Sri Lanka, the beautiful island nestled in South Asia, has plenty to offer – whether you are looking for a relaxing break or an activity-filled getaway. Often described as the gem of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is rich in culture and has some of the best sights and views in the world. Below we look at 4 once in a lifetime things to do while visiting the island.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island to explore by foot but nothing quite beats viewing the sights from the luxury of a hot air balloon – and there is no better time than at sunrise. Relax in a hot air balloon as you drift over luscious jungle and rugged mountains with the beautiful backdrop of a South Asian sunrise, something that is not to be missed. Keep your eye out for wildlife spotting too – watch the magnificent elephants roaming the jungle while the monkeys swing from tree to tree.
This peaceful experience will be one you do not forget as you soar over tranquil lakes and watch the sleepy island gradually wake up for the day. Hot air ballooning season in Sri Lanka is from November to May.
Anyone who has visited Sri Lanka will know that climbing Sigiriya is one of the top things to do – both for the sights and cultural history. Sigiriya (the UNESCO World Heritage), located right in the centre of the island, is also known as Lion Rock and is widely recognised as one of the most spectacular sites in the world.
Sigiriya is an ancient palace and fortress surrounded by breathtaking canals, fountains, alleys and gardens. Take a bottle of water, some sun cream and suitable shoes as it takes around an hour to get to the top – but the climb (a good 1200 steps) will not disappoint as you make your way up surrounded by lizards, monkeys and other wildlife. You can expect magnificent panoramic views, beautifully preserved Sigiriya frescoes and the famous lion paws sculpted from rock.
If you (like most of us) enjoy a good cup of tea, then the Nuwara Eliya Tea Plantations and Boutiques are not to be missed. Nuwara Eliya, the picturesque town that is also known as Little England, is known for its luscious green tea plantations and stunning views. Get a feel for local life here by wandering through the tea plantations and watching locals harvest – as well as enjoying a delicious cup of tea along the way.
Sri Lanka is not just home to one of the most spectacular sites in the world, it is also home to one of the world’s most beautiful and scenic train journeys. The journey from Kandy to Ella is a famous one because of the stunning scenic route it takes. Sit back and relax in a luxury first class air conditioned compartment (this is the ticket we recommend getting) as you travel through luscious green forests, rural villages, tea plantations and breathtaking mountains. The journey takes 7 hours in total, but you can easily break this up by stopping off at popular places like Hatton or Nuwara Eliya.