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SKYWAY GROUP - DANDENONG | MELBOURNE | EPPING

TASTE OF CEYLON – 15 Nights / 16 Days

 

Day 01

Meet on arrival by Our Destination Specialist at the airport and you will  be transferred to your hotel located close to the airport.

Overnight at Gateway Airport Garden Hotel, Katunayake

 

Day 02

 

After breakfast transfer to your hotel in Kandalama en route stop at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

The Elephant Orphanage, located on the banks of the Maha Oya, is mainly to house young elephants who find themselves displaced and lost from their natural habitats for various reasons – environmental changes due to development projects, being abandoned by their parents when they fall into pits & ravines, etc. The most interesting times to visit is at feeding or bathing time.

Also have lunch at Pinnalanda Restaurant Over looking the lake where elephants are taken for their daily bath.

Thereafter proceed to Kandalama and have the rest of the day free for leisure at the hotel.

Dinner and Overnight at Heritance Kandalama  (B,L,D)

Day 03

After breakfast visit cave Temple in Dambulla.

Dambulla – located in the north central province this UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 01st century BC, is an amazing complex of 05 caves, first used as a refuge by an ancient king who on regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent carved images within the living rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 meters. Cave inscriptions from the 2nd Century BC are found and on the walls are many paintings most of which belong to the Kandy period (early 19th century). This temple is a perfect location to view evolution of ancient Sri Lankan art and is an important historical site due to the amalgamation of the material from many eras.

Optional – In the afternoon take an Elephant Back Safari through the forests and villages of Kandalama. A wooden platform large enough to hold four people is secured atop an elephant. From this unique perch clients will enjoy Kandalama and the surrounding wilderness as the elephant ambles through.

Dinner and Overnight at Heritance Kandalama (B,D)

 

Day 04

After breakfast Morning free for leisure or Do an Optional  visit and climb  to Rock Fortress Sigiriya.

Sigiriya – this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a spectacular Rock Fortress, is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the Frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti, the Lion platform and the Summit of 1.6 hectares, which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory. Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 A.D), the “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200m from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town and the base is ringed by a moat, rampart, and extensive gardens. The world-renowned frescoes (originally 500, of which only 19 remain today) which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway are painted in earth pigments on plaster. The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a crouching lion but today only the huge paws remain giving an indication of the massive proportions of the head.  Remains of the handsome royal citadel are on the summit and several caves for meditation, audience platforms and baths complete the unique site.

Thereafter proceed to your hotel in Habarana and in the evening visit Minneriya and do a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park.

Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, the 8,890 hectares of Minneriya National Park  consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to favorites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3 rd century AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze, as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters.

 

Elephant Gathering

“As the drought in the Sri Lankan dry zone heightens every year in June and most national parks in the area are parched; there remains only one oasis – “Minneriya National Park”.  Here too the magnificent Minneriya Tank reduces in size by more than half giving rise to fresh grassland.  Abundant grazing land and water draw many herds from the surrounding forests, which converge at Minneriya National Park during the months prior to the rains which are expected in September, resulting in an amazing GATHERING of over 300 elephants.  An incredible experience…..”

 

 

Birds

Even if you miss out on the Painted Storks, Great White Pellcan, Gray Herons, and even the Ruddy Turnstones, be sure to spot Jungle Fowl, Hanging Parrot Brwon capped Babbler, and the Gray Hornbill, because Minneriya one of the few place in the world where you might be able to catch a glimpse of these magnificent species.

Dinner and Overnight at Heritance Kandalama (B,D)

 

Day 05

After an early breakfast transfer to  Hiriwaduna (05 minute transfer) for a 01 ½ – 02 hour walk through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The walk begins along a bund of a Wewa or man made reservoir. The reservoir itself, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of early morning activity. The amazing birdlife, butterflies and possible sightings of crocodile only add to the charm of seeing the villagers as they go about their early morning tasks of fishing, or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake.

You wade through a shallow stream and the sense of adventure heightens when you need to get to a Chena Cultivation via a somewhat wider tributary which needs to be crossed on an     obliging farmer’s catamaran!!

Chena farming is the practice of “slash and burn” agriculture where in the olden days farmers cleared virgin forest and used the land for crops until the soil was depleted of nutrients before they moved on to clear a new section of forest. With modern artificial nutrients “Slash and Burn” is no longer practiced, but the old Chena Farms are still worked by villages.

The journey of discovery continues through dense shrub forests, home to many forest birds and other wildlife including monkeys, bear, python and even elephant.

