Hill Country Tour No. 300 D
Day 1 Colombo
Stay in Colombo at the Best Western Hotel Elyon, in the afternoon city tour. Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka with a population of 1,1 million. The Fort, in the very centre of the city, is where most of the colonial remnants, mainly from the British era are still to be found. Nearby Pettah is Colombo's busiest and most traditional bazaar, a mosaic of human activities and architectural memories. Cinnamon Gardens is the most prestigious residential area.
Day 2 Colombo - Kandy
After breakfast you leave Colombo and the coast and drive along a busy highway into the interior of the island, past paddy fields, palm groves and coconut plantations. In Pinnewela you visit the elephant orphanage, where about seventy elephants are well looked after, mostly young animals that have been found throughout the country sick and abandoned by their herd and brought to Pinnewela. If you are lucky, you can watch the feeding or the daily bath in the river of the jumbos.
After this visit the road begins to ascend gradually. Another stop will be made at a spice garden; where you see many unknown trees, bushes and plants. After this stop you will enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the central highland with its hills and mountains. At noon you reach, the old royal city of Kandy situated at 500 m, beautifully nestled between green hills. In its very centre lies a small artificial lake and the palace of the last Singhalese king which has become a temple and the most holiest shrine in Sri Lanka, where the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is highly venerated. Check-in at the Hotel Suisse or Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy.
In the late afternoon short city tour of Kandy with visit to a lapidary. In the evening we shall pay a visit to the temple of the holy tooth. After the temple visit you have the opportunity to attend a dance performance, where you will see the famous Kandyan dances, as well as up-country and devil dances. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 3 Kandy
In the morning after breakfast visit of the world famous Botanical Garden Peradeniya. The park dates back to 1371 under the reign of king Vikrama Bahu III when he held court here. The English put the cornerstone of the present garden in 1821. During the Second World War the garden served as the headquarters of Earl Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in Southeast Asia who became later the last Viceroy of India. You will find in the garden a very large variety of orchids, spice trees, palms, bushes, as well as tropical plants and flowers of all type.
Return to your hotel. Afternoon free for personal activities. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 4 Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast you leave Kandy from Peradeniya the road starts to ascend steadily and at noon, shortly before reaching Nuwara Eliya, you will have climbed 1'500 m. You are now in the tea country; wherever you look, you will see tea plantations, the rich full green of thousands and thousands of tea bushes. And out of the green in regular intervals the white coloured tea factories will enchant your eyes. Occasionally you can see a few rice fields and near the villages, vegetable plantations or gardens.
Whenever possible we shall do our best to organize your trip from Peradeniya to Nanuoya by train. A journey by train through the tea country, past waterfalls, mountain creeks and through the tea plantations is something very special!! With no more than 40 km the train drives uphill and masters the severest inclines by means of impressive tunnels. - Your driver brings you in Peradeniya to the railroad station and waits for you upon your arrival in Nanuoya (at about 2 PM). The drive from Nanuoya up to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya takes about half an hour.
The small resort town of Nuwara Eliya, situated at 2070 m above sea level, lies on a little lake and is surrounded by mountains covered over and over by tea bushes. At the town boundaries there are a lot of vegetable plantations and flower fields, but also along the roads of Nuwara Eliya and in most of its gardens flowers are blooming.
Check-in for dinner and overnight at the Hotel Galway Forest or Hotel Avian Breeze, Nuwara Eliya. Should it not be possible to take the train, the journey up to Nuwara Eliya will be done by car. In the afternoon you would have the opportunity to visit the Hakgala botanical garden with its collection of sub-tropical trees, bushes and smaller plants and its well-known rose garden.
Day 5 Horton Plains
After breakfast in the hotel, you leave for an excursion to the Horton Plains, the most beautiful plateau in Sri Lanka. The variety of its manifold tropical and sub-tropical flowers, plants, bushes, trees, birds, and butterflies are remarkable. A walk over the plateau to World's End, considered the finest view in all of Sri Lanka, is a must, here the terrific escarpment drops vertically for about 1500 m. On a clear day one can see the Indian Ocean about 80 km to the south. You can choose to return to the hotel for noon or take your lunch package at your cost with you and stay longer on the plateau. Today you will also visit a tea factory where you will learn in details, how the green tea leaves are treated to become high quality Ceylon Tea.
Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Galway Forest Lodge or Hotel Avian Breeze, Nuwara Eliya.
Day 6 Nuwara Eliya - Hendala (Colombo)
You leave Nuwara Eliya after breakfast and drive in western direction towards the coast, passing at first tea and vegetable plantations, waterfalls, forests and small settlements. From the descending road you have now and then a fabulous panoramic view to the surrounding mountains and hills and into the many valleys. After reaching the plain you see again paddy fields, coconut and rubber plantations. - In the evening you reach after Colombo Hendala. Check-in and overnight at the Pegasus Reef Hotel just north of Colombo.
Day 7 Hendala (Colombo)
Breakfast at your hotel and end of tour
Important : Instead of returning to Colombo, you can directly drive to the south-west coast for beach holidays. But you can also extend your stay for a few days in Nuwara Eliya to play golf, to do trout fishing or for hiking etc.
The prices are on request and include bed and breakfast in Colombo and Hendala and half board (Breakfast & dinner) on the tour, transport in air-conditioned car with English speaking driver/guide from Colombo and again back to Colombo. The entrance fees to the to the sites mentioned are not included. As the operators pay the same prices as the guests, it makes sense that the guests pay these fees direct on the spot. The entrance fees per person amount to about USD 75.00, children up to 12 years pay half.
On the 24th December and 31st December inclusive of gala dinner.
During the Kandy Perahera in August.