Beach at Sunset, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Holidays

Sri Lanka is lush, green and without crowds and has become one of the prime boutique destinations of the East. We love it for its diversity, the people and the exquisite food.

NEWSFLASH - Runway Revamp - 6th January to 6th April 2017 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Sri Lanka has recently announced plans to re-surface the runaway at the Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) between January and April 2017. This will prevent flights entering or leaving the airport between 08:30 and 16.30 each day and therefore directly affects the flight times of Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airways. Whilst flights will be allowed to land at and depart from Colombo’s airport outside of these times, the CAA also intends to direct some flights to Mattala International Airport in Hambantota instead. The CAA released a statement that there will be an accompanying shuttle service for these flights to reduce the inconvenience of passengers, but have not yet finalised details. As we receive more updates, we will keep you informed.

If you have booked your flight tickets independently of Steppes Travel, please check with the airline for time changes. We will of course inform all Steppes clients who have booked their international flights with us of any time changes.

Sri Lanka offers peaceful, stylish and varied holidays with private hotels and villas that are unrivalled in the region. Small and easy to discover, you can travel either by private car or float plane. Travelling around this beautiful island you see rolling tea estates, spectacular views and verdant forests abundant with wildlife, historical sites and wide stretches of beach. Sri Lanka is the most idyllic and exotic of holiday destinations.

Explore the highlights of Sri Lanka

Elephants in Sri Lanka
 

Wildlife Holidays

Fisherman Sri Lanka
 

Cultural holidays

  • Explore Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle visiting Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa
  • Spend a few days relaxing by the beach, a stone’s throw from the pretty Unesco town of Galle

 

Our Sri Lankan Specialists recommend

  • Visit Trincomalee for whale watching.

Beyond the Ordinary

Our travel Experts

Both Joe and Kate are justifiably considered experts in their field, having travelled to Sri Lanka many times. They're ideally placed to help you design your perfect Sri Lanka holiday

Advice from our Sri Lankan Experts

For a small country Sri Lanka punches well above its weight. In just two weeks you can spend time exploring ancient Buddhist sites, track leopard and elephant in game-rich parks such as Yala or Wilpattu, travel by train through the tea hills, and end up on a glorious stretch of white sand beach. These are just a few highlights and there are many more.

Whale watching from Sri Lanka’s coastline is a phenomenal experience. To go one step further why not swim alongside Blue and Sperm whales with an expert guide?

Joe Parkes | Steppes Travel Sri lanka Specialist

Sri Lanka FAQs

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Is Sri Lanka now safe to travel around?
Known for its turbulent history and civil war, peace was declared in Sri Lanka in 2009. It is now very successfully re-building itself as a tourist destination and is doing everything to welcome visitors to the country. As when travelling to any destination, we always advise taking precautions when looking after your personal belongings.
What animals will I see in Yala National Park?
With over 126,000 hectares of parkland to explore, visiting Yala is like stepping into the pages of The Jungle Book. Elephants, monkeys, exotic birds and of course leopards with an array of other wildlife call Yala home, with the park having one of the densest leopard populations in the world.
Are ATMs easily accessable
ATMs are becoming more widespread in the larger cities, but more difficult to find outside of these. Before leaving for more rural areas, we advise making sure you have plenty of cash with you in case ATM access in unavailable.
I would like to explore the north of the country. Is it safe now?

It is now safe to visit Jaffna in the north of the country well as the new beach resorts around Trincomalee on the north-east coast. However it is worth mentioning that in Jaffna there remains a strong military presence. If you like pioneering travel and are OK with basic accommodation then a visit to the very north of the country may very well appeal. One of our female travel experts recently travelled to the north of the country and felt extremely safe throughout. 

Is it worthwhile renting a villa?
Very much so. Renting a villa of any size is great value and come with staff, which turn it into a memorable holiday. Choose from beach or inland depending on your preference. The best selection are found on the south coast near Galle. 
I've visited before, which parks should I visit next?
Willpattu is opening up and there is now a high end camp there. Willpattu is best for Sloth bear and leopard, however leopard is much harder to spot than those found in Yala. 
Is Sri Lanka a suitable family destination? 
Travelling with children in Sri Lanka is very easy as there is no need for internal flights but there are long car journey's as a result. A staffed villa during the trip is the best way to relax as a family. 

Holidays

Sri Lanka - Cultural Triangle, Beach and Wildlife

Cultural Triangle, Beach and Wildlife

Stay near iconic temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, on peaceful beaches in barefoot luxury ...

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Sri Lanka - Leopard and Whale Safari

wildlife group tour

Sri Lanka - Leopard and Whale Safari

A hands-on safari carefully researched to visit Sri Lanka at the optimum time of the year for wil...

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Sri Lanka - Ultimate Whale Watching Safari

Ultimate Whale Watching Safari

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Sri Lanka - Wilderness and Beaches

Sri Lanka - Wilderness and Beaches

Spotting leopard in lush jungles, discovering hidden temples a la Indiana Jones and whale wa...

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Sri Lanka Highlights with UNESCO Sites and beach

Sri Lanka Highlights with UNESCO Sites and beach

For centuries Sri Lanka has been an important player in the spice and gem trades and th...

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Sri Lanka - Family Adventures in Sri Lanka

Family Adventures in Sri Lanka

Families will be enchanted by Sri Lanka's warm welcome and the country is diverse and easy t...

