Train rides through lush green rolling mountains, tea plantations, the cultural triangle, golden-sand beaches and year-round wildlife await you in this epic country. A family holiday here will get you close to wild elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears and perhaps even the elusive leopard. The vast array of attractions here also makes it very popular for honeymooners, with lots to see and do in a multitude of diverse locations. Combine a cookery class and private tea tasting in the tea plantations before hopping on a seaplane to Yala National Park where you’ll head out for daily game drives before returning to your pool suite overlooking a watering hole.
Having suffered such a tumultuous few years’, we feel it’s important to shine a spotlight on this wonderful country. Political stability resumed mid-2022, creating a better infrastructure, so both your accommodation and transport will not be affected in any way. With the rupee at such a favourable rate to the pound, tourism is on the rise again and we’ve seen many more requests for Sri Lankan itineraries and happy guests returning from recent trips there.
Sri Lanka really does have something for everyone.
With consistent temperatures in the late 20s and early 30s, two opposing monsoons and a bounty of wonderful beaches, Sri Lanka is a year-round destination – you just need to know where to go and when.
Sri Lanka is becoming one of the most successful places to see both blue and sperm whales. Visit between December and April for whale and dolphin-watching season on the south and west coasts. The beaches will also be great at this time of year (if you’re after wildlife, leopards can be observed year-round in Sri Lanka).
From April to September, the focus often shifts to the east coast where the white sand beaches are fine and dry and calmer ocean currents allow for snorkelling and diving whilst the cooler temperatures make it the perfect time for some trekking in the eastern hills.
May/June and October/November are often seen as shoulder season months when the monsoons are shifting and wind directions start changing. However, even ‘out of season’, and during monsoon months, you still get hot, sunny rain-free days.
Ceylon Tea Trails is made up of five colonial-era tea-planters’ bungalows, scattered around Castlereagh Lake. Perched at an altitude of 1,250 metres in Sri Lanka’s panoramic Ceylon tea region, bordering the UNESCO World Heritage Central Highlands, Tea Trails is situated south of Hatton (ideal for those wanting to arrive by a picturesque train journey).
Relax in au natural outdoor pools overlooking jaw-dropping views of lakes, mountains and tea-strewn slopes, feast on tea-inspired cuisine, trek or bike the local trails and of course, enjoy a private tea tasting with a local owner. The more adventurous types can go whitewater rafting on Kithulgala’s Kelani river, about a 75-minute drive north of the hotel.
Beachy and laid-back Cape Weligama is a luxury resort on Sri Lanka’s Southern Province speckled with coconut palms and trimmed with turquoise bays. A collection of Villas & Suites; offering 39 bedrooms in all, create the illusion of a traditional Sri Lankan village.
Weligama’s rugged cliff-sheltered coastline is perfect for swimming and snorkelling but it’s also excellent for surfing. Cycle through the paddy fields, pop into nearby Galle with its UNESCO-protected colonial fortifications and take a day trip to Yala National Park. Or take it easy lying by the hotel’s crescent-shaped infinity Moon Pool wth 270-degree sea views.
Crouched among the bushland on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, Wild Coast Tented Lodge is a remote safari camp made up of luxurious, cocoon-like lodgings, adjacent to the Yala National Park. In an area renowned for its dense leopard population, this is safari heaven, combining rocky lagoons with thick jungle and pristine sandy beaches.
Daily game drives will take you to the quietest corners of Yala where rangers will explain the incredible diversity of flora and fauna, including elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, jackals and leopards. With more than 44 different mammals and 200 types of bird, you’ll retire to your expedition chic lodging, featuring teak floors, freestanding copper bathtubs and plunge pools, where the animal spotting can continue from your room.