Sri Lanka declared as the Destination 2019 by Lonely Planet. What more to say, let’s plan for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is a plethora of beauty and a myriad of sights to behold. This scintillating country seems to have everything a traveler could possibly desire. There are lots of magic happening in this not so big country. Nature has been very generous in this country. It has squeezed in exquisite wildlife, top safaris, cascading waterfalls, lush rainforests, mist-laden hills, tea plantations and miles upon miles of dazzling beaches….and the list continues.
There are a lot of things to be done in Sri Lanka. First of all, there are a large number of places to visit. All those places have a number of major attractions. Apart from that, you will get to do a lot of water and adventure sports. One unique thing you should not miss while in Sri Lanka is Whale & Dolphin Watching.
Negombo is sand, sails and the sea’. You will find serenity around the blue lagoons of Negombo. Negombo is a humble beach town. The marvelous coastline is bordered with Palm Trees and the beauty of the picturesque beach will remain imprinted on your minds forever. This is where most tourists start their Sri Lankan expedition as Negombo gives an insight into what is Sri Lanka going to be. The ample insights make you believe that it’s going to be a memorable trip. Some places that are worth visiting from Negombo are Muthurajawela Marsh, St. Mary’s Church, Angurukaramulla Temple, Dutch Canal, Negombo Fish Market, Negombo Lagoon, St. Anne’s Church, Negombo Beach, and St. Sebastian’s Church.
Dambula is another hidden treasure of Sri Lanka. Home to the largest rose quartz mountain in South Asia, this place also has the awe-inspiring Dambula Cave Temple Complex. Amazing paintings and striking sculptors are scattered all over the complex. Dambulla gives out a scent that is a mix of excitement and uniqueness.
The ancient city of ruins is a strong evocative sight. It. This city which is situated north of Colombo is now a World Heritage Site. This sacred city is believed to be cut from Buddha’s fig tree- the ‘tree of enlightenment’. It is surrounded by palaces, monuments, and monasteries. Anuradhapura is an opulent collection of numerous architectural and archaeological wonders. One such wonder is Ruwanweliseya, which is the third largest stupa of Sri Lanka towering over 175ft.
The misty hills surrounding the picturesque landscape of Kandy mostly covers the sun from smiling down. But not complaining as Kandy looks very attractive in its drenched self also. When the sweet breeze makes the mists to float away, a colourful Kandy is revealed. The history clad city with colonial architecture makes an imposing impression on the visitors. Top sights in this mesmerising city include the national museum, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Ceylon Tea Museum, Degal Doruwara Raja Maha Vihara, etc.
Sitting at an elevation of 1890 meters above the sea level at the foothills of Mount Pedro, it takes pride in being the highest city in Sri Lanka. Lovingly called as Little England, this lush green place is wrapped up in history. This quaint little hill station is full of British relics. This ‘evergreen’ spot has an abundance of Flora & Fauna. Nuwara Eliya has a lot to offer. You can relish fresh strawberries, walk along the beautiful Hakgala Botanical Gardens, go trekking through the Horton Plains…Careful! You have reached the ‘World’s End’. No just kidding. The ‘World’s End’ is where the plateau comes to a sudden stop and drops 1,000m straight down.
Board a train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella. Ella is a relaxed town amidst marvelous Tea Gardens. It lies east to the Horton Plains. Ella is decked with breathtaking waterfalls. Like Nuwara Eliya, Ella also provides a lot of spectacular things. Hike up to the Little Adam’s Peak, stroll along the world famous Nine Arch Bridge or take a dip at the Diyaluma Falls which is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka or Ravana Falls.
Sri Lanka has the highest Leopard Population in the world and it’s here in Yala National Park. The feral beauties stroll along in this National Park. This place gives shelter to 215 types of birds and 44 species of mammals. This most visited place is covered with extensive woodland, saline lagoons, and thick monsoon rain forest. Here you will also get to see the ruins of a lost civilization: the Sithulpawwa. Enjoy this spirited adventure called the Yala National Park.
