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Sailing in Sri Lanka

Not many people think of Sri Lanka as a sailing destination but all that is changing.

Plans to create a marina in Galle are just the latest example of a country that is taking to the water with confidence to offer another way to enjoy Sri Lanka's captivating scenery and laid-back lifestyle.

Red Dot primarily offers short boating experiences and activities, but we can organise longer holidays or even transfers by boat at competitive rates if you are planning an unhurried holiday and are keen to explore Sri Lanka’s spectacular coastline.

We use two reputable water-sports companies – Sail Lanka and Borderlands – to ensure that your Sri Lanka boating activities are safe and enjoyable and that you can be confident of high professional standards.

Sri Lanka's varied climate, influenced by two monsoons, means there is always somewhere to sail at any time of the year, including half-day excursions to private coves, whale and dolphin watching and sunset sea cruises. Sail Lanka can also organise a catamaran charter through Sail Lanka as well as longer sailing journeys, such as spending six nights at sea exploring Sri Lanka’s remote northern islands.

Borderlands are more activity-orientated. Go whale watching in Sri Lanka or sample other boat-based activities such as kayaking or sea kayaking and white water rafting.

The best time to sail in Sri Lanka

North Coast (May to October): The North Coast is awaiting discovery. In the Palk Bay, west of Jaffna, a string of largely uninhabited islands offers the chance to retreat into a bygone age. Lengthy trips allow the opportunity to reach remote and little visited islands on the fringe of Sri Lanka.

Galle Coast and South Coast (October to April): Whale and dolphin watching centres upon the bustling south coast holiday town of Mirissa.

East Coast (May to October): The extensive East coastline offers vast unexplored golden beaches. Trincomalee's deep harbour has been prized since ancient times, Nilaveli offers clear blue water and magnificent reefs ideal for snorkelling and swimming and the coastline is dotted with lightly-visited heritage sites. Arugam Bay, further south, is a surfers' paradise. Lagoons and inlets provide a different type of experience on the water.

West Coast (October to April): Beruwela and Bentota are the best centres for boating on the west coast. Bentota has the additional advantage of a watersports centre where the Bentota River meets the Indian Ocean. On the north-west coast, private cruises are available on Kalpitiya lagoon.

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The air holiday packages offered by Red Dot Tours on this website are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 5517. Please see our booking conditions for more information. ATOL protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay for their air holiday packages in the United Kingdom. Check our licence.

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