- Sri Lanka is now truly a year round destination – The opening up of the east coast has created new beach destinations which are at their best from March to October, perfectly complementing the west coast beaches which are at their best from October to April.
- Drastically improved infrastructure – Transport is now an awful lot easier with new air taxis, train services, airports and motorways. With the opening of the new E-01 Southern Expressway the journey from the airport to Galle has been cut from 4.5 hours to less than 2 hours.
- Tourism development – The government aims to dramatically increase tourist arrivals by 2016 by focusing on the 4 and 5 star market and doubling the number of hotel rooms. This will focus on the east coast, predominantly the coastal towns of Arugam Bay, Pasikudah, Trincomalee, Nilaveli and Kuchaveli. Interestingly, a more Maldivian style approach will be taken on the west coast on 14 small islands 150km north of Colombo near the fishing town of Kalpitiya.
- Extraordinary natural diversity – From the 2,500m peaks in the island’s interior to the savannah-like panoramas of Yala National Park to the palm-fringed coast, Sri Lanka offers an astonishing variety of landscapes. It has some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet and it is the best place in the world for spotting blue whales, sperm whales and leopards.
- Cultural treasures – Despite being relatively small at 65,610 sq km (a little smaller than Ireland), the island has a staggering 6 Unesco World Heritage Sites. Dotted across the Cultural Triangle you have Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Kandy with the holiest of Buddhist sites, the Temple of the Tooth.
- Stylish boutique hotels – Epitomised by the late talented architect, Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka has a very unique and sophisticated sense of style. We explored the crop of new boutique hotel openings and discovered some very exciting new options – you can read our appraisal (featuring the good and the bad) here.
- Family-friendliness – Since the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka has blossomed into a safe and fun family holiday destination. Its abundance of family-friendly villas and soft adventure activities like whale watching and wildlife safaris make it a fantastic destination for all ages – toddlers, teenagers and grown-ups!
On our website we have 17 suggested Sri Lanka itineraries, which are all great and each offer a different combination of ingredients – but do bear in mind that we tailor-make every trip for every client based on what you want from your holiday. If you would like to find out more about Sri Lanka please call 020 7289 6100 or email catriona@ampersandtravel or firstname.lastname@example.org