Sri Lanka for families
Sri Lanka is a remarkable island in the Indian Ocean that boasts a fascinating and varied heritage, areas of outstanding natural beauty and vibrant cities. The nation is a real melting pot of cultures, with Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity all being important religions, while western influences have been blended with traditional Sri Lankan culture to create somewhere truly unique.
To get the best out of a family holiday to Sri Lanka you need to travel to different parts of the country, as this will allow you to experience its stunning coastline, amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites, unspoilt nature reserves and bustling capital of Colombo.
Children are bound to be enthralled by Sri Lanka's temples and ruins as well as the tales of its fascinating past, while teenagers will relish the opportunity to have a go at a few adventurous activities during their stay.
Top family-friendly attractions in Sri Lanka
There are many wonderful attractions in Sri Lanka but one of the best for families has to be the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This facility was set up by the Sri Lankan government in the 1970s to care for orphaned elephants and has since expanded to become a breeding centre.
The herd of over 80 elephants take a daily walk from their enclosures to the nearby river, where you can watch these majestic animals bathing and playing in the water. At the orphanage itself you will have the opportunity to feed some of the younger elephants and get incredibly close to these amazing creatures.
Another outstanding wildlife attraction that children and parents will love is the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery on the south coast - which is easy to reach from many of Sri Lanka's stunning beach resorts. The highlight of a visit here is having the opportunity to release some of the baby turtles into the ocean.
You can't leave Sri Lanka without visiting at least one of its eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. The breathtaking Sigiriya rock fortress is certainly somewhere that will capture your children's imaginations. This once-great palace was carved out of a rock that towers over the forest, with its entrance designed to resemble a lion's head, although sadly all that remains today are two huge paws. The climb is quite tough but more than worth it and as you walk higher you'll spot groups of monkeys on the edge of the rock.
Activities for the whole family
In addition to its amazing attractions, Sri Lanka is great for an active family holiday, as there are so many things to try. White water rafting down one of its rivers is a brilliant choice if you've got teenagers who are keen for some thrills and spills, while kayaking is a gentler option if you've got younger children with you.
Another must-do on a family holiday in Sri Lanka is taking a wildlife safari in one of its national parks. Yala National Park on the south coast is one of the most famous - and accessible - nature reserves in the country. If you take a safari tour here you may encounter leopards, Sri Lankan sloth bears, toque macaque monkeys, elephants, water buffaloes, flamingos, pelicans and saltwater crocodiles, among many other exotic creatures.
Relax and unwind at the beach
Sri Lanka is home to some of the world's most picturesque beaches and many of the resort towns around the south coast boast numerous family hotels that are the perfect places to unwind at the end of an escorted tour of the country.
Unawatuna Beach is a glorious crescent of white sand that's fringed by palm trees and is regularly named among the most beautiful beaches on the planet. The shore is protected by a reef, which means the water is always calm and great for swimming and snorkelling - ideal for families with younger children.
Weligama is another amazing coastal spot to visit on a family holiday in Sri Lanka, not only because of its natural beauty, but also because this is where you'll find Sri Lanka's stilt fishermen who have developed a unique way of landing their catch - it's incredible to watch.
Family holidays in Sri Lanka Browse all
Enjoy a wonderful beachside haven of tranquillity, days of luxury and the chance to see the island's green hills carpeted by lush plantations
- All rooms feature a Balcony or Terrace with spectacular views
- Enjoy the huge selection of activities including Volleyball, Tennis, Squash & more
- Relax at the Ayurveda Wellness & Spa with the best quality services that will make your stay unforgettable
Settle into a haven of tranquility at a luxury boutique hotel that is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World
- Offers a wide range of facilities including Bike Riding, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing & more
- Accommodation designed by the World-Famous local Architect Geoffrey Bawa
- Enjoy a choice of Wines specially selected for Jetwing
For a taste of Sri Lanka choose Eden Rock Resort and Spa, the worthy winner of Trip Advisor'ss 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award
- All rooms have a Private Balcony or Terrace with a view of either the Garden or the Indian Ocean
- Rejuvenate at the Spa and Ayuveda Centre
- Access to Temptation - a Fine-Dining Restaurant - the 24-Hr Chameleon Cafe & more
The land of endless natural beauty, with ancient sight and cultural treasure, you'll be sure to embark on a holiday of a lifetime
- Unforgettable experience at Yala Safari
- English speaking chauffer guide during the roundtrip
- Transport in a comfortable vehicle
Sink into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean before a luxury getaway break to Sri Lanka
- Treat yourself to a revitalizing message at the spa or plunge into the island’s longest swimming pool in Sri Lanka
- Fabulous dining and nightlife and a wide range of watersports and recreation
- Complimentary WiFi in all rooms and selected public areas in the Paradise Island
Take advantage of a this twin destination combination treat
- Enjoy themed nights with flavours from around the world in Sri Lanka
- Discover the wonder of Old and New Delhi with a guided, full day city tour
- Visit the City Palace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways
Discover a world of peace and relaxation at the all-inclusive Mermaid Hotel Club in the gorgeous Kalutura Beach, Sri...
Sri Lanka has quietly become a leading tourist destination as tourists seek to soak up the sunshine that pours down on...
Sri Lanka is the land of endless natural beauty, with ancient sight and cultural treasure, you'll be sure to embark on a...
A luxurious gem of a five-star hotel, the Heritance Ahungalla is a living piece of astounding architecture that allows...
Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...
Surrounded by vast paddy fields and exceptional natural beauty, the Kithala Resort is a true tropical haven as one...
Take a trip to the Coral Sands Resort in Hikkaduwa and experience Sri Lankan hospitality first-hand. It is located...
Visit pandanus beach resort in Induruwa for an unforgettable Sri Lankan holiday packed full of authentic new experiences...
Peacefully sitting on the shores of Kandalama Lake, right at the heart of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle, the Amaya Lake...
Treat yourself to a 15-day retreat beside the shimmering blue waters of the Indian Ocean as you make a home for yourself...
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 17:00 GMT
Related articles for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka NewsBrowse all Sri Lanka News
Nine Jetwing hotels in Sri Lanka have been awarded the prestigious Carbon Footprint Certification from the Sri Lanka Climate Fund. Jetwing Blue, Jetwing St. Andrew's, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, Jetwing Lighthouse, Jetwing Beach, Jetwing Sea, Jetwing Lagoon, Jetwing Yala and Jetwing Vil Uyana were each recognised for their sustainable practices and energy-saving efforts.
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts has launched The Cinnamon Sri Lanka Photo Contest 2017: Sri Lanka through your eyes. The competition invites amateur and professional photographers and videographers to capture images and footage of landscapes across the beautiful Indian Ocean island, and submit them in seven categories which include Nature, Culture & People, Landscapes and Cityscapes, and Activities and Adventure.
Hotel Nippon in Sri Lanka has reopened to guests, following a 400 million rupee renovation programme. The hotel in Colombo is owned by four brothers, and the refurbishment project included upgraded guest rooms and facilities, as well as the restoration or original features including the 130-year-old Burma teak staircases and the 130-year-old Seth Thomas grandfather clock.