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It’s official. Sri Lanka is having its moment in the spotlight - and rightly so. With the promise of palm-fringed beaches, majestic elephants, ancient temples and flavour-packed food, the island’s endless charms are impossible to resist. Enveloped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the coastline is made up of vibrant cities and sun-kissed sands, while inland there’s wildlife-rich parks and undulating highlands sprinkled with tea plantations. Our Sri Lanka itineraries will introduce you to these myriad wonders, and once you get a taste, you’ll never want to leave.
No island of comparable size can boast as many cultural attractions and World Heritage Sites as Sri Lanka. The country has a colourful history of more than 2000 years, and remnants of early Sinhalese culture is still visible in the ancient cities of the now-famous Cultural Triangle. More recent Portuguese, British and Dutch influences can be seen in the colonial-inspired architecture and fusion of food found in the coastal cities of Colombo and Galle.
Though the culture is a major selling point, it’s just half of the story in Sri Lanka. The island is known for its high number of elephants, offering the chance to see hundreds of these gentle giants marching through the grasslands and bathing in watering holes. Safari tours also bring you close to leopards, sloth bears, monkeys, buffalos and a plethora of bird life.
Looking to indulge in some R&R? Sri Lanka’s coastline beckons with its pristine, and often uncrowded, beaches. Find a sandy spot to flop down on and soak up some tropical sun, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, the balmy waters offer world-class surfing, snorkelling and diving. The choice is yours.
When you’re ready to escape the heat of the coastline, head for the hills. The cool climate and lush landscapes of the highlands offer a refreshing respite, where the rolling forests, immaculate tea estates and misty mountains are the perfect setting for a rambling hike or scenic train ride.
Though it’s becoming increasingly popular with curious globetrotters, the island is still relatively unspoilt and affordable - so there’s really no better time to book Sri Lanka holiday tours than now.
To design your own tailor-made Sri Lanka trip, start with our base itinerary, which includes all the must-see destinations you won’t want to miss. You can add destinations and experiences, or upgrade your accommodation as you go.
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Tucking into tasty street food in Colombo, surfing the waves at Bentota or exploring the sacred temples and tropical surroundings of Kandy - Sri Lanka luxury holidays offer a rich variety of experiences. And if it’s postcard-worthy beaches you’re after, the Maldives is just a quick jump across the Indian Ocean and can easily be added to your itinerary. With so much to see and do, choosing where to travel to can be tricky. That’s where we come in. We’ve hand-selected Sri Lanka’s top destinations to ensure you see the very best of what this alluring island has to offer.
The thriving food scene and lively nightlife is enough of a reason to visit Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital, but there’s plenty more cultural treasures to discover if you dig a little deeper. Think colonial-era architecture, hectic markets and ancient temples.Discover More
A popular beach resort, Bentota is the place to go for some much-needed ‘me time’. Sink your toes into powdery sands, paddle along the Bentota Ganga in a canoe and explore the tropical gardens.Discover More
Nestled in the jungle-clad mountains, Kandy is the ideal base for exploring Sri Lanka’s lush scenery and tea plantations. But don’t miss the city’s star attraction - the Sacred Temple of the Tooth.Discover More
The most popular wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is brimming with unique flora and fauna. Spot elephants, leopards, deer, crocodile and a host of other mammals and bird life in the park’s lush forests and grasslands.Discover More
Go to Galle for the historic attractions and wonderful wildlife. Spend the day browsing the chic shops and colonial architecture in the UNESCO-listed Galle Fort before heading along the coast for golden beaches, turtle sanctuaries and whale watching.Discover More
Dubbed ‘Little England’, Nuwara Eliya was once a popular bolthole for the British. The mock-Tudor buildings and rose gardens give it a traditional English town look and feel, but the bustling markets, spice-infused cuisine and manicured tea plantations are pure Sri Lankan.Discover More
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Whether you’re watching large herds of elephants in Udawalawe National Park or climbing to the top of Sigiriya Rock for awe-inspiring views, there’s no shortage of thrilling experiences in Sri Lanka. Cultural attractions are plentiful, from the Sacred Temple of the Tooth in Kandy to the colonial-era Galle Fort in Galle, while the natural wonders of Yala and Minneriya National Parks never fail to impress.
Need to escape the chaos of Colombo for a while? Look no further than Galle Face Green. A long ribbon of parkland stretching 500 metres along the coastline, this is where city dwellers and weary travellers come to take a much-needed breather from the hustle and bustle. Though the city’s incessant buzz is never far away, the sprawling lawns, sandy stretches and ocean breeze offer a refreshing respite from the busy, sun-baked streets.Discover more
Just steps from the National Museum of Colombo and the city library, Viharamahadevi Park is ideally placed for taking a much-needed rest in between sightseeing. If you’re looking to take a refreshing break from the bustling city centre, there’s no better place than Viharamahadevi Park. Grab a cool drink, take a seat beneath the trees and watch the world go by.Discover more
If there’s one building that dominates the ever-changing skyline of Colombo, it’s the Lotus Tower. Standing at 350 metres, it’s the tallest self-supported structure in South Asia and the city’s single most spectacular sight - you’d struggle to miss it even on an overcast day. A journey to the top isn’t for the faint-hearted, but the spectacular panoramic views make it more than worthwhile.Discover more
For the chance to brush up on your history of Sri Lanka - and see some weird and wonderful sights - a trip to the National Museum of Colombo is a must. Manicured lawns dotted with huge banyan trees and the Italian-inspired facade makes this one of the country's most visually appealing cultural hubs, while inside all manner of ancient antiques, art and artefacts are waiting to be discovered.Discover more
The Temple of the Tooth, located inside the former royal residence of the Kandy kings, is said to house the tooth of the Buddha. What’s so special about that, you might ask? Well, not only does this ancient relic symbolise the foundations of Buddhism, but legend has it that whoever possess the tooth has the right to rule the country. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal.Discover more
No trip to the hill city of Kandy is complete without spending some time exploring its glorious lake. A sprawling, emerald water body fringed by ancient temples and lush jungle, the idyllic scenery wouldn’t be out of place on a painting or postcard. In fact, it’s so naturally beautiful that you’d never guess it’s man-made.Discover more
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You will need a visa to visit Sri Lanka. Tourist visas are normally given for 30 days, and it’s best to get one before you travel. Make sure that your visa is valid for the length and purpose of your stay and that you have at least six months left on your passport from the date you arrive.
You should visit your doctor four-six weeks before you travel and check whether they recommend the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, typhoid, rabies, rubella, diphtheria, poliomyelitis and Japanese Encephalitis.
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Ready to build your tailor-made tour of Sri Lanka? Visit our itinerary builder to get started.
Despite its compact size, Sri Lanka has a rich variety of flora and fauna, making it a top safari destinations in Asia.
When you want to diversify your dinner options slightly, no where in Sri Lanka has more of an eclectic offering than Galle Fort – calling all foodies, this one's for you.
Steeped in rich history, full to the brim with friendly locals and blanketed from head to toe in varying forms of verdure.
Valentine’s Day Shmalentine’s Day, these destinations have us falling in love all year round.
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