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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.

Jaffna, JaffnaThe 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 organisation, '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', colourful 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 travelling further south and who would be interested to see a very different side of this wonderful country. Go now, before the crowds arrive!

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Audley Travel specialist Katherine

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Jaffna by contacting one of our Sri Lanka specialists

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

    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.

    • Nallur Temple, Jaffna

      Jaffna and the Jaffna Peninsula

      Jaffna

      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.