Food and Heritage Tours
Food and Heritage Tours
Pete is packing his pans and travelling to Sri-Lanka. Join him for a luxury 16 day culinary and cultural tour of the Island. This tour is a must for lovers of food, architecture and local heritage. Travel the Island in luxury air-conditioned coaches and stay in the finest 4 and 5 star hotels that have been chosen for their environmental 'Green' accreditation.
Five hundred years of colonisation by the Portuguese, Dutch and British have had a significant influence on the local cuisine and architecture. Discover the fusion of cultures, spices and food traditions of the Island with a Sri Lankan born Australian.
From the pristine beaches of the south to the cool climate hill country and on to the cultural triangle you will experience Sri-Lanka's food, architecture, history and unique hospitality with Pete and other local experts from ECD Holidays
Day 1 – Welcome. Travel to Negombo.
28th June 2020
Arrive in Colombo on suggested Air Lanka flight UL605, arriving CMB approx. 22.30. Welcome at the airport and transfer to hotel.
- Jetwing Blue, Negombo - https://www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingblue
Day 2 – Tour of Negombo town. Afternoon, pool and beach time.
29th June 2020
After breakfast, we will take a tour of Negombo town which is one of the most important fishing ports on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It is one of the best-known seaside towns on the island, geographically located at the end of a lagoon with many small islands and stunning bays. We will visit the open-air market located under a huge Banyan tree and the fish market.
This afternoon you are free to enjoy a dip in the pool or a swim in the warm Indian ocean.
- Jetwing Blue, Negombo.
- Tour of Negombo town.
- Vegetable and Fish market.
- Dutch canal.
- Remains of the Dutch fort.
Day 3 – Travel to Dambulla. Evening climb Dambulla Cave Complex.
30th June 2020
After an early breakfast, we will travel to Dambulla (approx. 3 hours). Dambulla is home to the vibrantly decorated cave-temples and is a great base to explore the wide array of natural wonders and historic sites in this fascinating area.
This evening we will climb to the impressive Dambulla cave complex. An UNESCO world heritage site, located high on a cliff face. You will have time to explore these cave temples and admire the many Buddha statues, frescoes and paintings. If weather permits, we will stop to watch the sun set over the distant hills before returning to the hotel.
- Aliya Resort and Spa - https://www.themeresorts.com/aliyaresort
- Dambulla Cave complex.
Please note that there is a dress code in Dambulla which requires you to remove your shoes and cover your shoulders and legs.
Day 4 – Travel to Sigiriya. Climb Sigiriya Lion Rock. Evening Wildlife Safari.
1st July 2020
After breakfast, drive to Sigiriya (30 mins). Sigiriya rock fortress is an UNESCO world heritage site and is home to a series of rock frescoes that are considered to be the oldest in the world. You will have the opportunity to climb to the top of the rock to witness its elaborate ancient fortress complex (approximately 2.5 hours round-trip on foot, including stairs). The 200-metre-high ancient citadel built during the 5th century features a mirror wall, terraced gardens and splashing fountains.
This afternoon you are free to enjoy the hotel and surrounds.
This evening we will depart to Minneriya National Park (30 mins). The park is the site of ‘The Gathering’ where a large number of elephants are attracted to the grass fields on the edges of the ‘Minneriya Tank’, a structure built in the 3rd century. The park is also an important habitat for 2 endemic monkeys, 2 types of deer, rare species such as the Sri Lankan leopard and sloth bear, as well as 11 threatened bird species. There are 8 species of endemic reptiles which include the salt water crocodile, Indian python, Asian water monitor and the Bengal monitor.
- Aliya Resort and Spa.
- Climb Sigiriya Rock.
- Minneriya Jeep Safari.
Day 5 – Visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura. Dinner cooking class.
2nd July 2020
Today we drive to Anuradhapura (1hr 15 mins). This sacred city was established around a cutting from the Buddha’s fig tree in India under which he achieved enlightenment. Anuradhapura, the first political and religious capital of Sri Lanka, dates back to the 5th century BC and is an UNESCO world heritage site.
