The island nation of Sri Lanka is a hidden treasure, in the vast Indian Ocean. The charming beaches, ancient cities, fun trains, and rolling tea plantations, make the country irresistible. Lying in the shadow of its more popular neighbours in India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka’s alluring beauty still manages to shine through. History, culture and natural beauty are undeniably alluring.
With over 200 years of recorded history, the age-old culture can be discovered at ancient sites where legendary Buddhist temples boast of exquisite details and stunning murals. There’s a lot packed in this seemingly small country. Experience Sri Lanka with Flying Squirrel Holidays’ Sri Lanka tour packages from India.
The little island of Sri Lanka is blessed with a diverse collection of beautiful landscape, amiable climate, and stunning natural features. While the central Highlands are carpeted with emerald tea plantations with the occasional waterfalls, the North is a vibrant concoction of unique flavour and culture.
It really bears witness to the diversity and variation, with influences from the Portuguese, Dutch, Tamil and British culture. The East of the island is a storehouse of lush Paddy fields and leads a quieter rural life. The national parks, port and harbours, and the vibrant places of worship is a warm welcome to any traveller.
Sri Lanka’s popular beaches have been attracting thousands of tourists each year. With nearly 1600 km of coastline surrounding the country, Sri Lanka is the ideal destination for a beach holiday. Whether it be windsurfing, kayaking, yachting, water skiing or scuba diving, Sri Lanka has plenty of options for water sports lovers.
The best Southern beaches are the Tangalla, Beruwala, Mirissa, Bentota and Unawatuna, while the most known among the Eastern beaches is the Arugam Bay, the mecca of surfing enthusiasts’ in the region.
Sri Lanka holds some of the world’s most ancient cities like Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Digamadulla. The most famed and most admirable is the Kingdom of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s longest serving capital and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
It is also one of the most sacred cities for Buddhists. Sigiriya, or ‘Lion Rock’, a fifth century AD rock fortress with a water garden displays some of the most awe-inspiring elements of landscaping and some of the oldest murals recorded in the country.
If you are looking for a healing experience and rejuvenating getaway within the mountains, in the lap of nature, Sri Lanka should be the place you head to. Sri Lanka is famous for its numerous wellness resorts that perfectly illustrate how sustainability can work along with a love for nature, healing and mental well-being.
The resorts are prime examples of luxury and pampering, with ayurvedic detox rituals, healing yoga, ayurvedic therapies and more, it is an immensely soothing experience. The breath-taking surroundings give you the much-needed break from roaring city life and lets your lungs soak in the pure mountain air.
Bluest of lakes and acres and acres of jade green paddy, surround some of these retreats. Tri, Santani Wellness Resort, Siddhalepa Ayurvedic Resort, Kalundewa Retreat, Kandy Samadhi Center are some of the popular wellness resorts here.
Sri Lankan cuisine is a melting pot of flavours and spices, and the rich aroma will keep you coming back for more. The quintessential dish of Sri Lanka is a good old plate of rice and curry. Also do try the hoppers which are a Sri Lankan version of thin pancakes but with crispy edges.
Shaped like a bowl, they are made from fermented rice flour, coconut milk & coconut water. Kottu is another traditional Sri Lankan dish made of flat bread, vegetables, and egg, chicken or cheese. Seafood is extremely popular here too, for obvious reasons.
The Ministry of Crab is a true haven for seafood lovers and celebrates Sri Lanka’s legendary lagoon crab. The Ministry of Crab has also gained immense popularity outside of the island. The crabs are the show stealers and range from 500g to 2 kilos served in a variety of ways for the diners.
You have the fiery Pepper Crab, unique Garlic Chilli Crab, chilli crab, Sri Lankan curry crab and the succulent Baked Crab. There is also freshwater prawn prepared in a multitude of ways and king prawn bisque for a fancy dinner.
Like many other nationalities, Indian passport holders are eligible for a Sri Lanka visa on arrival, which saves you the hassle of applying and waiting for a visa.
