The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Red Dot's Sri Lanka & Kerala Combo allows travellers to enjoy the best that Sri Lanka can offer – ancient cities, tea-growing hills, shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean, sun kissed beaches - as well as a hop across to Kerala to experience the sights and sounds of Kochi, Alappuzha, and Kumarakom. We have selected unique accommodation for this itinerary.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer directly to the Cultural Triangle and then rest up after your flight. The next morning, explore Polonnaruwa’s ancient ruins. Polonnaruwa became Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital in 1073 and remained the capital until the late 13C. Explore Dambulla’s cave temple with its rock ceiling of ancient frescoes. This cave temple has the largest number of Buddha statues all housed in one place, including a 14 meter recumbent Buddha carved out of the rock. Located nearby is the Sigiriya Rock Fortress built in the 5C by King Kasyapa, considered by some to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. Go elephant spotting in Minneriya game park.
Today you journey to Sri Lanka's hill capital, the small lakeside city of Kandy. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined since 4C AD. The temple has decorative walls, a golden roof and fine woodwork. Religious services are held daily at dawn, midday, and in the evening where guests can participate. The services are accompanied with traditional music and drumming. Many other experiences can be discussed on request.
Travel on into Sri Lanka’s tea-growing highlands. Temperatures in Sri Lanka's hill country are akin to an early English summer's day and you can go trekking, cycling, canoeing or just soak up the magnificent scenery. An all-night climb up Adam's Peak is another that we could offer by special request.
After breakfast, travel to the golden beaches of the south coast. Explore Galle’s 17th century Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its well-preserved Dutch period buildings, maze of narrow roads lined with quaint houses, and a growing collection of art galleries, antique shops and restaurants. Those wanting the sun and surf, there are several fine beaches in the area, including Unawatuna and Mirissa, which also offer a variety of water sports.
Leave early in the morning to the airport to catch your flight to Kerala and arrive mid-morning in Kochi, an ancient trading port since at least Roman times. Explore Kochi's Fort with a guided tour: the highlights of which include Mattancherry Palace - a gift to the Raja of Kochi back in 1557, St. Francis Church - first built in 1510, the resting place of Vasco de Gama, and a magnificent synagogue dating back to 1568. During the evening you can watch a Kathakali dance performance – a vibrant, colourful and spellbinding 400-year dance-drama.
After breakfast you will have another two hours to cruise as you head for Kumarakom, an island on the large Lake Vembanad that is blessed with an idyllic location. The area has attracted several exotic hotels offering backwater and Ayurveda holidays. There is also a wonderful bird sanctuary.
Our association with Kerala Backwaters means we can offer good-quality houseboats of all sizes at competitive rates.
Heritance Kandalama is a minimalist contemporary hotel cleverly designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s famous architecture guru. Bawa conceived this famous Sri Lankan hotel as 'an austere jungle palace’ located on the bund of an ancient 3rd century reservoir and captures the surrounding magical views from every angle
Cinnamon Citadel offers some of the most luxurious accommodation in Kandy. Now part of the highly-reputable Cinnamon brand, it provides tranquil riverside surroundings a 15-minute drive from the bustle of Kandy centre. Days begin to birdsong and perhaps a warm mist rolling away from the river.
Strathdon by Jetwing (formerly Mandira Strathdon) is a colonial-style bungalow in the outskirts of Watawala just minutes from Dickoya in the south-west highlands. Flanked by three giant bamboo groves, it has a balcony terrace with spectacular mountain views and modern comforts. It sleeps 10 and can be booked in whole or part.
Fort Bazaar an 18-room luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Galle Fort. Inspired by Portuguese heritage and contemporary design, this is a must-visit place in the Fort.
Malabar House has a zestful combination of eastern and western styles. Comprises two 18C colonial-style villas built around a courtyard which also includes a much-praised Mediterranean-emphasis restaurant, the Malabar Junction.
Coconut Lagoon is an appealing hotel on the shores of Lake Vembenad offering heritage styled rooms, tropical gardens and fantastic local cuisine. Ideal for a final stop on a Keralan stay.
Red Dot selects only the best accommodation in Sri Lanka, in its particular price range. Please suggest which of the three categories might most appeal to you. (You can tick more than one box).
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