Kalpitiya

On the island’s northwest coast, just two hours from Colombo, a narrow spit of land juts out between a salty lagoon and the Indian Ocean. Stretching for more than 30km through arid, flat scrubland shaded by crackling palmyrah palms, the Kalpitiya peninsula is famed for its long deserted beaches, its laid back charm and its…

Tea Country

South of Kandy, and stretching across the island’s mountainous central heartlands is Sri Lanka’s Tea Country. This verdant, mountainous region is home to thousands of acres of Ceylon Tea and was formerly a great wilderness area. British colonialists in the nineteenth century recognised its potential and cleared great expanses of jungle to first plant crops…

Yala National Park

Situated in the southeast of the island, Yala is credited as having the island’s widest spectrum of wildlife. The park boasts the highest density of leopards per square kilometre in the world, and a safari into Yala is likely to reward not only with sightings of these elusive spotted creatures, but also of sloth bears,…

Wilpattu National Park

The island’s biggest national park is also its oldest protected area. Covering an expanse of 1,317 square kilometres, Wilpattu National Park, 180km north of Colombo, was originally declared a sanctuary back in 1905, and upgraded to national park status in 1938. For a long time during the island’s civil war, Wilpattu was closed to visitors…

Uda Walawe National Park

If you love elephants, Uda Walawe should be high on your holiday hit list. Sightings of these peaceful pachyderms are nearly always guaranteed as the lush grasslands and expansive reservoir of this southerly national park form an ideal habitat for these gentle giants. Visually the park is beautifully photogenic as the misty hills of the…

Trincomalee

Basking on Sri Lanka’s northeastern shoreline, Trincomalee (`Trinco’)was established around one of the world’s greatest deep-water harbours. During the island’s Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa eras, Trinco’s substantial harbour channelled the island’s seabourne trade and was regularly fought over centuries later by the European colonialists – first the Portuguese and Dutch, then the French, and finally the…

The Knuckles

The Knuckles Range, one of the island’s last great wildernesses, is situated to the north east of Kandy, or about an hour’s drive from the city. The unusual name of this mountainous massif refers to their resemblance to the knuckles of a clenched fist – a title assigned to them by early British surveyors more…

Sinharaja

Home to the island’s last great region of primary tropical lowland rainforest, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve covers an area of 88.64 square kilometres. Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1988, this striking natural wonderland is one of the island’s most exciting ecological destinations. Over 830 of Sri Lanka’s endemic flora and faunal…

Negombo

Negombo is one of the island’s oldest beach resorts, and has been the beloved destination of package holidaymakers since the seventies. Although the resort is rightly famed for its wide stretch of golden sand beside which stand huge resort hotels facilitated by shops, restaurants and bars, it is the resort’s close proximity to the country’s…

Mirissa

Sleepy Mirissa is still one of Sri Lanka’s most appealing beach resorts. Situated on the south coast of the island between Galle and Matara, Mirissa boasts a postcard-pretty palm-shaded curve of beach adored by serenity-loving sun seekers as the atmosphere here is particularly laid back and low key. Waves roll onto Mirissa’s sandy lounger-scattered shoreline…

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