With its endless miles of golden beaches and picture-perfect misty upland tea plantations, Sri Lanka could well be one of the best kept secrets for peaceful getaways.

Sri Lanka is fondly known as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ because of the island nation’s teardrop shape. The country is known for many things, including wildlife watching and adrenaline-pumping adventure sports; but it’s increasingly known as a place where holidaymakers flock to, to find their zen.

Sri Lanka is widely known for its practice of Ayurveda – one of the world’s oldest holistic wellness systems based on the concept of restoring balance between mind, body, and spirit. At the many wellness retreats around the island, you may detox with Ayurveda, coupled with yoga and healthy and balanced meals.

If you’re all ready to experience a healthy holiday, here’s the lowdown on why Sri Lanka should be your go-to spot for some quality R&R.

You can learn about Ayurveda – one of the world’s oldest holistic wellness systems

Ayurvedic herbs

Ayurveda originated in India more than 3,000 years ago.

The practice of Ayurveda has been passed down through generations for over 5,000 years in Sri Lanka.

Combining ayuh (life) with veda (science), ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic wellness systems with its roots in the Indian subcontinent. Practitioners believe that everything in the universe (including humans) is made up of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water and earth.

These combine in the human body to form three life forces or doshas (energy):

·       Vata dosha (space and air)

·       Pitta dosha (fire and water), and

·       Kapha dosha (water and earth).

The practice of ayurveda lays out treatments using these five elements to purify and rebalance the body, alleviate stress and even calm emotions.

If you're keen to get started on finding balance in all areas of your life, you may consult an ayurvedic practitioner, who will first ask you about your diet and medical history, before prescribing treatments for you.

Places you can visit:

The Kandy Samadhi Centre (Kandy, Sri Lanka)

Kandy Samadhi has an in-house ayurvedic physician as well as a village wise man (vedarala) who will have remedies for body ailments.

 

Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort (Wadduwa, Sri Lanka)

Siddhalepa was established in 1979 and is one of the largest manufacturers in Sri Lanka with over 400 medicinal oils, balms, teas and elixirs. The group’s ayurveda resort in Wadduwa is also affiliated with an ayurveda hospital.

It’s a holiday destination where you can experience a healthy (and flavourful) diet

Cup of masala tea

Drinking masala tea regularly has many health benefits, such as improving digestion and preventing diabetes.

Holidays often mean overindulging. Ayurvedic retreats, however, have a strict in-house organic diet, which includes juice cleanses, herbal teas and meal replacements for a full-body detox.

Ayurveda holds the belief that you can add years to your life by following a good eating routine. But fret not; eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Most ayurvedic retreats also offer traditional mouth-watering Sri Lankan dishes to soothe your taste buds and restore balance in your body.

With the huge variety of herbs, vegetables and tropical fruits that the country is blessed with, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Plus, most of the centres conduct cooking lessons where you can learn to make these restorative and delicious meals when you get back home.

 

Places you can visit:

The Kandy Samadhi Centre (Kandy, Sri Lanka)

Kandy Samadhi offers organic vegetarian home cooking and buffet-style meals.

 

Plantation Villa (Kalutara, Sri Lanka)

The villa offers an ayurveda detox programme with a farm-to-plate policy where majority of the food served comes from its organic gardens.

It’s a land of inner peace and bliss (with yoga)

Woman in a yoga pose

Many resorts in Sri Lanka offer yoga retreats with beautiful sceneries as backdrop.

Yoga is closely related to ayurveda because they are two interrelated branches of the same tree of Vedic knowledge, where the latter encompasses human life and the entire universe. Yoga combined with ayurvedic massages and treatments, as well as a balanced diet, is said to revitalise and rebalance the body.

Most ayurvedic retreats also offer morning yoga and a range of other activities such as surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding (depending on the location of the centre) to restore both mind and body.

 

Places you can visit:

Ulpotha Yoga & Ayurveda Retreat (Embogama, Sri Lanka)

Ulpotha is an eco-friendly retreat set in a rice-growing village in central Sri Lanka. It offers ayurveda retreats and yoga on a non-profit basis.

 

Plantation Villa (Kalutara, Sri Lanka)

Plantation Villa, set in a colonial villa that’s over 100 years old, offers natural detox, yoga holidays and yoga teacher trainings.

You’ll get a well-deserved healing holiday in Instagram-worthy settings

Tea plantations in Sri Lanka

Breathe in fresh air and calm your mind at hillside tea plantations in Sri Lanka.

From pristine white-sanded beaches to the endless green rolling hills of tea plantations, Sri Lanka is never short of picture-perfect sceneries.

Head to the emerald mountains of Kandy, or the pristine beaches of Tangalle on the southern coast for some of Sri Lanka’s best landscapes. You can also get lost and wander around in the ancient city of Dambulla, flanked by mystic mountains amid 100 acres of healing wilderness.

 

Places you can visit:

Tri Lanka (Ahangama, Sri Lanka)

Tri Lanka is a luxury hotel surrounded by Sri Lanka’s Koggala Lake, where local culture and natural beauty are showcased in a jungle-like landscape.

 

Santani Wellness Resort (Kandy, Sri Lanka)

Santani, set in the highlands of Sri Lanka, offers locally-sourced organic food for detox and cleansing, as well as fully customised ayurveda and yoga programmes for anyone recovering from trauma, surgery or emotional losses.

 

Peaceful getaways, healing holidays (call them what you may) in Sri Lanka are all about days full of yoga, meditation and healing. If you need to get away for a few days from work and the city, Sri Lanka is one destination to consider. From ayurvedic therapy, to abundant natural landscapes, the island is a perfect place to calm the soul and rebalance your mind and body.

Best time to visit

Generally, the best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September.

Transportation

Tuktuks and taxis are convenient ways to get around Colombo.

Currency

The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR). ATMs are common in Sri Lanka, and they work with major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

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Fly direct to Sri Lanka via Emirates, SilkAir, Singapore Airlines or SriLankan Airlines from Changi Airport. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets now!