Is It Worth Having Sri Lanka Tour Holidays?

Sri Lanka Tour Holidays are on the radar of travellers around the world as Sri Lanka remains a leading holiday destination in the region for many decades; the island has been able to get many accolades from institutions in the travel industry such as Lonely Planet, which chose Sri Lanka as the best country to travel to in 2019. The island has been able to bag the number 1 spot in the T+L readers’ picks for the world’s best islands. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in the world influenced by travellers. Every year Travel + Leisure make a survey and rank different travel destination around the world, based on travellers’ experience, the survey is called World’s Best Awards survey. Every year Travel + Leisure choose Best Island, spas, cruise ships, airline and many more. Based on the survey carried out by Travel + Leisure here is the line-up of the best island to travel to in 2019.

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Sri Lanka tour holidays had been known to world travellers for many millennia. The island was visited by many popular explorers and travellers due to various reasons. Some of these travellers and explorers landed on the island by accident while others arrived on the island to learn Buddhism and visit Buddhist religious places. Sri Lanka was visited by Marco polo, FaHien, Lorenzo de Almeida and many other popular explorers many centuries before; still, Sri Lanka is a popular destination and attracts a large number of travellers every year, numbering more than two million. Sri Lanka tour holidays have been a hot topic among travellers around the world for many years, especially after the end of the civil war in 2009.

Impact of civil war on Sri Lanka tourism industry

Some tourists are kept away from this tropical holiday destination due to disturbances in the political arena. Three decades from 1983-2009 had been the most disastrous for the tourism industry, which was a direct result of the political unrest in the north and east parts of Sri Lanka. Now, after a decade since the end of the conflict, this is the perfect time for Sri Lanka trips and holidays for any traveller.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Sri Lankan tourism industry

There was a boom in the tourism industry immediate after 2009 and tourism was the best performing industry on the island. Unfortunately, the industry collapsed after the easter bomb blast. The devastating effect of the easter bomb blast was further intensified by the pandemic of COVID-19.

With the ease of cross-border COVID-19 restrictions, the number of foreign travellers is on the rise over since the end of 2021. With fresh starts in the industry after an interval of about 2 years, now is the best time for a Sri Lanka tour holiday. The travellers can benefit many while saving a lot of money on their Sri Lanka trip. Still, most hotels keep their rates low in order to tempt travellers to book their properties. Due to the low number of tourists on the island, most tourist places are less crowded and therefore, you can explore them leisurely at your own pace.

International accolades

Sri Lanka Tour Holidays are on the radar of travellers around the world as Sri Lanka remains a leading holiday destination in the region for many decades; the island has been able to get many accolades from institutions in the travel industry such as Lonely Planet, which chose Sri Lanka as the best country to travel to in 2019. The island has been able to bag the number 1 spot in the T+L readers’ picks for the world’s best islands. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in the world influenced by travellers. Every year Travel + Leisure make a survey and rank different travel destination around the world, based on travellers’ experience, the survey is called World’s Best Awards survey. Every year Travel + Leisure choose Best Island, spas, cruise ships, airline and many more. Based on the survey carried out by Travel + Leisure here is the line-up of the best island to travel to in 2019.

Sri Lanka is the best of the 15 best islands to travel in the World

1. Sri Lanka
2. Palawan, Philippines
3. Bali, Indonesia
4. Milos, Greece
5. the Maldives
6. Anguilla
7. Crete, Greece
8. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
9. Koh Lanta, Thailand
10. Azores, Portugal
11. Páros, Greece
12. Fiji Islands
13. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
14. Santorini, Greece
15. Maui, Hawaii

The guardian and travel trends, two of the most reputed magazines in the world have identified Sri Lanka as one of the top holiday destinations in the recent past. The list includes many interesting long and short-haul holiday destinations that are sure to excite your wanderlust and make you consider them for your next holiday destination.

1.  Brazil
2. Nicaragua
3. Seoul, South Korea
4. Taipei, Taiwan
5. Mykonos, Greece
6. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
7. Panama
8. Siem Reap, Cambodia
9. Colombo, Sri Lanka
10. Gold Coast, Australia

The places listed above show an increasing trend for leisure, adventure and mice tourism. Sri Lanka is a holiday destination that offers plenty of opportunities in all these sectors. According to the statistics, over 35% of travellers around the world are searching for new holiday destinations with luxury. The trend is that travellers are looking for unique experiences during the holidays.

