Sri Lanka - Heady and intoxicating, with a great diversity of landscapes
Sri Lanka is heady and intoxicating, an experience surpassed only by its warm and friendly inhabitants! Sri Lanka has a great diversity of landscape ranging from lush, dazzling, paddy fields to its renowned tea plantations; from hill stations, such as Nuwara Eliya, to fascinating villages; from semi-desert to rainforest. Its diversity is only matched by its beauty. And for the best family holiday, think Sri Lanka.
With its ancient cities such as Galle, where over 500 years of colonisation is evidenced – and where there is a beautiful boutique hotel in a 17th century Dutch colonial building or chic villas in which to stay – this country provides an equally wonderful appeal for couples and families. Visit Kandy, where one can see the original Kandyan dancers, as well as local life as it has always been, with the villagers praying to their deities. Spend time walking through tea plantations, learning about the ancient art of making tea and take a tea train through the mountains. When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka? Well, there are things to do all year round!
There are also excellent wildlife sanctuaries, such as Yala National Park, and the endemic birdlife is sensational! For those wanting a more cultural experience, one can stay in a Sri Lankan house, sampling the local cuisine, walking with your guide and cycling – simply feeling part of the Sri Lankan community! The beaches are simply astounding along the west coast, where one can walk for miles, drinking in the beautiful sunset, perfect for a beach holiday in Asia. Go whale watching off the coast for Blue Sperm whales – a wonderful experience! Happily, Sri Lanka has some of the finest luxury, characterful hotels and villas, many inspired by the great designer, Geoffrey Bawa.
Sri Lanka, known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is the proud title-holder to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Polonnaruwa is an ancient town where the main attractions are ruins that were added by the great king within the rectangle of city walls like enormous temples, palaces, parks and gardens that stand on the east shore of his greatest masterpiece, a vast artificial lake.
Sri Lanka is a paradise island offering visitors incomparable beach holidays. With the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean gently lapping its pristine shores, Sri Lanka’s beaches are covered with soft warm sand. Home to tropical fish and living corals the waters surrounding Sri Lanka are warm thanks to the tropical climate the island enjoys.
Only a few hours from the coast, Sri Lanka's Tea country is the scenic jewel in the country’s crown. With rolling hills carpeted in tea plantations, powerful waterfalls and rocky ravines this landscape is an absolute must see for any holiday to Sri Lanka. The area also has much to offer in the way of activities with a perfect climate for walking and cycling, an abundance of wildlife and endless adventure sports to get your teeth into.
Packed into this tiny island is an abundance of natural wildlife starting from the famous Asian Elephant to the elusive leopard. In fact 43 of the endangered species listed by the World Conservation Union can be found in Sri Lanka’s national parks. The country has recently also grown in fame as being a hotspot for whale and dolphin watching. It is a privilege to see these animals in their natural habitat at the following best five parks staying in well appointed mobile camps operated by some of the finest naturalists on the island.
It is almost impossible to try and beat the feeling of exhilaration that you experience when you watch a whale leap out of the water. Observing this gentle creature in its own natural environment seriously is a breath taking experience.
Sri Lanka’s western, southern and eastern coastal belts are ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. The turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, reefs, colourful corals and an array of exotic marine life, have attracted many sea farers for centuries.