Sri Lanka Holidays
Palm-fringed beaches, tranquil bays, timeless ruins and rolling tea plantations: Sri Lanka’s diverse terrain is awe-inspiring. Bursting with a network of leafy boulevards and colonial architecture, the largest city, Colombo, is the perfect starting point. Stretch out on the beautiful beaches of Bentota, or explore Sri Lanka’s cultural capital, Kandy. The ruined cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are hauntingly captivating, while Sri Lanka’s 26 national parks are brimming with an abundance of wildlife.
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Sri Lanka Holiday Types
A holiday in Sri Lanka can offer a whole range of experiences, from relaxing on beaches to adventures in national parks and spiritual journeys in ancient temples. For more inspiration on what you can experience in Sri Lanka, browse our holiday types below.
Sri Lanka Holiday Planning Guide
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Things to do in Sri Lanka
This UNESCO world heritage site right in the middle of ‘the teardrop of India’ is one of the most valuable historic monuments in Sri Lanka. The ‘lion’ rock may be the most dramatic sight in all of Sri Lanka, the walls of the rock are sheer and inexplicably flatten off. The rock offers stunning vistas of the surrounding reservoirs and gardens.
See Elephants in Uda Walawe National Park
Uda Walawe national park is one of the very best places in the world to spot wild Asian Elephants and is hemmed in by the stunning central highlands. It’s not just elephants that you can spot here, you can also view Water Buffalo, wild Boar, Deer and, if you get very lucky, leopards.
Visit the Tea Plantations in Nuwara Eliya
Founded by the British, this area is known as “little England” due to it’s temperate climate which was conducive to colonial pastimes such as hunting, polo, golf and cricket. The area now is famed for it’s multiple tea plantations, waterfalls and the infamous train that travels through this stunning region.
Go surfing in Arugam Bay
Golden, palm tree lined sands define this laid back beach town on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. This is the ideal place for some rest and relaxation and offers up the perfect place to soak up some ray, sample some of the vibrant local cusine and hone your yoga skills. The town is also well known for its surf scene, making it the perfect place to stand up on your first wave.
Get up close and personal with ocean giants
Between April and November, when the waters are calm, some of the largest animals in the world can be viewed of the Sri Lankan coast. Head to Marissa for the best opportunities and cross your fingers, as this is one of the best places to see the largest animal to have ever lived on Earth.
Explore the temples of Kandy
Set on a plateau in the midst of the Kandy hills is Kandy, home to the temple of the tooth relic. This is also a perfect place to take in the enthralling madness of a Sri Lankan cricket match.
Climb peaks in Ella
Ella is a quaint little mountain outpost with some of the best hiking opportunities in Asia – and that is saying something! The hill country around the town is blessed with stunning vistas down dramatic valleys out onto the Sri Lankan lowland, walk up to Little Adam’s peak, Ella Rock or Lipton’s seat for some of the best views. However, it’s not just vistas that makes this place so appealing, the area is also home to multiple waterfalls and the achingly photogenic nine arch bridge. When you’re done working up an appetite Ella is home to an array of fantastic cooking schools so you can bring the taste of Sri Lanka home.
Catch a cricket match at Galle fort
Galle is a great little town on the South coast of Sri Lanka populated with colonial Dutch architecture, vibrant nightlife and one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.
When to go to Sri Lanka
The weather in Sri Lanka, like so many parts of the subcontinent, is dominated by the monsoon. There are two distinct monsoon periods that occur in different parts of the country. However, the temperature remains consistent, in the high 20’s in the lowland areas year round with temperatures dropping to the high teens in the hill country.
November to March
This is the time of the “Yala” monsoon which brings rain to the East coast rendering the beaches on this side of the island a little damp. Although, this is a marvellous time to explore the West and South coasts and the hill country – where the dry weather opens up numerous outdoor activity options.
April to September
At this time of year the “Maha” monsoon rolls into the West and South Coast and the hill county. This is the best time to make your way to the peaceful East coast and soak up the rays as well as the relaxed way of life.
More About Sri Lanka
Capital city: Colombo
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
Language: Sinhala, English and Tamil
Vaccinations: We recommend visiting your doctor or our Travel Clinic six weeks before travelling. Travellers from the UK to Sri Lanka are recommended to be vaccinated for Tetanus and Typhoid.
Flight time: The London to Colombo flight time is around 11 hours.
Visas: British Citizens require a visa to visit Sri Lanka. You can apply for a short stay visa online at the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).