Sri Lanka Destination

Sri Lanka is a tantalising teardrop of an island where leopards and wild elephants sit beside ancient Buddhist temples and green hilled tea plantations, a place where soft golden sands melt into tranquil waters. This remarkable and rewarding island has no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is an intriguing destination for travellers who want to dip their toes into both the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and an extraordinarily rich culture.


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On any given day you could find yourself meeting elephants at Pinnawala Orphanage, tracking the elusive leopard through Yala National Park or searching for sperm whales, pods of dolphins and mighty blue whales off the coast of Mirissa. Budding ornithologists can also try to spot the 400 plus bird species that reside on this beautiful island. If you’re more interested in a good cuppa, head for the hills and the tea growing region of Nuwara Eliya, where spectacular plantations rise up out of the mist.  

But Sri Lanka is not all tea, wildlife and beaches. Its dominant religion is Buddhism, and the meditative culture is apparent everywhere you go, with holy sites including Kandy’s Temple
of the Tooth Relic, the fascinating Dambulla Cave Temple and the giant reclining Buddha statue at Polonnaruwa. The food is a big draw too, from the ever-present curry and rice to Tamil specialities like Odiyal Kool, a creamy, soup-like dish with seafood and vegetables. 

Discover hotels in Sri Lanka or have you considered the rest of the Indian Ocean, USA,  Caribbean, and Arabia?

What you need to know...

Getting around

We think private tailor-made touring is the best way to travel, as it ensures a bespoke itinerary, at your own pace, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy this amazing country. If, however, you would prefer more flexibility, we also offer the opportunity to book a driver guide for a set number of days and make up your mind as to what to see as you go. We will book the car, driver and accommodation, and the rest is up to you. If you are a group of friends or family, we also have larger vehicles so you can travel together. 

Dining out

Rice and curry is the traditional Sri Lankan staple and is eaten by locals for almost every meal! It involves a tantalising selection of separate dishes containing curried lentils and vegetables, together with a main dish of curried meat or fish. Try for yourself with a delectable à la carte selection at Saman Villas, or feast on the delicious Sri Lankan buffet, served once a week, at Jetwing Blue’s The Kitchen. 

What's in a name...?

Sri Lanka has been known by many names over the centuries. The Greeks called the island Taprobanê, thought to originate from an ancient Pali word meaning ‘copper-coloured leaf’, while the old English name Ceylon is believed to have come from the Sanskrit word sinha, meaning ‘lion’, though there are no lions on the island. In Arabic and Persian, the island came to be known as Serendib, as made famous in the Persian fairytale ‘The Three Princes of Serendib’, in which the eponymous heroes were constantly discovering things that they weren’t looking for, from which the English word ‘serendipity’ was coined. In 1972, however, the island was officially renamed as Sri Lanka, meaning ‘resplendent island’ in Sanskrit, and we can’t find fault with that description.

Sri Lanka - The Inside Track

Helen discovers a land of breathtaking scenery, rich culture and friendly, welcoming people that exceeds her highest expectations...


When to go... Kandy Esala Perahera

This festival takes places in July/August and is a celebration of Buddha’s famous tooth relic. The streets of Kandy are filled with whirling dancers, powerful music, brilliant fire jugglers and torch bearers, and the most spectacular part is the 100 elaborately decorated elephants.


Sri Lanka Private Touring

No less than 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites grace this intriguing country, where ancient cities and temples, serene and stunning landscapes, and a whole host of flora and fauna come together to offer a holiday experience which is rich and varied.


Essential Sri Lanka Itinerary

"Take in our hand-picked highlights of the pearl of the Indian Ocean with ancient cities, wildlife and tea plantation all included, and an experienced private guide to bring them all to life with his extensive knowledge..."


Sri Lanka Heritage & Nature Itinerary

"Discover the many impressive and unique cultural sites that Sri Lanka has to offer, together with its abundant wildlife, including Asian elephants and leopards, fully escorted by a private guide..."


Call one of our specialists to help you create your dream Sri Lanka holiday

0207751 0660

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Sri Lanka


Getting There

Flying time from the UK is approximately 11 hours 30 minutes direct,12 hours via Doha, Qatar, 13 hours via Malé, Maldives and 13 hours 25 minutes via Dubai. 

Sri Lankan Airlines Departures from Heathrow daily direct.

Qatar Airways Departures from Heathrow and Manchester daily via Doha. 

British Airways Departures from Gatwick 3 times a week via Malé until 31 March 2015.

Emirates Departures from Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester,Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow daily via Dubai.

Note: All our inclusive holiday prices are based on Sri Lankan Airlines Economy flights. Prices with British Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates are also available on request.


Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages. English is widely spoken.

Time Difference

5 hours 30 minutes ahead of GMT.


Sri Lankan rupee. Major credit cards are also accepted at all hotels.

Useful Information

An Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) visa is required for all trips to Sri Lanka. British Nationals travelling from 1 January 2012 onwards will be subject to an ETA visa fee of approximately US$25 per person - applications and payments are to be made via prior to travel and a printed copy of the approval must be shown to immigration on arrival. A visa on arrival will be subject to an approximate cost of US$30 per person. Please be aware that there will only be 2 counters for processing ETA's on arrival and this is likely to cause delays. We therefore strongly recommend you obtain an ETA prior to arrival. Children under 12 yrs are free of charge, but must still obtain an ETA as described above. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the end of your intended stay. 

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