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 99 miles away
- Trincomalee 114 miles away
- The Cultural Triangle 115 miles away
- Minneriya National Park 129 miles away
- Sigiriya 130 miles away
- Dambulla 133 miles away
- Polonnaruwa 138 miles away
- Pallepolla 148 miles away
- Passikudah 161 miles away
- Kandy 170 miles away
- Negombo 171 miles away
- Colombo 190 miles away
- Nuwara Eliya 194 miles away
- Hatton 196 miles away
- Adam's Peak 201 miles away
- Horton Plains 205 miles away
- Wadduwa 208 miles away
- Bandarawela 208 miles away
- Bentota 225 miles away
- Uda Walawe National Park 227 miles away
- Sinharaja Biosphere 230 miles away
- Yala National Park 238 miles away
- Galle 252 miles away
- Tangalle 258 miles away
- The Southern Coast 262 miles 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.