Any of you that follow me on Instagram will know that Ed and I took quite a big trip to Sri Lanka this year and it was truly amazing! We started off in Colombo and took a train up to Kandy before meeting our driver who took us down to Ella, Yala National Park, Tangalle and finished up in Galle. It was an incredible few weeks and I was having so much fun at the time that I didnt blog about it at all, but it seems such a shame to not even discuss it. So instead, I’ve decided to give you a round of my 5 top tips of places to go and things to do while you’re there for anyone considering it as a holiday destination.
1. Sigiriya Rock – Dambulla
If any of you have google Sri Lanka, this is probably one of the first photos you will see.
Sigiriya Rock is an iconic symbol for Sri Lanka. Located up in Dambulla we decided to just take a day trip up there from Kandy rather than staying up there. It was quite a long drive and we did set off very early, but it was 100% worth it. It’s also not for the faint-hearted. The walk up involves a LOT of steps most of which are pretty narrow and there are always a strong flow of people around.
But again, its 100% worth it! The view is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. You can see for miles and despite there being so many people around, it feels very still and silent at the top. We planned it so that we were at the top for around sun set and it was perfect. If your planning to go make sure this is on your list.
2. Elephants – Habarana Forest
Seeing elephants any where in Sri Lanka is a must, just as long as you make sure the elephants are in their natural habitat and are being well cared for. Make sure you don’t go to one of those awful places where you ride them sat in some awful wooden carriage sat on the top, its not good for the elephants and 9 times out of 10 the money your paying wont be going towards caring for them.
Our driver suggested a great eco forest called Habarana that was brilliant. We were a little sceptical at first, but climbed into the back of the open top 4×4 with our eyes peeled hoping for the best. We were SO lucky and saw tones of elephants all just grazing and wandering around.
We even saw a baby one with its mother!
It was an incredible experience and we were able to get really quite close to a couple of them as they were chilling near the side of the path that the jeeps drive around.
3. 98 Acres – Ella
98 Acres Resort was actually one of the main reasons why I decided I needed to go to Sri Lanka. Doing the typical research of where to go next one of their photos popped up when searching about Sri Lanka and I was sold immediately.
Set up in the hill tops, surrounded by tea plantations the resort is small but breathtakingly stunning.
It has minimal rooms/suits so make sure you book it in advance. But this does mean the service is incredible. Everyone is so attentive and will do anything they can to make your stay perfect. We arrived in the evening and were greeted with a beautiful fresh fruit juice cocktail each before being whisked away in a golf buggy to our suit (the one on the far right in the pic above!)
IT. WAS. AMAZING! Possibly one of the most incredible places I’ve ever stayed. When you wake up to this view, I really don’t think there’s anything that can beat it.
Everything about the resort was incredible. The restaurant served an amazing selection of food for lunch and dinner, all at a very reasonable price. The pool was immaculate with staff always on hand to give you fresh towels or take drinks orders.
And of course the room itself was stunning. Ed and I actually had to switch rooms half way through because we weren’t able to book the same room for the duration of our stay, so we down graded so we could stay for longer, however you never would have realised. Both rooms were incredible.
4. Whale Watching – Raja and the Whales
Sri Lanka is one of the best places to go whale watching due to the fact that it is so close to the deep waters of the continental shelf, meaning that they swim fairly close to the shore while still staying safe. There are a tone of different options of who to use, but we went for Raja and the Whales and thought they were amazing. The staff were all so attentive and kept bringing round tea and coffee as well as being served breakfast and lunch on the trip. They also handed out sea sickness tablets at the start of the trip as its known for being a little rough so I would give it a miss if your prone to sea sickness. We were lucky enough to see spinner dolphins, a sperm whale and a blue whale. It really was a great trip.
5. Galle Fort – Galle
Make sure you take some time to go and wander around Galle Fort or even better stay in side it if you can. Ed and i didn’t realise quite how lovely it was until we were there and had already booked somewhere else. Its cobbled street littered with great restaurants, cafes and art galleries is like stepping back in time.
We went to a couple of really lovely restaurants in there, one specifically was the Fort Printers. We had an incredible meal there and would really recommend it to anyone.
So that’s my round up. We obviously did a tone more things than that and I have a tone more recommendations, but for now that’s your lot! If you are planning a trip there and want some more tips, drop me note and I’ll send them over. Also if you think I’ve missed anything amazing, please tell me in the comments as I certainly plan on going back in the future.