Kandy & Nuwara Eliya Hotels & Resorts

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Mahaweli Reach can arrange excursions to landmarks including Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Lankathilaka Rajamaha Temple, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Labookellie Tea Centre and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya.

From Chaaya Citadel you can trek in the Knuckles Mountains, walk ancient trails to temples and learn the art of Kandyan dancing.

Yala Village can arrange safaris and bird watching in Yala National Park, a trip to Situlpahuwa Monastic Settlement, an overnight safari in Bundala, a night safari in Yala Buffer Zone and leopard and bear trails.

Ceylon Tea Trails

Get stuck into mountain-biking and hiking, bird-watching, kayaking and white-water rafting. Climb Adam’s Peak and visit Kandy, Uda Walawe National Park and Horton Plains.

Heritance Tea Factory

Embark on a trek and go bird-watching and tea-plucking. You can also visit landmarks including St Clair's Falls, Mahakudugala Peak and Sita Eliya Temple.

Scenic Train Journey - Nuwara Eliya to Ella

The rail journey between Nuwara Eliya (Nanu Oya station) and Ella is arguably the most beautiful stretch of the Kandy-to-Hill-Country journey. For a few hours, the iconic train winds its way up through tea plantations and fruit farms before crossing the world-famous Nine Arch Bridge on the way into the beautiful town of Ella.

• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The train journey is based on tickets in the first class, air-conditioned carriage. It includes guaranteed seats, lunch or high tea depending on journey time (after the rail journey), taxes and service charges.

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Scenic Train Journey - Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

Depart from the hotel and transfer to the train station and board the train that will take you up towards Nuwara Eliya. As you ascend into the Hill Country, the train passes through rolling tea plantations and verdant forests and you’ll understand why this journey has been named as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Disembark at Nanu Oya station and transfer to your Nuwara Eliya hotel by road.

• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The train journey is based on tickets in the first class, air-conditioned carriage. It includes guaranteed seats, lunch or high tea depending on journey time (after the rail journey), taxes and service charges.

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Scenic Train Journey - Nuwara Eliya to Kandy

Depart from the hotel and transfer to the train station at Nanu Oya and board the train that will take you to Kandy. As you descend from the Hill Country, the train passes through rolling tea plantations and verdant forests and you’ll understand why this journey has been named as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Disembark in Kandy and transfer to your hotel.

• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The train journey is based on tickets in the first class, air-conditioned carriage. It includes guaranteed seats, lunch or high tea depending on journey time (after the rail journey), taxes and service charges.

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Dambulla Cave Temple

A fantastic stopping off point when travelling between Habarana or Kandalama and Kandy, the famous cave complexes of Dambulla are a haven for those interested in Sri Lanka’s rich history. Dating back to the first Century BC, this ancient cave temple has been a pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus for 22 centuries and is still a place of holy importance to this day. There are over 80 documented caves at the site, but with around an hour to explore, this excursion will guide you through the major highlights which are spread over just five of them. Adorned with statues of Gautama Buddha and ornate ceiling paintings, the iconic temple is brimming with artefacts depicting the island’s glorious past and is not to be missed.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Passikudah hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Negombo

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Kandy’s Highlights

Whether time is of the essence or you’re after an introduction to this vibrant city that’s brimming with history and culture, this half day excursion will ensure you don’t miss any of Kandy’s major attractions. Discover one of Buddhism’s most sacred shrines at the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth, where the relic tooth of Buddha is housed and explore the spectacular Royal Palace complex – the perfect backdrop for some holiday snaps. Dating back to 1821, finish your trip with a meander through the delightful Royal Botanical Garden where you’ll find over 100 endemic plants before exploring the rest of the city at leisure or returning to your hotel to unwind.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya and Kandy hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Beruwela, Kalutara, Bentota & Negombo

Good to know
This trip is suitable for all, but legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when entering the temple.

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Minneriya Jeep Safari

If observing elephants in their natural habitat is on your to do list while in Sri Lanka, Minneriya National Park should be top of your list. While elephants can be spotted all year round in huge numbers, during the dry season, between April and October, the park plays host to one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world: The Great Elephant Gathering. As the Minneriya Tank dries up and gives way to a lush grass plain, 300 or more elephants gather in the late afternoon to feed offering visitors an unforgettable spectacle. Home to a host of other wildlife from two endemic monkey species to the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, the endangered Grey Slender Loris and elusive Sri Lankan Leopard can also occasionally be spotted.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama and Kandy

Good to know
Depending on the time of year, guests may be taken to the Hurulu Eco-park (Jan to May) or Kandulla National Park (Nov to Dec) as elephant migrations interchange between all three parks.

