Tea and Spices Odyssey

Tea and Spices Odyssey

If you consider yourself a tea connoisseur or just love a good cup of tea, perhaps you love cooking with spices, or just enjoy eating aromatic curries, then this is the holiday you’ve been waiting for.

Take a glorious journey into the world of fine teas and spices, where visits to some of the most picturesque and bountiful estates are combined with hands-on experiences. Learn all about tea cultivation, plucking and processing of some of the finest teas in the world, and try your hand at tasting teas like a connoisseur. Ride the famous train through the island’s tea country.

Visit some of Sri Lanka’s most popular locations and stay at some of its finest hotels surrounded by lush tea estates, to round off a spectacular Tea and Spices adventure.

13 DAYS
FROM £2795
Idea
Single Supplement:
£895
Themes:
Activity Levels
Leisurely Active
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • Entrance fees/tickets for the above
  • In-destination transfers & transport
  • Accommodation & Meals as specified
  • English speaking guides
  • 24/7 support while you travel

Explore this itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

On arrival at Bandaranaike International airport, you will be warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel in Negombo.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Dinner
Day 2: Spices at Jim's Farm

After enjoying your breakfast, drive (three hours) to Jim’s Farm Villa, Matale to experience the best of Ceylon spices. Your accommodation, Jim’s Farm Villa is situated in the middle of 50-acre eco-farm.

After check-in, you can embark upon a tour of the spice garden and farm, which will be followed by a cooking demonstration using farm ingredients and learning about Sri Lankan spices from the local experts.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Botanical Gardens

After breakfast leave for Kandy (a 2 hour drive).

Enroute, visit the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, just outside Kandy, for some tea history. Peradeniya is the birthplace of Ceylon Tea (in 1824). Here you’ll listen to tales about Scottish planter James Taylor who established the first seedlings twenty eight years later at the Loolecondera Estate between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya which led to Nuwara Eliya becoming the epicenter of the island’s tea industry.

Afterwards you’ll stop by the Ceylon Tea Museum in Hantane to get an introduction to tea production. Located in a 1925 tea factory, the museum features exhibitions on luminary tea pioneers James Taylor and Thomas Lipton as well as offering insight into the machines used in vintage tea processing. Purchase some tea and peruse the grounds, which have been cleverly landscaped in different varieties of tea.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Kandy

This morning, take a tour of the Orange Field Tea Factory: Sebastian, the owner and third generation tea producer will give you the most detailed tour of his factory and an explanation to the production of tea. As it is not a commercial venture, you will be the only visitors and therefore it will be all the more relaxed. You can purchase tea of the highest quality. Of course, you are also offered the most wonderful cup of tea.

Afterwards visit Temple of the Tooth. The Sacred Tooth Relic, housed in Kandy is an object of veneration to Buddhists and the most important sacred relic in the country.

Retreat to your bungalow for a cup of warm tea and as you laze by the fireplace play with the resident dogs or enjoy some board games.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Scenic Train Journey

Your tea journey will continue further south into the verdant green hills of Sri Lanka’s most scenic region – to the Colonial city of Nuwara Eliya. The cool air, magnificent waterfalls, thriving tea culture and the enchanting allure of these hills has to be seen to believed.

A ride by local train is the way to see this country best and is a highlight of any Sri Lankan visit. Your guide will drop you at Gampola railway station and pick you from Nanu Oya railway station.

Go through dark tunnels on winding tracks, past tea bushes trimmed to perfection. While on board you will encounter food vendors with their offerings of “short eats” and local musicians who will serenade you for a few rupees. Don’t forget to try some street food in the train.

As you descend from the footsteps of the train, be met by views of the stunning tea estates and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the tea pluckers’ harvesting tea leaves in the fields.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Nuwara Eliya

For the ultimate holiday souvenir, how about taking home a packet of tea you’ve picked yourself? Take a walk with the professional tea pickers through the organic tea fields where you will be shown to pluck leaves. You’ll find that it takes a bit of practice to make sure the leaves end up in your basket rather than on the floor! Return to the Heritance Mini Tea Factory, where the chief tea taster, will inspect your efforts!

Today you can truly soak up the beauty of this magical place by visiting the spectacular Hakgala Botanical Gardens, take a walk through the unbelievably beautiful tea plantations, or stop by the 19th-century Pedro Tea Factory to sample some of Ceylon’s finest tea and purchase some freshly plucked leaves from the estates.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Ella

After a lovely breakfast, you will travel further south to the perfect hill climate of Ella; a hidden treasure located in the highlands of Sri Lanka.

