Endless beaches, rugged rainforests, fascinating colonial history, and ancient Buddhist ruins – it’s no wonder that Sri Lanka is known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. This beautiful and captivating country entices beach bunnies, spa breakers, nature lovers, culture vultures, foodies, history buffs and adventurers alike. From the Arugambay, the surfing capital of the world, to Yala, where you can find the highest density of leopards in the world, and Pinnewala Elephant Sanctuary; from Ceylon tea plantation experiences to Kandyan cultural dance performances and traditional festivals every month; and from some of the best spa retreats in the world to the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya, famed for its palace and frescoes and the sacred city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka offers a slice of paradise for everyone.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Colombo (Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the official, administrative capital)
- Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
- Time Difference: 4.5 hours AHEAD of BST, and 5.5 hours AHEAD of GMT. Sri Lanka does not observe Daylight Saving Time, maintaining the same time throughout the year.
- Flight time: 10 hours and 40 minutes direct
- Official language: Sinhala and Tamil have official status in Sri Lanka
- Entry requirements: The Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration announced that from 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020, visa fees have been waived for British nationals on short visits to Sri Lanka of up to 30 days. For up-to-date information and advice on visas, please check the website of the Sri Lankan High Commission in the UK. Your passport must have a minimum of six months' validity from date of entry. If you are planning a longer stay than 30 days, you should get a visa from the Sri Lankan High Commission before you travel.
- Vaccinations and Health: You should always ensure that
you travel with adequate
travel health insurance. For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/204/sri-lanka#Vaccine_recommendations. If vaccinations are required, it is generally advisable to arrange an appointment with a health professional four to six weeks before departure.
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sri-lanka
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