What to see and do on the Sri Lanka tour holidays?

Sri Lanka offers a wide range of activities and places to visit on your Sri Lanka tour holiday. Pristine sandy beaches, wildlife reserves, tropical rainforests, Sri Lanka hill country with cascading waterfalls, thousands of years old ancient monuments, and quiet villages, are some of the popular places that offer activities like visiting the temple, wildlife tours, beach hopping, swimming, diving, snorkelling, jungle trekking and many other interesting activities. Therefore, Sri Lanka is a good holiday destination for any type of traveller. However, Sri Lanka is still very popular as a beach holiday destination while some other branches of the tourism industry are getting popular in Sri Lanka eg, health tourism (Ayurveda), adventure holidays, honeymoon tour etc.

Being a tropical island, Sri Lanka is emerging as a nature holiday and adventure holiday destination in recent times, and most travellers include a few activities such as water rafting, jungle trekking, and bird watching in their Sri Lanka tours and holidays. Sri Lanka offers plenty of opportunities for adventure and nature lovers with its large number of forests, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and national parks. Sri Lanka also offers a wide range of opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts, maybe Sri Lanka is not as good as top-notch wildlife holiday destinations such as Tanzania or Africa, but more than wildlife reserves on the island harbour a wide range of animals such as leopards, elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes etc.

What are the important places to visit on Sri Lanka tour holidays?

Sri Lanka offers a large number of interesting places to visit on your Sri Lanka trip package. However, visiting all tourist places on a Sri Lanka tour would be impossible. because most travellers book a 7 days tour to Sri Lanka, 10 day Sri Lanka tour or a Sri Lanka 14 days tour. Even with a 1 month Sri Lanka tour, it would be a daunting task at least to visit 50% of all tourist places on the island. So we presume you spend less than 3 weeks on your Sri Lanka tour holiday and accordingly we suggest the below-mentioned places. These places offer you a wide range of activities from visiting temples, visiting historical monuments and cultural places, visiting museums, the opportunity for wildlife tours, seeing beautiful scenery in the mountains, visiting the botanical gardens, exploring the laid-back villages and beautiful countryside and relaxing on the beaches and engaging in water sports.

1. Sri Lanka cultural triangle

Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, Minneriya national park

2. Sri Lanka hill country

Nuwara Eliya, Ramboda, Peradeniya, Kitulgala, Horton plains national park

3. Southern Sri Lanka

Galle, Mirissa beach, Yala national park, Unawatuna beach, Udawalawe national park

4. Sri Lanka’s west coast

Hikkaduwa beach, Bentota beach, Madu river estuary, Sea turtle conservation project

  • Exploring Sri Lanka beaches
  • Visiting cultural and historical places in the cultural triangle
  • Exploring Sri Lanka’s south coast and west coast
  • Exploring Sri Lankan hills
  • Exploring Sri Lanka wildlife
  • Sampling delicious Sri Lnaak cuisine

Exploring Sri Lankan beaches on your Sri Lanka tour holidays

Sri Lanka’s main draw is still the unspoiled, pristine beaches around the island. A wide range of topographical features along the coastal belt such as coves, bays, mangrove lagoons, rocky outcrops shaped by the waves of the Indian Ocean, and patches of forests make it extra special for beach holiday lovers. The stretch of Sri Lankan beaches is measured to be around 1300km and a large part of it can be used for beach holidays. Sri Lanka is still the most popular beach holiday destination in the region. The beaches are given a prominent place among the tourist attractions in Sri Lanka and therefore, most Sri Lanka trip package includes beaches.

Which beach should I choose for my Sri Lanka tour holidays?

You might be wondering which area you should choose for the Sri Lanka beach tour. The best beach for your Sri Lanka trip is mainly decided by the monsoon weather pattern. Sri Lanka gets 2 monsoon periods, a southwest monsoon from April to October and a northeast monsoon from April to November. During the monsoon, only a particular region (as the name denotes) is affected by the monsoon. During the monsoon, only one particular region gets a heavy downpour. During the same period, other region remains dry and sunny. During the rain, the sea off the monsoon region tends to be rough with high and mighty waves and not suitable for swimming, diving, boating and all other saltwater-based activities. Therefore, choose your beach hotel for the Sri Lanka tour holiday after thoroughly considering the monsoon weather pattern, after all, who is like to stay in a beach hotel during the holiday? Read our detailed article on Sri Lanka’s weather patterns and holidays in Sri Lanka.

