Sri Lanka: why you need to visit in 2023

Perfect beaches, countless leopards and world-famous tea; what to see and do in Sri Lanka

Harper’s Bazaar

Read why Harper’s Bazaar recommends Sri Lanka for your next visit.

It’s a new day in Sri Lanka, both physically and figuratively. The sun is already blasting serious heat, melting away the dew that’s coating hibiscus flowers, forest trees and tea plantations. If you’re not woken by the whirring of the AC, it’ll be the birds who get you to your feet, chirping with real intention. The scent of curry and dahl already simmering for breakfast wafts through the windows.

Sri Lanka is superlatively beautiful. Its trees tend to flower, its waters are cloaked in lilies, and the landscape is peppered with waterfalls, emerald-green tea plantations and plunging valleys. The beaches are sandy and flanked by palm trees and rustic food shacks, with idyllic coves for swimmers, surfers and sun worshippers. The food is among the best in the world – fragrant, light and spicy. The curry is so good you’ll question why you’d ever eat anything else again, and – at the very least – why you’d never considered it as a breakfast option. It feels safe, calm and welcoming.

For an island so small, it is almost overburdened with things to do. Whether you want culture, beaches or adventure, Sri Lanka has it all on the menu. It also offers a roaring safari trade; the current leopard count stands at around 700, but you’re also likely to see elephants, monkeys and water buffalo. It’s the kind of place where you’ll find yourself looking at flights back there before you’ve even left.

It’s time to return to Sri Lanka.

What to do:

Stay at a tea plantation.Go leopard-spotting at yala national park.Try glamping, sri lankan style.Explore galle fort.Visit surfing paradise weligama.Invest in a souvenir that celebrates sri lankan craftsmanship.Relax in luxury at a beachside resort.Feast on delicious local cuisine.

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(Harper’s bazaar is a part of the hearst UK fashion & beauty network)