Tuesday, 22 April 2014

When Is the Optimum Time to Visit Sri Lanka?

Unlike many other Asian destinations, Sri Lanka can lay genuine claim to being a year-round holiday destination. You just have to know which side of the island to focus on in any given month, and this is never more important than when planning your special holiday to this beautiful island. So, when is the best time to visit this incredible country?

Unquestionably, the starting point when planning your trip to Sri Lanka is being aware of the two monsoon seasons. The south-western monsoon brings rain to the south-west of Sri Lanka between May and September, and in the north and eastern coastal regions of the country, the weather is influenced by the north-eastern monsoon, which brings wind and rain between October and January.

Climatically speaking, the best seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west coast, the south coast and the Hill Country, and from April to September for the ancient cities region and the east coast.

The island has several interesting experiences that may influence your planning on when to go to Sri Lanka. The elephant gathering at Minniera is one of the wildlife highlights of the country and takes place in August and September when the dry season parches the lowlands, forcing the elephants to move on in search of food and water.

For many, seeing leopards in the wild in Yala National Park is a true wildlife highlight, and the optimum time for a leopard safari is between March and October.

Off the Deep South coast in Mirissa and Dondra Point, as well as Kalpitiya in the northwest, blue whales and sperm whales can be seen between November and April, whilst off the East Coast near Trincomalee, the ideal time to view whales is between May and August. Keen birders should aim for travel between November and April when there is less rainfall and migrants boost the bird population.

A highlight in many itineraries to Sri Lanka is the Esala Perahera festival, honouring the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha, which takes place in Kandy at the end of July/early August and lasts around ten days - this is an exceptionally busy time to visit and accommodation can be sold out far in advance, so I recommend planning well in advance if this is something you wish to see.

Planning ahead and thinking about the attractions you would like to see during your stay helps to ensure you will have the perfect bespoke holiday to Sri Lanka.

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