Flanked by picture-perfect beaches that comprise the island's coastline, Sri Lanka's inland terrain encompasses everything from rolling tea plantations and misty national parks to ancient temples and crumbling ruins.
Lying just south of India, this teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, exquisite temples, varied wildlife and vibrant culture. Our luxury Sri Lanka holidays could see you experiencing the best of this enchanting nation, from touring the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Culture Triangle and trekking through the misty mountains that surround the tea terraces of Nuwara Eliya to embarking on safaris that rival those of Africa in Yala National Park. Those after a tropical beach holiday are spoilt for choice, with several stunning coastal towns to choose from. Tangalle, is a perfect contender, with palm-shaded golden beaches dotted with a selection of luxury resorts and boutique hotels. Negombo, situated on Sri Lanka's west coast, is a hotspot for exquisite temples and Dutch colonial ruins.
Sri Lanka's culture can be felt in its cities, from the coastal jewel of Galle with its colonial European architecture and the tea plantations and rainforests of Kandy to fragrant markets of Colombo and the magnificent temples of Trincomalee. Tour the heartland of Sri Lanka's heritage across The Cultural Triangle, a boundary reaching from the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and the revered cave temples of Dambulla that encompasses the relics of the Sinhalese Kingdom; Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Kandy's The Temple of the Tooth and the national parks of Minneriya, Kaudulla and Wasgomuwa are amongst the most notable sites.
Visit rolling tea estates, ascend mist-swept green peaks, and paddle down magnificent rivers in Sri Lanka's stunning Hill Country, one of the country's most scenic locations, all while soaking in the spectacular vistas and spotting herds of wild elephants. Nuwara Eliya is perfect for those seeking a secluded escape, reminiscent of the English countryside with its cool climate and European-style bungalows set amidst nothing but boundless tea plantations. The famed train ride from Kandy to Ella, an unforgettable experience that will take you through old cities strewn with ruins and immense emerald forests, is one of the greatest ways to take in the amazing landscapes of Sri Lanka.
Due to its warm, tropical climate, Sri Lanka is generally a year-round destination; however, the optimum time to visit varies by region. The best time to visit the western coast is between December and April, just before the monsoon season begins, while the best time to visit the east coast is between May and September when the weather is most pleasant. The central hill region remains cool throughout the year, however, rainfall between October and November can be unpredictable.
Sri Lanka has a very diverse weather pattern due to two monsoons that strike different coastlines, however this does mean that there is always a good time to visit at any given point. December to March is the best time to visit the west and southern coasts, while April to September are better for the eastern coast, and the interior hill country is best visited between December and March.
Sri Lanka may be small, but this tiny island is full of things to see and do, and a trip here is incomplete without visiting the fabled Sigiriya Rock.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 5th century and once housed a fortress owned by a powerful king. Climb the winding staircases to the top of this huge boulder and you’ll not only see first-hand this incredible feat of ancient Sri Lankan engineering, but you’ll also get to enjoy breath-taking views of the island’s emerald-hued hillsides and valleys.
While there is a seemingly endless number of temples and historical sites in Sri Lanka, the most distinguished of these is certainly the Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy.
Famous for its origin story, visitors will be humbled by the magnificent shrines, astounded by the exquisite artwork displayed, and stunned by the exotic flowers and gardens dotted around the temple. With artistic, intricate interior design and unique architecture, there is no shortage of beauty to be found here. Hear the enchanting rhythm of the drums, witness offerings and visit the museum to learn the fascinating history of this sacred site.
Can’t make it North? Fear not, as the Yala National Park is not only located in the southeast of Sri Lanka, it is also home to the largest collective of leopards in the world.
Boasting over 321,000 acres of land comprised of various different landscapes, Yala has an incredibly diverse range of wildlife. Explore the labyrinth of jungles, lagoons and sand dunes, and you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring sights. Spotted dear, sloth bears, crocodiles, owls and a wondrous array of reptiles and insects, to name just a few, all await visitors here.
For visitors looking to experience an up close and personal encounter with the incredible wildlife of Sri Lanka, a trip to the Minneriya National Park in the North Central province is an absolute must.
Hop in a Jeep and experience a safari like no other, with lush landscapes heavily populated by all manner of exotic animals. From the majesty of leopards to the magnificence of peacocks, from colossal elephants to delicate hummingbirds, animal lovers will find nothing but pure delight while observing a unique amalgam of creatures in their natural habitats.
Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC.
As soon as you arrive you'll see the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex. Head inside and you'll find the incredible ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves, and visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King and the Great New Monastery. Explore two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO-listed highlights on a privately guided day trip to Dambulla and the Sigiriya Rock from Kalutara.
Sri Lanka isn’t only home to the biggest of the land mammals, it is also home to the largest sea mammal – the blue whale. You could get a first-hand view of one on a truly unforgettable boat trip.
Mirissa, on the south coast of the island, is world-famous for whale watching excursions. Journey out to sea and encounter blue whales as they surface for air: expert operators will take you to different spots where these gargantuan animals are often spotted, and most operators guarantee sightings. While waiting for the main event, you may also be treated to a warm-up show from the mesmerising spinning dolphins that also populate the waters.
Stunning views are in no short supply on this idyllic island, and one of the most popular ways to experience them is, surprisingly, by train. The journey from Kandy to Ella is an essential trip for anyone looking to enjoy rich landscapes and tremendous beauty while travelling Sri Lanka.
Journeying through the hill country, the entire train ride takes around six hours. While this may seem like a long time, when you’re confronted with dream-like views of vast tea plantations, enchanting waterfalls, misty mountains and fine, white-clouded skies, the journey will be over in what feels like no time at all.
Thrill-seekers need not worry about boredom, as a number of exhilarating expeditions are available in Sri Lanka. See everything the island has to offer and satisfy your need for adventure all at once.
Adrenaline will course through your veins and ignite your heart as you white water raft, waterfall trek and rock climb your way through rainforests in Sinharaja, Kitulgala and Mahaweli. As if this isn’t enough, you could witness first-hand the remarkable ingenuity of ancient Sri Lankan civilisations by exploring the virtually untouched, millennia old underground castles, complete with ponds and ventilation systems.
Sri Lanka is known all over for the world for its legendary Ceylon tea, so a trip to this gorgeous island would not be complete without visiting the sprawling tea terraces and plucking your own batch straight from the source.
Begin your experience with a trip to the island's sprawling emerald tea terraces, and learn from the experts how to pull the tea leaves from the paddies. After this you can visit a working tea factory and witness how they turn create the black tea we have come to know and love, and then round off the visit with a truly unforgettable afternoon tea.
Sri Lanka's beaches are truly exotic, offering palm trees, golden sands and crashing waves, giving you the chance to experience true tropical paradise. Some of our favourite beach areas include Bentota, Hambantota, Galle, Kalutara, Pasikudah and Trincomalee.
Whether you want to test your skill at surfing, explore coastal colonial cities or relax on a sun lounger with a book, there really is something for everyone in Sri Lanka.
Sinhala, Tamil, English
Best Time To Travel:
December - April (South and West)
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