Sri Lanka Holidays
BEAUTY AND CULTURE ROUND EVERY CORNER
Uncrowded beaches? Check. Ancient ruins? Check. Wildlife safaris, sumptuous cuisine and rolling tea plantations? Check, check and check. A Sri Lanka holiday packs a big punch for a small island.
This small island offers travellers a plethora of delights – historical, cultural and natural, all without travelling too far. Immerse yourself in Colombo’s street market or Negombo’s fish market, marvel at the World Heritage-listed ruins of Anuradhapura, climb to the top of the Sigiriya Rock fortress and spot elephants or perhaps leopards on an exhilarating game drive in Yala National Park. The cuisine is delicious and unique, a must for lovers of fresh seafood.
Once the capital of Sri Lanka, the ancient ruins at Anuradhapura are well-preserved examples of both architectural and archaeological marvels. Many of the religious sites are still in use, giving the region a sense of living history.
Dambulla & Sigiriya
Ancient Dambulla is home to a fascinating complex of caves containing Buddhist and Hindu imagery. Its lush surrounding forests and mountains offer a wonderful contrast to the area's historic sites. Climb the steep steps up the sheer rock walls of Sigiriya and be rewarded with ancient ruins and spectacular views.
Kandy held out against the Portuguese and Dutch and fell only to the British in 1815. Most residents subscribe to Buddhist beliefs and Kandy is famous for the Temple of the Tooth, said to house a tooth of the Buddha and one of Sri Lanka's most sacred relics. Five-hundred metres above sea level, the climate here is cooler than the coast, and the city is ringed by scenic hills and set around a tranquil lake.
Sri Lanka's thriving capital city offers religious and historical monuments, bustling markets and some fantastic eateries serving up local and international cuisines. Explore Colombo's port and jostle your way through Pettah, a colourful and chaotic street market. Visit some of the churches and cathedrals, and admire the city's mix of architectural styles.
Explore charming Galle and its historic fort perched right next to the sea. Wander the town on foot and admire the wonderfully restored Dutch colonial-era buildings, now home to boutiques, restaurants and character-filled hotels. Indulge in some local seafood, visit a nearby beach and soak up the town's laidback atmosphere.
This wildlife reserve has been vital to the protection of Sri Lankan elephants, leopards and aquatic birds for over a hundred years. The park boasts 44 species of mammal including one of the largest populations of leopard in the world, it is also an important stronghold for Sri Lankan Elephants.
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Climb the World Heritage-listed Sigiriya Rock
A steep set of steps takes you past ancient murals to the top of this enormous rock, where the ruins of an ancient palace look out over sweeping views of the jungle below.
Soak up some sun on deserted beaches
There’s no shortage of immaculate sandy beaches in Sri Lanka, and they’re the perfect place to soak up the sun and relax with a good book.
Tea Estates in the high country
Get a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s past by savouring the aroma of an Orange Pekoe tea on a picturesque tea estate.
Safari in Yala National Park
Look out for leopards on a jeep safari in Yala National Park, home to one of the largest numbers of these majestic big cats. The leopards share this captivating habitat with wildlife ranging from elephants and water buffaloes to the Red Slender Loris.
Feast on local delicacies
Sumptuous flavours are waiting for you to discover in the varied local cuisine, which takes inspiration from numerous international influences and ranges from flame-roasted seafood to aromatic curry.
Explore historic Galle by foot
Reminders of Sri Lanka’s Dutch colonial past abound at historic Galle, which is dominated by an impressive fort. Explore its network of old streets and ramparts to get a taste of the city’s interesting history.
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy
The lakeside city of Kandy is home to one of Buddhism’s most sacred relics: a tooth of the Buddha, housed in the tranquil Temple of the Sacred Tooth.
Explore the ancient cities of the Cultural Triangle
The evocative ruins of ancient kingdoms lie waiting for you to explore in Sri Lanka’s renowned ‘Cultural Triangle’; don’t miss Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.
Caves at Dambulla
The ornate Hindu and Buddhist art that adorns the caves at Dambulla is more than worth the effort of ascending hundreds of steps to get there
Observe the native wildlife
Take an early morning walk along the banks of one of the great man-made lakes of central Sri Lanka, watching the incredible birdlife, crocodiles and other wildlife.
From the blog
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48 Hours in Colombo
Find out what to see and do in Colombo, the colonial capital of Sri Lanka, with this two-day itinerary that takes you to the city’s best bits.