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Abercrombie & Kent Sri Lanka: Secrets of the Spice Island

A quick, free call on 0800 707 6229 or email for huge extra savings on Abercrombie & Kent Sri Lanka: Secrets of the Spice Island.

Discover the spectacular 3000 years old cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, while at the same time marvelling at the country’s majestic scenery, peaceful rural surroundings and abundant wildlife. Learn the secrets of Ceylonese tea in the plantations of Sri Lanka’s famous tea country. Experience Sri Lanka’s last kingdom – the Kingdome of Kandy which is a testament to the country’s ability to pick up and rise from ashes. Admire the floral beauty of Kandy Botanical Gardens accompanied by acclaimed Botanist Bandara Palipana.

  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Cultural Triangle and climb the astounding Sigiriya rock fortress.
  • Sit down for an illuminating dinner with Sri Lankan architect, historian and critic, Dr. Shanti Jayewardene.
  • Join the pilgrims for a nightly prayer ritual at the Sacred Temple of the Tooth, and enjoy VIP entry to the inner Shrine Room.
  • Admire the floral beauty of Kandy Botanical Gardens accompanied by acclaimed Botanist Bandara Palipana.
  • Seek out elephants and endemic wildlife at Minneriya National Park.
  • Meander through Galle Fort with an archaeologist.
  • Stay in a number of specially selected boutique accommodations.
  • Learn the secrets of Ceylonese tea in the plantations of Sri Lanka’s famous tea country.
  • All accommodation as detailed with private facilities
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including welcome and farewell dinners
  • Services of English speaking A&K Resident Tour Director
  • Airport welcome with VIP Assistance
  • Porterage
  • Group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Bottled water during transfers and touring
  • Wine & beer during lunches and dinners (selected by Resident Tour Director)
  • All entrance fees
  • Planning, handling, operational and communication charges
  • All tipping

Day 1: Arrive Colombo, Sri Lanka

Welcome to Sri Lanka. Arrive in the country’s charismatic capital, Colombo, to a warm A&K welcome, and transfer to your hotel. Colombo is home to a melting pot of religions and cultures, and an eclectic mix of architecture – with shiny hotels and modern office blocks neighbouring red-tiled, colonial-era buildings. Bustling street markets brim with fragrant spices, colourful silks, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

Day 2: Colombo

This morning, explore the island’s capital like a local – by tuk-tuk. Weave your way through the city’s bustling bazaars and markets, past landmark monuments and newly restored buildings, to Galle Face Green for breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Relax back at the hotel before meeting Mark Forbes: Colombo local, photographer, and your guide on a captivating walk through the old town. See the 17th-century Dutch Hospital, Colombo Fort and charming colonial-era mansions, before finishing with arrack-themed cocktails at a speakeasy. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner.

Day 3: Colombo

Before leaving the capital, journey to admire the No.11 Bawa Residence, designed and built in the 1960s by the famed architect Geoffrey Bawa. Continue to the Cultural Triangle in the centre of the country, where ancient World Heritage sites abound. Relax in your resort-style boutique hotel – with its stunning views of the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya – before a restaurant dinner with special guest Dr. Shanti Jayewardene, local architect and historian. She will provide insight into Sri Lanka’s anthropology, aesthetics, architecture, history and politics in an accessible way.

Day 4: Cultural Triangle

This morning, help pick fresh ingredients from the resort’s organic garden, which chefs will transform into Sri Lankan delicacies – yours to savour over lunch. This afternoon, choose one of the following Design Your Day® activities:

Option 1: travel like a local on a village tuk-tuk experience.

Option 2: take to the waters of the Wannemaduwa ‘tank’ in a kayak

Option 3: under the guidance of a local, learn how to craft, launch and fly a bamboo and paper kite of classic Sri Lankan design

Tonight, enjoy a delicious dinner at your leisure.

Day 5: Cultural Triangle

Discover treasured old-world ruins today in the Cultural Triangle. Start at Anuradhapura, the country’s ancient capital. Marvel at giant stupas (sacred structures housing relics) and a vast statue of Buddha, then receive a blessing near the sacred Bodhi tree, the oldest recorded, planted in 236 BC. After lunch, climb to the spot where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka – the summit of Mihintale – and admire the spectacular views and monuments. Return to the hotel for time at leisure, before a special barbecue dinner by the resort’s pool.

