Welcome to Matale

This midsize regional city at the heart of the island lies in a broad, fertile valley at an elevation of 300m. Matale is a featureless urban sprawl with a congested one-way system, so you're unlikely to want to linger long. However, the road north of town is lined with dozens of visitor-friendly spice plantations where vanilla, rubber, cinchona, jackfruit, cocoa and cardamom thrive. The area is also famous for... Read More

Top experiences in Matale

Travel guides

Starting at $24.99

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Matale activities

$400 Cultural & Theme Tours

4-Day Essence of Sri Lanka Tour

Day 1 : Hotel / Sigiriya You will be picked up from your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia and driven to Dambulla. Visit the Cave temple of Dambulla (UNESCO World Heritage). Spend overnight in Sigiriya. Accommodation is in a 3 star hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis.Day 2: Sigiriya / Polonnaruwa / Sigiriya In the morning, take a morning cycling tour at one of the best maintained ruins of ancient Ceylon - the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa where was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. In the afternoon, drive from your hotel to Sigiriya by TukTuk and Climb the Sigiriya rock fortress where you will visit rocky abode and water gardens (UNESCO World Heritage site & one of the Wonders of the World). Spend overnight in Sigiriya. Accommodation is in a 3 star hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis.Day 3: Sigiriya / Dambulla / Kandyin the morning, trek through the archetypal Sri Lankan Typical village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a Wewa or man-made reservoir. The reservoir, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of early morning or an evening activity. You will continue your tour with a bullock cart ride up to a village house where you can experience a Sri Lankan Lunch.After Lunch, we will drive to Kandy. En route visit a Spice garden in Matale. For centuries, spices have been one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated exports and are used for not only food but also medicines and cosmetics. In the afternoon, you will take a city tour of Kandy including a visit to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, upper lake drive, market square, gem lapidary and more. Spend overnight in Kandy. Accommodation is in a 3 star hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis. Day 4 : Kandy / Your Hotel Today after breakfast, you will be taken back to your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia or Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

$1400 Multi-day & Extended Tours

11-Night Romantic Honeymoon Package

Day 1: Arrive, NegomboUpon arrival at the Bandaranaike International airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred to Negombo (Approximately 30 minutes drive). Once there, you will relax and stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 2: Negombo, SigiriyaIn the morning you will have breakfast and drive to Sigiriya. (Approximately 4-hour drive). On the way, you will stop at Dambulla cave temple. Overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 3: Sigiriya, Hiriwadunna, SigiriyaIn the morning you will be driven to Hiriwadunna for village trekking. You will explore in canoes, take a bullock cart ride and have a traditional Sri Lankan Lunch. In the afternoon, you will be able to visit Sigiriya rock fortress, then stay overnight in a 3-star hotel. Day 4: Sigiriya, Matale, KandyIn the morning you will have breakfast and then drive to Kandy (Approx. 2 ½ hrs drive). Along the way you will visit the spice garden. Experience a cooking demonstration and a free head and shoulder massage. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a TukTuk ride in Kandy followed by a city shopping tour. You'll stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 5: KandySpend the day at leisure in the hotel or do some shopping in Kandy. Stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 6: Kandy, Peradeniya, Nuwara EliyaSpend a few hours at leisure in the hotel and then proceed to Peradeniya Railway Station for a scenic train journey to Nanuoya. The train leaves Peradeniya at 12:30 pm and reaches Nanu Oya at 3:55 pm. Lunch will be provided on board. You will stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 7: Nuwara EliyaIn the morning after breakfast, you will be driven to Horton Plains (approx 1 hour drive) to a viewpoint known as World’s End. In the afternoon you will visit a tea plantation and a tea factory where the best tea in the world is produced. Then stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 8: Nuwara Eliya, BentotaAfter breakfast, you will be driven to Bentota (approx. 5 hrs drive). Along the way, visit St. Claire and Devon waterfalls. In the evening, you will stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 9 and 10: BentotaYou are free to spend these days at your leisure to explore or relax on your own. You will stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 11: Bentota, ColomboAfter breakfast, drive to Colombo. In the afternoon, you will have a city tour of Colombo and be able to explore and go shopping. You will stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.Day 12: Colombo, AirportThere is no itinerary planned for the day. After breakfast you will be taken to Bandaranaike International Airport according to your departure flight schedule (approx. 1 hr drive).

$31.25 Day Trips & Excursions

Secrets of Sri Lanka: Private Day Trip to Matale Including Cooking Class and Lunch

