Family holiday to Sri Lanka

BY Lucie, Yonder escapologist

So, you’ve decided on a luxury family holiday to Sri Lanka? Firstly, great decision… you won’t be disappointed! Secondly, in order to make the most of your time in this amazing, colourful island, it’s important to consider when you’re going and where in the country you’re planning on visiting.

Most family holidays to Sri Lanka will be confined to the school holidays, which means making a choice between the Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays.

One great thing about a Sri Lanka family holiday is that the weather is generally warm, sunny and dry somewhere on the island whichever holiday you choose to travel during. But the thing to remember is that the weather can vary drastically depending on where in the island you are going.

The good news is, wherever and whenever you choose, you won’t be short of amazing sights, activities and hospitality for you and your family to enjoy. As we are Sri Lanka holiday specialists, we’ll break it down for you…

Christmas and New Year

The festive period is a fantastic time for a family holiday in Sri Lanka if the idea of escaping the cold for a Christmas in the sand and a healthy dose of vitamin D fills you with wanderlust.

It just so happens that this is one of the driest, most pleasant times of year for Sri Lanka’s idyllic sandy beaches on its south western coast.

Whether it’s a family beach day of body boarding and surfing in Sri Lanka around Weligama, scuba diving at Unawatuna, or whale watching near Kalpitiya, it can’t be denied that unbeatable beach days are one of the best things about a family holiday in Sri Lanka.

The weather around the ancient cities of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle might be touch-and-go during the Christmas holidays, but the southern city of Galle provides some great cultural experiences closer to your base that are suitable for all the family, such as taking in the beautiful European colonial architecture and a tour of the ramparts and dungeons in Galle Fort.

December and the early part of the year is also the sunniest and driest time for an excursion inland to the Central Highlands, or Tea Country as we call it, where temperatures will be around 10C lower than the costal regions whenever you choose to visit.

A hike up Little Adam’s Peak, near the town of Ella, provides stunning views and, as it only takes an hour or two, is suitable for all the family (and it can easily be lengthened if you need a tougher challenge!).

Further inland, Sri Lanka’s cultural capital of Kandy is both beautiful and enriching and well-worth a visit. If possible, it’s worth booking a few nights in the hills to experience everything Sri Lanka’s Tea Country has to offer, while keeping car transfers to a minimum.

If you’re not confined to school holidays, then the months of January and February are generally considered excellent times to visit, with lower air fares too.

Easter

If you’re thinking about an Easter family holiday to Sri Lanka, then much of the same applies as with Christmas and New Year period.

Although the start of the year is the absolute best time to avoid the rain on the south and western beaches, April still has a great chance of relatively dry weather, with the south western beaches remaining your best option for both dry weather and calm waters.

Easter is also one of the best times to go wildlife tour in Sri Lanka – a truly a majestic experience and one of the best things about this beautiful island (along with its beaches!).

Southern Sri Lanka is home to numerous stunning national parks, which all see their dry season at this time of year, giving you a great chance of fantastic wildlife sightings from elephants in Uda Walawe and Gal Oya National Parks to leopards in Yala National Park.

The UNESCO-listed sites of the Cultural Triangle generally see good weather from January to September, but if you’re an active family looking for a bit of adventure, then a climb up the Sigiriya Rock Fortress – a huge rock formation with the ruins of an ancient palace sitting on top – is an unforgettable experience. And April – offering dry weather without the intense heat of summer, or the strong winds seen in June and July – is the best time to go. If you do go in the summer months, visit early to avoid queues and the worst of the heat. Which brings us on to…

Summer

If you’re visiting Sri Lanka in the summer holidays, then the north and eastern beaches will be your best option for dry, sunny weather, with the dry season for this area of Sri Lanka running from May to September.

Luckily, prices are generally lower across the island around this time, and the eastern coasts have plenty of beaches to rival their south western counterparts.

Laid back Arugam Bay is a surfer’s paradise and the historic east coast town of Trincomalee offers sandy beaches and incredible diving opportunities in its beautiful bay.

Inland areas including the country’s Cultural Triangle sites are warm and dry at this time, and the town of Kandy celebrates the second of the Esala festivals in August – a magical procession and a great chance to see traditional Sri Lankan dances and its colourful culture.

Note that, if you’re planning on seeing more of Sri Lanka than its sandy beaches, and taking in some of its incredible landscapes and cultural sites, then it’s important to at least roughly plan your itinerary ahead of time, scheduling in some nights inland as well as at the beach, to minimise travel time and maximise fun!

Where to stay

Whenever and wherever you choose to visit Sri Lanka, make sure you select your hotel wisely.

All Yonder hotels have swimming pools and air conditioning (or open fire places for warmth in hill country!) as standard, so it’s important to consider the hotel’s additional benefits for you and your family.

For example, Sri Lankan cuisine is deliciously sweet and aromatic, but can also be spicy, so make sure your hotel caters for the younger palette too.

On top of this, do some research into what your hotel offers in terms of outdoors activities or facilities. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with amazing weather, so does your hotel offer outdoor activities to keep the kids busy, such as bike hire and suitable places for outdoor activities like playing cricket or flying kites.

Sri Lanka is renowned for its welcoming people and incredible hospitality as well as its beaches, landscapes and culture, so there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find the perfect place for your family, and enjoy the family holiday of a lifetime!

YONDER SUGGESTIONS

Yonder provides luxury family holidays in Sri Lanka.  As Sri Lanka specialists, all tours are tailor-made.

Typical Sri Lanka family holiday itineraries include national parks, child orientated activities in-land and time spent at the beach. Seasonality is important when planning a child friendly holiday in Sri Lanka as the country has two distinct monsoons.

The best place to broswe for ideas is on Yonder’s tailor-made Sri Lanka holiday pages or in the Family Holiday Collection which is a curated selection of hotels and itineraries.

All Yonder itineraries are crafted on a tailor-made, one-off basis, so you can be sure that your holiday will be as individual as you are.