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Tea with a Twist

Witness the art of making tea by embarking on an interesting and informative tea tour. Sri Lanka has acres of tea-clad mountains where tea is plucked all year round; so treat yourself to hours of leisure in the salubrious environs of this scenic locale!

day Location/Route duration Overnight
Day 01 Arrival and transfer from airport to hotel One night in Colombo Value: OZO Colombo
Signature: Cinnamon Grand
Day 02 Colombo to Galle Two nights in Galle Value: Amari Galle
Signature: Owl and the Pussycat
Day 03 Galle Last night in Galle Value: Amari Galle
Signature: Owl and the Pussycat
Day 04 Galle to Ella Two nights in Ella Value: Mountain Heavens
Signature: 98 Acres
Day 05 Ella Last night in Ella Value: Mountain Heavens
Signature: 98 Acres
Day 06 Ella to Maskeliya Two nights in Maskeliya Blue Magpie
Day 07 Maskeliya Last night in Maskeliya Blue Magpie
Day 08 Maskeliya to Ulapane Two nights in Ulapane Weir House
Day 09 Ulapane Last night in Ulapane Weir House
Day 10 Ulapane to Colombo One night in Colombo Rosyth Estate
Day 11 Departure to the airport
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.

Adam's Peak

Adam’s Peak, which is locally known as Sri Pada, is the fifth tallest mountain peak of Sri Lanka. The “sacred footprint” that is found at the peak is believed to be that of Lord Buddha’s. Many devotees ascend the mountain to pay homage to the sacred footprint during the Sri Pada season.

Galle Dutch Fort

Galle Dutch Fort is a proud structure that still stands tall and mighty in southern Sri Lanka. Built by the Portuguese over 400 years ago, the fort was fortified by the Dutch, upon their invasion of the island. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visited and admired by many, all through the year.

Tea Plantation and Train Journey

Hop aboard a vintage steam train in Kandy, and enjoy a picturesque ride into the heart of Sri Lanka’s charming hill country. The winding railway tracks chart a scenic course through the rolling hillsides of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. Unwind in your air conditioned compartment, as you take in the majesty of the verdant landscape unfolding before your eyes.

Observe the shades of emerald that blanket the horizon, brimming with precious tea crops that are the nation’s pride. Envision the splendour of the island’s colonial heyday, as you tuck into a delicious four-course lunch accompanied by sparkling silverware and fine china. This journey is best begun in the late morning hours and lasts four to five hours.

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.

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.

Galle Fort Walk

Discover the cultural and architectural legacy of Galle, inherited from the Portuguese and Dutch colonialists from centuries past. Familiarise yourself with its streets, as your experienced tour guide narrates intricately woven folktales, that have been passed down through generations. Observe the local practice of stilt fishing and pay a visit to highlights such as the iconic Galle Fort.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is the last European-built fortress still standing in southern Asia. Watch with bated breath as daring cliff divers spring themselves off the citadel’s walls and plummet into the waves below. The tour lasts two hours and starts early morning or in the afternoon.

Tea Experience at Ceylon Tea Trails

Observe the century-old tea manufacturing process at Ceylon Tea Trails. Meet up with your guide at 09:00am and set off into the estate. Walk in the footsteps of the tea planters of Ceylon’s heyday, as they traversed the leafy inclines in search of ideal pastures for tea cultivation. Understand the challenges involved in the skilled art of tea plucking and learn the secret behind the aromatic black tea blend; only two tender leaves and the bud, are harvested from each plant, by hand.

Study the traditional English machinery used at the Norwood Tea Factory, which dates back to colonial times.

As your 2.5 hours draw to an end, sit back and sample fragrant brews from the factory’s many grades of tea.

Adams Peak Night Walk

Ascend over 5,000 steps to the summit of Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s most venerated mountain. Looming over Maskeliya’s horizon at a height of 2,250 metres, it has been a unique symbol of reverence for more than a millennium, thanks to the gigantic footprint carved into its peak. The Buddhists believe it to belong to Lord Buddha; the Hindus proclaim it to be Lord Shiva’s; while to the Muslims and Christians, it was left by Adam.

You can make the journey to the summit at any time of the year. However, to witness the annual pilgrimage made by thousands of worshippers, visit between December and May. Begin the five-hour ascent at 02:00am and reach the peak just in time to witness a majestic sunrise.

Day 01

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.
Settle into your hotel, rest and relax from your journey. You may choose to dine in-house or opt to try out something different in town.

Local attractions:  the Navam Perahera (1st Mar 2018 – tickets should be pre-booked) / 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.

