November 14, 2018
Are you a female traveller looking for a group tour in Sri Lanka? Do you want to join other travellers on a group tour in Sri Lanka and not have to pay a hefty single supplement?
Sri Lankan Discovery is a small group tour of Sri Lanka for women travellers. The tour has been designed by women for female travellers – and the best part about it – there’s NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT.
We realise that for a variety of different reasons women travel on their own, or with other female friends and companions, wanting to see the world and explore new destinations – but prefer to do it with other like-minded travellers and with the full support and comfort of a group tour.
Sri Lankan Discovery is a hosted group tour of Sri Lanka for women, which includes unique experiences and a variety of places to stay in Sri Lanka that range from personal to luxurious. (Not only are these some of our favourite places to stay in Sri Lanka, but we also believe that some of the hotels in this tour are some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka.)
We’ve included gentle walking tours – because we think the best way to experience a country is to be out and about and not from a bus window (the walking tours don’t cover long distances, but are a gentle and interesting introduction to people and places), a cooking class, a stay on a tea plantation, time to unwind by the sea, some of Sri Lanka’s best UNESCO World Heritage sites and much, much more. On this tour you will visit Colombo, Sigiriya, Galle, Gal Oya National park, a tea plantation, the south coast and Kandy.
So what can you expect to see and do on Sri Lankan Discovery?
This two-week journey is hosted by Glenda McMillan-Andersson, from Sri Lanka Unbound’s Melbourne Office.
“The most important thing is travelling with like-minded companions,’’ says Glenda. “It’s having other women to share travel experiences with, to discover places and people together, and to enjoy each others company along the way – at meals, on tour and with conversations.’’
A passionate traveller with a love of discovering new places, Glenda McMillan-Andersson is a seasoned travel professional – having dedicated her life to working in travel and visiting new destinations.
Her personal travels have taken her from central and Latin America to Medeterrian Europe, Cuba, Tibet, Sri Lanka and India, and many places in between. Glenda loves the spontaneity of travel – destinations with passionate local people and places bursting with energy, where as visitors you can be enveloped by the local enthusiasm for life and the destination. “It gives you a deeper travel experience and a more exciting holiday,’’ according to Glenda.
In 2019 Glenda will host two small group tours for women travellers. Starting with Insights of India in April – a two-week journey through North India – and Sri Lankan Discovery in July. Glenda’s personal and professional travel experience will mean you are in steady hands whether you join her in Sri Lanka, India or both! Together with an English-speaking national guide, Glenda will show you some of the countries’ best sights and destinations, discovering the key attractions and the everyday life of these incredible destinations.
Sri Lankan Discovery includes some of the best things to see in Sri Lanka, some of our signature unique experiences and incredible accommodation. Here are some of the highlights from this upcoming group tour of Sri Lanka for women:
#1 Stay at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo
There’s no more iconic place in Colombo than Galle Face Hotel. This grand heritage hotel is not only a major landmark of the city, but also an icon. This more than 150-year-old heritage masterpiece has been restored in recent years and attracts visitors from across the globe – with movie starts, politicians, businessmen and travellers among those that stay at Galle Face Hotel. Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo is rapidly changing and a stay in Colombo will give you a sense of the country overall and highlight some of the changes the country is going through. A stay at Galle Face Hotel will introduce you to some of the nation’s heritage and let’s be honest, there’s no better place to start a holiday than in a grand heritage hotel! Sitting across from Galle Face Green, Galle Face Hotel is one of the best luxury hotels in Colombo and indeed the country. Make sure to take the time for a cool drink, or cup of tea on the verandah one afternoon and enjoy the sunset over the Arabian Sea.
#2 Visit Sigiriya
Arguably Sri Lanka’s biggest drawcard – the mighty Sigiriya Rock Fortress, or Lion Rock as it’s also known – is one of the country’s eight UNESCO World Heritage-listed sights and a must-see for any visitor to Sri Lanka. Impressive not just for its sheer size, or the well-laid out ancient gardens that surround the rock, it’s here you will also discover some of the most beautiful cave frescoes that we have ever seen. How long does it take to climb Sigiriya? At Sigiriya there’s the option to climb to the top of the rock – which can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours depending on your fitness and how comfortable you are with walking/stairs. The climb can be taxing and is energetic but can be done slowly and at your own pace – with places to stop along the way. What can you expect from climbing Sigiriya? If you do make the climb you will be rewarded at the top by beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside at the top and viewing the stunning cave frescoes at Sigiriya as you make the ascent. Alternatively you can climb half way, or just visit the gardens below and take in Lion Rock from below.
#3 A Tea Plantation Stay in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s tea country and tea plantations are synonymous with the country’s image. It’s one of the largest tea producers and exporters in the world. Having been to the warmer, drier climate at Sigiriya – you’ll notice the contrast of climate and environment when you reach the lush, green, cooler regions of the tea country. During Sri Lankan Discovery we’ll take you to Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge – one of our favourite places to stay. These unique free standing rooms are nestled into the side of the mountain, surrounded by the tea country. Each room is a permanent structure, but is fitted with a sturdy canvas shell. With stunning views at your doorstep from your private balcony of the Knuckles Ranges – a stay at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge is best described as `glamping’ – though more permanent and fixed – in a truly picturesque location. Here, we will learn about tea production from start to finish with a plantation walk and tea factory visit. There’s time for cups of tea and an inviting infinity pool to relax by.
