The heavy warm air, rich green foliage, multi-coloured Buddhist flags and a kaleidoscopic display of saris, fruits, jewellery and spices inspired Marco Polo to describe Sri Lanka as 'the most beautiful island in the world'. For a small island, it offers a truly amazing variety of attractions: archaeological sites and well-preserved national parks inhabited by elephants, leopards, monkeys, crocodiles and rare birdlife; vast tea and spice plantations and sacred Buddhist shrines.
In the misty UNESCO-listed Central Highlands, the picturesque lakeside town of Kandy is home to the legendary Temple of the Tooth, while other attractions within this vast cultural triangle include Sigiriya Rock Fortress, with its extraordinary rock paintings, ancient monastries, the Ceylon Tea Museum and vast expanses of montane rainforest.
Elephants – symbols of the island – can be found working in the countryside and gathered en masse by the temples at festival time. Do pay a visit to one of the elephant sanctuaries, which act as conservation and educational centres on the island. There’s hardly a month goes by without some kind of religious celebration – every full moon day (‘Poya’) is special in the Buddhist calendar because the Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment and died all on a full moon day. Consequently, shops and banks are closed and alcohol cannot be served in public places, but hotels do make special arrangements for their guests.
Helicopter transfers from the airport now make access to popular Sri Lankan destinations even easier. Please call our Travel Consultants for further information.