Day 02

Breakfast will be served at the main restaurant.

We will be heading to Galle via the southern expressway (three hours). Do feel free to speak to the chauffeur if you wish to make a pit stop at the service area at the half-point of the highway to grab a snack.
Look out for the stilt fisherman along the coast.
Settle into your hotel this evening and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Dinner to be taken in your hotel or you may choose to dine out.

Local attractions: a spa treatment at Spa Ceylon – Galle Fort / A Minute by Tuk Tuk Café/ Fusion cuisine by Chef Malcolm - Bedspace Unawatuna / exotic cocktails & nightlife - Happy Banana (Saturdays only) / Indian cuisine at the Indian Hut & pizza at Wijaya Beach / street food by the Ramparts or simply explore the cobbled streets of the Fort scattered with arty galleries, bars & coffee lounges.

Day 03
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.
Settle into your hotel and spend the rest of your day at leisure.

An early start this morning! A short drive will take you to the Mirissa Harbour for your whale watching expedition. Look out for the schools of dolphins!
You will return to your hotel for breakfast.
This afternoon you will explore the Galle Dutch Fort with your chauffeur guide. You will also visit the Hadungoda Virgin White Tea Factory for a tea tasting experience.

Day 04

An early start this morning to make the most of your day.
Breakfast will be served at the main restaurant.
Your scenic drive will take you up into the highlands to Ella (4.5 hours). Sit back and enjoy the breath-taking landscapes!
Settle into your hotel and spend the rest of your evening at leisure
Dinner at your hotel or you may wish to try out one of the many lively restaurants in town.

Day 05
Ella x
Famous for the stories that intertwine with the epic “Ramayana” from India, where King Ravana was believed to have imprisoned Princess Sita from Lord Shiva, Ella is a must-visit destination on your tour to the tea country. The scenic town is also home to the Ravana Falls. Take a train ride to absorb the full beauty of this area, it is sure to leave you awestruck. On a clear night, you’ll be able to see the Galle lighthouse.

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, you will head out to explore Ella town and its environs. A hike to Little Adam’s Peak is a must if you are an outdoor enthusiast.

Day 06
Maskeliya x
Maskeliya is a little town that’s nestled amidst mountains and tea estates, located close to Adam’s Peak and the Seven Virgin Mountain range. Settle into the property and spend the rest of your day enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful area or cycle along the estate roads. A visit to a tea factory for an insight into its manufacture is an interesting experience. Head back to the lodge for the night.

This morning you will make your way to Maskeliya (four hours).

Day 07
Adam’s Peak x
Sri Lanka’s most celebrated pilgrimage site, Adam’s Peak stands at 2243m, making it the fifth highest peak on the island. It is also a revered site to all the major religions, as it’s believed to hold the footprint of Lord Buddha by the Buddhists, Lord Shiva by the Hindus and Adam by the Christians and Muslims. The ascent to Adam’s Peak is usually made by night, which gives you plenty of time to reach the summit for sunrise. Head back to the lodge for the evening.

Enjoy your breakfast this morning seated out on the decking overlooking the forest. A hike up Adam’s Peak through Moray estate (a shorter and quieter route than the more frequented one) is a different experience altogether as this one is made during the day. You may, however, opt to climb at night to catch the sunrise too!

Day 08

This morning after breakfast you will drive to Ulapane (2.5 hours).
Settle into the villa and spend the rest of your day enjoying the property.
This evening you will visit a coffee and pepper plantation.

Day 09
Kandy 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 or the sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa.
Head back to the lodge for the night.

Breakfast will be served in the dining area this morning.
You will visit Kandy city and tour its highlights.

Day 10

After a leisurely breakfast, you will make your way to Kegalle (two hours).
Your first stop is the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Kegalle. Your host this day will take you around the property. You may choose to participate in bathing the elephants, walking alongside or feeding these great animals followed by an authentic Sri Lankan lunch.
Settle into your bungalow this evening and spend the rest of the day unwinding from your journey.

Day 11

We will take you to the airport, to arrive two-three hours before your flight home.
If time permits, we recommend a massage either Ayurveda or spa – a perfect finale to your holiday before your flight!

Add on

  • A list of a few activities you may want to add on 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
  • In and around Galle –Hike in the Sinharaja forest reserve / Rumassala walk / turtle hatchery

What to Pack!

  • Socks – as footwear must 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, sun hat, 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 14:00 at hotels.
  • The standard check-out time is 11:00 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 (
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Lose yourself in the beauty of this tea-clad landscape!