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Flavours of Sri Lanka

Treat yourself to a selection of rich flavours from the island of Sri Lanka. Dining experiences that capture the true essence of island life are yours to enjoy to your heart’s content. Sample the great tastes of the country as you enjoy a tropical vacation!

day Location/Route duration Overnight
Day 01 Arrival and transfer to Negombo One night in Negombo Value: Goldi Sands
Signature: Jetwing Beach
Day 02 Negombo to Jaffna Two nights in Jaffna Value: Heritage Jaffna
Signature: Jetwing Jaffna
Day 03 Jaffna Last night in Jaffna Value: Heritage Jaffna
Signature: Jetwing Jaffna
Day 04 Jaffna to Anuradhapura Two nights in Anuradhapura Value: Palm Garden Village
Signature: Forest Rock Garden
Day 05 Anuradhapura Last night in Anuradhapura Value: Palm Garden Village
Signature: Forest Rock Garden
Day 06 Anuradhapura to Kandy Two nights in Kandy Value: Ashburnham Estate
Signature: Elephant Stables
Day 07 Kandy Last night in Kandy Value: Ashburnham Estate
Signature: Elephant Stables
Day 08 Kandy to Galle Two nights in Galle Value: Amari Galle
Signature: Jetwing Lighthouse
Day 09 Galle Last night in Galle Value: Amari Galle
Signature: Jetwing Lighthouse
Day 10 Galle to Colombo One night in Colombo Value: OZO Colombo
Signature: Galle Face Hotel
Day 11 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.

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.

Matale Spice Garden

Sri Lanka is famous for its colourful and exotic spices which add flavour to the local food. From cinnamon, pepper to turmeric and lemongrass, walk through the aromatic spice garden before feasting on scrumptious meals served at the restaurant. Customers who shop at the store receive a complimentary 10-minute massage.

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.

The Anuradhapura Kingdom

The glorious Anuradhapura kingdom was the very first empire that was established on the island. Gallant kings who are still revered in the island today ruled the whole country from this proud city. Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka during this era, which was formed by 377 BC and fell after an invasion in 993 BC.

Cycling Tours around Galle

Enjoy guided cycling tours in the district of Galle. Hop on a mountain bike and cycle along the 12 km Paddy Trail from Wijaya Beach. Over the next 1.5 hours, ride past picturesque paddy fields and enjoy a relaxing break at a quaint open-air eatery. Up for a challenge? Choose the 30 km Paddy and Lake Trail, which lasts two to three hours. It extends past the paddy fields, towards the gorgeous waters of Koggala Lake.

For a more indulgent experience, pick the 18 km Kahanda Kanda Ride. Partake in lunch or cocktails as well as have a swim at the Kahanda Kanda boutique hotel. Tours start early in the mornings or late afternoon. A tuk-tuk escort will follow with drinks and your belongings.

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.

Spice Identification

Since ancient times, Sri Lanka has been a key player in the world’s spice markets. Even today, Sri Lanka is the sole provider of the globally sought-after “true cinnamon” or Ceylon Cinnamon. Embark on a culinary adventure in Matale and challenge your senses. Learn to recognise a variety of famed spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, clove and cinchona by taste, smell and touch.

Enjoy a range of authentic local dishes prepared just for you using the spices that you have experienced. Then, separate into teams and put your newly learned skills to the test by guessing which spices are present in each dish. This activity is available in the mornings and afternoons and lasts around three hours.

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.

Day 01
Negombo x
Located approximately five km from the international airport, the tourist friendly beach town of Negombo is one of the favourite stops for many visitors to the island. Offering a range of hotels, beach bars, cafes, restaurants and plenty of golden sands to lie on, Negombo is a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka. Settle in, rest and relax from your journey. Local attractions: Seafood dinner with the day’s catch at the Lellama restaurant - Jetwing Sea / Spa treatment at Spa Ceylon - Heritance Negombo / Sundown cocktails at See lounge -Heritance Negombo.

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 handy during your holiday.
A short drive from the airport will take you to your hotel in Negombo (30 minutes).

Day 02
Jaffna x
Though this northern city faced decades of war and loss, Jaffna today is a flourishing town in Sri Lanka. Ancient, religious sites located around the city make for great exploration. Some of the top sights are the Jaffna Fort, Nallur Kandasamy Kovil, and the clock tower. Visitors to the area will also see many of the buildings and structures that survived the disasters of the civil war. Local attractions: Sri Naga Vihara Annual Maha Perahera (3rd Dec) / Jaffna Food festival (15 -17th Dec)

This morning you will visit the Lellama or fishing village where the fishing boats come ashore to auction their catch to be taken to the local fish market and Colombo. Depending on the season you will see fresh lobster, crab, prawns and different types of fish. The atmosphere is busy & loud.

Your breakfast today will include a popular breakfast option indulged in, around the country. “Coconut Rotti”, a flat bread made with freshly grated coconut and all-purpose flour, usually served for breakfast. Those of you with a sweet tooth should try it out with bees honey. The local favourite however is to eat it with a spicy curry and chili paste.

You have two options for travelling to your next destination.

  • Take the domestic flight to Jaffna (1.5 hours) - recommended
  • Drive to Jaffna (6.5 hours)

Check-in to your hotel late afternoon, rest and unwind from your journey.

This evening you may opt to spend at leisure or head out to explore the town. The Hotel Rolex is a modest restaurant, and a ‘must visit’ for a full Jaffna style Sri Lankan meal.  Try the eggplant, curried squid & lentil curry with dossa.

Day 03

Breakfast this morning will be served at the main restaurant. You will be served with a selection of authentic Jaffna and South Indian cuisine. Locally produced vegetables will be used to create a mouth-watering array of curries for your dosaa which originated in South India - a fermented crepe made from rice batter and black lentils.

