Our Top 10:
Regardless of whether you prefer to watch the wildlife on a safari or while visiting the sea turtles on the beach - in Sri Lanka you can experience the real and untouched nature in its purity. The first national park of the country was already established 300 years bc to protect biodiversity.
Our recommendations: Yala West National Park, Bundala National Park and Rekawa at Tangalla.
No animal is as closely associated with Sri Lanka as the elephant. Nowadays the island counts more than 7000 of them. Most life in national parks and can be observed in their natural environment. Do not be surprised though, when you suddenly meet one on the road.
The south coast of Sri Lanka is one of the best locations in the world for watching mighty blue whales, pot whales and dolphins. Boat trips are possible during the season from December to April when the sea is calm. During this time, large herds of dolphins, sometimes by the hundreds, can be spotted a few km from the coast.
Sri Lanka is one of the largest tea exporters in the world. The plants thrive best in the highlands, including around the town Nuwara Eliya. Even the trip with the old railway up the mountains is an experience in itself. When you arrive at the plantations you can try out yourself as a tea picker and drink one of the most famous teas in the world where it is produced. That"s what we call authenticity.
Just a few kilometres from the UTMT there is a special Buddhist temple. The Wewurukannala Vihara is a 50m high Buddha statue which can be climbed and offers a breath taking view over the tops of the palm trees. For the unterrified the basement of the temple offers a surprise. Here you can explore the Buddhist hell and all penalties that are expected in the afterlife for any felony during a Buddhist life.
Even from the distance you can glimpse the Lion Rock Sigiriya immediately. He rises massively from nowhere out of the lowlands. King Kassapa escaped out of fear of his stepbrother, whose father he had killed to come to power, on the 185m high rock and build his luxurious palace there. The ruins seen today can only give us the imagination of the extent of the outstanding beauty there was. Do not forget to take a look at the famous "Cloud Girls" during the ascent.
The former Arab sailors saw in Adam's Peak (Sri Pada) the highest mountain in the world. Today, the 2243m high Sri Pada is known as one of the most famous sacred mountains in the world. Revered since ancient times, it is visited by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians as a place of pilgrimage. The reason for this is a footprint in the stone at the top of the mountain, which is revered as Buddha's, Shiva"s or Adam"s footprint. A climb over the 5000-11000 stairs can be done during December and April and should be started at night to experience the breath taking spectacle of sunrise over Sri Lanka.
Set within the stunning green landscape of the tea plantations, rice fields and green forests we find the former royal city of Kandy. Surrounded by the mountains and the Mahaweli Ganga, the longest river in Sri Lanka, it is the fourth largest city of the country and spiritual-religious centre. Here at the Kandy Lake you find the most famous of all Buddhists relics - the Sacred Tooth of Buddha. A visit to the Temple of the Tooth, build in the 18th Century, is possible three times a day and celebrated with a pompous ceremony.
Probably no city in Sri Lanka offers such a number of historic buildings as Galle. In the Dutch Fort, which is over 350 years old and pushes into the Indian Ocean like a tongue, whole areas seem to have fallen out of time. Whether ancient churches, historical buildings or the massive defensive walls - everywhere you will be remembered of the era of Galle as a major port city. In addition to marketers in the streets, you can spot courageous Klipspringers who get their thrills by jumping from the rock into the deep of the ocean at the Flagrock Bastion.
Since 1800, Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka. The location on the west coast, right at the sea made it one of the most important port cities and the hub of the country. The district "Fort" is probably the most impressive with the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and the skyscrapers of the Hilton and the Bank of Ceylon. There you can find the famous clock tower and Parliament building. From the Fort you can stroll along the sea on the beach promenade of the Galle Face Green. Impressive tip: the Gangaramya Temple.