The season in Sri Lanka – when is the best time to visit the “blessed island”?
The small island state of Sri Lanka, bordering India and washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, has been known since ancient times. The large number of cultural and historical sites, among which the ancient Buddhist temples stand out, allows us to call it a separate human civilization. The Greeks traded with the people of Sri Lanka, the Romans treated it with great respect, and the British dreamed of permanent control over it.
The island, whose shape resembles a teardrop, has a large number of names: “Ramayana”, “Tamprobane”, “Tabbapanni”, “Lion Island”, “Ceylon”, but the ancient Indian name “Sri Lanka” which means “blessed” has stuck.
And this is no coincidence, the nature on the island abounds with beautiful landscapes, rich flora and fauna, sunny days, snow-white beaches with warm clear water. Today, Sri Lanka is one of the centers of world tourism. Interethnic ties, preservation of cultural heritage of historic nations allow the development here not only beach holidays, but also sightseeing, educational, recreational, gastronomic tourism. Every traveler will find something to do, and the affordable price at certain periods makes the island’s resorts more and more attractive.
Features of the island’s climate
Sri Lanka is located in a tropical climate zone. Because of this, the average temperature here is +28 ° C +32 ° C. Only in the highlands of the island is slightly cooler, and at night the temperature can drop to +10 ° C +12 ° C.
The “dry period” in the central part of the island begins in January and ends in April. However, even in these months and in this area at any time may begin to rain. So an umbrella is never superfluous.
The rainy season in Sri Lanka
The rainy season on the island begins with the monsoon. In the western and southern part it falls between May and September, on the east and north coast – from October to March. It rains most often at night in the form of short showers.
During the rainy season, there are very few sunny days, even if there is no rain during the day, there are still many clouds in the sky covering the sun. Together with the rains, the water level of rivers rises in some areas, and flooding is possible. At the same time, the ocean is “choppy,” with big waves. With them may come and tsunami.
Weather in Sri Lanka by Month
The weather on the island in different parts and in different periods is often different. But this is only a big advantage of Sri Lanka as the tourist season here can last all year round.
Dry and hot weather reigns over most of the island. The air temperature reaches up to +33 ° C, at night it is also warm, +24 ° C. The water gets as warm as +28 ° C. The rains in this month are rare, but still there are short showers.
It rains almost no. The heat in some areas falls a few degrees. The average daytime air temperature is +29°C. The ocean is just as warm. Beach holidays are in full swing.
The days when it rains are getting longer. Downpours with thunderstorms. Monsoons arrive in the southwest. But temperatures range from +29°C to +33°C.
The rainfall is getting heavier. The southwestern coast of the island is preparing for the rainy season. Tourists are moving to the northeastern resorts. Temperatures are rising, reaching +34°C +35°C.
Monsoons are raging in most parts of the island. It is very hot and the humidity is high. Tropical showers hinder travel, a shortage of sunny days. Tourists choose the northeastern coast, where there is sunshine and little rain.
Nothing changes in the southwest. The sun is more in the northeast. But it is difficult to swim here too, hindered by huge waves. But this is an ideal time for surfers.
In the northwest, sunny and hot summers are in full swing. Elsewhere on the island, the monsoons still hold sway and flooding from the rivers can occur.
The rainy season is in retreat. More sunny days in the southwest, but big waves in the ocean. It is still more comfortable to vacation on the northeast coast.
Vacationing in the northeast is preferable, with temperatures averaging +30°C. There are storms in the southwest.
The situation is gradually changing. However, there are still monsoons in the west and sunny in the east. But by the end of the month things are changing. In the northeast, the rainy season begins. In this month it is better to choose lagoons for holidays.
Tourists return to the southwest coast of the island. It is sunny here. The air temperature is +30 ° C. To the northeast come the rains and monsoons.
In this month, the coldest air temperature is +29 ° C. But the water in the ocean is warm. Very comfortable in the southwest, in the northeast it still rains. In the highlands is quite cool.
So, choosing a vacation time in Sri Lanka, remember that from October to March for a beach holiday, you should give preference to resorts in the southwest, from May to September – the resorts of the northeast coast.
When and where to go.
Depending on the climatic conditions in different parts of Sri Lanka changes and the popularity of local resorts.
