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SriLankaInStyle is a collective of innovative and passionate travel designers and guides who love planning incredible journeys around Sri Lanka. Whether you are looking for a stimulating family trip, a romantic getaway, an island adventure or a wellness retreat, we will advise you and create a unique, customised itinerary for you.

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What our travelers think

We have traveled widely and can honestly say that Sri Lanka will be one we would recommend. People are lovely and we had a fabulous trip!
CM United Kingdom
The Entire time in Sri Lanka, we felt safe and welcome. The people were so friendly and the children absolutely adorable.
Entire holiday was well designed. Choice of hotels and activities was good. The whole process of booking our holiday was prompt and smooth.
CG Singapore

Click over any of the locations on the map delve into everything there is to see and do in the area

A guide to destinations around Sri Lanka

Known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island that is rich in culture and history, spectacular landscapes and smiling Sri Lankans. With a history that dates back 35,000 years, Sri Lanka has flourished as a force to be reckoned with ever since it was included by Ptolemy in the world map. Surrounded by stunning beaches of different hues, the country’s interior is painted from a vibrant color palette which captures the exquisite beauty of a diverse variety of flora and wildlife that inhabit this land. Whether it’s exploring archaeological sites in Anuradhapura that have been around since 543 BC, observing the largest animal in the world in its natural habitat miles away from the Mirissa coast or visiting the birthplace of Ceylon Tea, a brand that is known across the world, in the breath-taking highlands, Sri Lanka is a destination that one must live through and experience.

← Click over any of the locations on the map delve into everything there is to see and do in the area


Although today this historical city is comprised of a multitude of enigmatic and captivating ruins which allow visitors to explore Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s heritage architecture, in its heyday Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s shining capital, founded in 377 BC as the island’s first civilisation and which remained so until the 11th century AD. The stately royal city is a resilient one, having endured multiple invasions from South India which it steadfastly stood strong against until 995 AD. Anuradhapura’s imposing dagobas and sprawling monasteries are testament to its deeply-embedded Buddhist roots, earning it the title of a World Heritage Site. It’s also home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest tree: the Sri Maha Bodhi, which is said to be a cutting from the tree under which Buddha sat and attained enlightenment.

Anuradhapura is vast: sprawling across 40sqkm, it is difficult to explore all of the citadel in one day, so we recommend getting around by bike as the paths are flat and the routes between the remains are scenic – a guide will accompany you every step of the way. Having a site guide will dramatically enhance a visit to Anuradhapura, bringing to life the historic ruins which span 1,300 years.

Other things to do in this area include: birding at Kaludiya Pokuna, an abandoned Buddhist temple shrouded within a tranquil wilderness; trekking through Ritigala Forest Reserve in search of the remains of an ancient Buddhist monastery which lie hidden within the jungle, and hiking up the mountain peak of Mihintale, said to be the place where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka. Relax after a tiring day exploring these fascinating cultural sites with an authentic Ayurvedic spa treatment.

Why go here?
  • Discover the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka
  • See the sacred ancient Bo Tree
  • Explore the island’s first royal citadel

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is a picturesque beach town on the south-east edge of the island, internationally renowned for being one of the best surfing spots in the world. Soak up the slow-paced, laidback atmosphere here and explore your rural surroundings – head to Kumana National Park, or climb to Kudumbigala Monastery – or just loll on the beach and indulge in some exciting water-sports.

Why go here?
  • One of the top ten surf spots worldwide
  • Escape the stresses of city life


Bandarawela might not be as rich in tea leaves as its tea country siblings, but it was still the second most important hill station under the Brits who singled out its cool yet dry climate as the perfect place to live and recuperate. Today, travelers are drawn here because of the excellent walking opportunities offered by Bandarawela’s lush hills, which provide sensational views across the rest of the tea country. Perched at an altitude of over 1,200m, Bandarawela’s fresh climate is ideal for outdoor activities: discover the delight of hiking up Poonagala Hill and passing tea estates, paddy fields and wooded jungle glens.

There are a limited number of hotels in Bandarawela, but The Dutch House is a beautiful 18th century villa which provides magnificent views and has the unusual feature of an indoor swimming pool which may be preferable in the town’s cooler temperatures.

