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With ancient temples, outstanding beaches, and incredible wildlife, Sri Lanka is an ideal getaway for travellers seeking adventure on their next holiday.
Home to six cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sri Lanka’s long history is ever-present. In the centre, Kandy holds one of Buddhism’s holiest sites, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Nearby, the ancient city of Sigiriya and its towering rock fortress provide panoramic views of Sri Lanka’s green interior. To the south, visit coastal Galle to see the remnants of Portuguese colonialism.
Sri Lanka’s awesome biodiversity is another major reason to visit. A huge variety of plants and animals are protected in its 26 national parks, with elephants a big draw. It’s best to see them in the wild on a safari, where you can also spot other amazing animals, including leopards, water buffalo and monkeys.
As an island nation, Sri Lanka is blessed with a long, sandy coastline. Whether you want a luxurious resort with sea views, a good beach party or a quiet stretch of palm-lined water to yourself, there’s plenty of choice for a beach holiday. For the best beaches, head south to the resorts of Kalutara, Weligama and Mirissa.
Holidaying with the family? There are plenty of resorts catering to travellers of all ages along Sri Lanka’s coast. Meanwhile, there are wildlife attractions aplenty in Yala National Park, and tons of colourful temples and sacred sites to spark young imaginations.
Then there’s the food. An explosion of flavours, Sri Lanka’s rich cuisine is, without doubt, one of its biggest draws. Whether it's fragrant curries made with ginger and coconut milk, hoppers dipped in chilli, a delicious seafood stew from Jaffna, or any one of the nation’s sweet rice desserts, Sri Lanka is an epic feast waiting to be tasted.
Abundant wildlife and beaches make Sri Lanka a great destination for families with kids of any age. Galle is a good base for exploring historical sites and venturing inland for wildlife experiences. Wijaya Beach, meanwhile, just south of Galle, has hotels, calm waters and a sandy beach, plus relaxed restaurants serving crowd-pleasers such as pizza.
Further along the south coast, Weligama Bay is packed with hotels, and a great spot for surf lessons. Short stays in Yala National Park are possible for wildlife adventures.
While Sri Lanka isn’t known for its all-inclusive beach resorts, there are a few dotted around the coastline. Look at the west coast of Sri Lanka, particularly near Kalutara. You’ll find more on the south coast around Galle.
For safari-style accommodation, head to Yala National Park. Lodges, such as Uga Chena Huts, Wild Coast Tented Lodge and Cinnamon Wild, offer a mix of wildlife experiences and cultural excursions.
Immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s wildlife and natural beauty at Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park, two of the country’s most scenic landscapes. Both have a range of accommodation types, with hotels, luxury resorts, lodges, tented camps and hostels on offer.
For something a little different, try Jetwing Vil Uyana, a conservation eco-resort built in the middle of a wetland area – just watch out for those crocs!
Sri Lanka has beach stays for almost any kind of sunseeker, whether you’re after a deserted fringe of white sand, a resort buzzing with restaurants and bars or the chance to hit the surf.
Many of Sri Lanka’s most popular beach resorts are clustered around the southwest coast. Kalutara, Weligama and Mirissa are three popular resort areas with a range of hotels and amenities.
Tangalle Beach is famed for its turquoise waters, and a clutch of three-star hotels and bungalows along the coast make it a good choice for a budget beach holiday in Sri Lanka.
Several luxurious resorts cater for isolated stays and adults-only experiences. Many are situated along Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, including the adults-only Sandhya boutique hotel at Ahangama and the five-star Tangalle Amanwella resort. You'll also find secluded all-inclusive hotels such as the Lanka Princess and Jetwing Saman Villas near Bentota.
Sri Lanka is generally safe to visit, but the situation is subject to change. Always consult the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and your insurance provider before travelling.
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