# 4 Sri Lankan cooking class
No doubt as you savour the Sri Lankan rice and curries during this tour you’ll be keen to find out more about Sri Lankan cooking. We’ll uncover the secrets of Sri Lankan recipes with a hands-on cooking class in Kandy. Our guests love to head into the kitchen with Suzy and her team in her traditional village kitchen (which has a super wood fire stove complete with clay pots and an ancient miris gala– a grinder for chillies) where you can assist in the preparation of lunch. Using the freshest ingredients, learn to prepare a complete meal with five curries; explore the intricacies of Sri Lankan cuisine, from scraping the coconut and extracting the milk, to pounding a sambol, to cooking with firewood using ancient tools and methods. This is Kandyan home-cooked food at is best. It may even be the best meal of your trip!
In Kandy you will also get to see some of the city sights. What is there to see and do in Kandy? The cities main attraction is the much-revered Buddhist Temple of the Sacred Tooth. You will also visit the British Garrison Cemetery and take a walking tour here.
#5 Boat safari and eco lodge at Gal Oya
Gal Oya National Park is an undiscovered gem in Sri Lanka. It’s the country’s least-visited national park and the only place in Sri Lanka where you can take a safari by boat. And for these reasons it’s one of our favourite places in Sri Lanka to share with people. At Gal Oya you won’t see a leopard. But what you can expect is a gentle and authentic wildlife experience in Sri Lanka. At Gal Oya, there’s only one place near the park to stay and that’s Gal Oya Lodge. Run by a team of wildlife experts and enthusiasts who will introduce you to the local environment and wildlife through a range of relaxed-pace and real experiences such as nature walks, as well as the guided boat safari at Gal Oya. We like the boat safari, having done many safaris in our time, as it’s gentle and pleasant compared to say 4 or 5 hours in a jeep on dusty roads in a national park. As well as the expert and experienced naturalist at Gal Oya Lodge, there’s the spacious, well-designed individual bungalows for each guest, an inviting pool with an impressive mountain backdrop, and excellent, freshly prepared meals.
#6 Time to relax with a beach stay at Sri Lanka’s south coast
Nothing says tropical island – which Sri Lanka is – like a beach stay. During your holiday in Sri Lanka on this group tour for women, we have included a couple of nights to relax at a five-star beach resort at Tangalle on the south coast.
Hidden away on a rocky outcrop along a secluded stretch of Sri Lanka’s southernmost coastline, the 152-room resort is set amid a coconut plantation with glorious Indian Ocean views. Your spacious and comfortable rooms are just steps away from the sandy beach. They feature balconies or terraces with tropical garden views with cushioned daybeds – perfect for relaxing with a morning tea or coffee – or a sundowner before dinner. Enjoy a swim at the pool, walks along the beach and the ocean views of Sri Lanka’s south coast.
#7 Visit the UNESCO city of Galle Fort
Galle is a much loved and visited city in Sri Lanka. This port city is surrounded by an impressive rampart that surrounds a small peninsula jutting out to the Indian Ocean. Inside the fort walls, you will discover 400 years of history that still lingers. These days, its almost car-free streets and cobbled laneways are a pleasant and easy place to explore on foot. You’ll find streets with modern and inviting cafes and boutiques, small artisan workshops, galleries and stores. We’ll stay inside the fort walls and spend two days discovering the city’s history and legends on a walking tour with an expert local guide, with free time to explore Galle on your own. We love to visit Galle each time we are in Sri Lanka and enjoy some time strolling around and exploring.
#8 Unique accommodation – from luxurious to personal
In terms of accommodation, when you travel with Sri Lanka Unbound you will know that we like to include a range of different styles of accommodation in tours. We do this because we like to showcase the best a country has to offer and also believe that the diversity of a country is often reflected by the different styles of accommodation available. Accommodation is central to our tours – and you can expect these places to be as much a part of your tour in Sri Lanka for women as the activities and people you meet. The accommodation we use is places we know and have stayed at or visited ourselves several times – we know the places we are taking you and trust the standard and quality of them. Some of the places in this tour we think are among the top hotels in Sri Lanka – such as Galle Face Hotel, Gal Oya Lodge and Anantara Peace Haven Resort.
#9 Good company and full support
Sri Lankan Discovery is a tour of Sri Lanka for women travellers. Together you will experience this incredible tropical island, meet its people, see its sights and learn a little of its history. With a host and a local guide, you are guaranteed full support on tour, plus before you depart the chance to meet or speak to your host, and the comfort of knowing that all the arrangements and activities while you are on tour are taken care of. You can enjoy your holiday in Sri Lanka in the company of like-minded female travellers and let us take care of all the details.
Sri Lankan Discovery is suitable for solo women, female friends who travel together, sisters, or mothers and daughters. Women of all ages are welcome.The tour runs 19 July – 1 August 2019. For more details about the trip, you can contact Sri Lanka Unbound in Melbourne by telephone on 1300 449 709. You can speak to Glenda McMillan-Andersson personally and arrange to come and meet her in our Melbourne office if you wish. For a detailed itinerary contact us today. firstname.lastname@example.org