Summer in Sri Lanka

Exploring Sri Lanka in June, July and August

Sri Lanka may be better known as a winter sun destination, but equal delights await the traveller who visits the island during the June, July and August.

One of the most well-known highlights of visiting Sri Lanka in summer is the island’s east coast, which comes into season between May and September. Head north to Trincomalee for Maldives-like beaches of white sand and turquoise ocean; go snorkelling with reef tip sharks and marine turtles at Pigeon Island; varied water-sports and family-friendly accommodation await you in Pasikudah, and surfers can find breaks to suit beginners and experts in Arugam Bay.

Many wildlife opportunities come to the fore in the summer months too. Visit Wilpattu to spot notoriously elusive sloth bears eating the fruit of the palu tree; see herds of elephants up to 200-strong at Minneriya National Park, an event known as ‘The Elephant Gathering’; watch birds nesting in the mangroves at Kumana, and sail the seas around Trincomalee to spot whales. Gal Oya is also a great option for nature lovers.

Although the hill country sees significant rainfall at this time of year, great walking opportunities are still possible through the foothills around Kandy. Kandy sits at a lower elevation than the central hills and stays fairly dry and breezy throughout July and August. Trek through the Knuckles Mountain Range for stunning scenery of rolling tea estates, pine forest, tropical plants and waterfalls.

Jaffna enjoys its driest weather in June and July, making it a great time to explore Sri Lanka’s lesser-visited north. Experience Jaffna’s unique culture, influenced by southern Indian traditions; try the coveted Jaffna crab curry; visit ancient kovils and Buddhist temples, and sail out to Delft Island to see toddy tapping, the towering Baobab Tree and wild horses left behind by the Portuguese centuries ago.

Last – but certainly not least – is the Kandy Perahera, an annual event which takes place in late July / early August each year. During this two-week festival, the tooth relic housed in the Sri Dalada Maligawa (‘Temple of the Tooth’) (believed to have belonged to Lord Buddha) is paraded through the city streets on the back of an elephant, accompanied by crowds of dancers, drummers, Buddhist monks and more elephants dressed in their finery.

For more tips on planning a Sri Lanka summer holiday, contact your consultant or email us at [email protected].