This tiny island nation just below India is best known for its postcard-perfect tropical beaches, but there’s so much more to do here than just relax on the sand. On our Epic Sri Lanka tour you can scale Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, a 600ft rock fortress home to the ruins of an ancient city. Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s a must-see spot on your trip. Don’t miss the colourful frescoes painted onto its sides as you take the steep staircases up, and the inscriptions on the walls from other visitors. Another stop on the tour takes you to colourful Kandy, packed with markets, museums, and holy sites, like the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of Buddhism's most important monuments. Got green fingers? Make time for the Technicolour Peradeniya Botanic Gardens and you might spot monkeys leaping through the trees. Plus, see flower-lined balconies during your visit to the city of Galle. If nature is your thing, opt for this 12-day tour to climb the Mihintale mountain, the spot where Buddhism was said to introduced to Sri Lanka. You’ll also visit the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, a city swallowed by the jungle after it was deserted. And, no tour of Sri Lanka is complete without seeing elephants in the wild – after watching them from your jeep in Udawalawe National Park, you’ll visit the Elephant Transit Home, where orphaned babies are raised.
If you’d rather combine seeing Sri Lanka’s highlights with a beach break, Discover Sri Lanka shows off the country’s best bits in just seven days. That means you can spend an extra week or two relaxing before heading home. On this tour, you’ll cross off Sigiriya Rock and the nearby Polonnaruwa with a guide, watch traditional Sri Lankan dancing and sample local food in Kandy, plus visit Minneriya National Park in search of elephants. Plus, soak in local culture in Dambulla, with brightly-coloured temples covered in murals and Buddhist statues. Feeling thirsty? Both of our Sri Lanka tours take you into the Nuwara Eliya region, passing tea plantations to reach the Ceylon Tea Factory. Pick your own leaves while you’re there, and relax with a calming cup of Sri Lankan tea. And, when the tour is finished, we’ll take you to the coast.
Sri Lanka really delivers on beach breaks. Whether you prefer sandy spots with plenty of activities to keep you busy, or quiet retreats with only the sound of the Indian Ocean’s waves lapping on the shore as your soundtrack, you're guaranteed to find it here. And, you won’t miss out on the local culture – keep an eye out for fisherman balancing on stilts out in the water. If the long stretches of sand aren’t enough to tempt you, Sri Lanka has loads of opportunities for watersports, including kayaking and paddle boarding. Surfing is popular here, too, so why not slip into a wetsuit and give it a go? Head to Hikkaduwa for nightlife, or Waikkal to escape the crowds. And, we offer excursions on all of our Sri Lankan breaks – so you can visit national parks and explore cities on the days you do feel like leaving the beach behind.
Right on Ahungalla beach, the Riu Sri Lanka has been built in a U-shape, meaning the hotel has fantastic vistas of the long stretch of sand and the Indian Ocean.
The stunning Heritance Ahungalla makes the most of Sri Lanka’s beauty with grounds full of palm trees, natural native shrubs and views overlooking the beach.
The Surf Hotel Bentota is a cool, contemporary beach hotel that’s low-rise, laid-back and perfectly located for getting acquainted with Sri Lanka’s famous surf.
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