A holiday in a boutique hotel or luxury villa with a beautiful sea view and endless miles of golden sandy beaches may sound too exotic and luxurious to afford for your next summer or winter family holiday. However, visitors to a tiny island in the Indian Ocean will vouch for having enjoyed such luxury within a reasonably tight budget.
This tropical island is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and lies below the southern tip of India. The diversity of experiences for tourists does not end with just beaches as this is one of the top eco tourism destinations with rainforests, heritage sites and much more to explore. Get out and explore. With sunshine all year around (see our guide to ‘weather in Sri Lanka’) this is a place that will leave an indelible memory in your mind.
When you are travelling with kids and family in Sri Lanka, it is understandable to be anxious and concerned about the quality of your holiday destination. Have no qualms, as this is no backpacker’s paradise, and is rated as one of the top tourist destinations by many travel critics and magazines. Yahoo travel magazine ranked Sri Lanka among the top 10 most affordable destinations in the world. Featured in National Geographic channel recently, Sri Lanka was ranked as the second best place to visit in the world, and 2nd in the next Best New Adventure destination. New York Times too accredited a high accolade recently, dubbing Sri Lanka as the “Wonder of the World.” With such critical acclaims, you can rest your doubts and look forward to an amazing experience that will make your family holiday in Sri Lanka perfect.
The golden sandy beaches are the trademark of Sri Lanka tourism. Some of the best beaches in the world including Galle, Unawattuna, Nilaweli and Mirissa surround the island. There are whale and dolphin watching opportunities in the Southern and Northern coasts where sightings closer to coastline are frequent. We can organize whale and dolphin watching expeditions with reputable operators with excellent safety records and a sustainable environmental focus. When you are such southerly beaches as Unawatuna, do not forget to experience the wonder of visiting and releasing a turtle hatchling to the sea. A number of turtle hatcheries and habitat centers help preserve the marine turtles that visit these beaches for laying eggs. To protect the eggs from predators, they are collected, incubated and hatchling released to the sea through these centers. The public, including tourists, are allowed the opportunity to share knowledge of this preservation process that has functioned over two decades now, helping the marine turtles to stay safe from extinction. While no payments are involved, you can make a small donation towards the center’s functioning and to help preserve this gentle and docile sea creature that has returned from the brink of extinction.
Family beach holidays in Sri Lanka can be spent in five star luxury hotels, four to three star hotels, as well as in beach villas and bungalows. The room rates start from £35 for budget hotels through to luxurious 5 star hotels at over £400 per night! When traveling with families, child policies must be checked with hotels but children under 6 years are not charged in general if parents are happy to share beds with the children. In our experience English parents like to be near their children but prefer a little more privacy and our first-hand knowledge of how the rooms work really comes in handy here.
The food in the hotels we use will be a rich feast, laid out in buffet style or prepared for you from A la Carte menus. The fresh tropical fruits and vegetables and the bounty from the sea make meal time unforgettable. These hotels offer fusion cooking that adds excitement, but still caters to foreign palates, giving the best of both worlds. Almost all places also offer a taste of authentic Sri Lankan cooking for those who like to explore new flavours. Being one of the world’s top premium spice producing nations, you should not miss out on tasting the authentic local food that relies on concoctions of these exotic spices and sends your taste buds to a heated frenzy. Combined with the world famous hospitality and the charms of the local staff, you will feel pampered beyond words.
Our guest contributor Chani Muditha Thebuwana, recently traveled to Sri Lanka and writes for the Travel Section of the Love My Vouchers Lifestyle Blog, where you can find travel tips and money saving advice for your holiday on a budget.