Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations Luxury Holidays: An Overview

The heartland of Sri Lanka contains several World Heritage listed sites, and because they are close together, these can easily be combined in one superb cultural tour.

Image of Rosie Whitefield
Image of Katie Terrington
Image of Miranda Boord

Miranda, Katie and Rosie are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The views from the top of Sigiriya rock fortress make the climb well worth it - there's surrounding jungle as far as the eye can see
  • After visiting a busy tea factory, your view on how you drink and what you drink will almost definitely change - even if it just means appreciating your PG Tips a little more. Don't miss afternoon tea overlooking the terraced plantations, either - it comes complete with cucumber sandwiches, scones and a full tea leaf menu. Complete decadence
  • If possible, be sure to sit in the observation carriage on the train from Kandy up into the tea plantations -as the train winds up into the hills the views just get better and better. It's both an exciting and relaxing way to get up to the hill country

Luxury Holidays to the Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations: The Detail

The sacred city of Kandy was the last royal capital of Sri Lanka. It has a cooler climate than the coastal lowlands, and is the cultural capital of the island. With its hills and lake, it is also probably Sri Lanka's most beautiful town.

The focal point of the town is the golden-roofed Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth, where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is enshrined. The Esala Perahera festival, held in July and August each year, is the highlight of the calendar. There are numerous other shrines and temples in and around Kandy, and just outside town the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, with 60 beautiful hectares of trees, plants and flowers are well worth a visit.

In central Sri Lanka, just 3 hours from Colombo by car, lies the Bogawantalawa Valley, known as the Golden Valley of Tea and home to old Ceylon, rolling green hills, plantation bungalows, and high tea.

Back in the tropical lowlands to the north of Kandy lie several of Sri Lanka's finest cultural attractions. The cave temples of Dambulla house ancient frescoes and a huge reclining figure of the Buddha, carved out of the rock. From Dambulla, the extraordinary site of Sigiriya - a massive rock fortress, and arguably the highlight of any tour - is easily reached.

Finally, tour the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. These once great (and still tongue-twisting) cities have been reclaimed from the jungle by archaeologists, and are fascinating to wander around on foot or by bicycle. Polonnaruwa was a medieval capital, while Anuradhapura was once the greatest monastic city of the ancient world.


Original Highlight

Image of Rosie Whitefield

Taking a detour when climbing up the giant rock fortress of Sigiriya to admire the beautifully preserved frescoes of buxom Buddhist goddess Tara Devi.

Rosie, Original Traveller

A note on price

Sri Lanka is good value, and you can do a fantastic trip that includes beach, culture and the tea plantations for around £1,500 per person (excluding flights) if you’re staying in simple but charming boutique hotels. Those who want to splash out can expect to spend around £5,000 - £6,000. Direct flights to Colombo cost from around £600 per person, though stop-overs save money. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 27°C / 80°F
  • Rainfall — 7cm / 2.9 inches
  • Water Temp. — 28°C / 82°F
Flight from London

10:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +6 hrs

Top picks for Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Living Heritage Koslanda courtyard

Living Heritage Koslanda

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Set in the Eastern Hills of Sri Lanka, Living Heritage Koslanda is a divine four suite getaway for those seeking serenity.

Where to stay

The Pool at Tea Trail Bungalows, luxury hotel in Sri Lanka

Ceylon Tea Trail Bungalows

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Summerville has the air of a country cottage, Castlereagh has an eclectic style, and they sit opposite each other on the shores of the Castlereagh lake.

Where to stay



Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

This peaceful retreat near to many of the best sites in the cultural triangle is surrounded by acres of woodland. The ruins of ancient capital Anuradhapura are very close by so this is the perfect base for exploring this fine archaeological site.

Where to stay

Kandy House

Kandy House

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

The ancestral home of one of Kandy's most influential aristocratic families, built in 1804, retains the atmosphere of a private country house, while its colonial influence, providing seclusion and serenity in its countryside setting only a short distance from Kandy.

Where to stay

Taylors Hill

Taylors Hill

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Taylors Hill began life as a British planter’s house, over a century ago. Today, this boutique hotel is a stylish, modern property, in the heart of tea country in Sri Lanka. The hotel even takes its name from Brit James Taylor, who introduced tea production to the country at the neighbouring Loolecondera estate in the 19th century.

Where to stay

Stone House

Stone House

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Tucked away amid tropical Gardens, Stone House sits on a secluded plateau in the hills of Kandy, enjoying views of rolling green hills and valleys. The hotel is just a short hop from the historical heart of Kandy, and the sacred Temple of the Tooth.

Where to stay

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