We've put together a guidebook with everything you need to know about Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Written by our specialists, it details destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send you a link by email which will allow you to download your own copy.
Some of the wildlife that can be spotted on a Sri Lanka holiday...
The teardrop island is particularly proud of its natural bounty, and rightly so. For thousands of years, vast swathes of land have been protected by Sri Lankan royalty, preserved as sanctuaries for nature to thrive and even today, countless areas of protected land exist on the island. Despite its small size, its diverse landscapes, contrasting seasons, unique climate and incredible biodiversity confirm it as an exceptional place for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy year round.
Whether you’re a culture vulture keen to explore the impressive temples and UNESCO sites of the Cultural Triangle, a wildlife fanatic who hopes to spot the elusive leopard in Yala National Park, or a fervent foodie whose mouth waters at the tantalizing aromas of cardamom and coriander, here's our pick of the top Sri Lankan experiences that are not to be missed...
Here’s a guide to our favourite local street-food delicacies to sample during your stay…
Mirissa is the gateway to Dondra Point. This is one of the best spots to witness the whale migrations in Sri Lanka from the Bay of Bengal - Sri Lanka’s southern sea is calm offering up the perfect conditions.
On a recent trip to Sri Lanka, Ellis was bowled over by this unique and calm country which is worlds apart from nearby India. From the fascinating culture of the north, to the scenic rolling hills of Tea Country and the beautiful golden beaches on the coast, there is no end to the country's beauty.
In Sri Lanka, festivals are an integral part of life and culture; with a population composed of many races and religions and given its long, ancient history – they are never short of celebrations. Here are a few of the significant festivals:
Tea is part of Sri Lanka’s unique cultural heritage and some of the world’s finest teas are produced here. Due to Sri Lanka’s diverse climate each tea variety is uniquely different. The country is particularly famous for Ceylon tea, recognised over the world for its high quality and distinct aroma (crisp and citrus).
The best of Sri Lanka and The Maldives in this luxurious journey that takes in Sri Lanka's ancient cities and tea plantations before flying off to one of the finest islands in The Maldives. It combines culture with some of the world's finest beaches.
Spotting the Big Five in Africa is often hailed as the holy grail of wildlife holidays, but plenty of other places around the world offer animal sightings impressive enough to rival Africa's, and Sri Lanka is certainly one of them. Here, we introduce you to Sri Lanka's own Big Five and give you all the information you need to go in search of these wild beasts...
Here’s a guide to our favourite things to do in Galle…
Apa Villa Thalpe
Thalpe (near Galle), Sri Lanka
Best for: Beach, Culture History, Honeymoon
Apa Villa is a refined seven-suite boutique hotel set on an idyllic stretch of beach in the coastal village of Thalpe just south of historic Galle on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, and makes a wonderfully relaxing beach retreat for both families and couples.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Apa Villa has seven suites housed in three separate villas built in typical southern Sri Lankan style, with columns, verandas, courtyards and open spaces to enjoy the delectable ocean breeze. Minimalist interiors styled with timber, steel, and glass blended furniture, cement based beds and recliners, and cooling cement floors ooze class. Charming touches such as daily fresh flowers, and the warmth of the staff, create an environment that is wonderful for both couples and families.
Endless hours can be spent in the veranda that skirts around each villa, which opens out to a garden strewn with swaying coconut trees. An infinity pool that blends seamlessly with the Indian Ocean is located here, and an adjacent wooden deck provides astonishing views of the setting sun. At dusk, the terrace transforms into a cocktail bar for guests to enjoy an exotic beverage.
The hotel is renowned for its superb cuisine. Breakfast is served on your own private veranda, while local cuisine is served for dinner and includes specialties such as curries, fresh lobster and prawns, with fruit and vegetables harvested from their estate at Illuketia, where a sister villa is located. Other facilities include Wi-Fi internet, satellite TV, a baby sitter and an on-call masseur that can be arranged with prior notice. The hotel staff are attentive and friendly, and nothing is too much trouble to make sure guests have a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
Although swimming is not recommended on the beachfront due to undercurrents, safe swimming is possible just a five minute walk away. For keen surfers and watersports lovers, the nearby beaches of Unawatuna and Mirissa are ideal. In addition, sailing, fishing, boat trips, sea kayaking, snorkelling, and whale and dolphin spotting excursions are all available in season, while the urban delights of Galle and rural charms of Koggala Lake are a short tuk-tuk ride away.
When to go
Sri Lanka is considered a sunny year round destination; there is always somewhere experiencing good weather on the island. However, there are huge regional differences. The Southwest ‘Yala’ Monsoons brings rain to the west and southwest coast, as well as the hill country, from April/May to September. During this time the north and east coasts are good. The northeast ‘Mahe’ monsoon is less extreme and brings rain to the east and north during October and November. This monsoon can bring a bit of rain to the south as well. Put simply; head to the south, central, hill country and western areas between December and March and ideally head to the north and eastern areas between April and September. We can never guarantee good weather but believe this is a good guide to follow.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Galle Cycling Tour - The Paddy Trail (12km)
Heading out of Galle, explore village life by bike in this charming experience. The 12km paddy trail is a great opportunity to see inland Sri Lanka and Koggala Lake.
Galle Fort Walking Tour
Walk along the ramparts and through the ancient streets of Galle Fort, founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Galle is rich with merchant history and colonial charm.
Whale Watching from Mirissa
Explore the waters off Sri Lanka’s south coast from Mirissa fishing harbour. Enjoy 4 hours watching whales, spotting blue whales and spinner dolphin. The best spotting is between December and April.
Galle Cycling Tour - The Paddy Trail (30km)
Head out of Galle and discover village life by bicycle. The 30km paddy trail is a fantastic opportunity to see some of inland Sri Lanka and Koggala Lake. This is an ideal experience for those who consider themselves fit.