Last month I was lucky enough to travel to Sri Lanka on a famil organised by Sri Lanka Tourism. Over 10 days we explored this beautiful island, immersing ourselves in culture and admiring the spectacular scenery. While the whole trip was fantastic, below are a few of my favourite highlights!
Dambulla Cave Temple
This World Heritage Listed Site, sometimes known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a must visit! The area is filled with human burial sites that are 2,700 years old. We took our time walking through the temple as there are nearly 400 stairs, and you also need to remove your shoes before going in.
One of Sri Lanka’s most famous landmarks! It is well worth the climb up the 1,200 steps to enjoy the spectacular views from the top! The climb isn’t difficult (I was wearing thongs!) but it does get warm as the sunrises.
This colourful Hindu Temple on the east coast has a history dating back to 1580BC! We were lucky enough to witness a blessing ceremony which was a very special event to be involved in.
Matale Spice Gardens
This is the perfect place to stop for lunch and stretch your legs. Here we learnt about Ayurveda which is widely practiced in Sri Lanka, and we also learnt that nutmeg and mace come from the same fruit!
Royal Botanical Gardens
Located in Kandy, this is a beautiful place to spend free time exploring. You receive a map on entry and can wander amongst plants from all over the world, from towering trees, to blooming flowers, and exotic cacti.
Temple of the Tooth Relic
Another must visit! The Temple is absolutely incredible! While it has been sadly bombed several times in the past, it has always been beautifully restored. It is said that a tooth from the Buddha is hidden within the golden stupa.
Travelling through Nuwara Eliya is worth it just for the lush green scenery, however I would definitely recommend a visit to Damro Tea Factory. Dilmah is produced here, and it was a great experience to see how the tea is picked, dried, sorted, classified, then consumed!
Yala, Lunugamwehera, and Bundala National Parks are all within a 30 minute drive of each other. I would recommend them all for their Game Drives (leopards in Yala, bears, grey mongoose, and elephants, in Lunugamwehera, and an abundance of water bird species in Bundala!).
Due to the time of year we went whale watching off the south coast of Sri Lanka. We were able to follow a majestic blue whale for 45 minutes, and the group the day before were lucky enough to see over 20!
Rachael Mann | MW Tours