Known as “Serendip” to Arab geographers, the island fell under Portuguese and Dutch influence and finally came under British rule when it was called Ceylon. Today, after a tumultuous few decades which have seen the culmination of a bitter civil war and devastating natural disasters, Sri Lanka’s star shines bright once more on the travellers’ horizon. Hopping along the sun-drenched southern coast you’ll pass radiant green rice paddies, multi-coloured fishing boats and sleepy villages bathed in bougainvillea. The beaches are palm-fringed and idyllic, with sand so pure it squeaks under foot.
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