Take some time for you and indulge in some wanderlust, The 'Pearl of the Ocean' beautiful Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, situated just below India in the Indian Ocean, it is often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Ocean' due to its tear drop shape. Sri Lanka has a very rich cultural and religious heritage, with Buddhism the official religion. The island itself is rather small – similarly sized to Ireland, which means its relatively easy to explore. Though quite small in size, Sri Lanka offers an array of landscapes, from white sandy beaches and playful waves perfect for surfing, to the lush hills and tea plantations explored by hikers.
Sri Lanka’s climate is tropical, with wet and dry seasons. Typically the coastal regions are much warmer (around 28 degrees) than the inland hill regions, which are much cooler at around 16 degrees. You’ll need to plan your trip carefully depending on the time of the year you are visiting, as although the island is small, there are huge variations in the climate depending on the time of year. Generally the best time to visit the west and south coasts are between December and April, but if you want to explore the east coast the climate is favourable from May through to October.
The most popular languages spoken in Sri Lanka are Sinhala, the native language of the Sinhalese people, and Tamil. Sinhala is mostly spoken in the Central, South and West of Sri Lanka, while Tamil is generally spoken in the North and East. English is fluently spoken by around a quarter of the population and by most people in the tourist industry, so you’ll be able to get by with English alone.
VOYA FAVOURITE PLACES TO VISIT INCLUDE
You can’t visit Sri Lanka without paying a visit to one of its many National Parks. There are 16 in total, so be sure to factor in a visit to one of them during your stay. Yala and Udawalawe are two of the most popular where you are able to see many elephants. Tours run early in the morning and in the evening when the temperature is cooler so the chance of seeing Elephants is very high. As well as elephants the parks as home to many other animals are birds such as water buffalo, crocodiles, leopards and eagles to name a few!
VOYA FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY INCLUDE
There are so many hotels to choose from on the island, but some of our favourites include the Galle Face hotel in Colombo, a beautiful colonial hotel situated right on the Indian Ocean and Triple O Six in Mirissa which is less than 500m from Mirissa beach and the idyllic Instagram hotspot ‘Coconut Tree Hill’. For something totally different, La Pentera is an eco friendly back-to-basics Treehouse hotel which is certainly an experience to remember!
VOYA FAVOURITE DISHES TO TRY
Sri Lanka cuisine is dominated by an array of beautiful spices and herbs. Fragrant curries, rice, roti and marinated seafood are the most common dishes found on menus. If you’re staying in Colombo be sure to take a stroll along Galle Face Green in the evening and sample some of the delicious street food from the many carts. Hoppers (pancake bowls filled with eggs or curry) and Kottu -leftover roti, vegetables and meat all chopped up and mixed together to form a sort of bubble and squeak type dish, are two of the most popular dishes you’ll find.