Few places in the world offer such diversity – from dynamic towns full of fascinating temples and forts, to wildlife-rich jungles and golden beaches. Sri Lanka is perfect for a spot of romance, adventure or family bonding.
Luxury travel has blossomed in Sri Lanka in recent years, and we’ve spent a lot of time on the island digging out the best accommodation available – from boutique hotels and beachside resorts, to knockout private villas. The hospitality here is genuinely lovely – it’s simply impossible not to fall in love with the Sri Lankan people.
Let’s begin our Sri Lankan adventure in the capital city of Colombo, located on the southwest coast of the island. Colombo still has a great deal of old-world colonial charm, and we recommend spending a day exploring the city’s temples, old churches and markets. Paradise Road is an excellent little place to shop for locally made handicrafts such as incense burners, candle holders, and beautiful crockery. We also recommend sitting on the outdoor terrace at the aging, (but still charming!), Galle Face Hotel. Sip a cold gin and tonic and watch the sun set over the Laccadive Sea.
Heading east we hit our all-time favourite, Hill Country. In our opinion, Hill Country is the most magical part of the entire country, and the train journey from Colombo up into the winding hills is one of the best in the world. Sitting in the observation deck of the old, colonial British train as it slowly snakes its way up into the hills is a truly wonderful experience. Tea plantations are scattered through the area and you can wave to women picking tea leaves as you pass by.
If you want to take a little side trip and get your fix of nature and wildlife, National Parks in Sri Lanka abound, and safaris are a great adventure for the whole family. Yala, Wilpattu, and Uda Walawe National Parks are full of wildlife and Lightfoot Travel can organise tented safaris throughout the region – with modern comforts of course!
Next we head south to the dozens of beautiful beaches that line Sri Lanka’s southern coast. Gorgeous luxury villas and hotels dot the coastline and the food is as fresh as it comes, caught straight from the ocean every day. Surfing is a popular activity along the beaches of Unawatuna, and whale watching is a fun day trip from sleepy Mirissa.
And last but not least is our favourite place to kick back and unwind – Galle Fort, located in the far south. It is now UNESCO Protected , and is one of the country’s most well-loved sites. Gem shopping is a ‘must’ in this little enclave, as is perching atop the fort walls and watching the beautiful sunsets.
The Lightfoot Team travels to Sri Lanka at least once a year and can recommend only the best properties, restaurants and other little hidden finds. Let us help you experience Sri Lanka’s unique charms with a tailor-made itinerary that suits you to a T.