Walking through the beautifully manicured, vivid green tea plantations, stopping for afternoon tea - complete with cucumber sandwiches and a choice of local teas - and then finally settling in with a G&T by the fire. Colonial bliss!
Rosie, Original Traveller
Sitting pretty at the southern tip of India, the teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka is a small country with a big combination of attractions - culture, beaches and nature - that make this the perfect destination for a luxury holiday.
Why we think you’ll love it
- Yala National Park on the south east coast; the pristine jungle plays host to both man and beast, who live good naturedly side-by-side.
- The ancient site of Sigiriya, built on the fresco-adorned 'Lion Rock' that towers 200 metres above beautiful surrounding gardens, is spectacular.
- Sri Lanka is home to an abundance of exotic species of wildlife, making the country's national parks a flora and fauna haven.
From the gallery
Sri Lanka Luxury Holidays: The Detail
Long a favourite Original Travel destination, Sri Lanka has no fewer than seven World Heritage Sites, including ancient cities, temples and nature reserves. No wonder the country is known as the 'island of serendipity' by those fortunate enough to stumble upon it. To be sure, Sri Lanka is being stumbled upon on a more regular basis now, but the country's appearance on the luxury holiday radar merely means more and better boutique hotels and improved logisitics.
Now for some context. Sri Lanka was once of huge importance to European powers with an eye on spice markets and trade routes, and fascinating vestiges of the colonial control wielded by first the Portuguese and Dutch and latterly the British can be seen around the country.
Did you know
- Before 1972, Sri Lanka was known as 'Ceylon'
- Spicy curry is Sri Lanka's most common dish, served with rice and vegetables
- Sri Lanka is also called the 'Teardrop of India' because of its teardrop shape and, you guessed it, its proximity to India
- The elephant is the symbol of Sri Lanka
- Every year Sri Lanka serves as a venue for an elephant pageant
But in our opinion it's the Ceylonese cultural heritage that marks Sri Lanka out as a truly extraordinary luxury holiday destination. The Cultural Triangle in the northern centre of the country, comprising the tongue-twisting cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, as well as Dambulla and the island's crowning glory - the rock fortress of Sigiriya - together making this an astonishing heritage heartland. Heading south the leafy holy city of Kandy and Sri Lanka's tea plantations are also highlights. Finally, Yala and Wilpattu National Parks might not have the tigers that make India's reserves so popular, but they are both beautiful and home to populations of leopards.
And then there are the beaches. Palm-fringed and stretching for mile upon mile, Sri Lanka's beaches are some of the least spoiled in Asia. The south coast is home to some of the very best, with an ever growing number of charming boutique hotels looking straight out onto the ocean. The centre of the south coast action is the wonderful walled city of Galle, like a Lankan Lucca and potentially worth a day or two's exploration before the lure of the beach overwhelms all your other luxury holiday plans.
The Original Travel team have been to Sri Lanka on a number of occasions over the past few years and have watched with satisfaction as the island bounces back from the trauma of the civil war years. We are passionate about the destination and know the country in detail, so when planning your luxury holiday we can suggest everything from the finest beach chic boutique hotels to stay in to the finest tea to take home as a souvenir.