Jess Buchan

For a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, you wouldn’t expect to find diverse landscapes, fascinating culture, world-class beaches and some of the friendliest people on the planet. However, Sri Lanka manages to make it all happen and still leave you feeling surprised. Below is everything you need to know for your visit to this gem of an island.

sri lanka views

When To Go

Being so close to the Equator, Sri Lanka has moderately warm weather all year round. This also means Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons, which can affect your travels. Though if you know where you want to go, you can plan accordingly. If you’re looking to head to the hill country, south and west coasts, December to March is an ideal time. For the east coast, late April to September will have the best weather.

Getting Around

Sri Lanka is an easy country to get around in, with plenty of options depending on your budget. For cheap travel, trains are your best choice and will immerse you into the local culture and scenery. If you have a bigger budget, hiring a driver is the ideal way to get around quickly and comfortably. Take note that despite being a small country, the roads are often under construction, which can delay your trip.

sri lanka curry

Central Sri Lanka

For a trip through Sri Lanka’s famous high country and tea plantations, take the most beautiful train ride in the world from Kandy to Ella. Hang out the rickety doors of the old trains and be amazed by endless miles of green. Hike the 5,500 steps to Adams Peak for the most brilliant and rewarding sunrise. Or if you’re short on time, take the shorter hike to Little Adam’s Peak that is easy on the legs but still has exceptional views.

Go on safari and see some of Sri Lanka’s most illusive animals such as the leopard and the sloth bear at Yala National Park or watch herds of elephants in their natural habitat at Udawalawe National Park. Sunrise is the best time to witness the animals out and about as they feed in the cool, early morning air.


Witness elephants up close at Udawalawe National Park.

Make the journey to Sigiraya to witness the 200 metre high rock and even climb to the top to see the palace ruins and get an exceptional view of the surrounding area.

South West Coast

Of course, a visit to the capital city of Colombo is required as most international airlines land there. While Colombo can be chaotic and a bit dirty, there are hidden charms throughout the city that are worth a visit. The candy-cane striped Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque is eye-catching amongst the drab buildings and Odel is your go-to for all your shopping needs.

The southern coastline boasts a range of beautiful beaches at Tangalla, Mirissa and Unawatuna where you can find untouched places amongst the more touristy spots. The western coastline is popular for lobster farming and the Dutch port town of Galle is a charming way to go back in time. Check out the lighthouse and have a delicious lobster dinner at one of Galle Fort’s fabulous restaurants.

beach sri lanka

The stunning beaches of Unawatuna are ideal for a beach escape.

Eastern Beaches

The beaches of Sri Lanka offer some of the world’s best surf breaks and have that bright, white sand you dream about. On the east coast, Arugam Bay has been renowned for years as the ultimate beach destination but if you’re looking for something quieter, Batticola is the place to be.

North Sri Lanka

The north of Sri Lanka is like a world away from south. The Indian influence is more prominent here and the unique culture is thanks to the Hindu religion. The ancient city of Anuradhapura and Jaffna will take you back in time and leave you with a whole new respect for the Sri Lankan people.

Something for everyone

It might sound cliché but there is something for everyone in Sri Lanka. Whether you’re after an action packed adventure trip, exploring places less travelled or looking for a relaxing beach holiday in a beautiful part of the world. Sri Lanka has it all and will leave you wanting to return again and again.

peacock mural

Peacocks are native to Sri Lanka and are found everywhere, even as artworks!


Jess Buchan is an Aussie travel blogger who has lived in Europe and loves to share her travel stories on her blog, Instagram @ablondeandherpassport and Twitter @ablondeandher.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.