Sri Lanka Holidays

Sri Lanka Holidays

Read more about Sri Lanka

A nature, culture and beach lover’s dream – Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for a wholesome sun-soaked getaway. Explore the cities, national parks and most of all, the stunning sandy shores. Whether you’re looking to lounge by the sea, discover the wildlife or tick off every tourist activity there is, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this truly amazing island.

Beaches
Soft golden sands and brilliant-blue waters line the island’s coast. Sri Lanka boasts an amazing selection of picturesque shores that are each a piece of paradise in their own way. Mirissa Beach is a beautiful spot of shore on the southern coast of the island, with a great selection of cafes and sunbeds for use it’s a perfect pick for a family day at the seaside. Plus, it’s a hot spot for whale watching! Bentota Beach (Ventura Beach) is clean, peaceful and is a fantastic place to relax the day away under the sun. This slice of heaven may be one of the most untouched spots of shore in the area, but they also have a great range of restaurants and watersports available too. Over on the east side, Arugam Bay is a wonderful crescent beach that’s popular with surfers between May and September, but can be enjoyed by anyone at anytime with its beauty.

Food & Drink
Sri Lankan cuisine is exciting, interesting, but most of all it’s tasty. You may think that due to the location, their food would mirror South Indian dishes. Well, although they do have their similarities, Sri Lankan food has its own unique twist. One of the must-eats there is Sri Lankan curry. Parippu is the nation’s dahl curry, typically made up of red lentils cooked in coconut milk, tomatoes, onions, chillies and an array of spices. Jackfruit curry (polos) and beetroot curry are also popular choices, and let’s not forget the divine Sri Lankan fish curry. One dish you’re sure to spot in most places is kottu, a local street food meal consisting of shredded godamba roti (like a paratha – a thin fried piece of dough), which is stir fried with spices and a range of vegetarian or meaty accompaniments.
For refreshments, us Brits are in for a treat, as Sri Lanka is the third largest tea producer in the world, so you’re never far from a nice brew. Ceylon Tea is their speciality and they like it sweet, so if you don’t like sweet tea then make sure to ask for no sugar. Coconut water is a popular drink as the country is filled with coconut trees, plus they have ‘Toddy & Arrack’ – a light alcohol made from coconut palm sap. If you’re a beer drinker, ‘Lion’ is the predominant brewery over there, producing lager, strong beers and even stout.

Culture
Sri Lankan culture has influences from nations around the globe including Western Europe and Indonesia. However, as the majority of the country follow Theravada Buddhism, religion has a large impact on the country’s culture. Temples and Buddha statues aren’t only beautiful to look at, but are sacred and should be treated with respect at all times. Although the country is a picture-perfect destination, be careful with public photography as some places (although fascinating to look at) require a permit for photography or simply don’t allow it. As for culture and food, one way to get stuck into the Sri Lankan culture is to eat with your hands, as this is the norm for them, but if you’re struggling then don’t feel bad asking for some cutlery. If you’re visiting the island around April, then you’re sure to see some decorations and celebrations for Sinhala and Tamil New Year. At this time, the whole country are celebrating with family, playing games, enjoying special meals and letting off fireworks – it’s an all-round joyful time for the nation.

Nightlife
This South Asian island may not be known for its nightlife, but if you’re looking for a fun-filled night out, there are plenty of places to go to find one. As Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo is the most obvious place to head for a big night out. Casinos, clubs and bars await in the big city, and even some pubs! Whether you’re looking for a night out on the tiles or a rooftop cocktail whilst watching the sunset, Colombo delivers on all fronts. If you’re in Bentota, nightlife there is a lot quieter, and you may find yourself spending your evenings with a fine meal or glass of wine overlooking the sea. But, if you’re looking for something a little more lively, then head to Ceysands - Bentota’s floating discotheque where you can dance to your heart’s content throughout the night. There are plenty of beach bars across the island too, and you’re sure to find more low-key nightlife in areas such as Hikkaduwa, Mirissa and Unawatuna.

