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…
Best for: Culture History, Walking Trekking, Wildlife
Set high in the hills of an organic tea and spice plantation, beautiful Ellerton is a colonial bungalow and wonderfully inviting retreat for soaking up the charms of the Hill Country or exploring the fascinating cultural heritage of Kandy.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Ellerton is a lovely century-old boutique hotel located just 15 miles from Kandy. Refurbished by its friendly British owners, who have blended old world charm and modern touches, the property consists of six comfortable double bedrooms, all spacious and stylishly designed with en-suite bathrooms. The rooms are divided between the colonial-style Main House, the Valley House with its panoramic views of the Mawanella mountain range and the Garden Room with its views across the valley and mountains. The rooms have carefully selected antique furniture, modern amenities, and homely touches such as oriental rugs, photographs and murals.
A magnificent spring-fed infinity pool has views that on a clear day extend twenty miles through the valley. Meals are served in the open-sided pavilion next to the Valley House or in the dining room in the Main House. Sri Lankan rice and curries and western dishes are prepared by the in-house chef using local produce. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and local alcohol are served free-of-charge throughout the day. There are also croquet, table tennis, indoor games and bicycles for those wanting to explore the surrounding villages.
Ellerton is the perfect place to while away a few lazy days, but there is so much to explore locally with nearby tea plantations, waterfalls and the elephant orphanage at Pinnawela being the pick. History-steeped Kandy is only 45 minutes away and there is plenty to see and do here, including visiting the sacred Temple of the Tooth and Peradeniya's wonderful botanical gardens. Perhaps the best activity of all, though, is simply to enjoy the grounds of Ellerton and drink in the amazing views as you relax by the pool.
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
Millennium Elephant Foundation
Visit rescued and orphaned elephants at the Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF), established in August 1999 as a sanctuary of care, protection and medical services for elephants in Sri Lanka.
Dambulla Rock Cave Temple
The rich history of the huge rock temples involves Indian invaders being driven away through the strength of meditation in the first century BC. Its just as exciting today as you are guided through five intricately carved caves past giant stone statues.
Rosyth Estate - Cooking Class
During your stay at Rosyth, we highly recommend that you try your hand in the kitchen at their cooking class, whipping up some delicious dishes using local produce.
Visit a Tea Plantation
Spend the day exploring the local area and enjoying the stunning scenery. You may wish to visit a local tea estate, where you can see the tea pluckers at work and visit a tea factory so that you can learn all about the tea making process.
Trekking in the Knuckles Range
This is a must for trekking enthusiasts, who will love the striking landscapes and ever-changing fauna on this 4-5 hour trek from Illukkumbura to Riverston. Expect sweeping panoramas and waterfalls in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Colombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Tea Country
This captivating itinerary takes in the central heartland of Sri Lanka. From the ancient cities to the tea growing region and from Kandy to Colombo, this shorter itinerary is ideal for those limited on time.
Colombo, Kotugoda, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Yala, Galle
A classic and wonderful journey taking in colonial towns, wildlife and the tea country, a landscape that is quintessential to Sri Lanka and absolutely stunning. End with time on the beach to completely unwind before returning home.
Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Uda Walawe National Park, Tangalle
In this captivating itinerary, explore the very best of Sri Lanka's scenic south. Explore the luminous hill country, the serene southern coastline, spot wild elephants in Uda Walawe National Park and explore Kandy, Sri Lanka's historic city in the hills.