ART & ARCHITECTURE

A 14 Day Tour
COLOMBO – KANDY – BENTOTA – GALLE – TANGALLE

Sri Lanka has a rich and world-renowned artistic tradition which encompasses sculpture, textiles, architecture and much more. Exquisite batik and handloom, intricate wood and stone carvings have become iconic symbols of the country, and there are a multitude of excellent sites where you can admire these creations. Starting in Colombo, you’ll have first-hand experience of the former studios and residences of Geoffrey Bawa and his key works in the city. The city has interesting museums and galleries of contemporary art, while and in Kandy enjoy an easy paced days as your explore the Temple of the Tooth and the Botanical Gardens, a fine example of colonial landscape architecture. The journey ends in Bentota on the island’s south, amidst the masterpieces of coastal resorts and a must-do visit to Lunuganga, Bawa’s “tropical modernist” gardens.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore the island’s ever changing and dynamic capital, Colombo and the legacy of Geoffrey Bawa on the city
  • Visit the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
  • Explore the gardens at Lunuganga, Bawa’s riverfront home in Bentota, which has a strong Mediterranean influence throughout
  • Attend a traditional devil-mask making workshop
  • Discover the secrets of Galle on a walk with a local resident
  • Flop by the beach at The Last house, Geoffrey Bawa’s final example of his famous brand of architecture

ITINERARY OVERVIEW

Day Activity Location Accommodation
Day 1 Arrive in to Colombo Airport where you will be met and transferred to the city and check in at Maniumpathy.

Afternoon at leisure.

Colombo Maniumpathy
Day 2 This morning take a guided journey around Colombo in the morning with a focus on Sri Lanka’s great architect, Geoffrey Bawa. Visit his home and his other notable buildings in the city. Your tour of Bawa’s Colombo begins at Number 11, the hub of Geoffrey’s city life.  Your host is very knowledgeable on Bawa but also his notable friends on the art, architecture and textile scene, such as Barbara (Barefoot), Minette (Sri Lanka’s first female architect) and Ena (batik artist). You will discover those that worked for him still look after the house and some of the countless stories to be told.  Continue visit Seema Malaka Temple on Beira Lake, which he redesigned in the 1970s and end your tour with either an exhibition (if there is one on) or a trip to Barefoot. You will end your tour at the Gallery Café and appreciate another of Bawa’s triumphs over lunch. Rest of day at leisure. Colombo Maniumpathy
Day 3 Morning transfer to Kandy and check into The Kandy House, a highly-sought after old colonial ‘Walauwa’ (ancestral mansion) located in the spice-growing hills that surround Kandy. Channa Daswatta, one of Geoffrey Bawa’s protégés and Sri Lanka’s leading modern architects, provided the creative inspiration.Rest day at leisure. Kandy The Kandy House
Day 4 Visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens with your private guide, who is a local and passionate botanist who is a walking encyclopaedia. Even if you have very little interest in botany he makes the visit interesting and insightful with plenty of quirky stories and facts.

Evening visit to the Temple of the Tooth for the pooja (religious ceremony). Your guide will walk you through the various chambers explaining the history and significance of the temple.

Kandy The Kandy House
Day 5 Transfer to Bentota and stay 2 nights at Rock Villa is a fabulous 170-year-old Sri Lankan wallawwa with a fine reputation set on a two-acre coconut grove fronted by the spectacular sun-kissed beaches of Bentota. Rest of day at leisure  Bentota Rock Villa
Day 6 After breakfast visit Lunuganga home of the renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. His work has had a tremendous impact upon architecture throughout Asia and is unanimously acclaimed by connoisseurs of architecture worldwide. Every turn and every bend in Bawa’s country home is an interesting experience – with so many exotic plants and trees and views to take in throughout the distinct homes and garden. The house itself is sparse but beautiful, full of impressive paintings and photographs of a bygone age. Bentota Rock Villa
Day 7 At leisure – option visit to Brief Garden, the beautiful, Mediterranean inspired gardens designed by Beavis Bawa, Geoffrey Bawa’s brother flamboyant brother. Bentota Rock Villa
Day 8 Transfer to Galle and check into Fort Bazaar.

This afternoon enjoy a guided walk with a Fort resident. Your host is a fifth generation resident of Galle, who has spent much of his growing years learning about the ins and outs of the Galle Fort. A descendant from a family who have been welcoming travellers from all parts of the world to the island, your host has many tales to share about the past as well as the present.

Galle Fort Bazaar
Day 9 This morning visit an arts and crafts shop hidden in Galle Fort and learn the history of traditional devil mask making in Sri Lanka before your host guides you through creating your own. Masks are used more for performance than spiritual rituals in modern day Sri Lanka but their past is rooted in ancient beliefs and the ideology that they have healing and protective powers Galle Fort Bazaar
Day 10 This morning transfer to Tangalle and stay at The Last House is an exquisite boutique hotel situated in the deep south near Tangalle, an area which offers some of the best cove-like beaches in Sri Lanka. The Last House, so-called because it was Geoffrey Bawa’s architectural swansong, is positioned on an idyllic strip of land with a lagoon on one side and the turquoise seas on the other. As one would expect from Sri Lanka’s most respected architect, a man that mixed Sri Lanka’s rich cultural past with a clean modernity, the villa is very special. It is shaped like a horse-shoe, with kitchen, living rooms and courtyard bedrooms surrounding an idyllic swimming pool on three sides. Relax and enjoy the surrounding. Tangalle The Last House
Day 11 Day at leisure Tangalle The Last House
Day 12 Day at leisure Tangalle The Last House
Day 13 Day at leisure Tangalle The Last House
Day 14 Transfer to the Airport for your return flight.
Prices from £2155.00 per person and do not include international flights Enquire Now