Introducing Sri Lanka

Teardrop-shaped Sri Lanka’s natural beauty has to be seen to be believed. Palm-fringed beaches, breath-taking tea estates and sublime national parks are complemented by ancient ruins, herds of wild elephants and the Central Highlands’ verdant peaks. Because of the island nation’s modest size, distances between each are blissfully short.

As much about people as landscapes, Sri Lanka’s cultural identity is influenced by ancient Buddhist civilizations, a vibrant Hindu culture in the north and the legacy of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonialism. Each has impacted its architecture and cuisine; the resulting melting pot is a delight to discover.

These Sri Lanka holiday ideas are crafted by destination experts from trusted local travel companies.

Highlights

  • Admiring the stunning views from the summit of Sigiriya
  • Watching “The Gathering” of wild elephants at Minneriya
  • Finding a deserted white-sand beach at tropical Tangalla
  • Taking the train to the world’s prettiest tea plantations
  • Experiencing Anuradhapura’s architectural wonders

When to go

  • High: Dec to Mar
  • Shoulder: Apr, Sep to Nov
  • Low: May to Aug

Sri Lankan Family Adventure

  • When to go: November – April
  • Duration: 13 nights

From exploring tropical jungle on the back of an elephant to roaming ancient forts beside the Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters, nowhere can capture kids’ imaginations quite like Sri Lanka. Taking in its coastal and inland highlights, this magical two-week holiday – which features relatively short journeys, exciting excursions and child-friendly hotels, plus plenty of downtime – is designed specifically for families with an appetite for adventure.

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Guesthouse Explorer

  • When to go: November – April
  • Duration: 14 nights

Nothing gets you as close to the ‘real’ Sri Lanka as staying in the island nation’s gorgeous guesthouses and heavenly homestays. Do just that on this two-week journey across its central and southern regions, where you’ll climb to the summit of ancient rock fortresses, marvel at centuries-old Buddhist frescoes and spend at least two days lazing on an impossibly pretty palm-fringed beach. There’s even time to travel on what’s regarded as one of the world’s finest train journeys.

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Sri Lanka’s Ayurveda Trail

  • When to go: November – April
  • Duration: 21 nights

Discover the time-honoured secrets of Ayurvedic healing on this relaxed three-week journey through Sri Lanka. Combining the island nation’s cultural heritage with a fortnight-long wellness retreat on the sublime south-west coast, this is a unique opportunity to discover ruined kingdoms and ancient healing techniques, palm-fringed sands and glorious Buddhist temples. After completing a tailor-made treatment programme – one that encompasses relaxation, rejuvenation and detoxification – you’ll leave feeling totally refreshed; the balance between mind and body restored.

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East Coast Explorer

  • When to go: May – October
  • Duration: 13 nights

Largely untouched by mass tourism, Sri Lanka’s east coast is defined by near-deserted golden sands, pretty fishing villages and fascinating cultural relics. After briefly exploring Sri Lanka’s gloriously green interior, this fortnight-long trip takes in laid-back Arugam Bay – a favourite of local surfers – and peaceful Pasikudah, which boasts one of the world’s longest stretches of shallow coastline. Before heading back west, there’s enough time to climb the iconic rock fortress of Sigiriya.

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Essential Sri Lanka

  • When to go: July – April
  • Duration: 11 nights

From the bustling capital of Colombo to lush sprawling tea estates, experience Sri Lanka’s awe-inspiring essentials on this thrillingly luxurious multi-centre journey. Heading into the hills from the capital, you’ll take one of the world’s most scenic train journeys before heading to the south coast, where fortified towns rub shoulders with picture-postcard beaches. En route is the opportunity to stay in this teardrop-shaped island’s finest boutique hotels.

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Wild Sri Lanka

  • When to go: July – April
  • Duration: 14 nights

Sri Lanka is wild in just about every sense of the word – from the herds of elephants roaming Yala National Park to the sprawling tea estates of the Central Highlands. The island nation’s wild appeal isn’t limited to land, either – off the coast are schools of flying fish, pods of dolphins and, perhaps most impressively, the chance to see blue whales. Experience all this and more on this luxuriously wild two-week journey through the island nation’s central and southern regions.

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Sri Lanka for Adventurers

  • When to go: October – April
  • Duration: 12 nights

From trekking to remote jungle villages to rafting down the thundering Kelani River, experience Sri Lanka’s verdant valleys, raging rivers and colourful coastline from a uniquely adventurous perspective. There’ll also be opportunities to explore the island nation’s cultural side – namely remote mythical temples, abandoned ancient capitals and caves adorned with exquisite frescoes.

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