If you're looking for a tropical holiday that's more than just a pretty beach, you've arrived at the right place (or you will do soon.) Sri Lanka has got it all: impressive temples, amazing wildlife, delicious cuisine and jaw-dropping scenery – as well as all the palm-fringed beaches you'd expect from an island in the sun.
Plenty of culture, a friendly welcome and brilliant weather all make this little teardrop-shaped island a great place to holiday. Discover mystical historic sites, sprawling tea plantations and serene mountain hideaways, or simply unwind on the gorgeous golden sands.
We've found a selection of perfect places to stay in Sri Lanka; just choose your favourite and get ready for an unforgettable holiday.
Sri Lanka's tropical climate means that it is warm all year round. December to April and July and August are the best times to visit.
There are hundreds of once in a lifetime experiences to be had in Sri Lanka. Whether you're heading out to the hills, learning to surf, going leopard-spotting, fishing, diving, shopping in the textile markets, exploring ancient sites and religious temples or tasting tea fresh from the plantation, you won't get bored. Of course, you may just choose to chill out on one of the many beaches; with soft, golden sands and swaying palm trees, they're the perfect place to do it.
In hotels and resorts, you'll find a choice of international and buffet restaurants, but the local food is unmissable. Sri Lankan curries are amongst the most flavoursome and aromatic in the world. The tropical climate means home grown ingredients are at chefs' fingertips so there are plenty of just-picked herbs and spices. On the coast, the freshly-caught fish is divine (especially when eaten under the starlight at a seafront shack.) Don't miss the chance to visit the plantations and taste the best cup of tea in the tropics.
The highlight of most evenings in Sri Lanka is chilling out in the moonlight. Like the other Indian Ocean islands, entertainment tends to be low-key and based around hotels. It's not all quiet though: in Negombo and Beruwela you'll find a good choice of late bars. Head to capital Colombo and discover an ever-growing set of buzzing nightspots, clubs, casinos and live music venues.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.