GMT +5.5 hours
Sri Lanka may be small, but it sure packs a punch. From the golden beaches that encircle the island to the multitude of flourishing National Parks, ancient ruins and colourful temples scattered throughout its jungle interior – it seemingly has it all. Whether you kick back at one of the popular beach resorts, trek to the pinnacle of Sigiriya Rock or take a tour up to untouched Jaffna, Sri Lanka is sure to delight.
- We’ve been travelling to Sri Lanka for a very long time and have strong relationships with both our long-time ground agents and many of the hotels.
- With plenty of culture as well as great beaches and wildlife, it’s got everything
- Yala National Park is home to one of the highest concentration of leopards in the world, so chances of spotting one are high!
- Great family-friendly destination especially the quieter eastern coast
- With Cinnamon Air flights you can make the most of your time on the ground, avoiding long road transfers
Best time to visit Sri Lanka
• The dry periods in Sri Lanka are split by area with December to March being the best period for the west and south coast and from April to September for the heart of Sri Lanka and the East Coast
• The southwest monsoon affects the south and west coasts as well as the hill country between April and September
• The northeast monsoon takes place between November and March and affects the east coast
• Temperatures are relatively consistent year round (26-32°C) all around the island, especially around the coast and the Cultural Triangle. The hill country is one of the coolest spots in Sri Lanka with temperatures ranging from 18 to 24 degrees Celsius
• Sri Lanka is busiest from December to March, however travelling during the low and shoulder seasons can be great as prices are lower and the are fewer people.
Sri Lanka holiday highlights
Sri Lanka is a dream destination, a combination of so many spectacular aspects that people visit time and time again. It has everything from vast stretches of coastline to rolling tea plantations and dense rainforest to antique relics. To experience Sri Lanka is to experience life, to undertake a journey guided by its people who will open your eyes to their culture and share with you their heritage.
When people think of Sri Lanka, it’s often the beaches that spring to mind first and this little island does have some truly magnificent stretches of beach. The southwest coast is especially popular, with resorts such as Negombo and Bentota providing an array of beautiful hotels including everything from old colonial favourites to modern and trendy resorts. Trincomalee on the east coast is also a popular, quieter option off the tourist trail. There’s also diving and snorkelling in abundance, reefs teeming with life, though some are still recovering from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
If it’s the history of Sri Lanka that draws you in, a tour is an ideal way to see as many as possible. Most people will want to visit Sigiriya or Lion Rock, a monument of stone rising up at the cultural heart of Sri Lanka, the remnants of an ancient city scattered beside it. The two lion paws at the foot of the rock herald you in to the steps that lead to the summit, where once a royal palace stood. The two ruined cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa the first and second capital cities of Sri Lanka respectively, are hauntingly beautiful and the Dutch Fort in Galle is also well worth a visit. Sri Lanka is also well known for its Buddhist relic, housed in Kandy in the Sacred Temple of the Tooth, a tooth from Buddha himself.
Flora and fauna are also in abundance in Sri Lanka, and a plethora of National Parks allow you to really experience the wilder side of the island. Yala, Sri Lanka's second largest national park, is a particular favourite and here you can see leopard, elephant, water buffalo, crocodile and approximately 215 species of bird as well as a whole host of other fauna.
If rolling hills and cups of tea is your idea of heaven, Nuwara Eliya and the surrounding area is ideal. Here you’ll find restored tea plantations, colonial mansions and tranquil retreats all nestled within verdant landscape, a serene retreat from the bustle of Colombo and the beaches.