The combination of freshness, rolling tea fields, and golden beaches is evocative in Sri Lanka. Find out how this tropical paradise can be added to this year’s travel list…
Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise full of national parks, lively towns, and one of the best beaches in the country. Here are eight reasons why in 2020 you should go to. And if you want more rewards, read to the ground to see how your experience can become even more thrilling by flying center and journey…
- The Feeding
One thing is certain, you’re never going to go hungry in Sri Lanka. One of the most thrilling food scenes in the world is Colombo. Go to the beach for tasty, affordable street food like emo Vadai (lentil cakes topped with prawns). An insider tip: get early to Colombo’s huge fish market which opens at 4 am if you’re interested in finding out where all of that seafood comes from. However all of it isn’t about seafood: Sri Lanka has a fantastic vegetarian food scene — many of its favorite dishes are meat-free, including curries, roti, hoppers.
Would you like to learn more about Sri Lankan food? Visit Matale, a pretty town famous for its spice plantations in the Central Province. For an insight into pepper vines, clove trees, and cardamom plants, you can sign up for a guided tour. But try a cooking class with a Sinhalese family when you really want to learn your things.
- The Fauna
The wildlife of Sri Lanka is incredibly different. Let’s begin on the eastern coast. Trincomalee’s harbor town is not only famed for the Temple of Koneswaram, but also for its ridiculously sweet wild deer snuffling through its ruins. North of the Pigeon Island National Park is a popular snorkeling and water-scuba destination for reef-sharks as well as rays and turtles. We also recommend tours for whales or dolphins — the Eastern Coast, particularly between May and September, is popular for both.
Do you like dry soil? Leopards, sluggish bears, and elephants are part of Yala National Park. It’s particularly common with twitchers flocking here to see 215 species of birds, including six Sri Lankan birds. There is also Udawalawe National Park, with more wild elephant herds in Sri Lanka than anywhere else.
There is a stretch of sand for all, whether you’re after a deserted bay with waves or soft sand shaded curve. Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by stunning beaches. Mirissa’s big surf and sleepy golden beaches, with shuttle palms, are popular on the south coast. From October to May, whales on a boat trip offshore are almost guaranteed.
Uppuveli is one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful beaches, situated near Trincomalee to the north-east. Only a constant supply of fresh seafood is open to a few visitors. The eastern coast also includes Passikudah fishing village, a good base to discover the best beaches on the east coast. The portion of the coast is renowned for its shallow water, which can be seen by only wading off the beach.
Sri Lanka is a refuge for both scuba divers and snorkellers with its warm Indian currents and 1.600 kilometers of coastline. It has been at the junction of different shipping lanes for thousands of years and it has drawn wreck divers from all over the world. HMS Hermes near Batticaloa on the east coast is one of the most renowned wrecks. The first purpose-built aircraft carrier in the world was this WWII wreck.
Hikkaduwa is surrounded by coral reefs on the southern tip of Sri Lanka and is one of the most popular dive areas in the region, including Kirala Gala. On the eastern side of Trincomalee, before entering the National Park of Pigeon Island, you will discover the wreck of an 18th-century steam engine. The village of Passikudah is also to be found. The dazzling coral gardens and rainbow-hued fish shoals can be enjoyed by snorkellers and divers. This spot is perfect for beginners due to the thin, calm water, while experts like the abundance of deeper reefs.
- The House
There are some of the most majestic temples of the country on the eastern side, including the Koneswaram Temple in Trincomalee — a shrine overlooking the ocean. It’s in the central province that you’ll find the Sigiriya rock fortress mentioned by UNESCO – a tall stone surrounded by an ancient fortress’ ruins. Clamber to the top for breathtaking views of the environment. Anuradhapura and his holy old Bo Tree are the spiritual recollection of the roots of Buddhism in Sri Lanka for those who wished for a flash of Sri Lanka as it once was. Another magnificent example of historic Sri Lanka is the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.
Colombo is the capital with its colonial architecture, ancient churches, and vibrant temples, and one of the most beautiful examples is the hotel Galle Face. The Mosque Jami-Ul-Alfar, known for its checked red and white and candy cane-like pillars, is one of the most impressive buildings.
- The Tea
Until 1972, Sri Lanka, known as Ceylon, will never be far from a fix of caffeine. The city of Kandy is in the center of the island, with the most productive Tea Plantations in the world, and there is a Tea Museum, perhaps not surprisingly. Go north from Kandy to Dambulla District’s bristly, tea-covered hills which are home to several tea-plantation properties, including the Ceylon Tea Trails — the very first Relais & Chateaux hotel in Sri Lanka.
You can also take a picturesque six-hour train ride from Kandy to the town of Bandarawela, pass by waterfalls, the villages, and up the cool mountain mountains. You will look down from here over the sweeping view of luminous green tea and vegetable gardens.
Sri Lanka is also said to have more celebrations than any other country in the world—not shocking since it has four major religions and 25 holidays. One of the most impressive and significant is Vesak, which takes place every May and which honors the Buddhist founder, Gautama Buddha, with decorated cocoon oil lamps.
And then the Poson Festival is held in June, with its fire dancers and drummers. The festival celebrates Buddhism’s introduction to Sri Lanka in the third century BC. The Kataragama Festival is similarly colorful, which is held every year in the southern city of Kataragama both in July and August. Pilgrims from the major religions of the island are drawn, and dancers, musicians, fire-eaters, acrobats, and jugglers perform.
Sri Lanka is historical, from the time the country received its first king, the time of Anuradhapura (377 BC – 1017 AD), to the colonial era of its late 19th and early 20th centuries. The ruins, with their imposing temple walls and the Buddhist classic statues of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are worth a visit. You can take a bike and cycle between 1,000 years in Polonnaruwa, where the sleeping Buddha stands 14 meter high stone carvings above you.
In Galle, on the southern tip of the island, there is also the historic Dutch fort. This UNESCO World Patrimony dates back to the 16th century and is renowned for its colonial past in the Netherlands itself.