The Ultimate Sri Lanka Holiday!
Our Sri Lanka Holiday bespoke service is handled by experienced cricket loving staff who have travelled to the island and in conjunction with our highly regarded local partners we will source whatever is right for you…… It is specifically to allow those of you who want to plan their own itinerary around the England Cricket Tour of Sri Lanka to do so. We will of course provide the best possible tickets to the matches of your choice and a few famous faces thrown in for good measure to complete your unique cricket tour.
Whether you are looking to add a feast of culture, explore the undiscovered areas in the north, add a wild life theme or a relaxing beach break, we can accommodate your desires with a bespoke Sri Lanka holiday. Small luxury hotels to intimate tea plantation houses to historic fort hotels and the opportunity to stay at the historic Galle Face hotel in Colombo are all your fingertips.
For more information on our guided Sri Lanka Cricket Tour with Matthew Hoggard, please click here.
Here are some suggestions we can offer in addition to those listed in our main packages:
- Beach breaks at Negombo or Bentota or at your suggestion.
- Cultural triangle Dambulla/Sigiriya/ Anuradhapura/ Polonnaruwa
- Central Sri Lanka: Kandy and the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya
- Northern Sri Lanka: Kalpitiya- Wilpattu National Park -Jaffna-Rathmalana
- Untamed South west of Hambantota and Yala National Park, Whale watching at Mirissa
- Elephant sanctuaries and national parks
- Scenic Train journeys
- Private car transportation or internal sea plane transfers
- UNESCO-listed sites island wide.
- Historic golf courses
General Info for your Sri Lanka Holiday
+5.5 Hours GMT
Visa required, passport valid for min 6 months from arrival date.
Highest Average: 29°
Lowest Average: 27°
Sri Lanka holiday – Cities to visit
From afternoon tea in a four-star hotel overlooking the mighty Indian Ocean to thrilling tuktuk rides, Colombo is a feast for the senses. This city was founded on land once crowded with cinnamon groves but is now dotted with high-rise blocks and skyscrapers. The port which attracted Portuguese traders still bustles and the streets teem with life. Here are a few clues to find Colombo’s most popular temples, trading places and temptations.[dt_gap height=”15″]
The Mosque and markets of Pettah
Pettah is famous for being one of Colombo’s liveliest districts. At its centre, the vibrant red, richly-decorated minarets of the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque have always been a colourful Colombo landmark.
Before skyscrapers crowded the skyline, sailors used the mosque’s towers as their guides to a safe port. Close by you’ll find Pettah Market, a true assault on the senses heaving with fragrant spices and local crafts. Love it or loathe it, the bazaar is unmissable.
Dehiwala Zoological Garden
Dehiwala is a fantastic fusion of flora and fauna. Set in 30 acres of landscaped gardens, the zoo hosts a collection of 3,000 animals with an emphasis on conservation, welfare and education.
As well as encountering rare and endangered species you can enjoy performances by elephants and sea lions. Floral highlights include patches of woodland and shady nooks with a delightful butterfly garden entwined with creepers and bubbling with streams.
A taste of Colombo Nightlife
The bright lights of Colombo city centre have taken on an extra lustre in recent years. A plethora of nightclubs and bars have sprung up to cater for tourists and a burgeoning middle class. So you can start your typical Colombo night out with a Kothu Rotti, the quintessential Sri Lankan snack. Then why not swing by the aptly-themed Cricket Club in Queens Road before taking a spin round the dance floor at Kama Colombo.
Colombo’s favourite Temple
The glittering Gangarama Vihara rests proudly on stilts on the edge of Beira Lake. It’s hard to believe that where this pristine palace sits now 120 years ago bubbled a swamp.
Colombo’s most famous sanctuary combines elements of many Asian traditions and is venerated by Sri Lanka’s Buddhists. A place of worship and a monastic school, the temple is festooned with giant statutes and colourful flourishes and is accompanied by a museum full of eclectic artefacts.
Relax at Mount Lavinia Beach
The beachfront at Mount Lavinia is a popular meeting place for locals, with families flocking to its golden sands at the weekends. As the sun sets they head for a string of seafood restaurants with appetising views. Legend has it that the area takes its name from Lovinia, a gypsy dancing girl once secretly romanced by a local Governor. Now the Indian Ocean dances on the shoreline in her honour.
There’s no place in Sri Lanka quite so cool as Kandy. In ancient times, Hindu Gods bestrode this central kingdom laying down fortresses and legends in the mountains. They were followed by the elite who moved here to escape the tropical heat of the plains. Then the colonial tea planters put down roots among the temperate hills to help quench the thirst of an empire. Now it’s your turn to experience the delights of Kandy.