Why go here?
  • Gaze out at sensational hill views
  • Wander along Sri Lanka’s best walking trails


Exploring Batticaloa is one of the best ways to experience rural local life in Sri Lanka. The town lies on the island’s stunning east coast but is not visited by many tourists, overshadowed by its more popular neighbors Passikudah and Arugam Bay. Join the locals and cycle through the town, passing locals fishing in the lagoon, or explore its old Fort which was built by the Portuguese then developed by the Dutch and British colonial powers.

Why go here?
  • Gain an insight into rural Sri Lankan life
  • Avoid the busy tourist trail


Bentota used to be a place to rest on the way to the nearby medieval Galapatha Temple, which legend claims is linked by a maze of subterranean tunnels with all other temples in the area. Today this coastal town is a popular holiday destination for those seeking to do sea sports and other water-based activities: go jet-skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and canoeing on the Bentota Lagoon, or take a boat trip up the river and look out for wildlife hiding in the mangroves on either side. Bentota is a fantastic choice for families travelling with older children.

There are several hotels in Bentota that were designed by the revered Geoffrey Bawa, who has been named as ‘the father of Asian architecture’. The Villa Bentota and Club Villa – once both part of the same property – feature beautiful internal courtyard areas and long gardens which slope down to the sea. Travellers can also visit Lunuganga, Bawa’s country house and landscaped gardens, which lies a little way inland from the beach, and discover the details of Bawa’s past and his influence on Sri Lankan architecture.

Why go here?
  • Indulge in exhilarating water-sports
  • Beautiful beaches close to Colombo


Sri Lanka’s coastal capital is a wonderful confusion of old and new, traditions and modernity, a multicultural hubbub of people and influences from all over the world. International brands and new restaurants line the streets, sitting beside colonial-period buildings and small stalls spilling with exotic vegetables. It is a thriving urban metropolis with much to explore, from historic temples to tranquil parks, and is one of the most clean and compact capital cities in Asia. Wander through the busy streets and absorb Colombo’s delightfully chaotic, juxtaposing sights, sounds and smells.

Why go here?
  • See the historic Galle Face Hotel
  • Eat at two of the top 50 restaurants in Asia
  • Experience Sri Lanka’s modern-day multiculturalism
  • Discover the island’s colonial history


Well-known due to the incredible historical site of Dambulla Cave Temple, one of the most popular and astonishing cultural sites in Sri Lanka. It is a veritable storehouse of fine Sinhala art and showcase some of the most stunning murals on the island. Five dimly-lit caves moulded out of one huge rocky overhang at the top of a steep 160m granite outcrop are home to an enviable collection of breath-taking statues, carvings, stupas and paintings, jam-packed into almost every bit of space. Exquisite murals radiating red and gold hues illustrate magnificent battle scenes and tell the story of Lord Buddha’s own fight against temptation on his path to enlightenment.

Hotels in Dambulla offer much tranquillity, positioned in the quiet wilderness that surrounds each of the Cultural Triangle towns. Kalundewa Retreat is particularly relaxing due to its remote location, and is accessed via a boat ride along the river. Heritance Kandalama, Geoffrey Bawa’s austere jungle palace, snakes along a dramatic rocky outcrop which overlooks the magnificent Kandalama Lake and is one of the best accommodation options in this area.

Why go here?
  • A central point in the Cultural Triangle
  • See the amazing Dambulla Cave Temple


Ella is one of Sri Lanka’s most escapist locations, a laidback town poised at one of the island’s highest points, encased by sprawling, gloriously lush tea fields. Its relaxed atmosphere attracts many backpackers, and those young-at-heart, but will delight anyone seeking a quiet and picturesque location. Go walking in the surrounding areas: wind your way through the neat rows of tea; climb to the top of Little Adam’s Peak and marvel at the astonishing views across the Ella Gap; wander to a nearby waterfall, or trek to the top of Ella Rock for breath-taking hill country vistas.

Why go here?
  • Soak up the chilled-out atmosphere
  • See the glorious Ella Gap
  • Marvel at a range of breath-taking vistas

Gal Oya

One of Sri Lanka’s most remote national parks, Gal Oya is located in the east of the island and is a wonderfully escapist place to go, a tranquil area of thick jungle inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife. In the centre of this unique park is a large reservoir dotted with islands – take a boat safari across the water at sunset and watch elephants swimming between these small patches of land. You can also go on a jeep safari, or go on a walk with the Veddas, Sri Lanka’s indigenous people.

