Sri Lanka Holidays 2020/2021

An island of contrasts, holidays to Sri Lanka offer colonial history as much as treasures from antiquity. Beautiful beaches, enticing cuisine and cities of culture make the island a true diamond of the Indian Ocean, with a wealth of ways to spend your time in warmth, comfort and peace.

An island of culture

Sri Lanka’s long history, unique position on the map and welcoming hot climate make it an increasingly popular destination for those seeking tropical island life away from the crowds of the Caribbeanor the Canaries. Sitting snug off the southeast tip of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka’s journey is held in the secrets of its architecture, the whispers in its breezy palm leaves and the smiles of its people.

From bustling cities like Colombo to the tranquil shores of Negombo, Sri Lanka holidays offer diverse destinations that will make both nature lovers and culture vultures feel right at home.

Sri Lanka’s ancient civilisations were rich in ingenuity, inventing democracy, hydraulic technology and even, so it’s said, flying machines – long before many of their contemporaries of the age. A touch of colonialism in the 1800s has given Dutch and British flair to much of the architecture of Sri Lanka’s cities, too.


Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee

Language: Sinhala and tamil

Time Difference: GMT + 5.5

Population: Approx 20.87 million

Religion: Buddhist, Muslim

Regions

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is one of Sri Lanka's most popular and enduring tourist destinations. It's a refreshingly lively venue with beautiful, well kept beaches. There are boat trips, museums and impressive coral reefs to explore and a range of watersports to enjoy.

Waikkal

Quiet and quaint yet rich in beauty and culture, Waikkal is a coastal village for those of you looking to hide from the hubbub. Railway rides, canal trips, beach days and a vast mix of cuisines help make this a village small in stature but big in heart.

Negombo

Negombo is western Sri Lanka's most beloved beach retreat, blessed with exhilaration and relaxation alike, and drenched in sunshine. Fill your days with lazy sunbathing, active watersports and exploring nature and amusement parks.

Kalutara

Due in part to its location just 40 kilometres from Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo, Kalutara is a vibrant, bustling town with plenty of heart. Highlights include unspoiled beaches, intricately decorated temples and the opportunity to spot rare endemic wildlife.

Bentota

Hugging the southern coast of Sri Lanka, the picturesque coastal town of Bentota is home to striking Indian Ocean white beaches sheltered by overhanging palm trees. But there's far more to this rural resort, with a wealth of local history to be explored.

Ahungalla

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka, with its relaxed pace of life and few distractions, is set in beautiful natural surroundings. Swimming, walking, visiting a museum or going on a river safari – it's the perfect location for that special Indian Ocean holiday.

Location

Map showing the location of Sri Lanka View Sri Lanka on the map

Exploring the sights

Sri Lanka’s landscape is stunning in its gorgeous vistas and dense rainforests, so it’s no wonder that many visitors take the opportunity to explore the sights and meet the wildlife. Monkeys, leopards and all manner of other animal friends are abundant in Sri Lanka. You can see them up close at nature reserves such as Yala National Park, which is famous for its peacocks. The immense Wilpattu National Park is also located in the north and is where musters of storks come to play.

In colonial times, Sri Lankan railways were built on great bridges that span dramatic ravines riddled with rainforest. Those same trails still exist today and connect big cities like Jaffna and Colombo via weaving routes along coastal cliffsides and through inspiring foliage. Train rides are cheap and popular as a way to not only get from A to B, but also to see sights that have to be experienced to be believed.

Delicacies and delicious delights

In Sri Lanka you’ll find a huge variety of dishes to tantalise your tastebuds. One of the most renowned is hoppers, also known as appam. These are a little like folded pancakes, yet infused with coconut milk and tasty spices. The food itself becomes a bowl in which breakfasts like eggs are often prepared, so it’s a handy way to save on the washing up.

Restaurants across Sri Lanka run the gamut from the traditional to the exotic. Wherever you roam, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to eat generous portions among brilliant company. You can opt for a hearty roast dinner among local delights at Tintagel in Colombo, then head around the corner the next evening to The London Grill for a taste of home.

During your adventures in Jaffna, you can appease the vegetarians in your group at Vishnu Bavan, while pork curry in the sleek, modern surroundings of The Coco Beach in Negombo offers a dining experience not to be missed.

Beaches by the dozen

The southern reaches of Sri Lanka are where the most active and popular beaches are, yet the Indian Ocean surrounds the island on all sides so don’t disregard those paths less travelled.

Each of the most popular beaches in Sri Lanka has gained its own following in one way or another, so there really is an option for all here. Families on All Inclusive holidays to Sri Lanka flock to the watersports capital of Bentota, with ideal conditions for hitting those waves. On the other hand, club lovers and party animals soak up the thrills of Hikkaduwa on the south western fringe of the island.

If diving and nature are what you want out of your beach trip, you can find that amid the serenity of Nilaveli, where the reefs are sublime and cosy Pigeon Island is close at hand. Similarly, a truly tranquil sweep of sand awaits you at Waikkal Beach, with quiet days and swaying palm trees.