Sri Lanka's hill station, Nuwara Eliya, under the protective gaze of Pidurutalagala, Sri Lanka’s tallest peak, is world famous for its tea production. With a plethora of natural attractions ranging from waterfalls and tea plantations to gardens and lakes, the scenic beauty of Nuwara Eliya is something out of the world.
Nuwara Eliya was established by the British in the nineteenth century, which is evident in the colonial-style buildings dotting the area, the golf courses, boating lakes, old colonial hotels. Add to that the showers of rain and the cold climate, and you'll know why it is called the “Little England”.
A visit to Nuwara Eliya is incomplete without a stay at the Heritance Tea Factory. Go for an adventure through the neatly arranged terraces of tea, which would be very different from your typical day trips. The Heritance Tea Factory hotel offers sessions with a trained tea-taster, tea plucking on the organic estate and a visit to the factory to witness how the beverage is created. If you were ever curious about what it feels like to be a tea taster, then this place gives you the chance to experience it. Treat yourself to a lovely high tea session at the terrace, the Hetthersett bar or Goatsfell bar.
At a distance of about 15km from Dambulla lies the spectacular archaeological site of Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. The breath-taking citadel of Sigiriya juts out of the forest, sitting atop a huge outcrop of gneiss rock towering 200 m above the surrounding countryside.
Inscriptions found in the caves at the base of the rock indicate that Sigiriya served as a place of religious retreat as far back as the 3rd century BCE, when Buddhist monks established refuges here. Sigiriya, as seen presently, was built by the fifth-century king Kashyapa I, who ruled the native Sinhalese dynasty, the Moriya. The imposing rock fortress was the capital of the Sinhalese kingdom until Kashyapa was defeated in A.D. 495.
The dramatic rock fortress, Sigiriya, is an imposing sight. Meaning “lion’s rock,” Sigiriya can be accessed by way of passageways cut into the rock face between a monumental pair of lion paws.
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which now lies in ruins, was once the thriving capital of the country. In the twelfth century, it stood as a magnificent symbol of early Sri Lankan civilization.
The ruins of Polonnaruwa are scattered over an extensive area of woodland about 4km from north to south. It is possible to cover everything in Polonnaruwa in a single long day, but you’ll have to start early.
Polonnaruwa was originally enclosed by three concentric walls, complete with parks and gardens. At the heart of the city lies the royal palace complex, while immediately to the north are the city’s most important cluster of religious buildings, the Quadrangle, which contains one of the finest groups of remains in the country.
To the west of the city lies the great artificial lake, the Parakrama Samudra, providing a scenic backdrop to the ancient city. The lake was created by the king Parakramabahu and provided the medieval city with water, cooling breezes, an additional line of defence, and also irrigated the paddy fields.
Although Polonnaruwa doesn’t have the huge religious significance of Anuradhapura, the city’s religious remains are still held sacred and signs outside many of the ruins ask you to remove your shoes as a token of respect.
Like Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura is another ancient capital city of Sri Lanka which now lies in ruins. Anuradhapura has a unique beauty, and its treasure lies in the religious and cultural history. It is also another of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. This historic and spectacular city of Anuradhapura has over the centuries established itself as a religious reference contributing to the growth of Buddhism in the country.
The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological artefacts like the enormous dagobas (brick stupas), ancient pools and crumbling temples, which were built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka. Today, several of the sites remain in use as holy places and temples, and the frequent ceremonies give Anuradhapura its own vibrancy.
One of the major cities of Sri Lanka, Galle is located at the distance of 119 kilometres from Colombo. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most important attractions of Galle is the beautifully preserved Galle Fort. The Fort is the largest existing sea fortress in South Asia and was built by the European occupiers of Sri Lanka.
