Known as ‘the pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is a wonderfully picturesque destination full of diversity and offering something for every visitor. The country is home to a remarkably friendly population, made up of a diverse mix of religions and ethnicities. Sri Lanka’s terrain is also varied: a combination of sandy beaches, bustling cityscape, sprawling mountains, lush forests, historic sites and bright turquoise waters make this a unique destination that can be explored in countless ways.
Wildlife holidays to Sri Lanka are richly rewarding, and despite its small size this island is a biodiversity hotspot. Visitors can spot a huge variety of animals, including whales, crocodiles, leopards, lions, monkeys, bears, elephants and a huge variety of birdlife.
Sri Lanka’s capital is a bustling, cosmopolitan city that is constantly moving. A mix of sparkling high-rises, manicured gardens and charming traditional buildings make up the city’s neighbourhoods, many of which are shaded by tree-lined avenues. A growing selection of international restaurants and cafés abound around the city, while endless cultural landmarks and charming marketplaces make this entry-point to Sri Lanka a fascinating destination in its own right.
One of Sri Lanka’s largest parks, Wilpattu is also one of the least visited, guaranteeing an authentic and peaceful safari experience for visitors here. The park is a spectacular setting, and is home to a diverse collection of wildlife – elephants, buffalo, sloth bears, deer and a variety of birdlife can be spotted here, and lucky safari explorers may even spot some of the park’s resident leopards.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world. The ruins of the ancient city are a fantastic sight, and house sacred buildings and monuments. An unmissable sight in Anuradhapura is the Sri Maha Bodhi tree, the oldest historically-authenticated tree in the world. Nearby, find Wilpattu National Park, a beautiful setting for some of Sri Lanka’s most fascinating safaris.
Often referred to by locals as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’, Sigirya is an iconic image of Sri Lanka and is a ‘must-see’ on any holiday to the island. The gigantic rock fortress is an imposing sight, and the summit and its secrets can only be reached by a fairly demanding climb. It’s well worth it though – at the top a spectacular view awaits. The rock is an important historical site in Sri Lanka, and ancient frescoes and artwork can still be sighted here. Sigiriya’s ancient gardens are another important feature, and are well worth exploring.