9 Reasons Why Sri Lanka Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination

04/11/2022Tom Spruce

You probably don’t need much persuading anyway. But here are all the reasons why we think a holiday in Sri Lanka should be next on your to-do list.

Train rolling over the tracks of nine arch bridge in Sri Lanka
See the iconic sights when on holiday in Sri Lanka. Photo by Genine Alyssa Pedreno-Andrada

Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean with a population of around 22 million. We’re starting on that point, as the location and people are what make a holiday in Sri Lanka so incredible.

Known for their warm hospitality and generosity, the people here are the real reason the teardrop of India is a great getaway.

There are also plenty of amazing things to do in Sri Lanka. From visiting Buddhist temples to exploring National Parks. So let’s get into the main reasons to travel here. 

Fisherman preparing for a catch on the beach
There are so many unique sights to behold. Photo by Daniel Klein on Unsplash

Why should you holiday in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for an affordable, off-the-beaten-path destination with beautiful beaches, good food, and friendly locals.

Here are some reasons why:

  1. The country is packed with history
  2. It’s home to some of the most incredible beaches in the world
  3. There’s something for everyone
  4. Discover amazing wildlife
  5. The food is awesome
  6. Sri Lankan people are among the warmest you’ll ever meet
  7. Explore the rich and diverse culture
  8. So many festivals
  9. Luxurious resorts

1. History

Sri Lanka has a long and rich history, dating back over 2,000 years. The island was first settled by the Sinhalese people, who established their kingdom in the 3rd century BCE.

The country later became a key regional trading hub, attracting visitors from all over Asia. This led to the coming of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BCE, which profoundly impacted the country’s culture and society.

Following a spell under Dutch rule, Sri Lanka finally fell under British control when significant changes took place. Western education and culture were introduced. 

However, flash forward a few years and the country is now free and becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination. 

Sigiriya is an ancient spot site in Sri Lanka
This ancient country is full of special and sacred spots. Photo by Michael Swigunski

2. Island living

With its miles of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and lush greenery, it’s no wonder this country is a top choice for a relaxing holiday.

But let’s take a look at those reasons why Sri Lanka should be your upcoming holiday destination in more detail. 

Sandy Beaches

It’s safe to say that the best beaches in Sri Lanka are also some of the top stretches of sand in the world. With over 1,300 miles of coastline, there’s sure to be a spot that’s perfect for you. Whether you want to relax and enjoy the beach or get active with water sports, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

One of the best beaches in Sri Lanka
The best beaches in Sri Lanka are an incredible sight. Photo by Isa Jokela-Gomes on Unsplash
Crystal clear waters

The Indian Ocean surrounds Sri Lanka, providing beautiful scenery and plenty of swimming, snorkelling and diving opportunities. The clear waters, along with their bath warm temperatures make perfect conditions to enjoy all sorts of watery fun.

Lush greenery

As an island covered in dense jungle, bright green fields and rolling hills, there’s no shortage of places to explore and take in the stunning scenery. Go on a safari to see unique wildlife up close, hike through national parks or relax in one of the many public gardens.

Sunsetting over the hills in Sri Lanka
Explore the green heart of Sri Lanka. Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

3. Something for everyone

While the country does offer those stunning stretches of coastline. The changeable landscape also makes it a hit with more active travellers.

Rolling hills, lush forests, and vast national parks offer plenty of outdoor fun and the best news is: they’re all free activities.

Gold statues in a temple in Sri Lanka
Discover some unique sights. Photo by Jaromír Kavan on Unsplash

4. Wildlife

If you’re a fan of wildlife then a holiday in Sri Lanka would blow your mind. This tropical island is home to everything from leopards and sloth bears to monkeys, turtles and blue whales. 

Yala National Park is one of the best excursions in Sri Lanka for spying that wildlife. Home to elephants, water buffalo, crocodiles, and many different species of birds. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a leopard! Another great place for wildlife watching is Minneriya National Park. Known for its large herds of elephants that come to graze in the dry season.

No matter where you go in Sri Lanka, you will surely see some amazing creatures. So, if you’re looking for your next adventure, add this country to your list!

