Sri Lanka small group tour, a food adventure

“Eat, explore and cook your way around Sri Lanka's spice and fish markets, plantations and open kitchens on a 12 day small group foodie odyssey for all the senses.”

Highlights

Negombo | Dambulla | Kandy | Bandarawela | Yala | Hambantota | Mirissa | Colombo |

Description of Sri Lanka small group tour, a food adventure

Sri Lanka is like a delicious jumble of spice and sunshine and if you're looking to sample the best of both then this Sri Lanka tour takes you on a foodie adventure that's as culturally enlightening as mouth-wateringly scrumptious.

From the warm waves of the Indian Ocean to the cooler, fresher vibe of the highlands, Sri Lanka tours open your eyes to a world of culinary delights with seafood, desserts and some of the finest curry recipes this side of India.

Alongside learning how to cook some of Sri Lanka's finest dishes you'll also be treated to a treasure trove of cultural delights with ancient temples, abandoned fortifications and wonderfully rural landscapes all colliding in an absolutely mesmeric 12 day tour.

Meet hospitable Sri Lankans, visit local fishing villages and spend time in the markets of Colombo; whatever you do, don't let your senses miss out on this amazing foodie tour in Sri Lanka.

Important notice:

Colombo's international airport will be undergoing essential daily maintenance from the 5th January to the 5th April in 2017.

Any travellers arriving or departing during this period will have flight schedules affected and need to know that plans may be changed to accommodate the work taking place at Bandaranaike.

Get in touch with your flight operator or airline to find out what changes will be taking place before letting your tour operator know so they can work out transfer times to suit. As your flight may well be subject to multiple changes it's a good idea to keep checking schedule details right up until the time of departure.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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26 Dec 2017
£ 1635
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26 Jun 2018
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01 Jan 2019
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Holiday type

Food Adventures

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what makes a Food Adventure different?
Our focus on these trips is exploring our destination through regional specialities, eating where the locals eat, learning to cook traditional dishes and refreshing your palate with the local tipple! Our usual grass roots style of travel is still very much in evidence and you'll still get to explore a region's highlights as well as more out of the way places under the guidance of your group leader, but there will be a lot of focus on the unique flavours of the region you are visiting.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka small group tour, a food adventure

As a global tour operator, we take our role in tourism extremely seriously. We recognise the impact tourism has on local communities and environments and we plan and travel with this at the forefront of our minds at all times.
We incorporate the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in our culture and the daily operations of every office and every trip. We expect our staff and travellers to travel with the principles of responsible travel in mind and endeavour to demonstrate these values at all times - respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.
This trip gives our travellers a chance to integrate into the local culture and get involved with the daily practices of Sri Lanka. We visit a locally family run coconut plantation and learn how the coconut is used from ‘nose to tail’. A main ingredient in almost all Sri Lankan dishes, we learn that the whole tree, the roots and leaves, as well as the husk are put to good use. Our visit encourages travellers to minimise their waste distribution by learning how to utilise every aspect of the locally sourced foods.
We encourage deep and meaningful connections with the local people and on this trip we meet with the famed stilt fisherman of Unawatuna and learn how their livelihoods were affected by the 2008 tsunami. The experiences our travellers have here give them a real insight into Sri Lankan culture and provide them with a snap shot of daily life after this disaster. We also spend time with a local family, joining them in preparation for the evening meal which we are invited to.
We use local restaurants and businesses wherever possible to support the local economy and this puts imperative financial resources back into the community. On this particular trip, we peruse the local seafood market for the ‘catch of the day’ and have it cooked up at a local seaside restaurant. Our travellers take a master class to learn the local way of cooking seafood and spend time and eat lunch with a local Tamil family, taking in the distinct flavours that the Tamil cuisine offers.
Our commitment to sustainable tourism doesn’t stop when our tour does. As we use local transport wherever possible on our tours, we are also proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. On this particular trip, we offset 343kg per person per trip. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travellers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects, equating to over AU$1 million since 2007. Since then, we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year!
We run and support a variety of projects, from healthcare, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and environmental and wildlife protection. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 11 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.

