Sri Lanka is an island full of contrasts and surprises, with glorious beaches and fascinating sightseeing. Located off the coast of India it has a population of about 20 million people but much of it is still completely unspoiled with a history and natural beauty all of its own. For almost three decades Sri Lanka's tourism has been concentrated into barely half of the island, but with the ending of the civil war over four years ago it is now safe to explore the North and East. The Jaffna peninsula has temples, fines beaches, a sophisticated system of agriculture and a series of shallow lagoons cris-crossed by causeways.
When to go.
The opening up of the East Coast means that Sri Lanka is now a year round beach destination. There are two annual monsoons that affect different parts of the country at different times of the year: one bringing rain to the southwest and central hills from late May to late September, and a weaker second that affects the northeast from November to February. December to March is considered the best time but even in the monsoon months it is possible to travel around for it does not rain all the time. The temperatures are high throughout the year staying close to an average of 27 degrees.
How to get there
There are direct flights from London with a flying time of approximately 11.5 hours or we can arrange indirect flights from a number of regional airports. Sri Lanka can also be easily combined with a stop over in Dubai or an extension to the Maldives - there are so many possibilities and we are happy to make recommendations.
For more information call the Adeona Travel team today on: 0161 486 9247
Where to visit
Sri Lanka's capital Colombo is a bustling and chaotic city with a very different pace to the rest of the island. Its historical centre is the colonial Fort, built by the Portuguese as a fortress with many of its grand buildings coming from the Victorian period.
Kandy, Sri Lanka’s highland capital and second largest city, built on the banks of the Mahawelli River. The Temple of the Tooth is the city’s most famous site – home to the Tooth Relic, said to be a tooth of Buddha, which was brought to the city of Kandy in 1542. Kandy plays host to one of South Asia’s greatest spectacles when each summer during Esala Perahera exuberant processions fill the town for eleven days and nights.
The mighty Sigiriya Rock Fortress dominates the surrounding landscape and for many is the most impressive site in Sri Lanka with stunning views from the top. The fortress was apparently only used for a brief period and sometime later occupied by monks. On top are the foundations of an extensive royal palace.
At Nuwara Eliya is a colonial hill station where the 'Ceylon' tea is grown. Situated at 6000ft the temperatures are always cooler in this area and the vegetation lush throughout the year. The tea factory welcomes visitors and you can see all the stages of the tea-making process. Down on Sri Lanka’s south-western tip and jutting like a small peninsular into the Indian Ocean, Galle is a gorgeous colonial-era fortified city and acclaimed as the best of its type in South Asia. Originally an ancient and cosmopolitan port, first the Portuguese and then, in the 18th century, the Dutch seized and adapted it to their tastes. Galle’s streets are lined with lovely colonial-style houses and mansions, and a charming jumble of cafes, shops and guesthouses.
Sri Lanka has a number of 'picture postcard' beaches. Located on the south-west coast are the resorts of Bentota and Beruwela which boast fantastic beaches and top quality hotels and restaurants. At Bentota there are several turtle hatcheries set up in an effort to curb the declining numbers of turtles visiting Sri Lanka. They buy turtle eggs from local fishermen and bury them in the sand until the turtle hatch and can be released into the sea.
The east coast resorts of Trincomalee and Passikudah are unspoilt by development and recognised as some of the finest in Asia with white sand, fantastic surf and mangrove lagoons ideal for diving and snorkeling. The best time to visit is April to September making them ideal if you are traveling in our summer.
Sri Lanka has great wildlife including elephants, leopards, the sloth bear plus a great variety of birds and both blue and sperm whales migrate through its waters. Minneriya National Park is one of the best places to see the elephants, as the surrounding regions dry up in August and September; hundreds migrate to the Minneriya Tank, a reservoir at the heart of the park. This annual ritual is popularly known as “The Gathering” and it probably represents the world’s largest meeting of Asian elephants. Uda Walawe National Park is also a good place to see elephants and the ‘Elephant Transit Home’ is just 20 minutes away. Here, orphaned or sick elephants are fed and cared for until they are strong enough to be returned to the wild and the center is open to visitors at feeding times. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage also offers visitors a great opportunity to get close to elephants and learn about the preservation work that is ongoing in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is now one of the most successful places to see both Blue and Sperm Whales, which can be found off the island's southern coast near Galle. The best time to go is between December and April when the sea is calm and these spectacular mammals traverse the Sri Lankan waters. During this period the chance of spotting whales and large pods of dolphins is very likely, often only a few miles off the coast.
We offer a range of tours through Sri Lanka that can be focused to your particular interests. In addition we offer private tours with your own chauffeur guide, these can be more flexible and your guide will be keen to help you get the most from your holiday. All the vehicles are air-conditioned with saloon-style cars usually provided for couples and minivans for groups of friends or families. The British-built train network is a nostalgic and sedate way to travel in Sri Lanka and the ‘tea plantation’ train between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya is highly recommended for its stunning hill scenery and ambience. The railway technology over on the East Coast has stood still in time since 1896 when it was introduced by the British but both Trincomalee and Batticaloa are now accessible by over night sleeper trains from Colombo - a fine way to travel!
The choice of accommodation styles in Sri Lanka is very diverse and the past few years have seen numerous new hotels opening with tea planters’ bungalows, private beach villas and small boutique hotels providing comfortable character accommodation. the Adeona Travel have visited many of the hotels and can give you the benefit our their first hand experience.
Speak to someone who's been there and start planning your tailor-made trip.
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