Sri Lanka enjoys toasty temperatures all year round, but it’s not always rain-free. There are two monsoon seasons which affect different parts of the island. The south-west monsoon brings rain during the UK’s summer months, between May and September, so areas like Galle and Negombo are affected. The north-east monsoon, which – despite its name – affects most of the island, brings in wind and rain between October and January.
However, even in monsoon season, showers tend to be short. You’ll still enjoy warm weather and sunshine, so it’ll rarely affect your holiday. Plus, if the rain does bring in some cooler temperatures, it’s the perfect time to get out and explore Sri Lanka’s famous temples.
The best thing about the rain is that it keeps the landscape lush and green. So, the perfect time to visit botanic gardens and tea plantations, in hill country destinations like Nuwara Eliya, is right after monsoon season. From February to April, pay a visit to Sinharaja, Sri Lanka’s only rainforest, to discover flora, fauna and 147 species of birds and butterflies.
From east coast to west coast, Sri Lanka offers some stellar stretches of sand. If you’re after some much-needed beach time, booking an escape between January and April is your best bet. Temperatures hover around the mid-30s in April, the hottest, driest month of the year. Goldi Sands in Negombo, with its huge stretch of sand, is an ideal base for a beach holiday. And, the Surf Hotel Bentota is set right on Bentota beach and features two sea-facing swimming pools.
Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world for wildlife. So if you want to see elephants, leopards or even blue whales in their natural habitat, this country’s the place to be.
More than 6,000 elephants call Sri Lanka home, and they can be seen almost all year round in the country’s national parks. But elephant enthusiasts shouldn’t miss ‘The Gathering’ in Minneriya National Park. Watch hundreds of elephants migrate to the shores of a reservoir. If that sounds right up your street, make sure you book your holiday between May and November.
November and December are the best months to see leopard cubs in Yala National Park.And, you can see marine turtles laying their eggs on the coast in Bundala from October to January.
Finally, if you want to tick off seeing the world’s biggest animal – the blue whale – head to Trincomalee in the North near Sigiriya. These gentle giants can be glimpsed between June and October.
The Riu Sri Lanka boasts an excellent beachfront location, modern rooms and a fantastic dining scene.
Stay at Goldi Sands in Sri Lanka’s ‘Coconut Triangle’. This boutique-style hotel is set on a huge swathe of 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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