When the Chinese traveler Fa-Hien arrived on the shores of Sri Lanka in the late 4th century, little did he know that he was standing at the doorstep of paradise on earth. Sri Lanka, a beautiful island surrounded by the vast Indian Ocean is a dream place to be for all travelers alike.
Marco Polo even went to the lengths to describe it as the foremost island of its size in the world. You will have to rent a car in Sri Lanka if you want to cover all these towns properly. Even though it is geographically a small nation, Sri Lanka offers more treats to the senses than many other vast geographic entities.
Katunayake is the site of the primary airport in the country, Bandaranaike International Airport. It is well connected with the capital Colombo via rail and road links.
Being the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is not only the administrative headquarters, but also is the center for business activities, sports events and in the country. Whether it be the Galle Face Green that runs across the coastal line or the Gangaramaya Temple to the Pettah floating market, Colombo offers an eclectic mix of things to do and must visit places.
Gimhathitha, as it was known in days of yore, Galle is an important historic town of Sri Lanka. King Solomon famously sought peacocks and ivory from here. From taking a walk down the lanes of history at Galle Fort, to reminiscing the Ramayana at Unawatuna there is a lot to do here. A visit to the coral reef sanctuary at Hikkaduwa is a must.
Every year Millions of tourists and locals alike partake in whale watching at the splendid beaches that Mirissa has to offer. Also, home to on of the best night scenes around, Mirissa is a town that rarely sleeps.
Tangalla has an old world charm to its sleepy streets and alleys. It has been famously called as the gateway to the open beaches of South East Sri Lanka. While exploring the beaches, one should also see the Mulkirigala Rock Temples and some other ancient Buddhist Temples too.
Yala is home to the second largest National park in Sri Lanka. Bordering the Indian Ocean, Yalla offers a vast myriad of flora and fauna which are a visual treat to the eyes. From endangered Sea Turtles to Sloth bears, a lot of protected species can be seen in their natural environment.
Tour Sri Lanka to see and explore species you might have thought to be extinct.
Ella is home to the Ravana Waterfalls and the world famous Dhowa Rock Temple which has a giant stone carved statue of Lord Buddha. Hikers are in for a surprise with the challenging hike atop Ella Rock.
One of the biggest cities of Sri Lanka, Kandy also has an old historic background. A must visit is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which is said to have the tooth of The Buddha himself. Kandy is famous for the Kandyan Drum and Dance Show which showcases Sri Lanka’s vast and diversified history and culture.
An excellent example of Sri Lankan architecture art and landscaping, Sigiriya is an ancient fortress that is highlighted by the presence of a 660ft high black rock. King Kashyapa built his palace on top of the huge rock. After the king’s death, this place was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
Minneriya National Park, The Gal Vihara and The Parakrama Samudra are must visit places while in Polonnaruwa.
Trincomalee is a port city. The famous Koneswaram Temple is on Swami Rock cliff, a great area for blue-whale watching. The temple complex contains ornate shrines and a massive statue of Shiva.
Jaffna houses the star-shaped Jaffna fort, built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, with its golden arches and ornate towers, is also a must-see.
Puttalam is well known for its beautiful lagoons, which are popular for shallow sea fishing and prawn farming activities Fond of dolphins? A short trip to Kalimpinya results in a spectacular dolphin watching show.
Beautiful wide beaches and awesome lagoons, you can see it all in Negombo. Spiritual cravings are well fed with the opportunities to visit The Angurukaramulla Temple and The St. Mary’s Church, both ancient and soothing!