If you want a slice of tropical bliss, then you should add Mirissa in your itinerary. Not only it’s a surfing hotspot but its azure waters are utterly inviting. You cannot resist its breathtaking sandy beaches. If you are fortunate enough, you might catch a turtle come ashore to lay her eggs. If you are in Mirissa, Sri Lanka, go for a Whale Watching expedition. It’s an experience of a lifetime. Also, include Stilt Fishing in your itinerary.
It is a very prominent fixture in the tourist map of Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa might not be as gorgeous as it used to be but it’s still holding on to its charm. With yummy seafood dishes, palm edged beaches and a host of activities like surfing and snorkeling still make Hikkadua glow. Watch the sunset from the Narigama Beach in Hikkaduwa. You can get to Hikkaduwa from Colombo by Private Taxi, Train or Bus.
An endless charm that will keep pulling you back for more. UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage Site. This is a jewel of a historic city which is best explored by walking. This walled archipelago is standing straight since the 16th century. It has witnessed the Portuguese, Dutch and British era. The 300-year-old Galle fort is the throbbing heart of Galle and is the biggest existing fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Sitting atop the Galle Fort is the Lighthouse or Pointe de Galle Light which was erected in1938.
Weligama means Sandy Village. This place is a unique mix of beach resort and fishing town. Just go away from the main section as it might look a tad bit shabby and get to the sandy beaches where the true beauty lies. Head to the island of Taprobane which happens to be the most charming area of the beach. Here the waves are perfect for the beginner level surfers. Weligama is also popular for Stilt Fishing.
Bentota is to the southwest of Beruwela. It is an immaculate stretch of golden sands lined with palm trees. That’s Bentota Beach for you. The soft sands and the gentle breeze will create an aura around you and your loved one. The views will mesmerise you. Let the wind blowing from the Indian Ocean, encircle you and your beloved and make it an experience to remember. Adventure seekers can indulge in some Windsurfing and Sailing.
Sri Lanka’s ocean city is a ‘not to miss’ destination while touring in Sri Lanka. Colombo is the busy commercial hub and the port of Sri Lanka. A gateway for most revelers, this diverse and interesting city has a lot to explore. Check out Talangama Wetland, Mount Lavinia, Sri Shakhyasinharamaya, Green path Colombo, etc.
Around 257 km from Colombo and to the east coast of Sri Lanka, lies this spectacular beach of Trincomale. Trincomale is one of the natural deepwater harbours in the world. Go for snorkeling or diving for shipwrecks or kite surfing or whale watching, or just get that perfect tan, Trincomale beach has it all. The inviting crystal clear waters are sure to attract you.
Many tourists skip the east coast of Sri Lanka which is a very bad idea. Passikudah has pristine white beaches. Also, drop by Kalkudah Beach as it’s hardly a 5mins walk from Passikudah. Passikudah is a charming beach with the clear blue Indian Ocean in front. This ‘green algae bay’ can seduce anyone and everyone. The tropical sun, surfing or swimming in the turquoise blue waters and the coral reefs make this beach truly stunning.
Arugam Beach can be simply called the Surfer’s Paradise. The vast sandy beach is a major attraction to swimmers and surfers alike. It has got excellent waves. This beach is sure to spellbind you. You can go surfing in its three main points, which are Main Point, Whiskey Point, and Peanut Farm. After all, it features in the world’s top surfing destinations, so don’t commit the mistake of not visiting this beach.
Just close your eyes and visualise a long stretch of white sandy beach with pristine turquoise waters and palm trees. Yes, this place does exist. This is exactly what Tangalle is all about. You will get a direct bus from Ella to Tangalle which takes around 4 hours. Here you will find the perfect blend of Sri Lankan culture and a holiday vibe. Tangalle Lagoon, Ussangoda National Park, Mahapelessa Hot Springs, Mulkirigala and Turtle watching in Rekawa Beach are few of the interesting places to visit from Tangalla.
It is opposite to the King Coconut Hotel. The delicious local food from this hangout will keep you asking for more. It serves basic dishes but really good ones! Stuffed Parathas, Kottu, mixed fruit, ice cream, etc. are some delicious food which features in the menu. Cheap, cheerful and no, there are no burgers. This hangout is the highlight of Negombo and a must visit.
