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SRI LANKA HOLIDAY TIPS

Winter in Sri Lanka

The picture of Sri Lanka conjures up of pristine palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear torque water, wildlife reserves teemed with elephants, and bustling cities. Visiting Sri Lanka Is a wonderful experience at any time of the year because there is no seasonal difference like in countries in the northern hemisphere… Winter in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was chosen as the best winter holiday destination in 2019 by USA Today

The island was selected as the best venue for a winter holiday in 2019 by the USA today. The country had been chosen from the 20 countries around the world, the list of countries was included countries such as Galapagos island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Hanoi, Vietnam, Saint Lucia, Ko Samui in Thailand, Lima in Peru.

The magazine highlights the favourable weather that prevails on the island from November to April. Historical monuments such as Sigiriya, Dambulla golden cave temple, natural attractions such as the rainforest and golden beaches are also mentioned articles.  The article was also highlighting the flavorful cuisine along with the colourful history.

“Jetsetters looking for something off the beaten tourist path should consider Sri Lanka. An overlooked gem, this exotic island in the Indian Ocean seduces everyone who steps foot with its stunning unspoiled wilderness, colourful history, and flavorful cuisine. Due to the proximity and a lack of crowds, it’s possible to pack a lot into a trip to Sri Lanka.”

The weather pattern in the winter of Sri Lanka

The western and southern coast of Sri Lanka experience dry weather during the winter in Sri Lanka starting from November. Making it best for outdoor activities as well as swimming, snorkelling, fishing, diving and many other activities. The dry season starts in November usually lasts until April next year. During the same period (November to April) eastern coast beaches are soaked with torrential rain and the sea off the east coast is very unfavourable for swimming and other saltwater activities.

Best places to travel in winter in Sri Lanka

  • Chilaw/Negombo
  • Kalutara/Wadduwa
  • Bentota/Beruwala
  • Hikkaduwa/Ambalangoda
  • Unawatuna/Koggala
  • Matara/Mirissa
  • Hambantota/Tangalle
  • Cultural triangle of Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka upcountry
When is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka? November to April best time to travel to Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka dry weather from November to April
The marked areas are best places for a holiday during the winter in Sri Lanka, where you get dry weather and calm sea.

Planing a trip to Sri Lanka during the winter season

This article is based on an unusual key phrase for most people in Sri Lanka, “winter in Sri Lanka”. In fact, there is not much search on search engines for winter in Sri Lanka, however, there are few people that are searching on this key phrase and we also get few emails from our readers on this subject. Perhaps this article may serve only a few travellers that search on phrases like “winter season in Sri Lanka”, “Sri Lanka winter season”, “winter in Sri Lanka”, but I thought of crafting this blog post because it could be beneficial to someone.

The picture of Sri Lanka conjures up of pristine palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear torque water, wildlife reserves teemed with elephants, and bustling cities. Visiting Sri Lanka Is a wonderful experience at any time of the year because there is no seasonal difference like in countries in the northern hemisphere. Being a tropical island Sri Lanka has the only summer with a constant temperature that hovering around 34c degrees throughout the year. Therefore, whether it is winter or summer with you can visiting Sri Lanka is wonderful.

Even though the winter/summer does not make much difference with regards to the island’s temperature, you should choose the best regions for your beach holiday based on your travel date. For instance, you should not travel to the east coast of Sri Lanka for a beach holiday from November to April, due to the rainy weather and rough sea.   

If you opt to visit Sri Lanka in winter make sure that you travel as much as possible in the southern and western parts of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan mountains and the central province of Sri Lanka, where you find the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka also have bright sunshine in Sri Lankan during this period. But most eastern and northern parts of Sri Lank coming under downfall resulting in some areas coming underwater.     

The western, southern and central province of Sri Lanka offers a wide range of tourist attractions from crumbling historical monuments to, primaeval rainforest to pristine beaches that soak up with sunshine. Here is my guide to the best of them.

Sri Lanka is not the only holiday destination when you think to plan an Asian winter break – but with pristine sun-drenched beaches, bustling cities, western and southern part of Sri Lanka which stay dry and warm especially from November to April, making you think if Sri Lanka for the winter holiday.

Christmas is not celebrated in a big way in most parts of Sri Lanka, there are cities like Negombo, Gampaha with a large population of people who celebrate this Christmas. The Christian population on the island makes about 7%.

However, all resorts have their own arrangements to celebrate Christmas for foreign travellers. Most shops are open till late in the night in major cities like Colombo allowing the people to shop until late in the day. Special markets are organized throughout the month of December in view of Christmas and the new year, in the populated cities and a large number of shoppers are gathering to purchase goods at an affordable price. Generally, the end of the year is considered being one of the best periods of the year for shopping in Sri Lanka. So, there is much more to winter in Sri Lanka that allure of nice weather for a holiday

Planning a trip to Sri Lanka,  winter in Sri Lanka, winter season in Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka winter season

1. Visiting cultural triangle

The history of Sri Lanka is going back to more than 2000 years, Sri Lanka offers many in UNESCO world heritage sites and they are hiding hundreds of fascinating, crumbling ancient monuments. The Sigiriya rock fortress, suggested to be the 8th world wonder of the world originates 5th century and it hides the advanced knowledge of ancient engineers on the area of trigonometry and hydraulic principles. Sigiriya is one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world and a classic example of urban planning in the 5th century.

