History and Landscape Tour

History and Landscape Tour

A 14 Day Tour
  • Destinations

    Anuradhapura, Habarana, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Sigiriya

  • What is it about?

    Landscape design in Sri Lanka can be traced back to a period of more than 2300 years. Throughout this period until now great importance has been given to landscaped gardens in Sri Lankan traditional architecture: the artistic establishment of design and scientific maintenance of gardens has become a specialized profession. It is possible to identify four main types of gardens in Sri Lanka, which were created throughout the last 23 centuries; Royal gardens, Urban gardens, Monastic gardens and Home gardens.

  • Who is it for?

    This tour is designed for the segment of the travel community who has a vested interest in different types of landscape gardens. Walk through and experience beautiful gardens, some dating back to the 3rd century BC (2400 years old). Other than the four main types of gardens mentioned above, you will also have a chance at visiting a spice garden and two of the largest botanical gardens in Sri Lanka which were created during the last century.

    This tour will take you to some high-end LUXURY HOTELS in the country, help you experience some highlights of what Sri Lanka has to offer and taste a great variety of food. This tour could be redesigned to suit your time/budget limitations and interests.


Day - 1
To be met and assisted at the airport by our driver/guide. Transfer directly to your first hotel in Waturegama to relax and acclimatise.
Day - 2
In the morning, visit the Arankelle Monastry in the Kurunegala district, where you will see one of the finest Monastic gardens in Sri Lanka dating back to the 5th century AD, very similar to Ritigala Monastic garden in the north central province. Arankelle is located in a hill area with stones and boulders washed by streams and covered with thick green forest, creating an ideal environment for the monks meditating in the monastery. On completion proceed to Anuradhapura.
Day - 3
Start the day early and visit Anuradhapura the sacred city and the first Kingdom of Sri Lanka (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Visit the Sacred Bo Tree, which is the oldest authenticated historical tree in the world and other interesting sites in close proximity. Next visit The Ranmasy Uyana (The Gold Fish Park) a Royal pleasure garden. Cronicals suggest that this pleasure garden would have been created in the 2nd century BC during the time of King Dutugemunu. Ranmasu Uyana is located behind the Isurumuniya Temple and is adjacent to the Tissa Wewa Tank. On completion visit the Wessagiriya Monastry complex, another of the many extraordinary monastic gardens of Sri Lankan landscape. There is evidence that Buddhist Monks have been living here since 3rd century BC; Bo and Upulvan the two daughters of King Kassapa the creator of the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress, have developed this monastery in the 5th century AD and it is clearly evident that the same experts designers and architects who created the Royal Garden in Sigiriya were also involved in creating the Wessagiriya Monastery complex. In the afternoon visit the Kalud Diya Pokuna (Black Water Pond) Monastery Complex to experience yet another unique and fascinating Monastic garden. This is one of the finest places in the country to understand the unique monastic landscape in Sri Lanka. Inscriptions state that the Monastery dates back to the 6th century AD but experts say that this complex could be dated back to as early as the 1st century BC.
Day - 4
After breakfast visit Ritigala, a fascinating Monastry complex done on and around the Ritigala residual mountain, the highest residual mountain in the dry zone. This magnificent creation of landscape and architecture has started back in the 3rd century BC, and has been developed through different periods by different architects, enhancing and incorporating natural serenity. On completion proceed to the hotel in Habarana. Optional: In the afternoon do a 4WD game drive at the Minnariya National Park or do an elephant back ride.
Day - 5
In the morning visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress created by King Kassapa in the 5th century, considered by some as the 8th wonder of the world (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Explore and experience the unique landscape designs, architecture and ancient water management systems used to create this masterpiece. Three distinct but inter-linked gardens, Water Garden, Boulder Garden and Stepped or Terrace Garden are found in the Royal gardens of Sigiriya, encircling the 600 foot high rock fortress; the palace is created on the summit of the rock. The Water Garden includes a Miniature Water Garden, Fountain Garden and large pools and ponds for water based recreational activities for the King. The Boulder Garden is designed in a way that minimum changes are done to the natural rock formations and the rest of the environment.
Day - 6
Transfer to Kandy (UNESCO World Heritage Site). En route (Optional) visit the Golden Temple Caves in Dambulla (UNESCO World Heritage Site) Visit one of the many Spice Gardens found in Matale, a district famous for spice cultivation in Sri Lanka. Grown in these Spice Gardens are many types of spices found in Sri Lanka including cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla pepper etc. In the evening visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of The Buddha and the Royal Palace complex of the final King of Sri Lanka.
Day - 7
In the morning visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. This garden was first established in the 14th century as a pleasure garden for the Kandyan Kings. The garden was later established as a botanical garden in 1821 under the British rule in Ceylon. The garden is home to more than 4000 species of flora including the first ever tea plant in Sri Lanka. Rest of the day, relax or explore the city of Kandy. In the evening attend a Sri Lankan traditional dance performance.
Day - 8
After breakfast driver to Nuwara Eliya in the tea growing hill country of Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya was created as a home away from home for the British offices in Sri Lanka during the colonial period and is famous for the many floral gardens and the British colonial buildings. En route visit a Tea Factory and a tea estate. In the afternoon visit The Park in the city.
Day - 9
Do a brief city tour in Nuwara Eliya enjoying the colonial building, vegetable and flower gardens. Also visit the Hakgala Botanical Gardens. This garden was established in year 1861 as an experimental Cynchona Plantation for the production of the Malaria antidote Quinine. Hakgala Botanical Gardens is one of the most picturesque gardens in the country with a vast collection of flora found in the higher elevations and cooler climates of Sri Lanka.
Day - 10
After breakfast transfer to Bentota, one of the most famous south west coast beach destinations in the island. Check in to the HOTEL AND spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day - 11
Visit Lunuganga, the country residence and lifetime creation of the world renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. Lunuganga is not a garden of colourful flowers, neat borders and gurgling fountains: it is a civilised wilderness, an assemblage of tropical plants of different scale and texture, a composition of green on green, an ever changing play of light and shade, a succession of hidden surprises and sudden vistas, a landscape of memories and ideas. The whole of it can be taken in with a brisk fifteen-minute walk, but it requires days to explore its every corner and appreciate its changing moods.
Day - 12
In the morning visit another of the famous private gardens in Sri Lanka, The Brief Garden created by Bevis Bawa, the elder brother of Geoffrey Bawa the famous architect. Brief Garden was the home and garden of Bevis Bawa, who was a Planter, Soldier, Painter, Cartoonist, Columnist, Sculptor and a prominent Landscape Gardener of Sri Lanka.
Day - 13
After breakfast transfer to Colombo and check in to the hotel. In the late afternoon do a city walk in Colombo with Mark Forbes, the expert on Colombo walks (depends on the availability for Mark Forbes).
Day - 14
Departure transfer to the airport.