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Sri Lanka Travel guide

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Sri Lanka : Michelin's recommendations

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The island of Sri Lanka looks as if it had detached from the Indian subcontinent to add the finishing touch to the Gulf of Bengal. Known in colonial times as Ceylon, the mere mention of its name evokes a host of images, including spices, precious stones, hanging gardens, holy cities - and of course tea. Since 1972 it has reclaimed its old name of Sri Lanka, the "Venerable Place".
A mainly Buddhist country boasting remarkable sanctuaries such as the one at Kandy containing the Palace of the Tooth Relic and gigantic effigies of the Buddha carved out of rock at Buduruvegala, Sri Lanka has been invigorated by the desire of its inhabitants to protect their cultural and natural riches.
After the tragic Tsunami in 2004 the country has been slowly rebuilding, maintaining its long beaches lined with talipot palms, mangrove swamps with hundred-year-old trees, lush forests with enormous foliage, spectacular rocky cliffs in the centre of the island overlooking low-lying plains, chasms, waterfalls and tea plantations.
Its parks and reserves are teeming with a variety of wildlife: elephants, panthers, macaques, wild buffaloes, mongooses, deer... and hundreds of species of butterflies and birds. Some of the areas are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including Yala, Bundala and Sinharaja. Man has also tamed the exuberant natural forces here, channeling its water to create magnificent gardens.

Sri Lanka - See all cities and regions

Sri Lanka : Must-see towns and regions

  • Colombo

    Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is an ultra-lively, multi-ethnic cosmopolitan city looking towards the future while preserving its colonial heritage. This economic capital dotted with skyscrapers a...

  • Kandy

    Kandy, the last capital of Ceylon, has maintained its aura. This bubbling modern metropolis planned in the 18C is located in a supremely beautiful setting on a lake, where you can go boating. It boast...

  • Galle

    Galle is a charming old town on the southwest coast. Its harbour sheltered from the monsoons attracted Arab, Portuguese, Dutch and British fleets on the spice route. Its fine ramparts covered in veget...

  • Kataragama

    Kataragama is interesting above all for its ecumenicalism and for bringing people together from all denominations. Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians honour Kataragama, the patron god of all Si...

  • Bentota

    Bentota is a very touristy seaside resort launched in the 1960s, whose appeal comes from its magnificent beaches with golden sand stretching south of Bentota Ganga on the west coast of Sri Lanka. For ...

  • Tangalle

    Tangalle is a great beach destination on the south coast. In nearby Rekawa Lagoon, sea turtles deposit their eggs in the sand at night. The Turtle Conservation Project is doing its best to preserve th...

  • The best view of this tropical city at the foot ofAdam’s Peak could be in the Ratnapura Gem Bureau Museum founded by a passionate gemologist. In Ratnapura is the “city of precious stones”, where the u...

  • Badulla

    Although the British made Badulla the capital of Uva, they didn’t create it. Its origins are tied to Buddhism, as attested by the great Mutiyangana Viharaya sanctuary on the edge of town. There are so...

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