endemic species. This island will truly delight nature lovers. There are currently 61 sanctuaries which include Maduganga, Wilpattu North, Yala, Minneriya, Udawatta Kele and Rummassala.

Kandy Esala Perahera "Procession"

The Kandy Esela Perahera, which is also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a unique religious and cultural event that takes place every year in July. The procession features many dancers, drummers and elephants, who parade through the streets paying homage to the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha which is housed in the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy.

The Temple of the Tooth Relic

The Temple of the Tooth Relic, which is known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa is in the sacred city of Kandy. It houses the tooth relic of Lord Buddha and is an important shrine of Buddhist worship. The annual procession known as the Kandy Esala Perahera marks an important day in the Sri Lankan calendar.


Polonnaruwa became the capital of the island after the fall of the Anuradhapura kingdom. The kingdom prevailed from the 11th century till 1310 CE. Many famous ruins can still be found near Polonnaruwa that date back to its glory days. The Hindu influence on the island started taking prominence during this period.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Built by King Kasyapa (477 to 495 CE), the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress stands as a testament to the grandeur of Sri Lanka’s glorious past. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it features stunning boulder and water gardens and world-famous frescoes. At the summit, you’ll find the ruins of the king’s palace and a breath-taking view of the surroundings.

Wander Through History in Kandy

Visit the Suriyakantha Centre for Art and Culture, and delve deep into the fascinating annals of European and Sri Lankan history. Housed in the Naranwala Walawwa, an 18th century Dutch-style colonial manor house, the centre represents a unique effort between a Frenchman and Sri Lankan, to showcase talent from eras past.

Explore the vast repository of local and European works over the course of two to three hours and understand the richness of Kandyan culture. Observe the various manuscripts, furniture, handicrafts, artworks and photographs on display. Located near the town of Kandy in Sri Lanka’s Central Province, Suriyakantha is open to visits between 08:00am and 04:00pm, throughout the year.

Architectural Tour of Kandy

Discover the rich architectural heritage of Kandy, the last Sri Lankan Kingdom to fall to the invading British. Today, it is one of the island’s major cities and home to an array of renowned attractions such as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Royal Palace and National Museum.

Begin your tour at the lively town centre, and observe the diverse mix of neo-colonial and colonial-style buildings. Enjoy quality time with celebrated architect Ruchira Wickremasinghe, a recipient of the Geoffrey Bawa Travel Award, as she walks you through the intricacies of Kandy’s architectural landscape. The 2.5 hour tour can begin at any time; however, the late hours of the afternoon are ideal.

Kandy Four Temple Loop Tour

Spend half a day exploring four of Kandy’s famed medieval temples. Join your personal archaeologist on an informative, 3.5 hour coach tour of the Degaldoruwa, Embekka, Lankatilaka and Gadaladeniya Buddhist temples. Feast your eyes on the magnificent Kandyan murals on the ceiling of Degaldoruwa Temple. Witness the wonderful fusion of Buddhist and Hindu culture at Gadaladeniya Temple.

Take in the exquisite craftsmanship of the woodwork at Embekka Temple. Observe the traditional Sinhalese design of the Lankatilaka Temple, and discover the inscriptions carved into the rocks. Setting off in the morning is ideal, as the tour involves approximately 1.5 hours of travel to / from your hotel.


Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem. Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Cras ultricies ligula sed magna dictum porta. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.

Day 01


A warm welcome to Sri Lanka! Your chauffeur from Holidays by Design will be present at the arrivals hall to greet and assist you to your vehicle.

You could change your currency before departing the airport as this may come in handy during your holiday.

You will then drive to Kandalama (four hours). Settle into the Heritance Kandalama hotel.

One of Geoffrey Bawa’s most famed masterpieces, the Heritance Kandalama is an award winning hotel, which seamlessly blends into the surrounding natural landscapes. Constructed between two rocks, the hotel is more like an extension of the mountain landscape with walls of vegetation, rock and wildlife, especially monkeys that sit right outside your window. It truly embodies a getaway that is one with nature, right in the heart of the Cultural Triangle.

Relax and unwind after your journey.