We will tour the many sites of historical and archaeological interest including the sacred tree, which has an authenticated history of over 2300 years! We will visit the first temple and the first stupa to be built on the island and listen to the story of the ‘Isurumuniya Lovers’, a king who abdicated the throne for his low caste lover.
This evening we will have our first cooking class with Pieter, Executive Chef Lakshan and staff from the hotel.
- Aliya Resort and Spa.
- Tour of sacred city.
- Dinner cooking class.
- Hands-on cooking class.
Please note that there is a dress code in Anuradhapura which requires you to remove your shoes and cover up your shoulders and legs.
Day 6 – Travel to Kandy. Visit a Spice Garden. Lunch in Matale. Evening cultural show.
3rd July 2020
After an early breakfast we will travel to Matale (1hr 45 mins). We will take a tour of a spice garden where we will learn about the history and medicinal properties of the spices of Sri Lanka and have a complimentary 10-minute head or foot massage before lunch at the bustling café.
After lunch we will continue our journey to Kandy (1 hr). In the early evening we will head out to watch a cultural performance by traditional Kandyan dancers and drummers, including devotional fire eating and fire walking.
- Mahaweli Reach Hotel - https://www.mahaweli.com
- Spice garden tour.
- Cultural Show.
- Lunch at the spice garden café.
Day 7 – Sightseeing in Kandy. Visit the Temple of the Tooth. Tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Evening cooking class.
4th July 2020
This morning we will drive to Kandy town (30 mins) and take a sightseeing tour.
Kandy, a UNESCO world heritage town, is Sri Lanka’s hill capital and the stronghold of the last king of Sri Lanka. It is the islands 2nd most visited place. Home to tea plantations and biodiverse rainforest. The city's heart is scenic Kandy lake, we will learn of its interesting and sometimes gruesome history. We will then take a tour of the ‘Sacred Temple of the Tooth’ and learn of its unique history and tales of an underground/underwater tunnel to the lakes island.
Following our sightseeing tour, we will travel to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. The gardens are considered the finest of its kind in Asia and contain 4000 different species of plants.
This afternoon you have time to relax in the pool (the largest in Kandy) or make use of the hotels impressive list of services.
This evening we will gather on the lawn beside the pool where we will have our 2nd cooking class. with Pieter, Executive Chef Stanley and staff from the hotel.
- Mahaweli Reach Hotel.
- Botanical gardens tour.
- Entry to the Temple of the Tooth.
- Dinner cooking class.
- Dinner cooking class.
Please note that there is a dress code at temples and holy places which requires you to remove your shoes and cover up your shoulders and legs.
Day 8 – Tour of Veddah village. Evening cooking class.
5th July 2020
After an early breakfast we will depart for the local Aboriginal village in Dambana (approximately 3 hours). Archaeological evidence suggest that the modern Veddha’s Neolithic ancestors inhabited the island as far back as 10,000 BC. Once roaming the Great Plains’ of the north central region to the central mountains. Today, the remaining Veddah population are confined to village reserves and their hunter/gatherer lifestyle is under threat with changes to legislation that prevent them from hunting the lands that they once inhabited.
We will be welcomed to the village with a traditional dance followed by a demonstration of how they set traps and hunt small animals for food. We will then follow them into the jungle to look for wild honey and try our hand shooting at a target with a traditional bow and arrow!
Prior to departing the village, you will have the pleasure of visiting the village chief in his traditional house!
This evening we will gather in the open plan restaurant for our 3rd cooking class with Pieter, Executive chef Heshan and chefs from the hotel.
- Oruthota Eco Chalets. https://www.facebook.com/OruthotaChaletsKandy/
- Veddah village tour.
- Private cooking class.
- Picnic Lunch.
Day 9 – Train journey to Narnu-Oya. Sightseeing in Nuwara Eliya. Street-cart food.
6th July 2020
After an early breakfast we will travel to Kandy railway station (45 mins.) and board the train for Narnu-Oya.
This is the famous ‘High Country’ train ride that is considered one of the world’s great train journeys (approximately 4 hours). This is a great way to see the countryside travelling past towns, villages and verdant green tea estates that stretch into the distance.