You will find a beautiful blend of classic architecture along with Sri Lankan traditions in the entire city, which is set against a beautiful tropical background. Other prominent attractions in Galle are the National Maritime museum, the national harbour, the St. Mary’s cathedral, Shiva temple along with various shops and also a turtle hatchery. Tourists also visit Galle’s neighbouring coastal towns of Mirissa, Unawatuna, and Thalpe. Lanka.
Have a unique fun filled experience with the friendly Sri Lankan elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. There are 88 elephants in this orphanage, which is the largest herd of captive elephants around the globe.
Go surfing in Hikkadua, located on the southwest coast of the country, which is famous for surfing.
Try trekking at the Knuckles Mountain Range, Horton Plains, and Nuwara Eliya, which are considered among the best trekking trails in Sri Lanka.
Try Scuba Diving at Trincomalee, Unawatuna, or Hikkaduwa.
Go for a hot air balloon ride in Dambulla.
Spot some of the most majestic animals in a memorable safari experience, in the Kaudulla National Park.
The Dambulla Cave temple has been a sacred pilgrimage site for over 22 centuries, and this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. It has five caves and inside the ceilings of the caves there are colourful religious images as well as those of various gods and goddesses, some of Sri Lanka's most important and evocative religious art. There are images of the Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas. The Buddhist mural paintings are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues.
The caves offer superb views over the surrounding countryside and Sigiriya is clearly visible some 20 km distant.
Yala National Park is known for its impressive variety of animals and birds. There are about six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries in the vicinity of Yala, the largest among them being the Lunugamvehera National Park. The area around Yala has hosted several ancient civilisations and is also home to two important pilgrim sites, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Vihara. Yala is an ideal place to spot the “big four” of Sri Lankan wildlife which are- the elephants, the sloth bear, the illusive leopard and the wild buffalo.
It hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands and is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. The park is home to 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.
The one thing you absolutely cannot miss when you visit the Yala National Park is the Safari ride. The safari ride is perhaps the main point of attraction here which allows you to watch the wildlife at its best. There are authorised companies that conduct safari tours in the park, and there are provisions inside Yala National Park where one can book safari tours. Pre-booking facility is available with us.
The Arugam Bay beach is a surfer’s paradise. With beautiful soft sands and the deep waters of the Bay of Bengal in front of you, you can spend days lazing around here, under the sun. It is famous for being the best surf spot in the country.
The little town is pretty small in size with a population of just a few hundred, making it ideal for a laid-back beach scene that draws surfers and sun-seekers to Sri Lanka. It’s also a good starting point from where you can go on to explore the gorgeous surrounding countryside and its varied attractions, from the elephant-rich Lahugala National Park and the little-visited Yala East National Park to the atmospheric forest hermitage at Kudumbigala.
The Udawalawe National Park is bordered by soaring Highlands on its northern boundary and largely comprises grasslands. It is considered to be one of the best national parks in Sri Lanka. The National Park is known as among the world’s best places to see wild elephants. Apart from elephants, it is also known to be a home for other animals like leopards.
Udawalawe reservoir is the reason behind so many Sri Lankan elephants, as the reservoir is a very important source of water for them. You are bound to find an elephant in the park as there are approximately 500 to 700 elephants here, along with 184 birds, 33 reptiles, and 135 different species of butterflies. Other wild animals include Water buffaloes, wild boars, peacocks and also spotted deer.
• The relationship between tea and Sri Lanka is an old and loving one. Back in 1890 Sir Thomas Lipton saw an opportunity to bring tea to the masses, to change it from a drink that only the elite could afford to one that even the poorest folk would be able to enjoy on a daily basis. So he bought miles upon miles of tea plantations in Sri Lanka and shipped it all back to the UK, where the people loved it. The Scottish tea baron Sir Lipton used to survey his burgeoning empire from Lipton’s seat.
The experience of hiking up through the beautiful vast tea estates to reach Lipton’s seat is unmissable. The Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern provinces spread out from this incredible view point. Visible from the hilltop are 7 provinces along with sights such as Handapanagala Lake, Chandrika Lake, Udawalawe Lake, Wedihitikanda Mountains, and even the Hambanthota harbor from the Southern coast. And make sure you don’t leave without hiking to the spectacular drop at World’s End in Horton Plains National Park.
