Sri Lanka Holidays in 2014

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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, culturally unique 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.

The scenic beauty of this island 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 safari.

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. While the huge city of Colombo is home to many informative museums worth exploring with a bit of a culture fix.

Keeping it by the Beach

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 Sri Lanka holidays.

Further to the south near the cultural destination of Galle, with its famous Dutch fort, you’ll find the beach resort of Unawatuna. The beach here is one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful, with a long strip of sand and stunning coral beneath the waves.

Galle is one of the best places to stay 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

Holidays to Sri Lanka expose you to an island rich in history, and the city of Colombo is a great place for a glimpse at Sri Lankan culture through its many informative and engaging museums. The National Museum of Colombo hosts a number of interesting exhibits explaining the island's history; while the Natural History Museum focuses mainly on the diverse flora and fauna of the nation.

The most intriguing aspect of Sri Lanka’s history is perhaps best found in the various ancient capital ruins that are most prominent in the north of the country. The two most famous sites are Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa found in the North Central Province. The former was first settled in 900 B.C and is home to one of the most sacred places in the country, the Bodhi Tree Temple. Polonnaruwa is a little more discreet in its majesty, dating from the late 10th century. Nevertheless, the palaces and temples that adorn this ancient capital are stunning and make for a great day trip.

Those visiting the island will want to make sure they avoid the rainy seasons that hit Sri Lanka. The north east sees most rain between October and January, while the south west gets a bettering from May to July.

Out and About in Sri Lanka

Nature lovers will find a haven in the fantastic Yala National Park – a fantastic expanse of jungle and green, home to wild elephants, monkeys, crocodiles and jaguars. Sudu Safari Tours provide some great trips around the park, especially for keen bird watchers. The best time to visit the park is between February and June when the water tables are low.

The central highlands are home to some real natural gems for visitors to explore during their Sri Lanka holidays. 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, a city 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.

Important Information

Travel Information
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
Local time: GMT + 5.5 hours
Local airport: Colombo International
Flight time: 10 hours 30 minutes

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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.