Sri Lanka Beach.jpg layer
Ella Train Station Station Master Hill Country Tea Country.jpg

Wind your way through Sri Lanka's verdant Tea Country by train to reach charming colonial-style hill stations.

2/35
2 Tea country - Ceylon Tea Trails.jpg

Stay within Bogawantalwa Valley's mist-shrouded tea plantations.

3/35
Sri Lanka - tea pickers

Admire the colourful tea pickers in Ceylon's cool central tea plantations

4/35
Dunkeld - banner image.jpg

Overlook the mesmerising Castlereagh lake from up high at Dunkeld Bungalow, the latest addition to the Ceylon Tea Trails.

5/35
Thotalagala 2019 Plantation.jpg

Stay at Thotalagala, a firm Ampersand favourite, to experience one of the first and most beautiful 19th century tea planters’ bungalows in Sri Lanka.

6/35
Thotalagala 2019 banner.jpg

Take in the phenomenal views over Sri Lanka's rolling hills from Thotalagala's prime position in Haputale.

7/35
SRI LANKA - Amanwella.

Base yourself at the Amanwella in Tangalle, a super slick, James Bond-esque beach resort located in the fishing village of Tangalle.

8/35
SRI LANKA - Amanwella.JPG

Enjoy poolside sunsets at Amanwella to witness the sky setting ablaze behind silhouetted swaying palm trees.

9/35
Sri Lanka Banner 2

During a stay at Amangalla, explore the historic town of Galle by foot, passing friendly locals as you go.

10/35
SRI LANKA - Yala National Park - leopard

Head to Yala National Park to witness enchanting birdlife, elephants, monkeys, peacocks, crocodiles, buffalo, deer, bears and the highest density in the world of the elusive leopard

11/35
SRI LANKA - Heritance Kandalama

Join wandering elephants at Heritance Kandalama, an architectural marvel of a hotel enveloped in vegetation and the centrepiece of the Geoffrey Bawa pilgrimage route.

12/35
Whales Sri Lanka.jpg

Go whale watching in Mirissa and Weligama Bay to see these magnificent creatures leaping in and out of the ocean.

13/35
Kahanda Kanda - Banner image.jpg

Be treated to great service at luxury hotels like Kahanda Kanda, our favourite boutique hotel in Galle.

14/35
Ulagalla - banner image.jpg

We highly recommend the luxury eco-resort of Ulagalla, which is within easy reach of the attractions of the Cultural Triangle.

15/35
Sri Lanka -Dambulla Caves

Enter another world at the wildly atmospheric Dambulla Caves, Sri Lanka's most extraordinary cave temple complex.

16/35
Mihintale Cultural Triangle - banner.jpg

Continue along the Cultural Triangle journey to see other impressive temples in Mihintale and Anuradhapura.

17/35
SRI LANKA - Polonnaruwa

Visit the extraordinary ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was the island's medieval capital between the 11th and 13th century.

18/35
Last House Sri Lanka - banner.jpg

Bask in the Sri Lankan sun at The Last House in Tangalle, under the shade of frangipani trees.

19/35
Teardrop Hotel Ella, Sri Lanka Banner.jpg

Sit back and relax poolside at Nine Skies hotel in Ella, overlooking the rolling hills.

20/35
Sri Lanka - Perahera Festival

Visit during the spectacular Perahera Festival in Kandy, which comprises of ten nights of lively festivities, involving bejewelled elephants, street dancers and drummers.

21/35
Sri Lanka - Perahera Festival (1)
Take in the Perahera Festival at the Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka's most holy Buddhist temple where it is said that Buddha's tooth is buried 22/35
SRI LANKA - Kahanda Kanda living room bar

Kahanda Kanda near Galle is one of Sri Lanka's chicest addresses and a wonderfully stylish spot for an arak sour at the living room bar

23/35
SRI LANKA - Jaffna local swimming pool
Cool off in Jaffna by visiting a local swimming pool 24/35
SRI LANKA - Sigiriya Rock

Take in the exhilarating views from the top of Sigiriya Rock

25/35
SRI LANKA - Kids at Dambulla

Make friends with smiley local school kids playing at Dambulla cave temple

26/35
SRI LANKA - Tangalle market

Soak up the sights, smells and smiles at Tangalle food market which takes place once a week

27/35
SRI LANKA - Castlereagh Lake views (1)

Castlereagh Lake in Sri Lanka's central Tea Country, a stone's throw from one of her chicest boutique bungalows, Castlereagh, which is part of the Ceylon Tea Trails.

