How to spend 12 days in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is Paradise on Earth. People are amazing, the beach is wonderful and everything around us is blooming. To celebrate the end of a fantastic holiday I’m sharing our 12 day Sri Lanka itinerary with everyone who fancies some winter sun between early December and late March.

Best time to visit: from December to March

What to bring: light clothes, sunscreen, mosquito spray (we went for Jungle spray 4)

VISA: you only need an online ETA which you can apply for here: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/and it costs $40 each person.

Best way to travel: Sri Lankan Airlines (part of One World) flies directly from London, however this time we chose BA/Qatar with one stop-over in Doha. Qatar airways is reliable and a recommended way to fly anywhere.

What to expect: hot weather, warm ocean, occasional rain which can be very refreshing, lots of animals and very very kind people.

Traditional food: Curry but lot lighter than the tipical Indian curry known in Western Europe

Good to know: restaurants and hotels can only offer alcohol 500 meters away from a temple so don’t be surprised if the hotel bar is not offering beer or wine to go with your dinner.

Day 1 – 3 Galle/Unawatuna, Niyagama House*****

This place is perfect if you want to stay remote for a couple of days and give your full attention to nature, the jungle and the tea plantations around you. The house has an outdoor swimming pool and offers healthy food and daily yoga classes. You can visit the dutch fort in Galle (30 mins by tuktuk) or Unawatuna beach. If you’re not here for a yoga retreat, I would recommend to book this place for 2-3 days. (Niygama House is not offering alcohol.)

Day 4 – 5 Yala National Park, Thaulle Resport*****

Thaulle resort is 3 hourse drive away from Gaulle which can be done in confort in a private van (costs about $100-120). People tipically come here for the safari in Yala National Park which is a 30 min drive from the hotel. They recommend to do the early morning session at 6 am for which the hotel packs you breakfast and provides you with a private jeep. What no one tells you is that it is absolutely freezing at 6 o’clock in the morning, so please take layering pieces, at least a hoody with you. The hotel is situated next to a lake and has ridiculously high ratings on booking.com. I recommend to stay for 2 days then head back to the ocean site.

Day 6 – 8 Hikkaduwa beach, SerendipItaly Boutique Hotel***

This is a brand new hotel, not quite finished yet. The owner is an Italian architect who designed and built the hotel himself. The place is approximately 7 km away from Hikkaduwa’s main beach full of surfers, however the view from the 4 ocean-facing room is unbelievable. There is a tiny beach next to the hotel, however if you walk a bit further you find an incredible hidden treasure with a few locals bathing in what they call natural pool made by the ocean and some rocks. Keep walking towards the main beach and see colours and waves you’ve never seen before, with absolutely no one around. Perfect if you want to enjoy watersports and good food.

Day 9-12 Bentota, Vivanta by Taj*****

The perfect way to end a lovely holiday. Bentota is set beautifully by the coast in Southern Sri Lanka, is the quintessential laidback seaside getaway, with an endless stretch of beach to laze on, enclosed by swaying palms. A hide-away place right next to the Indian ocean with its 160 rooms, swimming pool, jacuzzi, 4 on-site restaurants and spa which offers incredible messages. A great option for the last couple of days of your stay as it is only 2 hours away from the airport.