This short break takes you to the south of Sri Lanka where the shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean merges with endless golden beaches. Experience the colourful southern heritage, folklore, coastal fishing villages and the historic 17th century Galle Fort. Also included in this itinerary is the magnificent Sinharaja tropical rainforest, the last surviving stretch of virgin rainforest on the island. We have selected unique eco retreats and boutique hotels for this itinerary. As always, we are able to tinker with this itinerary if you wish and add an extra night here and there or include different hotels.
Sinharaja rainforest teeming with life
Galle’s 17th century Dutch Fort
Palm-fringed beaches and turquoise waters
Surfing and snorkeling in Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa’s beach bars and restaurants
Stay in eco-retreats and stylish boutique hotels
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka transfer to Villa Talangama, a secluded and luxurious private villa located in the suburbs of the city of Colombo – a half an hour’s drive from the airport. This is an ideal haven for acclimatising to Sri Lanka’s tropical climate. The villa setting is best described as a ‘village in the city’ surrounded by paddy fields, a lake and birds everywhere, even perched on the buffalo that relax on the lakeside.
Villa Talangama is a three-bedroom villa set on the banks of the Talangama Wetlands in the outskirts of Colombo. It enjoys a quiet, unspoiled lakeside setting, seemingly a world away from the commercial heart of Colombo less than half-an-hour away. Villa Talangama is located minutes away from the Kottawa entrance to the Southern highway making it en route to the west coast and southern beaches. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take about 1.5 hours.
Day 2 & 3
Travel to the magnificent Sinharaja rainforest which straddles a series of mountains and ridges in the country’s wet zone. Stay two nights at the Rainforest Eco Lodge, a tranquil eco-retreat bordering Sinharaja and set on a 500 acre tea plantation. Do a trek into the southern side of Sinharaja accompanied by a nature guide. The Sinharaja rainforest is a UNESCO International Man and Biosphere Reserve and is Sri Lanka’s Heart of Darkness. Moist and muggy, murky and mysterious – an experience of Sinharaja is like nothing else in Sri Lanka. Trekking through this magnificent jungle, the last surviving stretch of virgin rainforest on the island, be ready to pour with sweat as you make your way through a bewildering land of exotic colours and wonderful sounds. From top to bottom the forest is teeming with life whether it be gushing waterfalls, gurgling streams, crickets creaking or butterflies fluttering by. Sinharaja is particularly renowned as a hotspot for birdlife. There are 140 bird species seen here during a calendar year. Smaller mammals such as the Purple Faced Leaf monkey and the giant squirrel are also found here. Explore the Enselwatte tea plantation and learn of Ceylon Tea. Try your hand at picking the precious two leaves and a bud and visit a tea factory.
Rainforest Eco Lodge
Rainforest Eco Lodge is a tranquil eco-retreat set on the 500-acre Enselwatte tea plantation in Deniyaya which is about 3,500 ft above sea level. This working tea estate borders the southern end of the Sinharaja with small patches of rainforest even within the tea estate. Deniyaya can be accessed via Galle and is a 2.5 hours journey along hilly terrain. The final 12kms to the Eco Lodge is on an uphill, rustic roadway that winds through the tea plantation and is best attempted in a van or jeep.
Day 4 & 5
Journey to the historic city of Galle where you will spend two nights at the luxurious Fort Printers, a boutique hotel located within the Galle’s 17C Dutch Fort. Galle Fort is incomparable to anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Entering through the ‘new’ English gate or the ‘old’ Dutch gate is akin to stepping into a different realm. Within are about 600 houses – each with various degrees of renovation to their original Dutch architecture; a maze of narrow cobblestone roadways lined with old Dutch and British period buildings still in use; growing number of art galleries, museums, shops, cafes, restaurants, and boutique villas. The thick, high ramparts that protect and distinguish the Fort are today used for romantic evening strolls, early morning power-walks and convenient viewpoints to catch the sweaty action of local ‘village’ cricket games and the international games held in the adjacent Galle cricket stadium.
Fort Printers is an exquisite 13 room boutique hotel spread across three adjoining colonial period villas in the heart of Galle Fort. Located at the corner of Pedlar’s and Church Street, Fort Printers is close to the historic sites, shops, museums, cafes and restaurants. Unawatuna’s sunkissed beaches are only 15 minutes away. The travel time from Colombo’s international airport will take about 2.5 hours via the Southern highway. Consider taking the Air Taxi and fly into Koggala.
Day 6 & 7
Your next destination is one of the best boutique beach properties in Sri Lanka on the west coast, Aditya, located mid-way between Galle and Hikkaduwa on a secluded stretch of beach in Rathgama. Spend three nights relaxing here, lolling by the pool and enjoying the beach. Visit nearby Hikkaduwa, an interesting coastal town with its youthful and informal feel. The town is famous for its surfing beach and also offers a variety of watersports, including diving and snorkeling.
Aditya is undoubtedly one of the finest beach side boutique properties in Sri Lanka. It sits on a secluded stretch of beach in Rathgama, midway between the hedonistic beach resort of Hikkaduwa and the historic old town of Galle. The drive from Colombo’s international airport is about two hours via the Southern highway
|No of Days||Hotels||Price|
|1||Villa talangama (BB)||£143|
|2||Rainforest eco lodge (BB)||£131|
Tickets : Rs . 5,000.00 /= worth tickets included to the package