10 Things You Must See When Visiting Sri Lanka
A lush tropical destination that combines ancient lands and contemporary culture, experience the wonders of Sri Lanka. Spend your days uncovering historical ruins, spotting whales swimming in clear oceans, and hiking through the country’s vast and varied landscape. Undoubtedly an adventure that should be on everyone’s bucket list, make the most of your trip with our top 10 must-see sights.
1) World Heritage Kandy
Sacred and spiritual, the city of Kandy is the ideal place to discover more of Sri Lanka’s deeply religious roots. Stop here to unwind and take in the beautiful greenery of the surrounding mountains, relaxing in your own thoughts and taking a moment of peaceful reflection. Once fully refreshed, step out into the streets to unearth a wealth of precious and semi-precious stones in the jewellery shops, or find a handcrafted batik to take a little of the artistic culture home.
2) Dalada Maligawa Temple
Within Kandy, a trip to the Dalada Maligawa Temple is a must. Here, you’ll be able to learn more of Sri Lanka’s religious past, enriching your trip with spiritual significance. The Temple is also known as ‘The Temple of the Tooth’ as it was the final destination of the Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth in the 4th century AD, which itself has a deep history ready to be discovered. Walk through the ancient corridors and take in the gorgeous architecture, spending a few hours here before heading back into the city.
The first capital of Sri Lanka which saw the reign of over 100 Kings, Anuradhapura was once the most celebrated monastic cities in the Ancient world. The history left behind here will leave you with plenty to unearth, from temples to royal gardens. Be sure to reflect on your trip by finding the branch of the tree Lord Buddha once sat beneath, discovering true enlightenment, before cooling down in the lavish palaces of ancient Kings.
When visiting Anuradhapura, get to grips with the country’s landscape by visiting Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the flats of the surrounding plains, Sigiriya rises dramatically from the ground, with rocky, near-vertical walls stretching to the sky where a flat-topped summit holds the remains of a long-lost civilisation. Climb to the summit for views of the plains before heading back to your hotel for some well-needed relaxation - the walk can be tiring, so why not treat yourself to a sunset drink or two once you’re back?
5) Koneswaram Temple
The Koneswaram Temple, or ‘The Temple of the Thousand Pillars’ is a breath-taking temple in the Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka. The temple is a religious pilgrimage centre for Hindu’s across the country and is steeped in history and tradition. The Temple overlooks Gokarna bay as well as the Indian Ocean and offers the chance for you to take in some incredible views whilst learning about the vast history of the temple which was originally built in 205 BC.
6) Dambulla Cave Temple
Art and culture combine in this ancient temple, which was carved into a 150 metre high rock between the periods of the 1st century BC and 993 AD. Walk through five different caves to find 150 Buddha statues, each one intricately crafted 2,000 years ago and added to by the old Kings of the country. Make sure to find the 14 meter long Buddha, which shouldn't be too hard as it’s somewhat difficult to miss, and admire the brightly coloured paintings that adorn the cave ceilings.
7) Pigeon Island
Take a private boat to Pigeon Island, a marine park that’s home to many rock pigeons. Explore the wildlife and bask in the greenery of the island, before heading to the powdery, white-sand beach, broken up by huddles of rock pools. The real treasure here, however, lies beneath the clear waters where a whole ecosystem of marine life awaits. Take a snorkel and head out to catch a glimpse of the colourful coral, tropical reef fish, and slow-swimming turtles.
8) Bentota Beach
For ocean-lovers, you’ll have to take a trip to the small town of Bentota that lies on the country’s south-west coast. Here you’ll find Bentota Beach, a stretch-sand which lies between palm-trees and glittering blue sea. Head out onto the waves with a private luxury boat or yacht charter arranged by your Travel Specialist before relaxing with a refreshing drink on the sand, basking in the warmth of the Sri Lankan sun.
9) Adam’s Peak
If you’re looking for a challenge on your Sri Lankan adventure, take the pilgrimage up Adam’s Peak. Over 2,000 metres tall, this is by no means an easy climb, but looking down on clouds that trail through mountain tops at its peak makes it well worth it. Sacred to several faiths, this can also be a time of learning and cultural enrichment.
10) Ayurveda Retreat
Unwind from everyday life with an indulgent Ayurveda Retreat. You’ll be treated to ancient, herbal remedies to improve health and wellness, easing stress and helping with medical ailments. Old wisdom combines with modern luxury at a number of resorts across the country, including Reef Villa and Santani.
Sri Lanka is home to an abundance of culture, history, and tropical paradises, so be sure to get a taste of everything on your trip.
At Quintessentially Travel, we can craft a bespoke itinerary created exclusively to your taste, making sure you see and do everything you want to. We can even help pick out hotels and accommodation from the finest establishments around the world to suit your style, and organise private charters to escort you around the country. Whether it be a trip for yourself and family, or a journey for your brand to help build relationships with customers, clients and employees, our Travel Specialists can help you make the most of your journey and save your valuable time by taking care of all your travel needs.
If you’d like to know more, get in touch with our team today.