The West coast and the southern coast of Sri Lanka have the best dry weather from November to April, parallel to the high season. During this period beach resorts along the south coast receive the most number of beach holiday lovers.

Visiting Sri Lanka cultural triangle on your Sri Lanka tour holidays

As beaches are the most popular tourist attraction, Sri Lanka beaches are on the card of most Sri Lanak trip packages. Even some travellers spend their entire Sri Lanka trip in a beach resort while some others dedicate a few days to their beach tour. However, as a popular tour operator in Sri Lanka, we recommend you organize a Sri Lanka trip with a mix of beaches, cultural sites, wildlife parks and hill country. On the beach, you can engage in water sports or spend time leisurely while gasping on the sun.

Visiting the Cultural triangle of Sri Lanka is a valuable opportunity to explore the rich historical past of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the world, that has had an uninterrupted civilization for many millennia. The documented history of Sri Lanka goes back to the 6th century BC. The ancient cities of Sri Lanka such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya harbour hundreds of stupas, dagobas, temples, Buddha statues, palaces, audience halls, gardens, lakes and many more. The origin of most of these places goes back many thousands of years. Sri Lanka is home to 7 UNESCO world heritage sites and 5 of them are concentrated in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.

With so many important historical and religious monuments visiting Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle is well worth the time and effort. Sri Lanka tour holidays organized by local tour operators such as Seerendipity tours include the important places of Sri Lanka cultural triangle. Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour can be booked as a standalone activity to cover only the important places in the cultural triangle eg a 3-day Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour, a 2-day cultural triangle trip etc. You can also include it in your Sri Lanka trip package along with other important tourist attractions such as beaches, wildlife parks and hill country resorts.

Explore Sri Lankan south and west coast attractions

There are two main travel routes in Sri Lanka, the southern route and Sri Lanka’s northern route. However, the Sri Lanka tour holiday we discuss in this article follows the Sri Lanka southern route. Therefore, you will travel to the south coast and west coast of Sri Lanka. If you plan the Sri Lanka tour northern route you will travel to the beaches on the northern and eastern coasts. There are many interesting places to explore along Sri Lanka’s south and west coasts. some of these beaches are good for surfing while some others are ideal for diving and snorkelling. Mirissa is popular for whale and dolphin watching while Bentota on the east coast offers opportunities for inland water sports like kite surfing, and banana boating.

Sri Lanka hill country with Sri Lanka tour holidays

Sri Lanka hill country has a totally different contrast against most other places you visit on your Sri Lanka tour holiday. Cool clime, green-capped mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls and breathtaking scenery are the main striking features of Sri Lanka hill country resorts such as Nuwara Eliya and Ella. Sri Lankan hill country is the main tea-producing region on the island, therefore, large-scale tea factories and huge tea plantations are common sites here. usually, most Sri Lanka tour package includes a technical visit to a tea factory, where you witness the entire process of tea manufacturing and at the end, they are sold in the market under the brand of “Ceylon Tea”.

The travellers can engage in many interesting activities here such as waterfalls abseiling, boating, fishing, trekking, hiking, mountain climbing etc. Therefore, Sri Lanka hill country is ideal for leisure travellers as well as nature loves and adventure enthusiasts. Apart from the striking features mentioned above, popular hill country resorts such as Nuwara Eliya offers many temples, historical places, botanical garden, flower garden and national parks too. So, if you are planning a Sri Lanka tour holiday ask your agent to include Sri Lanka hill country in the itinerary along with the cultural triangle and beaches.