Heritance Kandalama | Meals: Breakfast

Day 02
Polonnaruwa (UNESCO World Heritage Site) x
Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, blending both culture and religion is the second recorded ancient kingdom in Sri Lanka. The city rose to prominence between the 11th and 13th centuries AD and peaked during the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great. The iconic reservoir, the Parakrama Samudra, is the best example of advanced irrigation engineering and construction during this ancient period which has stood the test of time and remains operational even today.
We recommend lunch at Lake House restaurant - built in 1870 as a circuit bungalow for British government agents, the Queen of England patronized the Lake House during her visit. Caressed by the waters of one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, its beautiful setting inspires you to ponder on the marvels of this medieval capital.
After lunch, you will set off on your safari drive to the Minneriya National Park (45 minutes).
Minneriya National Park x
Set amidst a beautiful landscape, the park is located ten minutes east of Habarana. Its central attraction is its ancient reservoir constructed by King Mahasena. Rated, as the world’s sixth greatest wildlife spectacle by Lonely Planet, “The Gathering”, the world’s biggest meeting of Asian elephants in the wild is the principal attraction at Minneriya, which is an extension of the elephant corridor that connects with Kaudulla and Wasgomuwa National Parks.
Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening.

This morning you will have an early start to make the most of the day. An early breakfast could be arranged or the hotel will be delighted to prepare a picnic breakfast.

Your first stop will be the historic sites in Polonnaruwa (50 minutes), a UNESCO World Heritage City. You could either choose to cycle to these sites or your guide will be happy to accompany you.

Heritance Kandalama | Meals: Breakfast

Day 03
Sigiriya (UNESCO World Heritage Site) x
The most extraordinary of all Sri Lanka’s medieval capitals, this ancient ruin once belonged to King Kasyapa. A lover of beauty, he ruled Sigiriya for 18 years, transforming the surroundings into a thing of wonder. Its extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures including the unique plumbing system stand witness to the grandeur of this architecture. It’s a 200m climb to the top, offering a magnificent view at the summit.
You will be visiting the batik factory of the late artist Ena de Silva on this day followed by an authentic Sri Lankan lunch featuring 22 curries prepared by the locals – not to be missed!
Proceed to Kandy and check-in to The Kandy House (three and a half hours)
Providing a wonderful example of the classical local design of Kandyan architecture, the Kandy House was once an ancestral manor house and dates back to 1804. Restored to preserve its rich heritage, while offering guests modern comforts, this boutique hotel features distinctive bedrooms with traditional furnishings, delectable cuisine and a pool overlooking the paddy fields beyond.
This evening you will set out to explore the bustling city of Kandy, strolling through the lively market where you may see and taste a variety of local produce.
Kandy (UNESCO World Heritage Site) x
The Hill Capital of Sri Lanka (the last Kingdom of the Sri Lankan Kings) nestled in a valley in the Highlands and locally referred to, as "Nuwara" meaning The Great City. A picturesque town by the side of a miniature lake, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Visit one of the only natural reserves within city limits, the beautiful Udawatta Kele famous for its avifauna and the sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa.
You may choose to dine in-house or opt to try out something different in town.

This morning after breakfast, set out on an exhilarating climb up Sigiriya - an ancient palace fortress, which sits atop a granite outcrop. It is arguably the most extraordinary of all Sri Lanka’s medieval capitals dating back to the fifth century. Coconut water and cold towels will be provided on your return.

Kandy House | Meals: Breakfast

Local attractions : Esala Perahera (17 - 27 August 2018, tickets should be booked in advance) / cookery lesson with a visit to the local market / tea at Helga’s Folly / local spirits and beers at the Royal Bar, mojito’s and margarita’s at the Bamboo Garden Restaurant and cocktails at the Empire Café.

