Overview

Pro Vacation invites you to an exclusive Gastronomic Sri Lanka tour for a chance to experience the culinary delights of this vibrant island nation. Influenced by its history of trade and colonisation, Sri Lankan cuisine is linked to Indian, Dutch and Indonesian food by way of ingredients and cooking techniques. Coconut, spices and rice feature prominently and local traditions dictate diet preferences. Whet your appetite for some of the most flavourful food you have ever tasted, with a cooking class in Kandy, tea tasting and herb tour in Mulleriyawa, fishing and curd making in Weerawila and trips to fresh produce markets. Step carefully through the fragrant tea gardens at Amba Estate. Learn about the biodiversity that supports Sri Lanka’s climate and lifestyle at Bundala National Park and the turtle hatchery in Rekawa. You will also have a chance to see some of Sri Lanka’s beautiful countryside as well as its cosmopolitan cities like Kandy, Galle and Colombo. Explore the ancient Buddhist cave temples of Mulkirigala and see the supposedly second-largest blowhole in the world. Witness the history that has shaped Sri Lanka’s cuisine to its present-day eclectic mix. Bon appétit!

9 Nights 10 Days 08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec, and more Bandaranaike Airport
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • Hotel or homestay accommodation
  • All meals as specified in itinerary
  • Airport transfers and local transport via luxury car or train
  • All local permits
  • Entry to ticketed exhibitions and tours mentioned in the itinerary
  • Guided tours mentioned in the itinerary

