Southern Discovery – India & Sri Lanka (22 days)

22 days from just £3,225 pp
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flag Kochi - Munnar - Periyar - Alleppey - Kovalam - Colombo - Habarana - Pinnawela - Anuradhpura - Sigirya - Polonnaruwa - Dambulla - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Bentota
What's included?
+ included - not included
  • International Flight
  • Accommodation
  • Water
  • Meals
  • Escorted Tour
  • Domestic Flights
  • Airport Taxes Charges
  • Visa
  • Insurance
  • Tipping

South India, a tropical symphony, a world away from everyday life, and Sri Lanka, the tea country island, rich in cultural, archaeological and natural treasures. Discover the southern state of Kerala and the very best of Sri Lanka, then engulf yourself in the palm-lined luxury of the coral-rich sea for several days, whilst you sit back and let the world pass-you-by.

 

Day 1 - UK departure

Depart the UK with international economy flight to Kochi. We can also arrange departures from your local airport at no extra cost.

Day 2 - Kochi arrival

Arrive Kochi, the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for 2 nights stay.

Kochi, also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Starting from the Dutch, Portuguese and the British, Kochi was the site of the first European colonial settlements in India.

Day 3 - Kochi

After breakfast, take a guided walk through the historic Fort Kochi area. This morning we will visit the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and see the authentic Chinese fishing nets still in active use by the fishermen in Kerala.

This evening, watch a spectacular Kathakali performance. Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in India. One of the most complex and highly stylised Indian art forms, this performance is a spectacular combination of drama, dance, music and ritual. Characters with vividly painted faces and elaborate costumes re-enact stories from the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Reach early for the unique opportunity to see the performers dressing up in their very elaborate and colourful costumes and painting their faces with make up to create the special persona for the performance. Also visit the onsite cultural museum to see sculptures of Kerala’s unique dance forms, a large replica of an authentic Keralan wooden canoe and see how Keralan handicrafts and saris are woven.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 4 - Kochi to Munnar

After breakfast embark on a scenic drive to Munnar, one of the most popular hill resorts of south India. Under the British Raj, Munnar was popularly called ‘Switzerland of India’ for its natural surroundings and cool climate. The entire area is occupied by thick forests and tea estates. The specialty of Munnar is its jungle honey, tea and a rare flower ‘Neela Kurunji’ which blooms once in 12 years. Upon arrival check-in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 5 - Munnar

After breakfast, visit a local tea plantation and the Tata Tea Museum to learn about the cultivation and processing of a variety of Indian teas. Then we visit a unique welfare initiative in Munnar, which focuses on enhancing the hidden talents of differently abled children, most of whom are from families of local tea pluckers of Munnar. Here we see three projects that aim to equip disabled children to secure a better future: a centre for special education; a natural dye fabric printing project; and a unit that manufactures handmade paper and paper products. The products made by these children are sold at a small outlet near the workshops and are exported to Japan and Europe. A visit to this unique initiative reiterates how enthusiasm is a sign of spiritual health and imperfections are what make you beautiful!

Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 6 - Munnar to Periyar

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Periyar, the spice plantation hub of Kerala. Upon arrival in Periyar, check in to your hotel and freshen up.

This evening watch a Kalaripayattu performance, one of the oldest form of martial arts and known as the mother of all martial arts. Kalarippayattu consists of punches, leg moves, stretches, twists, and jumps performed in a particular sequence. In Periyar, you get a unique opportunity to witness a performance of this ancient art along with the locals at the village arena.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 7 - Periyar

Early this morning, we take a guided walk with a naturalist in Periyar Wildlife Reserve. Observe some rare species of flora and fauna, along with a variety of birds and if you are lucky you may even spot a few elephants and wildlife across the lake.

This afternoon, take a spice plantation tour and learn about the mystery and history of Indian spices. The spice plantations in Periyar are captivating farms growing different spices in different sections of the plantations. You will be intrigued to see the vast variety of spices ranging from cloves, cardamom, ginger, pepper, chilli, turmeric etc.

Enjoy afternoon at leisure or free for optional activities offered by the resort.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 8 - Periyar to Alleppey

After a leisurely morning we drive to Alleppey, a coastal town in the backwaters of Kerala. Upon arrival, check-in at your houseboat for an overnight stay. Enjoy a relaxing day onboard houseboat, observing the local life around the backwaters and embracing the serenity of Kumarakom. Spend the night under the stars aboard a traditional thatched roof houseboat on the backwaters of Kumarakom.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 9 - Alleppey to Kovalam

After breakfast you alight your houseboat and drive to Kovalam, a serene south Indian beach destination that is renowned for offering authentic Indian Ayurveda therapies. Upon arrival in Kovalam, check in to your hotel for 2 nights stay.

Enjoy the evening at leisure. You may wish to explore the spa at your resort and experience an Indian Ayurveda massage (at extra charge).

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 10 - Kovalam/Trivandrum

This morning, you will be driven to Trivandrum to enjoy a brief city tour.

