When it comes to discovering the staggering beauty of Sri Lanka from a whole new perspective, there’s nothing quite like taking to the skies on a helicopter. Sri Lanka’s diverse landscape, iconic monuments and ancient sites become even more awe-inspiring when viewed from an aerial viewpoint. Heli tours in Sri Lanka are an experience that packs unparalleled vantage points, unrestricted access, time-saving, comfort, and efficiency into one adventure. They are great for busy schedules, short breaks or regular holidays. Are you new to the idea of heli tours? Let’s get familiar with their appeal on island holidays.
The Rise of Heli Tourism
Made popular by TV and movies, the birds-eye view is not a human feat unless made possible by aircraft. Helicopter sightseeing is exclusive. It beats the traffic, ticket lines, and crowds at major attractions. Heli tourism has gained popularity in Sri Lanka as it is a fitting mode of excursion across the mosaic of varied wilderness, mountains, blankets of tea estates, and monolithic structures. Some sites offer a unique perspective when viewed from above. The sheer scale and intricacy become more apparent and vivid. It is a fantastic opportunity to take stunning photography as well. And, for those with particular disabilities, heli trekking offers a convenient way to see sights and attractions without physical exertion.
Heli Tour Destination Bucket List
Cityscape to the land of ancient kings
Flying from the busy hub of Colombo to the rural North Central Province affords you a spectacular visual transformation. The patchwork of paddy fields, towering mountains, and dense jungles of the dry plains is like an elaborate painting on a canvas. The area was home to ancient Kingdom capitals, each with a testament of its own in the form of an advanced irrigation system, religious monuments, megaliths, and monoliths. As you fly from the west to the central plains, you will also notice the dramatic twists and turns of the landscape and its motley of terrains.
This ancient rock fortress and the former royal palace is one of Sri Lanka’s most important archaeological sites and the most visited and best-known. Its name means Lion’s Rock, alluding to the passageways cut into the rock face between a monumental pair of lion paws. Its origin stories date back to the 5th Century when King Kashyapa, who seized his father’s throne by a bloody coup, developed it into a fortress complex to guard himself against his brother, the rightful heir to the throne. His palace towered on top of the rock.
In 1982, it received the designation as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The gardens at Sigiriya are some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world and are considered the best-preserved water gardens in South Asia. The symmetry of the geometrically planned water gardens, the asymmetrical or organic cave and boulder garden, the stepped or terraced garden circling the rock, the (miniature) water garden and the palace gardens on the summit are a visual treat seen from above. You can combine aerial sightseeing and foot excursions for the full visual pleaser.
Nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country, the charming town of Ella is a hidden gem that beckons travellers with its lush landscapes, surrounded by misty, tea-clad hills with verdant tea estates. Its Nine Arch Bridge, also known as the Bridge in the Sky, is an engineering marvel and a sight to behold. This viaduct bridge, built in the colonial era, is between Ella and Demodara railway stations. Another notable feature on the railway line is the Demodara Loop. As the rail line circles around, it passes underneath itself and emerges from a tunnel beneath the Demodara railway station. This unique spiral loop is known to be the only one in the world with a railway station located directly above a tunnel. Photographers are keen to capture this beautiful location, especially as a blue train snakes past, but an aerial shot is a feather in their cap. Ella is also home to the Little Adam’s Peak, Ella Rock, and Ella Gap.
It is perhaps the island’s most well-known pilgrim site. However, it holds a wealth of history as an ancient capital for rulers of the Ruhuna kingdom and as a refuge for northern kings who fled South Indian invasions. The most significant of all is its deity worshipped across multiple faiths. For Buddhists, the Kiri Vehera dagoba on the site is where Buddha is said to have once visited. Hindus worship the resident deity Katirkamam – the God of War, also known as Murugan.
The indigenous people of Sri Lanka have long venerated the God of Kataragama as one of the island’s guardian deities. Sri Lankan Moors pay homage to a Muslim saint known as al-Khidir. Kataragama adjoins the Yala National Park. It means you can look forward to an expedition into the jungle after touchdown. Yala National Park is home to a cornucopia of wildlife, including the elusive leopard and the Asian elephant.
How to do your part for a safe ride
- Try and enjoy the ride, and don’t be nervous. You are in capable and safe hands, and the helicopter will only fly to a maximum of 1,000 ft.
- Pay close attention to the safety briefing provided by the pilot and crew before the flight.
- Wear the safety belt, life jacket and noise-canceling headset for the duration of the ride. Don’t worry! You will still be able to hear the pilot speaking. Heli tours in Sri Lanka are fully guided and supervised by relevant authorities.
- Proper weight distribution inside the helicopter is crucial for stability. Follow the pilot’s instructions regarding seating arrangements to ensure a balanced load.
- Stay seated and securely fastened during the flight unless instructed otherwise by the pilot. Moving around can disrupt the balance and stability of the helicopter.
- Helicopter sightseeing tours often fly over pristine natural areas. Do not litter or throw any objects from the helicopter, as it can cause accidents or harm the environment and wildlife.
- If you are prone to motion sickness, inform the crew before the flight and take necessary precautions.
Heli tours add another layer of beauty to discovering Sri Lanka. Whether you are looking for the thrill of flying in a helicopter, simply craving the bird’s eye view, or trying to save time to see and do more, they make your holiday extra special. Whether by rail, car, bike, or cruise, there are many ways to discover Sri Lanka, all of which will pleasantly surprise you. Blue Lanka Tours combines heli excursions with regular holiday activities to craft wholesome holidays. Let us know how you want to experience your Sri Lankan getaway, and we will tailor it to your taste with a personal touch. Are you ready to take to the skies on your next holiday in Sri Lanka?