Real Food Adventure - Sri Lanka

There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 20, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Real Food Adventure - Sri Lanka .

Trip Validity

  • 2014-01-01 - 2015-01-19

Indulge in the unique and tasty cuisine of delightful Sri Lanka

Despite being influenced by the cooking traditions of India, Portugal, Arabia and Holland, Sri Lanka’s cuisine – complex, gratifying and redolent with spices – has a style uniquely its own. Working your way through Sri Lanka in a circle from Negombo to Colombo, indulge in seafood on the coast, hoppers on the streets and Tamil cuisine in the Highlands. Plus there's a hefty dose of culture, history and fun to round off a delicious adventure through this provocative country.

  • Sample fresh seafood in Negombo
  • Master a traditional hoppers recipe
  • Get active in the cave temples of Dambulla
  • Sip tea at a Sri Lankan tea plantation
  • Take a walk on Sri Lanka's wild side in Yala National Park
  • Relax on the white sandy beaches of Tangalle
  • Indulge on Sri Lanka's famously fragrant curries

Real Food Adventure - Sri Lanka Summary

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Days 1-2 Negombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka, an island nation of sunny sands, exotic scents and mouth-tingling spices. Relax on Negombo’s sweeping coastline and watch the fishing boats float on by. Later, why not dine on the catch of the day at a local seafood restaurant.

Days 3-4 Anuradhapura

Spend an evening picking up some classic Sri Lankan street food recipes. Master how to make hoppers (a bowl shaped pancake), paratha (stuffed flat bread) and sweet banana and pineapple roti with locals in a street shop. Some of the vendors have even fine-tuned their chopping skills into a musical performance of sorts – meaning you’ll get a feast for the ears, eyes and mouth. After a cycling tour around sacred sights including the Ruwanwelimahaseya Dagaba and Jetavanarama Monastery, get an insight into local food preparation while helping out a family in the kitchen. Cook up some traditional Sri Lankan curry before sitting down for a family meal.

Day 5 Dambulla/Sigiriya Rock

Admire the commanding views from the top of Sigiriya Rock. Explore the rock cave temples of Dambulla – the biggest in the country and in the evening have a master class in Sri Lankan fish cooking.

Days 6-7 Kandy

Travel to Kandy for a tour of a local spice garden. Learn how spices such as Kurundu (or ‘true’ cinnamon), which is indigenous to Sri Lanka, and cardamom are grown and used to season traditional dishes. Pick a few goodies and hit the kitchen for some more cooking. Later, witness a traditional Kandyan dance performance and stroll the ornate architecture of the Temple of the Tooth.

Days 8-9 Haputale

High-tail it to Sri Lanka’s lush hill country for an overnight stay on a tea plantation and discover the various leaves for which the country is renowned. Sample the distinct aromas and flavours of Tamil cuisine over lunch with a local family

Day 10 Tissa

Take a tea-tasting tour on a factory visit and see how one of the country’s most important crop is processed. Sink your sweet tooth into some local deserts like vadi and aluwa – it’s in some of these dishes that the epicurean influence of former colonial power Portugal and the Nederlands is most apparent.

Day 11 Yala National Park/Tangalle

Scan the woods for deer, elephants and birdlife in Yala National Park, which is also home to one of the highest densities of leopards in the world.

Day 12 Tangalle

Bask on the white sands of Tangalle, then peruse the fresh catch on offer at the seafood markets and have it cooked up before your eyes at a local seaside restaurant. Perhaps be tempted by favourite local dish, Ambulthiayal (sour fish curry) or just sit back with feet in the sand and a frosty Lion beer.

Day 13 Unawatuna

Enjoy a final morning of relaxation in Tangalle, then drive to nearby Unawatuna. Meet Unawatuna’s famed stilt fishermen and hear how their livelihoods and lifestyles have changed post-tsunami. You may even get the chance to taste the local drop, toddy (a drink made from palm tree sap) or coconut arrack.

Days 14-15 Galle/Colombo

Check out the charming seaside town of Galle, then enjoy a final dinner as the sun sets. Return to Colombo, stopping past a producer of jadi fish. This fermented fish concoction is a vital Sri Lankan pantry staple. Arrive back in Colombo at approximately 3pm, where this Real Food Adventure comes to an end.