With elephant-led parades, tea plantations, mangrove-lined lagoons, colourful markets and graceful, friendly people, it’s not hard to see why travellers book cheap flights to Sri Lanka. This tiny tropical island in the Indian Ocean has a rich colonial history, an inspiring cultural heritage, as well as being a beach-lover’s paradise. You won’t find the hordes here either, Sri Lanka is off the beaten track for many tourists attracting instead low budget travellers, backpackers, wildlife enthusiasts and surfers. Sri Lanka’s south coast is the most popular place to stay as it has plenty of resorts and guesthouses. The south-west coast is also known for its fantastic beaches around Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Bentota and Mirissa. There are 14 National Parks on the island home to leopards, elephants and many more animal species. Sri Lanka experiences two monsoons during the year, so many people choose to take cheap flights to Sri Lanka between the rainy seasons. For the south-west coast and the hills, visit between November and April. For the east coast visit between May and September. April through October is the peak season for surfers.
The two monsoons are considered the off season in Sri Lanka, bringing heavy showers, high humidity, wind and rough seas. This is when you’ll find the cheapest flights to Sri Lanka.
If you’re after a tropical beach holiday plan your flights to Sri Lanka’s coastal regions as they remain pretty constant all year round from 27C to 32C. The fact that the monsoons affect different parts of the island at different times, means that good weather can always be found somewhere. The hill country is a lot more varied, ranging from 10C to 20C in summer. January is the coolest month, and May is the hottest month. Hikers planning to climb the striking natural landmark of Adam’s Peak, should book flights to Sri Lanka between December to the beginning of April (the mountain is clouded over between May and October).
Flights from Sydney to Sri Lanka: 12 hours 55 minutes.
Flights from Melbourne to Sri Lanka: 12 hours 10 minutes.
Flights from Brisbane to Sri Lanka: 13 hours 05 minutes.
Flights from Perth to Sri Lanka: 10 hours.
The quickest flights to Sri Lanka from Australia are using airlines such as AirAsia, SriLankan Airlines, Qantas, Emirates or Malaysia which stopover in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. A slightly longer route is flying via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, or Bangkok with Thai Airways. Jetstar flies from Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane to Sri Lanka, via Singapore.
Colombo International Airport (CMB) serves Sri Lanka’s capital and is situated 35km north of Colombo. There is a luxury bus that runs to the city centre every 15 minutes, and takes approx, 30 minutes. An airport taxi service is also available near the arrivals lobby.
(prices quotes are from London)