Meet vehicle and return to the hotel in time for lunch and thereafter head for the east coast for a two night stay at Trincomalee, which sits on the world’s fifth largest harbour and whose port is recorded in history as far as the 05th Century BC. When Horatio Nelson sailed in on The Sea Horse, he described is as world’s finest harbour.

May till October is the ideal ideal season to engage your self in water based activities in Trincomalee. Sea Bath, Snorkeling, Whale Watching etc

Rest of the day free for leisure at the beach and Dinner at the speciality “Crab Restaurant” at Chaaya Blu, Trincomalee. The open restaurant is located on the beach and is a must do for every food enthusiasts. The Special Eastern Recipe fro Chillie Crab is Legendary

Overnight at Chaaya Blu, Trincomalee (Superior Room) (B,D)

 

 

Day 06

After breakfast full day free for leisure or engage your self in optional activities.

The early birds will be rewarded with a spectacular sunrise over the eastern horizon. Spend the morning at leisure enjoying the beach or take an Optional whale watching.

  • Optional whale watching specially for Blue Whale – excursion is only possible between the months of May – October

Whale watching in Sri Lankan was first operated on the east coast off Trincomalee in the early 1980’s. This was very much before the west coast off Mirissa and Kalpitiya was popularized for easy Blue Whale since 2007.

Or

  • Snorkeling at Pigeon Island National Park which is one of Sri Lanka’s best marine reserves and home to incredible reef ecosystems – excursion is only possible between the months of May – October

Or

  • Visit to the Hot Springs at Kanniyai – a series of hot water springs of legendary importance – these hot springs are believed to be created by the god Vishnu. Wrap yourself in a local lungi or sarong and join the locals as they use small buckets to splash themselves at the tiled ponds in to which the water flows.

Dinner and Overnight at Chaaya Blu, Trincomalee  (Superior Room) (B,D)

 

 

Day 07

Leave after breakfast for Kandy en route visiting Dambulla Cave Temple.

Also stop at Matale spice growing region for special insight to some unique Sri Lankan agriculture. First stop at a coconut plantation to learn about the multitude of uses of this fascinating tree; see how the coconut is husked and its fibers used to make rope. Witness the collection of the sweet coconut water for a refreshing drink, the use of the coconut kernel for the extraction of coconut milk which forms the base for most Sri Lankan curries and the production of honey and sweet juggery from sap collected from the coconut flower.

Proceed to a traditional spice garden where we will learn about the unique uses of spices in Sri Lankan cuisine. Those who would like to may assist in the preparation of some of the local dishes which we will then sample during lunch served out doors using lotus leaves instead of plates. After 05 days in the dry zone you will notice the distinctly different flavours present in hill country cuisine.

Proceed to Kandy and late evening witness the Cultural dance performance in Kandy.

Dinner and Overnight at Amaya Hills, Kandy (B,L,D)

Day 08

After breakfast explore the city of Kandy including a visit to the Temple of the much revered Tooth Relic , the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. Apart from being home to the most impressive collection flowers the garden also houses over 20 species of fruit trees.

Rest of the day free for leisure

Dinner and Overnight at Amaya Hills, Kandy  (B,D)

 

Day 09

After breakfast transfer to Nuwara Eliya by train or by road. (Observation Class Train from  Kandy to Nanu Oya – Railway Stopping point in Nuwara Eliya. Can be organized on availability if not we can organize the 02nd Class carraige  where it is often overloaded by would give you a different experience.)

Visit a tea plantation and factory to witness the process of turning the raw green leaf in to the familiar black/brown finished product. Learn how the “Two Leaves and a bud” are carefully picked and of the many processes involved in brining to us a cup of pure Ceylon Tea.

Dinner and Overnight Heritance Tea Factory Hotel, Nuwara Eliya (Superior Room) (B,D)

(The Tea Factory Hotel is a unique hotel which built within the walls of an abandoned Tea Factory. Most of the original machinery from the factory has been retained and now make up the interior décor of the hotel).

Day 10

After breakfast day free to explore Nuwara Eliya Or Optional activities

Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka’s premier hill resort with a fine bracing mountain climate, Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country, producing some of the world’s best tea.  The mountain slopes and valleys are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. Red or green roofed plantation bungalows, English country style homes and hotels with lovely flower gardens, a fine 18 hole golf course and a racecourse gives Nuwara Eliya a decidedly British character.

Dinner with a difference tonight, you might like dine in TCK 6685 , a former plantation train carriage which has now been lovingly restored to its original condition.

Overnight Heritance Tea Factory Hotel, Nuwara Eliya (Superior Room) (B,D)

Day 11

After breakfast transfer to Yala en route Stop at Ella.

