Sri Lanka holidays encompass everything from exploring the fascinating wildlife that roams its forest reserves to relaxing on pristine beaches along the island’s coast.
Immerse yourself in the country's heritage with a trip to Colombo. Learn about Sri Lanka's colonial years under British rule, along with its ancient past at Buddhist temples, monuments and ruins.
The country's incredibly diverse landscape has everything you could desire from a tropical getaway.
Relax in the sunshine or surf at one of the gorgeous beaches edging the island. From Hikkaduwa to Tangalle Beach, you can carve out your own personal paradise.
The central highlands are the perfect spot for spectacular trekking routes, as well as sampling a cup of Ceylon tea from the famous tea plantations.
From action-packed jungle hikes to calm coastal retreats, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the sights and activities available with Sri Lanka holiday packages.
No holiday to Sri Lanka is complete without trying the island’s popular beverage fresh from the source.
Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth-largest tea producer, home to a huge variety of tea plantations for you to explore. Visit Dickoya along the tea estate trails close to the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary – established in 1870.
The Golden Valley of Ceylon is full of tea estates set amid stunning natural beauty. Rather than head out to the valleys, you can always visit the Bogawantalawa Tea Estates showroom in Colombo.
Travel back in time to the UNESCO world heritage site of Kandy. The last capital from the era of ancient kings in Sri Lanka, it’s home to many revered relics and historical museums.
See the holy relic of the tooth of the Buddha, within the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. Join in the festivities in August when the Esala Perahera takes place – a procession of more than 50 elephants, dancers and drummers.
Then admire the beautiful murals in the Degal Doruwa Raja Maha Vihara cave temple, along with the reclining Buddha statue.
Take a trip to Horagolla National Park – located around 25 miles (40 kilometres) from Colombo.
Walk among the many trails throughout this evergreen forest, admiring the varieties of tree, plant and grass species that make up the luscious landscape.
The national park attracts a wide range of wildlife, including mouse deer, the fishing cat and giant squirrel.
Spot as many as you can, along with the array of exotic birds that populate the area.
If you feel like a challenge, consider climbing Sri Pada, or Adam’s Peak, in central Sri Lanka.
Standing 7,359 feet (2,243 metres) tall, the mountain is a natural landmark that's of religious significance for the country's Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians alike.
Begin the journey at night to reach the summit for sunrise, where you’ll be greeted by incredible views out across the island.
The climb itself is a mixture of incline trekking and remnants of stone steps, and it can take between two and four hours to reach the top.
Take your loved one to Dalawella Beach for an evening to remember as you watch the sunset burst in colours of tangerine and lavender.
Stroll along the soft sands, stopping only for a ride on the infamous palm tree rope swing that sways out over the shallow waves.
Enjoy a romantic dinner for two at one of the beachfront restaurants, sampling fresh seafood and authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. Finish the evening with some tropical refreshments and enjoy the stunning ocean views.
Built in 1909, Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque is a mesmerising mosque unlike any other building in Colombo.
Constructed entirely from red and white bricks, it was once a landmark for sailors approaching the city’s port.
Marvel at the candy-cane coloured minarets standing tall over the city. The twisting and turning patterns are almost hypnotic in their beauty.
Visitors are welcome, so venture inside for a guided tour of the mosque. Remember to dress modestly, covering your head, shoulders and knees.
Visit Pettah Market in Colombo for a shopping experience you’ll never forget.
The largest of its kind in the capital, the stalls at Pettah sell everything from fresh produce to handmade trinkets.
The best way to experience the market is by losing yourself in the lanes. Go with the ebb and flow of the crowd and see where you end up.
Pick out gifts from stalls offering an array of knick-knacks and truly immerse yourself by haggling like a local.
Retreat to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka and enjoy the serenity of this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site.
Rolling hills, lush plains and rugged mountain ranges stretch out as far as the eye can see.
It’s the perfect place for active Sri Lanka holidays – surrounded by hiking trails and natural beauty. Stay in Haputale for the Diyaluma Falls and unforgettable views of mist-topped mountains.
Sample the buzz of Sri Lanka’s capital city – vibrant Colombo has something for everyone.
The luxurious five-star Shangri-La Hotel is a good base for exploring, while also being close to the coast and Galle Face Beach. Make a splash in the pool or relax in the fantastic spa.
A great activity during a family holiday in Sri Lanka is to take the short and picturesque train ride south to Mount Lavinia Beach, where you'll find more fun in the sun and sea.
Head to Galle and grab a prime spot on one of its many sandy beaches. Enjoy a luxury holiday in Sri Lanka as you unwind on Akurala Beach, one of Galle’s quietest spots.
Take a dip in the sea, the gentle waves creating ideal swimming conditions.
If you’re feeling adventurous, choose Jungle Beach. Hike through rainforest to reach the shore and snorkel through the crystal-clear waters.
Key public holidays in Sri Lanka include Eid, Milad-Un-Nabi, Tamil Thai Pongol Day and the 12 Full Moon Poya Days throughout the year.
Sinhala is the main language spoken in Sri Lanka. Tamil is also widely spoken, with English also used and understood in many places.
The local currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee. Banks and exchange bureaux change major currencies and there are plenty of ATMs.
For long distance journeys, take the train, bus or hire a car. For travelling around towns and cities in Sri Lanka you can use taxis, the public buses or tuk tuks.
Sri Lanka’s cuisine is truly unique. It mostly uses a blend of south Indian, Dutch and Indonesian ingredients, each dish providing an explosion of flavours.
Try the signature ambul thiyal, an aromatic fish-based curry. Hot and sour in taste, the dish is enjoyed all over the country and is especially popular in coastal locations.
Sample lamprais, dervied from the Dutch word 'lomprijst' or 'packet of food'. Lamprais is curry, vegetables and rice wrapped up in a banana leaf and served hot out of the oven.
Finish your meal with something sweet like aluwa – a traditional Sri Lankan treat made from rice flour or potato and sweetened with treacle.
Buddhism is Sri Lanka’s main faith and the religion influences traditions and customs all over the country.
Meal times are an important part of the day. You may notice you have to wait a while before your food is served, as people like to socialise before they eat.
Sri Lankans usually eat with their fingers and use rice or bread to scoop up food. Ensure you always use your right hand when eating.
As a large island, Sri Lanka is renowned for its spectacular shorelines. Families and thrill-seekers alike will love the west coast and Bentota Beach in particular.
The waters here are ideal for sailing, wind surfing and jet skiing, while sailing down the Bentota River is another great experience. Look out for exotic birds and wildlife in the lush mangroves.
For snorkelling and scuba diving adventures, visit Negombo Beach. If you just want to relax, stroll along the vast sands and laze in the shadows of the palm trees that line this famous beach.
Head to the United Arab Emirates an the dazzling capital city of Abu Dhabi. Marvel at the ultra-modern skyline and relax on pristine beaches.
Abu Dhabi Holidays
Watch magical sunsets from Lombok, surf in Bali, meet monkeys in Ubud or discover ancient temples in Java – every destination in Indonesia is truly special.
Discover Thailand’s vibrant cities such as Bangkok or experience island paradise in stunning Phuket where soft, sun-kissed beaches await.
Cross the Palk Strait and discover diverse and vibrant India. Sample north Indian cuisine and stroll along gorgeous beaches in Goa.