Surprisingly for a small island, Sri Lanka has a number of exciting train rides due to its diverse landscapes. While train journeys tick the boxes for ardent train enthusiasts, they also appeal to those who are looking for unique ways of experiencing the country. Coupled with quaint and stylish boutique accommodation, train tours are a fabulous way to explore Sri Lanka in a truly authentic manner.
Sri Lanka is a small island with diverse terrains – from sandy beaches to ancient ruins to tea plantations and wildlife sanctuaries. For train and locomotive enthusiasts there is much to see and explore and railway journeys are a wonderful means to do so. The steam trains that were once used to transport coffee and tea during the British era have now been replaced with diesel engines and newer commuter trains. They are by no means state of the art locomotives; however, they journey through some amazing landscapes enveloped with spectacular scenery and provide a sneak peek into local life and culture. Our train tours are designed to capture the very best train journeys.
What is special about them is that no two journeys are the same; they traverse different regions, providing unique opportunities to explore the diversity of the island’s landscapes, people and culture. One of the advantages of exploring the country by train is that they take you through some of the more remote areas, inaccessible by road. The most popular train ride is through the mountainous terrains of the central highlands. The winding railway line that climbs over 1,220 metres above sea level is considered to be one of the best in Asia. This is due, undoubtedly, to the stunning landscapes of tea plantations, misty mountains, lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls, grassy savannahs and laid back little towns and villages to be seen along the way. Fresh mountain air and friendly locals onboard add to the exhilaration of this journey.
Mid country train journeys can be somewhat different, opening up a different landscape filled with sprawling paddy fields, farms and scattered towns, whilst the journey from Colombo to Kandy is a great way to experience local life. A journey north towards Jaffna is an enigmatic one of barren land depicting three decades of civil war, isolated small villages, and stretches of dry bushland and palm trees. Alternatively, a train journey down the south coast runs along a beautiful endless coastline opening up to the vast space between land and the Indian Ocean. Regardless the level of enthusiasm, Sri Lanka offers exciting train journeys for all travellers. These journeys are coupled with stylish accommodation and local activities that are tailor made to suit individual preferences and they can be easily fitted into customised travel plans.
Here are sample itineraries featuring scenic railway journeys in Sri Lanka. Click below to read more about travelling by train in Sri Lanka or get in touch to receive a detailed itinerary for a tailor-made holiday in Sri Lanka.
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