crystalh@sltnet.lk

Special Interest Tour (10 Nights / 11 Days)

DAY 01 (Airport – Dambulla)

Ayubowan! (Greeting – May you live long) and Welcome to Sri Lanka!
Upon arrival at the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, track through the immigration and head to the arrival lounge paging area, presented with flower garlands.
Introduced by our Crystal Holidays representative transfer to your hotel in Dambulla.
Check in at the preferred luxury hotel accompanied by the welcome drink.
Assisted to your allocated room and let’s begin it!
Spend the rest of the day leisurely, recovering form jet lag.
You have just arrived so we suggest you take it easy today.
Pamper and invigorate yourself before you commence the adventure the next day.
Plunge yourself into the refreshing pool and spend the afternoon relaxing with a good book and a cup of Ceylon tea.
You could even opt for an Authentic Hopper Party with piping hot hoppers being prepared right in front of you by a veteran village hand.

You can also try your hand at making some hoppers yourself by swirling the batter in the hot pan and cracking the egg into the Centre, of course under the guidance of the local veteran.
By the way Hopper is an authentic Sri Lankan cuisine prepared out of rice flour and coconut milk, turned out using a hopper pan. It looks somewhat like a pancake but certainly different and more exciting. Nibble into delicious, crispy egg hoppers and plain hoppers accompanied by dhal and chicken curry, so yummy it will just melt in the mouth.

Dinner and Overnight stay in Dambulla

DAY 02 (Dambulla – Sigiriya – Local Village – Dambulla)

After breakfast transfer to Sigiriya.
There after climb the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The world Heritage Site and see the famous decorated its sides with colorful frescoes.
Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination.
The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains.
After climbing you must be really thirsty enjoy the world’s best drink “Tambili”.
Tread the remote village trail to a typical rural home in the outskirts of Habarana/Sigiriya for an evening filled with fun, frolic and plenty of good Sri Lankan food. You could even prepare your Sri Lankan lunch.

Afternoon experience traditional cooking with a local associate, along visiting to a local vendor at Dambulla market, where you can purchase fresh vegetables before heading to meet the Chef in the village.
Then travel in your vehicle to a small rural village located on the banks for the cooking class. When you arrive you will be greeted with a welcome drink and you can make yourself at home inside a rustic wattle and daub mud hut.

Here you will learn how to prepare and cook your favorite Sri Lankan dishes such as brinjal pahi (deep fried and caramelized aubergine), pol sambola (coconut and chili sambol) , gotukolasambola (Indian pennywart salad), parippu (lentil dhal) and ratu allahodi (beetroot curry).
You will also discover how coconut milk is made, learn to crack open and scrape out your own coconut, and taste samples of each dish as you go along. The end product is a feast of eight unique dishes served in a lotus leaf which you can eat local-style with your fingers if you are up for the challenge.

“We assure you that this authentic experience gives you a glimpse of Sri Lankan village life where the villagers go about their daily lives with the greatest respect to nature”.

Dinner and Overnight stay in Dambulla

DAY 03 (Dambulla/Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Pasikuda)

It’s time to head down to the coast. You will be taken to the coastal town of Pasikudah which is renowned for its breathtaking beaches and its warm ocean waters.
En route stop at Polonnaruwa ancient city the home to some of mediaeval Sri Lanka’s finest art & architecture. The entire area consisted of several buildings of various sizes, architecture and extravagant interior following with carefully designed sewerage systems, reservoirs and tanks.
Main interesting attractions would be, Swimming pool of royalty, Royal palace, ruins of the Watadage (a circular image house), and the rock inscriptions of Nissankamalla and Gal Vihara with 3 sculptures of the Buddha in an upright, sedentary & seated position. One can walk, ride a bike between locations.

Continue the journey to Pasikuda.

In the afternoon you will be set aside for relaxation. Explore your surrounding at your leisure or spend the day at the hotel making use of all the recreational activities it offers
Dinner and overnight stay in Pasikuda

DAY 04 & 05 (Pasikuda)

You have the whole day to lounge around the hotel or soak up some sun. You could even dedicate your day to total relaxation at the hotel as you take advantage of foot treatment or head massage at the hotel spa.
Refresh your body, mind and soul with a complete day of rest, to recuperate from your adventures and prepare for the many adventures that lie ahead. There is nothing like and energizing swim in the sun kissed waters of the Indian Ocean while you get yourself a deep tan
Things to do:
Palmyrah Handicraft Outlets
Outlets selling products made out of the Palmyrah tree and handcrafted to perfection would make excellent souvenirs to take back home. Take your pick from a number of outlets that are located near our property.