In the vicinity of Polonnaruwa is the Dambulla golden cave temple with more than 150 Buddha statues, God figures and a large area of the ceiling and wall of ancient caves is cowered with paintings. The origin of this UNESCO world heritage site is dating back to 1st century BC. The sacred city of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, as well as the Kandy tooth relic temple, are the other tourist hotspots in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Explore the rich historical past of Sri Lanka by visiting marvellous historical cities and ancient cities in the cultural triangle Sri Lanka. 

Galle Fort and City Cycling Tour

Explore the fortified city of Galleon a 4-hour bike tour, led by a local guide. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site…


Special Price US$ 30, save $10, Regular Price US$40

2. Explore Galle in the winter sunshine

Galle is the vibrant capital of southern Sri Lanka, also features in the Sri Lanka tourism arena, due to its 15th century Fort. It is one of the unmissable places for any foreign traveller, especially for Dutch travellers, where they can witness an ancient European city in the Asian country. The fort lies hugging the Indian Ocean and swept by the Seabreeze throughout the day.

Galle is one of the best places to travel in Sri Lanka in winter because blue skies and sunshine appear all the time and a favourable climate for outdoor activities. The sea off Galle is on the side of a swimmer, whale watchers, divers, and snorkelers. Alongside snorkelling and boasting, there are many dozens of other activities for travellers in Galle rainforest trekking, surfing, visiting historical monuments, sampling delicious seafood, exploring wildlife are also among them.

With inheritance of Dutch, Portuguese and English characteristics, a wander along the cobbled streets of Dutch Fort would be a great opportunity to any travellers to witness hundreds of colonial mansions, churches, temples, cafes, museum, galleries and many other constructions that follows the principles of ancient Dutch architecture; visit the Dutch maritime museum and galleries to enjoy a break from the cold, and set foot into a restaurant that gives you Seaview and sample a plate of fresh seafood. If you visit Galle fort around the festive season, you will be able to see the romance of twinkling Christmas lights and a line of shops, selling traditional Sri Lankan souvenirs, cloth, tea artisan and gems & Jewelry.  

Winter in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka winter season, winter season in Sri Lanka

3. Winter in Sri Lanka – the best time to see the sunrise from Adam’s peak

The stunning view from Adam’s peak should not be left out from your tour itinerary, this is a highly seasonal activity and you are well on your way to enjoy it. The Adm’s peak sits amidst the lush green forest of peak wilderness and it is the longest trek on the island. This is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for the Buddhists due to the presence of the footprint of Buddha at the pinnacle of the mountains. Adams peak is the 3rd highest mountain on the island rising up to 2243 meters above sea-level. The trekking path to the top can be very crowded during this time of the year as lots of people are gathering to worship the footprint of Buddha.

For non-Buddhist, especially for foreigners, it is a place to see the stunning scenery and witness the sunrise. The adventure lasts around 8 hours and usually, the moonlight hike starts around mid-night, thereby reaching the summit just before the sunrise.

The stunning peak wilderness that protests Adam’s peak and the footprint, is a protected area and dominate with lowland evergreen rain forest vegetation. Trekking in Adam’s peak is highly seasonal that can only be done from November to April, during the rest of the year no devotees going up and only a handful of travellers taking this arduous journey due to the unfavourable weather. As there are no users on the road the jungle encroaches the footpath so is the wild animals.

The spellbinding scenery is the most valuable reward for adventures, who make the way to the top at Adam’s peak. The view from the mountain is peppered with lakes, patches of forests, cascading waterfalls, mountains peaks, and meandering streams. The jagged mountain peaks around Adam’s peak are covered with lush green vegetation making for splendid panoramic views, while lower areas of the mountains are covered with 2 layers of trees canopies and plants, that can be cleared identifies upon entering the gloomy forest. The peak wilderness has an abundance of wildlife and it is one of the super bio-diversity hotspots on the island.    

Trekking at Adams peak is a very difficult affair and not recommended for kids and old people, and you need good physical and mental fitness to conquer the mountain. Serendipity tours organize tours to Adam’s peak from Colombo and beach resorts, our nature experts help you to explore this fascinating natural wealth on a one-day trip from your hotel. If you wish to know more information on this trip get in touch with us on admin@seerendipitytorus.com

4. Celebrate the New Year’s Eve in style in Colombo

New Year’s Eve is an important event and celebrated in most parts of the island. A variety of celebrations are organized in major cities such as Colombo and Kandy. However, in remote areas, it is just another usual day because the national celebration of the New Year of Sri Lanka is scheduled to 14 of April every year, as it marks the beginning of a new in the solar calendar.  However, beach areas, Colombo and other busy cities do not lack new year celebrations to mark the occasion.

