This charming, sparkling, emerald island of Sri Lanka, with its golden palm-fringed beaches, verdant tea-clothed hillsides, patchwork of paddy fields, head-in-the clouds craggy mountain tops, woodlands of ruined cities, ancient dagabas, variety of National Parks and Reserves has something for every visitor’s interests.

Its attractions and other points of interest are offered here in six regional areas. Have fun deciding on your must see places. Lovely Lanka and its gracious people will welcome you!

 

 

THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE – Dambulla – Polonnaruwa – Anuradhapura – encompasses very many of the unique historical and religious sites of Sri Lanka. The popular sites include the sacred city of Anuradhapura, the ruined city of Polonnaruwa, the ruined palace atop Sigiriya, the extensive murals in the Dambulla Cave temples, the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Invitation Rock at Mihintale and the monastic ruins of Ritigala and many more. In addition it also has wonderful the National Parks and Nature Reserves such as Kaudulla, Minneriya and Giritale. I’ve also included Wilpattu here

THE WEST COAST

With its long line of bright, white sandy, lofty palm fringed beaches the West Coast is the holiday maker’s dream. Here you can dispel the stresses of your everyday world while lazing on the warm sand, flying over the water on a jet ski, exploring the world under the turquoise water, surfing or kayaking. Add whale watching, day trips to the turtle sanctuaries, exploring the Portuguese built fort at Galle, Buddhist shrines and sleepy villages and  you have the perfect holiday here

THE EAST COAST

The East Coast, from Trincomalee in the north and Arugum Bay – Pottuvil in the south, is still recovering from two major disasters – the long ethnic war that ended only in 2009 and the tsunami that savaged the coast in December 2006. The areas around Nilaveli to the north of Trincomalee town and Passikudah, north of Batticaloa, are rejuvenating rapidly with new hotels now lining the famous white, soft sandy shoreline. If you are looking for more than a languid holiday lazing on the beach, watching the local fishermen bring in their catch, then there’s more on this remote coast. Take a snorkeling cruise to discover brilliant corals, awesome fish combined with whale watching and surfing. Other options are  local historical sites and wildlife encounters.  You can enjoy a brilliant time here.

THE DEEP SOUTH

With palm fringed, golden sand beaches meeting an emerald sea under the azure sky the DEEP SOUTH is sure to delight all holiday makers. That, however, is not all! Add an encounter with the Lord of the Jungle – the leopard, a sighting of the shy fisher cat, mugger crocodile, a sloth bear sleeping in the shadows of the thick trees, elephants and the myriad of migratory birds and there’s something to enrapture everyone here.

THE HILL COUNTRY

A drive from the sweltering coastal lowlands, gradually leaving behind the rubber plantations and paddy fields, takes you to the cool, green, lush hillsides of the South Central Up Country. Here tea plantations clothe the lower mountain slopes, almost brushing your passing car, and the often mist shrouded mountain tops call you higher, higher, to their craggy tops. Trekking to World’s End and Norton Plains near Nuwara Eliya, or in the Knuckles Range in the Matale – Kandy area, will reveal the splendour of Sri Lanka’s endemic bird population, rare plants, shy animals and reptiles as well as the unrivalled vistas and waterfalls that tumble down to the valleys below.

The royal city of Kandy, nestled on the verdant hills, with its sacred Temple of the Tooth . . . . [ More here ]

 

 

JAFFNA and the NORTH

JAFFNA and the NORTH is a place like no other in Sri Lanka. You could even be forgiven for thinking that you were in South India – except that Jaffna is way cleaner than India. Through the ages it has endured wars and occupation, from Tamil kings, to the Portuguese and the Dutch and, finally, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam. Today the area is being reborn with a travel friendly straight road replacing the narrow one that meandered through small villages, new hotels and restaurants have been built to entice visitors to come and explore this last frontier.

The islands close off shore beckon intrepid explorers looking for a different experience of this small but surprising island. [Here]

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