The teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka is a land of lush-green forests, shimmering temples, and golden beaches surrounded by the Indian Ocean. Visit hillside tea plantations and enjoy some of the world’s finest tea, explore ancient history, relax on the beach or go in search of wildlife during your tailor-made holiday in Sri Lanka.
Nestled among the hills and looped by Mahaweli River, the old capital city of Kandy is home to the sacred Buddhist Temple of the Tooth, and Yala National Park, where wild elephants and leopards roam. If you’re a history lover then you will certainly enjoy visiting the ancient rock fortress and palace of Sigiriya, one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka, and home to some unique carvings. Sigiriya translates as and is also known as Lions Rock due to how it has been carved, including its fierce lion claw entrance.
Hire a bicycle and hit the dusty roads running through the ancient and highly sophisticated city of Polonnaruwa. Visit the coastal city of Galle, with its imposing Dutch-built fortress, or take a trip to the buzzing capital of Colombo before taking a train ride through the tea country hills of central Sri Lanka to Nuwara Eliya.
Prepare to be enchanted by Dambulla Cave Temple, in which five separate caves contain about 150 absolutely stunning Buddha statues and paintings, some of Sri Lanka's most important and evocative religious art.
Sri Lanka holidays: land of serendipity
During your Sri Lanka holidays, why not learn some steps from the exotic dances of Kandyan or Sabaragamuwa? Alternatively, try a night at the theatre, where you can experience ancient native instruments in gorgeous venues like the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre.
Sri Lanka boasts an extensive road network, making it easy for small private parties to get around.
Decompress in the sprawling tea plantations with a cup of the country’s native Ceylon tea, considered to be among the healthiest - and best - in the world.
Whatever your holiday dreams and wishes, we can make them come true. Give our Destination Specialists a call today and we will help craft your ideal tailor-made Sri Lanka holiday.
Great sample itineraries
Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries for Sri Lanka holidays. With so many options for your Sri Lanka holiday package, we recommend you talk to one of our Destination Specialists to make the perfect tailor made holiday just for you.
Sri Lanka Multi Centre Holidays
Golden Triangle And Sri Lanka Holiday
Our favorite hotels
For your Sri Lanka holiday, whether you fancy being a stone’s throw from the beach, nestled in the rainforest or having the ease of your own private villa, we can help you find your dream accommodation in Sri Lanka.
Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Shangri-La's Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa
The Blue Water Hotel and Spa
Explore Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka will do its best to enchant you. After all, this is the land of mist-shrouded landscapes, ancient ruins and enthralling wildlife. Discover the ruins of Polonnaruwa and Galle and sip tea among the plantations of Nuwara Eliya.
Temple of the Tooth
This mysterious 17th century temple, the legendary home of the Buddha’s tooth, is one of Sri Lanka’s most captivating. See the six golden caskets the tooth was hidden in after it was smuggled here in the hair of a princess.
Udawalawe National Park
This once small nature reserve is now an attraction to thousands every year. Everyone who visits takes away the amazing experience of the vast areas of roaming space and the mix of wildlife that inhabit it.
Sri Lanka Cuisine
Likened to South Indian cuisine, Sri Lankan flavours are dominated by spices, coconut and chillies, with the island's dishes considered among the world's hottest. While standard foods are spicy, many restaurants tone the chilli content down for tourists.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Built on and around a towering 200-metre-high rock, this is just one of Sri Lanka's World Heritage Sites.
Dambulla Rock Temple
Dating back to the 1st century, and containing stunning Buddhist murals, this is the best-preserved temple in Sri Lanka.
See the remains of this remarkable city, filled with ruins, statues and Brahmanic monuments.
Hill country and tea plantations
This is where you will get a true taste of Sri Lanka, with raging rivers, herds of majestic elephants, fabulous scenery and walking opportunities.
1,000 miles of palm-fringed beaches are waiting to welcome you to this exquisite island, from the golden swathes of Negombo and the beautiful lagoons of Bentota to the pristine coral reefs of Unawatuna in Galle.
Snorkelling around Pigeon Island
Spend a day with a relaxed snorkelling trip and discover Sri Lanka’s beautiful underwater world. Pigeon Island is a national park featuring pristine, magical corals. If you're very lucky you might spot a shark or a turtle, among the vibrant reefs teeming with animals. Alternatively, simply relax on the beautiful beaches and watch the locals playing in their cherished waters.
Visiting Sri Lanka's Hill Country offers a chance to taste and sample the traditional Ceylon Tea at many of the local plantations. Sri Lankan tea is delicious, scented and relaxing, and all grown locally. Many of the tea plantations offer tours, helping you learn how the process develops the tiniest plant into the tastiest tea.
There's a wonderful bonus to visiting these hills on your holidays in Sri Lanka. In the regions of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya you can see many waterfalls; some are huge while others are more tranquil and calming. There are some truly beautiful plunge pools, like Ramboda Falls, where you can take a dip.
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“Climbing Adam's Peak, also known as Sri Pada, is one of the best travel experiences in Sri Lanka. If you don’t mind missing the sunrise, avoid the crowds and climb in the afternoon to enjoy the panoramic views from above.”
“Make time in Colombo to experience the authentic street food on offer. Try the ‘Sri Lankan Hopper’ - a rice and coconut crepe with an egg in the middle and complemented with spicy caramelized onions.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Sri Lanka holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
The Kandy Esala Perahera is a colourful, lively and loud Buddhist pageant steeped in tradition and history. Running over ten nights in July/August, the tooth relic from of Lord Buddha is released from the Temple of the Tooth and taken around the city of Kandy on elephant-back, followed by a jubilant procession with plenty of dancing and drumming.
Vesak, also known as the Festival of Light, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Buddha on the same consecutive full moon day in the month of May.
Minneriya Elephant Gathering
From August to September, witness over 7,000 wild Asian elephants as they gather together in Minneriya National Park in search of water.
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Sri Lanka holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.
Fish ambul thiyal
Fish ambul thiyal, malu ambul thiyal or - as some call it - ‘sour fish curry’ is a delicious way of preparing fish in Sri Lanka. Fish is mixed up into a paste mainly containing goraka (an acidic and fruity spice) and is then cooked on a low flame until all the water evaporates and the fish is slightly charred at the bottom.
Kukul mas curry
Kukul mas curry is a traditional recipe from Sri Lanka's native Sinhalese cuisine. Succulent pieces of chicken are cooked with whole spices in a coconut milk gravy. This curry has a spicy and earthy in flavour with its soothing coconut milk base.
Parippu curry (or dhal curry) is a traditional Sri Lankan dish prepared with masoor dal (red lentils), that is cooked in coconut milk and scented with mustard seeds, saffron, turmeric, cumin and fenugreek.
Watalappan is a sumptuous custard dessert from Sri Lanka. It's made with coconut milk, eggs, jaggery (a natural palm sugar), and a few spices - usually cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves.
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The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.