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Sri Lanka Holidays

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Sri Lanka Travel Guide

The island of Sri Lanka lies off the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean. Holidays to Sri Lanka feature an intoxicating blend of pristine white sandy beaches to relax on, World Heritage Sites to be experienced and wildlife preserves and national parks to be explored. Holidays to Sri Lanka offer a myriad of leisure and pleasure opportunities; this is a holiday destination best savoured at a leisurely pace.

Sri Lanka is situated just three degrees north of the Equator, meaning the weather is constantly hot, humid and tropical. Sunny skies are the order of the day; even in the brief monsoon season, there is always a daily spell of sunshine. Sri Lanka’s entire coast is lined with pristine sandy beaches, perfect for sun worshippers. Forget all your worries as you take in your stunning surroundings – hypnotic swaying palm trees, clear blue waters and lush vegetation. 

As well as having hundreds of miles of the world's most beautiful palm-fringed beaches, Sri Lanka boasts no fewer than seven World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO, spanning nearly 3,000 years of history. Visitors to Sri Lanka marvel at the ancient sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Panduwasnuwara, where the remains of a great civilisation are to be discovered. The cities of Colombo and Kandy show the influence of the foreign powers that fought for control of the island in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Dutch-inspired buildings stand next to Victorian style British mansions and Portuguese fortifications.  

Holidays To Sri Lanka – Things To Do

Sri Lanka is the perfect holiday destination whether you fancy relaxation or adventure, culture or romance. This island paradise in the Indian Ocean packs a big punch with a fantastic array of activities and attractions to keep you entertained, no matter what your budget might be. With so many options on offer – what do our travel experts recommend as the best things to do in Sri Lanka?

For a truly decadent beach experience, head to Bentota Beach in the Southern Province, a short hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. The resorts here are exceptional value for money and feature cute cottages amongst manicured tropical gardens – the perfect base for any getaway.

No trip to Sri Lanka would be complete without experiencing the ancient Sacred City of Kandy. A UNESCO world heritage site, Kandy boasts ornate palaces, elaborate Buddhist temples and complex water gardens. Kandy is located in the centre of Sri Lanka, where it has been the seat of power for the government for nearly 2,500 years.

Kandy’s Ceylon Tea Museum is definitely worth a visit. Discover an interesting exhibition on tea pioneers such as Thomas Lipton and lots of retro tea paraphernalia. Visitors also have the opportunity to explore the surrounding tea plantations to find out more about how it is grown and produced.

The opportunity to bathe an elephant at the Pinnawalla elephant orphanage is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  The Pinnawalla Elephant Orphanage was created to protect abandoned and orphaned elephants. Don’t miss the opportunity to get up close with these magnificent animals in their natural environment.

Sri Lanka - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Sri Lanka is home to no fewer than seven World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO, spanning nearly 3,000 years of history. The Island is dotted with ancient cities, ornate palaces and historic monasteries just waiting to be explored. Highlights include the sprawling ruined city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's ancient capital, which has many ruins dating back more than 2,000 years. Anuradhapura rivals the Egyptian Pyramids in terms of scale, and it is still used today for religious ceremonies.

Make sure to also check out the mighty remains of Polonnaruwa. The ancient City of Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. Discover the Brahmanic monuments built by the Chola and the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by King Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.

Sigiriya Rock is an ancient fortress carved into a massive limestone monolith that stands 900 feet above sea level. Head there to explore spine-tingling catacombs and exquisite frescoes.

Venture into the magical cave temples of Dambulla on your trip. Best visited as a day trip from the more relaxing environs of Kandy or Sigiriya, Dambulla’s famed Royal Rock Temple is an iconic Sri Lankan image – you’ll be familiar with its spectacular Buddha-filled interior long before you arrive in town. The caves’ history as a place of worship is thought to date from around the 1st century BC.  There are five separate caves containing about 150 Buddha images. Most of the paintings in the temples date from the 19th century.

Holiday To Sri Lanka – Wildlife Preserves

A holiday to Sri Lanka is a superb opportunity to see exotic animals like elephants, Bengal tigers and the water monitor, a large lizard native to South and Southeast Asia. Sri Lankans have taken conservation efforts seriously with the establishment of many wildlife preserves and national parks. There are many options available for a safari tour while on holiday to Sri Lanka.

Yala National Park is famous for the leopards that live there. You have an excellent chance of spotting these majestic creatures in the wild as they are present in the park at a density that's higher than anywhere else in the world. Elephants, deer, bear and reptiles also live here in abundance.

31 species of mammals have been identified within Wilpattu National Park. Mammals that are identified as threatened species living within the Wilpattu National Park are the elephant, sloth bear, leopard and water buffalo.

Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons so the weather can be a little complicated for such a small Island. The good news is that at most times of the year there is generally good weather to be enjoyed somewhere on the island. It’s also worth noting that the weather will rarely be so adverse that it will stand in the way of enjoying your holiday and experiencing plenty of warm weather and sunshine.

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is usually between January and April and from Mid-July to September.  February to September is a good time to visit the North and East of the Island. The South West Monsoon is between May and July and the North-East Monsoon between October and January. 

Sri Lanka Holiday Deals

The Travelmood team includes several destination experts who can create a bespoke itinerary for your holiday to Sri Lanka. Our travel experts have all visited Sri Lanka and have personal experience of the destinations, attractions and tours that they recommend. As well as creating custom holiday itineraries, we have a great selection of holiday packages to Sri Lanka choose from. Why not call us today and get your Sri Lankan adventure started!