During the winter months, from December to February, you can visit:
– Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Bentota, Unawatuna, Galle, Mirissa, Tangalle, and Kogalle.
In the spring, from March to April, you can choose the resorts that you did in winter. However, in May preference may be given to other places:
– Veligamma, Koggale, Trincomalee.
On the first day of summer, you can choose Trincomalee. But in July and August you can add to it:
Autumn awaits you:
– Mirissa, Dikwella, Tangalle, Koggala.
However, before you make your final choice, discuss it with your tour operator. Each particular resort has a lot of its own specifics.
When are the most tourists on the island
It is believed that the so-called “high season” in Sri Lanka is between December and March. During these months the island has the largest number of tourists. Especially the “New Year” days at the end of December and early January break the record. The least number of tourists on the island is from May to October. Also during the rainy season in every part of the island, the number of guests decreases sharply.
All these factors have a significant impact on the cost of tourist trips to Sri Lanka. Choosing months at the confluence of seasons, you can save significantly and not lose in the quality of rest. For example, go on a trip to the island in November.
Top 7 popular sites of the island
Whatever period you go to Sri Lanka, remember that a vacation on the island is not only beaches and warm ocean, but also an impressive sightseeing program. There are a large number of attractions, but there are also those that you must see.
7 amazing sites in Sri Lanka:
- Dambulla golden temple;
- Anuradapura historical district of the city;
- Gal Vihara temple in Polonnaruwa city;
- Sigiriya Plateau;
- The ancient city of Kandy;
- Galle medieval fort;
- elephant sanctuary in the town of Pinavella.
Lifehacks for tourists
When planning a trip to Sri Lanka, in addition to the weather conditions, take into account other features of rest here:
- Plan your vacation in advance, taking into account how you are going to spend your time. For example, for surfers it is better to live directly by the sea;
- Russians need a visa for the trip;
- Carefully choose your hotel and food in it;
- Keep a close eye on your belongings on the island, thefts are common;
- Beware of scammers, particularly when booking sightseeing tours on the island;
- Prepare a first aid kit before you go;
- Get diphtheria, tetanus, and hepatitis A shots before your tour;
- Use sunscreen and wear hats on the island;
- Do not bring over-the-counter narcotic medications;
- Take insect repellent with you;
- Do not drink raw water on the island or wash your food with it;
- Arrange your transfers to the hotel in advance;
- use an official cab;
- When renting a car, remember that traffic on the island is left-handed, and local drivers often do not respect the rules of the road;
- buy an adapter for electrical appliances, the rooms have three-pin outlets;
- In the stores, check the prices, the products may not have price tags;
- take off shoes and hats when entering Buddhist temples;
- don’t give your left hand to locals – it’s an insult;
- The sign “HOTEL” can be both at hotels and just cafes.
Observing all these simple rules, you will make your vacation in Sri Lanka comfortable and enjoyable.
When best to go to Sri Lanka and weather by month (+ seasons and all holidays in Sri Lanka)
When it is better to go to Sri Lanka – for a beach vacation or in the mountains – is an important question when planning a vacation. To rest well, before buying tickets it is necessary to find out when the best time to travel to Sri Lanka and what the weather is like there in the months. As you know, in the tropics, monsoons decide everything, so the seasonal change in weather affects the availability of rainfall and ocean conditions. In this article, I will detail which beach resorts you should go to in which of the seasons in Sri Lanka. I’ll also tell you what the weather will be like in other parts of the island of Ceylon at this time, where the cultural attractions of the country are that are worth seeing, and what holidays and festivities and processions take place in Sri Lanka throughout the year.
When is the best time to go to Sri Lanka
When is the best time to go to Sri Lanka is a question that concerns many travelers who are going to visit the island of Ceylon (which is another name for Sri Lanka). What should you do – adjust your vacation to the most enjoyable season in Sri Lanka, or go when you have a vacation, or maybe you should fly right now? What to expect on arrival: a gentle breeze and singing palm trees, soft sand and warm sea or clouds over your head and raging ocean?
As you know, the weather on the island of Ceylon is made by the monsoons. They are responsible for the seasons in Sri Lanka, as well as in neighboring Maldives. In contrast to Thailand and Cambodia, where there are three distinct seasons, in Sri Lanka there are only two (wet and dry). The first is determined by the southwest monsoon, which rains in parts of the island from May to October, and then the northeast monsoon (from October to April) brings the heat.
