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…
Dickoya, Sri Lanka
Best for: Culture History, Food Drink, Honeymoon
Hidden deep within the heart of Sri Lanka's tea plantations, the Mandira Bungalows offer a charming sanctuary high up on the south central hills. The bungalows have sensational views over the lush plantations, cascading waterfalls and distant mountains.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
The luxury bungalows exude colonial charm and take you on a journey back to the early 19th century. The area has an abundance of activities venturing off the beaten track, peddle through the hills or embark on a scenic trek lead by a local naturalist.
Reside in the Strathdon Bungalow, a picturesque white bungalow, a striking site amongst the luscious greenery of the surrounding tea plantation. Colonial influence can be seen throughout the property, with antique wooden furnishings and clean, classy décor, this cosy bungalow is both elegant and homely providing a perfect spot to admire the view.
Dickoya Bungalow was built in the early 1900s and housed tea harvesters, now beautifully renovated and well-appointed, this tasteful property oozes charm. With four bedrooms, all styled in the typical colonial style, dining room, where meals are served throughout the day, and a living room, this spacious bungalow does not compromise comfort and is fully equipped with modern appliances.
An intriguing combination of Scottish influence, colonial style and Sri Lankan culture comprise the Craig Appin Bungalow. Situated in the centre of the tea plantation, it provides the perfect base to explore the landscape and discover the heritage of the area, reflected in the exquisite tapestries and intricate chandeliers.
The bungalows offer a traditional English breakfast and BBQ as well as authentic Sri Lankan meals, made with home grown ingredients and are served in the comfort of your own bungalow. For something more intimate, embrace the serenity of your surroundings with a picnic lunch out in the garden.
These elegant bungalows offer an authentic hideaway in one of the most scenic areas of Sri Lanka, where you can discover the true art of tea.
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
Visit Dowa Temple from Ella
Visit this rock temple, which is one of Sri Lanka’s many important heritage sites and houses an enormous 38 ft. granite Buddha.
Visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens
Established in 1861 for Cinchona cultivation in Sri Lanka, the botanical gardens at Hakgala sit at about 1,745 meters and are some of the finest on the island. Covering 28 hectares, the experimental gardens are well worth a visit.
Trekking in Horton Plains Nature Reserve
Situated above 2,000 meters above sea level, Horton Plains covers rivers, waterfalls, unique fauna, and numerous landscapes. This 9km trek takes around 3 hours, with highlights such as the famous Baker Falls and ocean views from World’s End escarpment.
Escorted Climb of Adam's Peak
This experience begins at 1am, heading out to one of the most stunning mountains in Asia for a summit sunrise. The 5,200 steps offer plenty of rest opportunities as your rise above the clouds.
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.
Trek to Ella Rock
A great experience for the adventurous, this 8km trek is a challenging climb that rewards with the most spectacular views across the hill country and plains below. The glorious scenery makes this 4-hour round trek well worth the effort.
Little Adams Peak and Ravana Ella Falls
Located just outside Ella, Little Adam’s Peak offers a short 30-minute climb to the 1,140-meter peak. Named after the more famous and arduous Adam’s Peak due to its close resemblance, this climb is on a small scale so a little easier.
Ella City Tour
Explore Ella with your chauffeur guide. Ella is blessed with some of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular views. On this tour you will visit Ella Gap, Ravana Ella Falls, Little Adam’s Peak, Ravana Cave and Bambaragala Park.
Adam's Peak Descent
Make your way down from Adam’s Peak in the morning at a leisurely pace. The descent is much quicker although not necessarily easier as you may be tired from walking through the night.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kandy, Hatton, Yala National Park, Galle
Embark on an epic journey through Sri Lanka taking in the far north and south as well as central Sri Lanka and the east coast. This trip is designed for those who want to experience all corners of the country and really get under the skin of the island.