Just across the Palk Strait from India lies the emerald isle of Sri Lanka. Although tiny in size compared to its larger neighbour, the variety of different landscapes and unique experiences it offers is remarkable.
The main cultural influence is Buddhism, which is reflected in the archaeological sites at Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Polonnaruwa in the Cultural Triangle. The most sacred site is the well known Temple of the Tooth at the former capital, Kandy, where the Buddha tooth relic saved from his funeral pyre currently resides. The colourful Esala Perehera festival takes place here as well each summer.
More recent influences have been from Europe, notably the Portuguese and the Dutch leaving their mark in Galle, and of course the British, who had full control of the island by 1815. Independence was granted in 1948. Today, Sri Lanka offers palm-fringed beaches and cool green hills, dotted with plantations of tea and spices. The national parks make up 10 per cent of the island and are home to many species of resident and migratory birds and smaller mammals, as well as herds of elephant and solitary leopards.
Sri Lanka is a great all round destination as it offers a mixture of culture and history, stunning natural scenery, wildlife and endless beaches. It is a particularly popular family destination, and combining a touring itinerary with a stay in your own private fully staffed villa is a wonderful combination. Every itinerary is individually tailored to your requirements, and the suggested itineraries here are very much a starting point to give some ideas of what is possible.
The Frangipani Tree
Intimate 9 suite hotel near Galle offering direct views of the ocean
Boutique all suite hotel on the sands of Hikkaduwa
Rosyth Estate House
Homely colonial estate house set within a lush rubber and tea estate close to Kandy.
Refurbished plantation bungalow with a spectacular hilltop location close to Kandy.
The Kandy House
Small, chic hotel in Kandy
Ceylon Tea Trails
Colonial bungalows set among a working tea estate in the Bogawantalawa Valley
25 spacious chalets surrounding a reservoir and paddy fields within the Cultural Triangle
Jetwing Vil Uyana
A peaceful resort in a man-made nature resort in the shadow of the historic rock fortress of Sigiriya
Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris
Specialists in unique, tented mobile camping safaris at both Yala and Wilpattu National Parks.
17 room hotel close to Sri Lanka's international airport, Colombo
Reef Villa & Spa
Chic 7 suite hotel close to the beach at Wadduwa
Classic Sri Lanka
2 week itinerary exploring the variety of Sri Lanka's sights
Sri Lanka Family Adventure
Discover Sri Lanka's cultural and scenic highlights on this active family trip
Sri Lanka's East Coast
2 week trip exploring Sri Lanka's east coast and cultural triangle
Sri Lankan Luxury
Romantic 14 day trip visiting some highlights of Sri Lanka
Wildlife of Sri Lanka
2 week itinerary exploring some of Sri Lanka's beaches and national parks
Sri Lanka Highlights
- Discover ancient Buddhist cities and monuments in the Cultural Triangle area.
- Walk the ramparts of colonial Galle Fort at sunset before dining in one of the many excellent restaurants.
- Visit one of the country’s numerous national parks - from leopard safaris at Yala in the south to herds of wild elephants at Minneriya in the north.
- Explore the white sand beaches of the undiscovered East Coast, which has only recently been reopened to tourists.
- Spend time in the central Hill Country, and visit one of the numerous the tea plantations or trek in Horton Plains.