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Travel ingenuity from our island hopping holiday experts

Sri Lanka – Need to Know

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Thinking of booking your family villa stay in Sri Lanka? Here’s what you need to know about travelling to this magically diverse island in the Indian Ocean.

Weather

Sri Lanka’s climate is tropical and affected by two monsoons. Between November and April, the south and west coasts and hill country are generally dry and sunny whilst the Maha monsoon brings rain to the north and east coasts and Cultural Triangle. The Yala monsoon conversely affects the south and west coasts between May and October, offering a mix of sunshine and showers, whilst fine weather and calm seas dominate the north and east. The temperature across Sri Lanka remains around 28-32 degrees for much of the year with a high degree of humidity (sometimes as much as 90% before the monsoon) in the lusher south-westerly regions. The mercury in the high-altitude hills can drop to single figures at night. Despite its terminology, the monsoon season rarely incurs full days of rain – rather the weather is quick to change. Dramatic monsoonal showers typically break out in the afternoons or evenings and usually last an hour or two before the sun breaks out again. As such, some of the best deals are to be had by travelling in this so-called ‘low season’.

Currency

The currency across the island is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) although many hotels display their rates in US dollars, which is the island’s preferred foreign currency. Notes range from LKR10 to LKR5,000 and coins from one rupee to ten. At current exchange rates, US$1 is equal to LKR130; GBR£1 to LKR200; EUR1 to LKR175; HK$1 to LKR17.5; and AUS$1 to LKR95. ATMs are widespread across the island and all major currencies and traveller’s checks can be exchanged in Sri Lanka, as well as at authorised currency exchange counters in banks. Credit cards are accepted in up-market stores, hotels and restaurants, but beyond that most transactions (including tuk tuk and taxi fares) are cash-based. Having notes in a various range of denominations handy is useful.

Time zone

Sri Lanka is five and a half hours ahead of GMT and shares the same time zone as India, its closest neighbour. Sri Lanka is two and a half hours behind Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong, and one and a half hours ahead of Dubai. Most cities in central mainland Europe are four and a half hours behind.

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When’s the best time to be in Bali?

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Villa Bayu Gita Beach Front

Bali is a tropical Indonesian island located just below the equator. Although the island boasts great weather all year round, it does have its seasons, so here are our suggestions for the best times to be in Bali:

May to October

May through to October is Bali’s dry season. July and August are Bali’s busiest months as they reflect the summer holidays in Europe and USA, so there is a lot of family travel at this period. You can expect much higher prices, less availability on your preferred accommodation and bigger crowds. However, the biggest advantage is that the weather is guaranteed to be great.

October to March

October through to March is considered the wet season in Bali. Yes, rain showers are more frequent than in the dry season, however it should not worry you too much — they always pass quickly. It’s a lot quieter during these months, which means accommodation rates are at their most affordable and the island is more tranquil (with the exceptions of Christmas, New Years and Easter holidays). Book your villas way in advance for these special occasions.

March, April and September

March, April and September are excellent months to come to Bali despite their ‘low season’ label. The weather is still great (expect the occasional shower), prices are low and there’s more accommodation availability.

Looking for a private luxury villa in Bali for your vacation? Here’s our hand-picked selection.

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3 Videos That Will Make You Want To Go To Bali Now

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ubud

Although some of Bali’s sleepy villages may have given way to five-star establishments, the island still has plenty of untapped serene and laid-back beauty to offer. From ancient temples and palaces, rippling rice fields, perfect surf and beautiful beaches, to mystical volcanoes and wild jungles, Bali will have you hooked from the minute you arrive. Here are 3 videos that perfectly capture the beauty of Bali.

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