Exploring Sri Lankan wildlife

The beautiful countryside of the island harbours wetlands, rainforests, patches of forests, and saltpans teaming with a large and diverse number of creatures. Sri Lanka is one of the important ecological hotspots in the world and home to a large number of endemic fauna and flora species. venturing on a safari tour or a rainforest trek is the best for you to see some wildlife on the island. There are a few wildlife reserves to choose from if you like to book a Sri Lanka safari. Yala national park, Wilpattu national park, Udawalawe national park, and Minneriya national park are the most popular wildlife reserves for Sri Lanak safari while the Sinharaja rainforest and Kitulgala rainforest are ideal for jungle trekking.

Sampling delicious Sri Lankan cuisine

Sri Lanka is a country with a hot kitchen. Sri Lankan cuisines are as prepared with a lot of spices and chilli, and Sri Lankans eat spicier than the people in Europe and America. Sri Lankans consume more chilli, pepper and many other spices such as cardamom, cumin seeds, cinnamon etc.

Not only the dishes of Sri Lanka are spicy but also full of aroma arousing your taste buds. Sri Lanka offers you a wide range of choices for seafood. Apart from the vividness, they are fresh and tasty and it definitely gives you a new experience with seafood.  Sri Lanka is home to thousands of varieties of tropical fruits.

Sampling some delicious Sri Lankan food should be on the bucket list of Sri Lanka tour holidays because Sri Lankan food is very delicious, and it is recently endorsed by the BBC Good Food team and chosen Sri Lankan cuisine as the “No1 trending cuisine in the world”. 

Sri Lankan cuisine has been chosen No.1 trending cuisine by the BBC Good Food team in their list of 15 cuisines to experience in 2019. They make a very attractive description of Sri Lankan cuisine in this manner;  “Restaurants such as London’s Hoppers, mini chain The Coconut Tree and the success of the M&S Taste Asia range have put Sri Lankan food on the brink of a breakthrough. Think hoppers (bowl-shaped rice flour pancakes), kottu roti (fried veg, eggs, shredded roti and curry, as sold by street stall Kottu Lanka) and pol Sambol coconut relish.

‘Before Sri Lankan was lumped in with Indian cuisine but now, we’re not having an “Indian” anymore. It’s recognised in its own right,’ says Emma Weinbren, food trends editor at the retail magazine The Grocer.”

Some of them are seasonal while others are available around the years. Sri Lanka offers you many varieties of unpopular tropical fruits such as durian, passion fruits, jackfruit, red banana, mangosteen etc. Fruits are always good for health and they are freely available around the country. One of the most popular tea brands, perhaps the most popular tea brand in the world “CEYLON TEA” is produced here. Mountains in the higher elevated areas in the country are covered by tea bushes and look like the ground is covered by a green blanket.

If you feel weary and wish to taste a cup of un-blended freshly brewed Ceylon tea, head on to a tea factory and you will get it free of charge. So don’t forget to drop into a restaurant and have a wholesome spicy meal when you visit the island next time.

Hotels and accommodation for Sri Lanka tour holidays

Sri Lanka is a holiday destination for any type of budget. whether you are a luxury seeker or a traveller on a tight budget, Sri Lanka can cater to any type of budget. Sri Lanka offers a wide range of accommodation options for travellers from cheap dormitory accommodation to 5-star luxury hotels and 7-star super luxury accommodations. The cost of accommodation in Sri Lanka is cheap compared to many other Asian countries such as Singapore, Maldives and Malaysia.

The room count in Sri Lanka is on the rise over the last few decades. Many new hotel projects were started after the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. There is still a scarcity of accommodation facilities on the east and north coast. This is mainly due to the low demand. However, few new luxury hotels are emerging along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka, especially northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka as well as the southern coast. Some of these projects are already completed and hotels have started to serve travellers. unlike last decades now on the northern and east coast can find quality and safe accommodation facilities.

The West coast and south are the most popular beach holidays in Sri Lanka. A large part of beach lovers in Sri Lanka is choosing either west coast beach resorts or south coast beaches such as Bentota, Hikkaduwa, and Mirissa.

When is the best time for the Sri Lanka tour holidays?

As I wrote above Sri Lanka is a year-round holiday destination with dry-sunny weather over a part of the island at any given time. So do not much bother about when you should travel, rather think about where should you travel, especially with regards to your beach stay. However, Sri Lanka’s high season starts in November and ends in April, generally this period is considered to be the best time for Sri Lanka tour holidays. More than 75 per cent of travellers enter the island during the high season. Therefore, you may see a huge demand for accommodation facilities and other services required for travellers. The high demand pushes the rates of hotels, transport costs and cost of other services up during the high season.

