Sri Lanka is a great destination for backpacking or just a nice holiday. The big advantage that Sri Lanka has is that it is a relatively small country, so you travel distances not long to be. So you can take a nice route in a relatively short time and see a lot! Another big advantage is that Sri Lanka very versatile is. It has beautiful nature, lots of wildlife, white beaches, delicious food, a rich culture and many sights. What else do you want?! In this blog I will give you a summary of the most beautiful things I have seen during my travel route through Sri Lanka + a nice bonus at the end!
Table of contents
8. Coconut Tree Hill
The most famous, but certainly also the most beautiful part of the south of Sri Lanka† The Coconut Tree Hill is located in Mirissa and the name says it all: a hill full of palm trees. The Coconut Tree Hill is popular among Instagrammers because you can really shoot the perfect picture here. This spot is a little way from the center of Mirissa. However, with the scooter you are there in no time. You can also walk there. If you walk along the beach, the palm trees are really not to be missed!
7. Dalawella Beach
The expression 'pictures say more than a thousand words' is exactly what comes to mind at Dalawella Beach. This beach is so pure and so beautiful† And best of all, there were just no people there when I was there (August 2018) and that while this is really the high season in Sri Lanka. Maybe it's because Dalawella Beach is quite a bit away from the center of Unawatuna and it is therefore not possible to walk. I have no idea.. but you don't want to miss this right?! In the photos you only see a small part of Dalawella Beach, but the beach is very elongated and just as beautiful everywhere!
6. Nine Arch Bridge
Passing the train over the Nine Arch Bridge, I thought that was a bit overrated† The best thing about this place is the Nine Arch Bridge itself and the environment around it† In addition, the Nine Arch Bridge is on walking distance from the center and it's on the way to another great Ella landmark, Little Adams Peak. From the Asanka viewpoint cafe (see first photo) you walk down in about 20 minutes so that you have the view from the ground (see third photo). Are there too many people on the bridge but you still want to take a cool picture? Then choose a low angle and crawl through the tea fields at the bottom of the bridge. If people are at work, politely ask if you can take some pictures, don't wear flip flops and watch out for leeches.
5. View during the train journey from Kandy to Ella
Sitting on the train for 8 hours doesn't sound like something you would normally look forward to, but the train journey from Kandy to Ella is just a must do when you are in Sri Lanka. It is one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world! For 8 hours you will be rewarded with beautiful view† Besides the fact that you will see beautiful nature, it is also an experience in itself. Many locals also use the train so you will undoubtedly meet locals and you can try all the snacks sold on the train.
4. Little Adams Peak
Little Adams Peak in Ella is number 4 of the most beautiful things to see in Sri Lanka. It is a nice hike (from the center it takes you 1 hour to the top) and not that difficult. When you walk to the top you follow the stairs and once over you can walk over the 'back' of the mountain. I definitely recommend this, the further you walk, the fewer tourists you will see. Yay! Little Adams Peak offers a 360 degree view about the area around Ella. For example, you see the Ella Rock and the Ella gap.
3. Wijaya Beach
Still really the most beautiful beach i have seen in sri lanka and that is why Wijaya Beach is number 3 of the most beautiful things you must see in Sri Lanka! Wijaya Beach is a well-known beach in Unawatuna. The beach has become famous thanks to the Beach Swing where many Instagrammers come to take the perfect photo. Not only does it make for a beautiful photo, it's also a fun experience that you can definitely enjoy (especially during the sunset). If you want to find peace and quiet, walk to the left at the Beach Swing and there you will find the famous rock. The entire beach is super beautiful and it is close to the center of Unawatuna.
2. Pidurangala Rock
The number 2! Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya. I thought Sigiriya was a super fun destination in Sri Lanka and climbing the Pidurangala Rock was the highlight for me (literally and figuratively). The hike to the top is great fun and once at the top you can enjoy beautiful 360 degree view† The best thing about this view is of course that you can see the famous Lion Rock can see. It is best to climb the Pidurangala Rock 2 hours before the sunset. You walk/climb to the top in about 30 to 40 minutes.
1. Udawalawe National Park
In Sri Lanka you simply have to do a safari. The most famous are Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park. Udawalawe is my favorite! The park is beautiful and not that crowded. You are almost assured that you going to see an elephant and so much more! Start the safari early in the morning (around 06.00am) to see the animals at their most active. If you go in the afternoon you will have the least success here. Do you want to stay close to the National Park? Then choose tissamaharama† But you can also make a trip from, for example, Mirissa or Arugam Bay.
Prefer Yala National Park? Then read: Animal Watching in Yala at Reismuts.nl
Bonus: Esala Perahera Festival
The Esala Perahera Festival (better known as: festival of the sacred tooth) is a festival that in july or august is held in Kandy† It is the biggest festival in Sri Lanka. From the launch date, it will be partying in the streets of Kandy for 10 days. They then celebrate having the most important relic in religion. The tooth of the spiritual leader, the sacred tooth. They celebrate this with a parade that takes place every day during the festival. The parade continues through the city and ends at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The temple is also called Dalada Maligawa and is one of the most sacred places in Buddhism.
If you are in Sri Lanka in the month of July or August, it is definitely worth checking when the festival of the sacred tooth takes place. It is an impressive sight when you see the streets of Kandy filled with dance shows, beautiful costumes, fire, musicians and many elephants† You see the elephants up close and they wear beautiful cloths around them. Is it animal friendly? I have my own doubts about that. But is it a important part of their culture and nice to be with. It gives your trip through Sri Lanka something extra!
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