15 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

15 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Sofia
Fly + Taxi:  14 h
1
Unawatuna
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  2 h 15 min
2
Ella
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
3
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Sigiriya
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
5
Trincomalee
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
6
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
7
Kandy
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  14 h 15 min
End: Sofia

2
nights
Unawatuna

Palm-fringed beaches with golden sand, turquoise water, and a colorful coral reef are enough to draw any beachgoer to Unawatuna, but there's plenty to do off the beach here as well.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Japanese Peace Pagoda and Tsunami Honganji Vihara. Step out of Unawatuna with an excursion to Community Tsunami Museum in Hikkaduwa--about 48 minutes away.

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Unawatuna trip builder tool.

Sofia, Bulgaria to Unawatuna is an approximately 14- hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 3 hours traveling from Sofia to Unawatuna. When traveling from Sofia in September, plan for somewhat warmer days and much hotter nights in Unawatuna: temperatures range from 36°C by day to 30°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can travel to Ella.

Things to do in Unawatuna

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Galle, Hikkaduwa, Handunugoda Tea Estate
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Japanese Peace Pagoda ©
Japanese Peace Pagoda
Sea Turtle Farm Galle Mahamodara ©
Sea Turtle Farm Galle Mahamodara

2
nights
Ella

Ella ©
The relaxing hilltop village of Ella benefits from a more temperate climate than much of the rest of country thanks to its high elevation.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sat): admire the natural beauty at Honey Bee Garden, then take in the awesome beauty at Little Adam's Peak, and then make a trip to Nine Arch Bridge. On the 13th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape at Ella Rock, then admire the natural beauty at Ella Spice Garden, and then look for gifts at R. M. S Antique And Brassware.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Ella trip itinerary app.

Getting from Unawatuna to Ella by combination of flight and taxi takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Classes
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Honey Bee Garden ©
Honey Bee Garden
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Ella Spice Garden ©
Ella Spice Garden

2
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Mon): get to know the fascinating history of Polonnaruwa, pause for some photo ops at Gal Vihara, then explore the ancient world of Siva Devalaya (No 1), then pause for some photo ops at Polonnaruwa Vatadage, and finally make a trip to Thuparama. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: don't miss a visit to Sandakada Pahana, then contemplate the long history of Gal Potha, and then steep yourself in history at Lankathilaka Image House.

For photos, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Polonnaruwa trip maker app.

Getting from Ella to Polonnaruwa by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can go by car to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
Gal Vihara ©
Gal Vihara
Sandakada Pahana ©
Sandakada Pahana

1
night
Sigiriya

Sigiriya ©
The historic rock of the same name dominates the landscape of World Heritage-listed Sigiriya, where the steep and striking lava plug contains the ruins of an ancient empire.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Dhilip De Alwis, then make a trip to Pidurangala Rock, and then delve into the distant past at Sigiriya.

To find maps, photos, and tourist information, read Sigiriya trip planner.

Traveling by car from Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya takes 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can drive to Trincomalee.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Dhilip De Alwis
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Pidurangala Rock ©
Pidurangala Rock
Dhilip De Alwis ©
Dhilip De Alwis

1
night
Trincomalee

Trincomalee ©
A center of Tamil culture and language, Trincomalee suffered greatly during the 30-year civil war, but the troubles haven't dimmed the natural and cultural charms of the place.
On the 17th (Thu), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Koneswaram Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple, and then kick back and relax at Nilaveli Beach.

To see ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Trincomalee driving holiday planner.

Drive from Sigiriya to Trincomalee in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) so you can drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Trincomalee

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Nilaveli Beach
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Nilaveli Beach ©
Nilaveli Beach
Koneswaram Temple ©
Koneswaram Temple
Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple ©
Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple

2
nights
Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura ©
Explore the well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization and its former capital at Anuradhapura, a World Heritage Site and erstwhile center of Theravada Buddhism set amidst peaceful green parks.
On the 18th (Fri), take in the spiritual surroundings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, admire the striking features of Ruwanwelisaya, and then make a trip to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mihintale, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Isurumuniya Temple, and then see human ingenuity at work at Tissa Wewa.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Anuradhapura holiday maker site.

You can drive from Trincomalee to Anuradhapura in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to drive to Kandy.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba ©
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba

3
nights
Kandy

Kandy ©
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asgiriya Maha Viharaya, look for gifts at Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy Garrison Cemetery, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Kandy Lake. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanical Gardens, then stroll through Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahamevnawa Amadahara Buddhist Monastery Pinnawala.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Kandy holiday planner.

Drive from Anuradhapura to Kandy in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. You will have some time to spend on the 22nd (Tue) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Pinnawala, Royal Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens

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