The island gem was chosen by writer Arthur C Clarke in the 1950s for his residence, and greenly garnishing the Indian Ocean, this beautiful island has been wowing western visitors ever since. It has beautiful golden beaches along the coastline and inland, where the island’s contours rise and dip attractively, one can visit the Hill Country with its tea plantations, cascading waterfalls and stimulating views.
The three main cultures of Sri Lanka – the Tamil, Sinhalese, and Muslim – all share in common a justified pride in their glorious island, along with renowned their friendly and welcoming natures as a people. Sri Lanka has had human inhabitants, scholars believe, from as early as 16, 000 BC. Much later, in the 5th or 6th century BC, Sinhalese peoples arrived, coming from North India. Throughout more recent centuries, a series of European colonisers held sway over the island, Britain’s occupation ending with the country’s independence in 1948. Buddhism has strong roots in Sri Lanka and many followers in other parts of the east look to Sri Lanka as the home of the best Buddhist philosophers. Sri Lanka covers 65,610 sq kms and lies a mere 32 kms off India’s south-east coast. Part of an island chain called Adam’s Bridge, Sri Lanka was, for generations, most associated with tea-growing. Rubber and cinnamon are also grown commercially.
People have been taking Holidays in Sri Lanka for many decades, not least because life is lived there at a gentle pace and the stunning natural surroundings on this special island. Most visited are the beaches and resorts of the south of the island, but all round its edge, Sri Lanka offers an astounding 1,340km of sun-kissed sands lapped lovingly by the Indian Ocean. The waves are not gentle everywhere, good news for surfers, who can find fabulous surf all along the southwest coastal stretch. Sri Lanka is a must for those who enjoy diving. Divers are served by a the substantial coral reef surrounding most of Sri Lanka, making it ideal for diving.
Tropical fish and historic wrecks abound some historic wrecks that offer exploration opportunities. Less dedicated underwater fans can enjoy the more relaxing pursuit of snorkelling. Either way, look for the whale shark, tuna, barracuda and varied species of turtle. There are hotels in Sri Lanka tailored to every type of holidaymaker’s needs, be they couples, families looking for cheap holidays to Sri Lanka, parties of young adults in search of Sri Lankan adventure for whom Sri Lanka Late Deals exert great appeal, or older visitors keen to take in the cultural uniqueness of this destination. All over Sri Lanka, a range of activities can be enjoyed, from mountain biking, jeep safaris and hot air ballooning trips, to white-water rafting, canoeing, horse-riding and rides on elephants.
Among the many fabulous destinations in Sri Lanka is Kandy, ancient hill capital a two hour journey from Colombo has lost. Its Temple of the Tooth is the focus of Buddhist pilgrimage. Dambulla, 148 km north-east of Colombo, has as its dramatic backdrop a range of rose quartz mountains. Here, the cave temple complex is a must-see, with its more than eighty caves. There are custom-built lake resorts in the area and blissfully remote high class deer-park accommodation with internet connection and butler service. Further locations are the Hill Country hubs of Nuwara Eliya and Haputale, the latter, in its heyday a hippy backpackers’ haven. Here, awesome views from the mountain ridge unfold, and visitors can experience enlightening ambles through tea plantations. Nuwara Eliya, on the other hand, translates as ‘city on the plain’. It was the rural retreat chosen and tastefully developed by the colonialists for its outstanding climate, natural setting – beneath Sri Lanka’s tallest mountain – and refreshing waterfalls.
Festivities draw crowds in April, the time of both the Sinhalese and Tamil New Years. When it comes to deciding when to arrange that once-in-a-lifetime Sri Lanka holiday, bear in mind that, being tropical, there is a specific dry season and a wet season. The dry season in Sri Lanka’s southwest area runs from December to March. Meanwhile, the dry season for the north and east of the island lasts from May to September. Rain tends to be experienced off and on during October and November generally across Sri Lanka. With temperatures of between 20°C and 27°C for most of the year, the Sri Lankan climate is reliably warm. A sunny beach somewhere on the island is virtually assured. Another factor governing the decision of just when to go is the timing of the Kandy Esala Perahera. This festival, lasting for ten days, falls in July/August. A Buddhist celebration, both it and its companion festival in the south – the Kataragama festival – put considerable pressure on accommodation. It is always wisest to look for Sri Lanka Deals early, especially if hoping to book a Package Holiday in Sri Lanka, rather than be disappointed.