What is NOT included in the tour

  • International air travel
  • Any meal not specified in the itinerary, any meal-extras like soft beverages and alcohol
  • Additional services like spa treatments and massages
  • Personal purchases of any kind, including medication
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips and fines for contravening local laws
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Cooking class in a Kandy kitchen
  • Tour of Amba Tea Estate and tea-tasting
  • Fishing and buffalo curd making in Weerawila
  • Visit to Bundala National Park and the turtle hatchery in Rekawa
  • Sightseeing in Kandy, Galle, Colombo
  • A mouth-watering variety of dishes from Sri Lanka’s rich cuisine
Itinerary
Day 1 (Arrival at Horathapola Estate and Mulleriyawa tea and herb tour) (-, L, D)
  • On arriving at Bandaranaike International Airport, plunge into Sri Lanka’s culinary landscape with a tea and herb tour in Mulleriyawa, a short distance from Colombo. Sri Lankan tea is one of the world’s best and this is an opportunity to get a glimpse into its processing and packaging industry. Tour the factories and warehouses where the latest machinery is used to bring a box of Ceylon black tea to a store near you. Sri Lankan tea is particularly popular for iced tea bases, all over the world. Your tour of the tea and herb factories will end with a tea-tasting session. Learn the finer points of discerning nuances in flavour and fragrance from industry experts.
  • In the late afternoon, enjoy a pleasant drive to Horathapola Estate, a luxury bungalow in Sri Lanka’s verdant countryside. The colonial-era building opens up to beautifully manicured gardens, a swimming pool, a hot tub and miles of farmland where a variety of crops are organically grown. Spend the evening exploring the estate and working up an appetite for dinner. Enjoy a meal of steamed rice, coconut sambol and mutton curry made with the freshest ingredients.
Day 2 (Visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and a cooking class in Kandy) (B, L, D)
  • Fill up on some steaming egg hoppers (pan-fried or steamed batter of fermented rice flour) in preparation for the drive to Kandy. Make a detour at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage—a unique habitat, nursery and captive breeding ground for Asian elephants. Created to care for orphaned wild young elephants, the herd here has young calves as well as adults who act as foster parents to the young ones.
  • In Kandy, check in to your hotel and visit to the marketplace for fresh vegetables. Your haul will prove useful in the cooking class that you’ll be participating in. Learn to cook kottu (a spicy stir-fry with shredded roti and vegetables) and aluwa (sweet rice flour and cashew nut pastries) at a local kitchen. This is an opportunity to observe a number of Sri Lankan cooking techniques and share the meal and swap stories with your host. In the evening, visit the iconic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in time for ceremonial worship and end the day with some succulent black pork curry at a nearby restaurant.
Day 3 (Shopping in Kandy and a tour of Tamarind Gardens at Digana) (B, L, D)
  • In the late morning, go digging for treasure in the markets of Kandy for spices, cashew nuts, antiques and jewels. For lunch, you’ll be driving to Tamarind Gardens in Digana. Tamarind Gardens is a self-sustaining farming homestay on the Victoria reservoir. It is a community-based project aimed at helping the residents of the area find stable employment and income. Local cuisine, cooked and served in clay pots are a hallmark of Tamarind Gardens. In the afternoon, you are welcome to assist the villagers in their daily chores like milking cows, shelling tamarind, weeding in the greenhouse, etc. At your own expense, you may avail of high tea, another highlight of Tamarind Gardens, with their signature golden scones and fresh dairy cream and jam. A catamaran ride along the Mahaweli river is a perfect way to end the evening. Return to Kandy for a dance and drumming performance at your hotel over dinner.
Day 4 (Tour of Amba Estate) (B, L, D)
  •  After having observed the industrial aspect of tea processing and packaging at Mulleriyawa, it’s time to pay a visit to the site of cultivation. The tour takes you through the hill country of Nuwara Eliya and to your next stop, the Amba Estate in the Ambadandegama Valley. Close to the original Lipton estate purchased by Sir Thomas Lipton in the late 19th century, Amba Estate is experimenting with sustainability and social enterprise in the most concrete terms—it shares 10% of its revenue (not just profit) with its workers. Spend the day touring the beautiful gardens and processing units, understanding the delicate operation of growing and picking tea leaves, tea-tasting and learning about different flavor profiles achieved through different kinds of soil and irrigation practices; and stay the night at Amba Estate’s 100-year-old farmhouse.
Day 5 (Fishing and buffalo curd making in Weerawila) (B, L, D)
  • After a breakfast of kiribath (savoury rice pudding) at Amba Estate, drive down to the coast, t o Weerawila. Weerawila gives you the chance to really immerse yourself in traditional village life in coastal Sri Lanka. You will be staying in mud huts and rod-fishing for a barbecue in the evening. Spend the afternoon helping the villagers make buffalo curd, a robust cottage industry in these parts. The freshly made curd is a delicious dessert! Go for a boat ride or bicycling in the nearby town. In the evening, savour the fish you caught earlier, roasted in the open air over a charcoal fire. The nights are peaceful with only the sounds of nature around you, allowing for a restful deep sleep.
Day 6 (Visit to Bundala National Park and Rekawa turtle hatchery) (B, L, D)
  • Early in the morning, you’re off to Bundala National Park, an Important Bird Area and a major nesting ground for migratory water birds. These wetlands receive flocks of flamingos, spoonbills, storks, waterfowl amid resident mammals like the Asian elephant, leopard, pangolin and toque macaque and reptiles like the estuarine crocodile and star tortoise. Home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, non-vertebrates, butterflies and flora, the park was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2005 by UNESCO.
  • After lunch, make your way to the Rekawa turtle hatchery and conservation project. The Turtle Conservation Project is dedicated to protecting the laying grounds, eggs and young hatchlings from predators and human encroachment. It is home to 5 species of turtles- Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Leatherback and Olive Ridley. If you’re lucky, you may catch a mother turtle guarding her eggs.
  • Finally, remove to Tangalle for the night. Check in to your hotel and refresh yourself with a thambili off the tree. Thambili is a king coconut, indigenous to Sri Lanka and sweeter than other coconuts. Order some string hoppers and a light seafood broth for dinner.
Day 7 (Leisure time in Tangalle) (B, L, D)
  • Take a break and spend a day at the beach. Dip your feet into the ocean and soak up the sun. Observe the fishermen bringing in the day’s catch and enjoy a drink of arrack and some spicy fried crab at a beachside café. You have the option of an afternoon trip to the Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara, an ancient Buddhist monastery. The arduous ascent to the peak passes valuable murals, a Buddha statue, living quarters, cave temples and a library, in which the pamphlets key to translating Mahawamsa, the Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, had been found. On the way back, make a stop at the Hummanaya Blowhole, the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka. Seawater gushes in through an underwater cave and is pushed out through the blowhole. The resulting fountain of water shoots up to a height of 25m. Explore the Tangalle market for some fresh fruit in the evening and watch a live cooking demonstration with dinner.
Day 8 (Sightseeing in Galle) (B, L, D)
  • Skip breakfast at the Tangalle hotel as you’ll be stopping for some of Sri Lanka’s famou s ‘short eats’ at Matara on the way to Galle. Short eats are snacks bought by the dozen (usually) from bakeries and include a variety of pastries, spring rolls, and savoury patties. Fill up on mutton rolls, ulundu vade and swiss rolls before hopping over to see Dondra Head Lighthouse, at the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. The massive expanse of the Indian Ocean is an awe-inspiring sight.
  • On arriving in Galle, check in to your hotel and set out to explore the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once a Dutch stronghold, tourists can walk around the ramparts of this exceedingly well-maintained medieval fort. Admire the range of architectural styles and religious influences as you walk around Galle, with the Meera mosque, the Japanese Peace Pagoda, the Dutch Reformed Church and Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya. In the evening, stroll along the sands of Unawatuna beach and enjoy the sea breeze. Dinner will be at The Fort Printers, one of the best restaurants in Galle.
Day 9 (Shopping and sightseeing in Colombo) (B, L, D)
  • After breakfast, drive to Colombo, the last stop on your itinerary. Catch up on shopping in the morning at Laksala, the state-run handicrafts emporium. While Laksala offers all kinds of toys, decorative items and jewellery made out of wood, buffalo horn, reed and coconut shell, The Barefoot Gallery is known for its handloom fabric garments, notebooks, table and bed linen, etc. Indulge in some northern cuisine for lunch at a specialised café with chilli crab and Jaffna omelettes. Visit the National Museum of Colombo, in the afternoon, to see the crown jewels and throne of the last Sinhala king and take a walk through the imposing colonial buildings of the Colombo Fort area. Bar-hop through Colombo’s chicest pubs in the evening and finish with a farewell dinner at your hotel. The occasion calls for lamprais, a Dutch-influenced dish of twice-cooked rice, meat, curry, etc wrapped in banana leaves.
Day 10 (Departure from Colombo) (B, -, -)
  • It is time for the final meal of this tour—the mouth-watering breakfast buffet spread at your hotel. Linger over a last cup of fine Ceylon tea before checking out. We will convey you to Bandaranaike International Airport for the return journey. ProVacation hopes to see you again!
Pickup point
Directions.
Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), Canada Friendship Rd, Katunayake, Sri Lanka View on Map