27 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

27 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

27 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Abu Dhabi
Fly + taxi:  7​h 30​min
1
Kandy
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Anuradhapura
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Sigiriya
— 2 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
4
Yala National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Arugam Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Ella
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 15​min
7
Unawatuna
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
8
Colombo
— 5 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Abu Dhabi

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Kandy side-trips: Elephant Freedom Project (in Kegalle), Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (in Pinnawala) and Bambaragala Viharaya (in Teldeniya). Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery Kundasale, appreciate the history behind Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, and look for all kinds of wild species at Knuckles Forest Reserve.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Kandy trip planner .

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to Kandy is an approximately 7.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Gulf Standard Time to India Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can go by car to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Royal Botanical Gardens, Bambaragala Viharaya, Elephant Freedom Project, Knuckles Forest Reserve, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Jul 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Kandy Lake ©
Kandy Lake

3
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.
Step out of Anuradhapura with an excursion to Avukana Buddha Statue in Kekirawa--about 1h 15 min away. And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Mihintale, admire the striking features of Ruwanwelisaya, take an unorthodox tour of Sakwala Chakraya (Star Gate), and take in the views from Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Malwathu Oya.

For where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Anuradhapura trip planner .

Traveling by car from Kandy to Anuradhapura takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Avukana Buddha Statue
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Mihintale ©
Mihintale
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya
Wilpattu National Park ©
Wilpattu National Park

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.
On the 17th (Fri), delve into the distant past at Sigiriya, view the masterpieces at Pethikada, and then Head underground at Golden Temple of Dambulla. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Pidurangala Rock and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Minneriya National Park.

To find ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Sigiriya itinerary website .

You can drive from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya in 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Yala National Park.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Golden Temple of Dambulla, Minneriya National Park
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Minneriya National Park ©
Minneriya National Park

2
nights
Yala National Park

Yala National Park ©
One of the most popular national parks in the country, Yala National Park boasts a wide variety of animals, and does important work in conserving and growing populations.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Kiri Vehera and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Yala National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Yala National Park trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Sigiriya to Yala National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In July, daytime highs in Yala National Park are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Arugam Bay.

Things to do in Yala National Park

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Yala National Park, Kiri Vehera
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Yala National Park ©
Yala National Park
Safaris
Kiri Vehera ©
Kiri Vehera

2
nights
Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay ©
On the 21st (Tue), get outside with Whisky Point, Sri Lanka, then enjoy the sea views from Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse, then kick back and relax at Arugam Bay, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: stop by Rice & Carry Bags Shop, make a trip to Muhudu Maha Vihara, then explore the ancient world of Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kudumbigala Monastery.

For more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Arugam Bay trip site .

Explore your travel options from Yala National Park to Arugam Bay with the Route module. In July in Arugam Bay, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 30°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Ella.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

Outdoors Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Arugam Bay ©
Arugam Bay
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse ©
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse
Muhudu Maha Vihara ©
Muhudu Maha Vihara

4
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Ella: Nuwara Eliya (Sita Temple & Horton Plains National Park) and Tissamaharama (Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara & Safaris). There's much more to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Little Adam's Peak, look for gifts at Ella Gem & Jewelry, take in the spiritual surroundings of Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery Bandarawela, and take in the dramatic scenery at Ravana Ella Falls.

To find maps and other tourist information, go to the Ella driving holiday tool .

You can drive from Arugam Bay to Ella in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Ella can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel to Unawatuna.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Tissamaharama, Nuwara Eliya
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Honey Bee Garden ©
Honey Bee Garden
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock

4
nights
Unawatuna

Unawatuna ©
Get out of town with these interesting Unawatuna side-trips: Tsunami Photo Museum (in Telwatta), Mirissa (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Mirissa Beach) and Bentota Beach (in Bentota).

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Unawatuna day trip website .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Ella to Unawatuna takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In July, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 31°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Colombo.

Things to do in Unawatuna

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Mirissa, Galle, Tsunami Photo Museum, Nandana Tea Factory, Sea Turtle Conservation Project (Koggala)
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Nandana Tea Factory ©
Nandana Tea Factory
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
Colombo

The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Change things up with these side-trips from Colombo: Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum (in Kalutara), Thewaththa Church (Basilica Ragama) (in Ragama) and Negombo (DIANA Souvenirs & Negombo Beach). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, make a trip to Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and get engrossed in the history at The Bandaranaike Museum.

To see photos, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Colombo online tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by train from Unawatuna to Colombo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. July in Colombo sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 31°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Colombo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Negombo, Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka, Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum, Sri Jayawardanapura City
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 4:
Highlights from your plan
Safaris
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Galle Face Green ©
Galle Face Green

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