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Beautiful beaches, dramatic ruins and strolling elephants. Just a few of the big draws to this incredibly beautiful tropical island nation. Book your flights and get ready for Sri Lanka to take your breath away.
Sri Lanka is a tropical country so it’s hot and wet for most of the year. However, the two major rainy seasons are the northeast monsoon from October to January (which mainly affects the east coast) and the southwest monsoon from May to July (which affects the south and west). So it’s worth considering these weather patterns when booking your flights. Generally, the driest months are between January and April, but even during these times you might experience the odd downpour.
Having said this, there is no real peak season in Sri Lanka: its delights are on offer all year round. If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience, the Kandy Esala Perahera festival takes place for 10 spectacular days in early August. And, if it’sthe cheapest flights you are after, try searching between September and November.
Your best bet for lower-priced airfares is to book as early as you can. Contrary to popular belief, leaving it to the last minute rarely throws up many bargains.
In fact, the best way to really get the best deals is to be clever when booking.
When using Expedia, if you can be flexible about which airport you fly from you may be able to get a cheaper flight to Sri Lanka. Click the ‘Nearby airports’ option, or search for all London airports rather than one specific hub.
If you can be flexible about when you travel, click on ‘Show flexible dates’. By moving your departure or return by a day or two you can often save money on flights to Sri Lanka.
There are numerous departures to Sri Lanka from London and other UK cities running throughout the year.
There are three international airports in Sri Lanka.
Bandaranaike International, more commonly known as Colombo Airport, is the biggest but the city also has another international hub, Ratmalana. Both of these are located on the outskirts of Colombo, the capital, with good bus and taxi links to the city. Few tourists spend much more than a day or two in Colombo, preferring to travel onwards to some of Sri Lanka’s more colourful destinations.
If you’re travelling to the south of the country, then Mattala Rajapaksa International might also be an option.
Indirect and direct flights to Sri Lanka are available from a number of different carriers.
Perhaps the most authentic way to travel in Sri Lanka is by taking tuk-tuk taxis. These are everywhere and generally very cheap, so you won’t have to wait long. Just wave one down as it goes past, and always ask them to use the meter.
There are plenty of car rental options in Sri Lanka, but you will need to get your licence validated by the relevant authorities before you drive. It’s also possible to hire a car with a driver if you don’t fancy getting behind the wheel yourself.
If you’re travelling on a budget, there are buses everywhere and Sri Lanka also has an extensive railway network.
There are so many excellent reasons to visit Sri Lanka – from the mouth-watering cuisine to its incredible caves and temples. Take in a cricket match in Kandy or catch a train for one of the most scenic journeys of your life.
You can volunteer at an elephant sanctuary and get up close to these magnificent animals. Visit the world-famous tea plantations and enjoy a fresh brew or go surfing on the island’s south side.
Relax on the peaceful beaches at Uppuveli and Nilaveli, which are both close to Trincomalee, where you might enjoy the sand all to yourself, or jump in a boat and head out whale and dolphin watching for the day.
You will need a visa to travel to Sri Lanka but you can get the short stay variety online before you travel. These are normally issued for a period of 30 days maximum, so if you’re planning on staying longer you need to check your options.
While it is possible to get visas on arrival, it’s always better to arrange this when you buy your tickets to Sri Lanka.