The pearl in the Indian Ocean. About 10 flying hours separate us from Sri Lanka, whose nature is even more varied, even more wasteful to the newcomers than they had imagined. Dream beaches, tea gardens and rice terraces, reservoirs, wide rivers with huge waterfalls, a mountainous area with jungles, game-rich national parks with savannas and mangroves, botanical gardens with the most beautiful flowers of the tropics. And in the midst of this unbelievably varied landscape lie the magnificent monuments of a millennium-old high culture, which is primarily influenced by Buddhism. These temples and reliquary shrines, palace ruins and rock statues crown mountains and tower out of the dense green of the wilderness.
Climate and travel time
The climate in Sri Lanka is tropical. On the coasts, the air temperature fluctuates between 27 C and 32 C all year round. The water temperature is always well above 25 C. The rainy seasons are determined by the monsume and vary depending on the region and season.
During the winter months, the weather in the south and southwest of the island is friendlier. In the east and northeast falls significantly more rain. In spring and summer, the best conditions are found in the east and northeast. In the south and southwest it is rather rainy and changeable during this time.
With a majority of almost 21 million inhabitants are Buddhists. Around 12.6 percent of the population are Hindus, 9.7 percent Muslim and 7.4 percent Christian.
To eat and drink
Sri Lanka's cuisine is characterized by a variety of rice and curry dishes. The typical "Rice and Curry" is available in a variety of variations, for example with different vegetables, fish, meat or exotic fruits. The curry dishes are cooked with coconut milk, refined with many spices and usually provided with a good deal of sharpness. There is rice for that. The most common curry is Dhal. It is a red lentils dish.
Other typical dishes include:
Pol Sambol: A spicy paste made from chili and grated coconut, which is often used as a side dish.
Hoppers: a pancake-like snack made from rice flour and coconut milk dough and fried in a pan to a round flatbread. If you hit an egg, you have an Eg-Hopper. String hoppers are served for breakfast. They are rolled out like pasta in bars and then formed into small round flat bread. In addition Pol Sambol and various curries are served.
Kottu Roti: In the streets you can hear the drumming of the Kottu stalls. Here, a roti is chopped into strips, mixed with curries or other savory spiced, pan-fried vegetables, eggs or pieces of meat and served hot.
- The most probably associated drink with Sri Lanka is the tea. Sri Lanka is famous for its Ceylon tea. Tea culture has its origins in the British colonial era. For food is usually drunk water. Many places also offer fruit juices made from fresh fruits.
- Another specialty is the juice of the coconut. It is offered almost everywhere on the island on the roadside and is very tasty and wholesome.
- The most famous alcoholic drink is the rice brandy Arrak.
Discover Sri Lanka
As diverse as Sri Lanka is, there is so much to discover. Here are some examples.
A reddish brown rock, similar to a table mountain, which protrudes from the jungle of the middle of the island. From the top you have a breathtaking view over the jungle. Halfway up, you can admire the world-famous cloud girls.
This is the second royal city of Sri Lanka. Also her ruin field, which holds world-famous sights, is very spacious.
Anuradhapura: This oldest and most important royal city was for over a thousand years capital of a Sinhalese empire. All the sights in the spacious ruins field date back to that time. (from the 3rd century BC to 1017). Since 1982, the city is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
This is one of the largest and most popular national parks in Sri Lanka. It stretches around a reservoir and is especially known for its large elephant population. These can be admired on a jeep safari.
The Elephant Transit Home is only about half an hour's drive from the National Park and takes care of orphaned baby elephants with the aim to outgrow them again. The animals may only be observed from a platform during the feeding period, otherwise they spend their time in the adjacent national park in their natural habitat. Here they are protected and carefully prepared for reintroduction.
Kataragama is the main religious pilgrimage city. The temples there are sacred to Buddhists, Hindus and even the indigenous Veddas. All year long believers come here to pay homage to their gods. It is perfect to visit Kataragama at the time of the big ten-day festival Esala Perahera in July / August, since it is not touristy like that in Kandy.
Yala: This national park is known for its leopard population. On a safari there you can also admire many other animals, such as elephants, water buffalo, wild boars, langurs, black ax, mongoose, crocodiles, monitor lizards and many species of birds.
The beautiful city of Galle is famous for the fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was originally built by the Portuguese colonial rulers in the 16th century as a fortification around the old town. The walls of granite stone were extended by the Dutch and protect the lake side of the city. The buildings reflect the history of Galle under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and it seems that time has stood still. This is mainly due to the magnificent villas and houses that have been preserved from the Dutch colonial era to this day and give the fort its unique flair. Once in Galle you immediately fall in love with the small streets, the individual shops and magical cafes and restaurants.
Since 2000, monks paint the famous rock caves of Dambulla. The temple is still inhabited by monks. When it's hot, the road to the famous caves can be exhausting. But it's worth it. At a height of about 340 meters in front of the entrance to the caves, a wonderful view compensates for the effort - and the paintings and stagnations inside are always worth the climb.