Ella is blessed with some of the most beautiful views, you could find in Sri Lanka.

Only 8 km from Bandarawela, this small town is used as a base for plenty of trekking expeditions to the surrounding countryside.
A taste of the breathtaking scenery of Ella could be had, if you just walk into the Garden of the Grand Ella Motel (Formerly Ella Rest House), where you seem to be standing at the edge of the world, and everything around you seems to disappear at your feet.
Some of the places you could see in Ella are the Ella Gap, Ravana Ella Falls, Little Adam’s Peak and Bambaragala Peak among the other many varied pleasant walks with stunning scenery.

Proceed to your hotel in Yala and In the evening visit Kataragama Temple.

Kataragama (also Katharagama, Katirkamam and Kathirgamam,)is a pilgrimage town popular with Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and indigenous Vedda communities of Sri Lanka and South India. The town has Ruhunu Maha Kataragama devalaya, a shrine dedicated to Skanda-Murukan also known as Kataragamadevio. Kataragama is situated in the Monaragala District of Uva province, Sri Lanka. It is situated 228 km ESE of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Although Kataragama was a small village in medieval times, today it is a fast developing township surrounded by jungle in the South Eastern region of Sri Lanka. It also houses the ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa. The town has a venerable history dating back to the last centuries of BCE. It also was the seat of government of many Sinhalese kings during the days of Rohana kingdom. Since the 1950s the city has undergone many improvements with successive governments investing in public transportation, medical facilities, and business development and hotel services. It adjoins the popular Yala national park.

Dinner and Overnight at Cinnamon Wild, Yala  (Jungle Challet Room) (B,D)

 

Day 12

Take a morning and evening jeep safari in Yala National park.

Yala – Sri Lanka’s most known National Park is popular for Elephant, Leopard, Bear, Crocodile and Wild Boar. 97,800 hectares in extent, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s National Parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also received much fame through publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project. Claims have subsequently been made that Yala National Park has the world’s highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre. Vegetation is primarily grassland and shrub jungle with patches of dense growth while several salt and fresh water lagoons are a haven for a large variety of resident and migrant birds. Areas popular with leopard are rock strewn hillocks with dense shrub in which the animals hide.

Special Wildlife themed “ Bush Dinner” Organized at the forest which surrounds the property. There is no physical boundry between Chaaya Wild and Yala National parkand so the danger and the excitement of a possible appearance of a Wild Elephant at the bush dinner will add a special element of adventure.

Dinner and Overnight at Cinnamon Wild, Yala  (Jungle Challet Room) (B,D)

 

Day 13

After breakfast transfer to your hotel in Galle on the southwest coast

Evening explore the city of Galle.

Galle – said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible where King Solomon obtained gems and spices, this “Living” UNESCO World Heritage Site is the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505.  Captured and fortified by the Dutch who ruled maritime Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city still retains the air of old Holland. Within the well preserved 90 acre fort and ramparts built in 1663 are old Dutch churches and monuments with armorial bearings, an imposing crested and monogrammed gateway dated 1669, many well preserved old Dutch houses and narrow alleys still bearing Dutch names.  The New Oriental Hotel, built for a Dutch governor in 1684, a colonial gem now converted to the internationally renowned Amangalle Hotel and several other excellent boutique hotels are testimony to the importance of this location

Dinner and Overnight at Light House, Galle  ( Deluxe Room)  (B,D)

 

Day 14

From the strong accent on speech to dress, architecture and of course cuisine the south of Sri Lanka has traditionally evolved a distinctly unique culture.  Leave after breakfast for a local villager’s home where you will join in the preparation of a few typically southern dishes…

Learn the art or more correctly the science of creating the perfect “Fish Ambul Thiyal”. This is a classical local favorite made of Tuna or similar fish where a potent concoction of spices are used in combination with an interesting method of slow-cooking to create a fish preparation which keeps fresh for many days even without refrigeration or artificial preservatives.

Also learn how to prepare a curry made of young Jack Fruit which, correctly prepared makes a great substitute for meat and so is a great favorite among Sri Lanka’s vegetarians! The curry powder used for this dish is a unique mix of powdered Coriander, Cumin, Sweet Cumin, Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Cloves!

 The afternoon is at leisure to recover from the acute exposure to southern Sri Lankan spices and to relax on the beach.

