18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly + taxi:  17​h 15​min
1
Sigiriya
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Kekirawa
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Kandy
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h
6
Udawalawe National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Rekawa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Galle
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  16​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

2
nights
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Dambulla Cave Temple, Minneriya National Park and Wasgamuwa National Park. Start off your visit on the 18th (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dambulla Cave Temple, explore the striking landscape of Wasgamuwa National Park, then identify plant and animal life at Minneriya National Park, and finally see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour. Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Pidurangala Rock, then see the interesting displays at Pethikada, then examine the collection at Sigiriya Museum, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Golden Temple of Dambulla.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Sigiriya trip builder website .

Melbourne, Australia to Sigiriya is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 4 hours traveling from Melbourne to Sigiriya. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Wasgamuwa National Park, Dambulla Cave Temple, Golden Temple of Dambulla
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Wasgamuwa National Park ©
Wasgamuwa National Park
Dambulla Cave Temple ©
Dambulla Cave Temple

2
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
On the 20th (Sat), take in the pleasant sights at Medirigiriya Vatadage, delve into the distant past at King’s Council Chamber, contemplate the long history of Sathmahal Prasada, then pause for some photo ops at Polonnaruwa Vatadage, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hatadage, and finally explore the ancient world of Siva Devalaya (No 1). On the next day, appreciate the extensive heritage of Polonnaruwa, then contemplate the long history of Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya, then steep yourself in history at Thivanka Image House, and finally don't miss a visit to Somawathiya Stupa.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Polonnaruwa trip builder .

Traveling by car from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa takes 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Kekirawa.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Medirigiriya Vatadage ©
Medirigiriya Vatadage
King’s Council Chamber ©
King’s Council Chamber
Somawathiya Stupa ©
Somawathiya Stupa

1
day
Kekirawa

Kekirawa ©
You've now added Avukana Buddha Statue to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Kala Wewa Reservoir and then appreciate the history behind Avukana Buddha Statue.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Kekirawa trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Polonnaruwa to Kekirawa takes 1.5 hours. On the 22nd (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Kekirawa

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Kala Wewa Reservoir
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Kala Wewa Reservoir ©
Kala Wewa Reservoir
Avukana Buddha Statue ©
Avukana Buddha Statue

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.
You've now added Ritigala Forest Monastery to your itinerary. On the 22nd (Mon), take in the spiritual surroundings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Sri Maha Boodhi Temple, then explore the activities along Kalu Diya Pokuna Natural Black Water Pond, and finally contemplate the long history of Ritigala Forest Monastery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the ancient world of Ranmasu Uyana, take in the spiritual surroundings of Isurumuniya Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ruwanwelisaya, then don't miss a visit to Moonstone or Sandakada pahana, then make a trip to Mirisaveti Stupa, and finally make a trip to Lankarama Sthupa.

To find maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Anuradhapura trip itinerary planning app .

Drive from Polonnaruwa to Anuradhapura in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to drive to Kandy.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Ritigala Forest Monastery ©
Ritigala Forest Monastery
Isurumuniya Temple ©
Isurumuniya Temple

2
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 25th (Thu): take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanical Gardens, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy War Cemetery, then steep yourself in history at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy Garrison Cemetery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Lord Kataragama Temple, see the interesting displays at World Buddhist Museum, and then stroll through Udawattekele Sanctuary.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Kandy travel planner .

Traveling by car from Anuradhapura to Kandy takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can travel to Udawalawe National Park.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Royal Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery

3
nights
Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park ©
One of the primary nature reserves in the country, Uda Walawe National Park provides vital habitat for a herd of Sri Lankan elephants.
Udawalawa Safari has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 27th (Sat): don't miss a visit to Maduwanwela Walawwa and then look for all kinds of wild species at Udawalawa Safari. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Madunagala Hermitage and then take an exotic tour of a safari tour.

For reviews, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Uda Walawe National Park tour builder .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Kandy to Uda Walawe National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. In July, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Udawalawe National Park

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Maduwanwela Walawwa, Madunagala Hermitage, Safaris, Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Discover Sri Lanka by Lakpura ©
Discover Sri Lanka by Lakpura
Maduwanwela Walawwa ©
Maduwanwela Walawwa

2
nights
Rekawa

Rekawa ©
A small town with a laidback vibe squeezed between the ocean and the shores of a rich lagoon surrounded by mangroves, Rekawa draws visitors throughout the year with a pioneering turtle conservation project, the most notable tourist attraction in Rekawa.
You've now added Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara to your itinerary. On the 29th (Mon), kick back and relax at Amanwella Silent Beach and then visit a coastal fixture at Tangalle Lighthouse.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Rekawa online visit planner .

You can drive from Uda Walawe National Park to Rekawa in 2.5 hours. In July in Rekawa, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 30°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 31st (Wed) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Rekawa

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Tangalle, Kahandamodara Beach, Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary
Find places to stay Jul 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary ©
Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Kahandamodara Beach ©
Kahandamodara Beach

2
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Start off your visit on the 31st (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Dutch Reformed Church and then contemplate the long history of Galle Fort. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

For maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Galle trip planner .

Traveling by car from Rekawa to Galle takes 2 hours. In July, daytime highs in Galle are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 31°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Galle

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your plan
Sinharaja Forest Reserve ©
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Dutch Reformed Church ©
Dutch Reformed Church
Kayaking & Canoeing

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