Day 6: Cultural Triangle

Delve further into the Cultural Triangle at the UNESCO-listed Polonnaruwa, an interesting blend of Buddhist and Hindu archaeological monuments. Discover the famous Gal Viharaya, or ‘Rock Temple’, which comprises four colossal statues of Buddha cut into the stone.  This afternoon, visit Minneriya National Park, for a chance to see elephants and, if you’re lucky, the purple-faced langur and toque macaque endemic to Sri Lanka. Following your wildlife explorations, travel to your hotel and settle in with a group dinner at the in-house restaurant.

Day 7: Sigiriya

Rise early for an exhilarating hot-air balloon ride, glimpsing the Sigiriya rock fortress from above, before making the steep, 200-metre climb through the Lion Gate to see it up close. Passing water gardens, moats and ancient frescoes on the way, your reward for reaching Sigiriya’s top is an unparalleled panorama. After leisure time back at your hotel, spend the afternoon on an immersive excursion to a local farm. Enjoy a home-cooked Sri Lankan lunch from your farmer host, including delicious traditional fare.

Day 8: Dambulla

This morning, visit the UNESCO-listed cave temples of Dambulla. Dating back to the first century, this vast cave complex turned temple is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist monasteries. Admire the large collection of paintings decorating the rock ceiling, along with the highest concentration of Buddha statues found in one place. Next, travel south to Kandy, the country’s cultural capital, for sundowners and a traditional cultural performance at your hotel. Embrace the opportunity to meet the dancers after the show, followed by dinner.

Day 9: Kandy

Join well-known botanist Bandara Palipana for a guided walk through Kandy’s Royal Botanical Gardens. Discover over 4,000 plant species, including 300 varieties of orchid. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, before a traditional pooja prayer ceremony this evening at the Temple of the Tooth – the city’s most famous landmark which houses the sacred tooth relic of Buddha. Amid scents of lotus and jasmine, join monks and pilgrims who gather to make offerings. Enjoy VIP entry to the Shrine Room where the sacred relic is kept.

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya

Today, travel through the misty highlands, on a scenic journey past lush green tea estates and breathtaking waterfalls. Lunch in Nuwara Eliya before an afternoon ‘Tea Experience’. Visit tea plantations and a factory to learn from an expert about the traditional ‘two leaves and a bud’; the journey from planting and plucking to manufacturing, grading and processing; and the auction system. Then enjoy a tasting. Continue your journey to Kandapola, arriving at your luxurious hotel – a converted tea factory – in time for a delicious tea-themed dinner this evening.

Day 11: Nuwara Eliya

Design your Day® by choosing one of the following three experiences best suited to you:

Option 1: admire wildlife and breathtaking mountain views on a trek in Horton Plains National Park.

Option 2: take a scenic, two-and-a-half-hour train ride through the heart of tea country, to the hill station of Ella.

Option 3: ramble through the gorgeous tea fields on an expert-led two-hour plantation tour.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 12: Galle

Journey south to the seaside city of Galle, arriving in time to savour a spectacular sunset at the ramparts of the UNESCO-listed Galle Fort; this central attraction of the old port city was founded by 16th-century Portuguese colonists. Galle’s stone sea walls encircle car-free streets, and it boasts imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, and many grand mansions and museums worth discovering. Round off the day with an evening of Sri Lankan hospitality, visiting a local family for a delicious home-cooked meal.

Day 13: Galle

Today, join a local archaeologist and heritage expert on an absorbing walking tour of the Galle Fort. Built by the Dutch in 1663, the fort is the largest remaining European fortress in Asia. Later, savour tea and traditional refreshments on a visit to a local family before exploring the cobbled streets, seeking out local arts, crafts, jewellery and more. In the afternoon, meet traditional mask makers to see their skilled carving, before trying it yourself. This evening, join your fellow travellers at your hotel for a farewell dinner of Sri Lankan-fusion cuisine.

Day 14: Depart Colombo

Your 12 nights discovering the secrets of ‘The Teardrop of India’ has come to an end. Transfer to Colombo for your departure flight.

Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.

Design your Day®

On these days you have the freedom to pick an experience that is suited to you and your interests. See Days 4 & 11 for more details.


To provide you with flexibility and the latest flight offers, we don’t include international flights. Our specialists will be able to find the best travel options to suit you.

Guaranteed departures

As long as we have at least two people booked on an A&K Escorted Tour, it will take place. So you don’t need to worry about a last-minute phone call saying your holiday has to be cancelled. If you’re committed to going, then so are we.

Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability

Useful Info


Board Basis

Selected Meals Included


13 Nights

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