Sri Lanka is an unsung hero of the Indian Ocean. Not only is it home to some simply outstanding beaches, but it also has a heart rich in culture and history. The capital, Colombo, is located on the south-west coast and has the popular beach resorts Negombo and Bentota nearby. Both offer rich golden sands and plenty of hotel choices but the seas can be a little on the rough side.
We recommend chartering across the island to the east coast and staying in Trincomalee or perhaps Passikudah. Here the sands are whiter, the ocean calmer and there are plenty of beautiful hotels. This area is also less built up and quieter than the south-west coast.
From here you can head back across Sri Lanka, stopping off at the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, climbing the iconic Sigiriya Rock or spending some time out in one of the national parks spotting herds of elephant. The cultural heart of Sri Lanka is also home to the Dambulla cave temple, home to frescoes and statues of Buddha and the kings of Sri Lanka.
You could then choose to spend a few nights on the south-west coast, perhaps visiting the turtle hatchery in Kosgoda, or visiting the fortified city of Galle, alternatively you can simply kick back and relax at one of the beach resorts scattered along the coast.
To get there, if you fancy doing so as luxuriously as possible, you can take a Global Express from London to Colombo for a cool £120,000. You’ll have room for between 12-15 passengers and don’t need to stop en route. If you don’t mind a fuel stop, you can get there for just £95,400, though it will add an hour or so to the 11 hour flight. Then, for the hop to the east coast, you can jump in a Cessna 208 from Colombo to Trincomalee and en route fly over, and around the towering Sigiriya Rock. Alternatively, if it’s more about speed and you don’t mind missing out on the sightseeing, hop in a Falcon 7X for a 40 minute journey.