Sri Lanka is often called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, but given its hot and humid climate, this verdant island could be more accurately called the Emerald of the Indian Ocean.
Its beaches – Trincomalee, Bentota and Unawatuna – are palm-fringed and soft-sanded, but this little isle also has a rich colonial history (Galle port was used by Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays and Indians before the Portuguese, Dutch and, later, English arrived) and an inspiring cultural heritage (the cultural triangle extends from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa to Dambulla).
Flights to Sri Lanka will deliver you to graceful people, a beautiful island and a rich holiday experience.
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Sri Lanka has a tropical climate. Luckily, the ocean winds moderate the high humidity. Temperatures rarely fall below 16 degrees in the winter and summer temperatures average 32 degrees. Monsoon season lasts from mid-October through January and leaves the island soaked.
The best time to search for cheap flights to Sri Lanka and visit is between the rainy seasons. On the south-west coast and in the hills, it is driest between November and April. The south-west coast has fantastic beaches around Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Mirissa.
On the east coast, visit between May and September for the best conditions. Some of the must-visit beaches on this side of the island are Trincomalee, Nilaveli and Arugam Bay
Monsoon season is between May and July, and December and January.
ExpoAir flies from Colombo to Jaffna and there are other private charter airlines and helicopter services.
If you have lots of time, train travel can be a fascinating way of getting around the island. On some of the longer journeys, old-style sleeper trains are available.
Bus services on the island are run by the Central Transport Board (CTB) and private companies.
Three-wheel vehicles, known variously as tuk-tuks, bajajs or auto-rickshaws are a neat way of taking short trips.
Independent travellers can rent motor-bikes and cars. Hiring a car and driver is another popular option; drivers will have local knowledge.
(prices quotes are from London)