We've put together a guidebook with everything you need to know about Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Written by our specialists, it details destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send you a link by email which will allow you to download your own copy.
Some of the wildlife that can be spotted on a Sri Lanka holiday...
The teardrop island is particularly proud of its natural bounty, and rightly so. For thousands of years, vast swathes of land have been protected by Sri Lankan royalty, preserved as sanctuaries for nature to thrive and even today, countless areas of protected land exist on the island. Despite its small size, its diverse landscapes, contrasting seasons, unique climate and incredible biodiversity confirm it as an exceptional place for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy year round.
Whether you’re a culture vulture keen to explore the impressive temples and UNESCO sites of the Cultural Triangle, a wildlife fanatic who hopes to spot the elusive leopard in Yala National Park, or a fervent foodie whose mouth waters at the tantalizing aromas of cardamom and coriander, here's our pick of the top Sri Lankan experiences that are not to be missed...
Here’s a guide to our favourite local street-food delicacies to sample during your stay…
Mirissa is the gateway to Dondra Point. This is one of the best spots to witness the whale migrations in Sri Lanka from the Bay of Bengal - Sri Lanka’s southern sea is calm offering up the perfect conditions.
On a recent trip to Sri Lanka, Ellis was bowled over by this unique and calm country which is worlds apart from nearby India. From the fascinating culture of the north, to the scenic rolling hills of Tea Country and the beautiful golden beaches on the coast, there is no end to the country's beauty.
In Sri Lanka, festivals are an integral part of life and culture; with a population composed of many races and religions and given its long, ancient history – they are never short of celebrations. Here are a few of the significant festivals:
Tea is part of Sri Lanka’s unique cultural heritage and some of the world’s finest teas are produced here. Due to Sri Lanka’s diverse climate each tea variety is uniquely different. The country is particularly famous for Ceylon tea, recognised over the world for its high quality and distinct aroma (crisp and citrus).
The best of Sri Lanka and The Maldives in this luxurious journey that takes in Sri Lanka's ancient cities and tea plantations before flying off to one of the finest islands in The Maldives. It combines culture with some of the world's finest beaches.
Spotting the Big Five in Africa is often hailed as the holy grail of wildlife holidays, but plenty of other places around the world offer animal sightings impressive enough to rival Africa's, and Sri Lanka is certainly one of them. Here, we introduce you to Sri Lanka's own Big Five and give you all the information you need to go in search of these wild beasts...
Here’s a guide to our favourite things to do in Galle…
Best for: Culture History, Honeymoon, Luxury
Born of one man’s passion to conserve ancient architectural techniques, Dwarika’s is both a labour of love and a luxury heritage hotel in the heart of Kathmandu, offering discerning guests a unique chance to savour the life of a medieval Nepalese king.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
One of Nepal's most striking hotels, Dwarika's conserves the vanishing techniques of traditional Newari wood architecture and wood carving to create an environment in which you can experience what life was like for the medieval rulers of Nepal. Located a short distance from the famous Pashupathinath temple and Kathmandu Airport, it is a wonderful base to explore the city.
Consisting of a series of traditional Nepali houses set around courtyards, Dwarika’s has 83 rooms and suites, each with its own character and boasting meticulous attention to detail in its period hand-made furnishings (the doors and window frames in particular are astonishing), with all the comforts of the twenty first century. Historical artefacts, dating from as far back as the 13th century, can be found all over the hotel, and there is a also a library for guests to lose themselves in and learn more about the region’s fascinating culture and history. The entry-level heritage rooms are perfect for a fine taste of Nepalese life, however we recommend guests upgrade to the Junior Suites to really make the most of their stay.
Dwarika’s has three restaurants, known for their use of local cooking techniques, serving beautiful, authentic food. The Nepalese specialty restaurant, Krishnarpan is one of Kathmandu's finest where incredible meals from 6 to 22 courses are served on traditional copper plates to enhance the wonderful atmosphere. For western fare, Toran offers all day dining with meals served in the beautiful hotel courtyard as Mako offers fantastic Japanese cuisine.
In terms of facilities, the Pancha Kosha Himalayan Spa uses rare medical herbs and specialist knowledge from the Himalayan region to provide soothing and purifying therapies. Alongside this there is a beautiful swimming pool whose design influence hails from 12th century, in particular the grand royal baths of this period.
When to go
Nepal has a Monsoonal climate with four main seasons. Autumn and spring are the two most favourable seasons for visiting Nepal. Autumn (September to early December) brings in clear weather with sunny days and warm nights. Spring (March to May) with occasional rain falls. From June to September, is the monsoon season. Uncomfortable time to visit as the climate of Nepal at this time of year brings about hot weather and rain falls almost every day.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Changu Narayan Temple and Hike to Telkot
A combination of culture and a gentle introduction to walking in the Kathmandu Valley, this guided tour will lead you out of the hustle and bustle of the city onto a path which takes in ancient temples, local villages and forests.
Tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Stupa
Today you will join your guide for a half day tour of Kathmandu. Today a large city, the historic Kathmandu is quite manageable and set around its majestic Durbar Square, one of city’s several UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Tour of Bungamati and Khokana Villages
On this half day tour, your guide will take you out of the city and see some slices of traditional Nepalese life. Bungamati is famed in Nepal for being the winter home and birthplace of the God of rain.
