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Holidays to Sri Lanka

India's neighbour is much more than a sunny beach destination (although both can be found in a country which boasts 833 miles of coastline). It pays to step away from the sand to find other highlights: the Portuguese and Dutch colonial heritage which shapes the south-westerly city of Galle; the serenity of Kandy, with its vast Buddhist temple; the swirl of the capital Colombo; the British yesterday of Nuwara Eliya, a hill station framed by tea plantations. Despite a difficult recent past, Sri Lanka’s future beckons.

Must see: I climbed Sigiriya – a 660ft (200m) stand-alone monolith almost at the heart of Sri Lanka – on a blazing day. It was tough going, but the route up, sometimes along rusty stairs hammered into the rock, took me past frescoes which date back to the fifth century – and delivered me to a flat-top summit which once hosted a royal palace. Truly amazing.

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13 holidays match your criteria.

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Explore Sri Lanka, a country with 2,500 years of rich history and 8 World Heritage Sites. Visit ancient kingdoms and pay homage at the cradle of Buddhist civilisation. Wander through tea plantations, see an extraordinary range of wildlife at National Parks before extending your holiday on one of the world class beaches of Sri Lanka.

  • Holiday duration: 8 days
  • Price from: £1,550
  • Operator: Eastravel
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A diverse wildlife safari combining the best locations in Sri Lanka; Yala in the south east for leopards (also elephants and chance for sloth bears) and less visited/ crowded Wilpattu National Park further north for a contrast in habitat, but familiar species. Round off your trip with a tiger safari in India, visiting Kanha National Park.

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Leopard and elephant are Sri Lanka’s two signature species, and you’ll have ample opportunity to spot both on this two-week tour of the island, which has been specifically designed with wildlife and nature lovers in mind.

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Off the beaten track in Sri Lanka

Experience the traditional lifestyles of the rural paddy farmers, coastal fisherman, tea pluckers of the central hills and Sri Lanka’s indigenous inhabitants: the Veddas or Wanniya-laeto (forest-dwellers).

  • Holiday duration: 15 days
  • Price from: £1,944
  • Operator: Eastravel
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Sri Lanka Ayurvedic, Yoga and Meditation

Rejuvenate yourself with the ancient secrets of Ayurvedic healing. This is an easy-paced journey that combines Sri Lanka’s ancient cultural heritage with a two-week intense wellness retreat at the Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort in the coastal village of Weligama.

  • Holiday duration: 21 days
  • Price from: £1,299
  • Operator: Eastravel
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Explore the wonders of Sri Lanka on our Emerald Isle group tour. Start with the modern capital city of Colombo, before travelling inland to the 'Cultural Triangle' of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. Anuradhapura, where Buddhism first came to Sri Lanka, was the country's capital for 1,300 years.

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A unique itinerary to Northern Sri Lanka featuring wildlife safaris, cultural insights and glorious beaches. Spend lazy days experiencing true Sri Lankan hospitality at the unique Mudhouse in Anamaduwa, go on a safari at Wilpattu National Park, see the highlights of Jaffna and go island hopping to the remote easterly islands.

  • Holiday duration: 14 days
  • Price from: £1,390
  • Operator: Eastravel
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Covering the cream of the island’s ancient sites and the site of the island’s famous “elephant gathering” at Minneriya, this short, introductory tour of Sri Lanka is the one we generally recommend to first-time visitors who are more interested in history and culture than flopping under the palms on a tropical beach.

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A comprehensive tour through Sri Lanka exploring World Heritage Sites, ancient kingdoms and pay homage at the Cradle of Buddhism. Take a nostalgic train ride through some of the most scenic spots in Sri Lanka and enjoy the crisp cool climate as you wander through sprawling tea plantations.

  • Holiday duration: 17 days
  • Price from: £1,688
  • Operator: Eastravel
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Sri Lanka is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife. Several national parks, some of them which are recognised as Heritage Sites of the world boast of elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, monkeys and a colourful collection of migratory and endemic birds.

  • Holiday duration: 14 days
  • Price from: £1,600
  • Operator: Eastravel
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