This is an approximately 2,200 meter high pilgrim's mountain, which is one of the most important religious sites in Sri Lanka, as is located on the top of the "Sri Pada". This is a depression in the rock, which is interpreted by the various religions either as a footprint Buddha, Shiva or Adam. The ascent, over the sometimes very uneven and battered steps you should start around 2 clock at night, so you reached the summit, fitting for the sunrise. The over 6,000 steps that you have to climb up and down, are not for the weaklings, but you will find on the way all sorts of small taverns, where you can fortify yourself with local pastries and tea. Once you have arrived at the summit, you will marvel at the probably most beautiful sunrise that can be seen in Sri Lanka.
A small place only, but nowhere is the view over the southern mountain country down to the Indian Ocean as spectacular as in this village. Especially recommended is the train ride between Kandy and Ella. The route is about 150 km long and the train takes about 6 - 8 hours. The journey takes you past wonderful landscapes, tea plantations and small tranquil villages. On the route, traders keep coming in and out to sell their goods. The highland railroad is a remnant of the time when the English ruled the country and brought tea to the coast.
The tea plantations in the highlands and Nuwara Eliya
Until the British arrived in Sri Lanka, the hill country of Nuwara Eliya consisted of rainforest and jungle. The British cut everything off and turned Hill Countray into a large tea plantation. The landscape is beautiful. Take your time and visit a tea factory to learn more about the cultivation.
There is pure nature around Nuwara Eliya, the city of light. But the trip to the highlands is breathtaking and should be best experienced in the train, as you can best marvel at the extensive tea plantations, waterfalls, gorges and valleys, after each bend a new fantastic landscape. As the highest city in the country, temperatures in Nuwara Eliya are often quite cool. For this reason, the city was built in the 19th century by the English as a resort and it is still today. The colonial-style villas are a highlight and with a cup of "Ceylon tea", you feel transported back to the colonial era.
Horton Plains National Park
The park offers an extraordinarily diverse flora and fauna. Steep waterfalls, clear lakes and dense forests line the path. The most popular destination for many hikers is a cliff that drops over 800 meters and is also known as the "End of the World". From here you have the best view and can overlook the southern part of the island in large parts. Around noon, a dense layer of fog prevents the view again, which is why you have to be there early in the morning.
From various locations in Sri Lanka it is possible to do whale watching tours, e.g. from Galle, Mirissa, Trincomalee, Kalapitiya.
- Southwest coast: Along the beautiful southwest coast, one surf spot joins the next. Between the beach resorts of Galle and Tangalle, the Indian Ocean brings some of the most beautiful and varied surfing conditions in the Indian Ocean to the delight of beginners and advanced skiers. In the high season between September and April you can find cheap swells and wonderfully tropical weather conditions. Here are just a few surf beaches: Unawatuna, Dewata, Delawatta Ahangama, Medigama, Weligama, Mirissa.
- Southeast Coast:: In the southeast of the country, surfing is concentrated on Arugam Bay, where the best waves run from May to October. Then the formerly small fishing village really comes to life, or is bursting at the seams. Locals and surfers from all over the world are bustling here. No wonder, the local point breaks like Peanut Farm, Elephant Rock and Whiskey Point are suitable for a variety of surfing levels.
For direct entry to Sri Lanka no special vaccination is necessary. However, upon entry from a yellow fever endemic country, proof must be provided to enter. The same applies to countries where polio is widespread.
Sri Lanka was declared malaria free by WHO in 2016
In principle, the Federal Foreign Office recommends that the standard vaccinations be checked and completed in accordance with the current vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute for Children and Adults on the occasion of each trip. These include for adults the vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, possibly against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, pneumococcal and herpes zoster.
Vaccination against hepatitis A, long-term or special exposure to hepatitis B, rabies, typhoid and Japanese encephalitis are recommended as travel vaccinations.
Let yourself be personally advised by a tropical medicine counseling center / tropical medicine / travel doctor and adjust your vaccination protection.
Medical care is sufficient to good in major cities and tourist centers, but it does not meet European standards everywhere. In Colombo, medical care in individual departments is certainly at a high to very high level. Sufficient and valid health insurance coverage, including travel insurance, is strongly advised.
The German Embassy in Colombo provides a list of doctors and hospitals for emergencies.
Travelers should bring regular medication to Sri Lanka in sufficient quantities and be certified by their doctor in English for entry into the country, as well as anti-mosquito, anti-fever, pain and diarrhea, disinfectants, patches and bandages Sunscreen included.
Hygiene & Food
If you follow only a few simple rules of hygiene, you will be spared many illnesses. Regular hand washing, especially before eating and after the toilet. Never drink tap water. For drinking or brushing, it is best to use bottled water or boiled water. Since up to 50% of all long-distance travelers suffer from diarrhea, you should adhere to the following rule:
Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it.
