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One Week In Sri Lanka – Your Ultimate Itinerary

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Despite its small size – not much bigger than West Virginia, Ireland and Tasmania – Sri Lanka boasts no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a dizzying amount of places and experiences for the adventurous traveller. Here are our tips for a whirlwind trip through this up-and-coming destination, taking in its beaches, historic sites and prettiest scenery.

Kicking back in Negombo – Day 1

Negombo Beach
Negombo_Beach
Image Source Wikipedia

For a warm welcome to Sri Lankan culture conveniently situated nearfrom the country’s main international airport, Negombo is ideal. Of course, its prime coastal location, vibrant atmosphere and array of dining and nightlife options don’t hurt, either. Negombo’s beaches may not be Sri Lanka’s most idyllic, but they’re certainly among the liveliest – and how better to welcome in a week-long getaway than a day of relaxing by the beachside, cocktail in hand?

The Cultural Triangle’s ancient wonders – Day 2-3

The breathtaking historical sites in Sri Lanka, attesting to its proud 2000-year plus history, are located in an area dubbed the ‘Cultural Triangle’. Indeed, five of the country’s eight World Heritage listed sites can be found here, yet most are hardly known to the outside world. Scale the lion’s paws at Sigiriya, a former fortress carved into a staggeringlyhigh rock face, for panoramic views of the surrounding grasslands, or delve into the sacred, colourful bowels of Dambulla Caves, a Buddhist highlight. Or perhaps the ancient capital cities of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa beckon instead? You don’t have to be a history fanatic to enjoy visiting these highlights, either – they are objectively fascinating and well deserving a day or two of exploration.

Sweet as Kandy – Day 4

Saccharine name aside, the beautiful city of Kandy is Sri Lanka’s cultural and spiritual hotspot. Nestled amid the hills of the Kandy plateau, surrounded by gardens, it also has a fair claim to being Sri Lanka’s prettiest city. Its rich collection of temples – including the Temple of the Tooth, named for its sacred relic believed to be the Budda’s tooth – is also worth exploring.

Stunning scenery of the Hill Country – Day 5-6

The dramatic mountainous landscapes of the Hill Country promise some of the most breathtaking views in Sri Lanka (and beyond): all valleys and waterfalls, tea plantations and hill-top villages. Base yourself in the town of Ella to make the most of nearby trekking opportunities of unforgettable views, or Nuwara Eliya, a city formerly known as Little England for its cooler climate and stunning greenery.

If you’re brave enough, why not join pilgrims for a challenging yet rewarding climb up Adam’s Peak, heading off at 2am to reach the peak in time for the unforgettable view of sunset?

Coastal for the most-al: Bentota – Day 7

Head back towards the coast to while away your last day by the beach. Azure sea, white sands, palm trees and a range of high-end resorts are on offer at beautiful Bentota. After all the sightseeing and cultural immersion, you’ve earned this relaxation!

*You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of all travel insurance providers to check and to be sure if the cover is right for you. Please check the travel insurance providers PDS to see that the sports and adventure activity you wish to partake in during your travels is also automatically covered or not.

Prague and beyond: the Czech Republic

Prague is the enchanting capital of the Czech Republic and, its skyline marked with spires and the world’s largest castle, it is regarded as one of Europe’s prettiest cities. The beautiful old town of ?eský Krumlov in South Bohemia is similarly beautiful, while the creepy yet cool decor of the Chapel of All Saints in Kutná Hora is unforgettable.

Austrian Empire

Austria’s capital, Vienna, arguably surpasses all other cities for its grandness, wearing its musical and theatrical significance proudly. Beautiful Innsbruck offers a convenient and thriving gateway to reach the world-renowned Austrian Alps from. Before you embark on the skiing trip of a lifetime, however, make sure you’re covered by travel insurance

The jewels of the Adriatic: Croatia

An up-and-coming European destination, Croatia can hold its head high among its better-known neighbours: the coastal city of Dubrovnik is a historic gem, conveniently located beside the sparkling Adriatic Coast, while the city of Split is called a ‘Mediterranean flower’ by locals for its ancient Roman ruins, stately palaces, and pristine sailing opportunities. Warning, though, you may not want to leave!

La Bella Vita in Italy

Last but certainly not least, this list would certainly not be complete without a mention of the country that boasts more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other: Italy. Outside its famous three tourist attractions – Rome, Florence and Venice – there are countless sights worth exploring. Try the less-explored region of Umbria for a variety of pretty medieval towns (Assisi, Orvieto and Gubbio, to name a few) plus a proud viniculture that will heighten your appreciation of Italian wine. Further north, the candy-coloured, cliff-top towns of the Cinque Terre provide breathtaking views of the coast.

*You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of all travel insurance providers to check and to be sure if the cover is right for you. Please check the travel insurance providers PDS to see that the sports and adventure activity you wish to partake in during your travels is also automatically covered or not.

Linda Campbell is a writer who is currently planning a trip to Sri Lanka. Whenever she’s far from home, she makes sure that she has holiday insurance this way, she can enjoy her travels 100 per cent.

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