Important Information
Flight Time: 11hrs (Direct) / 14hrs (1 stop)
Time Difference: + 5hr 30m (Winter) / + 4hr 30m (Summer)
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
Official Language: Sinhala and Tamil

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Top Sri Lanka Hotels

Sri Lanka Weather

Sri Lanka’s weather changes wherever you are on the island, with inland being higher above sea level and therefore a lot cooler than the coast. Around the coast, the average temperature stays between 27°C and 29°C throughout the year, so you’ll be greeted with balmy weather no matter what time you go. Whilst hot, April to June and September to November see more rainfall than the rest of the year, so try to work around going in these months if you want a drier trip.
Jan 26ºC
Feb 27ºC
Mar 28ºC
Apr 26ºC
May 29ºC
Jun 25ºC
Jul 28ºC
Aug 27ºC
Sep 27ºC
Oct 28ºC
Nov 27ºC
Dec 28ºC

Things To Do on Sri Lanka Holidays

Hiking
With the stunning nature that Sri Lanka has to offer, it would be rude not to go for a hike when visiting. There are plenty of perfect spots to explore around the island, so you may not need to travel as far as you thought for a great day in the outdoors. In Matale, Riverston Peak is a peaceful trek with a peak that’s perfect for taking in the surrounding views of the lush countryside. If you’re looking for a challenge, the 9.5km hike up Horton Plains is a popular walk, with it ending at ‘World’s End’. The best time to climb this peak is between October and March, in the hours of 6am to 10am to try and avoid any mist or cloud coverage.

Visit one of Sri Lanka’s National Parks
Alongside the island being a great spot for hiking, Sri Lanka also hosts a wonderful selection of National Parks with 26 to choose from. Aside from their natural beauty, the National Parks are also a great way to spot the amazing wildlife. See the majestic elephants at Kaudulla National Park, spot a leopard at Yala National Park and watch the wild buffalo at Udawalawe National Park. Whichever you choose to visit, it’s an incredible experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
The west, south and east coasts of Sri Lanka offer amazing underwater life, reefs and wrecks, making them spectacular spots for snorkelling and scuba diving. Explore the coral reef in Hikkaduwa and see the tropical fish that live there. If you choose to go diving or snorkelling in Mirissa, you may just bump into friendly sea turtles and blue whales. For those who prefer shipwrecks over sea life, Colombo’s waters feature the wrecks of British steamer SS Perseus, Thermophylae Sierra and the Taprobane East Wreck.

Ride the train from Kandy to Ella
No, this isn’t just public transport. The train from Kandy to Ella is an attraction in itself, as it’s one of the most scenic journeys Sri Lanka has to offer. Reaching almost 2000m above sea level, the ride passes over luscious, green tea plantations that make for jaw-dropping views. To make sure you can take in the scenery, grab a seat on the right-hand side of the train. If you’ve not reserved seats, you can join the rush at Kandy and try to grab one, but to avoid the bustling passengers try to get to Perideniya Station (the stop before Kandy) and jump on there. It’s 100% worth it.

Culture

Known as the smiling people through out the world Sri Lankans enjoy a unique life style that is humble, artistic, entertaining and touching. The intimate connection between society and buddhism as well as traditional forms of art, dance and music are the fusion of the Sri Lankan culture.

Immerse yourself in one of Sri Lanka's many wonderfully colourful festivals. Most involve long processions of glittering elephants, dancers and drummers. The best-known is Esala Perahera in Kandy; Vel Festival in Colombo is also spectacular.

Ingrained in the culture of Sri Lanka is cricket, people live and breath cricket in Sri Lanka. Make sure you join in a game of impromptu game of cricket on the beach where the cricket mad locals are always up for employing an extra pair of hands!

Nightlife

The nightlife in Sri Lanka is best in the capital Colombo but is really not much to write home about. It is mainly kept to a few Irish bars and bars within hotels like the Hilton and the Mount Lavinia.

It is pleasing to say that the European, Middle Eastern and South Indian influences have had a positive effect on the cuisine in Sri Lanka. Meaning that the Sri Lankan cuisine is very different from any other country in Asia. The Gallery Cafe in Colombo can be recommended to experience these East meet West fusion of tastes.

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