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weather and best time to travel

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The best time to travel

The best time for a travel to Sri Lanka's southwest coast is from mid-November to mid-April. Right up into January you can expect fierce, but short, rain and thunderstorms in the evening and during the night.

Over the next few months the temperature rises gradually by approx. 10°C and reaches a maximum of about 38° C beginning of April. In Hikkaduwa the sun is straight overhead on 8. April, and the monsoon rainfalls slowly start. The period from mid-May to the end of June is slightly unpleasant and you can expect to have to endure heavy rainfall for days on end. We do not recommend visiting the west- or south-coast during this period.

The weather calms down a bit as from the beginning of July. Expect daily showers - chiefly in the evening and at night - but the temperatures will go down to a relatively cool and pleasant 24° to 27° C, but with high humidity. You'll get accustomed to the humidity fairly quickly. These weather conditions remain stable almost up to November, apart from a minor monsoon from mid-September to mid-October.


Wear what you would usually wear during the summer in Europe. You'll need a light jumper or jacket if you are intending to visit the highlands, where it can get slightly chilly at night. You will also need a jumper and jacket from April to November as the winds can get high in these months.

If you intend to climb Adam's Peak, you will need a thick sweater and a windproof jacket. On the summit of the Adam's Peak the morning temperature drops by between 5° and 10° C and there is no way of escaping the wind.

To visit temples and religious sites you will need clothing which covers your knees and shoulders. You will not be permitted to enter these sites with shoes. We recommend wearing socks to protect your feet from the heat of the ground and stone slabs within the sites. You may feel slightly silly, but it's better to look silly than suffer burned feet ...

Nudist beaches

Although the pictures of bare-breasted women in Sigiriya and the many statues in the temples may give you a different impression, do not be misled! Sri Lanka as a country is extraordinarily prim and prudish. Sexuality is never mentioned and kissing in public or any other sign affection is simply taboo.

Topless sunbathing and swimming is prohibited in all of Sri Lanka. Due to the increasing influence of Buddhist monks in the government over the past few years, police will stop women who are topless. However, usually all that happens is that they are asked to cover up. Nevertheless there have been cases of arrests where the woman in question has spent a few hours at the local police station - topless, of course.