Discover Sri Lanka's hidden gems
Beautiful landscapes, friendly locals and colonial heritage make it a beguiling destination. International Travel Services recommends hotspots to make the most out of your travel to the island
Hikkaduwa is one of the most developed surf tourist towns, originally a fishing village now - busy for surfing and scuba diving are the main attractions. Some good night life if you are after a party. There are a number of local breaks and waves can be 3ft to 10ft when they are working.
Lovely Arugam Bay, a moon-shaped curl of soft sand, is home to a famed point break that many regard as the best surf spot in the country. It's a tiny place, with a population of a few hundred, and everything is dotted along a single road which parallels the coast. So in other words, the epitome of the laid-back beach scene that first drew surfers and sun-seekers to Sri Lanka.
Royal Palace of Kandy
Surrounded by stunning greenery on all sides, the majestic Royal Palace of Kandy is the last royal palace that was built in the island country of Sri Lanka. It was the former capital of Sri Lanka and was the residence of Sri Lankan Monarchy until 1815. The Royal Palace of Kandy (Maligawa) in Kandy, was the royal residence of the Sinhalese monarchy of the Kingdom of Kandy in Sri Lanka.
Udawalawe National Park
Sri Lanka is filled with national parks and trekking through Udawalawe is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the towns. Udawalawe is not only famous for the elephants but also for other animals like leopards as well as various species of birds. It is estimated that there are only 10-12 leopards in this national park and due to this reason there are very rare chances to spot them. There are so many elephants because of the Udawalawe Reservoir. It is a very important source of water for them. There are approximately 500-700 elephants and so the chances of spotting an elephant are nearly 100 per cent.
Explore tea plantations
Sri Lanka is one of the major tea producers in the world and its hill country is stunning. Colonial towns dot the landscape surrounded by tea plantations. One of the best places to sip tea is in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy. Nuwara Eliya is known for her impressive lush green tea plantations. These are best to visit via tuk-tuk.
The Hurulu Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka is a thriving ecosystem with a variety of creatures. It was designated as a biosphere reserve in 1977. The forest reserve is a very important habitat of the Sri Lankan elephant. The animal is known for its migratory behavior and does so especially in the dry season between the forests situated around the area. The Hurulu forest reserve represents the dry-zone evergreen forests of Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Gracing the covers of many Sri Lankan Guide books, hanging in the office of tour companies and standing proud on the cover of several coffee table books, it just may be Sri Lanka's most recognisable site. It is also set in a beautiful location. Surrounded by jungle, villages and farmland, Sigiriya is a location set back in time. Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa is Sri Lanka's second oldest kingdom dating back to 1070. It is a World Heritage Site and people still inhabit the land all around it. Kings ruled the central plains of Sri Lanka from Polonnaruwa 800 years ago, when it was a thriving commercial and religious centre.
Adam's Peak, also known as Sri Pada, is a 2,243-metre mountain in the central highland region of Sri Lanka. Popular for Sri Lankans and tourists alike. The typical climb is started in the middle of the night so you can reach the peak for a breathtaking Adam's Peak at sunrise.
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