What is the difference between monsoons in Sri Lanka? They both bring bad weather, rain, wind, and storms, but on different coasts of Sri Lanka.
Weather and Seasons in Sri Lanka
Here’s what tourists need to know about the weather and seasons in Sri Lanka:
From May to October during the rainy season, defined by the southwestern monsoon, it will be quite unpleasant to vacation in the south and west of the country. And this is where the most famous resorts and beaches of Sri Lanka – Hikkaduwa, Matara, Mirissa, Unawatuna, Tangalle and others. But in winter, from November to April, when in Russia there is snow and slush, and in Istanbul is already quite cool, on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka the best time for a beach holiday is the high tourist season. During this time, it is always sunny, the waves are calm and the ocean is clear.
- Conversely, from May to September, the northeast coast of the Bay of Bengal welcomes guests to relax on the less crowded, but clean and pristine beaches of Sri Lanka in the eastern part of the country. For example, in Batticaloa . The ideal time for a holiday in eastern Sri Lanka is August. And from September to April it will be windy, and the waves in the ocean will be strong and difficult to swim.
- The exceptions are the resorts of Trincomalee and Pasikuda on the east coast of Sri Lanka – it is good to vacation here from March to August.
Thus, most tourists can safely go on vacation in Sri Lanka in the winter season. The best in December and January for the New Year, when the weather settles finally and it will be sunny and warm. And at the beginning of the year it’s good to rest in Sri Lanka, not only on the coast, but also in the jungle.
Good to know: In December off the coast of Sri Lanka you can watch the migration of whales (the best whale watching is in Mirissa ), which increases the chances of December to be called the best time to vacation in Sri Lanka.
When to go to the mountains in Sri Lanka
Now let me tell you the best time to travel in Sri Lanka . To explore the mountainous part of the country, the best times are March and April. During this period there is the most sunny days. We only need to remember that in the mountains of Sri Lanka at night is quite cold (night temperatures can drop to +15 ° C), so be sure to bring warm clothing, including for night hikes (such as the Adama Peak – Sri Pada).
Deciding on the best time to relax in Sri Lanka, you can safely begin preparing for your trip. Cheap air tickets to Sri Lanka, see here →.
Weather in Sri Lanka by Month
Weather in Sri Lanka all year round is smooth. After all, the change of seasons there depends not on the temperature regime, but on the change of the monsoon. Thus, you can expect pleasant weather, and the air temperature will be +27-29 degrees and water temperature of +27 degrees. In the mountainous part of the island (cities Kandy, Ella) the average air temperature is +23-25 degrees. The coldest is in Nuwara Eliya. Here the average temperature is only +18-20 degrees, and at night it can drop to +10-15 degrees.
Here’s what the weather is like in different regions of Sri Lanka by month :
|Colombo||+30°C daytime, +22°C at night||+30°C daytime, +24°C at night||+29°C daytime, +22°C at night|
|Kandy||+31°C daytime, +17°C at night||+29°C daytime, +21°C at night||+28°C daytime, +18°C at night|
|Nuwara Eliya||+21°C daytime, +12°C at night||+18°C daytime, +16°C at night||+18°C daytime, +15°C at night|
|Trincomalee||+32°C daytime, +24°C at night||+33°C daytime, +25°C at night||+33°C daytime, +23°C at night|
|Unawatuna||+31°C daytime, +24°C at night||+30°C daytime, +26°C at night||+31°C daytime, +25°C at night|
Sometimes monsoons interfere with the tourist season, mainly by bringing in clouds and wind. Let’s find out which month is the best to go to which resort in Sri Lanka.
Where can I go in Sri Lanka depending on the month?
- In December, January and February it is best to go to the south and west of Sri Lanka, beach resorts: -) Negombo → -) Colombo → -) Bentota → -) Hikkaduwa → -) Mirissa → -) Unawatuna → -) Tangale → … and others. In March and April you can travel all over the island of Sri Lanka, including the hill country to Nuwara Eliya and Ella. There will be great weather everywhere.
- May, June, and July are best to go to the eastern resorts in Trincomalee. And July is ideal for exploring the Cultural Triangle (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya).
