Ideally situated halfway between Colombo and the Central Highlands/Nuwara Eliya, Palmstone Retreat is the perfect base to explore several important attractions in Sri Lanka such as Adam’s Peak, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. The central location of Palmstone Retreat to these key attractions means that travellers can have an enriching experience of exploring several areas of the country, while enjoying the convenience of luxury accommodation.
Situated approximately 60 km (1 hour drive) south of Kithugala, Adam’s Peak is a 2,243m high mountain that has religious significance to Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. The giant footprint at the top of this holy mountain (locally referred to as Sri Pada) has been said to be the footprint of the Lord Buddha by Buddhists.
Around the 8th century, Muslims claimed it to be that of Prophet Adam who was said to have set his first foot here after banishment from heaven, while Hindus say the footprint was that of Lord Shiva. Centuries later, the Portuguese claimed it belonged to St Thomas. Thousands of devotees ascend Adam’s Peak between December and April every year as a religious pilgrimage in order to pay their respects to the sacred footprint.
For many travellers, a journey up Adam’s peak is the climax of their stay in Sri Lanka. The challenging climb of over 5000 rock hewn steps is best attempted at night, where you are guided by winding lights. The aim is to reach the top to witness the glorious sunrise, which is one of the finest sunrises in the region.
The city of Kandy is situated approximately 75 km (1.5 hour drive) north of Kitulgala, and is another area that is worth visiting.
Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka, and one of the most scenic cities in the island with gorgeous hills, tea plantations and spice gardens. It is also culturally, historically and religiously significant; it was the last capital of the ancient Sinhala kingdom prior to colonial rule, and is home to the Temple of the Tooth, which enshrines a relic of Lord Buddha’s tooth.
Other highlights near Kandy include the Pinnawela elephant orphanage, where you can bottle feed baby elephants and witness them taking a river bath, as well as the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, which are the largest gardens in Sri Lanka and the finest in Asia. Kandy is also the gateway to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, and provides trekking opportunities at Knuckles Range.
This lovely hill resort of Sri Lanka is the highest town in the country, located 2000 m above sea level, and is approximately 85 km (2 hour drive) east of Kitulgala.
Nuwara Eliya is picture perfect, with scenic views of waterfalls, valleys and mountains. Often referred to as ‘Little England’, Nuwara Eliya enjoys a pleasant cool climate with several English style bungalows and buildings from colonial days. It is also the heart of the tea industry in Sri Lanka, and travellers will be able to visit tea factories and estates nearby to learn more about the tea growing and manufacturing processes.
Other attractions to see here include Victoria Park, which is ideal for bird watching in Sri Lanka and leisure strolls, Hakgala Botanical Gadens and Horton Plains National Park, where tourists can visit World’s End – a sheer precipe with a 870m drop. Nuwara Eliya also has a 18-hole golf course and boating opportunities on Lake Gregory.