Exotic Sri Lanka

If adrenaline, nature, spas, forests and rain are enough reasons for you to set on for a journey, you can steer your direction to Sri Lanka where you will feel as if you are at the far end of the world. With picturesque natural beauty and people living in harmony with nature, Sri Lanka is definitely worthy discovering one day.

This time we are inviting you on a multi faceted journey of enlightenment. Our journey will begin at Colombo and continue from Kandy to Galle, from Habarana to Sigiriya, from tea plantations to a safari… Ocean, mountains, lush tropical forests, ancient cities, sparkling beaches, protected wildlife reserves, festivals full of colors and music and diverse cultures… Everything we will see on the way will be the perfect representations of that very delicate balance between mankind and nature. So if you are ready, here we go! Sri Lanka has an impeccable beauty that is difficult to put into words. The country has its unique colors and a magnificently rich landscape. According to Marco Polo, it is the most beautiful place on earth. According to scientist and sci-fi novelist Arthur C. Clarke, there are no better alternatives to Sri Lanka in the world to feel oneself close to the universe. More than a thousand years ago Arab merchants called Sri Lanka “heaven on earth” and named the country “Serendip” as in “serendipity”.

A metropolis in the land of rain: Colombo

Colombo is the only metropolis in the country. However it is not the large, chaotic and crowded city as one would expect; a calmer, more sedentary lifestyle clearly stands out. At one side you see skyscrapers while there are bicycles, three wheeled motor cycles called “tuk-tuk” and cattle wandering around freely on the other... In Colombo where commerce is highly developed, the best thing to do is shopping. As the trade capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is the most popular city of the island with many beautiful restaurants, shops, market places and boutiques where you can find silk textiles, traditional masks and souvenirs and local furniture. Especially Pettah Market is a must-see place. The city also offers a pleasant time in nature. A perfect hideout from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Viharamahadevi Park is a serene piece of nature with many tropical plant species and eucalyptus and mahogany trees. There are also a lot of singing birds and a significant bat colony; you can hear their sounds echoing all around.

Yet another hideout in the city is the Dutch Hospital; an old hospital building which now serves as one of the most popular venues of the city with a number of nice restaurants and cafes. Of course, Sri Lanka offers a lot more than that of Colombo. One of the defining characteristics of the country is the settlements along the existing and very inadequate highway network. Almost all the roads in the country are surrounded with settlement areas. The hurly-burly of road signs and sign boards, three wheeled tuk tuks, colorful passenger buses that we know from India, monkeys and elephants… These are the figures that make the vivid landscape we see on the road. 

Kandy
At some 600 meters above sea level, Kandy is a city situated in the hills surrounding an artificial lake which dates back to the early 19th century. The lake is a hub of peace and serenity in the city. Kandy is the right place to understand both the past and the present of Sri Lanka at a glance. One should definitely explore the island in the middle of the lake and the old city district.  Featuring thousands of flower and tree species with healing properties, Kandy’s Spice Garden is an enchanting place where you can buy a diverse range of spices and herbs that heal various health problems including skin conditions, migraine, purple bags under the eyes and many more.

Sigiriya
Sigiriya is one of the most important archeological sites on the island. Located in the middle of a vast forest, this castle carved in a massive rock formation is also one of the most popular touristic attractions of the country. Surrounded by a dark green forest, this volcanic rock formation in red constitutes a magnificent image. The long and exhausting stairs made of stone and brick lead to a rocky plain where one can see a palace and its gardens all dating back to
5th century.

Galle Face Green
The 12 kilometer-long coast line by the Indian Ocean is known as Galle Face Gren (Green Face) and it bestows serenity upon Colombo. Fort Jumma Mosque and the old castle are the must-see places of the area, which stands out with its old city district surrounded by city walls, the fishing port and the market. The beaches nearby attract a lot of attention especially from tourists.

Habarana
Habarana greets its visitor with the most beautiful elephants in the world. To experience an elephant safari here will be the unforgettable memory of a lifetime.

While in Sri Lanka…
Visit the famous ancient settlements of Pollonoruva.
Go to a tea factory in Nuwara Eliya and buy all sorts of tea varieties. You can stay at the old tea factory. Don’t forget that the climate here is rather cold and rainy. 
Before returning to Colombo, see the coastline and take a boat safari boat cruise on the ocean. You can watch the marine life in the ocean from the glass windows at the bottom of the safari boats.

Take a river safari at Kelani River and tour the 34 islands of Sri Lanka. Every island has a distinct characteristic such as fishing or monkey breeding…
Yala is the place for a real safari! Off-road vehicles take you to a 5 hours trip. The adventure comes in three difficulty levels; we suggest you to take the first and easiest level since more advanced levels come with the risk of snakes falling into your car, having to walk among buffalos or being attacked by a wild elephant. Of course, for those who love the adrenaline, level 3 is absolutely scrumptious!

Info
Turkish Airlines flies to Sri Lanka’s capital city and trade center Colombo 5 days a week with very special introductory prices starting from 514 Euro for return tickets including taxes.