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The High and Low Grown- Tea Plantation Tour Sri Lanka

Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind experience by witnessing how the universally celebrated cup of Ceylon Tea is manufactured in factories located in the hill country. Embark on a Sri Lanka tea plantation tour as you travel across picturesque landscapes for a memorable experience.

day Location/Route duration Overnight
Day 01 Arrival and transfer from airport to Colombo One night in Colombo Value: OZO Colombo
Signature: Galle Face Hotel
Day 02 Colombo to Hatton One night in Hatton Value: Ceylon Tea Bungalow
Signature: Governor’s Mansion
Day 03 Hatton to Ella Two nights in Ella Value: Mountain Heavens
Signature: 98 Acres
Day 04 Ella Last night in Ella Value: Mountain Heavens
Signature: 98 Acres
Day 05 Ella to Mirissa Two nights in Mirissa Value: Mandara Resort
Signature: Lantern
Day 06 Mirissa Last night in Mirissa Value: Mandara Resort
Signature: Lantern
Day 07 Transfer to the airport for departure
Golden beaches

Needless to say, one of the prime features of the island, which attracts thousands of visitors every year, are its beaches of golden sand that surround the island and have gained popularity over the years with visitors. These include the beaches of Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Pasikudah, Weligama, Mirissa and Tangalle.

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.

Whale Watching

Did you know? The waters off Sri Lanka’s south and west coasts are along the annual migration route of the Humpback, Sperm and colossal Blue Whale. Towns such as Mirissa, where our excursion begins, are considered global hotspots for whale sightings. The best time to catch a glimpse of these gentle giants of the sea is between December and March.

Set off on your whale watching adventure at 06:00am in the morning with a snack of a selection of nibbles and beverages while you scan the waters for your prize. Keep an eye out for playful Spinner Dolphins, a common sight. You will be out at sea for around four to five hours. An onboard washroom will be available for your use.

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.

Day 01
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.
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 – Fairway Hotel (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

A warm welcome to Sri Lanka! Your chauffeur from Holidays by Design will be present at the arrivals hall to greet you and assist you to your vehicle.
You could change your currency before departing the airport as this may come handy during your holiday.
A short drive from the airport will take you to your hotel in Colombo (one hour).

Day 02

Breakfast will be served at the main restaurant. This morning, we will be making our way up into the highlands to Hatton (four hours).
Your drive will take you through a rolling landscape of tea plantations and mist covered mountains. Settle into your hotel, rest and unwind.
This afternoon you will visit a tea factory for an insightful experience of how tea is manufactured. Continue the scenic drive to the Castlereagh reservoir and the picturesque Devon Falls.
Head back to your hotel for the night. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 03
Nuwara Eliya x
Perched high up in the hills, Nuwara Eliya sits like a sentinel overlooking tea country on all sides. Piduruthalagala, Sri Lanka's tallest peak is only a short while away.
A replica of English country towns with their lush greenery and a profusion of gorgeous flora, Nuwara Eliya is touted as "Little England" with its Victorian houses, a golf course, Lake Gregory, a racecourse and Hakkgala Gardens. The average temperature is around 15.9C.
For an experience that will take you back in time to the colonial period, lunch at the Hill club restaurant is a must-do. You will then make your way to Ella (four hours).
Settle into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying the beautiful views and climate.
Local attractions: Lunch at the Hill Club / visit a strawberry farm / cocktails at Lake View Pub

An early start this morning, to make the most of your day. Breakfast will be served at the main restaurant.
Our first stop - the town of Nuwara Eliya.

Day 04
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 in awe. On a clear night, you’ll be able to see the Galle lighthouse.
Settle into your hotel and spend the rest of your evening at leisure. Dinner at your hotel.

This morning after a leisurely breakfast you will set off to explore Ella and its environs. A hike up Little Adam’s Peak, a stroll through the plantations or indulge in some outdoor adventure activities – discuss your preference with your chauffeur guide who will set it all up for you.

Day 05
Mirissa x
One of the most appealing southern coastal cities in Sri Lanka, Mirissa, is made up of the most pristine golden sandy beaches fringed by a thicket of coconut palms. Mirissa has emerged into Sri Lanka’s top whale-watching spot, where visitors can catch glimpses of sperm whales, blue whales, dolphins and more! Snorkelling excursions and various other water sports activities including deep sea fishing, kayaking and cruises can also be arranged.
Settle into your hotel and spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Local attractions: Exotic cocktails at Kama Mirissa / delicious crab curry at the Zephyr Restaurant & Bar.

Breakfast will be served at the main restaurant.
You will continue to the coast and enjoy a different experience in Mirissa (3.5 hours)

Day 06
Galle (UNESCO World Heritage site) x
The port city of Galle has grown from its ancient origins into Sri Lanka's fifth largest 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.
This evening you will visit the Hadungoda Virgin White Tea Factory – your tour will end with a refreshing tea tasting experience.
Head back to your hotel for the night.

This morning you will make an early start for a whale watching expedition. Look out for the dolphins!
Return to your hotel for breakfast. You will then explore the Galle Dutch Fort with your chauffeur guide (one hour).

Day 07

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 – Tea tasting in Colombo / night cycle tour of the city with a street food dinner / Ministry of Crab for a seafood dinner / Barefoot café / sun downers at the Galle Face Hotel terrace
  • 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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Breathe in the fresh mountain air and enjoy the highlands!