  • A baby toque macaque monkey
  • Blue peacock
  • Leopard having a drink at a river
  • Asian elephants running
  • an adult Toque macaque sitting on a coastal wall

5. The food

When it comes to food, Sri Lanka has something for everyone. The country is home to various cuisines, including Tamil, Sinhalese, and Moorish. 

If you’re looking for a traditional Sri Lankan meal, you can’t go wrong with rice and curry. This amazing dish is typically made with chicken or fish, but vegetarian versions are also available. 

Another popular dish is kottu roti. Made by chopping up roti bread into small pieces and stir-frying it with vegetables and spices. Kottu roti is often served with a side of chicken or beef curry.

On the other hand, for something sweet, try an egg hopper. These are small pancakes made from coconut milk, rice flour, and eggs. They’re usually served with honey or treacle. Delicious!

6. The people

Sri Lanka is home to some of the most amiable people in the world. The locals quickly help visitors with directions or recommendations on what to see and do. They’re also incredibly hospitable, for example, it’s not uncommon for locals to invite travellers into their homes for a cup of tea or a meal.

In addition to being friendly and hospitable, the people of Sri Lanka are also incredibly talented. The country is home to many artists, musicians, and craftspeople who made beautiful works of art.

You can regularly catch locals giving impromptu performances of traditional dances or playing music in the streets.

Shopkeeper in Sri Lanka smiling at the camera
Meet the smiling faces of the locals in Sri Lanka. Image by John Gibson from Pixabay

7. The culture

As a nation with a lavish culture and history, there are various reasons why you should consider a holiday in Sri Lanka if you’re something of a culture vulture.

  • There is a long history of cultural exchange between Sri Lanka and other countries creating a diverse tapestry of things to see and do
  • The country has a rich history of art and architecture
  • Home to some of the world’s most beautiful temples
  • Crime rates are low and the people are extremely warm
  • The cost of living is low, and you can get by on a shoestring budget
Three people dress up for a Sri Lankan festival
Capture some culture on your holiday in Sri Lanka Photo by ISKCON TV Dhaka

8. A festival of festivals

Sri Lanka is a culturally rich country with many festivals throughout the year. Here are a few of the best festivals in Sri Lanka that you should experience on your next holiday:

  • Sinhala and Tamil New Year: This two-day festival is celebrated in April and marks the start of the new year according to the Sinhala and Tamil calendars. The celebrations include traditional games, music, dancing, and feasting.
  • Vesak: Also known as Buddha Purnima, this festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. Celebrated in May or June it’s one of the essential holidays for Buddhists worldwide.
  • Poson: This festival celebrates the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and falls on the full moon in June. Poson Poya is a public holiday, and many Buddhists visit temples and shrines across the country to pay homage to Lord Buddha.
  • Esala Perahera: Held in July or August, this 10-day festival features spectacular processions of elephants, dancers, musicians, and acrobats through the streets of Kandy. It culminates with a ceremonial Diya kepeema (fire-walking) ceremony at Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth).
  • Thai Pongal: This harvest festival celebrated by Tamil Hindus in January or February coincides with Pongal.

9. Luxurious resorts

One thing you may not associate with Sri Lanka, in amongst all that culture, biodiversity, and celebrations, is five-star resorts. But the country is studded with them.

Along its golden coastline, there are beachfront escapes and secluded jungle havens to suit your tastes. Plus, through our Subscriber Exclusives, you could save an average of 40% on your tropical trip.  

These dazzling resorts place you in the heart of the action and each offers a host of opportunities to get out and explore the country through planned excursions. So you can chill on the beach or around the pool. Or you can head off on an adventure a day. And, let’s face it, there’s plenty to see in Sri Lanka. 

Luxury resort on the coast of Sri Lanka
The Blue Water Hotel & Spa is an excellent example of a luxury resort in Sri Lanka

So… Let’s Go!

Sri Lanka is a beautiful destination with so much to offer tourists. From its stunning beaches and lush jungle to its rich culture and friendly people, there are endless reasons to visit.

But there are also some pretty incredible high-end resorts lining the oatmeal-coloured beaches too. Click the button below to see six awesome editions. 

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