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…
Kegalle (near Kandy), Sri Lanka
Best for: Family, Imagine Favourites, Culture History
Built in 1926, The Estate House is an old colonial planter’s bungalow set in a 62 acre private working tea and rubber estate, The Estate House at Rosyth, offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of rural Sri Lanka.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Originally part of a 350 acre estate, the Estate House was built in 1926 and was completely refurbished in 2010. The boutique hotel has some of the most stunning views of the Sri Lankan countryside available and there is a lot do in the surrounding area. On the estate, guests can enjoy spotting wildlife, going for beautiful walks and cookery lessons. White water rafting, an elephant sanctuary and much more are available nearby and the historic town of Kandy is just under two hours away.
The local tea factory welcomes guests and is happy to explain the process. Hikes to the bottom of the nearby slopes through tea terraces and rubber fields can allow you to discover small waterfalls and local paddy fields. Rosyth is a small working estate and has undergone extensive replanting and improvement over recent years in order to rejuvenate the productivity. Tea is plucked and sold to the nearby tea factory, whilst latex is tapped, treated and sold to a local rubber factory.
Whilst the original design remains unchanged, the house today offers outstanding accommodation & facilities. With high ceilings, cool polished floors, wide verandas, elegantly furnished rooms with eclectic works of art, this is a perfect place to immerse yourself in estate life, unwind, rejuvenate and explore. There are four types of room at the Rosyth Estate, from deluxe rooms to the spectacular plantation suites.
Cuisine at Rosyth Estate is served as if you were staying in a traditional Sri Lankan home. The menu is filled with authentic food which is locally sourced and much is home grown. The menus consist of beautiful fish, vegetables and fruit, with local spices. Cooking lessons from the resident chef are fantastic and you can learn how to make Sri Lankan fusion food.
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
The Sigiriya Rock Fortress
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 'fortress in the sky' is one of Sri Lanka's most iconic landmarks. This 370-meter-high monument has 1,202 steps, a 5th century palace and 2 giant stone lion paws, as well as spectacular views.
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.
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
Kotugoda, Anamaduwa, Pallepolla, Passikudah, Gal Oya National Park, Kandy
Designed with teenage families in mind, this adventurous and active journey explores Sri Lanka's wilder side, perfect for energetic teens looking for something unique. With time on the stunning east coast, this trip is perfect during the summer holidays.