Go on a classic Sri Lankan foodies holiday and get a taste of Sri Lanka. Visit local markets, enjoy home cooking, and indulge in street food from different regions of the island; while enjoying an eclectic mix of accommodation concepts. Your journey begins in Negombo, the coastal town twenty minutes from the international airport. Head to Dambulla next, part of the islands’ cultural triangle. The Hill country capital of Kandy and the southern coastal town of Galle await you next, before reaching the capital city of Colombo. The tour is focused on the food of Sri Lanka, from different parts of the island. Experience home cooking, cooking classes, street food, local markets and various other food-related experiences along with a dash of culture, history and wildlife.
You will be picked up at the arrival lounge at the international airport, by your designated chauffeur, who will accompany you through your Sri Lankan adventure. Go on a short drive to the coastal town of Negombo thereafter, and check in at the hotel to spend the evening at leisure.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort and visit Negombo’s local market. Thereafter, Proceed to Dambulla on a four-hour drive, in the Sri Lankan cultural triangle. Check in at the resort for the next 2 nights and spend the evening at leisure.
Negombo Local Market
Negombo is home to the country’s second-largest fish market, the “Lellama”. This colourful and authentic market is a great place to observe the local fishing trade and see the amazing variety of seafood that is offloaded from boats.
After breakfast, explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress (Approx. 20 min drive). Thereafter, Continue to enjoy a Sri Lankan village with a traditional farmer’s lunch. Enjoy an afternoon Jeep safari at the Minneriya national park after the delicious local meal. Return to the resort and spend the late evening at leisure.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, was built on top of a huge boulder in the 5th century. A palace. A rock fortress. The hidden castle of King Kasyapa. A Buddhist monastery from the 14th century. Similar to the cosmic mountain of Meru? The eighth wonder of the world? No place in Sri Lanka has generated as many theories and legends as the 180m monolith, set amidst stunning scenery.
Sigiriya consists of 1200 steps. The first part of the visit is a leisurely walk through the pleasure gardens. Then one starts to climb. There are two areas where one can take a break on the way up. The entire duration of the experience takes approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on the speed at which you want to climb. Water is provided. If it looks like it might rain don’t forget to take an umbrella from the vehicle.
Sri Lankan Village Experience
Enlightening and exhilarating, this village safari gives you a glimpse of a uniquely interlinked Sri Lankan village life where the villagers go about their daily lives with the greatest respect for nature. Spend a morning in the remote village of Hiruwadunna – an area the locals call ‘God’s village’ and said to be a refuge of King Wasaba (66-110 AD). Lunch is included in this experience.
Swooping eagles and exotic butterflies are some of the visual highlights of the journey before the ultimate view of the majestic Sigiriya Rock Fortress and surrounding mountain ranges in the distance. Where the boat ride ends, a bumpy one on tractor begins. Take in wide open paddy fields and miniature forests that have a lot to offer by way of birds, lizards and butterflies. The tractor stops at another hamlet for a tour of vegetable and fruit plantations and a first-hand account of how traditional and superstitious farming is kept alive. Stops along the journey at cool mud structures with palm-thatched roofs for refreshing fruit slices and native aromatic herbal brews served in coconut shells, make this experience neither too hectic nor laid back. It does however work up a big appetite, so the mini-adventure is tied up with a feast of fresh vegetables harvested from the fields just explored. Prepared in Sri Lanka’s version of slow cooking; olden day prep methods in cutting veggies, pounding raw rice, weaving palm baskets, and clay pot cooking over a wooden hearth are demonstrated before the final reward of a large, delicious, warm meal served on a lotus leaf, in keeping with good ol’ fashioned rural hospitality.
Jeep Safari – Minneriya National Park
Just half an hour’s drive from Polonnaruwa is Minneriya National Park. The park covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs, a favourite habitat for animals, which include leopards, deer and wild elephants.
The Park’s main feature is the former reservoir or tank built by King Mahasen in the third century AD. During the dry season from June to September, this is a fantastic place to watch herds of elephants come to graze and bathe. In more recent times, it has been discovered that the park witnesses the largest elephant gathering in the world during these months. You can also see huge flocks of birds, including cormorants and painted storks that come to fish in the shallow waters.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort and proceed to Kandy (Approx. 3 Hrs). Upon reaching Kandy, Visit the historic Temple of the tooth relic. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a Kandy food trail experience. Check in at the Resort for the next 2 nights and spend the evening at your leisure.
