Known as ‘the pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is the ideal getaway if you’re seeking sun and fun. With miles of wide sandy beaches, dramatic coral reefs and ancient mystical ruins, it’s the perfect escape.
And if you travel to Sri Lanka with your Three device or SIM, you can share all your enviable #holidayspam, and call and text all your friends back home to brag, at no extra cost. You can use your allowance, just like you would at home in the UK, in 18 Feel At Home destinations worldwide - including Sri Lanka.
So what should you make sure you do when you visit this amazing Asian paradise? We’ve rounded up our top picks, and included some photos from Instagram that will turn you green with envy.
Climb Adam’s Peak.
This is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular pilgrimage sites, and when you get to the summit (said to be the footprint of Buddha), you’ll witness the island’s most magical views.
Go whale watching.
Sri Lanka is one of the world’s major whale-watching destinations. The ideal spots are Dondra Point and Trincomalee, and sightings are most regular from December through to April.
Visit Yala National Park.
Home to the island’s largest population of leopards, this is THE national park to visit on a trip to Sri Lanka. You’ll also find exotic birds, monkeys, crocodiles and elephants.
Why not join the crowds at the colourful nightly temple ceremonies at this remote pilgrimage town? In July and August, the predominantly Hindu Kataragama festival attracts thousands of devotees who make the pilgrimage over a two-week period.
This Ceylonese political and religious capital flourished for 1,300 years and was abandoned after an invasion in 993AD. It is hidden away in dense jungle, but the palaces, monasteries and monuments are well worth seeing.
This ancient palace is located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla. It’s a site of historical and archaeological significance that’s dominated by a massive column of rock (the ‘Lion’s Rock’) that’s nearly 200m high and is visible from anywhere in the jungle.
Experience the Pettah Market.
The Pettah Market in Colombo is a colourful, chaotic bazaar. Make sure you truly immerse yourself in Sri Lankan culture and enjoy an exhilarating slice of Asian life.
Unearth the city of Polonnaruwa.
If you love history, then this place is unmissable. It’s the home of Sri Lanka’s finest collection of ancient Sinhalese art and architecture; and you’ll see the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th Century.
Enjoy Esala Perahera.
Kandy’s ten-day Esala Perahera festival is stunning - and definitely the most spectacular of Sri Lanka’s festivals. In fact it’s one of the most colourful religious pageants in Asia. Among the drama you’ll see acrobats, drummers and processions of jewel-encrusted elephants.
Visit the Golden Temple of Dambulla.
This fascinating cave complex has been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries. The five magical cave temples contain 157 statues and the country’s finest collection of Buddhist mural paintings, covering an area of 2,100m².