Sri Lanka Holidays 2016

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An Island of Beauty

If you’re looking for some fun in the sun then Sri Lanka holidays are ideal for you. With perfect picturesque beaches on the Indian Ocean, unique cultural cities, enchanting temples and spectacular rainforests, this is the place to visit. Sri Lanka’s rich cultural history will keep you mesmerised throughout your trip, especially when visiting one of the ancient capital ruins or the bustling city of Colombo.

The scenic beauty of this nation is at its best in the Central Province of the country, decorated by tea plantations, waterfalls and valleys, while in the far south you’ll encounter the sprawling Yala National Park, famed for its wildlife. Of course, no holidays to Sri Lanka are complete without a trip to the beach. Whether you want to top up that tan or have a go at some of the water sports on offer, the island’s beautiful coastline will keep you busy.

A Sri Lankan Beach Break

Soft white sand and crystal clear waters are the order of the day at the resort of Beruwela. Located just south of Colombo and boasting some of the island's best beaches, they are perfect for both relaxing on the sand and taking to the water. Thanks to its calm, clear waters, both diving and snorkelling are very popular activities to indulge in during your holidays.

Further to the south near the cultural destination of Galle, you’ll find the beach resort of Unawatuna. The beach here is one of the country’s most beautiful gems, with a long strip of sand and stunning coral beneath the waves ready for you to explore. Galle is one of the best places to stay during your holidays in Sri Lanka, especially if you hope to gain access to Unawatuna, as well as the Yala National Park. You’ll find various 4-star and 5-star hotels that will keep you comfortable during your stay in the south of the island.

Captivating Culture and Stunning Nature

The most intriguing aspect of Sri Lanka’s history is perhaps best found in the various ancient capital ruins located in the north of the country - the two most famous sites are Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. The former was first settled in 900 B.C and is home to one of the most sacred sites in the country, the Bodhi Tree Temple. Polonnaruwa is a little more discreet in its majesty; nevertheless, the palaces and temples that adorn this ancient capital are stunning and make for a great day trip.

The central highlands are home to some real natural gems for visitors to explore during their holidays to Sri Lanka. Kandy is the spiritual heart of the country, home to The Temple of the Tooth, housing a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha and considered the most sacred site in the whole of Sri Lanka. South of Kandy is Nuwara Eliya, situated in the Hill Country and nicknamed ‘Little England’ - the city is adorned with tea plantations and beautiful gardens.

For the ultimate peaceful beach paradise, heading to Bentota, just a few kilometres south of Beruwela, will satisfy your sand urges. There are also some great water sports on offer at the beach, with windsurfing, jet skiing and kayaking all available to those that can’t sit still on the sand for too long.

Sri Lanka Activities

Architecture

The architecture in Sri Lanka ranges from the modern sky scrapers of Colombo to ancient temples, and wherever you go you’ll be able to see monuments belonging to civilisations past. Ruined cities, temples, palaces and dagobas all act as living examples of the history of this fascinating place. Sigiriya, an ancient fortress located north east of Dambulla, is well worth visiting as the ruins of this city are considered to be one of the most outstanding ancient sites of Sri Lanka.

Rainforest

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without a tour of the incredible Sinharaja Rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made up of a complex structure of tall trees you’ll find an incredible array of flora and fauna to discover including rare birds, insects, reptiles and mammals. There are various tours available and your guide will be able to tell you about the rainforest and explain more about the wildlife you see along the way.

History of Sri Lanka

Those interested in the history and culture of Sri Lanka may wish to visit the two museums in Colombo. The National Museum of Colombo is the largest museum in Sri Lanka and houses fascinating collections including the crown and throne of the Kandan monarchs. The National Museum of Art Sri Lanka is also a must-see attraction and features the work of numerous Sri Lankan artists.

Boat Trips

Boat trips are the perfect way of exploring Sri Lanka and enjoying the scenery. There are many available from short excursions, to day cruises and so you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs and your bank balance. Those interested in wildlife may wish to consider whale or dolphin watching. Dondra Point is a great spot for whale watching and trips on board trawler boats can be arranged to give the best vantage point.

Sri Lanka Beach Breaks

Quiet Spots

Sri Lanka, the Jewel of the Indian Ocean, is a beach lover’s paradise with over a thousand miles of delightful beaches edged with coconut palms and clear waters. Those looking for seclusion should head to Kalpitiya, the island’s latest tourist hot spot, where you’ll find old fishing villages, historic churches and secluded beaches. Another good spot for those in search of solitude is Unawatuna; this quiet beach resort is ideal for those longing for complete relaxation and is 5 km south of Galle.

