One of my earliest travel memories was visiting Sri Lanka as a child.
I am not sure exactly how old I was, but I remember the locals used to love patting me on the head, possibly because of my long blonde hair.
I also remember hairy taxi rides, staying in a brilliant white hotel which was situated right on the beach and getting the chance to ride an elephant. Plus, there being an extremely long flight and randomly watching the muppets on TV in Bahrain airport when we stopped off.
It’s funny what you remember about travelling. I think it is easier for kids to remember their travels these days, with it being so easy to upload pictures and videos to social media.
Would I go back to Sri Lanka – yes in a heartbeat.
Sri Lanka is a great destination for families. This little island on the southeast coast of India has something to offer every family, whether you’re looking for culture, wildlife, adventure or just a week or two soaking up the sunshine on some of the best beaches in Asia.
Sri Lanka has thousands of miles of coastline to choose from, with clean, pristine sand, perfect for building sand castles and digging holes. I also remember giant waves too, so may not be the best location for swimming in the sea.
If, like us, you like to really explore the places you visit and take in their history, Sri Lanka will not disappoint. In its past, Sri Lanka been controlled by the British, French and Dutch, who have all left their mark with forts, grand buildings and churches or visit Kandy, which is famed for sacred Buddhist sites, including the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) shrine, celebrated with the grand Esala Perahera annual procession.
For animal lovers, Sri Lanka has many national parks with a huge variety of wildlife to see. The most popular national parks for a safari are Yala National Park in the south-east, Wilpattu in the north-west and Udawalawe in the south.
Yala National Park is perhaps the most well-known and therefore the busiest. It is also one of the most famous places in the word to spot leopards in the wild.
Udawalawe is smaller and less touristy and has less dense vegetation then Yala, making it easier to spot the local residents, especially elephants and Wilpattu National Park is home for many villus, natural lakes which dot the landscape containing rainwater, which makes them very important for resident and migratory water-birds.
Where to stay
Sri Lanka has many luxury and budget hotels on offer, but we often struggle to find somewhere big enough to accommodate the whole family, so would prefer to stay in a villa in Galle.
Galle is Sri Lanka’s 2nd city and about a two-hour drive from the bustling city of Colombo. It is known for Galle Fort, the fortified old city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Having a villa gives you more freedom as a family as you can choose to spend the day chilling out by the pool, or take yourself off on an excursion without worrying about getting back in time for dinner.
Other benefits of staying in a villa are having space for the kids to play, without worrying about disturbing other guests, plus you can self cater to save you money on the stay.
Villa-finder.com has over 1,000 villas in Bali, Phuket, Samui, Sri Lanka and Mauritius and all properties are inspected before they are listed online.
They have a team of Travel Consultants who will work with families to understand their needs and help find the villas that best fit all requirements.
The Concierge team then take over and can arrange the stay for the client, including airport transfers and excursions.
For every booking, they are planting a tree in Sumatra, Indonesia, so travellers can contribute to the environment while staying with them too.
Disclaimer: Post written in collaboration with Villa-Finder.com.
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