The tropical island of Sri Lanka is pretty much a year-round destination with much to offer, including some stunning beaches. There are two separate monsoon seasons here, one in the northwest and the other in the southwest, so the best places to go depend on the time of year.
From May until September the East Coast is the place to head to as it remains untouched by the monsoon – which makes it ideal for long school holidays. From October the south and south western coasts are the better places to be and this part of the island is perfect too during the dreary winter months, offering glorious blue skies and sunshine.
Since the end of the civil war in 2009, and after the destruction of the tsunami in 2004, there has been slow and steady reconstruction on the east coast. This area has huge tourism potential with its idyllic stretches of sand, and there are some major plans to improve the infrastructure.
The capital of the east is Trincomalee, a vibrant town with plenty of charm, famous for its deep-water harbour. North of Trinco are Uppuveli and Nilaveli, low-key beachside villages that at present remain undeveloped. Here there is snorkelling, sport fishing and whale watching – the world’s largest mammal, the Blue Whale, can be seen in these waters.
Sri Lanka Sea Scape
Head south along this eastern coast to Passikudah which has beautiful warm waters for swimming; the gentle, shallow waters are perfect for families with young children. The wonderfully relaxing Maalu Maalu Beach Resort is here.
Further down the coast, Batticaloa (or Batti, as it is known) offers one of Sri Lanka’s best wreck-dives – the WWII-era HMS Hermes. Diving is only possible from March to October.
Arugam Bay is a remote beach and village, and is famous for its surfing (ideal between May and October). There is a laid back atmosphere and charm here and, for a change from the surf, you can take a trip on the nearby Pottuvil Lagoon to see the rich aquatic life of the mangrove swamp.
In addition to glorious beaches, there’s some incredible wildlife in this Eastern region – as well as marine life there are elephants, leopards and beautiful birds in the Gal Oya and Yala National Parks.
Sri Lanka’s most stunning festival, the Esala Perahera, takes place in the central town of Kandy – this year from 8-17 August, 2016. This is a stunning and colourful spectacle, honouring the sacred tooth relic of Kandy, with parades of elephants, dancers and drummers.
With all this, together with friendly and welcoming people; temples to visit, hills to climb and rolling tea gardens to explore – and some truly delicious food – it’s no wonder that Sri Lanka is such an up and coming year-round destination!
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