Sri Lanka offers something for everyone. There's the ancient Sinhalese ruins of the Cultural Triangle; the Hill Country's colonial plantation bungalows, misty peaks and endless tea; Kandy's revered Temple of the Tooth; national parks where leopards, elephants and bears roam free; and the warm turquoise seas where you can see whales and dolphins, and scuba to coral reefs.
This island's endless swathes of un-spoilt palm-speckled beaches are its biggest draw. The sultry south-west stretch linking the water sports capital of Bentota, the historic 17th century fortified city of Galle and the rustic shoreline of Tangalle is the most developed, accessible and popular, and also where most of the island's villas – many atmospheric heritage homes - can be found.
Sri Lanka's relatively small size means that you can take in the best of the island's attractions within a few weeks. The south-west coast and hill country are at their climatic best between December and April, which is when the majority of visitors come. The inter-monsoonal northern summer months are not to be avoided either as quick downpours intersperse long sunny days.
Ideal for family holidays, Galle Henna Estate is a beautifully renovated 5-bedroomed manor house set within spacious grounds overlooking acres of vivid green paddy fields, five minutes from the beach. There’s a swimming pool in the wildlife-filled garden and the elegant interior design of the house makes it feel like home.
Surrounded by paddy fields amidst a rural village just 10 minutes from Galle and south coast beaches, fully staffed Illuketia is a magnificent, tranquil 4-bedroom colonial plantation villa with a large garden featuring exotic plants and trees, shaded pathways, a pond house, an organic garden and a beautiful swimming pool.
Beautifully serene hillside manor house with spectacular jungle views just a five minute drive inland from Unawatuna. With 4 bedrooms, glorious swimming pool, massage and yoga pavilions, a luxe of living space and terraced rambling gardens Satori is a heavenly escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life.