Sri Lanka Tailor-Made Luxury Holidays and Vacations
A tropical luxury paradise of palm-fringed beaches and rainforest peaks. The teardrop off India, Sri Lanka brims with lush landscapes, ancient treasures and colonial history - all ringed by the palm-fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean. On a Sri Lanka luxury holiday, a large dose of tropical warmth awaits, in both the weather and the welcome.
But it’s much more than a beach destination. Journey through the verdant interior, and you can stay on a tea plantation, immerse yourself in Buddhism at temples scattered throughout the country or visit historic coastal towns such as Galle. Nuwara Eliya with its lawns and Georgian properties feels oddly reminiscent of home, whilst capital Colombo has a cosmopolitan vibe and indelible colonial heritage.
And there’s spectacular wildlife. Travel to unique Sri Lanka’s national parks and if you’re lucky you might see leopard in Yala. And you’ll love the food; a tasty fusion of Portuguese, British, Malay and Indian influences where kottu rotti, Tamil crab and coconut sambal accompany the staple diet of rice and fragrant curry.
The cultural triangle, neatly tended tea estates, rose-gold beaches... On a tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka, you’ll see the highlights - and much more.
Admire the cave frescoes of Dambulla and clamber to the top of Sigiriya Rock’s fortress. Join pilgrims as they stroll the ruins of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Pause at a roadside fruit stall for a fresh banana. Spot elephants, bird life and take a traditional mask-making class and compare your skills with those sold in the boutiques of Dutch-colonial Galle.
What sort of accommodation is available in Sri Lanka?
The past few years have seen numerous new hotels opening in Sri Lanka, with tea planters’ bungalows, private beach villas and small boutique hotels providing comfortable character accommodation. Many historical buildings including private homes now take in guests, and a number of distinctive hotels and beach villas designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most famous architect, offer elegant and luxurious options.
For those interested in wildlife, we can suggest hotels where wonderful birds and the occasional elephant are likely to be seen.
Things to do in Sri Lanka
The amazing Minneriya National Park is renowned for its elephant populations and beautiful scenery. Enjoy a safari drive in search of the Asian elephant, a highlight for many during their tour. The Wilpattu National Park safaris are an experience not to be missed, from half to full day jeep safaris, marvel at the range of wildlife and try to spot the elusive leopard.
Head to ancient city of Polonnaruwa to meet many a cheeky monkey and learn about these fascinating primates! For an exhilarating adventure explore the Knuckles Mountain Range on a full day trek. A local tracker will guide you through the Knuckles Forest Reserve, hiking the Corbett’s Gap Viewpoint track.
If you love food, then Sri Lanka is very much the place for you. The depth of flavours is very special, and we can arrange a private cookery course to prepare traditional Sri Lankan meals using this freshest produce and an array of spices available.
Where are Sri Lanka’s top places and experiences?
- The Ancient Cities are a fascinating region, full of remnants of a civilisation over 2500 years old. During the golden age of the Sinhalese civilisation, it was named 'Rajarata', the land of the kings. The first city to be built was Anuradhapura, followed by the rock fortress at Sigiriya and the medieval Polonnaruwa. Lots of work has been done over the last 100 years to push back the jungle that’s held these sights secret for so long. Now, visitors can see the full extent of these ancient relics, including sacred temples, palaces, rock carvings, gardens and monasteries.
- Colombo is the economic and political capital of Sri Lanka and is a quintessentially cosmopolitan city, busy and bustling, tuk tuks and people everywhere. The Fort, Cinnamon Gardens and Pettah, one of the older districts, are particular historical highlights, while the Beira Lake, and green parks and canals that interject the city provide a contrasting natural beauty.
- Kandy and the Hill Country away from the heat of the coastal regions, the Hill Country contains some of Sri Lanka’s most stunning scenery. From the rolling tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, the Hill Country is a land unto itself, pulsating with adventure and charm. Watch out for monkeys in the mist-filled jungle, and the sounds of waterfalls nearby.
- Northwest Province is remarkably beautiful and provides a wonderful destination if you want to escape the hordes and get off-the-beaten track. With a superb coastline, you can explore the popular resorts of Kalpitiya and Waikkal. As you head inland, visit the remarkable Wilpattu National Park and remote villages offering guests a totally different experience of Sri Lanka.
- The South Coast is the perfect place to relax on the palm-lined beaches of the Indian Ocean. But as well as beautiful coastline, great snorkelling, diving and surfing, there’s plenty more to do. Meander around small fishing villages, explore the colonial port of Galle, visit the bird sanctuary, or Hoo-aanyia Blowhole, a spectacular natural phenomenon where the sea explodes out of the land.
- Sri Lanka's National Parks from the North to the South Sri Lanka has a vast number of national parks where an array of animals can be found. Sri Lanka has pioneered the way in which countries protect its indigenous wildlife, with it being said that the first wildlife sanctuary was opened in the 3rd century BC. The most famous of Sri Lanka’s national parks is Yala located on the Southeast coast of the island. Yala is home to a variety of animals from the elusive sloth bear to an abundance of birdlife and hard to forget is the almighty Leopard. In the Northwest of the island sits one of the oldest national parks, Wilpattu which offers the opportunity to see just as much wildlife as Yala without the crowds. The list goes on with regards to wildlife here and you would be hard pressed not to see elephants, sambar deer and water buffalo. To further escape the crowds head to the east side of the island to Gal Oya National Park where aside from the animals you can experience traditional village life with the local tribe known as the Veddhas. The people of Veddhas although slowly being closed in by the realities of the 21st century continue to live in mud huts and use a bow and arrow for hunting.
- The West Coast is home to some of the country's most iconic hotels and it's palm fringed beaches are world-famous of their idyllic nature.
When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
The best time to visit Sri Lanka depends on which part of the country you’re going to. It’s a year-round destination with consistent warmth and lots of sunshine, with temperatures averaging between 31°C at their highest and 22°C at their lowest. It’s normally hotter in coastal areas and the lowlands than it is in areas with higher altitude. Showers can occur at any time.
The southwest coast is best between December and April, before their monsoon season starts, while the east coast and the north is less humid between May and September, when their monsoon season is over.
The central hills remain cooler all year round and we’d only recommend avoiding them in October and November when the rainfall is less predictable.
For further information, please do feel free to contact Nicola directly or at The Explorations Company for further inspiration and unforgettable safaris and holidays to Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
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