Sri Lanka is one of the gems of the Indian Ocean. A small teardrop that falls from the great Indian subcontinent, it's a colourful and chaotic, diverse and devoted country - where Buddhism and an infatuation with the national cricket team take precedent. The Island of Serendipity' - as Sri Lanka is known - has been on the tourist trail for some time. And yet the bounteous enthusiasm of its local communities and the immensity of its cultural and historical treasures make even luxury Sri Lankan holidays feel like real exploration.
From bustling cities to UNESCO treasures
Sri Lanka's attractions are numerous and varied. There are lush and steeply terraced tea plantations, one of the clearest legacies of old Ceylon. The energy of the country's largest city, Colombo, and its abundant historical sites are other highlights of Sri Lanka travel. The latter include the fortified old town of Galle, on the southwest coast, sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura, the cave temples at Dambulla and the mighty rock fortress at Sigiriya.
The mountain-top fort of Sigiriya
Sri Lanka's wild side
The country's natural scenery is just as stunning, whether you decide to visit the central highlands around Kandy - home to the Temple of the Tooth - or the rainforest at Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which is home to leopards and plentiful birds. Splendid beaches, too, some frequented by surfers, others empty and untamed, offer a true slice of Indian Ocean life.
Leopard in Sri Lanka's Sinharaja Forest Reserve
For a relatively small island Sri Lanka certainly packs a lot in. But take in some of its many charms and you're sure to have an unforgettable Sri Lanka holiday.