This Sri Lanka holiday takes in elephants, tea plantations and cave temples

Rebecca Wilson
Photo credit: Shutterstock

From Country Living

A destination for nature- and wildlife-lovers, Sri Lanka is where you can have a tropical island escape that goes beyond the beaches. It's a place to witness Mother Nature's beauty at its very best while immersing yourself in amazing culture along the way.

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The teardrop-shaped country, packed with lush hills, mountains and sparkling, palm-fringed coastline, is home to hundreds of temples and fascinating monuments that leave you eager to explore. With its diverse landscapes, you can only imagine the wealth of tasty food, including fresh coconut fish curries.

To invite you into a world where elephants roam free and the hills are a patchwork of endless tea plantations, we're bringing you an incredibly affordable tailor-made Sri Lanka holiday built with Country Living readers in mind (with optional carbon offsetting included).

Giving you the choice to travel any time between March and November, this holiday of a lifetime allows you to move around the island to experience the cooler temperatures of Kandy and the hotter conditions of Kalutara.

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Wildlife lovers will relish a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, with the chance to spot elephants native to Sri Lanka, leopards, sambar deer and flocks of stunning birds, including water-loving cormorants and painted storks.

Sri Lanka’s verdant countryside is a great place to relax and unwind, too. The genteel Nuwara Eliya, a highlight on our exclusive tour, was once a popular British retreat in summer months thanks to its cool breeze and stunning landscapes.


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You can still spot colonial-era bungalows and Tudor-style hotels here alongside pretty hedgerows and gardens. It’s no wonder this hill city is referred to as ‘Little England’.

An essential experience for appreciating Sri Lanka’s landscapes and its local products is a visit to a working tea plantation. You'll discover how delicious Ceylon tea is cultivated, selected and processed.

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There’s also a tour of the fragrant Matale Spice Gardens, where you can wander through the groves of pepper vines and clove trees and learn about nutmeg, curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom.

No trip to Sri Lanka would be complete, however, without visiting some of its enchanting temples. Rock fortress Sigiriya is where you can admire beautiful frescoes, while the UNESCO World Heritage Dambulla Cave Temples site is the place to admire over 150 images of Buddha painted on the rock.

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Providing you with enough time for spotting wildlife, absorbing the culture and tasting delicious fresh food, the 11-day holiday ends with five nights at the beach in Kalutara for you to soak up the sunshine as you reflect on the superb natural wonders you have witnessed over the past week.

Read more about Country Living's fantastic trip to Sri Lanka, which allows you to offset part of your carbon footprint and experience 11 days in Sri Lanka, with travel, hotel stays, tours, activities and most meals included from £1,399 per person. BOOK NOW

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