Sri Lanka 14.01.2022 TRANSINDUS
Sri Lanka has much to offer when travelling with children, whatever the age or the time of year you choose.
Spring, the festive season is a particular favourite with families when Easter and a host of Hindu festivals are celebrated. It is also when Turtles come ashore to lay eggs along the southern coast.
Unusually for South Asia, the island’s weather is perfect over the summer recess. The East and North coast's offer dependably sunny and dry weather with temperatures on a par with those of the Mediterranean.
Beyond the beach, there is a wide range of unforgettable family-friendly experiences that will linger in the memory long after the tans has faded. including National Parks teeming wildlife, elephant tracking, Tea plantations, easy mountain trails and rural retreats. Here’s a roundup of some of the best family-oriented holiday ideas to spice up your vacation.
Unleash your inner Indiana Jones in the Cultural Triangle
Best Time to Visit: All Year round
The great monuments of Sri Lanka’s historic heartland are perfect for living out fantasies of adventure and exploration – for kids for all ages! Marvel at giant Buddhas in the jungle, discover fabulous, multi-coloured murals in ancient cave temples, and make the vertigo-inducing climb to the palace-fortress of Sigiriya.
The chance to discover these spectacular, UNESCO-listed ruins is reason enough to come to the island, and guaranteed to fire young imaginations.
Watch the sunrise from a sacred mountain
Best Time to visit: December through to September
Adam’s Peak is a sacred mountain in central Sri Lanka whose summit is the object of a mass pilgrimage between December and May. If you’ve any teens with a sense of adventure in tow, joining the pilgrims on the climb is a fantastic experience.
The ascent generally takes place at night, when the temperatures are cooler. The stepped pathway is illuminated and lined with little tea shops. Sri Lankan Buddhists of all ages, from little kids to grannies, slog their way to the temple at the top in time for sunrise – an experience you and your family will remember forever!
Experience sleeping in a Mud House
Best Time to Visit: All Year round
Deep in the island’s interior jungle, a couple of hour’s drive from the coast is a compound of beautiful adobe huts set up to accommodate families looking to escape the beach resorts and experience a more authentic, rural side of island life.
Made with traditional adobe walls and palm-thatched roofs, the huts are lit by old-style paraffin lamps. There’s no electricity. The food is cooked in clay ovens over charcoal. Mornings begin with a dawn chorus of frogs, peacock calls and mongooses scurrying around the verandas – all entrancing for children.
Explore the Island's vibrant Corol reefs
Best Time to Visit: October to June
Coral reefs line the most of the islands coast, so no matter when you choose to travel or which beach you select for your vacation there are opportunities for snorkinling close by.
One of our favourite is 'Tiny Coral Island' that lies in the northeast of Sri Lanka, off one of the island’s most beautiful, pristine stretches of coast. As its name suggests, the islet is ringed by a reef that’s superb for diving and snorkelling, with dozens of species of multi-colored tropical fish to see, and even the odd turtle and giant manta ray. Boat trips leave daily from Trincomalee and can be booked directly through us.
Visit Udawalawe & Minneriya for close encounters with elephants
Best time to visit: Minneriya: all Year round with August -September for the Elephant Gathering. Udawalawe: December to June
Sri Lanka has one of the largest populations of elephants in the world and two of our favourite places for elephant siting's. Minneriya National Park in the Cultural Triangle and Udawalawe National Park in the southern parts of the island.
The lovely Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe National Park, close to the south coast offers an opportunity to watch the resident ellies in the wild from a viewing platform, without disturbing or exploiting the animals in any way – an experience that’s both educational and heart-warming.
The Minneriya National Park also sees large groups of elephants, particularly during the famous ‘Elephant Gathering’ of August and September when hundreds of pachyderms migrate to Minneriya from other nearby parks to graze and bathe in the cool waters of the 3rd-century tank that sits at the heart of the park.
Track Leopards at Yala National Park
Best time to visit: December to June
One of Sri Lanka's best National Parks, Yala National Park in southern Sri Lanka boasts one of the highest population densities for leopards anywhere in the world. It's one of the best wildlife experiences on the island but sightings are by no means guaranteed. You've got a great chance of seeing a leopard though, along with a host of other wildlife that will fascinate any children travelling with you, including elephant, sloth bear, water buffalo, and crocodiles. There are also some fabulous safari camps to stay in at Yala.
Go whale watching in Mirissa
Best time to visit: November to July
Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world for seeing the world’s largest mammal, the blue whale. From February through mid-March these enigmatic giants feed on krill off the south coast in prodigious numbers.
If you’re aiming to come in the summer holidays, fear not - you and your family won't miss out on the whale watching. In the northeast of the island is a stretch of water frequented by pods of blue whales between August and early September.
The island’s waters also host nine other species, including sperm, humpback, Bryde’s, fin and minke, and dolphins routinely approach the shoreline.
Marvel at Stilt Fishing in Kogalla
Best time to visit: October to July
The iconic stilt fishermen of Kogalla are a great curiosity for children. If your offspring have a reasonable sense of balance and don’t mind getting wet, some of the men will let them have a go – a fabulous photo opportunity! Kogalla can easily be visited on a day trip from Galle, half an hour’s drive away.
Relax on the beach in Passikudah
Best time to visit: April to September
Sri Lanka's beaches are plentiful and stunning and there are many to choose from depending on the time of year. Unlike most of the beaches on the south and west coasts of Sri Lanka, the water at Passikudah – a jewel in the crown of the east coast – is reassuringly shallow, calm and perfect for little ones to paddle and splash about it. It’s also transparent and a dazzling shade of pale turquoise.
Older children can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and swing in hammocks, while their parents enjoy the sea breezes from the comfort of a café on the sand. If you want to include a dependable beach segment on your family holiday, this is our top suggestion. It’s also dependably dry and sunny here in the British summer holidays!
If you have been inspired and would like more information on our family holidays in Sri Lanka, our consultants are on hand to answer any questions you may have.