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…
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Best for: Hideaway, Luxury, Spectacular scenery
Villa Rosa is a charming and truly unique boutique hotel on the edge of Kandy that's surrounded by lushly forested hills and The Mahaweli River. It's perfect for families or couples wanting a peaceful retreat away from the city.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Homely and characterful, Villa Rosa is a simple but incredibly comfortable boutique hotel on the edge of Kandy. Owner run, it is a perfect option and base for exploring Kandy as it's just a 15 minute journey into town. Once you have returned from a day exploring enjoy the beautiful gardens to constitute the rest of this tranquil haven. It really is the best of both worlds at this stunning property.
With four types of room to choose from, single room for the solo travellers, deluxe double room with either a river or a green view from a private balcony, a honeymoon suite with its own secluded roof top garden, and a family suite with two bedrooms and a choice of one or two bathrooms for families, this boutique hotel caters for all parties. Breath taking views provide the perfect backdrop for relaxing on your balcony or in your personal garden.
Authentic food is the highlight of Villa Rosa, with a choice of six curries for dinner, followed by locally sourced fresh fruit, with Western alternatives available if you fancy something different, the chefs here will tailor meals to your needs and invite you to cook with them and even accompany them to the market if you wish to discover a previously unseen side of local life. Snacks are available throughout the day, and lunches are available upon request for those on excursions.
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
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.
Dambulla Rock Cave Temple
The rich history of the huge rock temples involves Indian invaders being driven away through the strength of meditation in the first century BC. Its just as exciting today as you are guided through five intricately carved caves past giant stone statues.
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, Kandy, Ella, Yala, Galle, Bentota
A diverse and good value itinerary combining cultural highlights, boutique properties and wildlife. Perfect for those wishing to experience the highlights of Sri Lanka with a private guide, whilst staying in simple but very stylish boutique accommodation.
Colombo, Kotugoda, Pallepolla, Kandy, Gal Oya National Park, Passikudah, Sigiriya
Without compromising on comfort get off-the-beaten track and experience the unseen side of Sri Lanka. Secluded accommodation, ancient cities, incredible wildlife and pristine beaches allow for a completely unique experience.