Featured Hotels in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Holidays
Sri Lanka holidays offer Western amenities, cultural diversity, amazing island adventures and all types of beach and water-based activities. Hot and tropical along the coasts, visitors can enjoy the various mountains and plateaus where temperatures are cooler and flora and fauna are biologically diverse. Known as Ceylon until 1972, the country has more than 3,000 years of documented history, colonial charm, Indian Ocean water-sports activities, bespoke tours, colourful temples and religious artefacts.
The island is home to four major religions in a temperate climate, so outdoor festivals occur year-round. If one side of the island is experiencing bad weather, then the other side is likely to have superb conditions for holidaymaking. Visitors can enjoy the national parks, mountains, beaches, cultural attractions, religious shrines, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and beautiful beaches, but prepare to spend at least two weeks on the island to sample Sri Lanka's charms.
Best Time to Visit
Temperatures vary throughout the country, but the island does get monsoons from late May to September and November to February but on different sides of the island. Unlike other islands and travel destinations, Sri Lanka really does claim year-round desirability as a holiday destination. Summer months are hot from June to September but cooler in the mountains. Monsoons generally come from one direction, so you only need to schedule your visit on the other side of the island to avoid excessive rains.
Sri Lanka Major Attractions
Sri Lanka hosts many festivals throughout the year due to the country's religious diversity and harmonious relationships among the island’s followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Attractions include outdoor recreation of all types, naturalism, more than 3,000 years of cultural sites, white-water rafting, boating, medical tourism and spas and meditation centres for relaxation. Top attractions of the island include:
- Anuradhapura Ruins
This sacred city hidden in the jungle served as a Celanese religious and political capital for 1,300 years before being abandoned in 993 CE. Featuring palaces, monasteries and monuments, the ruins are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the ancient fig tree where Lord Buddha was purported to have reached enlightenment.
This city features the Rangiri Dambulla stadium, Dambulla cave temple complex, the largest range of rose quartz peaks in southern Asia and spectacular coral reefs and beaches.
Thais coastal city is famous for an alcoholic drink made from coconut nectar and its luxurious hotels and golden beaches.
- The Sigiriya
An ancient rock fortress that resembles a stone lion, this site in the Matale District features reservoirs, gardens and ancient fresco paintings alongside the remains of buildings.
- Astonishing Varieties of Wildlife
Sri Lanka generates ideal conditions for biological diversity, and the island is home to 433 species of birds, 190 species of reptiles, 92 species of mammals, 242 types of butterflies, 106 species of amphibians and 3,210 species of flowering plants. Blue whales, sperm whales, dolphins and 26 species of aquatic mammals live and play along the coast, and exotic land animals include Sri Lanka Asian elephants, sloth bears and herds of sambar deer.
- Unspoiled Kalpitiya
Kalpitiya in the Puttalam area is a closely knit fishing community where visitors can interact with village residents, watch the fishing boats return and choose their dinner's entrée fresh from the day's catch. Local highlights include St Peter's Kerk church, the Dutch Fort, Jeep rides along the sand dunes and canoe trips on the river.
- Horton Plains National Park
The Horton Plains National Park offers family adventures, recreation and animal watching in the highlands of Sri Lanka on a plateau that ranges from 2,100 to 2,300 metres above sea level. Visitors enjoy spectacular waterfalls like World's End and Baker's Falls, at least 87 bird species and many native mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The park is a natural habitat for long-clawed shrews, toque macaques, Sri Lanka leopards, giant squirrels and purple-faced langurs. European otters and fishing cats inhabit the wetland areas of the park.
Sri Lanka Tours
Professional tours are a great way to see Sri Lanka, and visitors can choose bespoke itineraries that focus on beaches, wildlife, culture, historic sites or festivals. Sri Lanka has a long and fascinating history, diverse communities, bird and animal sanctuaries and multiple religions, so tourists have choices of staying in luxurious resorts, visiting quaint villages, enjoying the incredible beaches and water-based sports and discovering the melting-pot history of native influences and British colonialism. Tours include such electrifying events as whale watching, wildlife safaris, cricket tours, scuba diving and traditional holidaymaking pursuits such as snorkelling, kite surfing, cycling, swimming, boating and fishing.
Holidays to Sri Lanka provide gorgeous beaches, salty lagoons and ancient Buddhist architecture and art in an environment reminiscent of Britain's colonial past. The small nation offers some of the most biologically and culturally diverse attractions of any destination in the world, and visitors will thrill at the sights, colourful temples, ancient ruins, stunning landscapes and cultural attractions.