Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka BeachSri Lanka SculptureSri Lanka TurtleSri Lanka FlowerSri Lanka Wildlife Magpie RobinSri Lanka BeachesSri Lanka Monitor LizardSri Lanka BeadsSri Lanka BeachSri Lanka Baby Elephants

Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Population: 20 million
Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and Colombo
Language: Sinhalese, Tamil
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
Time Zone: UTC +5:30

Country Information
Sri Lanka’s over 2000 years of history and culture can still be seen in every corner of its cities and the details of its ever-beautiful ancient temples. With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and its short distances between the main sights, Sri Lanka is a country that, despite often being overlooked in itineraries, has left travelers filled with awe.

Visit the sacred home of the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, wander around the colonial architecture of Colombo, get sun-kissed at the untouched beaches that inclose the territory, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, head to the hills for a cooler temperature and get surrounded by lush natural, visit two thousand year-old temples or get overawed at the sight of hundreds of elephants in Minneriya.

While traveling through Sri Lanka you will experience adventures from the highest and chilliest mountains like the famous Adam’s Peak – a stairway mountain considered sacred in three different religions- , thru the elephant orphanages placed on a single never-ending street on Pinnawela, to the most peaceful beaches up north near Trincomalee and their tiny- one floor- hostels facing the calm sea.

Climate
Sri Lanka is one of the best destination to visit year-round as the rainy seasons hit the island in opposite locations at different times of the year. That being said, Sri Lanka is a country that can be visited if you know where to go in search for the best weather.

Southwest
The south-western monsoon hits between May and September and the dry season occurs from December to March.

North and coastal regions
The monsoon season happens between October and January while the dry seasons takes places between May and September.

Culture
Sri Lanka is known for its distinct cuisine, its indigenous holistic medicines, its cricket practices and export of tea, cinnamon and gemstones. Moreover, the country boasts a rich artistic tradition which includes music, dance and visual arts.

Sri Lanka has been shaped by many aspects. The first and most obvious being the heritage of Theravada Buddhism passed from India. Furthermore, the colonial period left a big mark in the country’s traditions and culture, with British elements being featured in every corner as well as Dutch and Portuguese.

Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people”, is a paradisiac island that Napoleon described as a world-like biodiversity in a tiny piece of land on the Indian ocean. Multicultural, multi-religious and multi-coloured country, formerly named Ceylon, is known for its delicious black tea, its heart-warming inhabitants and its history-filled corners.

Gastronomy
Sri Lankan cuisine has been heavily influenced by many factors such as the British colonization, its closeness to southern India and more. Some stables of Sri Lankan food are rice, coconut and spices – many spices.
Kottu Roti, a blend of chopped roti, vegetables and meat is a unique dish served in Sri Lanka and one that everyone must try while here! Another staple dish are hoppers (appa), based on batter, coconut milk and spices.
Sri Lankans eat with their right hands, which can be hard to adjust to at first. However, many restaurants will provide cuttery if requested.

Key Dates
January: Duruthu
Celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthy, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dances, decorated elephants and the most important – a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.

April 13th or 14th: Avurudda (New Year)
Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year in Sri Lanka. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashiya (Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (Aries).

June: Poson Festival
Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
October or November: Diwali (Festival of Lights)

Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings. Diwali is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November, on the darkest, new moon night of Karitika.

In Sri Lanka, it is tradition to take an oil bath in the morning, wear new clothes, exchange presents and visit the Koil, an Hindu Temple. In the evenings, oil lamps are lit to invite the blessings from the goddess of wealth.

Transportation
By Plane
Flying between major locations in Sri Lanka such as Galle, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya and others is possible with Aero Lanka and Srilankan Airlines. Moreover, Srilankan Airlines runs small seaplanes, which give you a great aerial view of the island.

By Bus
Buses are a option to get around Sri Lanka, albeit quite uncomfortable. For instance, with less than a Euro, you can get almost halfway around the island in a bus without aircon. Luxury buses with AC also exist at a higher price (still very inexpensive).

By Train
Sri Lanka boasts an extensive railway system than will get you almost anywhere around the country. Moreover, Sri Lanka is known for its picturesque sceneries that can be best viewed in a train journey. In fact, there are observation carts in most trains for tourists that will allow you to better take in the beauty of your surroundings.

In most cases, getting around by train is the cheapest option. There are three classes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd class. In most Intercity and Express trains, however, only 1st and 2nd are offered. Do keep in mind that trains from one popular destination to another (i.e. Colombo – Kandy or Galle – Colombo) often get overbooked, so it is best to reserve a seat with time in advance.

For more information on Sri Lanka check out the Sri Lanka Tourism Board website here.

