Straddling a major crossroads at the heart of the island, Habarana is our preferred base for visiting the monuments of the Cultural Triangle at Sigiriya, Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. It’s also handy for the Minneriya National Park. Reaching any of these places from the coast involves a long drive, which means you only get to see them in the middle of the day, rather than in the mellow, photogenic light of early morning or late afternoon. The location itself is underwhelming, though the resort hotels we use are mostly set in extensive grounds with large pools and plenty of space to stretch your legs.
- “For a fitness workout before breakfast, do a round of Habarana Lake, which takes just over an hour if you trek at a decent pace.”