Sri Lanka is an island nation surrounded by the gleaming expanse of the Indian Ocean, its maritime borders nestling against those of the Maldives and India. Despite the immense popularity of these neighbours as holiday destinations, Sri Lanka itself has often been overlooked – but when you pay a visit, it’s very difficult to see why, as there is so much to commend the island to tourists. From its verdant tea plantations to its snow-white beaches, incredible World Heritage Sites – and, of course, the friendly and hospitable locals – Sri Lanka is blessed with many wonders, both natural and cultural.
In terms of accommodation there is a wide variety to choose from on the island, ranging from 2 star getaways to luxurious 5 star resorts. As a result prices can vary from as little as £8 a night to £150, so where you stay all depends on your holiday budget.
Finding things to see and do on the island is even easier, as Sri Lanka is home to national parks, stunning colonial tea plantations, those aforementioned powder-soft beaches and ancient cities guaranteed to take your breath away. Want to experience the island’s wildlife? There are a number of destinations to choose from, ranging from Pigeon Island National Park – a popular snorkelling and scuba diving spot – to Sinharaja Forest Reserve, home to leopard, barking deer, wild boar, porcupines and civets, to name a few, as well as numerous species of bird (and several venomous snakes).
After wildlife-watching and jungle adventures it’s time to head to the beaches. Make your way to Tangalla which offers easy access to the island’s breath-taking south-eastern coastline and beaches such as Medaketiya and the secluded Rekawa, or spend a lazy day on the golden crescent of Mirissa Beach sipping a fresh coconut and enjoying a tasty meal in a beachfront café.
During your stay in Sri Lanka it is highly recommended that you visit some of its World Heritage Sites, each one guaranteed to enchant or astound. Visit the ancient Anuradhapura Ruins, with its weathered temples (some of which are still functioning), lofty towers and centuries-old pools; climb up to the mysterious remnants of an ancient city still standing on the rocky outcrop of Sigirya; and explore the exotic town of Galle with its thriving cultural scene, stately colonial architecture and 17th century Fort.
What is the currency in Sri Lanka?
The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee.
How long does it take to fly to Sri Lanka?
A British Airways flight from London Gatwick to Colombo (via Malé) is approximately 12 hours 35 minutes in duration.
What is the time difference in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is GMT + 05.30
When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is affected by two separate monsoons so when you go depends upon where on the island you have opted to visit. The hill country and west and south-western coasts are particularly wet between the months of April and June, while the east coast is wet from November to March. As a result of these two weather systems the ideal time to visit the west and south of the island is from December to March and the recommended time to visit the east is between April or May through to September.
What language is spoken in Sri Lanka?
The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil.