Sri Lanka

All Destinations

Sri Lanka

Magnificent, verdant and often overlooked, Sri Lanka takes shelter just to the South-East of India and its relationship with its neighbours in Tamil Nadu is well documented.

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For some time now the country has experienced peace and signs of prosperity yet tourists are still reluctant to visit. Quite why is beyond the comprehension of those who do.

Exquisite cuisine created from the very freshest produce welcomes the visitor alongside an easy sincerity and a warm smile. Far from basic, the accommodation on offer also represents extraordinary value for money and is delivered with real imagination and panache.

Few countries offer such a diverse range of landscape which can be explored during a single trip with relative ease. Utopian beaches overlooking the traditional stilt fisherman, gloriously green hillsides swathed in tea plantations, misty rainforests and national parks rich in wildlife provide such variety it’s hard to choose where to spend your time.

All myriad of historical sites including ancient capitals and religious temples can be found in the north alongside working paddy fields. Further south Ceylon’s colonial legacy is evident, particularly throughout the hill country, where the English town of Nuwara Eliya still boasts a red post box. Along the south coast, beautiful villas lead to wild beaches, while inland welcoming villages and their inhabitants look forward to inviting visitors to their homes but more importantly a game of cricket!

Sri Lanka really is one of the most surprising destinations and comes extremely highly recommended.

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Quick Facts

Capital
Colombo

Population
21.2 million

Area
65,610 sq km (25,332 sq miles)

Major Languages
Sinhala, Tamil, English

Major religion 
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity

Monetary Unit 
Sri Lankan rupee

Flight time from London
10hrs 45 mins

Time Difference 
GMT + 5.5

When to go 
Two separate monsoons make Sri Lanka’s climate rather complicated for a little country but this also means that throughout the year, good weather can usually be found somewhere on the island.

With global warming it’s important to recognise that the countries traditional weather pattern can vary dramatically year on year and the following should only be considered a guide but cannot be guaranteed.

The west, southwest and hill country is affected by the yala monsoon from April to September with the most rain falling between April and June.

The northeast is the affected by the maha monsoon from November to March with the most rain falling between November and December.
The entire island can be affected by the inter-monsoonal period during October and November during which heavy rainfall and thunderstorms can be experienced.

The temperature on the coast remains in the late 20°Cs throughout the year, rising to the 30°Cs during the hottest part of the day while the likes of Kandy tends to be in the late 10°Cs and early 20°Cs, reducing to the mid 10°Cs in the hill country where at night it can be close to freezing, and like a typical English summer – we always recommend taking a mac in case you get caught in a shower.

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Highlights

Galle and the South Coast

The fortified old town of Galle is a destination in itself, the 17C Dutch Fort, a UNESCO protected World Heritage site, bursting with shops selling antiques, gifts and art, cafes, museums, charming hotels and villas. Outside the fort, the international cricket stadium and markets are a sight to behold. To the east and west, Galle gives way to beautiful beaches, further luxurious villas and classy boutique hotels, the Galle Coast boasts the high-class areas of Thalpe and the destination sands of Unawatuna, Koggala and Habaraduwa. Watersports and sea adventures can be arranged from Mirissa while in land, delightful villages, lakes and plantations allow a glimpse of local village life and opportunities to discover life off the tourist track.

Hill Country

The dramatic highlands boast mountain streams, cascading waterfalls and lush green hillsides draped in tea plantations. Steeped in colonial character, thanks to the British planters who flocked to the area in the 1800’s, refurbished planters bungalows are dotted throughout the area while picturesque views are in abundance. A highlight of the area is one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, most commonly taken from Kandy, deep into the tea country. Winding roads are scattered with kerbside stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables from villager’s gardens. Naturally tea is available in abundance from one of the many cafes, tea centres and tea factories in the region. For the active the Kitulgala region provides the opportunity to go mountain biking, canoeing and whitewater rafting while climbing Adams Peak is best attempted at night to be rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world. Horton Plains National Park, best explored by foot or jeep, rewards visitors with “World’s End”, where the plateau comes to an abrupt end and drops nearly 1000m, one of the most dramatic views in Sri Lanka.

Cultural Triangle

Encompassing the historical settlements of Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka’s capital from 4C BC to 11C), Polonnaruwa (the country’s royal medieval capital from 11C – 13C), Sigiriya and Dambulla, all boasting impressive archaeological ruins, protected as World Heritage Sites, the Cultural Triangle delivers a taste of the Sri Lanka’s ancient history. Here visitors witness the remarkably advanced civilisations that Sri Lanka’s kings developed, based on agriculture, Buddhism and the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda. The ruins of Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa are worth exploring by bicycle while climbing the steps of Dambulla Cave Temples and to a greater extent, the giant rock fortress of Sigirya, could not be more rewarding. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the elephants in Minneriya, while local village life is waiting to be explored via peaceful minor roads alongside lakes and working paddyfields.