Water Sports
For the adrenaline junkie, our shores serve as ideal surroundings in which one’s thirst for adventure might be quenched. Talk to our instructors who will readily assist you in suiting up for what lies ahead.

Kalkudah Beach
A ‘must-do’ for beachgoers looking for quality time out here in the tropics. The area comprises private patches of sand where one could unwind. Swimmers will be delighted by its clean and calm waters as well.

Dinner and overnight stay in Pasikuda

DAY 06 (Pasikuda – Dambulla – Kandy)

After breakfast we continue our journey of exploring the history, heritage and culture in Sri Lanka by drivingdown to the vibrant city of Kandy, the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka.
Kandy is an example of Buddhism’s influence in Sri Lanka today. Temples, shrines and monasteries keep Buddhist traditions alive. It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

On route we patronise the magical Dambulla Cave Temples, which is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka.
Dambulla is a scent of unique interest. Its rock temples are the most extensive in the Island, and one of the most ancient, and in the highest state of preservation and order. The rock of Dambulla, in which these temples are situated, is almost insulated and of a vast size. Its perpendicular height above the plain is about six hundred feet. Very few parts of it are covered with wood, and in general its surface is bare and black. There are five caves (shrine rooms) in Dambulla temple. All of these caves arc full of statues of Buddha and various personages of the Buddhist Order or History.

Also visit the Spice Garden in Matale and take part in a conducted tour to get some knowledge about the growth and use of spices in the day to day life of Sri Lankans. Walk around the garden and learn about the spices and know the special attributes of spices. Step into the unpolluted, green garden, where you can see how herbs are grown in their natural environment, then learn how you can use them to enhance the taste of specialty meals.

Afternoon visit a Batik Factory.
This tour gives you an opportunity to grab this chance to see how batik fabrics are made.
You will get to see the elaborate batik-making process with its detailed crafting. You will also have a chance to purchase some beautiful products made with batik fabrics; such as wall hangers, table cloths, clothing and etc. After a one-hour visit to the batik factory proceed to Kandy.
Arrive in Kandy.
Check in at the preferred luxury hotel accompanied by the welcome drink.
Assisted to your allocated room and let’s begin it!
Dinner and overnight stay in Kandy

DAY 07 (Kandy)

After breakfast drive to Sri Dalada Maligawa also known as, the Temple of the Tooth, is one of the landmark sites in the city of Kandy. It is located in the heart of Kandy town surrounded by the lake and the commercial district. The Maligawa was once the royal palace inhabited by the king and his consorts, but after the demise of the Kandyan Kingdom the palace was transformed into a Buddhist temple that holds Buddha’s tooth.
It is a must visit location for all tourists. Visitors can catch a glimpse of Buddhist rituals, explore the museum that includes several ancient artifacts, and pay your tribute to the tooth relic at one of the Buddhist ceremonies held at the premises. The architectural splendor and the historical importance of the Dalada Maligawa are sure to amaze you. Points of interest are: the AluthMaligawa, Audience Hall and the World Buddhism Museum.

Thereafter visit a gem museum and get discovered how a raw material becomes a beauty along with professional gem cutters armed with skilled craftsmen. Complex consist of a jewellery workshop, lapidary, mini theatres and also a model of a natural mine explore the exclusivity of a gem stone while providing customer a very good knowledge of minerals and gem stones originated in Sri Lanka and Overseas.

Onwards visit the lively market, the lake & the drive thru the upper lake by Tuktuk.
In the afternoon you may wander around the city center of Kandy. Purchase exceptional items available at the local market.
In the evening attend A unique show of Sri Lankan Traditional dances accompanied by Ceremonial drums and drum orchestra will perform. As well as energetic acrobatic performances where the men perform a series of leaping pirouettes and stunts such as plate-spinning and the dramatic ‘fire walk’ which ends the show.
Dinner and overnight stay in Kandy

DAY 08 (Kandy – Nuwara-Eliya)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Afterwards you may proceed to Nuwara-eliya is one of the most scenic city & Little England of Sri Lanka. As you leave Kandy city center behind, the landscape begins to open out into dramatic, undulating tea fields separated by rushing rivers, cascading waterfalls and deep gorges, all framed by dramatic mountains topped with pine forest.
Nuwara Eliya is now a modern, busy city with department stores, fast food chains. Nevertheless the further away you are away from the busy town the more you will be revisiting the past.
Tourists will find a variety of recreational activities to do in this beautiful city, Nuwara Eliya is known to have the best 18-hole golf course in Asia and that’s not all horse-riding, boating, bird-watching and hiking are few of the many fun things you can do.
Visit a Non touristic Tea Factory and a Plantation in Nuwara-eliya.
Out to an organic tea fields and show you which leaves to pluck. You’ll find that it takes a bit of practice to make sure the leaves end up in your basket rather than on the floor!
Our professional tea pluckers will accompany you – you’ll be amazed at how efficiently and quickly they manage to fill their baskets by comparison.
Luckily, we don’t expect you to produce the minimum 15kg a day that is their target!