New year celebrations on the beach resorts such as Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Mirissa surely excite you, usually, it is a gala celebration in all places with the participation of local young crowd and foreign travellers. It is a fantastic way to welcome the new year while bidding adieu to the old year. Young crowd shines at the beach party with shiny glitzy dresses making it yet another best beach party for the attendees. Here awaits the opportunity to dance till they drop and end the year in a crazy celebration.  

If the partying is not something you fond of you better head on to Colombo, where you can welcome the new year by gazing at the fireworks that trigger out with the arrival of the new year, you better choose a rooftop restaurant in Colombo. As the official new year celebration takes place in Colombo, many activities are organized for the lovers of conventional things, Colombo hotels are taking the forefront in this regard and offer interesting gala dinner parties and weekend gateways.  

Kandy esala ceremony, Festivals of Sri Lanka
Duruthu ceremony and Kandy Esala ceremony, bot the important cultural events participated by beautifully dressed elephants

5. Join Duruthu Perehera / Procession

Duruthu Perahera or Duruthu procession is a night parade, marks the beginning of a new cycle of traditional events that spread throughout the year. Duruthu Perehera scheduled to be held in the month of January (January is known as Durutu in the Buddhist calendar). The main celebration takes place in the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo. The precession hit the street for 3 consecutive days and participated by dancers, drummers, and flautists, elephants, and devotees.

This is purely a religious event that takes place according to the traditional customs. The majority of the participants are Buddhists and a large number of tourists are also gathering to witness the beauty pageant.  With the yearly event of Durutu procession, the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to the island, believed to happen in 6th century BC.

The West Coast of Sri Lanka offers many compelling reasons to choose it as the holiday destination in Sri Lanka, in the month of January. With the daytime temperature hovering around 34°C degrees the climate is ideal for a holiday and rainfall is also at its lowest ebb from November to April.    

Sri Lanka southern tour

  • Highlights- Yala national park, Galle fort, pinnawala elephant orphanage, Spice garden, Tooth relic temple, Tea factory and plantation, Bentota beach, Galle, Madu River Estuary, Sea Turtle Conservation Center
  • Duration-8 Days
    Places- Yala, Galle, Kandy, Mirissa, Bentota, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya
  • Start/End-Colombo
  • Transport-Private vehicle
  • Accommodation 4-star hotel
  • Meals-Breakfast and Dinner

Special Price US$ 690, save $100, Regular Price US$790

6. Sun, Sea, and Sand on the south coast

The south coast of Sri Lanka, with pristine beaches, are perfect gateways to a memorable holiday in Sri Lanka in winter.  There are dozens of captivating isolated beaches along the southern Border of Sri Lanka such as Tangalle, Hambantota, and Matara. With an average air temperature of 34°C degrees and warm water measured to be 27°C, provide perfect settings for a sea bath and sunbath.

The tourism industry is at the infancy stage in the south coast compared to the west coast, it means the fewer people on the south coast beaches and more isolated places making it excellent destinations in which to savour peace and quiet. On the other hand, the cost of the holiday is lower as the demand is less.

The southern coast shows a great variety of landscape and character, so is the diversity of tourist places. A Large number of cultural, historical and natural attractions are scattered in the area. Top-notch tourist attractions such as Yala wildlife reserve, Bundala national park, Udawalawe national park, Kataragama temple, KDN rainforest, Galle fort are owned by the southern coast apart from its pristine beaches.

  • Highlights- Sinharaja rainforest trek 4 hours, Fesh water river bath (optional) exploring fascinating Fauna and Flora of the Rainforest
  • Duration-1 Day
  • Places- Sinharaja
  • Start/End-Colombo, west coast beach hotels
  • Transport-Private vehicle

7. Rainforest Exploration

Sinharaja rainforest the most valuable natural gift, given to the people of Sri Lanka by mother nature. This is one of the last remaining rainforests on the island. And it is one of the oldest patches of rainforests in the world dating back to 550 million years. It is believed that the forest originated during the Gondwanaland supercontinent era. This UNESCO world heritage site offers fantastic opportunities to encounter a wide range of Fauna and Flora of Sri Lanka.

About half of the life in the forest is endemic. Serendipity tours organize daily trips this to super biodiversity hotspot from Colombo and beach resorts, and you can easily reserve your seat by contacting us on admin@seerendioitytours.com. You will take part in an accompanied walking tour in the forest with one of our nature guides, who will show many Faun and Flora including many species of birds.  

Ready to trip to Sri Lanka in winter?

Serendipity Tours is a locally owned travel company and offers interesting tour packages at a reasonable rate. When book a tour with Serendipity tours means that you book the tour directly with the Sri Lankan and avoid middleman, thereby you can avoid high commission collected by the middleman. On the other hand, our local staff is well experienced and very knowledgeable about the island and hos to plan the best tour package for you. So, don’t think twice call us or drop us an mail to get your best personalized Sri Lanka tour package.

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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on admin@seerendipitytours.com... read more

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