The Temple of the Tooth
The Sri Dalada Maligawa on the shores of Kandy Lake is one of the most venerated temples for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It is home to a tooth of Buddha. The tooth’s journey is almost as remarkable as the relic itself. Legend has it that it was snatched from the Buddha’s funeral pyre and then hidden in the hair of a princess before travelling the country. Now it rests under a golden canopy amid the gleaming white splendour of the temple.
Tea-time through the centuries
No visit to Sri Lanka would be complete without dunking in to a little tea history. Kandy’s tea museum is a homage to the world’s favourite hot beverage. Set in the formerly abandoned 1920’s Hanthana Tea Factory and run by a team of enthusiastic volunteers it’s an infusion of exhibits from the life story of tea pioneer Thomas Lipton to some fascinating tea technology. And at the end of your tour there’s a free cuppa. Bliss.
Rising majestically, 200 metres above the verdant jungle, Sigiriya Rock is a formidable fortress, 50 miles from Kandy. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the home of the renegade fifth century King Kasyapa.
His dream was to build a ‘palace in the sky’ and so he set about landscaping gardens and ponds, ramparts and moats which exuded opulence. Climb the rock for spectacular views of his kingdom and an encounter with the frescoes of the tantalising Sigiriya maidens.
Dambulla Cave Temple
While Sigiriya rises above all other ancient Sri Lanka visitor sites, Dambulla Cave Temple proves that it also pays to delve deep. 40 miles north of Kandy lie caves containing a magical monastic temple of the 3rd Century BC. Set in five linked caverns, Dambulla contains an amazing array of frescoes, statues and relics associated with Buddha and the ancient Kings. By day a family of friendly monkeys welcome you to caves then as dusk falls swallows swoop in to nest.
The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
If Dumbo still tugs at your heart strings then a visit to Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage is a must! This sanctuary for abandoned elephants is a great day trip away from the city and cultural sites of Kandy.
At any one time you can see seventy elephants roam around the grounds. Feeding and bathing times are the best times to visit and you can take the scenic train route to Rambukkana before meandering the last mile or so on foot.
Gorgeous Galle is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular holiday destinations. Its proximity to the Indian Ocean, impressive architecture and historic streets make it unmissable. In recent years ex-pats and entrepreneurs have renovated Galle’s older houses and now you’ll find streets lined with cafes and bijou shops. But history still abounds. The Hindu God Hanuman is said to have dropped a small chunk of the Himalayas – the hill at Rumassala – here by accident, careless but highly impressive!
Visit Galle Fort
The UNESCO world heritage site Galle Fort has wall to wall visitor attraction written all over it. Built by the Dutch in the 1660’s its battlements then witnessed a British takeover before helping shelter survivors of the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004.
It provides a magnificent viewpoint over the Indian Ocean and into the old town. As dusk falls over Galle, end your day with a stroll around its magical ramparts in the company of canoodling couples and daredevil divers.
Wander Galle’s Colonial Streets
This magical city is a fascinating mixture of Portuguese, Dutch, British and Asian culture. And to experience its colonial past all you need to do is go for a wander. Highlights include the low-rise Dutch villas and mansions nestling under the massive stone and coral walls and the historic lighthouse. But you’ll also find quirky remnants of British and Portuguese rule sitting amicably alongside Mosques and minarets in the Muslim Quarter.
The Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church is an oasis of calm here in the teeming streets of Galle. Sri Lanka’s oldest Protestant house of worship was built in 1755 but a congregation had gathered here at least a century earlier.
Step inside and you’ll find life stories etched into the very fabric of the walls and floors. Beneath your feet are the gravestones of the early Dutch, while on the walls, tablets commemorate the fate of their conquerors, the British.
A tailor-made day at the beach
Less than half an hour from Galle, you’ll find a beach town designed to please. Hikkaduwa is popular with surfers and tourists, its sea and sand combining for an idyllic day trip from Galle. Devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunami its residents were given sewing machines to help piece their lives together again. Make your trip to Hikkaduwa more meaningful by picking up a hand-made shirt from a beachfront tailor.
The Turtles of Kosgoda
The Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project is a pioneering wildlife centre 30 minutes’ drive from Galle. Run by local people and international volunteers, its aim is to protect the area’s turtles from poaching by adopting a very hands-on, tourist-friendly approach. Take the turtle tour and you’ll learn all about the different types of turtles and their habitats before getting the chance to hold one. Shell out less than £5 for a very worthwhile cause.
Don’t Just Take Our Word For It, a Sri Lanka Holiday should be on your list..
A Sri Lanka holiday is generally very well recommended, by all the big travel recommendation and guide sites:
and of course the Sri Lanka Tourism Board (lots of useful travel tips included!)
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Last updated March 21st, 2018