The bus will meet us at the station and take us to Nuwara Eliya. Often called ‘Little England’, Nuwara Eliya was once the cool climate retreat of the ruling British wanting to get away from the heat of Colombo. Whilst in town we will visit a fabulous fresh food market, watch (and sample) fresh Godamba Roti being made and have some of the best samosas that I have had from a street cart vendor!
- The Grand Hotel - https://thegrandhotelnuwaraeliya.com
- Train journey.
- Fresh food market.
- Street cart food.
Day 10 – Horton Plains walk, Bakers Falls, World’s End. High Tea @ The Grand Hotel.
7th July 2020
We rise early today and travel the winding road by Jeep to Horton Plains with a picnic breakfast (approximately 1.5 hours). We need to arrive early and get into the 10-kilometre round trip before the sun is high on the plain.
The walk takes us through the cloud forest and follows a winding river that flows into several swimming holes that were once for the exclusive use of the ruling British. The grassland plain is home to large herds of Samba Deer as well as a large selection of birdlife many of whom are not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the plains.
The Horton Plains plateau comes to a sudden and dramatic stop at ‘World’s End’, a sheer precipice that plunges 880 metres! Baker’s Falls is accessed via a series of steep steps where you will pass many species of rhododendron and giant ferns. The 20-metre fall was named after a British explorer named Sir Samuel Baker.
This afternoon we will experience some old-world charm when we take high tea at the Grand Hotel overlooking manicured English gardens and vibrant green lawns.
- The Grand Hotel.
- Entry to Horton Plains.
- Picnic breakfast
- High Tea
Wear strong and comfortable walking shoes, a hat/beanie, sunglasses and sunscreen. The weather can change very quickly on the plains – one minute it can be sunny and clear, the next chilly and misty. Bring a lightweight wind breaker as the wind blows cold on the plains.
Day 11 – Visit a Tea plantation and Factory. Travel to Hambantota.
8th July 2020
After an early breakfast, we will visit a fantastic working tea plantation and factory (1 hr 15 minutes), where you will have the opportunity to taste the finest ‘High Country’ tea, watch the colourfully attired tea pickers at work and learn the process of manufacturing pure ‘Ceylon Tea’.
We will then journey to Hambantota (4.5hrs), stopping at a roadside café for some ‘Kiri Pani’ Sri Lanka’s famous buffalo curd eaten with honey from the Kitul palm.
This evening you are free to explore the resort, have a dip in one (or all) of its 3 pools, relax in one of several bars, take a walk on the beach or dine in one of several cafes and restaurants.
- Shangri La Resort and Spa - http://www.shangri-la.com/hambantota/shangrila
- Tea factory tour.
- Curd and Honey.
Day 12 – Leisure.
9th July 2020
Today you are free to soak up the atmosphere of the resort or use the amazing variety of activities it offers.
Optional activities include:
- Hike to a rock monastery.
- Bike ride to town.
- Artisan Village.
- Ayurveda Spa.
- Health Club.
Talk to me about organising any activity you choose.
- Shangri La Resort and Spa.
Day 13 – Stilt Fishermen. Travel to Galle.
10th July 2020.
Today we will travel to Galle, stopping to visit the unique ‘Stilt Fishermen’ of Sri Lanka. The practice of stilt fishing started when food shortages and overcrowded fishing spots prompted some clever men to try fishing on the water by erecting their stilts in coral reefs. Two generations of fishermen have eked out this physically demanding existence at dawn and dusk along a 30-kilometer stretch of southern shore between the towns of Unawatuna and Weligama.
Tonight, we will stay at one of the hotels designed by Sri Lanka’s eminent architect Geoffrey Bawa.
- Jetwing Lighthouse - https://www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwinglighthouse
- Stilt fishermen.
Day 14 – Sightseeing in Galle. The Dutch Fort. Seafood BBQ on the Beach.
11th July 2020.
Today after a leisurely breakfast we will explore the unique charm of the seaside city of Galle, visit the markets and the fresh fish vendors and walk the cobbled streets of the old Dutch Fort dating back to 1588.
The UNESCO world heritage listed old Dutch Fort is a delight to explore on foot, surprises await around every corner. Walk the ramparts with the sound of crashing waves and the warm Indian ocean wind blowing on your face! Walk down Pedlar and Church street for an amazing array of cafes, restaurants, souvenir and gift shops tucked amongst beautifully restored Portuguese and Dutch era buildings.
