Sri Lanka ‘ideal getaway’
Dubai, June 11, 2009
Sri Lanka is an ideal getaway for regional travellers being only three and a half hours flying time away from the Gulf, says a regional director of a tourism promotion bureau.
“The island nation is one of the most exciting places to visit this summer with peace finally prevailing,” said Heba Al Ghais Al Mansoori, Middle East Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.
This summer Sri Lanka offers the adventurous holiday maker an exciting array of options. The Indian Ocean island is rapidly becoming a destination of choice for those who want a stimulating vacation to recharge their batteries and energise their outlook, she added.
“It’s not all necessarily adrenalin pumping stuff as for the more leisurely inclined explorer, there are pastimes that will allow you to experience the wonders of this tropical isle without so much as breaking into a sweat including hiking tours that take in the varied landscapes of the island and can be conducted at a gentle pace opening up the colourful and abundant array of plants, bird species and other wildlife to be found across the countryside," remarked Al Mansoori.
Cycling and mountain biking are another way to get about, with undemanding trips available for those who wish to visit the ancient ruins and temples of a country whose history and heritage stretches back thousands of years.
If heights are your thing, you can spend some time around the central highlands, home to Mount Pidurutalagala, Sri Lanka’s tallest mountain. Here you can paraglide, flying over the forests and lakes like a bird, or indulge in rope sports, abseiling down sheer cliff faces close to magnificent waterfalls.
Hot air ballooning is also an extremely popular activity in this part of the island, while water features as a significant part of Sri Lanka’s inland landscape, with turbulent rivers, spectacular falls and calm lagoons.
White water rafting is one of the longest established adventure sports on the island, with rivers providing thrills, glorious scenery and the chance to view life in the villages en route.
Sri Lanka also has some magnificent beaches, with one at Unawatuna being acclaimed as one of the world’s top 10. Being a relatively small island, you will never be far from the azure waters and bronze sands of the coast.
At Hikkaduwa, on the west coast, about 100 km from Colombo, the waves here are around 2 metres high and of sufficient interest to attract international surfers during the season. Scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities are also on the offer.
Colombo offers all the attractions of a busy city, with star-rated hotels, shopping malls and a vast array of restaurants and clubs that cater for all tastes.
Regardless of whether it’s excitement or relaxation that you crave, Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage and history is sure to leave you as captivated and charmed as the countless travellers who have visited throughout the ages, Al Mansoori said.
The island is only four hours flying time from the UAE and SriLankan Airlines flies to Colombo from Dubai ten times a week and runs a daily service from Abu Dhabi. – TradeArabia News Service