This is your opportunity to set next year off to an unforgettable start, and spend it somewhere truly inspirational like Sri Lanka where the magic of the place makes it so unique you’ll be left with a lasting impression for years to come. Sri Lanka is an incredibly diverse island off the southern tip of India that offers everything from ancient temples and world heritage sites to pristine sandy beaches, lush green hills dotted with tea plantations and exotic wildlife safaris. Here are just a few places of interest in Sri Lanka that we hope will entice you to visit this truly wonderful country.
CLIMB & CONQUER – Adam’s Peak
If you’re looking for adventure or want to challenge yourself head to Adam’s Peak, which is also known as Sri Pada. This is a 2,243m conical mountain located in the central highland region of Sri Lanka. Popular for Sri Lankans and tourists alike. The climb consists of rising stairs, and you have to climb 5,000 of them in order to reach the peak. The typical climb starts in the middle of the night so you can reach the peak for a breathtaking sunrise. As sunrise approaches, you’ll discover that you’re on top of the clouds, and the view from here is spectacular!
One of Sri Lanka’s major cities, Galle was founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese on the southwestern tip of the island. It is well worth a visit. Cycle or walk around and see its 17th-century fort (and UNESCO World Heritage site), municipal offices, beautiful places of worship, and enjoy magical views of the blustery sea and melting sunsets from every vantage point. Galle’s Dutch colonial fort occupies approximately 130 acres and within its walls there are boutique hotels, coffee shops and The National Maritime Museum of Sri Lanka – this area still has genuine Sri Lankan charm and original buildings. Galle has some fabulous restored historic hotels.
TAKE TO THE WATER
Just two hours away from Colombo and an hour and a half from Galle, Bentota captures the heart and soul of those who love the sun, surf and sand. Renowned as the water sport capital of Sri Lanka, you can try any type of water sports here – from adrenaline filled speed boat and Jet Ski riding, wind surfing, wake boarding, boogie boarding, water skiing and kite surfing to a leisurely ride on a banana boat for the family and kids.
HIT THE TEA TRAIL
Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Usually referred to as ‘Little England’, the tea plantations and factories near Nuwara Eliya are the largest attraction of this region. Visit one of the most popular, the Pedro Tea Estate which was established in 1885 and offers half hour tours. Or go to the Labookellie Tea Centre on Kandy Road that also runs a small restaurant on the premises. Apart from formal tea factory tours, you can stop anywhere on the hills and walk along the narrow paths of the tea gardens for some great photography or a chat with the shy but friendly tea pluckers.
Marvel at the Wildlife
If you’re crazy about wildlife then you’re in the right place in Asia. Yala National Park is the premier national park of Sri Lanka, and perhaps one of the best for mammals in Asia. The main attraction at Yala is the Sri Lankan leopard. Other animals you might spot include sambar, spotted deer, buffalo, wild pig, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, langur monkey, toque monkey, sloth bears, golden jackal and Indian palm civet. Ardent birdwatchers will also be astounded by the 220 different types of birds that can be found here.