Sri Lanka Overview

 
Sri Lanka is blessed with gorgeous beaches, scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, rich history and culture, endless adventure activities, exquisite cuisines and welcoming people. There simply is something to suit every one of all ages and interests here. Whether you are looking for a solo adventure, a luxury romantic honeymoon, an active family adventure or a group holiday with friends, we will tailor make your holiday to any corner of Sri Lanka.
  • Anaradhapura

    Anaradhapura

  • Sigiriya rock

    Sigiriya rock

  • Kandy

    Kandy

  • Green Bee Eater, Uda Walawe National Park

    Green Bee Eater, Uda Walawe National Park

  • Galle lighthouse

    Galle lighthouse

  • 98 Acres hotel near Ella

    98 Acres hotel near Ella

  • Feeding time at the Elephant Transit Home

    Feeding time at the Elephant Transit Home

  • Little Adams Peak - Ella

    Little Adams Peak – Ella

  • Fishermen drying their catch

    Fishermen drying their catch

  • Dambulla caves

    Dambulla caves

  • Colombo - Independence Square

    Colombo – Independence Square

  • South coast beach

    South coast beach

  • Tea pickers

    Tea pickers

  • Elephants at Uda Walawe

    Elephants at Uda Walawe

 You will find suggested tour itineraries on our website which cover the most popular sights in Sri Lanka.  These are for guidance only as we offer you the freedom to create your own tour, allowing you to explore places that are not found on conventional itineraries or to alter the travel pace. You can build your itinerary to suit your own personal interests, budget and schedule with the help of our experience. 

Sri Lanka’s main airport, Colombo offers excellent connectivity with the rest of the world and Srilankan Airlines currently offer a direct service between London Heathrow and Colombo.  In addition to stand alone trips to Sri Lanka, we can organise a combination tour with India and/or the Maldives.  Daily flights operate between Colombo and Male in the Maldives and take just 90 minutes.  Our vast experience of India and the Maldives will ensure that every aspect of your trip is perfectly planned.

Map

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Travel Info

When to Visit: Sri Lanka is a year-round destination for visitors looking for sunshine and beaches. The best time to experience the South Western coastal area – where most of the beach resorts are located – is from November to April. The ancient city areas as well as the eastern coastal regions are usually visited from April to September, whilst the central highlands are pleasant and cool from January to April.In particular, the peak season in Sri Lanka is mid December to mid January and March- April during Easter. There is also a mini peak season in July and August when festivals are held. It is advisable to book in advance if you are planning a trip during peak seasons.

Climate and Weather: The average temperature is around 27°C – 30°C in most parts of Sri Lanka, with a gradual drop in temperature as the land rises towards the central hill country. Sri Lanka is affected by two monsoons. The south-west monsoon brings rain to Colombo and the south and west coasts briefly between May and July, whilst the north-east monsoon affects the north and east between December and February. 

What to Wear: Cotton clothes are the most suitable to wear, since Sri Lanka is a tropical country that is hot and humid. For cooler hill areas, you will need a light sweater at night. Topless sunbathing is officially illegal in Sri Lanka. Although bikinis are generally acceptable while on the beach, dress standards are conservative elsewhere, and it is respectful to wear loose, long and lightweight clothing. During cultural and religious excursions, you are required to wear appropriate clothing. Gents have to wear trousers that cover their knees, or a sarong with a shirt or t-shirt. Ladies should wear trousers or a long skirt and a blouse or t-shirt, that is not deep necked or sleeveless. Don’t forget comfortable shoes, sandals or trainers with cotton socks.

Photography: It is courteous to ask permission before taking photographs of local people, and if possible to show or share the picture with them, as this gesture will be greatly appreciated. There are important restrictions that apply to photography regarding Buddhist imagery. When visiting religious sites, you cannot pose in front of or beside any statues and murals, and should always be respectful. Flash photography is generally not allowed at heritage and religious sites as it can damage old murals. 

Health Advice: Since Sri Lanka is warm and sunny throughout the year, it is important to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen (factor 15 and above), a lightweight hat and sunglasses, and to drink plenty of bottled water to avoid dehydration. During evenings, don’t forget to spray mosquito repellant or wear long sleeved clothes to prevent bites. Please make sure that you drink and clean your teeth with bottled water only. Check with your own GP or vaccination centre at least a month before travel, to find out which inoculations you require – these usually include tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio. In the event of serious illness, your hotel will advise you on reputable local doctor or private hospital. Pack body-salt replenishment powder and Imodium which is useful for diarrhea.

