One of the finest islands in the world, Sri Lanka is celebrated for its beautiful natural landscapes, wildlife and historical landmarks.
The perfect holiday destination for readers seeking exploration and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, DC Thomson Travel highlights 12 special places to visit.
Popular resort destination Negombo offers plenty of sights, sounds and experiences.
Resting in the city, visitors should keep an eye out for Angurukaramulla Temple and the local fish market, one of the liveliest places in Negombo.
2. The Lion’s Rock Fortress at Sigiriya
The ancient rock palace at Sirgirya, referred to as the Lion’s Rock Fortress is a popular excursion during a visit to this corner of the world.
On arrival, visitors will be welcomed by the sight of the amazing entrance.
Carved into the rock are two massive Lion claws guarding the steps up to the palace.
Taking the steps leads visitors on a zig-zagging route to the top of the rock where they can explore the remains of the fortress and take in the breath-taking views of the surrounding forested landscape.
Yet another UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, Polonnaruwa was once Sri Lanka’s ancient capital.
Visiting the different ancient structures really is like taking a step back in time with notable places to visit including the Royal Palace complex and Gal Vihara rock temple of the Buddha.
Capital of Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, the city of Anuradhapura is a deeply historic city.
Originally the country’s capital thousands of years ago, Anuradhapura is packed with ancient temples and Buddhist statues dating back thousands of years.
5. Dambulla Cave Temple
UNESCO-listed since 1991, the cave complex known as Dambulla Cave Temple is a wonderfully preserved landmark.
A series of connected caves, the temple can be explored by visitors.
During your exploration you will encounter a huge number of Buddhist statues and relics often brightly decorated with gold and red paint.
A sacred pilgrimage site for over 2000 years, the temple is a fascinating place to visit and one of the world’s most important religious sites.
6. The Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic
Standing in the city of Kandy since the 16th century, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a must-experience whilst in country.
Brought to Sri Lanka from India in the 4th century, the tooth has been housed within the temple for centuries.
An important Buddhist landmark, the temple houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha and is a key reason why Kandy is listed as a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.
7. Nuwara Eliya
Think of Sri Lanka and your mind may just evoke scenes of the country’s vast, green landscapes.
Tea is one of the main exports leaving the country and the region of Nuwara Eliya is the place to visit to gain some insight into the tea production process.
Starting at a plantation right through to the tea factories, a visit to the region often proves to be a key highlight during tours of this beautiful country.
8. Yala National Park
Found close to the vast Indian Ocean, Yala National Park, first established over 100 years ago, is home to a diverse variety of wildlife.
Within the park, visitors may just spot some of the world’s most iconic animals including leopards, elephants, crocodiles and a great selection of birds.
Exploring the park during a safari provides plenty of opportunity for guests to take part in a spot of wildlife watching from a comfortable vantage point as experts use their local knowledge to venture out in search of some of the planet’s best known animals.
Beautifully set amongst lush green trees the country is known for, the coastal village of Weligama is a popular beach resort.
A key draw are the beaches found tucked away along the stretch of coastline.
Visitors will be welcomed by the tropical sight of lovely sandy, palm trees and coastal waters ideal for a spot of snorkelling for holidaymakers looking to take a dip.
Bit of Trivia – Weligama translates to ‘Sandy Village’
Another coastal gem, the fishing village of Galle has a long history stretching all the way back to the 16th century.
Key Galle places to visit include the village’s Dutch Fort and the historic lighthouse.
Walking along the coastline, you may just be able to observe centuries-old traditional fishing methods in action that see locals rest just above the waterline on wooden stilts, fishing rod in hand.