Temple Tooth Relic
Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.
Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays, there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with a herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.
The visit typically lasts 1 hour. First, you walk towards the temple through the gardens. Your guide will buy you the entrance tickets. We recommend buying a lotus flower right at the entrance – 100 LKR per set. Buy it yourself for the experience, why not? Your guide will walk you through the various chambers explaining the history and significance of the temple.
Kandy Food Trail Experience
our culinary trail to explore the hill country’s rich cuisine takes you around Kandy, the last kingdom of Sri Lanka’s regal history. A fine display of Kandyan artistry, Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy houses the sacred tooth relic of Buddha. Walk the streets of Kandy and catch a glimpse of its colonial elegance blended with the natural beauty. The city is dotted with impeccably restored colonial buildings and historic landmarks.
First, visit a local eatery to enjoy freshly prepared vegan dishes, which are staples of the Sinhalese community in Kandy. These nourishing dishes bring to light the traditional culinary recipes of Kandy. You can also catch a sneak peek of what is being cooked in the open kitchen. Next, stop by a bustling restaurant with busy waiters carrying plates of hot dosa and vadei, the clatter of tea making and action-packed counters to relish nibbles of traditional dishes made by Tamil households in Kandy. Sample a range of Tamil cuisine with both vegan and vegetarian options.
Back on the road, look for street food galore to get a taste of the island’s delectable flavours. Crispy, salty, spicy and sugary, Sri Lankan street food comes in all shapes and sizes. However, this experience is based on availability as street food is provided by street vendors and food carts wheeling around the city.
Later, drop in at a local food stall that excels in keeping things healthy and fresh while not compromising on flavour. A vegan’s dream come true, you can treat yourself to a range of soya-based food items including snacks, milk and even ice cream. Bring your food trail to an end by either dropping in at a modern café to tuck into a wholesome salad or visiting a colonial hotel to gulp down a pint of beer.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and spend the morning at leisure. Experience a Cookery Demo at Kirinda walawwa, with a local lunch. Enjoy a cultural dance show, later in the afternoon. return to the hotel and Spend the evening at leisure.
Cookery Demo Kirinda Walawwa
At Kirinda Walauwa, as the meals that we serve are made using traditional cooking methods, guests are often curious to find out how this works. Over the years, the cookery demonstration has become highly popular amongst our guests and helps us share Sri Lankan culture and cuisine with them as well as allowing them to learn (interactively) how to make some traditional dishes. You will be able to have lunch during this experience.
Cultural Dance Show
Today Kandy is the centre of Buddhism, Arts, Crafts, Dancing, Music and Culture. Visitors can see these dance & music performances at the daily cultural performance which starts in the evening and runs for more than 1 hour. With more than 7 different dance performances, captivating drumming and the skills of the traditional musicians on display, this show will give you a great insight into traditional Sri Lankan culture.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort and proceed to Galle, the stunning coastal town in southern Sri Lanka. Check in at the resort for the next 2 nights and spend the day at leisure.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort, and spend the morning at leisure. Visit Galle Fort, for “the taste of the east” experience with a local family including lunch. Return to the resort afterwards, and spend the day at leisure.
Taste of the East Experience
Galle was once a trading hub for Arab merchants and with them came many dishes, perhaps most quintessential is Biryani. Often served at Muslim family celebrations and festivities, Biryani comprises side dishes such as raita, cashew curry, Malay pickle, curried peas and meats and other spiced vegetables that accompany flavoured rice. This lesson in your host’s own kitchen is authentic and fun as you join her daughters to craft a meal which you will all sit down and eat together as a family.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort and proceed to Colombo. Check in at the resort and spend some time at leisure. Explore Colombos’ street food from late afternoon. Return to the resort after the street food experience and spend the evening at leisure.
Colombo Street Food
Wander through Colombo as evening draws in, where food, often in unusual guises, is everywhere. Begin with a shot of local Arrack in a well-worn local bar and wander past enticing back streets peeking between buildings. On thriving Hulfsdorp Street indulge in traditional sweet treats and pots of bubbling curry with packed dinner-time crowds. Grab a tuk-tuk to the evening buzz of Galle Face to join families, friends and your final food vendors for the main meal. You will never be pressured to try food or drink and we cannot guarantee hygiene standards but this is the perfect opportunity to learn about the city’s sights and aromas.
Enjoy breakfast at the resort. Proceed to the airport for departure (Approx. 1 hr).