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…
Galle Fort Hotel
Galle, Sri Lanka
Best for: Culture History, Imagine Favourites, Luxury
Located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle Fort, this recently renovated boutique hotel exudes colonial charm. Beautiful furnishings, friendly staff and oodles of heritage monuments nearby make it a perfect destination for anyone.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
This charming boutique hotel oozes charm as every suite and room holds a unique character, with no two being the same. Relish the luscious surroundings in the Garden Room or enjoy the two story luxury of the Loft Suite, complete with an antique four-poster bed for an elegant touch. Gawp at the precious Porcelain Suite and venture into the private dressing room, or delve into the rich cultural history of the Admiral Cheng Ho Suite, which incorporates the seven voyages of the Treasure Fleet across the Indian Ocean, into the décor. Spread out in the spacious Library Suite or treat yourself with the Grand Apartment for an opulent stay, complete with a private dining room and centred round a striking bedroom which features beautifully ornate furniture.
Famed for the abundance of fresh seafood and luscious fruit from the surrounding area, Galle is a world-class culinary delight. At the Galle Fort Hotel this is no different, tantalisingly good food is served daily and mirrors the famed Spice Route. When merchants travelled from Europe across the East to Asia in search of spices, it meshed a fusion of influences from across the globe, the kitchens at this charming resort incorporate this into their meals and create mesmerising dishes, you’ll want to enjoy again and again.
Venture out into the 17th century Dutch colonial fort and be transported back in time. Explore the important heritage monuments nearby, including the Dutch Reformed Church, the Meera Mosque, the Clock Tower and the Galle Lighthouse. For those interested in the naval affluence of Sri Lanka, take a trip to the National Maritime Museum and uncover the lost secrets of the colonial era.
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.
Culinary Tour of Galle
Learn the secret of Fort food on this great culinary tour. Gain knowledge of Sri Lankan street food whilst meeting several local characters along the way to bring the tour alive. Did you know that cinnamon helps improve your memory?
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.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Kotugoda, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe National Park, Yala National Park, Tangalle, Galle
Sri Lanka's diverse landscapes and climate has resulted in a country rich in wildlife and extraordinary national parks. This alluring and exciting itinerary makes the most of the national parks and biospheres but also gets you more off the beaten track.