En route break your journey at the charming village to admire the scenic Ella Gap, the cascading mystical Ravana Ella waterfalls and the iconic Demodara Nine Arch Bridge.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Ella

Visit Amba Tea Estate; a small organic farm that specializes in a scale production of hand-rolled tea! Commence a tour of the tea estate. Visit the tea factory and learn of artisanal tea making, experience tea tasting (from green teas to lemon grass and black teas) and take a peek at the range of artisan teas, coffee, cinnamon and lemongrass growing side by side. Be sure to purchase some tea from the estate itself!

The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy at your luxury resort.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Ella

Today you’ll have time to explore Ella, perhaps climb up Little Adam’s Peak, or take other short walks in beautiful countryside around the town.

Retire by afternoon to your retreat and be mesmerized by the bird-eye view of the surrounding lush green tea estates. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy at your luxury resort.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Galle

After a relaxed breakfast, you’ll descend the hills and head south to the coast on a long drive (5 hours) to the historical city of Galle.

By twilight, retreat to the luxurious Jetwing Lighthouse; an architectural masterpiece designed by Sri Lanka’s renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Handungoda Tea Estate & Dutch Fort

Your next taste of Sri Lankan tea culture will continue at a low altitude tea plantation famed for ‘Virgin white teas’, so pure they are never touched by the human hand. The only tea estate closest to the ocean, the Handungoda Estate takes you through tea fields and enlightens one on the noble heritage of white tea, the art of plucking and a tour of the antiquated factory. Halfway through the tour enjoy a refreshing cup of tea with cake.

Afternoon visit Galle and its famous Dutch Fort. The Dutch Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the bastions including the Sun, Moon, Star, Zwart (with the old water-gate and hidden entrance identified as the Santa Cruz Bastion of the Portuguese), Akesloot (where the first Breadfruit tree was planted by the Dutch), Old Gunpowder Magazine, Aeloes, Triton, Neptune and other Bastions. Walk in the narrow streets, including the Lighthouse Street (Zeeburg Street), Leyn-Baan Street (Lijnberg meaning rope walk), and Modarabaay Street (Modder-baai meaning Mud bay) see the Old Dutch Houses, private Museum where Dutch period antiques can be seen.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Cinnamon

Your holiday began with an encounter with Sri Lankan spices, and today the wheel is back full circle, as after sampling the island’s best teas you focus back on one of the globally iconic spices, sweet, aromatic cinnamon.

Discover the captivating world of cinnamon at a beautiful villa. Take a stroll around the small cinnamon plantation and learn the intricacies of growing cinnamon commercially. Observe the process of harvesting the cinnamon barks, and see how it is skilfully skinned and extracted. Interact with the knowledgeable staff, who will share their wealth of knowledge about this spice and its numerous health benefits. This is a unique opportunity to experience the origin of cinnamon, from its humble beginnings on the plantation to its use in various forms all around the world.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13: Departure

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on your last day of your holiday.

You’ll be driven to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.

Breakfast
Day 1: Arrival

On arrival at Bandaranaike International airport, you will be warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel in Negombo.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Dinner
Day 2: Spices at Jim's Farm

After enjoying your breakfast, drive (three hours) to Jim’s Farm Villa, Matale to experience the best of Ceylon spices. Your accommodation, Jim’s Farm Villa is situated in the middle of 50-acre eco-farm.

After check-in, you can embark upon a tour of the spice garden and farm, which will be followed by a cooking demonstration using farm ingredients and learning about Sri Lankan spices from the local experts.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Botanical Gardens

After breakfast leave for Kandy (a 2 hour drive).

Enroute, visit the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, just outside Kandy, for some tea history. Peradeniya is the birthplace of Ceylon Tea (in 1824). Here you’ll listen to tales about Scottish planter James Taylor who established the first seedlings twenty eight years later at the Loolecondera Estate between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya which led to Nuwara Eliya becoming the epicenter of the island’s tea industry.

Afterwards you’ll stop by the Ceylon Tea Museum in Hantane to get an introduction to tea production. Located in a 1925 tea factory, the museum features exhibitions on luminary tea pioneers James Taylor and Thomas Lipton as well as offering insight into the machines used in vintage tea processing. Purchase some tea and peruse the grounds, which have been cleverly landscaped in different varieties of tea.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Kandy

This morning, take a tour of the Orange Field Tea Factory: Sebastian, the owner and third generation tea producer will give you the most detailed tour of his factory and an explanation to the production of tea. As it is not a commercial venture, you will be the only visitors and therefore it will be all the more relaxed. You can purchase tea of the highest quality. Of course, you are also offered the most wonderful cup of tea.

Afterwards visit Temple of the Tooth. The Sacred Tooth Relic, housed in Kandy is an object of veneration to Buddhists and the most important sacred relic in the country.

