For such a small island Sri Lanka offers the visitor amazing diversity. Marco Polo called it “the finest island of its size in the world” and Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote “Ceylon (as it was called until independence in 1972) is a small universe; it contains as many variations of culture, scenery & climate as some countries a dozen times its size”.
Sri Lanka is located 30km’s off the coast of India in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The islands of The Maldives lie just over 1,200km’s to the west but to the south there is nothing but thousands of kilometres of ocean until Antarctica!
The history of the island dates back over 2,500 years when an exiled prince from North India landed on the shores to establish the first known civilisation. Shortly afterwards Buddhism arrived, leaving an indelible mark on the islands history and culture. The Portugese arrived in 1505 followed by the Dutch, and finally the English to whom the country was ceded in 1815. The influence of the colonial European’s, combined with the islands own colourful past and natural beauty have created a destination that is worthy of exploration.
On the island you will discover lush, green-tea covered mountains, beautiful golden beaches, 14 National Parks protecting the countries rich diversity of flora & fauna, 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a number of developed and interesting cities, including the Commercial Capital Colombo and the Royal Capital Kandy. All of this (& much more) ensures that a visit to Sri Lanka will satiate the desires of the most ardent of travellers.
The island also offers an array of land-based and water-based sports activities including golf on one of three excellent 18-hole courses, trekking across superb nature trails, mountain biking, windsurfing, water-skiing, sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking and white-water rafting. For the less adventurous the resorts and beaches offer plenty of idyllic spots to relax and enjoy the sun, and for those interested in spa treatments Sri Lanka is renowned as a place that refreshes the mind, body, soul and spirit. The most common treatments are based on the practice of Ayurveda – the oldest and most holistic medical system available in the world that draws on an understanding of physiology, philosophy, psychology and spirituality.
Accommodation on the island is of a high standard and there are plenty of choices to suit all preferences and budgets, including five-star deluxe hotels and resorts, boutique properties, villas, budget hotels and guest houses.
Sri Lanka has enough to appease the visitor as a destination in its own right but it can also be easily combined with any of the islands in The Maldives or Middle East destinations such as Dubai.