The ancient city of Sigiriya is Sri Lanka’s short-lived ancient city, however it’s arguably its most extraordinary. The remains sit atop a huge flat-topped outcrop that soars 180m high, dominating the jungle on every side. On closer inspection what you’ll find are pleasure gardens and a series of ancient frescos as well as staircases leading to the remains of a palace.
Otherwise known as the ‘Lion’s Rock’, Sigiriya was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982 and it remains one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic attractions. It’s not only a unique archaeological site but also an incredible geological formation that offers outstanding views of the scenery below. Sigiriya is approximately a four-hour drive from Colombo and easily combines with both Anuradhapura and Kandy. It’s also a good base for accommodation; from here it’s possible to not only visit Sigiriya Rock, but also Dambulla, Minneriya and Polonnauwa.