Then we return to a Tea Factory, where our chief tea taster, will inspect your efforts. He will reject any leaves that are unsuitable, so you must pay attention when picking, or all your efforts will be in vain!
Then you will take you on a tour of the Mini Tea Factory and explain the whole process, from the initial drying (withering) of the leaves, through rolling, fermenting and sifting, to produce the different types of tea.
Now you can have a Tea tasting session, A tea taster uses a large spoon and noisily slurps the liquid into his/her mouth – this ensures that both the tea and plenty of oxygen is passed over all the taste receptors on the tongue to give an even taste profile of the tea.

A ‘lining room experience’, designed to ‘immerse guests into the lives of Sri Lanka’s iconic tea pluckers. Underlining the insensitivity of the concept, especially given the fact that the refurbished line rooms starkly contrast with the squalid living conditions of most estate workers. Swathed in sweeping mist, the journey to the estate is a scenic one. Tea plantations spread as far as the eye can see. As we navigate the badly rutted mountain roads, we catch glimpses of life on the estates – an old man carrying a bundle of firewood, groups of children making their way home from school, and tea pluckers ceaselessly picking tea, as their mothers and grandmothers did before them. An atmosphere of idyllic peace seems to pervade the place, but every now and then, the curtain lifts and we catch glimpses of the darker side of Sri Lanka’s tea trade.

Continue the journey to the hotel in Nuwara-eliya.

Step outside for a walk in the hillside to truly enjoy the cool mountainous climate.
Dinner and overnight stay in Nuwara-eliya

DAY 09 (Nuwara-Eliya – Yala National Park)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Yala, to experience the wild.
Yala is famous to witness the wilderness of Sri Lanka. Yala is the most visited and the second largest National Park in the Island. Yala is mostly famous for leopards and Sri Lankan elephants. Moreover, you can see beautiful lakes and the ocean by the end of the park. The jeep safari inside the park is something not to be missed in your visit.

Afternoon it is now time for adventure, where we go spotting wild elephants in Yala national park on an 4 x 4.
On arrival at the hotel, thereafter proceed to the exclusive check-in counter allocated for the group.
Rest of the day will spent leisurely at the hotel.
Take advantage of the hotel’s luxurious facilities with a day of relaxation with cup of Ceylon Tea!
Dinner and overnight stay in Yala / Tissamaharama

DAY 10 (Yala – Weligama – Mount Lavinia)

It’s time to leave the jungle adventures behind and head down to
Mount Lavinia.

En route visit IODR orphan school – (Indian Ocean Disaster Relief) IODR’s inception was to provide emergency relief in the immediate aftermath of the Tsunami. Temporary shelters, lighting, food, blankets and medical supplies were all generously donated but it was soon apparent that this was only a fraction of what was needed to rehabilitate a region and its people from the devastating impact left in the wake of the Tsunami. .

Today you will participate in kid’s activities and experience a new color in life!
Involve with the kids, teach them their lessons and play games & etc.

If time permits, on completion, proceed to Galle, visit the Galle Dutch Fort
Spend a few interesting minutes exploring beautiful Galle a coast city situated in the southwestern tip of the island. It boasts of being an important historical landmark with its fortified city, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later developed in the 17th century, during the Dutch Colonial period. The Dutch Fort in Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.

Thereafter transfer to Mount Lavinia, the town is largely a middle class and mostly residential suburb of Colombo that had until now escaped most of the damaging industrialisation of neighbouring cities and urban centres. Famed for its “Golden Mile” of beaches, Mount Lavinia has often been a hot spot for tourism and nightlife. It is one of the most liberal regions in Sri Lanka.
Dinner and overnight stay in Mount Lavinia

DAY 11 (Mount Lavinia – Airport)

After breakfast drive to Bandaranaike International Airport for departure with a memorable vacation in the Refreshingly Sri Lanka.