Why go here?
  • See elephants swimming at sunset
  • Relax in beautiful and peaceful surroundings
  • Meet Sri Lanka’s indigenous people


One of the island’s most historic and entrancing destinations, Galle is a famous town on Sri Lanka’s south coast which boasts: a fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; old colonial buildings with beautiful architecture; a selection of unique shops, art galleries, restaurants and boutique hotels, and a vibrant multicultural society. Many hours can be spent wandering Galle’s narrow streets, or visiting the beaches of Unawatuna and Thalpe nearby.

Why go here?
  • Explore Sri Lanka’s colonial history
  • Shop for gifts and souvenirs


A remote location in Sri Lanka’s Deep South, Hambantota is a good place to stay if you want to visit the historic religious sites of Tissamaharama and Kataragama, or if you want to relax at Shangri-La’s latest hotel which boasts one of the best golf courses in Sri Lanka.

Why go here?
  • Indulge in a round of golf
  • Visit nearby ancient religious sites
  • Escape the tourist trail


A tranquil and escapist place towards the south of Sri Lanka’s spectacular hill country, Haputale is renowned as one of the best places to go walking in Sri Lanka because of its spectacular viewpoints, including the famous ‘Lipton’s Seat’.

Why go here?
  • Breath-taking walking routes
  • Find total peace and quiet


Hatton is one of the most picturesque parts of Sri Lanka’s hill country. Endless rolling tea fields cover the undulating hills, and majestic mountains stand proudly on the horizon. Go walking around this beautiful landscape, visiting nearby tea factories and Castlereagh Lake, or relax in the garden of your planter’s bungalow and indulge in a traditional English high tea whilst taking in the beautiful views.

Why go here?
  • Beautiful walking trails
  • Stay in an old planter’s bungalow
  • Explore Sri Lanka’s tea country
  • Escape the stresses of urban life


One of the newest holiday destinations in Sri Lanka, Jaffna is not yet part of the main tourist trails and offers travelers an insight into authentic local life in the island. Its proximity to South India means that Jaffna shares many of its cultural aspects, including language, religion, traditions and cuisine, and therefore is a cultural microcosm within Sri Lanka. Explore the brightly-colored Hindu temples; cycle through the busy streets; learn how to make Jaffna crab curry, and visit the lively market.

Why go here?
  • Experience Jaffna’s unique culture
  • Learn to make mouth-watering curries


One of the newest holiday destinations in Sri Lanka, Jaffna is not yet part of the main tourist trails and offers travelers an insight into authentic local life in the island. Its proximity to South India means that Jaffna shares many of its cultural aspects, including language, religion, traditions and cuisine, and therefore is a cultural microcosm within Sri Lanka. Explore the brightly-colored Hindu temples; cycle through the busy streets; learn how to make Jaffna crab curry, and visit the lively market.

Why go here?
  • Experience Jaffna’s unique culture
  • Learn to make mouth-watering curries

Kandy Victoria Golf

The Kandyan foothills are some of the most scenic parts of Sri Lanka: rolling lush green hills covered with glimmering tea plants; paths lined with colorful flowers, waterfalls and rivers; small rural villages with brightly-painted houses mountain peaks – all framed by towering mountain peaks covered in cloud forest. Head an hour out of Kandy and you will reach Victoria Golf and Country Resort, which not only boasts one of the most beautiful golf courses in Asia, but also has spectacular views and an alluringly tranquil atmosphere.

Why go here?
  • Explore Sri Lanka’s colonial history
  • Take the train into the hills
  • Witness the annual Perahera procession
  • Connect with the island’s traditional arts


The last royal kingdom of Sri Lanka and the official capital of the hill country, Kandy is a town with a rich cultural heritage which can be explored in a variety of ways, from walking round the 19th century Royal Botanical Gardens (which were created by the British) to visiting the iconic Temple of the Tooth. As one of the main cities in the island, life here is fast-paced and engaging, but the spectacular Knuckles Mountain Range is right on the doorstep if you are seeking peace and privacy. Listen to the evening chanting at the Temple of the Tooth; go on a guided walk through the bustling markets, or watch a dramatic display of traditional Kandyan dancing, which ends in a hair-raising ‘fire-walk’.

Why go here?
  • Explore Sri Lanka’s colonial history
  • Take the train into the hills
  • Witness the annual Perahera procession
  • Connect with the island’s traditional arts


Kithulgala is the ultimate adventure holiday destination in Sri Lanka. Positioned in a wetzone rainforest in the foothills of the tea country on the edge of the Kelani River, Kithulgala offers many exciting activities for thrill-seekers and those who love the outdoors, including trekking, canyoning and white-water rafting. These beautiful surroundings were the backdrop for the famous film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’.