Retreat to your bungalow for a cup of warm tea and as you laze by the fireplace play with the resident dogs or enjoy some board games.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Scenic Train Journey

Your tea journey will continue further south into the verdant green hills of Sri Lanka’s most scenic region – to the Colonial city of Nuwara Eliya. The cool air, magnificent waterfalls, thriving tea culture and the enchanting allure of these hills has to be seen to believed.

A ride by local train is the way to see this country best and is a highlight of any Sri Lankan visit. Your guide will drop you at Gampola railway station and pick you from Nanu Oya railway station.

Go through dark tunnels on winding tracks, past tea bushes trimmed to perfection. While on board you will encounter food vendors with their offerings of “short eats” and local musicians who will serenade you for a few rupees. Don’t forget to try some street food in the train.

As you descend from the footsteps of the train, be met by views of the stunning tea estates and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the tea pluckers’ harvesting tea leaves in the fields.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Nuwara Eliya

For the ultimate holiday souvenir, how about taking home a packet of tea you’ve picked yourself? Take a walk with the professional tea pickers through the organic tea fields where you will be shown to pluck leaves. You’ll find that it takes a bit of practice to make sure the leaves end up in your basket rather than on the floor! Return to the Heritance Mini Tea Factory, where the chief tea taster, will inspect your efforts!

Today you can truly soak up the beauty of this magical place by visiting the spectacular Hakgala Botanical Gardens, take a walk through the unbelievably beautiful tea plantations, or stop by the 19th-century Pedro Tea Factory to sample some of Ceylon’s finest tea and purchase some freshly plucked leaves from the estates.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Ella

After a lovely breakfast, you will travel further south to the perfect hill climate of Ella; a hidden treasure located in the highlands of Sri Lanka.

En route break your journey at the charming village to admire the scenic Ella Gap, the cascading mystical Ravana Ella waterfalls and the iconic Demodara Nine Arch Bridge.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Ella

Visit Amba Tea Estate; a small organic farm that specializes in a scale production of hand-rolled tea! Commence a tour of the tea estate. Visit the tea factory and learn of artisanal tea making, experience tea tasting (from green teas to lemon grass and black teas) and take a peek at the range of artisan teas, coffee, cinnamon and lemongrass growing side by side. Be sure to purchase some tea from the estate itself!

The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy at your luxury resort.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Ella

Today you’ll have time to explore Ella, perhaps climb up Little Adam’s Peak, or take other short walks in beautiful countryside around the town.

Retire by afternoon to your retreat and be mesmerized by the bird-eye view of the surrounding lush green tea estates. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy at your luxury resort.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Galle

After a relaxed breakfast, you’ll descend the hills and head south to the coast on a long drive (5 hours) to the historical city of Galle.

By twilight, retreat to the luxurious Jetwing Lighthouse; an architectural masterpiece designed by Sri Lanka’s renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Handungoda Tea Estate & Dutch Fort

Your next taste of Sri Lankan tea culture will continue at a low altitude tea plantation famed for ‘Virgin white teas’, so pure they are never touched by the human hand. The only tea estate closest to the ocean, the Handungoda Estate takes you through tea fields and enlightens one on the noble heritage of white tea, the art of plucking and a tour of the antiquated factory. Halfway through the tour enjoy a refreshing cup of tea with cake.

Afternoon visit Galle and its famous Dutch Fort. The Dutch Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the bastions including the Sun, Moon, Star, Zwart (with the old water-gate and hidden entrance identified as the Santa Cruz Bastion of the Portuguese), Akesloot (where the first Breadfruit tree was planted by the Dutch), Old Gunpowder Magazine, Aeloes, Triton, Neptune and other Bastions. Walk in the narrow streets, including the Lighthouse Street (Zeeburg Street), Leyn-Baan Street (Lijnberg meaning rope walk), and Modarabaay Street (Modder-baai meaning Mud bay) see the Old Dutch Houses, private Museum where Dutch period antiques can be seen.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Cinnamon

Your holiday began with an encounter with Sri Lankan spices, and today the wheel is back full circle, as after sampling the island’s best teas you focus back on one of the globally iconic spices, sweet, aromatic cinnamon.

Discover the captivating world of cinnamon at a beautiful villa. Take a stroll around the small cinnamon plantation and learn the intricacies of growing cinnamon commercially. Observe the process of harvesting the cinnamon barks, and see how it is skilfully skinned and extracted. Interact with the knowledgeable staff, who will share their wealth of knowledge about this spice and its numerous health benefits. This is a unique opportunity to experience the origin of cinnamon, from its humble beginnings on the plantation to its use in various forms all around the world.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13: Departure

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on your last day of your holiday.

You’ll be driven to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.

Breakfast

Interested in this itinerary? It's great as is, but we'll be happy to tailor it for you.

Our prices do not include international flights unless explicitly stated.

The price shown is per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room, outside peak periods. Prices may vary depending on the time of travel, and single supplements may apply.