03 May 2017
Diverse, colourful, affordable and alive with discoveries - Sri Lanka is a destination that will awaken the soul and offer many surprises as you uncover the essence of this remarkable island. From premium hilltop yoga retreats to close encounters with jungle giants on safari, the options to tailor your journey are in abundance. We recommend combining iconic experiences with hidden cultural highlights to capture the breadth of what Sri Lanka has to offer the curious traveller:
Unawatuna with Galle & Mirissa
Located 2 hours south of the capital Colombo, Unawatuna is a vibrant town situated on the turquoise Indian Ocean and the prime location to experience the colours, culture and culinary delights of Sri Lanka. Take your pick of the restaurants positioned along the stretch of beach with your table situated on the soft white sand.
Unawatuna is a little goldmine for Roti Cafés, with sweet and savoury varieties on offer there is always a reason to try another and another... Be sure to note ‘The Roti Shop’ on your ‘To Do’ list: Cheesy Roti and a Banana Lassi to start the day in this cute bohemian café setting. Yes please!
A short Tuk Tuk ride will see you arrive in the fort city of Galle. This town is distinctly different to anywhere else in Sri Lanka – not only due to it being a colonial Dutch fortress but also thanks to the premium boutique dining and shopping on offer. Venturing east from Unawatuna will lead you to gorgeous palm fringed Mirissa. As you travel further along the coast keep an eye out for the iconic stilt fishermen perched on their poles for a birds eye view into the glistening sea.
Sweet dreams are made of Tea.
Tucked away in Sri Lanka’s misty hill country, Ella is a tranquil location to unwind, take leisurely strolls to nearby waterfalls or tackle some amazing hikes.
Why do we love Ella most of all though? It is a tea drinker’s mecca!
With close proximity to numerous Tea Estates you can experience the front line of tea production, tour the factories and of course sample the famous Ceylon Tea at its most pure source of origin. Walk amongst the lush tea plantations and observe the women in their brightly coloured sari’s farming in the intense afternoon humidity. A journey through a tea estate will offer a new level of respect and admiration for the work that goes into every precious cup.
It’s a jungle out there.
Yala National Park is uniquely positioned at the doorstep of the Indian Ocean adding remarkable contrast to the breathtaking landscape that awaits. The protected park area covers 130,000 hectares which, comparative to the plains of Africa, is quite compact for experiencing a safari game drive. Have your camera ready as you ride in an open 4WD vehicle on the lookout for a variety of animals including elephants, leopards, water buffalo, flamingos and more. For best chances of spotting wildlife be sure to arrive at sunrise - and keep your eyes peeled!
Pull up a hammock.
A little further off the tourist trail set on the east coast you will find the laidback fishing town of Arugum Bay – which also happens to be the most famous surf location in Sri Lanka. Arugum is the ideal destination for independent travellers amongst us looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the west. When you are not soaking up the sun, perhaps join a canoe tour and glide over the nearby lagoons on the lookout for crocodiles or simply enjoy a cold Lion Larger as you savour fresh lobster caught earlier that day.
Content by guest blogger, Kristen Jarrard @SandInYourPantsTravel
If Sri Lanka is a destination on your list of places to visit this year, contact your Travel Counsellor for a handcrafted itinerary that will amaze and inspire.