If history is what you're after, then Sri Lanka has it in abundance. The island dates back to prehistoric times and Buddhism was introduced in the 3rd century BCE. No matter where you are on the island today, you're never far from an ancient temple or UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are eight World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka, all of which are magnificent in their own way. Maybe the most famous of the sites is Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla. The site was named a UNESCO site in 1982. The 5th-century city holds secrets from years gone by, and visitors today can still meander around the beautifully landscaped gardens, mirror wall, monastery, and moat and wall fortifications.
The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa is another popular UNESCO site in Sri Lanka and is a prime example of ancient civilisation. Similarly, Anuradhapura, the Sacred City of Kandy, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Old Town of Galle, Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple and Central Highlands of Sri Lanka are all locations that should be marvelled if visiting the country.
Sri Lanka is the fourth-largest producer of tea in the world and is predominantly known for the production of Ceylon black tea. Sri Lanka was formally called Ceylon before its name changed in 1972 andhas been known for its brilliant teas for over 200 years.
Sri Lanka is teaming with tea plantations, and almost anywhere you explore, you're bound to spot one or two. These plantations have had a huge benefit on the cultural and economic wealth of the country, and you can get a taste of these delights when visiting the country today.
You may have heard of the Ceylon Tea Trails, recently a featured property on the Amazing Hotels TV series on BBC, which offers a real insight into the importance of the industry to the country and how the locals live and work amongst the plantations. If you want to experience the Ceylon Tea Trail
, then you're in luck because you can book this luxury accommodation through Elegant Resorts and experience one of the world's first tea bungalow resorts.
Sri Lanka isn't just a land of pristine beaches, magnificent wildlife and high grade black tea but also a location of exquisite flavours and aromas. Sri Lankan cuisine is similar to Indian cuisine and often features fragrant curries and rice dishes with unique and individual twists and additions.
Travel With Kat
recently wrote about her experience trying authentic Sri Lankan dishes on her blog, writing: "My first thought when trying local food in Sri Lanka was 'it is so much like Indian food!' The cuisine of Sri Lanka shows some Indian influence indeed, however, its taste, the combination of spices and flavours make it unique and different from India and any other Asian country. The more you eat, the more you feel it. Most of the dishes are hot, with spices so strong they are sometimes hard to consume. Nevertheless, you can find mild ones amongst them, and if you are a spice-loving person, you will be in heaven (or hell, some may say)."
No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without embracing a local dining experience and there are none that preserve the quintessential flavours of Sri Lanka more so than an authentic home cooked one. Our Culinary Experience in Kandy tour will take you to the home of a local family for an immersive cooking experience followed by a wonderful dinner. Hop on a tuk-tuk and travel to a nearby village market where your guide will explain the seasonal vegetables displayed and how the interesting selection of exotic spices and condiments are integral in generating the unique flavour and texture of the dishes. Learn traditional techniques and cooking methods and share in a unforgettable experience bringing to life the taste and aroma's of the childhood memories of your hosts.
Popular dishes to try in Sri Lanka:
- Pol Sambol
When you think of Sri Lanka, you might not instantly think of it being a wildlife paradise but it is home to Yala National Park which was originally designed as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900. The National Park covers 979 square kilometres and is home to 215 bird species and 44 mammal species and has the highest concentration of leopards in the world. Get up close and personal to these mighty animals on our Leopard Trails Yala holidays
, where you'll stay in an authentic camp amongst spectacular species.
On land, you can expect to see mighty Sri Lankan elephants, leopards, sloth bears, junglefowl, sambar, hornbill and cobras. If you're relaxing on the coast, then you can expect to see crocodiles, dolphins, blackfish and a vast selection of whales.
Being a small island, Sri Lanka is a prime location for beautiful coastline, charismatic coves and secluded shores, it is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. For those looking to visit the beaches on the west coast, visiting between November and April is advised and for those on the east coast, the best time to visit is between May and September.
Negombo Beach is a small fishing village located 30km away from the capital of Colombo and is popular with locals and tourists alike and is a great spot for those who enjoy watersports like kite surfing, jet skiing and windsurfing.
Unawatuna is a real paradise on earth where small sailboats bob on crystal clear waters and soft waves lap against the white sand. It is the most popular beach in Sri Lanka and is the perfect option for sunseekers looking to read a book and enjoy a cocktail or two.
Other great beaches include those in Bentota, Mirissa, which is specifically good for whale watching and Hiriketiya.
With beautiful weather, stunning beaches, tweeting birds, and delicious tea, how can you not feel relaxed when on a luxury holiday to Sri Lanka? But if you need a little extra help, then Sri Lanka is known for its wonderful wellness retreats
, and you can book your next escape through Elegant Resorts.
Santani Wellness Kandy
combines world-class wellness facilities with nutritious cuisine and naturally rejuvenating surroundings. Situated within the mountains, the location couldn't be any more tranquil, and the facilities are second to none. Relax in the 16-metre infinity pool, yoga rooms, personalised menus tailored to your requirements and plenty of entertainment areas. Even just holidaying in Sri Lanka will instantly offer peace and tranquillity, so why not book your next luxury getaway today?
Here at Elegant Resorts, we are experts in luxury travel
and can help you plan your perfect getaway from start to finish. For more articles and travel inspiration, make sure you head to our blog