Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, killer surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food make Sri Lanka one of the most exciting and cultural places on earth.
Few places have as many Unesco World Heritage Sites (eight) packed into such a small area. Sri Lanka’s 2000-plus years of culture can be discovered at ancient sites where legendary temples boast beautiful details even as they shelter in caves or perch on prominent peaks. More recent are evocative colonial fortresses, from Galle to Trincomalee.
Across the island, that thing that goes bump in the night might be an elephant heading to a favourite waterhole. Safari tours of Sri Lanka’s pleasantly relaxed national parks encounter leopards, water buffaloes, all manner of birds and a passel of primates. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still often uncrowded. Now is the best time to discover it.