Set off on a hill country tour with Aitken Spence Travels to visit breathtakingly lush tea estates and cultural highlights such as the Temple of the Tooth that is sure to mesmerise you. From the last royal capital of Sri Lanka to a town in the mountains known as “Little England”, discover the awe-inspiring beauty of the region which has its own unique old world charm.
On arrival at the airport an Aitken Spence Travels representative will be there to greet you. From there you will begin your journey to Kandy.
The final royal Sri Lankan Kingdom to fall to the British in 1815, Kandy has a rich and proud heritage. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city has much to offer intrepid travellers; explore the magnificent Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, wander around the bustling town bazaar and Kandy market and visit a gem museum as well as an arts & crafts centre.
As the day draws to a close head to your hotel in Kandy.
After breakfast, visit Pinnawala.
An unforgettable experience awaits at this popular attraction where orphaned and sometimes injured gentle giants of the wild are cared for. Established in 1975, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage encompasses a 25-acre property and offers visitors a chance to get up close to elephants, some of which have been born here as well. Highlights include seeing elephants being bottle fed (09:15am and 01:15pm) and watching as they play and cool off during bath time (10:00am and 02:00pm) at the river nearby.
In the afternoon, head to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya one of the island’s most picturesque of gardens. Originally a royal pleasure garden, this site was later developed by the British; today, it offers the ideal escape from the bustling city and features lush lawns, charming pavilions and a vibrant variety of flowering plants. The Orchid House is a not to be missed attraction here as is the giant Javan fig tree.
In the evening prepare to enjoy a cultural show which offers insights into the rich local culture.
As the day draws to a close, head back to your hotel.
After a hearty breakfast, continue your hill country adventure as you head to Nuwara Eliya.
Enjoy a scenic train ride through lush mountains carpeted with tea bushes interspersed with the occasional gushing waterfall. After disembarking at Nanu Oya, you will be continuing the rest of the short journey by car to reach the town of Nuwara Eliya, famously known as “Little England”.
Sprawling tea plantations and refreshing mountain air await travellers here, offering a welcome respite from the tropical heat. Take in well maintained colonial bungalows which still retain their old world charm and one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in South Asia, the Victoria Golf Course, a Donald Steele Masterpiece. Take a stroll or an invigorating bike ride along the scenic banks of Lake Gregory towards the evening.
After breakfast, proceed on a trek to Horton Plains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site & eco-tourism hideout in the heart of the isle. The endless stretches of terrains mark one of the healthiest wet montane evergreen forests in Sri Lanka. With an altitude above 7,000 feet, the plateau sweeps to a robust 3,169 hectares, home to a diverse array of flora and fauna.
Hike to the banks of Baker’s Falls and appreciate the majestic views the gushing streams of water create. Gaze down World's End, a head-spinning 3,700 feet drop towards the southern end or drive past herds of sambar deer. If you're lucky enough you may be greeted by the sights of a grunting wild boar, a pouncing fishing cat, otters or even the 'spotted-ghost that haunts the plains' - the Sri Lankan Leopard!
After breakfast, visit a tea plantation and a factory.
Take a stroll among verdant slopes covered with tea bushes and watch how dedicated tea pluckers clad in colourful saris pick and choose the finest buds. Back at the factory, you will be able to observe how the tea leaves are processed, graded and packaged. End your tour with a fragrant cup of freshly brewed Ceylon tea while feasting your eyes on misty valleys and peaks.
Proceed to Ella.
Ella is a charming town surrounded by majestic mountain peaks ideal for adventurous travellers to explore via treks and hikes. Popular spots to visit include the Mini Adam’s Peak, Ella Rock and the Demodara Nine Arch Bridge, all of which offer some spectacular views!
After breakfast, proceed to Colombo for some last-minute shopping.
A true city of startling contrasts, Colombo is the bustling commercial metropolis of the island. It’s a hub where colonial buildings and temples exist alongside gleaming skyscrapers. Traverse around the city, and shop at exclusive concept stores featuring the work of premier local designers. Why not enjoy a unique culinary dining experience at fusion restaurants or head towards Pettah; walk around its bustling streets and take in the cacophony of exotic sounds, smells and sights. Pay a visit to the Dutch Hospital Complex and enjoy live music, a plethora of restaurants serving great food and more. Round up your stay by experiencing Colombo’s evolving nightlife, at popular clubs and casinos.
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer from Colombo to the airport for departure.