This evening we will gather at the outdoor bar and watch the sun sink into the Indian ocean, we will then make our way down to a private beach where we will enjoy a sumptuous 3 course seafood BBQ cooked for us by the hotel chefs.
This is one of my favourite places on the island, it oozes tranquil charm. The constant sound of waves crashing into giant rocks makes a kind of music that is hard to ignore!
- Jetwing Lighthouse.
- Tour of Galle town and markets.
- Tour of the Old Dutch Fort.
- Seafood BBQ on a private beach.
- Seafood BBQ Dinner.
Day 15 – Turtle Hatchery. Sightseeing in Lunuganga. Travel to Colombo. Night Market.
12th July 2020
Today we leave Galle and make our way to Colombo. Along the way we will stop at a Turtle hatchery and learn about the conservation efforts to protect these magnificent endangered animals.
We will then take a tour of the late Geoffrey Bawas residence ‘Lunuganga’. Lunuganga is quite simply a work of art, the gardens flow around the buildings and everything is in harmony. This is the home of the late Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lankas eminent architect responsible for designing many of the significant buildings on the island including the new parliament house. He spent 40 years transforming this once abandoned rubber estate into a home he could retire in!
This evening we will walk along Galle Face Green to the night markets, complete with street cart vendors and food stalls set alongside the mighty Indian ocean. We will eat at my favourite street restaurant before ambling back to the hotel.
- The Kingsbury Hotel - https://www.thekingsburyhotel.com
- Turtle Hatchery tour.
- Lunuganga tour.
- Night market.
- Dinner at night market.
Day 16 – Sightseeing in Colombo. Shopping. Lunch @ The Dutch Burgher Union.
13th July 2020.
Today we will have a sightseeing tour of Colombo and visit significant temples and mosques. There will be time for some last-minute shopping at ‘Laxala’, the government run handicraft store. We will also visit ‘Barefoot’, the craft store famous for its founder Barbara Sansonis vision of empowering female workers.
We will stop for lunch at the Dutch Burgher Union for the famous Dutch inspired ‘Lamprais’. Also known as ‘Lump Rice’ this is a dish of rice cooked in stock, a curry made with 2 or 4 meats, frikadelles (spiced crumbed meatball) and accompaniments, all wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed.
Late evening departure to Airport.
- Sightseeing in Colombo.
- Entry to Temple and Mosque.
- Barefoot and Laksala.
Your tour concludes after lunch today. One group transfer will be provided to the airport for your departure to Australia.
Recommended flight – Air Lanka UL 604 departing CMB at 00.20.
For those leaving on late flights back to Australia, we can arrange for you to use the non-accommodation facilities at the hotel.
Tour hosted by Pieter Siebel. All cooking classes conducted by Pieter and chefs at individual hotels.
Minimum Group size 10, Maximum group size 16 Pax.
Per person twin share – AUD -$5,790 ex Colombo.
Single supplement – AUD $7490.00 ex Colombo.
Cost includes: -
- 16 days and 15 nights
- Accommodation on B&B basis at 4 and 5-star hotels.
- 16 Breakfasts.
- Three hands on private cooking classes.
- Seafood BBQ on a private beach.
- Street food in Colombo night market.
- Street food in Nuwara Eliya.
- High Tea in Nuwara Eliya.
- Buffalo Curd and Honey at a street stall.
- Transport in an air-condition luxury coach.
- English-speaking accredited Sri Lankan guide at heritage places.
- Jeep hire and safari costs at Minneriya National Park.
- Train journey Kandy /Nanu- Oya.
- All tips and porterage costs.
- All applicable entrance fees.
- All applicable taxes.
- Bottled water at all hotels and on the bus.
- Welcome drink & refreshing towels at all hotels.
- Complimentary hat and apron with company logo.
Cost does not include: -
- Airfares to and from Sri-Lanka.
- Travel Insurance.
- Drinks & additional meals.
- Laundry and other personal costs.
Download a copy of the detailed itinerary here
Booking form available here
Terms and Conditions here
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