This is a SAMPLE itinerary. Our Sri Lanka tourism packages are customizable to suit your preferences.
Day 1Our representative will receive you at the Colombo International Airport once you reach Sri Lanka and take you to Kandy en route Pinnawala. The distance from Colombo to Kandy is about 133 km and will take around 3 hours. You will visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and watch baby elephants being fed on the first day of your Sri Lankan holiday. Continue to Kandy in the afternoon, check-in to your hotel and take some rest. After lunch, Go for a Kandy city tour. Go on a shopping trip, visit the Temple of Tooth Relic and watch a cultural Sri Lankan dance in the evening. After the hectic day, get back to your hotel for the night.
Day 2Have an early breakfast, and then set off for Nuwara Eliya. The distance from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is about 76 km and takes approx. 2.5 hours. Spend the second day of your tour riding through winding hills and tea estates. En route Nuwara Eliya, visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, which houses over 4000 species of exotic plants. Also, this is amongst the best places to visit in Sri Lanka for bird watchers. Your trip includes a stopover at a renowned tea factory and Ramboda Waterfalls. After lunch, take a city tour of Nuwara Eliya. Walk around the streets, explore a lake, racetrack, and well-kept lawns with hedges, a golf course, and an Anglican Church. Get to your hotel for the night.
Day 3After breakfast at the hotel, set off for Bentota. En route, visit Kitulgala, where the famous Oscar-winning movie Bridge on the River Kwai was shot. Upon your arrival at Bentota, first check-in at the hotel and then rest for a while. Spend this day of your holiday leisurely. Stroll over the golden beach in Bentota, take a dip in the cool water, or just sit and relax on the beachside.
Day 4Spend this day leisurely on the beach and bask under the golden sun. Read a novel that you've been putting away, or sip on a refreshing cocktail or just take a romantic stroll on the beach with your loved one. You can also indulge in water sports like water skiing, wind surfing, snorkelling, or riding a jet water scooter.
Day 5After breakfast, set off to Colombo. The distance from Bentota to Colombo is about 87 km and takes approx. 1.5 hours. Enjoy an evening city tour of Colombo. Indulge yourself in some souvenir shopping and sightseeing. Later board your flight for your journey back home.
Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary
Sri Lanka is not as expensive as traveling to European countries. However, it can be a little costlier than Southeast Asian countries. One can easily plan a budget trip to Sri Lanka for a week. In the major cities you can find accommodation options that suit any budget. Indian food is widely available and also pretty cheap. There are regular flights from India to Sri Lanka. The cost of flight to Sri Lanka will depend on the airlines, how much in advance the ticket was booked, peak or non-peak seasons, and the city you fly out from. Flying Squirrel Holidays provides customized travel services and we have package holidays to Sri Lanka / Sri Lanka honeymoon packages made according to your budget and preferences.
When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
If you wish to visit the west and south coasts, then the ideal time for you will be the months of December to March. April-September is perfect for visiting the east coast.
What is Sri Lanka known for?
The beautiful country of Sri Lanka is known for its vibrant cities, hiking trails, tea plantations, natural beauty, and rich history.
What can I buy in Sri Lanka?
Some of the things that you can buy in Sri Lanka are tea, spices, moonstone carvings, handwoven accessories, jewelry and gems, Buddha statues, elephant figurines, and Ayurvedic cosmetics.
People call Sri Lanka the “hidden treasure of Asia” and for the right reasons. The incredible island country is extremely underrated, but the world is slowly waking up to its astounding beauty. There is something for every type of tourist here. You can hike mountains, ride the scenic trains, laze away your time on the beaches, spot animals, admire tea plantations and indulge in the scrumptious food. Visit Sri Lanka with Flying Squirrel Holidays’ Sri Lanka tour packages from India.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates and freshest offers!