sri lanka travel blog, best holiday destinations in sri lanka, best tourist destinations in sri lanka

Known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the island nation of Sri Lanka offers an Asian escape like no other. Tea plantations and national parks form the lush scenery inland, while pristine tropical beaches dotted with fisherman form the country’s natural border. Add to that the bustling seaside capital of Colombo and you have the perfect recipe for a killer tour.



White sandy beaches, rolling tea plantations and culture in tour comparison Sri Lanka


Tours in Sri Lanka start and end in Colombo, Negombo, Galle and Ahungalla, with holiday beach itineraries, Golden Triangle packages and island tours available. Sri Lanka tour packages are all about experiencing the country’s unique culture, with included entry to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Kandyan cultural shows, organised tours of tea plantations and food markets, trips to the Dambulla Cave Temples, guided walks to World’s End, and tours of the ancient sites of Anuradhapura and the Golden Triangle.

sri lanka travel blog, best holiday destinations in sri lanka, best tourist destinations in sri lanka

Travellers on itineraries under tour comparison Sri Lanka enjoy adventures in Yala National Park with certified safari guides, and free time on beaches, while benefitting from knowledgeable local guides in Colombo, Galle and Kandy. Tours also ensure you avoid the scams from taxi drivers and train reservations that can sometimes target those travelling independently.


Optional excursions on Sri Lanka tour packages include bicycle tours, jeep safaris and authentic group dinners.


Itching to plan your trip? Take a look at our tour comparison Sri Lanka and find the right itinerary for you.


Want a taste of that insider Sri Lanka tourism knowledge we mentioned before? We have collected the best facts from real life tour guides. Impress them on tour with how much you already know.

  • Nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, the teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka has previously been known as Serendib and Ceylon.
  • Sri Lanka tourism is focused on its lively cities, like the business epicentre of capital Colombo, its agricultural industry including the hill plantations of Nuwara Eliya hill country, and natural attractions like the idyllic beaches of Unawatuna, Bentota and Beruwela – not to mention the impressive list of cultural and historic drawcards.
  • Highlights of Sri Lanka’s cultural attractions include the Tamil hotspot of Jaffna, the ancient ruins and Sinhalese culture in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa – known as the Cultural Triangle, the religious temples and festivals in Kandy, the Sigiriya rock citadel, the Dambulla Cave Temples and the colonial fort in Galle.
  • Sri Lanka is home to unique animals, and travellers can enjoy whale watching in Mirissa, leopard spotting in Yala National Park, and splashing around with during bath time at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.


sri lanka travel blog, best holiday destinations in sri lanka, best tourist destinations in sri lanka


  • Sri Lanka’s position in the India Ocean makes it an ideal surf spot, with Hikkaduwa, Talalla and Arugam Bay some of the most popular.
  • The capital of Colombo is also known for incredible sunsets, best enjoyed from a terrace café.
  • Buddhism is by far Sri Lanka’s dominant religion, but Muslims, Christians and Hindis are also present – bringing tributes to gods like Vishnu, Shiva and Ganesh with them.
  • Kandy Esala Perahera, also known as the Festival of the Tooth, and the Poya festivals celebrating the full moon, are some of the most recognisable – though Sri Lanka celebrates a large variety of ceremonies and events due to its multi-cultural population.
  • The island of Negombo is home to a centuries-old fishing industry, long, sandy beaches, and is the closest major city to the country’s major airport, Bandaranaike International Airport.
  • Horton Plains National Park is a well-known hiking spot known in particular for its precarious lookout at ‘World’s End’.

sri lanka travel blog, best holiday destinations in sri lanka, best tourist destinations in sri lanka

  • Movie actor Ravindra Randeniya, author Martin Wickramasinghe, expat writer Michael Ondaatje, pop singer Clarence Wijewardena, and BBC newsreader George Alagiah all came from Sri Lanka.
  • Cricket is Sri Lanka’s most popular sport, and the nation have produced some notable players such as Muttiah Muralitharan, Aravinda de Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya, 
  • Sri Lanka is the birthplace of cinnamon, and they also invented the lightning rod.
  • Some of Sri Lanka’s most important leaders include the ancient rulers Dutugemun and Parakramabahu I, independence leader Don Stephen Senanayake, and Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe.
  • Galle Face Hotel doorman Kottarappu Chattu Kuttan became somewhat of an icon, greeting guests throughout a 72-year career before he died at the age of 94 in late 2014.
  • The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic poem which had an important influence on Hindi life and culture, and has therefore been a crucial contributor to the cultural conscience of Sri Lankan people, among many others.
  • The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were a militant organisation aiming to create an independent Tamil Eelam state in the country’s north, which led to the Sri Lankan Civil War from 1983 to 2009 when LTTE were ultimately defeated by the military.

Courtney Gahan is a serial expat, traveller and freelance writer who has bartered with Moroccan marketeers, seen the sun rise at Angkor Wat and elbowed her way through crowds on NYE in NYC