Sri Lanka is an island offering a myriad of choices beautiful
beaches, history and culture, wildlife and wonderful
Colombo ( Gampaha, Kaluthara )
The political capital of Sri Lanka is a fascinating city mixing areas dating from the 5th century with modern shopping malls. The city has much to interest visitors with Buddhist and Hindu temples, churches, the old parliament buildings, zoos and museums. Shopping is a must in Sri Lanka which is famous for gems and jewellery, teas and spices and good value clothing. So whether shopping in a local bazaar or in one of the modern shopping malls with their designer boutiques, there are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs of your holiday.
Kandy ( Matale, Nuwara Eliya )
Sri Lanka's hill capital is situated in the foothills of 'up country', next to a picturesque lake and is the island's most beautiful town. One of the main attractions Bahirawakanda temple and Dalada Maligawa Temple, where the sacred tooth relic of Buddha is enshrined, and each year the Esala Perahera festival is held when a replica of the relic is paraded. The procession is accompanied by exotically costumed dancers and musicians and 100 elephants, making it one of the most colourful pageants in Asia. The festival lasts for 10 days during July and August. Kandy also has numerous shrines and temples and the lovely Peradeniya Gardens with an amazing variety of plants, flowers and trees.
Anaratnapura ( Polonnaruwa )
The most famous gem mining area and know as the ' gem capital', Ratnapura is situated in the foothills of Adams Peak about 60 miles from Colombo. Precious stones including sapphires, rubies, amethysts, aquamarines, topaz and garnets are mined here and can be purchased or viewd at the local museums. Visits to the mines can also be arranged.
Set in the heart of tea country, this beautiful hill resort is over 6000 feet above sea level which gives it a spring like climate all yaer round. It is a serene retreat from the bustle of the towns and it is where the British created an English style countryside, with perfect lawns and beautiful parks. The scenery is stunning with rolling hills, waterfalls and acres of tea plantations.
Where King Kashyapa built a fortified palace on top of a rocky outcrop in the 5th century, with the outer walls being built on the very brink of the rock. The site is best known for wonderful frescoes and the water garden which has been restored to its former glory.
Galle ( Hambanthota, Matara )
This fortress city is built around a harbour, with many reminders of its chequered colonial past. Galle is a shoppers paradise for local crafts and a fascinatiing place to visit, especially the Dutch fort which encloses virtually the whole city.
The elephant orphanage is a favourite with visitors and is where the annimals are cared for before being released back into the wild. At any one time there will be about fifty elephants ranging from babies to enormous adults.
Yala National Park
A game reserve in the south east corner of the island which is home to elephant, leopard, wild boar, deer, buffalo, monkeys and a huge range of birds.
Uda Walawe National Park
Situated just 100 miles from Colombo the grasslands of Uda Walawe contain large herds of elephant and deer as well as wild boar, jackals and water buffalo