East Coast

Only relatively recently reintroduced to tourism, the pretty East Coast of Sri Lanka boasts sun-kissed beaches and colourful marine life, world-renowned surfing beaches, tranquil lagoons and waterways, national parks and a vivacious multi-ethnic social heritage. With opportunities for whale and dolphin watching, snorkelling, scuba diving and catamaran sailing, not to mention surfing in one of the 10 best surf spots in the world, Arugam Bay, wildlife watching and historical forts and Buddhist temples to discover, the East Coast has more to offer than most imagine.

Galle and the South Coast

The fortified old town of Galle is a destination in itself, the 17C Dutch Fort, a UNESCO protected World Heritage site, bursting with shops selling antiques, gifts and art, cafes, museums, charming hotels and villas. Outside the fort, the international cricket stadium and markets are a sight to behold. To the east and west, Galle gives way to beautiful beaches, further luxurious villas and classy boutique hotels, the Galle Coast boasts the high-class areas of Thalpe and the destination sands of Unawatuna, Koggala and Habaraduwa. Watersports and sea adventures can be arranged from Mirissa while in land, delightful villages, lakes and plantations allow a glimpse of local village life and opportunities to discover life off the tourist track.

Hill Country

The dramatic highlands boast mountain streams, cascading waterfalls and lush green hillsides draped in tea plantations. Steeped in colonial character, thanks to the British planters who flocked to the area in the 1800’s, refurbished planters bungalows are dotted throughout the area while picturesque views are in abundance. A highlight of the area is one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, most commonly taken from Kandy, deep into the tea country. Winding roads are scattered with kerbside stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables from villager’s gardens. Naturally tea is available in abundance from one of the many cafes, tea centres and tea factories in the region. For the active the Kitulgala region provides the opportunity to go mountain biking, canoeing and whitewater rafting while climbing Adams Peak is best attempted at night to be rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world. Horton Plains National Park, best explored by foot or jeep, rewards visitors with “World’s End”, where the plateau comes to an abrupt end and drops nearly 1000m, one of the most dramatic views in Sri Lanka.

Cultural Triangle

Encompassing the historical settlements of Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka’s capital from 4C BC to 11C), Polonnaruwa (the country’s royal medieval capital from 11C – 13C), Sigiriya and Dambulla, all boasting impressive archaeological ruins, protected as World Heritage Sites, the Cultural Triangle delivers a taste of the Sri Lanka’s ancient history. Here visitors witness the remarkably advanced civilisations that Sri Lanka’s kings developed, based on agriculture, Buddhism and the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda. The ruins of Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa are worth exploring by bicycle while climbing the steps of Dambulla Cave Temples and to a greater extent, the giant rock fortress of Sigirya, could not be more rewarding. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the elephants in Minneriya, while local village life is waiting to be explored via peaceful minor roads alongside lakes and working paddyfields.

East Coast

Only relatively recently reintroduced to tourism, the pretty East Coast of Sri Lanka boasts sun-kissed beaches and colourful marine life, world-renowned surfing beaches, tranquil lagoons and waterways, national parks and a vivacious multi-ethnic social heritage. With opportunities for whale and dolphin watching, snorkelling, scuba diving and catamaran sailing, not to mention surfing in one of the 10 best surf spots in the world, Arugam Bay, wildlife watching and historical forts and Buddhist temples to discover, the East Coast has more to offer than most imagine.

Where to stay

These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.

Ceylon Tea Trails

The world’s first tea bungalow resort, perched at an altitude of 1250 metres in Sri Lanka’s panoramic Ceylon tea region, bordering the World Heritage Central Highlands.

take me to Ceylon Tea Trails

Kahanda Kanda

Kahanda Kanda is one of Sri Lanka’s best kept secrets and a gem of a find to those lucky few who discover it. A genuine boutique hotel offering stylish luxury, exquisite service and spectacular cuisine.

take me to Kahanda Kanda

Kumu Beach

Kumu Beach is a charming boutique hotel on Sri Lanka’s south-west coast occupying an elevated, elongated strip of land overlooking boulder-scattered Balapitiya Beach.

take me to Kumu Beach

Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris

Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris is a fully-flourishing, award-winning camping experience in multiple national parks, offering it’s visitors from all over the world customised accommodation, alfresco starlit wining and dining and professionally led expeditions into the heart of the Sri Lankan wilderness.

take me to Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris

Sisindu C

Newly constructed and superbly equipped, Sisindu C is a flexible, stylish, relaxed and beautiful villa situated on the picturesque coast, 10 kms from Galle.

take me to Sisindu C

The Kandy House

The Kandy House is a unique ancestral manor house providing seclusion and serenity for its guests in a lush, tropical garden setting close to Kandy.

take me to The Kandy House

Ulagalla

Once the ancestral estate of local Anuradhapura nobility, this luxury hotel in Sri Lanka features a 150-year-old mansion at its centre, with 20 private ecologically-built chalets across 58 acres of land.

take me to Ulagalla

Get in touch with us now to start planning your journey

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