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Sri Lanka Travel Guide - Home - Travel Blog

Enjoy a luxurious holiday in lovely Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Sunset
Photo: Sri Lanka sunset CC BY-NC 2.0 Dilan Damith Prasanga I.G

The beautiful and tropical island country of Sri Lanka offers much in the way of great accommodation, beaches, wildlife safari adventures and history. The county has seen many changes in its past. In its more recent history, it has been occupied first by the Portuguese in the 16th century, then by the Dutch in the 17th century, who then ceded to Britain in 1796. Ceylon as it was known then became a crown colony in 1802. Back in 1948, the country gained its independence and changed its name in 1972 to Sri Lanka.

While the country has been a less popular Asian destination with most travelers, these days a luxury holiday in Sri Lanka is one of the best choices available. The following outlines some of the attractive features of Sri Lanka and why the island country is worth a visit.

Languages spoken in Sri Lanka

There are two main languages on the island, Sinhala and Tamil, but due to its colonial past, English is commonly used in the major cities of Sri Lanka, especially Kandy, Colombo and Galle. Residents of the beach resorts and the more touristy areas also speak fluent English. However, bear in mind that in the more rural areas, few people can speak more than a few simple words. 

Accommodation in Sri Lanka

There are many luxurious hotels available in Sri Lanka, including everything from small boutique hotels to major beach resorts. For those who prefer a more traditional feel, each town and city has a range of guest houses and home stays where Sri Lankan hospitality can be experienced at its most authentic.

Things to do in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has something available for every taste, including its lovely beaches, historic buildings and national parks. The following are some recommended activities on a Sri Lanka holiday.

1.  Sun, sea and sand on the beach in Sri Lanka

The island of Sri Lanka has many lovely beaches, the following being just a brief representation of what is on offer.
Unawatuna beach resort
Photo: Unawatuna CC by SA 3.0 IBcaldera

Located in southern Sri Lanka is the small beach resort village of Unawatuna. A pretty little town with an excellent beach, Unawatuna is located just 5 km south of Galle and offers several guest houses, home stays and hotels, as well as restaurants, those ever-handy internet cafes and tuk tuk stands for transport around the area. Unawatuna is worth a couple of daysí stay or even just a day trip for some fun in the sun.

Trincomalee, or just Trinco for short, is another beach resort up in north eastern Sri Lanka. The area is famous for some excellent beaches in close by Uppuveli and Nilaveli, just a few kilometres from the city itself and the lovely Coral Cove pictured below. For those who enjoy water sports, scuba diving and whale and dolphin watching are on offer in all beach resort areas.
Coral cove, Sri Lanka
Photo: Coral Cove CC BY 2.0 Indi Samarajiva

2. Wildlife safaris in a national park

For those who enjoy wildlife and heading off on safari, Yala National Park comes highly recommended. It is the most visited, and second largest, national park in Sri Lanka.

Located in the south east of the country, Yala National Park is well known for its conservation efforts with the endangered Sri Lankan elephants and aquatic birds.

Of interest to note, the western part of Yala has been said to have the highest leopard concentration in the world, although regrettably this concentration only consists of around 35 leopards, so the chance of spotting one is pretty slim. We've included a photo of one below.

In total the following major animals can be seen in the park - Sri Lankan sloth bear, leopard, elephant, wild water buffalo, toque macaque, golden palm civet, red slender loris and fishing cat, along with a multitude of birds and there is also beautiful and varied flora on view.

Sri Lanka elephant in Yala National Park
Photo: Sri Lanka Elephant in Yala National Park CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Danushka Senadheera
Leopard in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Photo: Leopard in Yala National Park CC BY-SA 2.0 Thimindu Goonatillake

3. Historic Visits in Sri Lanka

One of the best locations to learn more about the history of Sri Lanka is Anuradhapura, a city in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. Easily accessible from both Kandy and Colombo, Anuradhapura was first settled around 900 B.C. and offers many fascinating temples to visit and photograph, as well as an interesting archaeology museum and folk museum.
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Photo: Anuradhapura CC by SA Aitor Garcia Viñas

In conclusion, when planning a trip to Asia, consider Sri Lanka. This lovely island country has so much to offer.

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