Defined by many as one of the finest islands in the world, Sri Lanka has seduced travelers for centuries. It has so much variety to offer and is definitely a place you must visit once in a lifetime. In this charming island, you will have the opportunity to experience and see so many different things. From beautiful beaches to ancient ruins, from picturesque cities to local temples, not to mention the amazing diversity of its wildlife. Things To Do and See in Sri Lanka!
Things To Do and See in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was famously described by Marco Polo as one of the finest islands in the world. And it has a history that dates back thousands of years.
Although it’s small, there is so much history, nature, and beauty to see in this country. Explore the beaches, jungles, tea plantations, temples, and much more from our list of the most beautiful spots in Sri Lanka.
This is a group of beautiful Buddha images that probably marks the high point of Sinhalese rock carving. They are part of Parakramabahu I’s northern monastery. The Gal Vihara consists of four separate images, all cut from one long slab of granite. At one time, each was enshrined within a separate enclosure.
The standing Buddha is 7m tall and is said to be the finest of the series. The unusual crossed position of the arms and sorrowful facial expression led to the theory that it was an image of the Buddha’s disciple Ananda. Grieving for his master’s departure for nirvana, since the reclining image is next to it. The fact that it had its own separate enclosure, along with the discovery of other images with the same arm position. Has discredited this theory and it is now accepted that all the images are of the Buddha.
Visit the well-preserved colonial city Galle for a relaxing city break. The town is full of charming Dutch-era villas and delightful seaside views. Visit the Galle Fort, a Dutch-built fort that is now a World Heritage Site and the largest remaining sea fort in Asia built by European occupiers.
Other good stops include the natural harbor, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and Galle International Stadium, which is widely regarded as the most picturesque cricket ground.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Also known as Lion’s Rock. Sigiriya is an astonishing ancient fortress built atop a rock and named from a giant lion’s paws at the entrance of it. Take part in one of the guided tours of Sigiriya to discover this UNESCO World Heritage site. Often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
There is also an interesting story behind this beauty from the 5th century. King Kashyapa, the illegitimate son of King Dhatusena usurped his throne after killing him. He built his fortress and pleasure palace on top of the Sigiriya rock for the fear of the return of the throne’s rightful owner, Moggallana. With his marvelous gardens and amazing architecture, this is really a place every traveler must visit.
Ride the Train
One of the things you must things to do in Sri Lanka is to ride the trains. Sri Lanka’s trains are like stepping back in time. They chug slowly along through hills and valleys. It is the slow journey that makes it special.
Looking out over the mountains and tea plantations rival any view in the world and the people that you meet on the train will be remembered forever. So if you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka make sure this makes your to do list and take the time to travel by train. It will be an experience you will remember and cherish forever.
Tea Empire in Nuwara Eliya
At the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea industry, this charming throwback to the country’s colonial years is rich with the heritage of home-county England. Tour neatly-terraced tea estates, watch pickers at work, and buy your own samples to take home.
Tea lovers will want to visit the Hill Country’s Haputale Mountains, where Sir Thomas Lipton launched his tea empire. To see where it all began, organise transport to Lipton’s Seat – Mr Lipton’s favourite spot to sit and watch over his enormous estate. It is possible (and maybe a bit more comfortable) to take a car up, but an open air tuk-tuk ride is much more fun. Head out early before the afternoon fog cloaks the surrounding mountains, clouding the awe-inspiring views.
Go Hiking in Riverston
Hiking in Riverston Sri Lanka was an unexpected highlight of my journey throughout the island. Riverston is a region best defined by the popular term, ‘off the beaten path’. We drove for several hours, parked in the middle of nowhere and then embarked on a hike.
We headed across the river and through the rice fields and farmland. There is minimal signage but luckily we had our guide Lukobanda to guide us up. The hike doesn’t have a specific name according to the locals other than the Riverston Hike. The hike looks out over the Knuckles mountain range and the surrounding highlands. It’s one of the short day trip hikes in the area. The end of the hike ends with a sharp 300m drop, which made for some pretty epic photos. From here you can chill and take in the views of the Thelgamuwa Valley, the terraced rice fields, and the Knuckles mountain range. This spot is called ‘The Worlds End’.The hike is 5km long but not incredibly difficult.