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The Teardrop Isle. The Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Serendip. Sri Lanka’s many epithets offer more than a hint of the island’s undeniable romance. In this land of long names, where cultures and ecosystems collide, the world seems to be at your fingertips. One moment it feels like a laid-back India, the next like Portugal supplanted to the tropics.

Sri Lanka is fast becoming known as an ideal destination for a travelling holiday; small enough to be manageable, diverse enough to make all that moving around rewarding. For many, the country conjures up images of golden sand or dense overgrown jungle. But the island lays claim to other natural treasures that are equally majestic; sprawling parks home to rare and wondrous beasts, and rolling hills planted with acre upon acre of tea.

Of course, for all our talk of holiday travel, sometimes all you really want is the beach. There’s just something so darn soothing about open water, sun-warmed sand and the sound of the breeze whispering through the palms. Sri Lanka is framed by picture-perfect beaches – and we’ve tracked down the stretches of sand you’ll want to call your own.

We spent over a year scouring the island-nation, befriending locals and picking the brains of other travellers to discover the grit in the oyster, the pearl in the shell. This is the ultimate insider guide to Sri Lanka, The Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

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The Fishing Communities of Sri Lanka

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