Introducing Sri Lanka 01 Header
Hugh Sitton / Stocksy
Hugh Sitton / Stocksy

Sri Lanka: the island that has it all

Sri Lanka

The island that has it all

Where Buddhists praise the temples, animal lovers go leopard spotting and Ceylon tea is grown. And of course there is that gorgeous coastline. It’s not surprising that the meaning of Sri Lanka is ‘blessed island’.

Explore the island
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Introducing Sri Lanka Titles Sri Lanka

Something for everyone

Serendip – as Sri Lanka was once known – is the root of the word serendipity; an unexpected, pleasant discovery. And that seems very fitting! Sri Lanka may be small with 22 million residents living in an area of 65,610 square kilometres, but it offers enough attractions to fill an entire holiday. Let’s start with the landscape. The pear-shaped island in the Indian Ocean is mostly covered in lush tropical jungle. Throughout the forest you will find large rock formations and gently sloping tea plantations. All of this beauty is framed by 1,300 kilometres of coastline with beautiful golden beaches.

And there is no shortage of wildlife. The island’s 15 national parks teem with elephants and monkeys, but also leopards and sloth bears. But cultural travellers will also find lots to explore in Sri Lanka. Whilst the country was introduced to Buddhism a long time ago, Hinduism also found a home here. And that explains the stunning temple complexes in the middle of the jungle.

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Introducing Sri Lanka Titles Wildlife

Kleptomaniac monkeys

Sri Lanka is a dream destination for animal lovers. Kleptomaniac monkeys are often seen stealing the lunch bags of hungry rickshaw drivers whilst they take a break. And you will also encounter elephants casually crossing the two-lane motorway that loops around the entire island. The wildlife clearly isn’t confined to the boundaries of the nature reserves, although they are the natural biotope of the Sri Lanka animal kingdom. With luck you may even spot a leopard or the very illusive sloth bear.

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No shortage of temples

Sri Lanka offers a lot more than fauna. Nature and culture go hand in hand here. The country is mainly associated with Buddhism, and you never have to go far to find a temple or towering Buddha statue. Sri Lanka is well known for its cultural diversity. Next to a Buddhist prayer house you may find an even more colourful temple dedicated to one of the millions of Hindu deities. In the cities of Colombo and Galle, the ancient colonial churches are sights not to be missed.

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Introducing Sri Lanka 08 Cultuur 1 Tooth Temple
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Pick your favourite view

Sri Lanka is not lacking in fabulous views. Why build a modern panorama deck when for centuries nature has offered the best views? It takes some effort to conquer the impressive rock formations such as Sigiriya and Adam’s Peak, but the view from the top is worth every drop of sweat. Prefer to relax? Hop on a train. There is no better way to relax and enjoy the landscape than on board a Sri Lankan train. The hilly centre of the island in particular offers some spectacular train rides.

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Introducing Sri Lanka 11 Uitzicht 1 Lion Rots
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Introducing Sri Lanka Titles Beach

1,300 kilometres of coast

Twisted palm trees packed with coconuts. Fishing boats with billowing sails. Glorious golden sand between your toes. Sri Lanka’s beaches seem straight out of a tropical screensaver or a commercial for an exotic cocktail. The scenery offers something for everyone: huge waves for surfers, colourful coral for snorkelers and scuba divers, and hundreds of kilometres of unspoilt beaches where you can unwind in solitude.

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Plan your trip

There is never a bad time to visit Sri Lanka. The year-round temperature hovers around 30 degrees Celsius. From October through February in the east of the island, and from April to November in the more popular western part, there is a higher chance of sunshine followed by the occasional tropical rain shower. However, the rainy season is also when nature is at its most beautiful.

KLM

iFly Magazine

October 2016

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