Trivandrum is built on hills by the sea shore and sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. While you are in the city visit the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple complex (non Hindus are not allowed to visit inside the main temple), Napier Museum (a museum of art and natural history), Sree Chithra Art Gallery which features a unique collection of traditional and contemporary paintings and finally the Palace Museum.

Return back to your hotel in the afternoon with time free at leisure.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 11 - Trivandrum to Colombo, Sri Lanka

After breakfast, transfer to Trivandrum airport to board your direct flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

On arrival in Colombo airport, you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel for overnight stay.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 12 - Colombo to Habarana via Pinnawela

After breakfast embark on your on your drive to Habarana in north central Sri Lanka.

En-route to Habarana, visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, set up by the Sri Lankan government to rehabilitate orphaned elephants. Spend some time at the orphanage, seeing elephants being fed and bathed by the orphanage staff. 

Upon arrival in Habarana check into your hotel for overnight stay.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 13 - Habarana - excursion to Anuradhpura

After breakfast enjoy an excursion to Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya River. Anuradhapura, an ancient city founded in the 05th century B.C., is home to the largest number of monuments of the great Sinhala civilization. Visit the ancient royal palaces, shrines, dagobas and Sri Mahabodhi. Also visit the “Bodhi tree” which is over 2,200 years old, grown from a branch of the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 14 - Habarana - excursion to Sigirya & Polonnaruwa

After breakfast visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sigiriya Rock, built by King Kassapa in the 5th century AD. Today the rock is a treasure trove of rare art. In a pocket of the giant rock are the famous frescoes of the heavenly maidens of Sigiriya. Also called ‘the Lion Rock’ or the ‘Rock Fortress’ this citadel rises more than 1,000 ft from the jungles below. If you wish to climb Sigiriya Rock, there are approx. 1200 steps and on an average it takes approx. 1.5 hrs to climb the rock (actual time varies from person to person).

Later embark on your scenic drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa, the 2nd capital of Sinhala kings dating back to 11th & 12th century A.D. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the ‘Parakrama Samudra’. Numerous monuments are found in this city & ‘Gal Vihara’ complex is one of the best among them with fine sculptures of standing and seated Buddha. Also visit the Polonnaruwa museum here.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 15 - Habarana to Kandy via Dambulla

After breakfast, embark on your drive to Kandy.

En-route visit another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla, which dates back to the first century BC. The temple consists of a series of 5 caves of statues and paintings, including a 47 ft. long statue of Lord Buddha. This is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. 

Continue drive to Kandy, en-route visiting the Spice Garden at Matale. Upon arrival in Kandy, check in at your hotel for overnight stay.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 16 - Kandy

After breakfast, explore the sacred city of Kandy, one of Sri Lanka’s 8 UNESCO World Heritage site.

Today we will visit the Temple of Tooth Relic of Buddha, located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of 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. Visitors are not allowed inside the inner chambers and cannot see the tooth relic.

Also visit Natha Devale, located in front of the Palace complex of Kandy. Natha Devale, built in the 14th century, is said to have been in existence even before the Tooth Relic was brought to Kandy.

This evening enjoy a cultural dance show to see the popular Kandyan dancing and drumming of Sri Lanka.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 17 - Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

This morning embark on your scenic drive to Nuwara Eliya, the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, set against beautiful backdrops of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tea plantations.

Today in Nuwara Eliya, enjoy an experience of tea plucking, wearing the local Sri Lankan attire – saree for the ladies, sarong for the men. You will get a small demonstration about how to pluck tea leaves and place them in your basket. Professional tea pluckers will accompany you – you’ll be amazed at how efficiently and quickly they manage to fill their baskets to meet their minimum target of 15kg a day!

After tea plucking, we will arrive at the Mini Tea Factory, where the chief tea taster, will inspect your efforts. Then we take a tour of the Mini Tea Factory and understand the process, from the initial drying (withering) of the leaves, through rolling, fermenting and sifting, to produce the different types of tea. Finally, you can taste the different teas, from flowery pekoe to green tea and teabag dust, to appreciate for yourself the differences in colour, flavour and strength.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 18 - Nuwara Eliya to Bentota

After breakfast, embark on a leisurely drive to Bentota, a relaxing beach destination of Sri Lanka.

Upon arrival, check in at your hotel for 3 nights stay. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 19 - Bentota

Day at leisure to sit back and relax on the beach.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 20 - Bentota

Day at leisure to sit back and relax on the beach.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 21 - Bentota to Colombo

After breakfast embark on your return drive to Colombo

This afternoon, take a city tour of Colombo visiting the commercial city centre area known as the “Fort” built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. See the busy markets and bazaars of Pettah and visit the Hindu temple with magnificent stone carvings. Also visit the old Dutch church built in the 18th century and drive past the Town HallIndependence Square and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall to see the replica of Avukana Buddha.

