Sri Lanka is one of the most loved tourist destinations in the world. It is a haven for people seeking to relax, feel closer to nature, and imbibe some spirituality in their travels. Boasting a massive shoreline, a rich collection of flora and fauna, and a legendary history, Sri Lanka is a wholesome travel package for every type of traveller. Its varied demographics of plains and hills to plateaus and beaches make it an ideal destination for everyone including honeymooning couples, solo travellers, groups of friends, or a family vacation. The incredible diversity and well-preserved traditions are what sets Sri Lanka apart from the rest of the other exotic island getaway destinations in the world.
The Republic of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is settled peacefully in the Indian Ocean. The teardrop-shaped island country is separated from the mainland of India in the extreme south and is connected via the Palk Strait. The island’s proximity to the Indian peninsula and regular maritime trading relations have been the reason for its cultural and traditional similarities.
If you are planning to spend your next vacation in Sri Lanka then here is a complete guide on how to reach Sri Lanka:
How to Reach Sri Lanka by Air
The easiest and the most convenient way of reaching Sri Lanka from India is via air travel. The Bandaranaike International Airport is the international airport for Sri Lanka and is also one of the busiest airports in Asia. Numerous flights are flying in from various important cities in India to Colombo. Regular and daily flights to Colombo take off on a regular or daily basis from cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc. All the major airlines operate through this route for Sri Lanka. Some of the prominent and major flight names in the country are Air India, Srilankan Airlines, Spice Jet, and Vistara.
How to Reach Sri Lanka by Sea
The second most common and sought-after way of reaching Sri Lanka is via the sea route. Being an island nation, this mode of travel is understandable. There are several seaway routes and services available from Chennai to Colombo that are not only fast but also very economical at the same time. However, this way of getting to Sri Lanka has been in an on-and-off situation owing to the political disturbances. But currently, ferry services have re-started. Several luxury cruises are connecting Mumbai port to Colombo in Sri Lanka. This week-long cruise also makes regular stopovers at the beautiful Sri Lankan cities of Nuwara Eliya and Kandy. Being luxury cruises, the prices of this experience are at a higher range. If looking for a more pocket-friendly option, then ferry services also ply from Rameshwaram to the island. It is advisable for you to not take a ferry or cruise service during the monsoon season owing to the violent sea conditions leading to the cancellation of these services.
Traveling Within Sri Lanka
After reaching Sri Lanka you can use road or train services to explore the island nation conveniently. The most preferred local transportation option among travellers remains the train. It is also the best way to explore every nook and cranny of Sri Lanka in a closer manner. There are also various bus services available connecting various major cities of Sri Lanka like Colombo, Kandy, and Galle. Buses are a great option to travel in the plains region as compared to the hilly regions where they travel at a much lower pace. The most convenient way would be to hire a tour guide or hire a rental service. There are regular Uber services also available for everyone in Sri Lanka. Another home-grown version of Uber is the Pick Me app that functions only within Colombo. Most of the taxi and cab services work best in the capital city of Colombo or the largest city of Sri Lanka, Kandy. Various vans and cabs are another viable options for travelling within Sri Lanka.
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Sri Lanka
If you are traveling from the UK and Ireland to Sri Lanka, then the only non-stop flights are with Sri Lankan Airlines from London Heathrow Airport. The flight time to Colombo will be around 11 hours. One-stop flights from Heathrow via their home cities in the Gulf include Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Etihad, and Oman Air. Jet Airways also operates on a one-stop basis via Mumbai and Delhi. There are also more routes available via various points in Southeast Asia, including Singapore with Singapore Airlines, Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines, and more.
While travelling from Ireland travellers can either make their way to Heathrow and pick up an onward connection from there on. Fly from Dublin while making your way from one of the three Gulf cities that have direct connections with Colombo, Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi.
Flights from the USA and Canada to Sri Lanka
The journey from North America to Sri Lanka is an extremely lengthy one and takes a total duration of over 20 hours. This also includes one necessary change of plane en route. From the East Coast, the most straightforward option is to fly to London and then pick an onward connecting flight. There are also several one-stop routes via the Gulf from New York, Boston, Washington, and Toronto.
If traveling from the west coast the most direct route is to travel via the east or the South East Asia way while stopping in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, and Shanghai and all of these have non-stop connections onwards to Colombo.
Flights from the Rest of Asia
Even though Sri Lanka is not a part of the Asian trail overland, the island nation is still very well connected to the other countries in South and Southeast Asia. Regular and non-stop flights with Sri Lankan airlines take place to various places in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, and many more. Flights even connect Maldives and Seychelles with Sri Lankan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Singapore Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines are the top choices for tourists from Singapore. Places like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are also connected via Sri Lankan Airlines. There are also direct flight connections from many places in the Gulf, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Muscat.
Organized Tour Packages for Sri Lanka
One of the most carefree ways of traveling and exploring Sri Lanka is going via group tour services. There are numerous group tour options available for tourists from all over the world. Organized touring groups take out all the hassle from traveling. Numerous international as well as national touring groups design and curate well throughout our touring groups as per the requests of each traveller. These touring companies normally include visits to all the famous places and experiences that only Sri Lanka can offer. These include visits to places like the Ashok Vatika, Galle, Bentota, Sigiriya, Elephant Sanctuary, Sigiriya Rock, Nuwara Eliya, and many more.