SRI LANKA ITINERARY
From surfing at Hikkaduwa to climbing Sigiriya Rock and seeing leopards in the wild, here is how you can best experience Sri Lanka
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Tabitha Turner, Jasmin Chew, Sasha Set, Chuttersnap, Andres Perez, Mathilde Langevin, Oliver Sjostrom, Bucography
18 November 2020
The tropical vibe of Sri Lanka will have you wishing you can stay there forever. The natural beauty of the country is beyond any description you could possibly hear or read. The locals are kind and welcoming to travellers, which explains why most people who visit are likely to go back again.
With everything that the country has been through, the attacks that happened last year and the recovery from the country's civil war, Sri Lanka needs thriving tourism more than ever. As we are sure you will fall in love with the country from first sight the way we did, we made a list of things you should plan to do once you get there.
A train ride from Ella to Kandy
An unforgettable experience, this train journey is one of the most popular tourist activities. The train passes one of the most scenic route you will ever have the privilege to see. Tea plantations will surround you from all sides and and the relaxing journey will only cost you just little under a pound.
Hike Little Adams Peak
Sri Lanka is known for its stunning landscape and the abstract shapes of the land. It doesn't get better than a hike up the hills of one of the most mesmerising mountains in the country. Ella is known as a hiking hot spot and it sure does live to its reputation. The hiking treks are well maintained and each step further reveals an even more phenomenal view of the tea plantations and the mountain range in the distance. We recommend sticking up with the hiking paths as the panoramic view from the top with leave you feeling in awe of the country.
Book a safari in Kaudulla National Park
Sri Lanka is one of the few places on Earth where you can still see leopards in their natural habitat. With so many national parks to choose from, you won't make a mistake whichever one you decide to explore. We recommend Kaudulla National Park because the experience will be one-of-a-kind. As you board the jeep that will take you in the wild, groups of elephants relaxing by lakes and monkeys playing in the trees will become the norm. If you are there at the right moment, you might even spot a leopard.
Climb Sigiriya Rock and Pidurangala Rock
Often referred to as the eight wonder of the world, Sigiriya Rock hosts a fortress on its top, sitting 200 meters above the jungle below. It is a must-see spot, especially if you are a lover of the outdoors. Head to Pidurangala Rock if you want to spend the entire day following hiking treks. It is the home of a temple, but this is not the only thing that makes it interesting. As it is an adjacent to Sigiriya Rock, hikers can wake up at sunrise and start the hike from one rocks to the other, enjoying exquisite views if Sri Lanka all day long.
Hike the trek through a Tea Plantation in Nuwara Eliya
If you head to Nuwara Eliya and are lucky enough to make friends with the locals who work on the plantation, you are in for an incredible experience. Most of us drink tea daily or at least every week so being able to walk among the tea plantations is a must-seize opportunity. You will learn so much about the history of the place, the tea and the people who work there that we guarantee you'll appreciate Sri Lanka from a completely different perspective.
Surf at Hikkaduwa
Hiking and going on train rides across tea plantations are not the only ways to enjoy the beauty of Sri Lanka. Grab a wet suit, some sunscreen and a surfboard and head to Hikkaduwa. The place is visited by only a handful of tourists and locals. Just imagine the warmest water you have ever surfed in, an endless stream of perfect waves and in the distance you can hear the songs of the exotic birds in the jungle and see the peacocks relaxing in their own little piece of paradise.
Walk around the markets
The markets are a great way to get to know a place better. With so many different ones to choose from, you can spend quite a lot of time just trying the fresh fruit and veg, buy locally sourced products and chat to the vendors, some of whom love to ha e their pictures taken by tourists. Head to the markets in places like Nuwara Eliya, fill your shopping bags and learn how to prepare some of the local dishes so you can bring a taste of Sri Lanka back home.