Sri Lankan culture gets a vibrant expression via dynamic festivals, many of which are open to visitors. Religion has long played a central role in shaping the island’s cultural make-up; spiritual influences can be seen in its art, architecture and literature. Nature is also honoured, especially in the island’s healthy cuisine. Herbs and spices are used generously across dishes, some of which draw upon Southern Indian techniques and traditions, reinterpreted with a Sri Lankan twist. Of course, no visit to Sri Lanka would be complete without tasting its famous tea: an island-wide expression of hospitality. Visit the tea plantations in the island’s cool, hilly regions to learn about the tea-making process, which is more than 150 years old.