Boudhanath Stupa & Pashupatinath
Boudhanath Stupa & Pashupatinath are both essential sites close to each other to the east of Kathmandu. Boudhanath is the largest Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu whilst Pashupatinath is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world.
Tour of Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa
Two of the most important sites in the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, your guide will help you understand Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa, the scene of pilgrimages, funerals, butter lamps and holy mantras for generations.
Tour of Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Kathmandu is famous for its Durbar Squares and Bhaktapur is one of the most celebrated. Your guided tour will help you explore the palaces and temples that make this ancient city one of the highlights if Nepal.
Shivapuri National Park
A mix of scenery and culture, Shivapuri National park is a wonderful excursion from the city. Your guide will lead you through small villages and little-visited monasteries, all on the doorstep of Kathmandu.
Cycle through Hidden Kathmandu
Take to the streets on your saddle, as your guide leads you through the tourist landmarks and back alleys of Kathmandu. You will take in markets, squares, temples, Stupas and even have time for a spot of lunch.
The Trail to Dahachowk
One of the most beautiful combinations of culture and scenery, this guided trek takes you from the streets of the city up to some of the finest views in the Kathmandu Valley and lesser visited cultural sites in the region.
Trek to Namo Buddha Stupa
A full day guided trek through traditional villages and past ancient temples. The highlight is most definitely the Namo Buddha Stupa whch is steeped in history, though with clear weather, the views are also stunning.
Hike from Nagarkot to Changunarayan
Today you will join your guide for a classic trek around the Kathmandu Valley, taking in scenery and culture on one of the most popular walking trails on an easy day trip from Kathmandu.
Full-moon butter lamp ceremony at Bodnath Stupa
Mark ‘Purnima’ or full moon in the traditional Buddhist way, by joining a monk from Shyalpa Tenzin Monastery to light a butter lamp (candle) and participate in evening prayers.
Photography Tour of Kathmandu
Explore Kathmandu’s art, culture, history and the extraordinary stories of the city’s people with a tailor-made tour from a native Kathmandu photographer. The tour duration and content is tailored according to your individual interests.
Head into central Kathmandu for a walking tour around Kathmandu Durbar Sq with your private guide before heading to Swayambhu Stupa overlooking the valley. Finish at Kaiser Cafe for lunch.
Everest Mountain Flight
Early this morning take a flight around Everest in a light aircraft. The flight takes about 1 hour and all seats have a window to look at and admire some of the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest.
Scenic Everest Flypast
The classic Nepalese Adventure, take to the skies early in the morning as your head into the mountains. Your pilot will point out some of the world’s highest mountains including the tallest of them all, Mt Everest in this hour-long flight.
Cycling through the Villages to Chapagaon
The perfect combination of culture and scenery, your guide will lead you out of Kathmandu and along picturesque trails through some of the valley’s oldest Nepalese towns and villages.
Tour of Patan Durbar Square
A separate ancient city, Patan now forms part of the fabric of Kathmandu but retains the charm of an older town and simpler times. Your guide will help you step into the past and discover some of the secrets of this charismatic place on a half day tour.
Dinner with an Everest Summiteer
Having dinner with someone who has climbed Everest brings your experience in Nepal to life.
The Trail to Champa Devi
A day of gentle trekking on one of the more popular trails around the Kathmandu Valley, your guide will take you through pine forests, past shrines and stupas to some of the finest viewpoints around Kathmandu.
Private Blessing Ceremony
A privileged opportunity to have an audience with a Hindu priest or Buddhist teacher and celebrate or pray for a personal cause.
Night Photography in Kathmandu
Under the guidance of a local pro, learn the secrets of light and dark in Kathmandu and Patan Durbar Square.
Rural Cycle to Budanikantha
This morning your guide will lead you out of the busy city and out to some of the best technical mountain biking routes in the valley through forests and past ancient statues. You will be accompanied by some stunning panoramic views along the way.
Private blessing ceremony by His Eminence Shyalpa Tenzing Rinpoche at Shyalpa Tenzin Monastery
The interactive and personalised ceremony will be narrated in English or other European language throughout and will be held at Shyalpa Tenzin Monastery by His Eminence Shyalpa Tenzing Rinpoche. Ideal for a wedding blessing, anniversary or even a birthday
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan National Park, Thimphu, Punakha and Paro
This itinerary takes you through some of the most beautiful and interesting destinations in the world and includes all the key highlights of Nepal and Bhutan, making it a true gem of an itinerary!
Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan National Park, Dhulikhel
Discover Nepal! Explore the captivating country from the rich culture of Kathmandu, beautiful treks in Pokhara Valley, famed for being one of the most picturesque spots in Nepal and venture into the wilds in Chitwan National Park.
Kathmandu, Bardia National Park, Chitwan National Park, Pokhara
Explore Nepal’s great lowland parks in search of tigers and one-horned rhino, before visiting some of the people that live around these parks. Finish off your trip with three days of luxury in the foothills above Pokhara.