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Whale Watching Cruise (car & driver excursion and stay put excursion)

Embark on this once in a lifetime trip in search of whales on this thrilling cruise across the Indian Ocean and discover the multitude of marine life off the coast of Sri Lanka. As your expert skipper and crew sail through areas frequented by whales, look out for sperm, killer, humpback and pilot whales in the tropical waters as well as acrobatic spinner dolphins racing alongside the boat. Home to the largest Blue Whale colony in the world, there’s a good chance you’ll spot these enormous mammals during your excursion offering some incredible photo opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.

• Daily departure
• Operates between October and March
• Group experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Galle, Hambantota, Koggala, Mirissa & Tangalle
• Available for guests staying at hotels in Galle, Koggala & Welogama.

Good to know
A great experience for those looking to explore Sri Lanka’s marine life however as these are wild animals, sightings can’t be guaranteed.

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Sri Lankan Cooking Class

There’s no better souvenir than mastering the art of Sri Lankan cooking, providing you with instant access to the island’s rich flavours once home. Since the Dutch, Portuguese and British settlers began trading spices they have become an important commodity in Sri Lankan cuisine and are the key to mastering the perfect dish. Your class will begin with a guided spice tour where you’ll discover the country’s rich herbal heritage, from harvesting and processing through to the health benefits of the most popular flavours. Set in a restaurant adjacent to a cinnamon plantation, you’ll get busy preparing a traditional Sri Lankan curry with a recipe that’s been inherited over generations before tucking into your own delicious creations over lunch.

• Daily departures
• year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Kandalama, Dambulla, Habarana and Kandy

Good to know
This class is ideal for those travelling between Habarana or Kandalama and Kandy or vice versa due to its location between the two.

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Ceylon Tea Picking Experience

The story of Ceylon tea begins over 200 years ago when Sri Lanka was still a British colony. With its alchemy of land, sun and rain the island provides the ideal climate for its cultivation. For those looking to delve deeper into the cultivation process and history of Sri Lanka’s greatest export, this immersive tea picking experience is not to be missed. A good cup of tea starts in the field and you’ll begin by observing the fine art of tea plucking before heading back inside and learning all about tea processing with a thorough factory visit. Much like wine, each batch of tea must be taste-tested, and you’ll get a quick masterclass on what to look for from your knowledgeable guide. After all that learning, end the day with a refreshing cup of Ceylon Tea straight from the plantation and a newfound appreciation for the hard work that goes into every cup.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy

Good to know
This is a great half day trip for those travelling between Nuwara Eliya and Kandy or vice versa, due to its location between the two.

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Learn the Art of Traditional Pottery & Pan Mat Making

Spend a few hours discovering the skill and beauty of a couple of the traditional crafts still practiced in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country: pottery and weaving. You’ll visit the workshop of a potter and learn about the age-old methods used to create stunning earthenware pieces as well as trying your hand on the potter’s wheel yourself. The focus then shifts to the intricate art of weaving pan reeds into vibrant and multi-use mats – a pan padura – which most families in Sri Lanka will own. Watch as dried-out reeds are transformed in front of your eyes and even have a go yourself.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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The Art of Drumming

The traditional music and percussion instruments of Sri Lanka are the focus on this short but sweet experience from Kandy. Learn about the history and culture surrounding the Kandyan drum, their importance and use during festivals, rituals and at temples. There’ll be the chance to try out the skill for yourself under the guidance of an experienced drummer; this is a great experience to enjoy together as a family.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Kandy Horse Riding

Take a horse-riding lesson in Kandy, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider. Ride one of Victoria Golf Club’s gentle, thoroughbred horses, ideal for both apprehensive beginners and experienced riders, promising to make riding in Sri Lanka an unforgettable and enjoyable experience. The Saddle Club offers lessons to children and adults and one-hour treks to appreciate the beauty of the scenery while enjoying some fresh mountain air.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Explore Kandy by Classic Car

Take a ride around the historical and cultural Kandy in a classic car. This private tour takes you around the city, where colonial-era and local architecture sit side by side. Its landscapes and streets will enthral you, and there’s the chance to see the golden roof of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a sacred Buddhist shrine, and visit Kandy Lake, an artificial lake with a palm-dotted island at its centre.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Udawaththakale Forest Trek

Hike through a historic forest reserve on a hill ridge in Kandy. Udawaththakale Forest is a vital bio reserve for Kandy. On a guided trek, you’ll see the forest's highlights, including the water pond, the Kodimale peak, the Senkanda Cave, and the Garrison cemetery. There are also several Buddhist temples and hermitages inside the forest reserve.

• Daily departures from Kandy
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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