Why go here?
  • Indulge in adventure activities
  • Relax in stunning remote surroundings


A quiet refuge in the hill country for those wanting to explore some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful landscapes through a range of relaxing and invigorating activities, such as walking and mountain biking.

Why go here?
  • For those seeking peace and quiet
  • A fantastic area for walking


Mirissa is one of the most popular beach towns on the south coast. Its sweeping, crescent-shaped bay is enchanting, and a wide range of water-sports are on offer, including snorkeling, surfing and sailing. You can also head out to sea in search of dolphins and whales, including the majestic Blue Whale. Dine on a variety of delicious seafood dishes, and watch glorious sunsets with a cocktail in hand.

Why go here?
  • For a lively, youthful atmosphere
  • Indulge in a range of water-sports


Despite its current laidback nature, Matara played a pivotal role in ancient Ruhuna kingdom serving as its capital and thereafter as an important base for the Portuguese, Dutch and English. Travelers who visit Matara town are bound to be greeted by the Matara Fort initially built by the Portuguese and then heavily fortified by the Dutch. It served as a center point for cinnamon and elephant trading during the VOC period. In addition to the main ramparts, the Dutch also built a six-pointed star fort which was believed to have had the best defense system set in place.

 In addition to the forts, there’s also the Dondra Lighthouse.  Built during the English period in the southern most point of the island it is considered as to be of the tallest lighthouses in South East Asia.  The old Nupe market and the Dutch Reformed Church are some of the other architectural landmarks that have been well-preserved over the centuries.

Why go here?
  • Visit the Matara Fort and the Star Fort
  • Visit local architectural landmarks
  • Enjoy the spectacular beaches in the area


Negombo is a youthful town on the north-west coast just an hour from Colombo. Its proximity to the island’s capital and closeness to the international airport means that it has long-been a popular location for a beach holiday, although its beaches are not as beautiful as those of the south. Here, however, you can observe the local life and watch fishermen dragging their painted catamarans ashore, or fishing on the lagoon. You can also head to the nearby wetlands for birdwatching, or simply relax by the pool and recuperate after a long flight.

Why go here?
  • Convenient for the airport
  • Water-sports including kite-surfing

Nuwara Eliya

This historic town lies at one of the highest points in Sri Lanka, within the island’s dramatic hill country. A base for the British during the 19th and 20th centuries, Nuwara Eliya is home to many tea plantations and planter’s bungalows, as well as other iconic colonial features including the racecourse and golf club. Horton Plains National Park is nearby, a striking landscape of wide plains, waterfalls and patches of forest, or you can explore the surrounding tea plantations and visit a local tea factory. Staying in Nuwara Eliya is like stepping back in time.

Why go here?
  • Learn about Sri Lanka’s British colonial history
  • Explore the island’s iconic tea industry


Passikudah sits on Sri Lanka’s gorgeous east coast, and is renowned for its beautiful bay which is one of the longest stretches of shallow coastline in the world. You can walk impossibly far out into the ocean until the water reaches your waist, surrounded by nothing but warm waves with the sun beaming down above you. Passikudah is a hotspot for tourists between May and September and is a great location for families – parents can laze on the sand whilst children try a range of exhilarating water-sports, including jet-skiing and snorkeling.

Why go here?
  • Perfect for a family beach holiday
  • Exhilarating water-sport
  • Stunning and tranquil bay


The remarkably well-preserved ruins of Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital are fascinating the explore, particularly if you are interested in discovering more about the island’s ancient history and the time of the Sinhalese kings. These sensational pieces of architecture include palace buildings, temples and shrines, as well as a ginormous dagoba. You can also observe the monkey population here, which was filmed for the Disney documentary film ‘Monkey Kingdom’.

Why go here?
  • Discover Sri Lanka’s medieval city
  • Explore the island’s ancient heritage
  • Meet the monkeys of Polonnaruwa


If you are interested in discovering an authentic Sri Lanka, Puttlam is the place for you. A remote area in the island’s north-west, Puttlam is home to ancient tanks, small villages and large areas of rural wilderness teeming with wildlife, all of which can be explored ‘local style’ by bike. A truly escapist setting.

