21 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

21 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka travel route planner

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Route & dates

21 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Mumbai
Fly:  5​h 30​min
1
Colombo
— 1 day
train:  1​h 30​min
2
Bentota
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Galle
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
4
Mirissa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
Tangalle
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h 30​min
6
Nuwara Eliya
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Kandy
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
8
Pinnawala
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
9
Anuradhapura
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
Dambulla
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
11
Sigiriya
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
12
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  9​h
End: Mumbai

1
day
Colombo

Colombo ©
The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Wolvendaal Church, then kick back and relax at Mount Lavinia Beach, and then pause for some photo ops at Independence Memorial Hall.

For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Colombo trip builder tool .

Mumbai, India to Colombo is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. In September, daytime highs in Colombo are 88°F, while nighttime lows are 78°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can catch the train to Bentota.

Things to do in Colombo

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Mount Lavinia Beach ©
Mount Lavinia Beach
Wolvendaal Church ©
Wolvendaal Church
Independence Memorial Hall ©
Independence Memorial Hall

2
nights
Bentota

Bentota ©
The coastal town of Bentota boasts a number of seaside attractions to draw in guests.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Kosgoda Turtle Care. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: visit a coastal fixture at Barberyn Island Lighthouse, then look for all kinds of wild species at Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center, then stroll through Ahungalla Beach, and finally get outside with Outdoor Activities.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Bentota trip planner .

Getting from Colombo to Bentota by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. In September, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 78°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to drive to Galle.

Things to do in Bentota

Parks Beaches Wildlife

Side Trips

Balapitiya, Kosgoda, Ahungalla Beach, Barberyn Island Lighthouse
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Ahungalla Beach ©
Ahungalla Beach
Madu Ganga Biodiversity Area ©
Madu Ganga Biodiversity Area

2
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hikkaduwa Beach, then pause for some serene contemplation at Dutch Reformed Church, then kick back and relax at Mihiripenna Beach, and finally relax in the rural setting at Handunugoda Tea Estate.

For where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Galle trip app .

Drive from Bentota to Galle in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In September in Galle, expect temperatures between 88°F during the day and 78°F at night. On the 29th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Mirissa.

Things to do in Galle

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Handunugoda Tea Estate
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Mihiripenna Beach ©
Mihiripenna Beach
Dutch Reformed Church ©
Dutch Reformed Church
Community Tsunami Museum ©
Community Tsunami Museum

2
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
On the 30th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Hiriketiya Beach, take in the spiritual surroundings of Weherahena Buddhist Temple, then enjoy the sand and surf at Polhena Beach, then meet the residents at Snake Farm, and finally appreciate the history behind Kushta Raja Gala.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Mirissa driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Galle to Mirissa in an hour. Another option is to take a train. In September, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 78°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can drive to Tangalle.

Things to do in Mirissa

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Matara, Dondra Head Lighthouse
Find places to stay Sep 29 — Oct 1:
Highlights from your plan
Matara Beach ©
Matara Beach
Dondra Head Lighthouse ©
Dondra Head Lighthouse
Polhena Beach ©
Polhena Beach

2
nights
Tangalle

Tangalle ©
One of the larger towns in the south of the island nation, Tangalle consists of a pleasant urban area and a wealth of natural landscape surrounding it.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa), take in the exciting artwork at Indika Art Gallery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Mawella Beach, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara.

To find traveler tips, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Tangalle trip itinerary maker website .

Drive from Mirissa to Tangalle in an hour. In October, plan for daily highs up to 90°F, and evening lows to 76°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Nuwara Eliya.

Things to do in Tangalle

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa) ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Indika Art Gallery ©
Indika Art Gallery

2
nights
Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya ©
Sitting high up in the hills, the green and pleasant Nuwara Eliya offers both a rich history and proximity to pristine natural areas.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): contemplate the waterfront views at Kande-ela Reservoir, squeeze the most out of the city with Worlds End, and then admire the sheer force of Baker's Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Fri): play a few rounds at Nuwara Eliya Golf Course, look for gifts at Franciscan Sister's Jam Room, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Church.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Nuwara Eliya trip itinerary maker .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Tangalle to Nuwara Eliya in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can go by car to Kandy.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Uva Province
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Baker's Falls ©
Baker's Falls
Holy Trinity Church ©
Holy Trinity Church
Nuwara Eliya Golf Course ©
Nuwara Eliya Golf Course

1
night
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 5th (Sat): explore the different monuments and memorials at Commonwealth War Cemetery, look for all kinds of wild species at Udawattekele Sanctuary, make a trip to Lankatilaka Temple, then stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery, and finally look for gifts at Jayamali Batiks Studio.

To find reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read Kandy online vacation planner .

Drive from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Pinnawala.

Things to do in Kandy

Wildlife Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Udawattekele Sanctuary ©
Udawattekele Sanctuary

2
nights
Pinnawala

Pinnawala ©
The main attraction in Pinnawala is undoubtedly its elephant orphanage.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): pause for some photo ops at World's tallest granite Samadhi Buddha statue in Kurunegala, delve into the distant past at Ethagala, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Freedom Project. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Pinnawala Zoo, then see the interesting displays at National Railway Museum, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Millennium Elephant Foundation.

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Pinnawala itinerary planner.

Drive from Kandy to Pinnawala in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 86°F, and evening lows to 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Pinnawala

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Kurunegala, Kegalle, National Railway Museum, Pinnawala Zoo
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Freedom Project ©
Elephant Freedom Project
Millennium Elephant Foundation ©
Millennium Elephant Foundation
Ethagala ©
Ethagala

1
night
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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Wed): pause for some photo ops at Abhayagiri Dagaba, contemplate the waterfront views at Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna), then don't miss a visit to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba, and finally delve into the distant past at Moonstone or Sandakada pahana.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Anuradhapura trip planning app .

Getting from Pinnawala to Anuradhapura by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to drive to Dambulla.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna) ©
Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna)
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba ©
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba
Abhayagiri Dagaba ©
Abhayagiri Dagaba

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.
On the 10th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Popham's Arboretum and then explore the fascinating underground world of Golden Temple of Dambulla.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Dambulla trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Anuradhapura to Dambulla takes 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Dambulla

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trip

Matale
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Nalanda Gedige ©
Nalanda Gedige

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.
Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Hurulu Eco Park, explore the striking landscape of Fernando Adventure Safaries, and then delve into the distant past at Ancient City of Sigiriya.

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

Sigiriya is very close to Dambulla. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Habarana
Find places to stay Oct 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Hurulu Eco Park ©
Hurulu Eco Park
Sigiriya Museum ©
Sigiriya Museum
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya

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 14th (Mon), don't miss a visit to Sandakada Pahana, contemplate the long history of Lankathilaka Image House, explore the ancient world of King’s Council Chamber, contemplate the long history of Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Hatadage, and finally pause for some photo ops at Polonnaruwa Vatadage. Keep things going the next day: delve into the distant past at Medirigiriya Vatadage, then admire the landmark architecture of Kumara Pokuna, and then don't miss a visit to Dimbulagala Monastery.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Polonnaruwa attractions planner.

Getting from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa by car takes about 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Lankathilaka Image House ©
Lankathilaka Image House
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
King’s Council Chamber ©
King’s Council Chamber

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