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Sri Lanka is fast becoming a bucket list favourite – and with plenty of reasons!

A relatively small island, it is full of places to visit with lots to see and enjoy. You can relax on tropical beaches, visit rainforests, meet lots of wildlife including elephants and leopards, head to the cooler climate in the tea-covered hills, explore Buddhist ruins, grand statues and much more. With lovely people, great accommodation and yummy food, it ticks plenty of boxes for a great holiday.

Where is Sri Lanka? It lies just North of the Equator and off the Southeast coast of India. It is only 240 km wide which means you can experience a range of different things in a short space of time.

Of the many things to see and do, here are some top Travelbay recommendations:


Sigiriya is top of any list when it comes to Sri Lanka.

And speaking of tops, the views from the top are spectacular! A giant rock fortress, carved like a lion that rises out of the jungle, it is a sight and well worth the climb.

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - Sigiriya

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - elephants

Elephants: Sri Lanka is home to thousands of elephants.

Minneriya NP is a great place to spot these gorgeous animals. During the months of June to September (the dry season) there is what people call “The Gathering” – an annual meeting of elephants that is reported to be the largest known wild gathering of Asian Elephants who come together for a drink, to bathe and look for a potential mate. There is also Yala National Park, Udawalawe and Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary where you can watch the orphaned elephants play in the water and being fed by giant bottles.


Tropical beaches: Sri Lanka is an island with a ring of beaches.

White sand, great surf, long sandy stretches, water sports, snorkelling, sunsets, traditional stilt fishermen… there are oodles of beaches to choose from and there is bound to be one that suits your preferences.

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - Mirissa Beach

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - Dambulla cave temples

Buddhist ruins and temples: Wander the World Heritage ancient city of Polonnaruwa where kings once ruled.

Here you can find the Gal Vihare complex – four massive images of Buddha all carved from a single slab of granite. The impressive Dambulla Cave Temple Complex is home to a temple, still used to this day, built under a huge rock. There are various caves that are filled with spectacular Buddha statues and paintings.


Tea in the highlands:

The cooler climate of the hills combined with the lush green rolling hills, make the highlands a wonderful place to spend a few days. Visit tea fields, spice plantations and enjoy some of Sri Lanka’s colonial past.

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - tea fields

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - Yala National Park

Wildlife:

The Southern part of Sri Lanka is a favourite hang-out for Blue whales where they can swim relatively close to land. Mirissa and Dondra are the best whale watching spots and January to April the best months as the whales are passing between the Bay of Bengal and the Western Indian Ocean.

Turtles love the Southwestern coast and come ashore to lay their eggs. There are various turtle hatcheries along the coast that you can visit as well as being part of the conservation and protection of the species.

Yala National Park has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world which makes it a great place to try and spot a leopard. As it is located in the dry zone of the country, it is open almost the whole year (it closes in September for maintenance, but you can take a different safari nearby).

The dry season (February to August) offers the best chance of sighting a leopard when they are out and about roaming. When the rains arrive, they often retreat to their caves. The park is also home to sloth bears, peacocks, crocodiles, spotted deer, a huge range of birds and more.


Gorgeous people:

The people of Sri Lanka are super friendly. They love to smile and laugh and often go out of their way to help you. Much of the population speaks English so you can chat with the locals relatively easily.

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - Gorgeous people

Travelbay in the Media - Vacations & Travel Magazine - Sri Lanka Tours - Temple of the tooth

Something unusual:

In the heart of Sri Lanka, in the city of Kandy you will find the Temple of the Tooth. Who’s tooth you may wonder...none other than Buddha himself. You won’t actually get to see his tooth, it’s kept in a golden casket but needless to say, in this predominantly Buddhist country, the temple and the tooth are of