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Sunbathing

Sun-worshippers will find plenty of breathtakingly beautiful venues in Sri Lanka in which to top up their tan and relax. Blessed with a stunning coastline and climate you’ll find plenty of beaches to choose from, from busy and bustling to relaxing and rejuvenating. If you want to check out one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful beaches head to Nilaveli with its clear waters and pale golden sands. The waters at Nilaveli are shallow and warm, making it perfect for sea bathing.

Water Sports

Sri Lanka is a haven for water sports enthusiasts with its 13,000 km of coastline, warm waters and spectacular marine life. There are several dives sites along the coast and you can expect to see a host of marine life including Parrot Fish, Clown Fish, Porcupine, Rays and Eels. The coral reefs and shipwrecks also make for fascinating diving. Those in search of active pursuits should head to Bentota on the West coast where you can go windsurfing, water-skiing, kayaking or take part in banana boat or donut rides.

Sri Lanka Couples Holidays

Romance

Everywhere you turn in Sri Lanka you’ll see romantic backdrops, from the glorious beaches and landscapes, to the sun glinting off traditional temples. If you want a romantic venue to spend some quality time with your other half or maybe somewhere to ‘pop the question’ then this really is the ideal destination for a proposal! Those in search of a truly idyllic setting should check out one of Sri Lanka’s Waterfalls. There are around 51 waterfalls in Sri Lanka, the highest of which is Bambarakanda falls which is a staggering 263 metres.

Honeymoons

As honeymoon destinations go, you can’t get more perfect than Sri Lanka. The glorious beaches, beautiful scenery, cascading waterfalls and fabulous hotels all combine to make this destination top of many couple’s holiday wish-lists. If you’re planning your honeymoon in Sri Lanka make sure you choose a hotel that’s right for you; many offer special packages with upgrades and champagne on arrival, so do you research before you book.

Hotels

There is a huge selection of hotels to choose from in Sri Lanka offering everything from 5 star luxury establishments, to budget accommodation. All-inclusive hotels are perfect for those of you who like to have everything paid for before you head off on holiday as it means all your meals, locally produced alcohol and some entertainment and sports are included in the upfront price. Those who want the freedom to explore and not be tied down to set meals times may prefer a bed and breakfast or half board option.

Things to Do

Aside from the beaches, active pursuits and water-sports, there is so much to see and do in Sri Lanka, you’ll never be bored. No trip is complete without a visit to the Ancient capital of Anuradhapura; its remains include beautiful palaces, giant stupas and temples. The Dambulla Cave Temples are another must-see attraction and offer a unique insight into the Buddhist heritage of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Nightlife

Sri Lanka Clubs

Clubbing has risen in popularity in Sri Lanka over the last five years or so, and those in search of late night dance venues will not have to look too far. One of the premiere nightclubs in Sri Lanka, the Blue Elephant at the Colombo Hilton, features on-trend music, lighting and interiors. The Hut is also worth checking out; it’s one of the longest established clubs in Colombo and features the best in retro music as well as offering fabulous ocean views.

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Sri Lanka Bars

As well as a variety of bars in Sri Lanka there is a growing pub culture, especially in Colombo. Mawby’s is a recent addition and offers a well-stocked bar, and a country and western theme. Those in search of something a little more sophisticated won’t be disappointed with wine bars such as Zanzi Bar, also in Colombo, offering an up market vibe and a wide variety of live bands, international DJ’s and themed nights.

Casinos

If you fancy a flutter, Sri Lanka is the place to be in South Asia. Galle Road in Colombo is sometimes said to resemble Las Vegas because of the abundance of casinos in the area. Stardust is one of the most famous casinos in Colombo and was established just over 10 years ago. As well as gambling, you’ll find a good selection of food available here as well as regular live entertainment.

Live Music

Those in search of entertainment won’t be disappointed during their holiday to Sri Lanka. Colombo has a variety of bars and clubs providing live music. Rhythm & Blues for example is a classic style pub offering a great menu and regular live bands playing blues and rock. Another good choice is Ballys Colombo; combining a bar, casino and plenty of live-music it’s the perfect venue for a fun evening out.

Useful information

Currency
Sri Lankan Rupee
Local time
GMT + 5.5 hours