These enable our guests to experience a little of the Sri Lankan way of life and to showcase the country’s culture and diversity of scenery. They include:
40km from Surya, this rock Temple dates back to the 3rd century AD. View the wall paintings based on ancient Jataka stories and a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. Observe beautifully painted cave temples carved into 5 levels and a unique Buddhist monk’s grave yard.
This excursion also includes a stop-over at Wewurukannala Temple to view the giant Buddha statue, one of the tallest in Sri Lanka.
A round trip of around 90km highlighting Sri Lanka’s vegetation- rubber and tea estates, paddy fields, coconut plantations plus a variety of spices such as cinnamon and pepper. At the Handunugoda Tea Estate, guests can see the white tea plantation and hear the legend behind it; sample a wide variety of teas, many of which are manufactured exclusively by the estate itself as well as tour the factory which uses machinery dating back to the British era.
The most important town in the south, and a World heritage site. Believed to be the Tarshish of the Bible, it has a natural harbour and a long fascinating history of Portugese, Dutch and British occupation. Explore the historic Dutch Fort and ramparts, the Old Dutch Church, the Maritime Museum and recent additions such as handicraft shops. Galle’s specialties include lace making, ebony carving and gem polishing.
Built on the banks of the Nilawala River, Matara is an ancient settlement. Visit the Dutch Star Fort (17th century AD) which is still in good condition, stroll along the beach promenade or simply sample the local shops and fruit markets. En route visit the Uthpolowanna Sri Vishnu Devalaya, believed to date back to the 7th century AD. It is the site of the annual Esala Perhera (July-August), a religious procession featuring elephants and colourful dance troupes.