Begin the day at 8:30am when your vehicle picks you up from your Kandy hotel. Breakfast is not included in your tour package so bring your own along or have it before leaving. It will take two hours to reach your first destination, Nalanda Gedige in Matale. Nalanda Gedige is an old Dravidian (Pallava era) structure believed to have been built between the 8th to 10th century. At first view, it’s an obviously Hindu temple from the detailed wall and roof architecture, to the little windowless main shrine. However, the site’s erotic tantric sculptures, along with its plain moonstone, point to a more Buddhist origin. After viewing this structure and discussing it with your tour guide, you will leave for Euphoria Spice and Herbal Gardens at 11:30am. Arrive at Euphoria Spice and Herbal Gardens by 11:45am. Start your visit with a 1 to 1 1/2 hour tour of the spice and herbal gardens. During the tour, you will learn more about the gardens’ different spices and herbs, as well as how they are grown and harvested. You will leave the spice gardens at 2:00pm. It will take 20 minutes to transfer to Aluvihara, a religious complex that is believed to mean ‘light temple’ or ‘cave with light’ based on two different beliefs. Aluvihara is most famous as the place of creation of the Buddhist religious script ‘Triptaka’. The stupa is literally built on top of a large rock. Meanwhile, the rock itself is riddled with a cave system. So far 13 caves have been found, with many more buried under old cave-ins. You will have to climb up and through the rock to see the historic and interesting insides of these caves and learn more about the history within. Leave Aluvihara at 3:30pm. You can return to Kandy at this time, or opt for a sunset visit to Sembuwatta Lake located in the Elkaduwa area. You will get there by 4:30pm. Sembuwatta is an artificial lake made from a natural spring in the area. It’s famed for its amazing views and natural swimming pool. You will be spending a relaxing hour here, allowing you to take some spectacular photos with the setting sun. Leave the lake at 5:30pm and return to Kandy by 7:00pm.

$40 Outdoor Activities

Private Tour: The Great Elephant Gathering Safari in Minneriya

You will begin your Great Elephant Gathering Safari at the entrance gates of Minneriya National Park at 2:30pm in the afternoon. If you are staying in a hotel within a 5km radius of the entrance gate of Minneriya, you will be receiving a complimentary pickup. Sri Lanka has a very high count of Asian elephants. It is believed that there are over 4000 elephants spread over many areas of the island, with over 2500 being in protected areas. The North Central Province has a fairly large concentration of the animals. Minneriya National Park, which is one of the main areas where elephants can be seen, was formed around the artificial reservoir created by King Mahasena in the third century AD. Over the ages, the area around the reservoir became a haven for wildlife and was later declared a wildlife sanctuary and national park. During the months from August to October the water levels of the reservoir goes down, allowing a fresh growth of plants to rise from the newly revealed ground. During this season elephants from the areas around Minneriya, such as Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Matale and Kaudulla, make their way to Minneriya National Park in order to feed on the fresh growth. This results in a large influx of elephants gathering on the banks of the reservoir. At the peak of the Great Elephant Gathering, it is believed that over 200 elephants gather at the same place, making it the largest gathering of Asian elephants in the world. You will be visiting the banks of the reservoir in a jeep, and watching from a safe distance. As the sun sinks in the sky, you will see the awe-striking sight of large numbers of huge elephants flowing in from all directions. You can watch from mere feet away as whole families of the mammals feed and play. Watch the giant pool party where large glistening bodies roll in the water, and spray it into the air. See the most incredible sight that you can never see anywhere else in the world. In addition to the elephants, other wildlife such as various species of deer, monkeys, the Sri Lankan sloth bear, crocodiles and many different species of birds can also be seen in Minneriya National Park. You will be finishing your safari at 5:30pm at the entrance gates. If you stay in a hotel within a 5km radius of the entrance gates you will be entitled to a complimentary drop off right at your hotel.

$16.25 Private & Custom Tours

Private Tour: Kandy Crafts and Spices

You will start your tour at 9:00am when you are picked up from your hotel in Kandy. You will proceed to Euphoria Spice and Herbal Gardens in Matale, which is the first place in your itinerary. You will get there by 10:00am and will go on ‘The Spice Tour’, an educational tour that shows you the spices and herbs of Sri Lanka and how they are grown and processed at the Spice Garden. You will also learn how to use them to their best effect. Afterwards you will get an opportunity to make purchases of various fresh spices and herbal products. After finishing the spice gardens tour at approximately 11:30am, you will be moving back to Kandy to visit the Jayamali Batik Factory. You will get there by 12:3 pm. Though it is called a factory, this craft industry is not as large scale as you would expect from its name. Instead it involves a few expert craftspeople, usually women, and a few apprentices. You will get to see the elaborate batik-making process with its detailed crafting. You will also have a chance to purchase some beautiful products made with batik fabrics; such as wall hangers, table cloths, clothing and etc. After a one-hour visit to the batik factory, you will go for lunch at 1:30pm. You can choose to have lunch at a place of your choice according to your own affordability. The Cinnamon Citadel, Mahaveli Reach or Helga’s Folly are recommended for a delicious lunch. At 3:00pm after lunch, you will be visiting a Ochre Wood-carving center. You will spend an hour at the center and see the process of woodcarving and get to know more about the types of wood used. You will be able to buy purchase some carved wooden souvenirs, if you so wish. At 4:00pm you will leave the woodcarving center to visit the gem museum, which you will reach by 4:2 pm. You will spend a fun hour and a half at the Tiesh Gem Museum, increasing you knowledge on the gems of Sri Lanka, and the gem crafting process. You will also be able to purchase both crafted gems and gem studded jewelry at the retail shop attached. You will be finishing your tour and getting back to your hotel at 6:30pm.

$2099 National Geographic Journeys

Discover Sri Lanka

Take 11 unforgettable days to discover the exceptional island country of Sri Lanka. Explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress and find your own peace at the unusual Dambulla Cave Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk through spice gardens and tea plantations, and ride through Wilpattu National Park with a forest ranger in search of elephants and leopards. Experience a unique part of the world so few travellers get to.