Dinner and Overnight at Light House, Galle  ( Deluxe Room)  (B,D)

 

 

Day 15

After breakfast transfer to Mount Lavinia en route stop at Lunuganga for Lunch, a unique and intriguing country estate house, is a 15-minute drive inland from the beach resort of Bentota on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Set in rolling, Renaissance-inspired tropical gardens, Lunuganga Estate was the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Started in 1947, the garden led Bawa, a lawyer called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1940, to decide to become an architect. As he went on to become Sri Lanka’s and one of Asia’s most prolific and influential architects, the garden at the Lunuganga estate remained his first muse and experimental laboratory for new ideas. He continued to change and experiment with its spaces and structures throughout his life until his final illness in 1998. Left to the Lunuganga Trust on his demise in 2003, the gardens are now open to the public and the buildings on the estate are run as a country house hotel.

Thereafter proceed to your hotel

Dinner and Overnight at Mount Lavinia Hotel (Direct Ocean View) (B,L,D)

 

Day 16

After breakfast explore the city of Colombo

Colombo – the trade and commercial capital has long been the traditional gateway to the Orient.  Sri Lanka’s largest city, it is located on the west coast and draws together all the cultures, religions and influences of foreign lands into a pot-pourri of sounds, smells and a kaleidoscope of colour. The original traders and settlers – the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and the British have left in their wake churches and monuments, names and religions, costumes and food and smatterings of their languages which have been absorbed into the speech of the Sri Lankan. Today, Colombo is a fascinating city – a happy blend of east & west, past & present, with a charm of its own. A less known but amazingly true fact is that Colombo has a superb range of high quality restaurants serving food from all over the world and some of the best shopping opportunities in Asia. The main seaport of Sri Lanka is in Colombo & adjoining it, is Pettah, a local bazaar & trading area.  Other places of interest are the beautiful Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, mosques, the historic Wolfendhal church, (1749) residential areas where you find the stately homes of the affluent, the Colombo Museum, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, the New Parliament in Sri Jayewardenepura, the Folk Art Centre, Art Galleries, Parks, Independence Square, the Ceramic Corporation famous for its well known brand “Noritake” and ODEL the renowned shopping centre.

Beach Wadiya is One of the world famous beach restaurants and even Princess Anne dined here.The restaurant serves fresh seafood and even discusses the menu with you under a thatched roof on plain wooden tables; weather permitting on the sand outside. Great atmosphere.

Overnight at Mount Lavinia Hotel (Direct Ocean View) (B,D)

Day 17

After breakfast transfer to airport to take your return flight home. (B)

 

 

Applicable Rates ( 01st November 2014 – 30th  April 2015)

02 – 03 Pax                         04- 06 Pax               07Pax above

 

Price Per Person Sharing Double                 US$  2800.00                     2700.00                  2600.00

Single Room Supplement                              US$  1170.00                     1170.00                  1170.00

Single Pax Transport Supplement US$    435.00

 

Seasonal Supplements – 20th Dec 2014 – 15th January 2015

Price Per Person Sharing Double                 US$  370.00                           370.00                     370.00

Single Room Supplement                              US$  470.00                           470.00                     470.00

Applicable Rates ( 01st May 2015 – 31st October 2015)

02 – 03 Pax                         04- 06 Pax              07Pax above

Price Per Person Sharing Double                 US$  2650.00                     2550.00                     2450.00

Single Room Supplement                              US$  1050.00                     1050.00                     1050.00

Single Pax Transport Supplement US$    435.00

 

Seasonal Supplements – 01st July 2015 – 31st August   2015

Price Per Person Sharing Double                 US$       185.00                    185.00                       185.00

Single Room Supplement                              US$       285.00                    285.00        285.00

 

Price Includes.

  • Accommodation on the basis that is mentioned above. (Including 01st Night stay at Taj Airport Garden, Katunayake)

 

  • – Breakfast

(L)       – Lunch

(D)      – Dinner

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned Van with the Service of English Speaking Driver Guide.

  • Applicable entrance fees and activities.

    • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

    • Hiriwaduna Trek

    • Entrance and Jeep Safari to Minneriya National Park – 01 Safari

    • Entrance to Dambulla Cave Temple

    • Kandy Temple

    • Peradeniya Botanical Garden

    • Entrance and Jeep safari to Yala National Park – 02 Safaris

  • Observation Class Train Tickets from Kandy to Nanu – Oya

  • Service Charge and Tax

Price Excludes.

 

  •    Cost of Air-ticket

  •     Optional Tours and Activities (Visit to Sigiriya ,Snorkeling , Whale Watching etc)

  •     Meals not specified

  •     Compulsory Seasonal Supplements

  •     Compulsory Perahera Period Supplement ( 20th August 2015 – 30th August 2015)

  •     Tips , Porterage and Expenses of Personal Nature