Experience the distinctive atmosphere of Delft Island on this day cruise across Palk Bay, in the far north of Sri Lanka. An hour’s sailing from Kurikaddu Jetty, near Jaffna, the islet is a tranquil backwater, criss-crossed by walls of bleached grey coral and deserted save for a herd of wild ponies, descended from ones originally brought here by the Portuguese in the 1500s. After a picnic lunch on board the boat, you’ll land on Delft and be guided to another colonial remnant – a stately old Portuguese lighthouse – pausing en route to admire one of the only baobab trees in Sri Lanka, thought to have been planted by Arab mariners.
As well as Delft, the cruise calls at tiny Nainathivu Island to visit a Hindu temple and Buddhist shrine. If you’re keen to sidestep the crowds and see a corner of the island completely untouched by tourism – untouched by the modern world, in fact – then you’ll enjoy this daytrip over the tranquil waters of Palk Bay.