29 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

29 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + taxi:  17​h
1
Kandy
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Dambulla
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Nuwara Eliya
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Ella
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Tissamaharama
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 15​min
6
Mirissa
— 4 nights
7
Colombo
— 5 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Sydney

5
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.
Attractions like Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Knuckles Forest Reserve make great kid-friendly stops. Explore Kandy's surroundings by going to Knuckles Mountain Range (in Matale) and Millennium Elephant Foundation (in Kegalle). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, don't miss a visit to Kandy view point, stop by Jayamali Batiks Studio, and examine the collection at Raja Museum.

To find more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Kandy online holiday planner .

Sydney, Australia to Kandy is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight, bus, and train. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or do a combination of bus, flight, and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Kandy is minus 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Dambulla.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Peradeniya, Knuckles Mountain Range, Millennium Elephant Foundation, Knuckles Forest Reserve, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ©
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

3
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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): make a trip to Sigiriya World Heritage Site, stop by Lanka Silks, and then Head underground at The Golden Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Minneriya National Park.

For more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Dambulla trip planner .

Traveling by car from Kandy to Dambulla takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Nuwara Eliya.

Things to do in Dambulla

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sigiriya, Minneriya National Park
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Minneriya National Park ©
Minneriya National Park
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya

5
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.
Explore Nuwara Eliya's surroundings by going to Ohiya (Horton Plains National Park & Baker's Falls). There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape of Horton Plains National Park, experience rural life at Bluefield Tea Gardens, stop by Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre, and head outdoors with Piduruthalagala Forest Reserve.

To find maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Nuwara Eliya trip itinerary planning site .

You can drive from Dambulla to Nuwara Eliya in 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Ella.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Baker's Falls
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Horton Plains National Park ©
Horton Plains National Park
Gregory Lake ©
Gregory Lake
Piduruthalagala Forest Reserve ©
Piduruthalagala Forest Reserve

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Ella: Diyaluma Falls (in Koslanda) and Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale (in Haputale). And it doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Little Adam's Peak, don't miss a visit to Demodara Nine Arch Bridge, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and take in the dramatic scenery at Ravana Ella Falls.

To find other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Ella road trip site .

Getting from Nuwara Eliya to Ella by car takes about 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to drive to Tissamaharama.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Diyaluma Falls, Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock
Ravana Ella Falls ©
Ravana Ella Falls

3
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.
Go for a jaunt from Tissamaharama to Uda Walawe National Park to see Udawalawe National Park about 1h 25 min away. Spend the 18th (Thu) exploring nature at Yala National Park. Spend the 19th (Fri) exploring nature at Bundala National Park.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Tissamaharama vacation planner .

Drive from Ella to Tissamaharama in 1.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can drive to Mirissa.

Things to do in Tissamaharama

Nature Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Yala National Park, Bundala National Park, Udawalawe National Park
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Udawalawe National Park ©
Udawalawe National Park
Yala National Park ©
Yala National Park
Bundala National Park ©
Bundala National Park

4
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Unawatuna Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Mirissa: Hikkaduwa Beach (in Hikkaduwa), