Sri Lankan cuisine incorporates spices to great effect to produce mouthwatering curries, rice dishes, pickles and chutneys. Experiencing a traditional Sri Lankan ‘rice and curry’ for the first time is a joy to behold, as more and more bowls of steaming flavoursome treats are delivered to your table! Try one of our favourites, succulent black pork, made with a bewildering array of local spices and marinated to perfection. Prepare your tastebuds for an explosion of flavours and spices that will simply leave you wanting more and more!
Colombo offers plenty of fascinating shopping opportunities, including street markets and modern shopping centres, perfect to buy keepsakes and souvenirs. Our favourites are the interior design havens of Barefoot Road and Paradise Road for an array of gorgeous artisan home decor items and knick-knacks. Good buys whilst in the country include Ceylon tea, spices, hand loomed fabrics and jewellery, including indigenous blue sapphires.
In addition to the main attractions, there is a vast array of sites to discover across the country. Just outside Tangalle is Mulkirigala Temple – a series of natural caves filled with wall paintings and statues of Buddha. It was here, in 1862, that a British Administrator discovered some palm-leaf manuscripts that contained the key to translating the Mahawamsa, the Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka. The climb to the summit is challenging, but well worth it for its magnificent views. Meanwhile, in the dry zone known as ‘The Cultural Triangle’ you will find ancient cities such as Anuradhapura and Polonaruwa, rock fortresses including Sigiriya and the Dambulla Rock Temples, some of Sri Lanka’s oldest relics and famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Further inland, towards Kandy, you will find a temple that reputedly houses Buddha’s tooth, while the vibrant arts scene has survived colonisation and remains true to its millennia-old roots.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Travel north to see the amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. Marvel at Sigiriya Rock, built in the 5th century AD by King Kasyapa as a great fortress in the sky, to protect himself from the rightful heir, his brother, who had sworn revenge and returned from India to fight an epic battle with armies of warrior elephants. The nearby ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa will also wow with their hidden monasteries, cave temples and sacred rocks. The scattered ruins of one of the ancient world’s greatest civilisations await!
Sri Lanka is amongst the most bio-diverse countries in the world, and a little-known fact is that it has the world’s largest density of leopards in Yala National Park. Monkeys, crocodiles, elephants, innumerable species of birds, lizards, deer and rare bears can all be spotted, if you are lucky, on game-drives around the park. Close by is one of Sri Lanka’s finest parks, Uda Walawe National Park and one of the best locations for elephant-watching, surpassing many of East Africa’s famous national parks. With low-lying vegetation, enjoy interrupted views of wild buffalo, herds of elephants, sambar and spotted deer, the occasional leopard and much, much more!
Helicopter transfers from the airport now make access to popular Sri Lankan destinations even easier. Please call our Travel Consultants for further information.
Sri Lanka is one of those places you can spend a bit of extra time exploring, after which you might think about heading off to a Maldivian atoll for a complete rest and time to reflect on your travels, alternatively, you could combine with Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur for a ’shop and flop’ holiday.
Sri Lankan Airlines direct from London Heathrow to Colombo.
Via Malé with British Airways from London Gatwick.
Via Dubai with Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester.
Via Doha with Qatar Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester.
From London Heathrow to Colombo: 10 hours, 35 minutes. London Gatwick to Malé: 10 hours.
London Heathrow to Dubai and Abu Dhabi: 7 hours. London Heathrow to Doha: 6 hours, 45 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Malé to Colombo: 1 hour, 25 minutes.
From Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Colombo: 4 hours, 20 minutes.
From Doha to Colombo: 4 hours, 45 minutes. .
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.