Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.
Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location.
Within a mere area of 65,610 sq. km, lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 km of coastline, 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.
A land of wood and water, proud, independent Lithuania (Lietuva) is fast being recognized as one of Europe's gems. Southernmost of the Baltic States, it's a pocket-sized republic that's a nature-lover's delight, yet lacks nothing in urban excitement.
Lithuania's foremost attraction is its stunning Baltic coastline, especially the unique sliver of white sand known as Curonian Spit. Lonely coastal wetlands lure migrating birds by the tens of thousands while inland, lush forests watch over burnished lakes.
The capital, Vilnius, is a beguiling artists’ enclave, its timeworn courtyards, cobbled streets and baroque churches animated by the vibrant, optimistic culture of today.
Further afield, remnants of Soviet times – a disused nuclear missile site (now a museum to the Cold War) and a Soviet sculpture park – are reminders of a dark recent past, while the Hill of Crosses and Orvydas stone garden stand testament to the land's enduring faith.