Places to Visit
There will be plenty of time during your stay to soak up the sights, sounds and tastes of the ‘Spice Island’. Below we have picked out some of the more notable places to visit and we can arrange to include these in your holiday. We can also offer suggestions if you have any particular interests or wish to take part in any activities (other than golf of course)
Places of Historical, Cultural or Wildlife Interest
The first capital of ancient Sri Lanka, its stunning rock carvings, temples, giant stone pillars, landscaped pleasure gardens, vast irrigation lakes and places of religious worship have made this one of the world’s major archaeological sites and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Site of the ancient Buddhist temple of Muthiyangana Raja Maha Vihara , one of the sixteen sacred places in Sri Lanka, this is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest towns. Nearby are the Dunhinda Falls, a 2,000-year-old rock temple and one of the oldest surviving wooden bridges in the country.
The commercial capital of Sri Lanka, the city still retains its colonial garden roots with shady tree-lined boulevards and grand old mansions alongside the noisy bazaars, department stores, a vibrant nightlife and an array of dining experiences.
Famed for its Royal Rock Temple, this cave monastery has been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka which includes the 15 meter long sculpture of the dying Buddha.
Considered to be the most perfectly preserved colonial town in Sri Lanka, the streets around the historic Fort in the old Dutch town, a Unesco World Heritage Site, are full of little boutique shops, cafes and hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers, designers and poets.
Hortons Plains National Park
Located on the highest plateau on the island, the cloud forests are rich in endemic plants and and once there you should visit “Worlds End”, a 4000 feet straight vertical drop and Bakers Falls noted for the tremendous noise created by water pounding the large rock formation at its foot.
The northern capital of Sri Lanka is the centre of Sri Lankan Tamil culture and is quite different to anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Many streets are dotted with large Hindu temples and churches while the hot springs at Keerimalai and the Point Pedro Lighthouse are other popular places to visit .
The hill capital and last stronghold of Sinhala kings against the British Empire is steeped in tradition and architectural delights and is the location of the most sacred of all Buddhist shrines – the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha.
The extensive collection of shrines and temples is and considered one of the holiest sites on the island being held sacred by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims alike. Pilgrims come all year round to worship at the shrine of the god Kataragama.
This mountain peak near Anuradhapura is believed to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiya Tissa in 247 BC which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and in June there is a great festival, the Poson Poya, held on the full-moon night.
The Minneriya National Park
Here you can see herds of elephants throughout the year along with Leopards, Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Wild Buffalo, Wild Pig, Grey Langers, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, Mongoose, Porcupine and Indian Pangolin as well as over 170 species of birds.
This little village with its crescent shaped beach blanketed with coconut trees is one of the safest beaches along the southern coast and has now found fame as the whale-watching capital of Sri Lanka where Dondra Head is one of the best places to see these magnificent creatures.
Sri Lanka’s finest southern ancient monument, the seven, beautifully decorated ancient cave temples are carved out of the flanks of an enormous rock outcrop and are connected by paved granite paths and around 500 steps up to the Dagoba Terrace with wonderful views of the surrounding area.
A delightful coastal town with a lively fish market, colourful wooden boats and old world colonial charm where the wide beach is the backdrop to the busy resort area and the Negombo lagoon with over 190 species of wildlife and birds in the mangroves.
Also known as “Little England” this was the favourite hill station of the British. The mountains surrounding Nuwara Eliya are a carpet of tea bushes and the whole process of tea manufacturing, from green leaf to the fragrant contents of a packet of Ceylon Tea, can be watched at many of the tea factories in the area.
Pinnawala Elephant Reserve
Established in 1975 as an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants it has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world and is where abandoned & maimed elephants are cared for in idyllic surroundings.
Amongst its plethora of ruins and places of religious worship are the famous Moonstones, the unique rock carvings found at the entrances or at the foot of stairways in temples, shrines, dagobas and very important buildings.
The magnificent rock fortress built in the 5th century AD has been named as a world heritage site is world-renowned for its ‘Mirror Wall’ and is the best-preserved city centre in Asia from the first millennium.
Home to a string of remarkable historic buildings including the 55.8 metre high Tissa Dagoba, which stands majestically against the backdrop of the night sky and Tissa Wewa, a magnificent man-made reservoir with its wonderful bird life that provides the scenic backdrop for the town.
Wilpattu National Park
The unique feature of this park is the existence of natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater and it is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka with sixty lakes.
Yala National Park
This has the world’s highest concentration of leopards and whilst much of the nature reserve is parkland, it also includes jungle, beaches, freshwater lakes, rivers and scrubland making it home to a wide diversity of wildlife.
Other Notable Golf Courses
Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
Founded and constructed in 1889 the course is situated at the foot of Mount Piduruthalagala which provides a spectacular backdrop. This 18 hole, 6075 yard long, par 70 course, is approximately 6,000 feet above sea level.
Royal Colombo Golf Club
Founded in 1880 this 18 hole, 5770 yard long, par 71 course is the oldest golf club in Sri Lanka and second oldest Royal Golf Club outside the UK. It also has a magnificent verandah that wraps around the main bar.
Victoria Golf Course, Kandy
The 18 hole, 6945 yard long, par 73 course with narrow tree lined fairways is set in over 517 acres of lush green land and was designed by renowned golf-course architect Donald Steel in 1997 and opened in 1999.