4 Reviews of Sri Lanka small group tour, a food adventure

4.5 out of 5 stars
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“The food was just so tasty, aromatic and flavourful. And varied and very different to what I have had in terms of Indian food. ”

Reviewed on 27 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Undoubtedly the most memorable and exciting part of the trip was the food, Sri Lankan food is spicy, flavourful and delicious. If you're a foodie, this trip is heaven; and even if you're not it's a fantastic way to see the country, learn about its culture and history and importantly meet ordinary Sri Lankans. I will always remember the kindness and generosity of the Sri Lankan families who opened the doors to their homes, cooked and fed us; no easy task as we were a full group of 12 plus a tour leader and two drivers. A special mention to our fantastic tour leader, Priyantha Balakrishnan who really went the extra mile for the whole group throughout the trip.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you are not used to spicy food, Sri Lankan food is going to come as shock to the system, I recommend drinking lime juice, which is cooling and/or coca cola (not that I'm promoting the company) which is a good digestive for spicy food. We went just before the monsoon when it was very hot and humid - so pack light, woven cotton or linen loose clothing and take an umbrella to keep the sun off. I'm vegetarian and was very well catered for but don't be afraid to remind both the tour operator and tour leader. If you're worried about mosi's and other biting bugs, you can buy Citronella oil, extracted from lemongrass and a natural insect repellent in any supermarket in Sri Lanka. The rest is up to you, how much you engage with the people and the culture or if you're going to spend time worried about whether the hotels have pools or not. Sri Lanka is unique, leave aside whatever assumptions exist about South Asia and open yourself to its uniqueness.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Plastic water bottles were collected for recycling in a bin on our bus, while we travelled by tour bus one journey was on a local train, which was a lot of fun and the scenery spectacular. For the main part I would like to think the benefit was mutual, for the families we visited as much as our group. We tipped, to express our gratitude, after each meal.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This is a five star holiday. Everything about it was wonderful, from our knowledgeable Tour Leader, Priyantha, to our drivers, Sam and Chris, to the families we met and shared food with, to the culture and country. You will experience a good cross section of society, we ate street food, invaded the kitchen of a local restaurant to learn how to cook Kothu roti, we visited coconut farm, buffalo curd farm and met the families who worked on the farms, ate with a Kandian middle class Sinhalese family and their delightful daughters, a Tea Plantation managers family and then a yummy Tamil lunch with the tea pickers family, a lovely Muslim family with the best veggie Biryani and spicy coffee I've had in a long time and a typical Dutch Burgher's meal. The trip also covers the must -see highlights such as a spice garden, Yala National park, Dambulla Caves, Sigiriya and time by the beach.

Reviewed on 15 Mar 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visiting local families to learn about local cuisine, and sampling the food. The trip also included historical sites, visits to local markets, cottage industries etc.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel light. 7 hotels in 10 days (all offer 12 hour laundry service). Carry a good waterbottle you can refill from a communal 5Ltr flagon rather than using new plastic bottles every day.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Focus was on meeting local families and tasting their food, plus visits to local cocnut processing plant, tea plantation etc. Hotels used were all modest and locally run.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A most enjoyable experience, getting much closer to the local culture than a standard trip.

Reviewed on 18 Jan 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Memorable, either the natural beauty of Sri Lanka or our outstanding guide, Bala.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open heart, palate and hope to have Priyantha Balakrishnan as your guide. Remember that 3 star hotels are not what they are in Europe, most hotels in this range are older and may or may not have been renovated.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Because of Bala we spent our money in local establishments and tipped appropriately everywhere we went. We all reduced our waste as much as possible and followed sustainable tourism practices as much as possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


My holiday was amazing. I am very glad I chose the tour I did and providence gave my group such a wonderful guide.

I do feel that it is relevant to mention one thing that a single traveller should consider when booking any group tour on a room share basis. I am a solo
traveller who has routinely 'room shared' on many trips and I didn't see why this one should be any different to my previous experiences. My room mate was
a very nice person who unfortunately snored like a train and then became really quite unwell shortly after the start of the tour. As a result of these 2 factors I
had hardly any sleep for nearly 2 weeks and never felt comfortable going to 'our' room to rest at any point during the day if the opportunity arose as it was
always occupied. A couple of times our tour guide tried to source me a single room and was often quoted ridiculous rates for the quality of the
accommodation on offer. This was disappointing. Finally on the last night of my trip I fell foul of her germs and the long journey home was most unpleasant.
Hardly a great way to go back to work. It is no one's fault that my room mate snored or got sick but it definitely adversely affected my enjoyment of the
holiday.

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Train journey through the tea hills and the Botanical Gardens in Kandy

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for spicy food.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes it did.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Good value, interesting destination, a lot packed into the time available.

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