Although there is no malaria in Sri Lanka, there is a seasonal increase in dengue fever. Dengue is transmitted through the bite of diurnal mosquitoes. Fever, head and body aches and a rash characterize the course and can be confused with the symptoms of flu. In some cases, severe courses can occur. There is no vaccine and no effective drugs against the dengue viruses. Careful exposure prophylaxis is also indicated during the day.
The fewer stitches the better. As protection serves:
- Wearing body-covering bright clothes
- Repeated application of insect repellents
- Sleep under a mosquito net
Ayurveda, the 2000-year-old Indian natural medicine, is practiced in Sri Lanka since the 5th Century BC Uninterrupted. There are two- or three-week cures available, but massages are offered everywhere. We will gladly arrange for you an ayurvedic masseur, who also likes to come to your villa for a massage.
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
40, Alfred House Avenue, Colombo 3
The international driver's license is required and valid only in conjunction with the national driver's license. However, it is recommended to hire a local driver due to the often chaotic traffic conditions.
Especially the bus drivers are often very fast and ruthless on the way.
For shorter distances, the trip with a tuk-tuk offers. Ask in advance for the price and trade. Our employees are happy to organize a tuk-tuk at a fair price for you.
In Sri Lanka there is left-hand traffic.
The national currency is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR). The withdrawal of cash at ATMs and payment by credit cards are common. For more remote regions, for smaller purchases, visit of smaller restaurants and bars, it is advisable to take cash. Upon arrival at the airport in Colombo there are many exchange offices. There you can exchange the first money.
Entry and visa
Since the 01.01.2012 travelers must have a visa before entering Sri Lanka. This can be requested online at www.eta.gov.lk and costs about 35 USD. A copy of the application form filled out online must be taken with you during the journey. It is also possible to apply for a visa on arrival, which costs 5 USD more and will be issued at the airport upon arrival. In addition, a visa can be requested in advance from the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission. Further information can be found on the Embassy of Sri Lanka.
Tourist visas are issued for a period of four weeks. Extensions are possible but quite time consuming. Early contact with the Department of Immigration and Emigration, 45 Ananda Kumaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 8, is strongly recommended. Gladly our staff will assist you.
The issuance of a longer-term visa is only possible through a Sri Lankan diplomatic mission abroad. For detailed information on applying for a visa, as well as technical issues when applying for an ETA, please contact the Sri Lankan International Representative.
The import of national currency is up to an amount of 1000 LKR, the foreign currency unlimited, but from a value of 10,000 US $ declare. The export of national currency is limited to 250 LKR.
The importation of articles made from protected animal and plant species is prohibited. The export of antiques (all objects older than 50 years) requires the official approval.
Foreign tobacco products may not be imported.
The import and export of weapons and drugs are strictly prohibited.
For the entry you need a passport, which must be valid for 6 months after the end of the journey. Children also need a passport. Furthermore, you need a confirmed return or onward ticket.
What to wear
Lightweight cotton clothing of the easy-care variety and lightweight suits are the most comfortable. A beach hat and sunglasses are also recommended, as well as comfortable shoes and sandals. Lightweight pullovers may be needed in the mountains. Where the temperatures drop to 16 degrees.
But also in other respects the choice of the right clothes is important. In Sr Lanka completely different values prevail, especially with regard to morals and freedom of movement. Women who are lying on the beach without being looked at are gladly viewed by the men, what is thought about such women is another matter. Topless is forbidden !! In shorts, off shoulder, or with a hat on his head in the temple is a - no go.
UTC + 5:30
230/240 Volt alternating current
Area code 0094. Simcards are available in shops and at post offices.
In Sri Lanka it is customary to give tips to waiters, housekeeping, porters, drivers and tour guides.
Excursions in the vicinity of the Villa Talpe
Beaches: In the immediate vicinity of the villa are some of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka, here are just a few examples. Talpe Beach and Mihiripenna Beach are just minutes away, beautiful and much quieter than Unwatuna in just a few minutes by tuk-tuk.
Unawatuna is one of the most popular beach towns on the southwest coast. In the picturesque bay invites the clear water for snorkeling, diving, jet skiing and surfing in the background and lures the jungle. Here you will also find many restaurants and bars, nightly parties and many other water sports. You can reach Unawatuna after about 10 minutes by tuk-tuk.
Rumaswala Mountain with the Peace Temple and Dchungel Beach can be reached in about 15 minutes by tuk-tuk.
Koggala Beach with the world famous stilt fishermen about 10 minutes with tuk-tuk
Surfhotspots nearby: Dewata about 15 min with tuk-tuk
Ahangama about 20 minutes
Medigama and Weligama approx. 25 min
Mirissa about 35 minutes
Galle with the picturesque Fort Galle, its many boutiques, small restaurants and many attractions can be reached in about 20 minutes by tuk-tuk, on the way see the port of Galle and the fish and fruit market.