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Spice Trails in Sri Lanka

We invite you to come and experience a remarkable culinary adventure! Infuse your palette with exotic flavours and visit iconic attractions to enjoy a memorable vacation. Dining in Sri Lanka is an exciting experience as you delve into its fascinating history and culture.

day Location/Route duration Overnight
Day 01 Arrival and transfer to hotel in Negombo One night in Negombo Value: Goldi Sands
Signature: Jetwing Beach
Day 02 Negombo to Hatton Two nights in Hatton Value: Mandira Dickoya
Signature: Camellia Hills
Day 03 Hatton Cookery demonstration and an evening of leisure Value: Mandira Dickoya
Signature: Camellia Hills
Day 04 Hatton to Ella One night in Ella Value: Mountain Heavens
Signature: 98 Acres
Day 05 Ella to Mirissa Two nights in Mirissa Value: Mandara
Signature: Lantern
Day 06 Mirissa Last night in Mirissa Value: Mandara
Signature: Lantern
Day 07 Mirissa to Colombo One night in Colombo Value: OZO Colombo
Signature: Galle Face Hotel
Day 08 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

This morning we will take a scenic drive into the mountains to tea country (four hours). You will be driving along the main road that runs through picturesque waterfalls, small towns and tea plantations.

Enjoy a refreshing cup of fresh ginger tea (a local favourite accompanied with a bun).

Settle into the bungalow, rest and relax from the journey.

Evening at leisure, look out onto a mesmerizing vista of tea clad mountains and the tea-pluckers busy with their day’s pick.
We recommend dinner at the Railway lodge restaurant this evening – do not miss the pancakes!

Day 03

After breakfast we will stroll through the local tea plantations followed by a visit to the local tea factory. You will also be visiting a coffee plantation in the area. The British before tea introduced coffee to Ceylon.

We recommend heading to the Tea Hills restaurant for a home cooked authentic Sri Lankan lunch. They also prepare a few mouth-watering deserts each day to accompany the meals.
Weather permitting this evening; you may head off on a boat ride in the Castlereagh reservoir.

Day 04

This morning after breakfast we will be heading to Ella (3.5 hours).

Settle into your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.

This evening we recommend heading up little Adam’s Peak to experience a beautiful sunset. We will be making a quick stop en route at the curd shop to taste the fresh local curd served in terracotta pots with thick treacle, before we head back.

A recommended option for dinner is the Rotti Hut located down town, where you will be served with a selection of rotti that comes in a variety of flavours and ample portions.

Day 05

Breakfast will be served on the Verandah.
We have two options for travelling to your next destination.

  • Take the domestic flight to Koggala (1.5 hours) – recommended.
  • Drive to Mirissa (5 hours).

Do feel free to speak to the chauffeur if you wish to make a pit stop en route 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.

Day 06

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.

This 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 are a must try.

Day 07

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 08

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 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.
  • Holidays by Design terms and conditions (
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Let the local flavours add essence to your vacation!