Why go here?
  • Experience authentic rural life
  • Escape the busting towns and cities
  • Immerse yourself in nature


Home to one of Sri Lanka’s most awe-inspiring historical sites, Sigiriya is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka. The majestic Sigiriya Rock Fortress, built in 5th century AD by King Kasyapa, sits atop a towering rock which rises straight out of plains below, accessed by stairways which criss-cross to the summit. The remnants of barracks and stunning water gardens lie at the foot of the rock, whilst ancient cave paintings can be seen during the climb, but the highlight is undoubtedly the breath-taking panoramas at the top. Sigiriya is a protected UNESCO site, an incredible example of ingenious ancient engineering with a wonderfully dramatic design which astonishes all who visit.

Why go here?
  • See the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Explore Sri Lanka’s ancient cultural heritage
  • See the Elephant Gathering at Minneriya


Sinharaja Rainforest is the last stretch of virgin rainforest in Sri Lanka, a mysterious and murky area covered in soaring tropical trees, lush vegetation and exotic flowers. This magnificent rainforest is paradise for those seeking utter tranquility or a total immersion in nature. Go walking beneath the dense canopy and lose yourself in the silent wilderness, looking out for animals moving through the tree tops or the undergrowth and listening for the dramatic cries of the 147 bird species which are found here. A haven for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts and the adventurous.

Why go here?
  • See a wide variety of the birds of Sri Lanka
  • Discover different species of endemic flora


One of the best romantic getaway destinations in Sri Lanka, Tangalle is a town on the south coast which boasts some of the most peaceful and enchanting beaches in the island. Long stretches of golden sand, fringed by towering palm trees, are gently lapped by the ocean, are interspersed with small coves and private bays, whilst the town itself has a small market and harbour which can be explored. Enjoy long days in the sun with nothing but the sea and sand around you.

Why go here?
  • Honeymoon hotspot
  • Secluded beaches
  • Visit Mulgirigala Rock Temple


Poised on Sri Lanka’s north-east coast, Trincomalee is a beautiful town with much to explore, including a historic Hindu temple, old colonial fort and spectacular harbour. Trincomalee is a great place for exploring the effects the European colonial powers had on Sri Lanka, and also has many spectacular beaches which rival those of the Maldives.

Why go here?
  • Relax on beautiful beaches
  • Explore Sri Lanka’s colonial history
  • Go snorkeling at Pigeon Island


Wadduwa is a little-visited beach town on Sri Lanka’s west coast, approximately an hour from both Colombo and Bentota, a great option for those who do not want to do much traveling and are seeking a location where they can do a wide variety of activities. Wadduwa’s beaches are in themselves beautiful, but it is also a tranquil base from which to explore Sri Lanka’s busy capital, or the popular beaches of Bentota which are renowned for being one of the best places to do water-sports in Sri Lanka.

Why go here?
  • Beautiful beaches close to the capital
  • Quieter than nearby Bentota


Weligama is a picturesque town on Sri Lanka’s south coast, located between the popular tourist haunts of Galle and Mirissa. Its towering coastal headland offers majestic views across the bay, and the seas around Weligama offer fantastic opportunities for surfing – head to nearby Ahangama and Midigama to find the best waves. Relax on secluded beaches and soak up some sun, or visit one of the many attractions within easy reach, including the historic Galle Fort.

Why go here?
  • Beautiful sea view
  • Tranquil atmosphere
  • Close to Galle Fort and Mirissa

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu is the oldest and largest wildlife park in Sri Lanka, and also one of the most beautiful. Its varied landscapes include coastal cliffs, jungle, grass plains and lakes and it is home to a wide variety of animals, including big game such as elephants, sloth bears and leopards, and many different types of bird, both migratory and endemic. There are also small ancient ruins within the park which date back over 1,500 years. Go on a jeep drive through the park in search of some of Sri Lanka’s most iconic wildlife and enjoy the spectacular scenery around you.

Why go here?
  • See a wide range of Sri Lankan wildlife
  • Enjoy the spectacular scenery
  • Quieter than the busy southern parks
How long should you stay?
  • 2 Days

Yala National Park

Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s most popular wildlife park due to its large size and it boasting the highest density of leopards anywhere in the world. The park’s environments are diverse, although scrub jungle is the most common landscape. Go on a jeep drive in search of leopards, elephants, sloth bear and other Sri Lankan animals such as mugger crocodiles, mongoose and a variety of rare and beautiful birds.

Why go here?
  • Spot Sri Lanka’s big game
  • Highest chances of seeing a leopard

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