Local customs and etiquette: It is wise to read up about local customs and attitudes before you travel to ensure your trip is trouble free. Here are a few important points:

  • Alcohol is not served in hotels, bars and public recreational areas on Poya Day, which is celebrated every full moon.
  • Tipping is accepted for taxi drivers, hotels and restaurants. A rule of thumb is to tip 10% of the total amount due to show your appreciation for services rendered.
  • Smoking and drinking is illegal in public spaces.
  • If you have a Buddhist tattoo, it is important to cover it at all times in Sri Lanka, as this is considered offensive to locals.

    Key Facts:

  • Capital: Colombo
  • Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
  • Population: 20.5 million
  • Language: Sinhalese, Tamil
  • Religion: Buddhism

Highlights

Cultural Triangle

abhayagiri-stupa-anuradhapuraSri Lanka is not just a tropical beach paradise; it has a remarkable history and culture which we can take a glimpse into by exploring its many heritage sites. The Cultural Triangle located in the interior of the island has the most precious collection of Sri Lanka’s history; it consists of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy.

 

 

Wildlife & Adventure

udawalawa-elephantsSri Lanka is a treasure trove for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Ranked among 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world, the island has several endemic flora and fauna species.
The ultimate wildlife experience is going on a jeep safari at one of the many national parks available such as Yala, Wilpattu, Minneriya and Udawalawe. There is plenty to be seen – Asian elephants, spotted deer, wild buffalo, sloth bears, leopards, wild boar and several species of birdlife!

 Beaches 

southern-beach-2There is a great variety of wonderful beaches in Sri Lanka, many very undeveloped. The best time to visit the south coast beaches is between October and April, when the seas are suitable for swimming and water sports.The north and East coast are also a tropical heaven between April and October, which is when the monsoon season affects the south-western beaches.  The best time to visit the west coast  beaches is during October – April.

 

Kandy

kandyThis is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and the gateway to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Lying in the midst of hills, a lake, river, tea plantations and spice gardens, Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka and also has significant religious, cultural and historical value and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kandy was the last capital of the ancient Sinhala kingdom and the final stronghold against colonial rule. It is also one of the most venerable places for Buddhists worldwide, who pay homage to the impressive Temple of the Tooth (Sri DaladaMaligawa) that enshrines a relic of Lord Buddha’s tooth.

Hill Country

Ella-19-225x154

The diversity of Sri Lanka is astounding; from sweltering humid coasts to elevated cooler interior hill country regions. Although only a few hours separate the landscapes, the hill country is a world apart from the rest of the island. With gorgeous vistas of mountain ranges, spectacular plunging waterfalls, misty rugged peaks, verdant tea estates, breathtaking plains and sloping valleys, the hill country of Sri Lanka is simply remarkable.

 Jaffna and the North

jaffna-225x154The north of Sri Lanka is finally recovering from years of civil unrest and isolation from the rest of the island. This emerging area is now under reconstruction and rehabilitation, providing a fascinating opportunity for tourists looking to discover the sights and sounds of the far north of Sri Lanka. With less restricted travelling, improved road and rail infrastructure, and hotels and guest houses coming up in the region, tourists can now enjoy all that this area has to offer.

Itineraries

As always, our tours are all completely bespoke and private.  This allows you to spend time seeing the places that really interest you and at your own pace.  Of course we will be happy to guide you in your choice of location and accommodation.

During your tour you will be accompanied by your own chauffeur guide who will accompany you during  sightseeing.  This is the normal arrangement in Sri Lanka.

The tours below are examples of some of the most popular itineraries to help you get started. However, they can be altered, shortened, extended or added to as you require. Our aim is to devise the best holiday for your needs.

Click on itinerary title to go to separate detailed itinerary page.

Discover Sri Lanka (13 nights / 14 days)

sri-lanka-historical-forest-wallpaper-53ce446de8030A great introduction to beautiful Sri Lanka, this private tour includes a stay in the Cultural Triangle including the UNESCO World Heritage ancient cities and monuments and the lake city of Kandy famous for its cultural shows and Temple of the Tooth.  Continue to the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya, Yala National Park and the fortified city of Galle on Sri Lanka’s southern coast.  All aspects of the tour can be customised to your requirements.

 

Hotels

Throughout Sri Lanka we have handpicked a number of accommodation options to suit a wide range of tastes and budgets. The number of small, boutique properties in Sri Lanka has risen dramatically in the last few years and there are some real gems to be discovered.  Wherever possible, we try to suggest places with style and character, whether it be the luxurious Aman resorts or smaller family run properties where you will be able to interact with local people.  Whatever your preference, talk to us and we will be able to suggest something appropriate.

For more details on our selection of accommodation in Sri Lanka, click here.