13 July 2018
Shimmering golden sands, compelling cultural sites and warmly welcoming people make Sri Lanka an increasingly popular holiday destination, whether you travel solo, as a couple or a family, or with friends. We’ve shared our favourite things about Sri Lanka.
See monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, elephants and possibly even leopards in Sri Lanka, as well as rare birds including woolly-necked storks and crested serpent eagles. The hot spot for animal sightings is Yala National Park, which you can discover by jeep tour, although there are other fantastic nature reserves to explore too.
A visit to Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery (one of nearly 20 turtle care centres along the south coast) is a must for eco-conscious travellers, who can learn about local conservation work and may even get to see hatchlings make their first journey to the ocean. Glass-bottomed boat-trips from Hikkaduwa Beach are another way to see turtles, or there are longer excursions in search of dolphins and whales.
White-water rafting, kayaking, canyoning, abseiling and jungle treks are all on offer for thrill-seekers visiting Sri Lanka, with Kitulgala near Kandy the best place for outdoors adventures. Alternatively, surfing is on the up in Sri Lanka, especially in the south, where you’ll find waves to suit all levels and tastes plus tuition for kids and adults alike.
Hikkaduwa Beach is a firm favourite with families, with shallow waters perfect for those travelling with younger children. Galle, a former capital that retains its Dutch colonial buildings, also has good beaches.
Sri Lanka blends Muslim, Tamil and Sinhalese cultures in a fascinating historic mix. Among its stunning temples, ancient ruined cities and other architectural treasures are the UNESCO World Heritage listed fortress of Sigirya perched high on its 650m rock. There’s also Dambulla’s cave temple complex, in which you’ll find more than 160 statues – Sri Lankan kings, Buddha, and gods and goddesses – and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.
Simply getting around Sri Lanka is an adventure, whether you travel by tuk tuk, by bike or aboard one of the country’s iconic blue trains, taking you past traditional villages and lush tea plantations.
Shop for unique souvenirs in Kandy, one of Sri Lanka's three ancient capitals forming the Cultural Triangle, and the historic bastion of Buddhist power. Among great items to bring home with you are locally hand-crafted wooden masks and puppets.
Sri Lanka can be an exciting place to eat, especially if you love spicy food. Highlights are prawns and other seafood fresh from the boats, hoppers (bowl-shaped rice-flour and coconut milk pancakes, sometimes filled with curry or a fried egg). Several venues offering cookery courses mean you can learn to emulate local cuisine if the mood takes you.
From luxury resorts with an array of amenities for all ages to stylish tented lodges, Sri Lanka has a wonderful choice of accommodation suited to everyone from couples to families.
Direct flights to Colombo from London Heathrow airport take about nine and a half hours outbound. Sri Lanka is also an easy destination to combine with Dubai or the Maldives for an unforgettable two-centre holiday.
To find out more or book your Sri Lanka holiday, contact your Travel Counsellor now.