Breath-taking nature, friendly locals, rich history and tasty cuisines, there are so many reasons why Sri Lanka attracts more and more visitors every year. The country caters to all types of travellers, and you will never find yourself feeling bored here. However, if it’s your first time to Sri Lanka, you might be slightly overwhelmed by the amount of information and recommendations you can find. Not sure what you should pick and what to leave out? Here are my top 5 activities to do – that is to say, you can leave out others, but not these 5.
- Check out Ella or Nuwara Eliya
Credit: Damith Osuranga Danthanarayana on Flickr
Ella and Nuwara Eliya are known for their rolling tea terraces, such that many people recommend taking the train from Colombo or Kandy to these locations. The train ride itself is a memorable experience. As you make your way through winding hills, you will find yourself marvelling at the sweeping green hills. There are scenic hikes around in the area just as Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak for those who want to be close to nature!
- Check out Galle Fort
One of the 8 UNESCO Heritage Sites in the country, Galle is where you can learn more about Sri Lanka’s culture and history. There are plenty of sites to visit here: the lighthouse, the mosque, churches, Galle Fort and more. The area inside the Fort’s walls is a sight to behold – you will find quaint, narrow streets lined with colonial houses, coffee shops, galleries and museums. Simply lovely!
- Hike Adam’s Peak
Credit: Ankur P on Flickr
The sacred summit is popular amongst pilgrims and travellers and is known to have magnificent sunrise views as well. You will need to start the hike at night to reach the summit by dawn. During the pilgrimage season from December to May, the route will be marked with sparkling ribbons, so you don’t really need a torch. It’s a moderately challenging hike, especially the descend, so make sure you bring proper footwear. Adam’s Peak is at its best right after sunrise, when you can see warm golden rays peeking through misty clouds. It will get quite hot after that, so it’s advisable to not linger too long.
- Spend time by the beach
Besides rugged mountains, Sri Lanka is also known for its pristine coastlines, especially in the Southern area. You can easily find perfect surf breaks in Weligama, Anhagama, Hikkaduwa and Arugam Bay. If you are coming with kids, there are also plenty of calm, swimmable beaches for the little ones as well. Time to relax, wind down and work on that perfect tan!
- Stay in a private villa
Credit: Villa Finder
If you are travelling in a group, staying in a private Sri Lanka villa will make your trip even more special. A villa will be more cost-effective than hotels, as you don’t have to rent several rooms. Plus, you will get to enjoy the entire space. Many villas in Sri Lanka enjoy a great location, right in front of the beach or on top of a hill, giving you access to mesmerising views and unforgettable moments. Don’t miss out on that!