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Destination Hot Spot: Sri Lanka

Quickly rising up the list of the must visit countries of the world, Sri Lanka is the hot spot for 2018. Why you ask?  The answer is simple.  This destination boasts stunning beaches, beautiful accommodation, outstanding food, amazing wildlife, friendly locals and so much more.  It’s no surprise that so many people are choosing to spend their next holiday in Sri Lanka. Our India Tours and Travel Specialists could go on all day about the many reasons why you will love Sri Lanka. We’ve managed to narrow it down to just 5 reasons why Sri Lanka is one of our favourite Destination hotspots for 2018 ….

  1. The beaches

A visit to Sri Lanka is not complete without a trip to at least one of its countless beaches. Each beach is unique; some with golden sand others with white sand, some with waves, others with relaxed waters but all of them boast warm Indian Ocean waters.

From snorkelling and scuba diving to surfing and fishing.   If you’re an adventure junkie or prefer to “flop and drop”.  Sri Lanka’s beaches have everything to keep you occupied.

You’ll find that Sri Lanka’s beaches aren’t crowded and you often have the beach to yourself. Our favourite beach areas are Ahungalla, Hikkaduwa and Weligama. You’ll find pristine waters and a multitude of activities as well as spa options at surrounding resorts to help you relax and unwind.

2. The Food

Sri Lanka is famous for is delectable food. Making good use of its local fruit, such as coconut and jackfruit, as well as seafood and a collection of spices, Sri Lankan cooking delivers a profusion of sumptuous dishes.

Local “must eats” include (but are not limited to), hoppers (bowl shaped savoury rice flour crepes), Lamprais (a combination of meat, rice and sambol chili sauce, wrapped into a banana leaf packet and steamed) and Kottu (somewhat resembling fried rice, Kottu is a fried and chopped roti mixed with a selection of ingredients you choose. It is served with spicy curry sauce, which you can either use as a dip or pour over your entire plate.)

Sri Lankan cuisine is rich and delicious.  There are over a hundred other local dishes you have to try when you visit.

3. The Wildlife

Sri Lanka is one of the best places for wildlife in Asia, featuring an abundance of wildlife including leopards, elephants and tigers.

Whilst we usually associate the world’s most amazing wildlife with Africa; Sri Lanka happens to have the highest concentration of leopards in Asia. It also has an incredible range of other animal and bird species.

If it’s leopards that you’re after, look no further than Yala National Park. Here you will not only find the highest concentration of leopards in Sri Lanka but also large populations of monkeys and water buffalos.

Minneriya National Park is the place to go if you’re a fan of elephants. Located near Dambulla, Minneriya is where a yearly gathering of hundreds of elephants takes place suitably known as “The Gathering”.

Another fantastic national park is Wilpattu National Park. With relatively low numbers of visitors, you truly get a real sense of wilderness when you’re on a game drive. Wilpattu is one of the best areas to see Sri Lankan leopards. It is also home to healthy populations of elephant, sloth bear, deer and buffalo.

4. The Cultural Heritage

Sri Lanka is filled with multiple world heritage sites you must visit. A few include the Sacred City of Kandy: a famous pilgrimage site for Buddhists situated in the centre of the country; the Golden Temple of Dambulla: a monastery featuring Buddhist mural paintings and 157 statues, the temple has been a sacred pilgrimage site for over 22 centuries; and Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications: Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese. It is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, highlighting the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions.

There are so many other temples, cities and fortresses you can explore. Whilst Sri Lanka is small in size, it has so much to offer especially in terms of cultural sites.

5. The Tea

Famous worldwide for its tea, a trip to Sri Lanka is not complete without a visit to a tea plantation. As the world’s fourth largest tea producer, there are many tea tours and excursions you can partake in whilst in Sri Lanka. At Dilmah’s headquarters in Colombo you can experience private tea tastings.  The Euphorium Tea Salon offers tea appreciation cocktails.  Enjoy tours through tea plantations and stay in luxury resorts surrounding the plantations.  There is nothing quite like the tea culture in Sri Lanka!

References: Mapping Megan, CNN, UNESCO, Standard.co.uk