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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Best Places to Explore in Sri Lanka - Mountains, Cave Temples, Beaches and More!
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Best Places to Explore in Sri Lanka - Mountains, Cave Temples, Beaches and More!

Discover the natural beauty, vast history, cultural heritage and the religious practices of the locals in Sri Lanka by exploring some of the best places in the island.


Adam's Peak

Known by a number of different names such as Sri Pada, Samanalakanda, and Butterfly Mountain, Adam's Peak is a mountain of religious importance to Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka. The summit of the mountain can be reached via six different trails but it is the Nallathanni and Palabaddala routes that are more popular amongst climbers. There are a number of different legends associated with the mountain as well. For instance, the Buddhists consider the footprint at the summit to be that of the Lord Buddha, the Hindus consider the same footprint to be that of Lord Shiva while the Christians and Muslims believe that it is where Adam first set foot on the earth following his exile from the Garden of Eden.



Visitors who wish to gain an insight into the intriguing history of the island should visit Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa is one of the ancient kingdoms of Sri Lanka and UNESCO has declared the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa a World Heritage Site.



Mirissa is a small coastal fishing hamlet located in the deep south. It has increasingly become quite popular amongst tourists and locals alike and this increase in demand for quality accommodation has led to the establishment of numerous hotels including chains such as Mandara Hotels. Mirissa is well known for its beautiful beach which attracts people from all over the country. This small fishing hamlet is also easily accessible via motor car as well as train.



Located in the Matale District, Dambulla is a must visit for those who wish to immerse themselves in the local history and religious culture. Dambulla is home to one of the best-preserved cave temple complexes in the island as well as being home to the largest rose quartz mountains in the region. Those who opt to stay at Dambulla holiday resorts in Sri Lanka will also be able to visit the prehistoric burial site at Ibbankatuwa with ease. Archaeologists discovered human skeletons that are over 2700 years old at this site. Remnants of prehistoric times indicate that there was a civilian settlement in the area from as early as the 7th century BC. Further, many cricket fans also visit Dambulla to watch cricket matches at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium which was famously built in less than two hundred days.


Nuwara Eliya

Those who wish to get away from the sunny and warm climate enjoyed by the coastal dwellers can opt to visit and enjoy the stunning greenery of Nuwara Eliya. Located within the Central Highlands, Nuwara Eliya hosts a cool climate which is ideal for tea production. The undulating mountains covered with tea plantations also provide ample opportunities for stunning photographs to be taken. Those who visit Nuwara Eliya can opt to boat on Lake Gregory, visit the Victoria Park or walk through the stunning tea estates.