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…
Sri Lanka West Coast, Sri Lanka
Best for: Beach, Culture History, Honeymoon
Spend your days at the seaside Saman Villas, and let all your cares slip away amidst the perfect combination of nature and luxury. Blessed with unique tropical beauty and absolute tranquillity, you may never find a reason to leave.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Saman has 26 suites and a duplex villa, each designed to incorporate both chic sophistication and authentic Sri Lankan style. The open tropical design of the rooms welcomes the delightful views of the azure Indian Ocean and the palm lined shores right onto your doorstep. From the superior suites offering stunning ocean views from the secluded balcony, to the seductively peaceful signature Saman Villa suite complete with a private pool and garden offering ultimate privacy, each room offers pure peace and tranquillity, to give each guest that home away from home feeling.
At Saman Villas, each meal is an unforgettable experience as the hotel offers an extensive a la carte menu featuring a number of Sri Lanka’s signature dishes, international cuisine and the catch of the day. There is a selection of intimate dining options across the resort that peer out to some of the best views from the property. After dinner, stroll over to the Pool Bar where the bartenders will concoct the island’s speciality beverages.
The idyllic hotel location means there is a plethora of activities within a 10-15km range. Visit Bentota, a village that captures the heart and soul of island living, home to fisherman and friendly locals, and an age-old cinnamon trade that is still in action. A number of cycle tracks and walking trails criss-cross the landscape and take you across picturesque paddy fields, past Dutch colonial houses and the Katukoliha temple, over a century old. Bentota also offers an array of watersports such as water skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. Take a visit to the Turtle Conservation Project in Kosgoda to watch turtles in their natural habitat. And of course there is always time to relax by the pool or indulge in a treatment at the hotel’s Sahana Spa.
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.
Kalpitiya Dolphin Watching
Kalpitiya is one of the best spots for dolphin watching in Sri Lanka and here you can witness large pods of dolphins in their natural habitat. Various dolphins can be found near to the coast, so head out with your experienced guide to see them.
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.