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…
Koggala (near Galle), Sri Lanka
Best for: Honeymoon, Beach, Culture History
Kahanda Kanda is a blissfully indulgent ten-suite boutique hotel set on a lush tea estate with breath-taking lake views. It makes for a romantic and luxurious escape with delightfully easy access to the beach and historic Galle.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Kahanda Kanda is the joint creation of a leading English interior designer and Australian architect. Accommodation is offered in nine extremely spacious suites housed in terraced stand-alone pavilions, whose interiors are an engaging mix of Sri Lankan contemporary furniture and antique oriental accents. All of them open out to sweeping views of the gardens, tea estate or Koggala Lake below, and feature canopied king-size four-poster beds and en-suite bathrooms.
Kahanda Kanda’s open sided sitting pavilion, with its bar area, library and cushioned window seats is ideal for relaxing with a good book or a glass of wine, and is situated amongst peaceful lotus filled ponds. A floating stepping-stone path provides access to the dining pavilion where sumptuous fusion cuisine, traditional Sri Lankan rice and curries, Thai and Western dishes are served. Fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown on the estate whilst seafood and meats are purchased daily from town. A gorgeous 20-metre infinity pool offers idyllic views of the tea estate and Koggala Lake.
Yoga is offered once a week, and ayurvedic massages can be arranged with prior notice. Take a boat ride on Koggala Lake, scattered with islands such as Fish Eagle Island where hundreds of eagles come to nest at dusk, and Cinnamon Island where local village families process cinnamon into essential oils.
The nearby tea factory is another must-see, while Galle’s historic 17th century Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just 15 minutes away, whereyou can happily spend an afternoon exploring the maze of narrow streets lined with Dutch and British period buildings that house art galleries, antique shops, cafes and restaurants. Swimming, surfing and snorkelling are also possible in nearby Unawatuna and Mirissa. Please note that children under 12 are discouraged mainly to protect the hotel's restful tropical ambience.
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
Kahanda Kanda and KK Beach, Sri Lanka - 30% discount
Benefit from 30% discount as well as complimentary spa treatments and private dinner when you stay at Kahanda Kanda or KK Beach, Sri Lanka. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Please speak to one of our specialists for more information.
*All offers are subject to availability and terms and conditions. Please contact our team for more information.
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.