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: Vienna
Fly + Taxi:  16 h
1
Dambulla
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
2
Kalkudah
— 1 night
Drive:  6 h
3
Jaffna
— 2 nights
Drive:  8 h
4
Hikkaduwa
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
5
Haputale
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
6
Tissamaharama
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  1 h
7
Kandy
— 4 nights
Taxi + Fly:  15 h 30 min
End: Vienna

2
nights
Dambulla

Dambulla ©
On a trip to Dambulla, visit the largest and best-preserved cave temple complexes in the country, declared a World Heritage Site.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Lankathilaka Image House and Spas. Venture out of the city with trips to Safaris (in Habarana) and Thuparama (in Polonnaruwa). The adventure continues: explore the fascinating underground world of Golden Temple of Dambulla, take in nature's colorful creations at Popham's Arboretum, don't miss a visit to Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs, and head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Dambulla road trip tool.

Vienna, Austria to Dambulla is an approximately 16- hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and taxi; or fly. Traveling from Vienna to Dambulla, you'll lose 4 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can drive to Kalkudah.

Things to do in Dambulla

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Habarana, Polonnaruwa
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Safaris
Lankathilaka Image House ©
Lankathilaka Image House

1
night
Kalkudah

Kalkudah ©
On the 17th (Tue), kick back and relax at Passikudah Beach.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read Kalkudah trip builder.

You can drive from Dambulla to Kalkudah in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Jaffna.

Things to do in Kalkudah

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Passikudah Beach ©
Passikudah Beach

2
nights
Jaffna

Jaffna ©
A center of Tamil culture, the city of Jaffna remains in the process of rebuilding after suffering greatly during the civil war.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Maruthanamadam Anjaneyar Temple, stroll through Casuarina Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kovalam Beach, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Mary's Cathedral, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kadurugoda Buddhist Temple. Keep things going the next day: get lost in a book at Jaffna Public Library, take an in-depth tour of Jaffna Archaeological Museum, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nallur Kovil.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaffna trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kalkudah to Jaffna takes 6 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Jaffna

Historic Sites Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Kovalam Beach
Find places to stay Mar 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Nallur Kovil ©
Nallur Kovil
Kovalam Beach ©
Kovalam Beach
Casuarina Beach ©
Casuarina Beach

3
nights
Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa ©
One of the most scenic beach resorts in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa features a number of long white sand beaches with palm trees and gentle waves.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Ahungalla Beach and Mihiripenna Beach. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Community Tsunami Museum and Seenigama Muhudu Viharaya. Get out of town with these interesting Hikkaduwa side-trips: Unawatuna (Jungle Beach & White Boat), Koggala Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery (in Koggala) and Beruwala (Masjid ul Abrar & Beruwala Beach). Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Narigama Beach, stroll through Turtle Hatchery Hikkaduwa, pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Mary's Church, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Hikkaduwa vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Jaffna to Hikkaduwa takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and flight. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in März, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Haputale.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Unawatuna, Beruwala, Koggala Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery, Saint Mary's Church, Ahungalla Beach
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Ahungalla Beach ©
Ahungalla Beach
Narigama Beach ©
Narigama Beach
Mihiripenna Beach ©
Mihiripenna Beach

1
night
Haputale

Haputale ©
Nestled atop Uva, Sri Lanka's main mountain range, lies tranquil Haputale.
On the 24th (Tue), take some stellar pictures from Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale and then get great views at Lipton’s Seat.

For photos, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Haputale driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Hikkaduwa to Haputale takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tissamaharama.

Things to do in Haputale

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Lipton’s Seat ©
Lipton’s Seat

2
nights
Tissamaharama

Tissamaharama ©
Tourism in Tissamaharama revolves around the town's vast historic and cultural heritage, with the surroundings of scenic paddy fields adding to the ambiance.
On the 25th (Wed), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Thu): make a trip to Kirinda Viharaya and then explore the striking landscape of Bundala National Park.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Tissamaharama trip site.

Traveling by car from Haputale to Tissamaharama takes 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in März, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Tissamaharama

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Bundala National Park, Kirinda Viharaya
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Bundala National Park ©
Bundala National Park
Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara ©
Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara

4
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kandy Garrison Cemetery and Raja Museum. Step out of Kandy to go to Handessa and see Embekke Devalaya, which is approximately 32 minutes away. There's still lots to do: stroll the grounds of Kandy War Cemetery, take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and contemplate the waterfront views at Kandy Lake.

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Kandy trip builder app.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Tissamaharama to Kandy takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Kandy

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Royal Botanical Gardens, Embekke Devalaya, Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery Kundasale
Find places to stay Mar 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Spas & Wellness

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