10 reasons to spend your family vacation in Sri Lanka

For families looking to kick back in Asia on their next holiday, Sri Lanka is an ideal introduction to the continent. It’s jam-packed with activities for all ages, overflowing with unique culture and totally safe – perfect for your family vacation. Read on for 10 reasons to spend your family vacation in Sri Lanka:

Kids Will Love Seeing Elephants

Isn’t it every kid’s dream to see the real elephants in the wild? Pretty much every child (and quite a lot of adults) dream of seeing elephants. Visiting them is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. As Sri Lanka houses an incredible 10% of the world’s Asian Elephant population it’s the perfect destination to meet them!

To see Sri Lanka’s elephants at their happiest, we recommend a visit to a nature reserve or safari park. Minneriya National Park in Habarana is a well-established favorite and features the largest gathering of wild Asian Elephants in the world. You can guarantee that these gentle giants will be healthy and free – but still get surprisingly close and personal!

It’s the Perfect Place to Learn to Surf

Learning to surf together is a lot of fun. The south-west coast of Sri Lanka is a fabulous place for budding surfers. Check out Weligama beach, where there are consistent beginner-friendly waves – Surn’n Lanka is the perfect surf school to get the kids riding waves in no time!

For those who prefer a gentle paddle or lazy sunbathe, Sri Lanka can offer some of the most pristine beaches you are likely to have seen. Some of the most striking beaches are found at Galle, where heavenly white sands and sparkling crystal oceans make an ideal hangout spot for any family. What’s more you can find a plethora of stunning villas by Eats & Retreats there – some of which are literally perched on the beach! On top of that, there is a bunch of other fun water activities, like snorkeling and diving.

Lions Rock is a Great Day Out

Sri Lanka’s most majestic natural attraction: Like a scene from The Lion King itself, Sigiriya (or “Lions Rock”) is a towering natural monument which is well worth visiting whilst on family holiday. Sri Lankans insist that it’s the eighth wonder of the world! A world heritage site with an incredible history spanning over two thousand years, it is a great spot to learn and explore.

Climbing to the top is definitely achievable for energetic youngsters. From the top, panoramic 360-degree views of the surrounding gardens and jungle will make the effort worthwhile. Don’t forget to look out for monkeys on the way!

Colombo is the Perfect Capital for Youngsters

Colombo is a beautiful (and safe!) capital city. Capital cities of Asia are sometimes associated with crazy traffic, tonnes of pollution and mounds of rubbish. This isn’t so in Colombo! The gateway to Sri Lanka for most travelers, this diverse and interesting capital will gently easy you into city life.

More relaxed than chaotic, Colombo is a coastal city on the west side of the Island. Traffic flows and all tuk-tuks all operate on a meter, which makes getting around easy. Be sure to visit Viharamahadevi Park with youngsters – there is endless space to run around and massive playgrounds among the trees and fountains.

There’s Food for Fussy Eaters

There’s no shortage of treats for the kids. Of course Sri Lankan food tends to be spicy – as you would expect from most holiday destinations in the far east. You can easily find dished fiery enough to rival any Thai curry, however Sri Lankan cuisine tends to be a little lighter. Who could resist such local delicacies as mouth-watering sour fish curry?

However, for less mature tastebuds there is still plenty to choose from. As well as vegetarian options, you’ll find pizza and pasta in most towns and cities. What’s more, your kids are guaranteed to love hoppers (Sri Lanka’s answer to the pancake) which are popular throughout the island. And of course there’s tropical fruit everywhere you look!

Everyone Loves Going on Safari

What will you see on safari? There are a massive variety of exotic tropical species who call Sri Lanka their home – there’s much more than just elephants! Every family holiday to the island should include a safari and Udawalawe National Park is by far the best place for it.

The park is stunning – you’re guaranteed to see everything from giants like water buffalo and crocodiles to dazzling birds and chameleons. The watering holes are an oasis of life! We’d recommend booking a tour through a registered tour guide company such as Summer Dew Tours for an unforgettable experience.

It’s easy & fun to Get Around

Getting around Sri Lanka is part of the fun. One of Sri Lanka’s huge advantages is that (despite being jam-packed with places to explore) it is only about the size of Ireland or West Virginia – which makes getting around the island incredibly easy!

In the city, tuk-tuks are a cheap way to get from A to B, and kids will love whizzing around the streets with the wind running through their hair. For longer distances, Sri Lanka’s train journeys are famously among the most scenic in the world – the journey from Kandy to Ella is apparently the most beautiful in the world! Be sure to book in advance as places fill up quickly.

There’s Plenty to Learn About

Who says holidays shouldn’t be educational? A family holiday in Sri Lanka is guaranteed to provide some eye-opening experiences – there is plenty to see and even more to learn about!

A visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy is a great place to start – sacred and shrouded in ancient mystery, it is a fascinating place to learn about the history of the country. Included in the ticket price is a visit to the World Buddhist Museum, which is a must-see for kids. For lovers of history and art it is bound to be the highlight of your trip!

Even Little Legs can Handle the Trekking

A hike to the Adams peak will become an unforgettable experience for the entire family. There are exciting adventures which will suit all ages for families in search of some fresh air. Little Adams Peak is a popular choice for younger travelers – a tranquil hike through tea plantations and rolling hills, you are rewarded with gorgeous panoramic views at the top.

A more unusual alternative (with equally awesome views) is Pidurangala, which you should definitely consider if you’re in the area to visit Lions Rock. You can get a majestic view of Sigiriya from the Pidurangala Rock, especially at sunrise. It’s a highly-recommended day trip.

Families of Any Age Will Love a Pool Holiday Villa

Top off your holiday with a stunning villa by Eats & Retreats

Regardless of whether your family holidays feature trips to sacred archeological sites or long days lazing around on sun-kissed beaches, basing yourself at one of Sri Lanka’s stunning luxury villas by Eats & Retreats is a must. The whole family will cherish returning to a five-star residence to recharge in preparation for another day of exploring.

Take South Point Chalet Villa (pictured above) – like most of the island’s opulent villas, it is fully air-conditioned and fully staffed. Surrounding the pool, palm trees tower over the lush tropical garden – it’s a true oasis of calm. Surely this is the best way to experience the exotic island of Sri Lanka?

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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