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Sri Lanka & The Maldives

Sri Lanka & The Maldives

You might ask why combine Sri Lanka with the Maldives, we would answer for the pure indulgence of...

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Sri Lanka - North Sri Lanka Discovery

North Sri Lanka Discovery

For those wanting to explore more of this fascinating island and travel off the beaten track then...

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Inspiration

Lotus Flower, Sri Lanka

Spa Hotels in Sri Lanka

Looking for a hotel with a spa in Sri Lanka?
If you are partial to a spa treatment of two, we can recommend some excellent options. A favourite is The Wallawwa, whose Z Spa's flexible opening hours are designed for pre or post-flight indulgence. The Fort Bazaar, in Galle Fort also has a spa. Tri, beside Koggala Lake is a superb wellness destination, offering spa treatments, many with an Ayurvedic twist - plus yoga. 
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Beach at Sunset, Sri Lanka

The Beach Club by Teardrop

Teardrop Hotels has taken over Talpe Beach Club, an idyllic little seaside restaurant with pool on the coast between Koggala and Galle. 
If you are staying in Galle Fort, The Beach Club by Teardrop offers an alternative destination to wine, dine and relax on the beach during a stay based in town. A short drive to the beach, the Beach Club has a restaurant with wood fired pizza, grilled seafood, gourmet burgers and indulgent desserts. The restaurant is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 11pm.
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Traditional Fishing, Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Literary Festival

Hugely popular and incredibly stimulating, Galle Literary Festival runs from 11 to 15 January 2017.
After the peak season new year period, there are a few other dates worth keeping in mind when it comes to hotel availability. The very popular Galle Literary Festival takes place from 11th to 15th January 2017. Then Chinese New Year week is another busy period (28th January), both with villa and hotel bookings, as is Easter, which is the weekend of the 14th April 2017. It starts to get quieter in May and prices drop; this year in May was fine and for the most part dry so it can be a great value month to travel.
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Sri Lankan Tea Estate

The Southern Tea Experience

For those who are not able to visit the up-country tea estates in Sri Lanka.
Did you know that there are some 11 tea estates scattered among the interior of Sri Lanka’s south coast, particularly around Ratnapura and all the way down to Galle and Matara? Known as ‘low-grown’ or ‘low country’ tea, the robust crop thrives even in the warmest conditions.

For a southern tea experience, why stay at Kahanda Kanda, located right in the middle of a 12 acre tea plantation and where many of the suites face directly onto the surrounding tea bushes. Guests can also take a 5 minute tuk tuk ride to nearby Handunugoda Tea Estate for a guided tour and tea tasting. If you want to learn more about tea production in Sri Lanka then join our small, expert-led group tour
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Kandy Esala Perahera

Experience Kandy's famous religious festival 'Esala Perahera'

We're pleased to say that the gorgeous Bougainvillea Retreat still has availability throughout this exuberant 10-day festival. It's a fabulous place to stay: set in idyllic countryside within an hour's reach of Kandy, right next to the Victoria Golf and Country Resort. The Perahera is characterized by dazzling processions of caparisoned elephants, dancers and musicians every night and takes place from 8th to 18th August 2016.
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Colombo Walking Tour

Colombo Walking Tour

Explore Colombo's backstreets with a specialist tour guide.
Hidden within Sri Lanka’s chaotic capital is Slave Island, named so because of its association with African slaves who were housed there during Portuguese rule. Slave Island is now a melting-pot of cultures and religions, still awash with landmarks of bygone eras lining almost every street. During a holiday in Sri Lanka, include a Colombo walking tour to explore the remnants of the capital’s colonial past hidden within this vibrant commercial area. A dynamic tour guide will bring the surroundings to life with captivating chronicles of the past.
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Stilt Fisherman, Sri Lanka

Blog: Vibrancy of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is so vibrant. Not just vibrant in the sense of colour, spice, sun, and tropicality but also vibrant in the sense that the country is changing. Fantastic hotels are springing up, Living Heritage Koslanda by way of example.

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Leopard, Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka

Blog: Wilpattu National Park

It has it all, turtles walking across busy roads, land monitor lizards sloping around looking like they are up to no good, elephants en masse, casual leopards posing for pictures and shy sloth bears jumping out of bushes.

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Client Reviews

Lotus Flower, Sri Lanka
''Joe did an excellent job building an itinerary customised to our needs. plus, the hotels he chose for us were simply wonderful.''

John Salmon

Sri Lanka
Chidlren on Beach, Sri Lanka
''Kate Hitchen's help in organising this trip was excellent . She was very knowledgable and tailor made our trip to suit our three teenage children.''

Julia Ziegler

Sri Lanka
Sunrise over Jungle, Sri Lanka
''Pre-trip information was great ( including the package received by mail before the trip). We contacted Steppes asking for help in finalising the trip another agency failed to organise. 
Despite very little time left before travelling and very busy holiday period for booking Kate Hitchen managed to book good hotels and help us with the trip program. Her expert advice allowed us to correct the original plan ( which was unrealistic) and we had a well balanced program which allowed us to see most of the attractions we wanted and at a good pace. ''
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Olga Vishnevskaya

Sri Lanka
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FLIGHT INFORMATION

10.5 hours from UK
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Holiday Ideas in Sri Lanka

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Expertise

  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides

PRICING

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  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates

RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

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  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad
 

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