Stilt Fisherman, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Holidays

Lush, green and without crowds, Sri Lanka has become one of the prime boutique destinations of the East. We love it for its diversity, the people and the exquisite food.

A Sri Lanka holiday will not disappoint; you are guaranteed to experience one of the most idyllic and exotic destinations on offer. Travelling around this beautiful island you see rolling tea estates, spectacular views and verdant forests abundant with wildlife, historical sites and wide stretches of beach. Sri Lanka offers peaceful, stylish and varied holidays with private hotels and villas that are unrivalled in the region. Small and easy to discover, you can travel either by private car or float plane. 

Ideas for your holiday to Sri Lanka

  • Stay in a boutique hotel or private villa on the coast around Galle.
  • Visit Trincomalee for whale watching.
  • Travel by train to the tea country and take a private guide around an estate.
  • Stay in a comfortable tented camp in the National Parks to spot leopards and elephants.
  • Get behind the scenes of the UNESCO heritage site at Anurad with an archaeologist to see the work in progress.
  • Private yacht charter for dolphin and whale watching from Marissa beach, near Galle.

Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Elephants in Sri Lanka
 

National Parks

Cultural Triangle
 

Cultural Triangle

  • Explore Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle visiting Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa
  • Spend a few days relaxing by the beach, a stone’s throw from the pretty Unesco town of Galle

 

 

Sri Lanka Beaches

  • Stay at a private beach villa with family and friends
  • Watch the sunset from Anantara's palm fringed beach
  • Treat yourself to an arrack sour and grilled prawns on Wijaya Beach
  • Base yourself on the shore of Koggala Lake within easy reach of Galle
Fisherman Sri Lanka
 

Tea Country

  • Rattle your way along the tracks from Kandy to Nanu Oya, a beautiful train journey
  • Walk between the bungalows of Ceylon Tea Trails - lunch at one, afternoon tea at another
  • Wake early to see the tea pickers making their way to the colourful, sari dotted tea terraces

 

Why we love Sri Lanka

With so many different holiday styles, Sri Lanka has something for everyone from trekking and camping in newly accessible National Parks such as Wilpattu and Wasgamuwa to flying by float plane to Jaffna to explore the Dutch forts. Alternatively you could stay on the glorious white beaches around the coast or discover Colombo's fascinating past and vibrant future with a private walking tour in the city.

Advice from our Sri Lanka travel Experts

For a small country Sri Lanka punches well above its weight. In just two weeks you can spend time exploring ancient Buddhist sites, track leopard and elephant in game-rich parks such as Yala or Wilpattu, travel by train through the tea hills, and end up on a glorious stretch of white sand beach. These are just a few highlights and there are many more.

Whale watching from Sri Lanka’s coastline is a phenomenal experience. To go one step further why not swim alongside Blue and Sperm whales with an expert guide?

Joe Parkes | Steppes Travel Sri lanka Specialist

Our travel experts are justifiably considered experts in their field, having travelled to Sri Lanka many times. They are ideally placed to help you design your perfect Sri Lanka holiday. 

Sri Lanka FAQs

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Is Sri Lanka safe to travel around?
Known for its turbulent history and civil war, peace was declared in Sri Lanka in 2009. It is now very successfully re-building itself as a tourist destination and is doing everything to welcome visitors to the country. As when travelling to any destination, we always advise taking precautions when looking after your personal belongings.
What animals will I see in Yala National Park?
With over 126,000 hectares of parkland to explore, visiting Yala is like stepping into the pages of The Jungle Book. Elephants, monkeys, exotic birds and leopards plus an array of other wildlife call Yala home. The park has one of the densest leopard populations in the world.
Are cash machines easily accessible?
ATMs are becoming more widespread in the larger cities, but are more difficult to find outside of these. Before leaving for more rural areas, we advise making sure you have plenty of cash with you in case ATM access in unavailable.
I would like to explore the north of the country. Is it safe now?

It is safe to visit Jaffna in the north of the country as well as the new beach resorts around Trincomalee on the north-east coast. However it is worth mentioning that in Jaffna there remains a strong military presence. If you like pioneering travel and are OK with basic accommodation then a visit to the very north of the country could well appeal. One of our female travel experts recently travelled to the north and felt extremely safe throughout. 

Can I rent a villa in Sri Lanka?
Yes, in fact renting a villa of any size is great value and makes for a wonderfully relaxing holiday. A particularly good option for families the villas come with staff and locations range from beachfront to inland depending on your preference. The best selection are found on the south coast near Galle. 
I've visited Sri Lanka before, which National Parks should I visit next?
Willpattu on the north-west coast is opening up and there is now a comfortable camp there. Willpattu is best for Sloth bear and leopard, however, leopards are more elusive here than in Yala National Park. 
Is Sri Lanka a good destination for a family holiday? 
Travelling with children in Sri Lanka is very easy as there is no need for internal flights, however, there are long car journey's as a result. A staffed villa during the trip is the best way to relax as a family. 
Do I need a visa to travel to Sri Lanka?

British passport holders need a visa which is easily obtained online for a cost of USD$35 and is generally issued within approximately five days. Other nationalities please ask for further information.

How likely am I to see a leopard in the wild on a holiday to Sri Lanka?
Obviously, wildlife is never guaranteed but chances are good, particularly in Yala National Park which has one of the highest density of leopard in the world.
When is the best time of the year to visit Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a year-round destination although the weather differs between the north and the south. For the best climate visit the south of the country between January and April and the north from June to December.

What currency is used in Sri Lanka?
The Sri Lankan Rupee is the local currency.