How long should be the Sri Lanka tour holidays?

Sri Lankan tour operators organize Sri Lanka day tours one week Sri Lanka tours three weeks Sri Lanka trips and more. But as a rule, one week Sri Lanka tour holiday descent trip that can be accommodated most interesting places mentioned above. However, if you can allocate a little bit more you can extend your beach holiday and explore a few other interesting places not mentioned in the article like the Madu river estuary, and the Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary.

How to travel on your Sri Lanka trip?

Choosing the correct transport mode is a critical factor to decide the success of your trip. If you are a foreign traveller or a local traveller we always recommend using road transport with a private vehicle and driver/guide, which allows the travellers to reach the tourist attractions conveniently and with minimum time on the road, due to the well-maintained road network. However, don’t choose public transport, it is cheap but it sucks your time. on a 7 days tour with public transport, you may not even be able to cover than more half of the places mentioned above.

Travelling by road is very convenient and cheap against air transport. Road travel saves time in comparison to rail transport and gives you access to all tourist places without requiring any shuttle transport. If you are a foreign traveller hire a local driver/guide with a private vehicle, you may find it difficult to drive your own in Sri Lanka due to the chaotic nature of Sri Lankan traffic. If you plan a 7-day Sri Lanka trip with a private taxi as a transport mode you are well on your way to covering the majority of the places mentioned above. Travelling by private taxi is convenient, safe, saves your time and is comfortable too.

How much does it cost for the Sri Lanka tour during the holidays?

Sri Lanka is a holiday destination for any type of budget, which is one of the key reasons for its success as a holiday destination. Sri Lanka is also comparatively cheaper than most Asian holiday destinations such as Korea, Thailand, China, Singapore, and Malaysia. The budget of the trip is largely varied depending on the hotel category you choose, transport mode etc. However, if you stick to good 3-star accommodation and choose a private vehicle with a local driver/guide, it cost you around 200 US$ per day for 2 persons.

Sri Lanka 7 days tour itinerary on the southern route

7 days tour of Sri Lanka

Day 1 Arrive at Bandaranayke International Airport, greeted and welcomed by Seerendipity tours representatives, transfer to Hotel in Habarana. Overnight stay in Habarana.Habarana/Sigiriya
Day 2Breakfast at the hotel and leave for Habarana, Check in the hotel and leave for the village tour and boating later safari at Minneriya national park.
Overnight stay in Habarana.
Day 3After breakfast proceeds to Kandy, en route to visiting a “Spice Garden”.  PM visits the royal botanical garden, Kandy lake and Udwattekele sanctuary.  
Overnight stay in Kandy.
Day 4After breakfast proceeds to Nuwara Eliya, en route visit a tea plantation and a trek to the Ramboda waterfall, drive through the scenic mountain and enjoy the great vistas. Afternoon bird watching at Galway’s bird sanctuary and walking around Gregory lake and visiting Victoria park.  
Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya
Day 5After breakfast proceeds beach hotel in Bentota, En-route visit the waterfalls.  
Overnight stay in Bentota.
Day 6Breakfast at the hotel and leave for a sightseeing tour of Bentota and then proceed to the sightseeing tour of Colombo.
Overnight stay in Colombo
Day 7After breakfast Leave for Colombo sightseeing, and visit Galle face green, Wolvendaal church, cinnamon garden and pettah, and later shopping, After the city tour proceed to the airport 
Sri Lanka 7 days of tour holidays based on the southern route. Which is one of the most popular Sri Lanka trip packages among foreign travellers. This tour itinerary starts from Colobm and goes in the clockwise direction. Towards the end of the trip, the travellers explore the west coast and south coast beaches.

Sri Lankan hospitality

Lack of crowd is another reason for Sri Lanka’s popularity as a holiday destination with many places to visit and experience quietness and peace. The warm hospitality of the people of Sri Lanka makes you feel more like a family member than a tourist.

If you look for memorable Sri Lanka tour holidays, make sure you seriously consider on earlier mentioned ideas and facts. Keep us informed if you need professionalism and expertise to organize your Sri Lanka tour holidays.