Your next culinary experience this noon, starts with the basics in the preparation of a delicacy, the Jaffna crab curry, which, based on the season will be with either lagoon or sea crabs. The lesson is more observational than participative, a colourful sensory delight unique in flavour thanks to the use of a range of mouth-watering & distinctive Jaffna style ingredients.
This evening you will explore the town and visit some of its religious and archaeological sites.

Try out one of the local restaurants, which serve a menu that includes seafood, rice and two-three vegetable curries with pappadam and neem tree flower fry. Palmyrah toddy is popular among the locals – do speak to your chauffeur if you wish to try some.

Day 04

Try out yet another popular dish this morning for breakfast - string hoppers, prepared with wheat flour and then steamed, served with a fish curry cooked in a thick coconut-based gravy and coconut sambol.

Continue to Anuradhapura (four hours).

Settle into your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.
You may opt to visit the Mihintale temple this evening and catch the sunset. Cold towels and coconut water will be provided at the end of your experience. The views from its peak are spectacular.

If you enjoy Indian cuisine, then head to ‘Mango Mango’ for dinner - a bright and trendy restaurant. Their tikka and tandoori dishes are their highlights along with their delicious chicken kadahi masala (cooked with onions, tomatoes and peppers).

Day 05

Spend this morning at leisure after a rather heavy but delicious meal of milk rice – cooked in coconut milk. A staple dish in Sri Lanka, and a must on the menu when celebrating special occasions.
You may then proceed on a safari to Sri Lanka’s largest National Park – Wilpattu on a half-day’s experience.

Spend your evening at leisure!

You may choose to dine in-house or try out a local vegetarian meal at the Forest Rock Garden Hotel, its architecture influenced by the history of the city.

Day 06

An early start to Sigiriya (1.5 hours)

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 arranged on your return.
Return to your hotel for breakfast and continue to Kandy (3.5 hours).

Our first stop will be the batik factory of the late artist Ena de Silva. This interesting tour will be followed by a Sri Lankan lunch featuring 22 curries prepared by the locals – not to be missed! Some of Sri Lanka’s best spices come from this area of Matale.

This evening you will be introduced to a popular street food & hangover meal prepared to the rhythmic beat often heard in small local cafes. kottu roti a local favourite is prepared with a base of wafer-thin sheets of dough cooked and sliced skilfully on a griddle with caramelized vegetables and your favourite meat / seafood and egg.

Day 07

This morning breakfast will be arranged at the main restaurant. You will be served with another breakfast delight, pittu – funnel cakes combining flour and neatly shredded coconut, steamed and served with sweet rich coconut curry and chilli paste.

Your host will then drive you to the local market to select your choice of fresh vegetables and the day’s pick from the fish market. With her guidance you will be preparing an authentic Sri Lankan lunch in her beautiful home.

This evening you will set out to explore the bustling city of Kandy, strolling through the live market that sells just about everything – fruit, vegetable, meats and groceries.
This evening you will feast on yet another favourite – hoppers, prepared as a simple pancake batter with coconut milk and a splash of palm wine with an egg or plain and eaten with a selection of curries and sambol.

Day 08

Breakfast will be served on the Verandah.

We have two options for travelling to your next destination.

  • Take the domestic flight to Galle (1.5 hours) - recommended
  • Drive to Galle (five hours)

Your drive will take you along the southern expressway (2.5 hours) from Colombo. 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.

Spend the afternoon at leisure and dine at any one of the restaurants that serve a clay-pot meal of rice and curry.

Evening stroll along the ramparts and catch a spectacular sunset over the ocean. Try out the street food in the Fort and the pickled fruit sold by the local sellers.

Day 09

This morning we will set off on a whale watching expedition. On your return, try the spiced egg curry, dhal and fish curry with yet another favourite - roast paan, flat crusty baked bread for breakfast.
Spend your morning at leisure.

Your experience will be incomplete without a meal of biriyani, a favourite among the Muslim community where the rice is cooked with meat, followed by a dessert of Watalappam, a classic dessert prepared with cardamom spiced coconut custard and palm sugar.

In the afternoon - you will stroll through the busy streets of Galle Fort with your chauffeur guide, absorbing its history. High tea at the Fort Bazaar hotel is a mouth-watering experience.

The Reggae Bar & Café is popular for their seafood menu; scampi, fish and octopus served with fries and a fresh salad and their chocolate pancakes for dessert is a must.

Day 10

After breakfast, proceed to Colombo (2.5 hours).

En route you will visit the Virgin white tea factory, which includes a tasting experience at the end of the tour, followed by a visit to the art village in Ambalangoda - watch deft hands weaving intricate lace patterns and the pottery wheels in action.

Settle into your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.
This evening we will set off on a night cycling experience in the bustling streets of Colombo with a three-course street food dinner served at the end of the tour at the Galle Face Green.

Local attractions: the Navam Perahera (1st Mar 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.

Day 11

We will take you to the airport, to arrive two-three hours before your flight home.

Add on

  • A list of a few activities you may want to add on to your experience:
  • In and around Negombo & Colombo –Lagoon fishing / Tea Tasting in Colombo / diving to explore ship wrecks in Mount Lavinia
  • In and around Kandy – Visit a spice garden / Peradeniya Botanical Gardens / Hike into Udawatte Kelle Sanctuary / Temple loop experience / Garrison cemetery / Knuckles Mountain Trek
  • In and around Galle – Mask making at the Art Village / Hike in the Sinharaja forest reserve / Ruhumassala 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.
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Enjoy a kaleidoscope of flavours in Sri Lanka!