- In August in Sri Lanka is a kind of “Indian summer”, the echo of good weather. At this time you can vacation at all beach resorts, but it will not be ideal conditions. The sun will please, but the wind and waves will sometimes be present,
- In September, a good season continues only on the east coast of Sri Lanka.
- October and November are the worst times to vacation in Sri Lanka. Monsoons begin to change, the weather deteriorates, and vacationing will be uncomfortable all over the country, on any coast and beach in Sri Lanka. Only by the end of November on the south and west coast of the island of Ceylon sets good weather.
Conclusions on when to go to Sri Lanka depending on the weather:
- Thus, if you want to go to Sri Lanka for beach resorts, you should consider the winter and spring months for travel. In preparation for the trip read about the best inexpensive hotels in Sri Lanka with its own beach: http://paikea.ru/sri-lanka-horoshie-nedorogie-oteli-s-sobstvennym-plyazhem/
- And if you have a desire to combine a beach vacation in Sri Lanka with a trip to the major attractions in the hill country, it is best to fly to Ceylon in March or April.
- Those who do not want to spend a long holiday on the beach, and prefer to travel independently and explore the culture of the country, it is best to go to Sri Lanka in July. At this time in the arid region of Rajarata (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and other ancient cities) you can explore the ancient architecture of a constellation of Sinhalese cities. However, please note that if you do want to finish your trip to Sri Lanka short rest on the beach, in this case you should go to the east coast in Trincomalee or Batticaloa .
So there you have it, when is the best time to go to Sri Lanka. It’s just a matter of a few things:
To Sri Lanka; in Sri Lanka on your own – Advice Sri Lanka hotels for vacation →.
- Or choose a ready-made tour to Sri Lanka on the website Onlinetours →
Holidays in Sri Lanka by month.
Another nuance that may interest all lovers of exotic countries, are the holidays celebrated in Sri Lanka. Some Buddhist and national holidays can intervene even in the lives of tourists. For example, the days of poja (full moon) is always an official day off. And on this day the stores selling alcohol are closed. However, this does not apply to beach resorts.
Overview of major holidays in Sri Lanka
Bak Poya in Nuwara Eliya.
During the holidays in Sri Lanka, everything seems to stop, and for a few days, people are in a rather relaxed mode. If the full moon falls on a Thursday, then Friday is likely to be off as well. It is the same for holidays that fall on a weekend, with Monday being added to the non-working days.
The Sinhalese New Year, celebrated in Sri Lanka in April, occupies a special place. Many people take two weeks off to visit relatives or go on pilgrimages to holy places. The official pilgrimage season to Sri Pada (the highest mountain in Sri Lanka, also called Adam’s Peak) is from December to April.
Since Sri Lanka is home to representatives of different faiths – Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, there are 26 different holidays and several major festivals. Some holidays in Sri Lanka do not have a fixed date but are calculated according to the lunar calendar, while other holidays are calendar-based and are held on strictly defined days.
Our experience with holidays in Sri Lanka
During our travels in Sri Lanka, we visited Bak Poya in Nuwara Eliya and the Buddha’s birthday celebration (Vesak) in Colombo. And I must say – it’s a very colorful spectacle. The fire procession is unforgettable!
Here is a list of official holidays in Sri Lanka:
|Name of the holiday||Date or period|
|New Year||January 1|
|Thai Pongal (Tamil Holiday) Harvest Festival||January|
|Durutu poya||Full moon in January|
|National Day||4 February|
|Navam poiaya||Full moon in February|
|Milad-un-Nbi (birthday of Prophet Muhammad)||March 9|
|Good Friday||March 10|
|New Year (Sinhalese and Tamil)||April|
|Bak poja||Full moon in April|
|May Day||May 1|
|Vesak (Buddha’s birthday)||May 1-2|
|Poseon poja||Full moon in June|
|Esala poya||Full moon in July|
|Nikini poya||Full moon in August|
|Binara poya||Full moon in September|
|El Fitr (end of Ramadan)||September 21|
|Wap pooja||Full moon in October|
|Festival of Lights Deepavali (Hindu)||October 18|
|Il poya||Full moon in November|
|Eid al-Adha (Hajj end festival)||28 November|
|Unduwap pooja||Full moon in December|
What else you should know about Sri Lanka
For all tourists who are going on a trip to Sri Lanka or going there on vacation, I also recommend checking out a number of interesting articles with useful practical information about the country that may come in handy on your trip.