28/35
SRI LANKA - Amangalla roof bar

Enjoy sundowners at the Amangalla roof bar with views over the walled fort town of Galle

29/35
SRI LANKA - Amanwella Tangalle The South Sri Lanka 18

The Amanwella’s ultra sexy 45-metre infinity pool is back by an elegant restaurant and looks out over a gorgeous coconut grove and the sea beyond. 

30/35
SRI LANKA - Villa Bentota

Set on a former coconut plantation a stone's throw from a dazzling beach is one of Sri Lanka's most sophisticated boutique hotels: the Villa Bentota

31/35
SRI LANKA - Amangalla Zaal

The Amangalla's Zaal is the grandest living room in Sri Lanka and the perfect location for a glamorous party - New Year's Eve celebrations here are incredible!

32/35
SRI LANKA - Amangalla exterior, Galle, Sri Lanka, Ampersand Travel

Amangalla is steeped in history: once home to a Dutch commander and a billet for British soldiers, it has been revamped by Kerry Hill who has maintained the unique history of the building allowing you step right back to Galle’s colonial heyday.

33/35
Sri Lanka, 20 Middle Street, Galle

Treat yourself with a stay at one of Sri Lanka's most exclusive and beautifully designed villas - 20 Middle Street, Galle - which sleeps 6 people, and is situated next door to the Amangalla.

34/35
Amangalla, Sri Lanka - Lighthouse.jpg
Back to Listing

Sri Lanka: Best time to go

Sri Lanka is a year-round holiday destination. With a similar tropical climate to South India, the heat of the lowlands is modified by coastal breezes and the hill country can be much cooler due to its altitude, but generally, the temperature variance is not so vast throughout the year. However, the country’s two monsoon seasons can be complicated and affect different regions at different times of year - a particularly important aspect to note when scheduling in some down time on one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches.

December to April is considered peak season for most destinations in Asia, and Sri Lanka is no exception. Floating in the Indian Ocean, when the northeast monsoon hits at this time of year, the best weather can be found on the southern coast, with temperatures hitting highs of 30°C, the palm framed beaches of Weligama and Tangalle make for a golden beach escape and a surfer’s haven. The calm and stable weather of the south coast also means that whale spotting in Mirissa is greater than any other time of year. Heading into the colonial town of Galle, the mornings are at a comfortable temperature to explore this historic town by foot, finishing the day watching the glorious sunset over the western shores.

Further along the west coast towards the city of Colombo, the sleepy resort destination of Bentota and seaside town of Negombo, the average temperature from December to April rarely drops below 30°C. Come May though, the humidity can reach up to 90% as the southwest monsoon sets in across the south west until September. This is when Sri Lanka’s east coast comes into a life of its own, and from April to September there is a positive movement of locals and returning holidaymakers enjoying some of Sri Lanka’s less developed coastal towns, such as Trincomalee and Arugam Bay. With an array of luxury hotels opening up, pristine stretches of beach and temperatures between 25-35°C, the east coast is becoming more popular to visit before its own monsoon whistles in from October to January.

When one coast is experiencing rainfall and the other quite the opposite, pockets of the island’s Tea Country can be influenced by both monsoons. Southern hillside towns such as Ella, Nuwara Eliya, Haputale and Hatton sit up to approximately 2,000 metres above sea level. For much of the year this region is cooler with lows of 17°C and reduced humidity, it’s the perfect weather to take on Adam’s Peak and other challenging hikes.

Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle (Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Sigiriya) is located in the dry zone. Apart from some rainfall in November and December, and strong heat during June and July, conditions remain placid throughout the rest of the year, so you can always fit in some UNESCO visits during your bespoke tour.

N.B. All information given here is to the best of our knowledge, however, changes do occur, sometimes at short notice. Ampersand cannot be held liable for such happenings. Of course, if you have any tips that you feel would benefit other travellers, please pass them onto us and we will add them.

There are direct flights to Colombo from the UK and most major European cities, as well as from Delhi, Cochin, Chennai and many other Indian cities. If you are considering a holiday to Sri Lanka then it works very well as a two-centre holiday with the Maldives or with destinations in India.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate visa(s) for your trip.

All passport holders must apply for a visa before travelling to Sri Lanka. The cost for this is $35 for 30 days. Applications are made online through www.eta.gov.lk. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your return from Sri Lanka and have at least 2 blank pages.

If you would like to use a visa service to process your visa on your behalf, we recommend CIBT Visas. They have expert knowledge in visa requirements, and are dedicated to ensuring that obtaining your visas is as efficient and hassle-free as possible.

