The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Our Sri Lanka food and drink holiday - Flavours of Sri Lanka – offers you the chance not only to taste but to cook some of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated dishes. This mouth-watering tour has been designed with the help of experts from Food & Travel magazine, and along the way you also get the opportunity to feast upon the beauty and history of the island. Sri Lanka’s tropical climate ensures an abundance of fresh vegetables, coconuts, fruit and spices, and the Indian Ocean delivers an array of fresh fish and seafood too. Try the huge variety of traditional curries throughout Sri Lanka, including hawker stall favourites; explore spice and fruit plantations in the lowlands and tea plantations in the hills; indulge in the freshest seafood while on the coast, and also sample some award-winning modern fusion cooking. Simply delectable.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, head south to the nearby capital of Colombo. This is a compact and relaxed city, abounding with confidence and ambition once more. Kick-start your tour by joining a genial Sri Lankan host who will give you a professional cooking class on the terrace of her own home. Your host’s no-fuss approach means that the art of curry making is easy to replicate at home. After cooking you will sit down to enjoy lunch together.
Discover the journey of this famous drink that has had a presence in Sri Lanka since 1867. Hit the streets to learn about Colombo street food or consider a meal at one of Colombo's top restaurants, led (but by no means the only choice) by the wonderfully atmospheric Gallery Café and Ministry of Crab. You might like to check out our Colombo restaurant guide.
Take an early domestic flight from Colombo to Jaffna, on Sri Lanka's northern tip. Jaffna cuisine is renowned for its use of the fresh seafood readily available along the coast, particularly the signature dish: crab curry. Learn the secrets to cleaning fresh sea crabs and all the secrets to preparing a traditional Jaffna crab curry. To finish off the experience, sit down to one of the best crab curry meals you’ll have while in Sri Lanka. Spend the rest of the day exploring Jaffna town where sacred Hindu kovils dedicated to various gods are found in every street corner. Visit the ruins of Jaffna Fort, stroll around the bustling markets and snack in small local eateries and cafes. During the migrant birding season from September to March, flamingos and other water birds in their thousands line the Jaffna lagoon: a spectacular site not to be missed.
The following day, board a small boat to Delft Island, a remote and charming island where wild horses, left by the Portuguese, graze the barren plains. Delft Island - located in the Palk Strait, between India’s state of Tamil Nadu and the Northern part of Sri Lanka – is about as remote as it gets in Sri Lanka. View the old Delft Fort, an ancient Baobab tree and learn how Palmyra toddy and crafts are made with local farmers. End the day with a simple lunch with a local pastor and his wife at their humble home. You may like to round it off with a relaxing swim by an undeveloped beach.
Travel south by car to The Cultural Triangle where the chance to look upon the ruins of Polonnuruwa or Anuradhapura, and a potential clamber up the awe-inspiring Sigiriya rock as the heat falls out of the tea gives you an experience of Sri Lankan culture. Spend the next village at a remote village near Habarana – an area the locals call ‘God’s village,’ that is said to have been a refuge of King Wasaba (66-110 AD). Take a tractor journey alongside paddy fields, through miniature forests and vegetable and fruit plantations and stop along the way refreshing fruit slices and native aromatic herbal brews served in coconut shells. The journey also includes a feast of fresh vegetables harvested from the fields you have just explored, prepared in Sri Lanka’s traditional clay cooking pots and served on a lotus leaf.
Break your journey towards the hills near Matale where you can rest on a serene 50-acre organic farm with mountain views, midway between Dambulla and Kandy. Eat farm-fresh produce either in the privacy of your own villa or on a convivial group dining table. A restful day which allows you the chance to read on your terrace or take a swim in tranquil surroundings.
This morning you will wind your way into the heart of Sri Lanka's hill country. If you wish you can savour the Tea Experience at a hill country tea factory and take a stroll through a tea plantation to discover gorgeous mountain vistas once gazed upon by the great tea entrepreneurs in colonial times. We have a range of activities to consider building into your stay in this cooler and entrancing climate.
Journey to the south coast and relax by its cove-like beaches and turquoise seas. Here, fresh seafood is brought ashore soon after dawn by local fishermen and buffalo are a reminder of the region's penchant for fresh curd and treacle. Fusion cuisine dominates the boutique hotels as Western and Asian influences enter Sri Lankan cooking in an innovative burst of styles. For the more active, Mirissa Water Sports, based at the Mirissa harbour offers several activities including whale watching, snorkelling, sailing, river trips, and sea kayaking.
Travel along the picturesque southern coast to the historic city of Galle. En route learn about the growing of cinnamon, particularly suited to the gentle coastal hills of southern Sri Lanka. This major export of Sri Lanka is used in both cooking and medicine. A local planter will take you on a tour of a cinnamon plantation. Try your hand at cinnamon peeling and visit a cinnamon factory.
After visiting the vibrant Galle Market, journey along the river towards a secluded rural village and learn how to make a variety of traditional Sri Lankan dishes in the cool of a wattle-and-daub hut. Hours can be also spent exploring the maze of narrow streets in Galle Fort, lined with colonial-period buildings, sturdy ramparts looking out to sea, and a collection of art and antique shops, cafes and restaurants. Later that evening, head up the motorway to the airport, full of good food and wonderful memories.
Cinnamon Grand has a touch of grandeur and opulence which has long made it a favourite among Colombo five-stars. Central location, great restaurants and the added convenience of an adjoining shopping mall
Located in the Northern peninsula of Sri Lanka, Jetwing Jaffna offers 55 stylish bedrooms, impeccable hospitality and great cuisine.
Heritance Kandalama is a minimalist contemporary hotel cleverly designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s famous architecture guru.
Jim’s Farm Villas is an escapist retreat set on a strikingly attractive, 50-acre coconut and spice estate near Matale. With Kandy and Dambulla both about an hour away, it offers a hill-country atmosphere in an entirely secluded setting
The Dutch House is a two-bedroom villa perched on a hillock overlooking Bandarawela town at a distance and surrounded by mountains. Set on a two-acre garden filled with fruit trees and flowering plants, this highly-praised boutique property is flourishing again under new Sri Lankan owners.
KK Beach is a beachfront boutique hotel in Habaraduwa, 2.5 hours from Colombo offering stylish accommodation with a stunning view of the Indian Ocean.
Fort Bazaar is 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.
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