Here you will get some ‘yummylicious’ Sri Lankan curries. It is a hot favourite among tourists as well as locals. Try the beetroot curry over here. The food is fresh and amazing.
It’s basically a crime if you don’t taste the local cuisine of a place and more so if the place happens to be Sri Lanka. This place prepares local dishes with fresh produce from the region. The delicious homely food attracts lots of visitors to this place.
This place offers a gourmet feast full of creativity and flair. The chef along with his team offers globally-inspired fusion food. The culinary delights are beautifully presented. There are a lot of options to choose from. And do not forget to try the blueberry ice cream with a side of pear crumble.
This descent joint serves really mouthwatering dishes. The roti, curry, chicken fried rice, seafood are some of the dishes you will really relish. And most importantly it’s the place where you will perfect value for your money.
The Kitchen Garden in Ella- For some incredible traditional Sri Lankan cuisine in Ella, The Kitchen Garden is the best place to be. It has the highest standard of quality. Sri Lanka is famous for its rice and curries and this particular place serves the finest dishes one can hope for. This place also provides a cooking class.
This joint is known for its food and ambiance. There is a list of items you can order from which includes Barbeque seafood, chicken, traditional Sri Lankan delicacies, etc. Yala Peace Cottage Restaurant prepares some unbelievable food and the service is also excellent. This place has a rural charm which serves as the perfect background with the setting of the sun.
This is the most authentic roti shop in Mirissa. It also makes mouthwatering kotthu and incredible curries. Cookery classes are also conducted here. The devilled chicken, pumpkin curry and daal will excite your taste buds to the fullest. Alcohol is not served here but you can byo.
This is a great curry spot in Hikkaduwa. Scores of people come here to eat every day. This is a garden terrace restaurant that is covered with palm trees and flowers. This place used fresh ingredients and the home styled cooking is really yummy. Some of the amazing stuff that you should try is the calamari and the potato leek soup. This excellent fare of authentic Lankan food is very pocket-friendly.
Perfect place to enjoy a sip of coffee and some amazing food. Enjoy the homemade drinks and food in this picturesque setting. Try some old classics such as avocado and prawn wrap Tuna fish cakes etc. The menu which also consists of pesto-crusted chicken patties with coleslaw, soups, salads, will surely entice up. Finish it up with a cup of coffee or the signature ‘Blitzer’.
This is a European café with a touch of Middle Eastern and Latin. The eatery serves organically grown foods that are equally healthy and tasty. Vegan food is also available here. Some of the dishes worth tasting include pesto zoodles, avocado toast, vegan pancakes, etc.
This is a very cool and happening place where you can go for beachside dining options or as well sit inside. You can have prawns and crabs selected from the tank directly. This place has an eclectic atmosphere and the add on background music spices up your dining experience.
Savour Sri Lanka’s famous legendary lagoon crab in an outstanding place. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawerdane’s flagship outlet serves only the best catch of the day. Crabs can’t get fresher than this. Neither do they buy frozen crabs nor do they freeze them. That is why the crabs here are so succulent. You will be bowled over by the varieties and deliciousness of the crab dishes.
This cool joint offers gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian foods. You will get the best freshly made juice here. The food here is equally fresh and finger licking good. Drop in for a sumptuous breakfast, brunch, snacks or lunch and devour the vegetable sandwich with salads and juicy mango and pineapple juices with honey. They wash their salads in filtered water and use homemade oil.
A restaurant can’t get fancier and exciting than this. Two traditional fishing boats are transformed into the dining area. Havala has a wide array of drinks and Ruwala has delectable fare on offer.
Mango Shade in Tangalle- This place specializes in home cooking styled food with fresh ingredients. Scrumptious spicy food will make you crave for more. As the name indicates, this eatery is located under mango trees and coconut palms. Mango Shade prepares delicious fish items. Every diner will come out utterly satisfied.
Sri Lankan Airways operate direct flights from Kolkata to Colombo thrice a week which only takes a little over 3hours. Other airlines such as Indigo, Air India, and Spice Jet have hopping flights to Colombo.