Visit Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Jaffna was out of bounds to all foreign visitors until 2010 and still has a sense of separation from the rest of Sri Lanka. Geographically closer to India than Colombo, the town offers an insight into the country's Tamil culture and reminders of its colonial past.
The region was long ago settled by Tamil migrants from southern India, developing a more prominent Hindu culture than that of the Buddhist one found throughout the country. During the turbulence of the civil war, Jaffna was controlled by the rebel militant organization, 'Tamil Tigers', until the Sri Lankan Army gained control in 1995. After years of struggle, this war-torn town is slowly regaining some normality and opening up to foreign visitors.
With a limited infrastructure, the area has only a handful of basic but comfortable hotels and offers visitors some fascinating sights including the somewhat dilapidated 'Jaffna Fort', colorful Hindu temples, a vibrant history and hot springs. This part of the country is still very much 'off-the-beaten track' but a fantastic place to visit for those who would like to escape the crowds traveling further south and who would be interested to see a very different side of this wonderful country. Go now, before the crowds arrive!
Suggested itineraries featuring Jaffna
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Jaffna, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Jaffna
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Jaffna
- Anuradhapura 158 kilometers away
- Trincomalee 183 kilometers away
- The Cultural Triangle 185 kilometers away
- Minneriya National Park 208 kilometers away
- Sigiriya 209 kilometers away
- Dambulla 214 kilometers away
- Polonnaruwa 222 kilometers away
- Pallepolla 237 kilometers away
- Passikudah 260 kilometers away
- Kandy 274 kilometers away
- Negombo 275 kilometers away
- Colombo 306 kilometers away
- Nuwara Eliya 312 kilometers away
- Hatton 315 kilometers away
- Adam's Peak 323 kilometers away
- Horton Plains 330 kilometers away
- Wadduwa 335 kilometers away
- Bandarawela 335 kilometers away
- Bentota 362 kilometers away
- Uda Walawe National Park 365 kilometers away
- Sinharaja Biosphere 371 kilometers away
- Yala National Park 382 kilometers away
- Galle 406 kilometers away
- Tangalle 415 kilometers away
- The Southern Coast 421 kilometers away
Photos of Jaffna
Ideas for experiencing Jaffna
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Jaffna, and which use the best local guides.
You will visit the Jaffna Fort and Kayts Island in the morning, with an afternoon spent at the Nallur Kovil Temple and Manthrimanai - the remains of the palace of King Sangilian.