Day 04
  • Breakfast will be arranged on the veranda this morning.
  • You will proceed to Bentota (four and a half hours). Your chauffeur will make pit stops en route for photographs.
  • Settle into the Lunuganga Estate and unwind after your journey.
  • A stay at Lunuganga offers one a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the design and architectural elements of the country’s most celebrated architect, Geoffrey Bawa. The five distinctive suites feature both antiques as well as contemporary and traditional works of art. Additional highlights include the Garden Room and the Sitting Room, while amongst the Lunuganga Estate’s other well known attractions are its idyllic gardens along with the Blue Pavilion and the Roman Pavilion.
  • This evening you will take a tour around the Lunuganga Gardens – a refreshing cup of tea will be served at the end of the experience.
  • Dinner at the Estate
Day 05
Galle (UNESCO World Heritage Site) x
  • The port city of Galle has flourished from its origins into Sri Lanka's fifth main and popular city. At the heart of the city lies the Dutch Fort. Dutch administrators and those in their service lived within the Fort protected by its city walls and the ramparts by the sea. Its massive archway entrance gives it a medieval air and appears magically time warped, with its red-tiled colonial period villas and open verandas facing the cobblestone streets.
  • You will then be continuing on to Tangalle via the southern expressway (two and a half hours) from Colombo.
  • Settle into The Last House and rest and relax in the afternoon.
  • Embodying the unique style of Geoffrey Bawa, The Last House was, in fact, the final project undertaken by this genius architect. Featuring six bedrooms and enjoying a seaside location, it offers a chance to better appreciate Bawa’s designs which incorporate wide open spaces perfectly combined with the natural surroundings. Its position along the coast of Tangalle also makes it an ideal base from which to head out on a whale watching excursion.
  • Dinner to be taken in your hotel or you may choose to dine out.
  • The Last House | Meals: Breakfast
  • Breakfast will be served on the veranda this morning.
  • Your first stop will be the busy streets of Galle Fort, absorbing its history. We recommend you stop for tea at the Fort Bazaar hotel – an experience you are sure to enjoy.
Day 06
Colombo x
  • Colombo is the commercial hub of the island connecting several parts of the country, such as the north, south, east and hill country by a fine system of roads and railways. The heady mixture of Asian anarchy, colonial charm and modern progress defines its impressive character. Towering skyscrapers, retail stores, parks, restaurants and bars coupled with sacred shrines of the major faiths and religions can be found in this vibrant city.
  • We recommend dinner at the Ministry of Crab this evening - note that reservations are required in advance.
  • Tintagel | Meals: Breakfast
  • Local attractions: the Navam Perahera (1 March 2018 – tickets should be pre-booked) / Street Food Festival – Hotel Fairway (first weekend of every month) / Nelum Pokuna Art Street / shopping at Barefoot Gallery & jazz brunch every Sunday / seafood dinner at the Ministry of Crab / street food at Galle Face Green / authentic Sri Lankan meal in the beautiful setting of ‘Thunapaha on the Edge’- Waters Edge Hotel / Japanese cuisine at Nihonbashi or at the Dutch Hospital.
  • Breakfast will be served at the main dining area.
  • This morning you may choose to set out on a whale watching expedition (please note that an early start will be required in this case) or have a relaxed leisurely start to the day.
  • You will be heading back to Colombo today (three and a half hours).
  • Settle into Tintagel, once the home of the first lady Prime Minister in the world. Spend your afternoon at leisure.
  • Featuring a traditional design that takes one back to colonial times, Tintagel has a rich history and can be found in the city’s most exclusive neighbourhood. It was home to three of the country’s former political heads including the first female Prime Minister in the world, Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Apart from its classical exterior, this heritage residence boasts lavish interiors with striking decor that exude stylish sophistication.
  • Stroll around the busy streets of Colombo with your chauffeur in the evening.
Day 07
  • We will take you to the airport, to arrive two to three hours before your flight home.
  • If time permits, we recommend a massage; either ayurvedic or spa – a perfect finale to your holiday before your flight!


A list of a few activities you may want to add to your experience.

In and around Colombo – Visit the fish market / tea tasting in Colombo / night cycling tour of the city with a street food dinner / diving to explore shipwrecks in Mount Lavinia.

In and around Kandalama – Visit the Monkey Kingdom / Visit the Ritigala Forest Monastery / birding at Kaludiya Pokuna / visit Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site / safari at the Wilpattu National Park.

In and around Kandy – Visit a spice garden / visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens / a hike in the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary / visit the Garrison Cemetery / Knuckles Mountain trek.

In and around Galle – Mask making at the Art Village / a hike in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve / Rumassala walk / cycling by the paddy fields.

What to Pack!

  • Socks – as footwear have to be removed when visiting places of worship. You could be walking on heated paving, gravel or cement. Also, shoulders and knees should be covered.
  • Footwear – choose comfy shoes - sneakers, sandals or similar
  • Shawl – to cover your shoulders or dress up!
  • A sweater or light jacket if you plan to visit the hill country
  • Sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses, travel umbrella or lightweight raincoat


  • All drive times are approximate and subject to road conditions.
  • Alcohol is not served on “poya days” (full moon) and other days prohibited by the government.
  • The standard check-in time is 02:00pm at hotels.
  • The standard check-out time is 11:00am from hotels.
  • Gratuity: tour guides & drivers are tipped at the end of the tour.
  • Online visa application link:
  • Purposeful Tourism: Your support: one USD from every booking supports a cause.
  • Holidays by Design terms and conditions. (
  • Connect with us via FB: or Twitter on

Witness the iconic works of a celebrated architect