Where to go in Sri Lanka, from sandy beaches to wildlife-rich national parks and the Cultural Triangle 

Most of our featured Sri Lanka beach hotels are located along the west and south coasts – from Negombo in the west, all the way round to Hambantota in the south. In recent years, the beaches of east Sri Lanka have grown in popularity, particularly with families seeking some summer sun. 

The island’s central region is where you can discover the incredible ancient cities, citadels, sacred Buddhist temples and fortresses that make up the world-famous Cultural Triangle. The southern-most point of the triangle is the highlands city of Kandy, a city so rich in heritage it is known as Sri Lanka’s cultural capital. For wildlife lovers, the southern National Parks of Udawalawe and Yala are unmissable. The former is a sanctuary for Sri Lanka’s elephants, while the latter has the world’s largest concentration of one of the animal world’s ultimate predators – the leopard. In the far north of the country is the town of Jaffna, just 50 or so miles away from the coast of south-eastern India. The town and its surroundings, which were cut off from the rest of the country until very recently, find themselves a long way off the well-trodden tourist trail.

Our recommendations for the best places to visit in Sri Lanka

regions sorted by

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Southwest Coast

Wander along the snaking stretch of sun-kissed sand, locals smiling as they offer you trinkets and souvenirs. Stop and allow to water to sweep over yo...

Read more 8 hotels from £964
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Step back into a colonial era as you make your way around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle, a wondrous example of a Dutch fortified city, encir...

Read more 3 hotels from £1,075
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South Coast

Between the city of Galle in the west and the coastal border of the breathtaking Yala National Park in the east you'll find a coastline largely untouc...

Read more 3 hotels from £1,433
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Negombo & South Coast resorts

Step by step feel the sand move beneath your toes, gentle waves kissing your heels as you explore the glorious beaches of Negombo. Watch fishermen usi...

Read more 2 hotels from £975
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East Coast Sri Lanka

The East Coast is one of Sri Lanka’s most up and coming areas and with beautiful swathes of beach giving way to the calm shallow waters, it’s easy to ...

Read more 7 hotels from £1,112
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Habarana, Sigiriya & Dambulla

The heart of Sri Lanka is awash with monuments to times gone by, ancient artefacts, frescoes, ruins and so much more. Ringed by sand, this island is o...

Read more 4 hotels from £1,106
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Kandy & Nuwara Eliya

Kandy, home to ancient treasures, lush flora and fauna and people who envelope you with their warmth and culture. Nuwara Eliya, ‘Little England’, exud...

Read more 10 hotels from £1,048
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Yala & Udawalawe

Down in the south of Sri Lanka you have both Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, both of which are home to a vast array of wildlife. Yala is famed for ...

Read more 4 hotels from £1,319
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Kandalama & Polonnaruwa

Kandalama is a small village located near to the busy town of Dambulla. Home to one of Sri Lanka’s most famed hotels, the Heritance Kandalama, it is a...

Read more 1 hotel from £1,087
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South west of Jaffna you’ll find Anuradhapura, one of the ancient cities of Sri Lanka and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An ideal addition to any itine...

Read more 1 hotel from £1,566
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Located in the north of Sri Lanka, nestled on a peninsula of the same name, Jaffna is an enticing mix of colonial charm and vibrant Tamil culture. We ...

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Colombo bursts with life as the streets fill with colourful saris and parasols bustling along streets bathed in sunshine. Tuk tuks weave amongst the t...

Read more 4 hotels from £1,282