On the southwest coast of Sri Lanka around 2 hours from Colombo, Galle is an historic city and a delight to explore on foot, an endlessly exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums. Wandering its rambling lanes you'll pass stylish cafes, quirky boutiques and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers. Must See : The Galle Fort, Turtle Hatcheries and Stilt Fisherman.
The central highlands are carpeted with emerald tea plantations and waterfalls. Cool climates, misty views, and quaint estate bungalows are a throwback to bygone eras. Kandy is a large city in central Sri Lanka with biodiverse rainforests and tea plantations. Around 4 hours by road from Colombo, the city is famed for the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Must See : Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
On the Western corner of the country to the north of Colombo is the Negombo lagoon. Its beaches, an old favourite with local and foreign visitors and lagoon famed for lobster harvesting. Must See : The beaches, Lagoon and the Negombo Fish Market.
Welcome to everyone’s favorite hill-country village, and the place to ease off the travel accelerator with a few leisurely days resting in your choice of some of the country’s best guesthouses. The views through Ella Gap are stunning, and on a clear night you can even spy the subtle glow of the Great Basses lighthouse on Sri Lanka’s south coast. Don’t be too laid-back though; definitely make time for easygoing walks through tea plantations to temples, waterfalls and viewpoints. If you can, we highly recommend riding the train from Kandy to Ella. Must See : Nine Arches Bridge and Tea Plantations.
The best of the Southern beaches can be found in Bentota, Beruwala, Galle, Unawatuna, Mirissa and Tangalle, with varying options including chic boutique hotels, glowing coral reefs, gentle sandbars and undiscovered corners of paradise. Must See : Coconut Hill and Beaches along the southern coast.
One of Bloomberg’s new 7 wonders of the world! Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to once have been the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning.
Yala is Sri Lanka's most famous national park. Forming a total area of 1268 sq km of scrub, light forest, grassy plains and brackish lagoons, it's very rich in wildlife and you're virtually certain to encounter elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes and monkeys. Plan your trip carefully, however – such is Yala's appeal that the main tracks and viewing spots can be crowded.