CIBT provide various levels of visa service, including detailed information about which visas and documentation you and your party require, clear and user-friendly application forms, and a full concierge service to manage your application from start to finish. There is a team of experts on hand to offer advice, and liaise with embassies on your behalf.

Ampersand can personally endorse the services CIBT provides, and our partnership secures a 20% discount on all CIBT services fees for our clients. We would highly recommend speaking to a specialist at CIBT to determine which service would best suit your needs.

You can begin the process of finding out which visas you require and how to apply by following this link. This will log you in to the Ampersand CIBT account, securing your dedicated discount. For more information, please contact the CIBT visa team on 020 7593 6100 or info@cibtvisas.co.uk, or discuss with your Ampersand consultant.

It is essential to visit your GP as soon as possible to check if you need any vaccinations prior to travel. Risk for vaccine preventable diseases can change at any time. MASTA (Medical Advisory Services for Travellers Abroad) can supply a quick and easy online Travel Health Brief. This includes easy to understand vaccination advice for single or multi-country trips. Their website is www.masta-travel-health.com

London - Colombo: 10 hours 45 minutes

We highly recommend you reconfirm your onward and return international flights at least 72 hours prior to departure.


Client Testimonials

Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India

From our Instagram

Welcome to the gateway to #Asia! #Singapore is the perfect stop over destination 🇸🇬
.

A colourful city packed full of contrast and a variety of ethnic districts ready to be explored!
.

#LittleIndia, originally a division of colonial Singapore. Today a vibrant district with a mix of Hindu and Chinese Temples and The House of Tan Teng Niah - one of the last surviving Chinese villas in the Indian enclave
.

If you'd like a taste of #India and #Singapore on your way to #Asia, get in touch to start planning your multicultural trip!
. 📸 @bellabellalara @travel_with_han @melbrammer_travel @climbintogether
.

#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
As the year begins to draw in, here at Ampersand HQ we've been thinking about where our adventures in 2020 will be, but where will be yours? 🌍
.

Will it be on the soft white sand beaches of #Cambodia @songsaaprivateisland, indulging in the colourful cuisine of #Vietnam, rejuvenating at @vanajourney, #India, hiding away beneath the #okavangodelta or exploring the endless shrines and Temples found in #Japan...
.

It's never too early to start planning! For inspiration, get in touch with one of our experts today to start your 2020 adventure.
.

#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
🇨🇳 Drift down the #LijiangRiver while touring #China with us to find yourself surrounded by towering karst mountains, mirror-still waterways and sunsets like this 🌅
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
.
📸 @joelsantosphoto
Our Africa Specialist captured these memorable moments during their recent stay at @matetsivictoriafalls 🦓🐘
.
A beautifully designed Safari Lodge set in a vast private reserve along the Zambezi River banks. The perfect stay close to Victoria Falls, post or pre African Safari ✨
.
To see more, check out our 'on location' highlight to follow our journey!
.
#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Today marks #InternationalTigerDay & we couldn’t be happier that #India’s wild tiger population now touches almost 3,000! 🐅🐅🐅
.
If you’d like to catch glimpses of these magnificent creatures during a tailor-made tour with us, then please get in touch!
.
📸 @wildmanrouse
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
.
A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
.
📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
. 
#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Beautiful #Bhutan has topped the @lonelyplanet #BestinTravel list as the top country to visit in 2020 🇧🇹🐉
.
Soaring mountains are blanketed with evergreen forests and dotted with Buddhist temples, valleys are sliced by glacial rivers and the piney air is delicious and clean.
.
It is already the world’s only carbon-negative country, and the kingdom is set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020, so it’s only going to get more beautiful 🏔 ✨
.
Travel to with us to Bhutan & discover its extraordinary natural beauty.
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever' 🙏
.
Today, 2nd October 2019, marks 150 years of celebrating Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is observed in India as a national holiday, where ceremonies and tributes are conducted across the nation.
.
If you would like to celebrate this special time of year in India, do get in touch and let us help you plan a trip for 2020. 🇮🇳
.
📸 @whatbaublenext_sam
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
One of our #Cambodia specialists, Simon, has just returned from the wonderful #ShintaManiWild & couldn’t recommend it more! 🇰🇭
.
Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
.
Swipe to peek inside the tents, designed by one of our favourite designers #BillBensley & get a striking bird’s eye view of the camp...
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences

Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award 2019
Condé Nast Readers Choice Award 2019