  • Sri Lanka Family Holiday

    Sri Lanka,

    16 people
    14 days
    Code: HHFL
    Activity and Adventure, Family, Tours
    Naturally gorgeous, culturally captivating and steeped in mysticism, Sri Lanka makes for a wonderful introduction to both travel and the Indian subcontinent. Discover temples carved from cliffs ...
    From £1,341Member Price £1,311
    More Info £30 off
  • Sensational Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka,

    12 people
    12 days
    Code: HPKS
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Drive along the road in Sri Lanka and you can pass Hindu temples, Buddhist shrines, churches and mosques all on the same stretch. This fusion – found in the history, the culture, the Arabian, ...
    From £1,950Member Price £1,910
    More Info £40 off
  • Simply Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka,

    16 people
    8 days
    Code: HPRS
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Set adrift in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is jam-packed with ancient sites, fascinating culture, beautiful wilderness and idyllic beaches. Go as fast or as slow as you like on this ...
    From £835Member Price £815
    More Info £20 off
  • Circle Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka,

    12 people
    15 days
    Code: HPSH
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    A jewel in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is jam-packed with ancient sites, fascinating culture, beautiful wilderness and idyllic beaches. From ancient Anuradhapura city and the well-preserved ...
    From £2,128Member Price £2,078
    More Info £50 off
  • Cycle Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka,

    12 people
    14 days
    Code: HPXC
    Activity and Adventure, Cycling, Tours
    Ride through tea plantations, quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is gaining traction as one of Asia’s most ...
    From £2,325Member Price £2,275
    More Info £50 off
  • Bite-size Break – Colombo

    Sri Lanka,

    12 people
    3 days
    Code: HPZC
    Activity and Adventure, Food and Drink Tours, Short Break, Tours
    This small island is big on food, and you’ll get a new adventure with every dish on this tantalising dive into Sri Lanka’s amazing cuisine. Colombo is the perfect introduction to the country’s ...
    From £580Member Price £560
    More Info £20 off
  • Real Food Adventure – Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka,

    12 people
    12 days
    Code: HPZM
    Activity and Adventure, Food and Drink Tours, Tours
    Leave moderation at home and indulge on this gourmet adventure in Sri Lanka. Lie back on the coast, cool down in the highlands and weave through the streets of the buzzing capital. Taste ...
    From £2,010Member Price £1,960
    More Info £40 off
  • Community Project in Sri Lanka

    Kandy, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 143
    Community, Volunteering Abroad
    Take part to work along with underprivileged local communities to improve the quality of the local communities of Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka has various communities affected due to poverty and ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka

    Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 88
    Activity and Adventure, Marine and Wildlife, Volunteering Abroad
    Travel the pristine blue waters and white sands of Ambalangoda and take part in conserving sea turtles!We are located very close to the Indian Ocean which is famous for the sea turtle nesting ...
    From £450Member Price £405
    More Info 10% off
  • Teaching Project in Sri Lanka

    Hanguranketha, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 350
    Teaching, Volunteering Abroad
    Invest your precious time in supporting the underprivileged village kids in Hanguranketha. Under this program, you will be working as a teacher for village kids and help them to improve English ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Sri Lanka Experience in Sri Lanka

    Central to South, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    28 days
    Code: 91
    Activity and Adventure, Cultural Experiences
    Get to visit and experience the grandeur of this vastly distinctive regions of this exotic country!As part of this unique experience you will visit 3 vastly distinctive regions and explore their ...
    From £1,800Member Price £1,620
    More Info 10% off
  • Wildlife Rescue Project in Sri Lanka

    Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 617
    Volunteering Abroad
    The wildlife rescue program focuses on rescuing and caring for the injured and orphaned animals and improving their living conditions.This project will give you the opportunity to show your ...
    From £550Member Price £495
    More Info 10% off
  • Medical Project in Sri Lanka

    Kandy, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 395
    Medical Health Care, Volunteering Abroad
    By joining the medical project in Kandy, Sri Lanka, you will be able to observe the patients at one of the oldest and the largest hospitals in Kandy! You will also be visiting the highlands of ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Rural Community Development in Sri Lanka

    Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 499
    Community, Volunteering Abroad
    Contribute to the development of the rural community in the ancient settings of Sigiriya. Sigiriya is one of the most popular destinations in Sri Lanka due to the Lion’s Rock where you can ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Education and Teaching Project in Sri Lanka

    Kandy, Sri Lanka

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 73
    Teaching, Volunteering Abroad
    Work as an assistant teacher in teaching little kids in the beautiful highland of Kandy! You will have the opportunity to work at various kindergarten schools in and around Kandy. The kids are in ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off

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