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How to Spend a Weekend in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is such an awe-inspiring place to visit you need much more than a couple of days to take in its many natural and cultural wonders. That said, if you are planning a weekend getaway to this enchanting island, you can still look forward to some amazing experiences. Depending on your preferences, you could be touring a cosmopolitan city, lazing on sun-kissed beaches, journeying to misty mountains or exploring ancient kingdoms!

Base Yourself at Colombo
The commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is within easy reach of the Bandaranaike International Airport and is an ideal place to be based at. Since you are pressed for time, consider joining one of the city excursions offered by local tour operators which will take you to the best spots.

You can visit colonial buildings, sacred sites, the Pettah Floating Market, scenic Galle Face Green, the Colombo Lighthouse, the National Museum and more. The type of tours can vary as well and may include rides on a double-decker bus, a tuk-tuk safari or even a night cycling tour!

Visit the West Coast
Because of its proximity to Colombo, Negombo along the west coast is an ideal destination to visit. It offers a lovely stretch of golden sand and azure waters, while there’s much to see as well; these include the Neoclassical St. Mary’s Church, Dutch Canal, main fish market and Muthurajawela Marsh.

Alternatively, you can head further up the west coast to Kalpitiya which also happens to be one of the premier spots for kitesurfing in Sri Lanka. Those visiting from October to the end of March can enjoy dolphin watching excursions, while during this time you may get to spot whales as well.

Consider the South Coast

Beach Holidays in Sri Lanka with Walkers Tours

Instead of heading west, you could plan a weekend at the famed south coast beaches, also within easy reach of Colombo. Beachside hotspots to visit include Bentota which offers an abundance of water sports and Hikkaduwa an ideal spot for snorkelling, diving, surfing and nightlife.

As part of your weekend itinerary totour Sri Lanka, consider a stop at the city of Galle; the Old Town and its Dutch Fort have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are well worth exploring. On the other hand, wildlife enthusiasts could skip the beaches and embark on a safari at the Yala National Park where they have a chance to spot leopards.

Head to the Hill Country
The hill country of Sri Lanka is set amidst stunning mountain ranges and travel specialists the likes of Walkers Tours offer guided excursions to its key destinations. Those who prefer a weekend trip here can visit Kandy home to the revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the idyllic Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya.

Alternatively, you could head to the city of Nuwara Eliya where you can enjoy the English countryside like setting and visit tea plantations to learn the secrets of Ceylon Tea. Ella is another popular hill country town where you can look forward to trekking at Ella Rock and visiting the Ravana Waterfalls.

Explore the Cultural Triangle
History buffs or those looking for an Indiana Jones-like adventure can enjoy Cultural Triangle tours to some of the key UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. You could make the ascent to the summit of the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress, explore the archaeological treasures at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa or be awed at the ancient cave temple complex in Dambulla.

For something different, you can embark on a wildlife safari at the Minneriya National Park; those heading here between August and October have the chance to witness “The Gathering” where hundreds of elephants can be seen in and around the park’s reservoir.

Discover the Top 5 Beaches in Sri Lanka – A Land Like No Other!

Sri Lanka is considered to be the island with some of the best beaches in the world. It would be quite a hard feat to accomplish in picking just a few beaches to visit and believing that you have seen the best the country has to offer. So, let’s make it easier with a list of top five best beaches.

Hiriketiya

Located on the South Coast close to the town of Dickwella, Hiriketiya beach is one of the less popular beaches on this list, mostly because tourists have yet to find it. The southern coastline is the most developed in Sri Lanka as it has long been a seaside escape for both locals and tourists. Hiriketiya is one of those rare beaches that have managed to escape development for the time being. The horseshoe bay is small and unspoiled. It is a must-visit to see what the wild beauty of a Sri Lankan beach looks like.

Bentota

Probably the most popular beach on this list, Bentota Beach is an enigma that will find a place in and tour Sri Lanka has to offer. It is part of the upmarket development and luxury resort locations, with a breath-taking lagoon and plenty of coconut and palm trees. Bentota is also home to many kinds of water-sports, almost being a sort of central base for it all. Thanks to relatively calm waters and clear days, you will find that it is quite possible to engage in all forms of water-sports while you are staying in Bentota. It is also right between Colombo and Galle in the Southern Coast road, so you can use it as a resting point when going between the two great southern cities. 

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is the surfing hub of Sri Lanka that has gained a lot of traction in the past decade all around the world. It hosts international surfing competitions during the season when the beaches and one-street town are crowded. In the off-season, it has all the charm of a small town with just a few boutiques open and the beaches almost devoid of human beings. You will not find many luxury hotels in the area, but mostly rest houses, beachfront villas and cabanas. Arugam Bay has a rich culture that is a uniquely small town. 

Mirissa

Also located on the South Coast, Mirissa is where you go for those Instagram photos that you see constantly on the app. Ideal for both swimming and surfing, you will find Mirissa as part of the beach tours with companies like Walkers Tours. You will also find that Mirissa is great for whale-watching. Especially if you head down south during the season of December to April. 

Uppuveli

Located in the deep blue seas and white sands of the East Coast, Uppuveli is a small village close to Trincomalee that is off the beaten track and absolutely breath-taking. Though the area has been going through some development in recent years, it is still relatively less developed than the south coast. This is where you go if you missed the December to April whale-watching season in the south.  0