Places Covered : Colombo airport – Negombo -Dambulla – Knuckles Range – Kandy -Nuwara Eliya – Bandarawela – Colombo
* Discover “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean”
* Discover and learn the local professional cooking techniques
* Visit the Temple of the Tooth and the Lion’s Rock
* Enjoy the Negombo Beach
* Ride a typical train through the beautiful tea plantations
Sri Lanka is commonly called “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean” for its flora and fauna as well as for its historical remains. Travelers will enjoy the tropical atmosphere of this beautiful island, and its diversity, from the bustling, busy city streets of Colombo to the quiet tranquility of Buddhist temple. From the beautiful beaches and the misty mountains to the wild safari parks, you will see smiling, friendly faces everywhere.
This tour has been created for world food lovers who want to discover new flavors and learn local and professional cooking techniques. You will have the opportunity to study and learn the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine from both a famous hotel chef and a local house wife in the hill country.
Sri Lankan food is known for its “rice and curry”, a daily dish made up of white rice, several vegetable curries and a meat or fish curry. You will also enjoy several other specialties, such as fish and seafood of which the island has plenty.
Enjoy this culinary tailor-made tour, a great way to discover and understand the culture of a country!
Arrival – Colombo airport – Negombo (37 km – 30 min)
Arrive at Bandaranaike airport, where our representative welcomes you. A short drive of 30 minutes brings you to Negombo Beach. Transfer to your hotel and relax. Optional activities are water sports or a boat ride on the lagoon.
Negombo – Dambulla (130 km – 2h30)
Early morning, visit Negombo fish market, bustling everyday (except on Sunday because in Negombo, most of the population is Christian). Select the choicest sea food with your culinary guide to prepare for your lunch. Proceed to the hotel kitchen, where you can enjoy a cooking demonstration, followed by a delicious seafood meal.
After lunch, drive towards Dambulla crossing beautiful countryside. On the way, enjoy Sri Lanka’s lush landscapes: rice paddy fields, coconut plantations and mountains. Arrive at Dambulla, a religious site of five caves, painted and decorated with statues of Buddha. Enjoy an amazing view of the surrounding coutryside from the top of the hill. Transfer to your hotel. Relax and overnight.
Mid-morning, you visit a spice garden. Take the opportunity to discover a multitude of spices and learn about their uses, from cooking to body care. You proceed towards Habarana for a village lunch. First ride to a countryside house on a bullock cart across the paddy fields for 20min. Enjoy a local rice and curry meal adapted to your delicate palate and discover some cooking techniques with the lady of the house. Meet with your driver and go to Sigiriya (about 30 min drive), whose massive rock is called “Lion’s rock” and is 200 meters high. Your guide show you the site: the gardens and caves at the bottom, the famous frescoes of the ladies painted on the cave wall . Once you reach the top, you can also see the ruins of the ancient palace. This site owes its reputation to a megalomaniac king who built his residence here in the 10th century. It is also ranked as UNESCO site and is the most visited cultural site in Sri Lanka. Transfer to your hotel and night.
Dambulla – Knuckles Range
Today is a slower-paced day. Drive towards the Knuckles Range, a mountainous area scattered with tea plantations. Arrive at your luxury homestay and have lunch.
Visit a tea factory in the afternoon and have a walk in a tea plantation. Transfer to your accommodation and start dinner preparations with the chef. The large kitchen enables you to take part in the preparation of the dishes, inspired by Sri Lankan food and seasonal ingredients. After the meal, relax on the terrace under the moonlight, and overnight.
Knuckles Range – Kandy
Drive to Kandy, the last royal capital of the island. Go for a city tour, starting with the Temple of the Tooth, a holy Buddhist temple. It is located in the royal palace complex and houses a relic of the tooth of Buddha. Afterwards, walk around the lake or take a small boat ride (optional). Then explore the vegetable market near the lake, very lively and though sometimes full of pushy vendors, the diversity of products and the atmosphere make it a worthwhile visit. Transfer to your hotel in the afternoon and relax.
Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (80 km – 1h20)
In the morning, proceed to Nuwara Eliya, the highest town in Sri Lanka, known as the country’s vegetable garden. On the way, stop at Ramboda Falls and at Kothmale Reservoir’s view point. The temperature here is cooler and very much appreciated by locals during the Sinhalese and Tamil new year in April. Visit a vegetable garden and buy vegetables at the local market to cook for yourself. It is time to practice after the lessons you have had. A cook is here to help you. For others, a stroll in the city or a game of golf are other options.
Nuwara Eliya – Bandarawela (50 km – 1h)
You proceed towards the middle of the mountainous area and discover the stunning view of the valley below Haputale. Then you visit a tea factory and go to Lipton’s seat, where the genius of tea used to sit and contemplate his land. Have a walk. Then transfer to your luxury homestay for a cosy evening.
After breakfast, meet with your culinary guide, Deen, at the market, to buy the ingredients for lunch. Take a two hour hike through rice paddies and gardens, arrive at his home and prepare the now familiar Sri Lankan meal with his wife. In the afternoon, relax in your hotel’s garden or at the swimming pool.
Bandarawela – Colombo
Go for a train ride and enjoy the wonderful views of the landscape from the train (not included). Your driver meets you half-way and drives you to Colombo. Transfer to your hotel and have dinner at one of the many good restaurants in the city (not included).
Colombo – End of Tour
Discover Colombo, the economic capital of the country, with its colonial remains such as the Portuguese fort area or the British colonial houses. Take the opportunity to enjoy shopping before leaving. Transfer to the international airport. This is the end of your trip to one of the world’s most beautiful islands.