Then visit Kelaniya Buddhist temple, believed to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Buddha and paintings which depict important events in the life of the Buddha.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 22 - Colombo departure

Today we goodbye to Sri Lanka and transfer to the airport for international economy flight back to UK.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
Kochi - 5* Crowne Plaza Kochi

5* Crowne Plaza Kochi

Crowne Plaza Kochi, Kerala, is an ideal staying place for both the professional and leisure travelers from across the world. It is placed amidst exotic surroundings that comprised of alluring attractions of the city. The hotel is blessed with excellent accommodation arrangements in the presence of fully furnished rooms and suites.

For more information click here

Munnar - 5* The Windermere Estate

5* The Windermere Estate

Every room at Windermere has been thoughtfully handcrafted over the years, step inside & you feel the warmth and comfort of a home. Step outside, and you are rejuvenated with the fresh mountain air. A holiday that’s for the mind and soul.

For more information click here

Periyar - 5* CGH Spice Village

5* CGH Spice Village

Check ins at Spice Village are not at a boring reception desk, but out on the lawns, with a healthy herbal brew where you can choose the herbs yourself. Get invigorated, absorb the sights and sounds of Nature, and before you know it, your bags have been whisked away to your room and you are ready for a sojourn like no other.

For more information click here

Kumarakom - 5* The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort & Spa

5* The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort & Spa

The Zuri Kumarakom, a luxury resort, spa and luxury hotel, cradles on the banks of India’s longest lake, the Vembanad Lake. Spread across a magnificent 205 square kilometers, the lake traverses several districts of Kerala, the south Indian state we dearly call God’s own country.

For more information click here

Kovalam - 5* The Leela Kovalam

5* The Leela Kovalam

From the start, we have been on a continuous journey to delight each traveller who crosses our threshold. It is The Leela’s goal to provide the most demanding guests with memorable, magical stays that deliver the essence of India and discover a 5-Star experience found only in India, and only at The Leela.

For more information click here

Colombo - 5* Cinnamon Grand

5* Cinnamon Grand

The hotel brings together a curated city experience from fine dining to seafood markets, old English pubs to a Sri Lankan village the epitome of exquisite living; creating an eclectic mix for diverse tastes. In fact, every aspect of Cinnamon Grand Colombo, from our service to our amenities are all designed for grand experiences, fun moments and great memories.

For more information click here

Habarana - 5* Cinnamon Lodge

5* Cinnamon Lodge

A haven for the time traveller, the nature lover, the escapist, and the explorer, Cinnamon Lodge Habarana is a 5-star resort nestled in nature’s serenity right in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. A place that soothes the soul, rejuvenates the senses, and awakens the mind with heavy doses of nature’s tranquillity and centuries-old hospitality.

For more information click here

Kandy - 5* Cinnamon Citadel

5* Cinnamon Citadel

Fancy waking up to a picture-postcard view of a river, set against a backdrop of mountains shrouded in varying degrees of mist? Revelling in a soundtrack written and performed by Mother Nature herself? Then travelling back in time for a history lesson? That’s exactly what you’d get, and more, at the Cinnamon Citadel Kandy.

For more information click here

Nuwara Eliya - 5* Heritance Tea Factory

5* Heritance Tea Factory

Enjoy the captivating setting as you tuck into high tea on the terrace or a delicious tea-themed menu in the restaurant. For an extraordinary Sri Lankan experience make your way to Heritance Tea Factory, where the kettle is always on.

For more information click here

Bentota - 5* Cinnamon Bey

5* Cinnamon Bey

The open and lush design of Cinnamon Bey Beruwala pays tribute to the Arabian traders who first made contact with our island in the 10th century. This inspired, Turkish atmosphere was created by Channa Daswatte, one of the island’s most talented architects and creative minds. Carefully curated décor combine with vibrant tones to make you fall in love with us in an instant.

For more information click here

Tour Prices include:

  • International economy flights;
  • Hotel accommodation as shown (based on twin occupancy);
  • Meals as described (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner);
  • Meeting and assistance on arrivals and departures;
  • Sightseeing excursions with English speaking guides;
  • All transfers and road transportation in air-conditioned vehicles;
  • Train/Boat journeys where mentioned in program;
  • Domestic flights where mentioned in program;
  • All currently applicable taxes.

Tour Prices exclude:

  • Sri Lanka visa fee;
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, souvenirs etc;
  • Travel insurance (can be arranged, please ask for details);
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Optional tours;
  • Drinks during meals;
  • Early check-in or late check-out;
  • Flight and accommodation upgrades.
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21 nights
07/05/2018
28/05/2018
£3,225(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
17/09/2018
08/10/2018
£3,225(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
15/10/2018
05/11/2018
£3,995(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
12/11/2018
03/12/2018
£3,995(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
14/01/2019
04/02/2019
£3,995(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
11/02/2019
04/03/2019
£3,995(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
11/03/2019
01/04/2019
£3,995(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
08/04/2019
29/04/2019
£3,765(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
21 nights
06/05/2019
27/05/2019
£3,325(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
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