Things to do in Sri Lanka - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Things to do in Sri Lanka 

by Karen O'Neill 

Things to do in Sri Lanka


Ancient temples, abundant wildlife and rolling plantations, Sri Lanka is dripping in culture and natural beauty. I’m just back from an amazing 8-day trip with G Adventures and Turkish Airlines, and I’m already eager to go back! It was my first time flying with Turkish Airlines and it’s no surprise that they are an award-winning airline. Comfortable seats, good food and a great choice of inflight entertainment, a great way to start a holiday.



First stop was Negombo, where I stayed in the Jetwing Sea Hotel. This hotel is directly on the beach, it’s a coastal respite that blends the finest tropical luxury with traditional Sri Lankan hospitality.


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After one night here, it was onto Kandy. I made myself at home in Hotel Thilanka, where the views of the surrounding area were fantastic. I seen plenty of monkeys on my balcony, which was hilarious!

On the 4th day, I travelled to Ella. This is a small laid-back backpackers’ town, with endless things to do and amazing views. My home for the next 2-nights was the beautiful Oak Ray Ella Gap. The pool here was bliss!


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Day 6 brought immense excitement! I just couldn’t wait to visit Udawalawe National Park and see Elephants in their natural habitat. We spent the night in pre-pitched tents which was an amazing authentic experience.

Last but certainly not least was Unawatuna, where I stayed in Hotel J. This property is surrounded by golden beaches. Hotel J provided the perfect relaxing end to my Sri Lanka holiday.


What I Loved  

To get from Kandy to Ella we had to take a train from Nuwara Eliya. This was one of my favourite things on the trip. The train powers up through Sri Lanka’s southern hill country, through the tea plantations and then weaves in and out of the many mountain tunnels. The views are breath-taking!

Things to do in Sri Lanka

Of course, the wildlife was another major highlight of the trip. I was so excited to see elephants and rightly so! Seeing the effort, the Sri Lankans are making to conserve these endangered animals was heart-warming.

Things to do in Sri Lanka


Activities and Places to See 

  • Experience Mawanwella, an area known for its contribution towards the worlds spice industry. I visited here during the journey from Negombo to Kandy. I even got to meet some of the workers.

  • Visit the Sacred Temple of Tooth in Kandy which is home to Sri Lanka`s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha himself! I recommend wearing clothes that cover your legs and shoulders. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to enter the temple.


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  • Go to Kandy Lake Club for a local drum and dance show. This is apparently a must-do-experience in Kandy. It is an intense, spectacular and energetic show.

  • The hike to Little Adam’s Peak is very enjoyable. It is not a challenging hike, but it gives you a good impression of the landscape around Ella and the view is fantastic.


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Food & Bars 

Unawatuna had some of my favourite food! After visiting the fascinating Galle Fort, I went for lunch in Peddlars Inn. This is a bohemian style café, with some traditional dishes. I also had dinner that same night in Coco Bay and it was delicious! I even had a chance to experience Unawatuna’s nightlife as I ended my Sri Lankan holiday with a party in Kingfisher Beach Club, which was great fun!



Sri Lanka is full of stunning white and golden sand beaches that stretch on for miles. My favourite one would have to be Unawatuna Beach. I had the chance to take a quick dip here, it was heaven!

Things to do in Sri Lanka


Take my advice and pack plenty of sun cream and insect repellent as well as trousers and long sleeves for visiting religious sites. Also, never compare Sri Lanka to India, the locals can take offence! Overall, my Sri Lanka holiday turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I loved every bit of the country especially its incredible landscape and abundant wildlife. Visiting this place leaves you with memories you will cherish.


Book a Sri Lanka holiday with Abbey Travel. Browse our website or call our experts on 01 804 7150.

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