Sri Lankan cinnamon is some of the purest cinnamon grown in the world, and it was this coveted spice which drew the Portuguese to the island in the early 16th century. First spread across the globe by Arab traders during the days of the Silk Roads, the value of Sri Lankan cinnamon was quickly realized, and when the Dutch colonisers took power from the Portuguese they developed cinnamon plantations on the gentle hills of the island’s south coast and Sri Lanka’s cinnamon industry flourished. The spice remains one of Sri Lanka’s major exports and is used widely in traditional Sri Lankan cooking and in the island’s Ayurvedic oils and medicines.
Take a tour of one of Sri Lanka’s southern cinnamon plantations and learn how the spice is grown, picked and manufactured: after a short walk through the plantation, watch the skilled workers demonstrate how to peel the cinnamon quills (and have a go yourself!) before heading to the nearby cinnamon factory to see how it is processed and packaged. Finish the tour with a cinnamon-themed four course lunch at Kahanda Kanda, which offers astonishingly beautiful views of the surrounding landscape from its open-sided dining pavilion. Your guide for this experience has a strong accent when speaking English – if you are struggling to understand him at any point, let him know and he will be only too happy to repeat things and slow his speaking down.