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  • Magical gardens of Sri Lanka tour

    Lunuganga

    Jetwing Warwick Gardens

    Magical Gardens of Sri Lanka

    9 nights/10 days

    This is a delightful tour which offers you the chance to visit and explore the magical gardens of Sri Lanka. Alongside the historic and more contemporary gardens, you will explore the Cultural Triangle, the lake-side city of Kandy and Tea Country. One of the highlights is a stay at Lunuganga, home to the late architect Geoffrey Bawa.

    Click here to download a full pdf itinerary for this touring holiday. 

    This tour takes you first from London to Bandaranaike International Airport. From here, your chauffeur-guide takes you to Jetwing Vil Uyana in Sigiriya. On Day Two, you visit the Cultural Triangle’s most prominent landmark, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, as well as the Rock Temples at Dambulla. On Day Three, travel to Kandy for the next two nights at the intimate and boutique Theva. On your fourth day, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Temple of the Tooth. Then, on Day Five, continue on to the plains of Tea Country and spend two nights at Jetwing Warwick Gardens in Ambewela. This provides insight into the colonial influences on the island, and gives you a chance to visit more botanical gardens as well as English gardens. Day Seven sees you travel west to Bentota, where you will spend two nights at Lunuganga, the former home of Geoffrey Bawa. Visit Brief Garden, which was owned by Bawa’s brother, and take in the atmosphere of the house. On Day Nine, enjoy a boat ride, and return home on Day Ten.

    Day 1 Colombo to Sigiriya
    You will be met on arrival and driven by your English-speaking chauffeur guide who will accompany you throughout your tour of Sri Lanka. Drive into the Cultural Triangle, home to a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, alongside an abundance of wildlife and natural habitats (approximately 4 hours drive).

    Day 2 Sigiriya
    This morning make an early start to set off to climb the spectacular rock fortress of Sigiriya, with its rocky abode and water gardens. Sigiriya is famous for its rock of golden-hued granite. In the 5th century King Kashyapa ‘tamed’ the Lion’s Rock, by building a palace atop its summit. Then visit the Dambulla Rock Temples which date back to the 5th Century BC. The walls of this World Heritage Site are covered with murals exceeding 21,000 square feet. The visit involves a 10-15 minute walk uphill with wonderful views at the top.

    Day 3 Sigiriya to Kandy

    This morning, head to Kandy (approximately 2.5 hours drive). A score of spectacular waterfalls tumble down over rocks and precipices throughout the cool high country of Sri Lanka. Among them is Hunas Falls, which derives its name from Hunnasgiriya peak, the forest covered mountain which overlooks this tranquil landscape.

    Day 4 Kandy
    Explore the Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya containing more than 5,000 species including over 150 palm trees. In the evening, join the crowds to visit Kandy’s famous Temple of the Tooth. This is one of the most sacred sites for Buddhists, containing the tooth relic of Lord Buddha.

    Day 5 Kandy to Tea Country
    Journey from Kandy up into Tea Country (approximately 2.5 hours drive) which is a world apart from the rest of Sri Lanka. The misty landscape’s cool, wet climate has fostered the growth of a unique ecosystem.

    Day 6 Tea Country
    Today, visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Highlights here are the mountain orchids (many of them endemic to Sri Lanka), the Fernery and the mature temperate zone trees and plants originally introduced by the British. The cool, temperate climate of the Hakgala area was conducive to the introduction of conifers and cedars, cypresses and pines, English oak and a rose garden.

    Day 7 Tea Country to Bentota

    Leave Tea Country and head towards the south-west coast. Check-in to Lunuganga in Bentota for 3 nights (approximately 6 hours drive). This is no ordinary hotel. It’s a blissful patchwork of earth, foliage, water and light which is worth exploring. Lunuganga was created in 1947 from a rubber and cinnamon plantation and launched the career of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. It offers the rare opportunity to stay in a living museum and is much more historic private house than hotel in feel.

    Day 8 Brief Garden and Lunuganga

    Today you visit Brief Garden which belonged to Geoffrey Bawa's elder brother Bevis. Cannonball trees and frangipani perfume a succession of green rooms in which inside and outside spaces are blurred into one and which is a feature of many of Bawa’s houses. The sense is very much of structure and compartmentalised garden areas. Back at Lunuganga, you will have time to stroll amongst the gardens of one of the world’s most magical retreats and have the privilege of wandering the gardens at will. The hallmarks of Lunuganga are its almost wild, English-style romanticism yet given a Sri Lankan feel with a mix of rubber, rice and cinnamon. By evening choose an idyllic spot from where to sip the hotel’s signature cocktail - the Lunuganga Sour.

    Day 9 Bentota and Hikkaduwa
    Drive to Hikkaduwa and hop onto a glass bottom boat which will offer you fantastic views of a different type of garden – the coral reefs just off shore. Return for the rest of the afternoon and your last evening at Lunuganga.

    Day 10 Departure from Colombo

    Transfer to the airport for your departure (approximately 2.5 hours drive).

    PRICE INFORMATION
    Prices from £2,140 per person

    Included in this tour:
    • Scheduled return flights from London Heathrow to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines in economy class
    • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
    • Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary
    • Entrance fees to the monuments listed above

    Not included:
    • Visas (A visa is a requirement for entry to Sri Lanka and can be obtained on line from www.eta.gov.lk)
    • Meals, except as specified above
    • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
    • Camera fees where applicable
    • Personal travel insurance (this is essential).

    Click on the 'Hotel Information' tab above to find out about the hotels featured in this itinerary.


    Magical Gardens of Sri Lanka tour

    Hotel information

    Below is some information about the hotels featured in this touring holiday itinerary.

    Sigiriya:Jetwing Vil Uyana, this eco-luxury hotel has 25 individual ‘dwellings’ most with own plunge pool and private deck. There is a spa, yoga pavilion and two great restaurants (Paddy or Marsh Dwelling on bed and breakfast).
    Kandy: Theva, a private and luxurious boutique hotel, complete with awe inspiring views across mountains and valleys and just 2km from Sri Lanka’s cultural capital of Kandy (Deluxe room on bed and breakfast).
    Tea Country:Jetwing Warwick Gardens, a boutique tea estate ‘bungalow’ hidden in scenic mountains. Bedrooms are spacious with luxuriously fitted bathrooms (Deluxe room on bed and breakfast).
    Bentota:Lunuganga, the beautiful country estate that became the lifetime architectural experiment of renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa (Gallery Studio Suite on bed and breakfast).

    Prices from £3,140 per person

    Included in this tour:
    • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
    • Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary
    • Entrance fees to the monuments listed above
    • Scheduled return flights from London Heathrow to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airways.

    Not included:
    • Visas (A visa is a requirement for entry to Sri Lanka and can be obtained on line from www.eta.gov.lk)
    • Meals, except as specified above
    • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
    • Camera fees where applicable
    • Personal travel insurance (this is essential).

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