Holidays

Sri Lanka - Family Wildlife Adventure & Bug Safari

wildlife group tour

Sri Lanka - Family Wildlife Adventure & Bug Safari

Join this exciting, multi-generational group trip to Sri Lanka, specifically designed for curious...

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Sri Lanka - Family Adventures in Sri Lanka

Family Adventures in Sri Lanka

Families will be enchanted by Sri Lanka's warm welcome and the country is diverse and easy t...

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Sri Lanka Highlights with UNESCO Sites and beach

Sri Lanka Highlights with UNESCO Sites and beach

For centuries Sri Lanka has been an important player in the spice and gem trades and th...

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Sri Lanka - Cultural Triangle, Beach and Wildlife

Cultural Triangle, Beach and Wildlife

Stay near iconic temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites and on peaceful beaches in barefoot luxu...

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Sri Lanka - Wilderness and Beaches

Sri Lanka - Wilderness and Beaches

Spotting leopard in lush jungles, discovering hidden temples a la Indiana Jones and whale wa...

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Sri Lanka & The Maldives

Sri Lanka & The Maldives

You might ask why combine Sri Lanka with the Maldives, we would answer for the pure indulgence of...

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Sri Lanka - North Sri Lanka Discovery

North Sri Lanka Discovery

For those wanting to explore more of this fascinating island and travel off the beaten track then...

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Inspiration

Hammock by Beach, Sri Lanka

Is the Summer a good time to visit Sri Lanka

You may wonder if the summer months are a good time to visit the island of Sri Lanka. The answer is absolutely.
Generally, the weather is settled across the island in July and August and proves an ever-popular destination for families at this time, combined with the knowledge that Sri Lanka has been declared a malaria free country.  There can be some showers in the hills and west coast at times when the east coast is pleasant and dry. Why not stay at Uga Bay.
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Swimming Pool, Why House, Galle, Sri Lanka

English Cricket Team in Sri Lanka

This coming Autumn the England cricket team returns to Sri Lanka for a series of fixtures. Don't miss the three test matches in scenic locations of Galle, Kandy and Colombo.
Stay at the Why House in Galle, Taylors Hill in Kandy and The Wallawwa, on the outskirts of Colombo.
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Sri Lankan Tea Estate

The Southern Tea Experience

For those who are not able to visit the up-country tea estates in Sri Lanka.
Did you know that there are some 11 tea estates scattered among the interior of Sri Lanka’s south coast, particularly around Ratnapura and all the way down to Galle and Matara? Known as ‘low-grown’ or ‘low country’ tea, the robust crop thrives even in the warmest conditions.

For a southern tea experience, why stay at Kahanda Kanda, located right in the middle of a 12 acre tea plantation and where many of the suites face directly onto the surrounding tea bushes. Guests can also take a 5 minute tuk tuk ride to nearby Handunugoda Tea Estate for a guided tour and tea tasting. If you want to learn more about tea production in Sri Lanka then spend a few nights at Ashburnham Estate in the company of the local tea estate manager.
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Cow and Temple, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Blog: Vibrancy of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is so vibrant. Not just vibrant in the sense of colour, spice, sun, and tropicality but also vibrant in the sense that the country is changing. Fantastic hotels are springing up, Living Heritage Koslanda by way of example.

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Leopard, Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka

Blog: Wilpattu National Park

It has it all, turtles walking across busy roads, land monitor lizards sloping around looking like they are up to no good, elephants en masse, casual leopards posing for pictures and shy sloth bears jumping out of bushes.

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Colombo Walking Tour

Colombo Walking Tour

Explore Colombo's backstreets with a specialist tour guide.
Hidden within Sri Lanka’s chaotic capital is Slave Island, named so because of its association with African slaves who were housed there during Portuguese rule. Slave Island is now a melting-pot of cultures and religions, still awash with landmarks of bygone eras lining almost every street. During a holiday in Sri Lanka, include a Colombo walking tour to explore the remnants of the capital’s colonial past hidden within this vibrant commercial area. A dynamic tour guide will bring the surroundings to life with captivating chronicles of the past.
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Lotus Flower, Sri Lanka

Spa Hotels in Sri Lanka

Looking for a hotel with a spa in Sri Lanka?
If you are partial to a spa treatment of two, we can recommend some excellent options. A favourite is The Wallawwa, whose Z Spa's flexible opening hours are designed for pre or post-flight indulgence. The Fort Bazaar, in Galle Fort also has a spa. Tri, beside Koggala Lake is a superb wellness destination, offering spa treatments, many with an Ayurvedic twist - plus yoga. 
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Client Reviews

Lotus Flower, Sri Lanka
''Joe did an excellent job building an itinerary customised to our needs. plus, the hotels he chose for us were simply wonderful.''

John Salmon

Sri Lanka
Chidlren on Beach, Sri Lanka
''Kate Hitchen's help in organising this trip was excellent . She was very knowledgable and tailor made our trip to suit our three teenage children.''

Julia Ziegler

Sri Lanka
Sunrise over Jungle, Sri Lanka
''Pre-trip information was great ( including the package received by mail before the trip). We contacted Steppes asking for help in finalising the trip another agency failed to organise. 
Despite very little time left before travelling and very busy holiday period for booking Kate Hitchen managed to book good hotels and help us with the trip program. Her expert advice allowed us to correct the original plan ( which was unrealistic) and we had a well balanced program which allowed us to see most of the attractions we wanted and at a good pace. ''
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Olga Vishnevskaya

Sri Lanka
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Holiday Ideas in Sri Lanka

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