Sri Lanka: stunning nature, golden beaches and a journey of wildlife and culture to discover!
A family holiday in Sri Lanka is one of the best experiences you can have travelling with kids. From Negombo to Colombo, tea plantations to elephant safaris, this small island nation has every ingredient to create an amazing travel experience that everyone will enjoy. The locals are some of the friendliest people in the world and they will quickly make every member of your party feel at right at home.
Kandy, Udalawawe and Galle are our top three destinations to visit with kids (although it’s hard to go wrong anywhere on the island!). There are loads of family-friendly activities to pack your itinerary with, and if you do have time to go further afield, everything else on this amazing island is easy to organise and distances are short.
You’ll arrive in the craziness of Colombo — where the true clash of east meets west begins! Don’t linger in the city, as adventure awaits when you head to the magical hills and tea plantations of Kandy.
What many consider to be the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and the friendly capital of the hill country, Kandy, is a lovely hill town surrounded by jungle. There’s an Instagram-worthy lake at its centrepiece, gorgeous architecture and so many things to do. “I’m bored” is not a phrase you’ll hear on this trip!
Our favourite activity in Kandy was getting lost visiting the tea plantations, but it’s also home to Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic — a tooth of the Buddha which is housed in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom.
Kids and adults alike will love the scenic train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, a charming colonial town built by the British in the 1800s. The track will take you through pine and eucalyptus forest, passing tea plantations and waterfalls with spectacular views of the green hills. Pack some snacks and grab a seat by the window and remember to book in advance.
Where To Stay:
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Leaving the tea plantations behind, make your next stop Udalawawe. Wildlife awaits and this is sure to become a fast favourite for the kids on your Sri Lanka family holiday! Take a jeep safari and meet elephants in the wild (for a fraction of what it would cost in Africa!). Driving around in an open jeep is an exciting adventure on its own, before you even add elephants, crocodiles, buffalos and many colourful peacocks into the mix.
This safari park is less famous than the Yala National Park (a bit further away on the east coast), but Udalawawe National Park has by far the larger of the elephant populations and it requires less driving time to get there, making it an ideal family-friendly option.
Where To Stay:
A spectacular wrap to your Sri Lankan experience will be a visit to the colonial town of Galle and its surrounding beautiful beaches. Originally built by the Portuguese in the 17th century, Galle’s Dutch Fort is one of Sri Lanka’s highlights. The fort has been beautifully preserved and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it’s a picturesque place to discover. You can wander around the charming streets lined with old colonial houses and historic churches and find yourself lost in time. This historic town is one of the south coast’s most popular for its authentic atmosphere and family-friendly resorts. There’s also an extensive selection of boutiques, art galleries and restaurants to keep everyone happy.
Where To Stay:
Etamba House Galle, Sri Gunarathana Mawatha Kalahe Wanchawala, Galle, Sri Lanka, www.etamba-house-villa.gallehotelspage.com