Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Pettitts Travel UK 01892 515966

Northern Sri Lanka Holidays

The north of Sri Lanka is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the well-trodden tourist routes of the Cultural Triangle and the south coast. This northern tip of the island, jutting into the Palk Strait and closer both geographically and culturally to India’s Tamil Nadu than Sri Lanka’s political and commercial centre Colombo, offers plenty for the more adventurous traveller wishing to see a different side to life on the island. Over the last few years the region has slowly been opening up, infrastructure upgraded and hotel options expanded. No better is this seen than in Jaffna which is usually a fulcrum in an itinerary as it links well with the east coast, Wilpattu National Park and the Cultural Triangle. Proudly distinct to the island’s other major cities, Jaffna is a bastion of Tamil culture – colourful Dravidian temples punctuate the low-rise skyline and faded colonial-era buildings and white-washed churches point to a bygone era. Whilst in Jaffna head to Nallur to visit the Kandaswamy Temple with its unmistakable five-storey gopuram or take a boat to remote Delft Island, a name of obvious colonial heritage, and home to a Dutch-era fort and courthouse, giant baobab tree and, uniquely, a herd of wild ponies thought to have been originally introduced by European settlers. To the south of Jaffna is Sri Lanka’s oldest wildlife reserve, Wilpattu National Park. Stretching inland from coastal mangroves to a forested interior, the multiple habitats support a diverse range of animals from elephant, sloth bear and leopard to monitor lizard, mugger crocodile and python.

Holiday Ideas for Northern Sri Lanka

Hidden Treasures of Sri Lanka

16 days from
£4790 to £5750 per person


When to visit Northern-Sri-Lanka---

Best Times
Good Times

The weather patterns in northern Sri Lanka are very similar to those on the east coast. Similarly affected by the north east monsoon which brings rains from the middle of October through to early February, the period from March to September is an ideal time to visit with the very best weather experienced in June, July and August. Jaffna and the north are by far the hottest parts of the island, temperatures hover around the 30°C mark for the majority of the year and rainfall on average is lower than in other regions too. From March the risk of wet weather falls and continues to do so for the next few months. Likewise, skies clear and the sun beats down with increasing intensity. Wilpattu National Park, being slightly further south and on the west coast, sometimes catches the outer edge of the south west monsoon but is largely also good to visit from March to September. From October the weather becomes unsettled and unpredictable across the island with sporadic rainfall and occasional thunderstorms. The rains become progressively heavier from December to late January which is the region’s wettest time of year.

What is a Tailor-Made Holiday?

We create a holiday tailored to your specific requirements, including:

  • When you go
  • Duration
  • Time spent in each place
  • How much you want to spend

We offer our experience and knowledge to help create your perfect, tailor-made itinerary

What to do in Northern Sri Lanka

Jaffna, for so long out of reach to travellers, epitomises all that is good about the region within which it sits. Positive, vibrant, authentic and with fewer visitors too, northern Sri Lanka is a melting pot of cultures, fascinating cities, historic temples and a natural setting distinct from the rest of the island. Largely Hindu, albeit with a noticeable Christian community, and with a proud Tamil heritage, Jaffna feels very different to Sri Lanka’s other major cities. It is also a fantastic place to explore with temples, palaces, a fort and markets. Arguably the most significant highlight is the Kandaswamy Temple located in the neighbourhood of Nallur, its colourful Dravidian gopuram towering over the surrounding streets. Visits can also be made to the ancient Shiva Naguleswaram Temple, Jaffna Fort and bustling Chunnakam Market. From Jaffna it is also possible to make a day trip by boat to Delft Island with its colonial heritage, temples and villages. For those interested in wildlife, Wilpattu National Park, located south of Jaffna and to the west of Sri Lanka’s famed Cultural Triangle can be included in an itinerary. Wilpattu covers a vast area that incorporates a whole range of different habitats which, in turn, support an incredible diversity of animal and bird life.

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