Sri Lanka: Countryside to Coast

A lush tropical island with nothing below it but the huge expanse of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a hive of energy. Visit fifth century fortresses, learn how tea is made and explore gorgeous beach front villages, all while staying in some of our favorite hotels in the world. We are the experts when it comes to Sri Lanka so can say with confidence that on this 10 night trip you’ll be completely charmed by this little Asian nation, just like we are.  And if you don’t believe us – just click on the gallery above, a picture says a thousand words after all.

Explore ancient monuments

Chauffeured by your own driver throughout, this adventure begins with three nights at the Cultural Triangle. Hole up at the sun-drenched Ulagalla Resort; a retreat with thatched bungalow on stilts floating above paddy fields. By day, visit some of Sri Lanka’s oldest historic monuments (think ancient wall paintings, climbing immense historical rocks, and rebuilding history in a UNESCO world heritage site) and unwind in your private plunge pool to catch some essential vacation sun. With a wine cellar and a lagoon for you to kayak on at your desire, you’ll be completely immersed in the authentic beauty of this Sri Lankan gem.

Make this itinerary yours

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Next, take an elephant safari in Minneriya, see the ancient Buddhist caves temples of Dambulla or the city of Polonnaruawa (which you may recognise from Duran Duran’s Save a Prayer video if you’re a fan) before heading off for a brief stop in Kandy. Spend the day visiting Buddha’s tooth (yes, really) or exploring the stunning botanical gardens, where Giant Java trees have branches so wide they need stilts to stay up. Then, relax by the pool at the romantic Kandy House sipping locally grown tea: quaint, colonial comfort at its best.

The ultimate tea time

No trip to Sri Lanka would be complete without a visit to tea country. Take a train (still run on British colonial equipment) through rolling fields of tea leaves and learn how tea is processed, before sampling the freshest cuppa of your life. It is here at Tea Trails where you’ll rest your head: four old planter’s bungalows now converted into a small boutique hotel. Enjoy evening jazz cocktail hours, discuss the next day’s personalized menu with the chef, and sleep under a mosquito net in your colonial style room. Pastoral perfection.

Unwind on golden beaches

Now for some coastline fun and head to the white beaches of Tangalle. Stroll along the shore, kite-surf, wakeboard, deep sea fish or simplyindulge in the amazing Amanwella hotel. Relax in your suite complete with uninterrupted views of the palm-studded beach. Dine at the poolside restaurant overlooking golden sand beaches, perfect for reflecting on your Sri Lankan adventure.

Time it right and you’ll be one of the very few people to experience the world’s two largest mammals all within one trip. From the elephants in the north to blue whales in the south, you’ll be able to marvel at some of natures most graceful, yet powerful creatures.

Spend your final two nights at the Amangalla in the magical fortress town of Galle, an amazing fortified town filled with red-tiled rooftops over the eclectic mix of art galleries, cafes and boutique hotels. Visit the local markets with the chef during a cookery lesson, and create the dish of your choice (gotukola sambol, anyone?), or try some of the delicious ‘wade’ (street snacks) with the hotel’s signature ‘Arrack sour’ made with fermented coconut sap. Unwind in Sri Lanka’s most incredible spa before watching the sunset over the fort from Amangalla’s top floor lounge. Bliss. The next morning you’ll head to the airport for your flight home.

Now is the time to visit this little known country, before everyone else hears about what they’re missing.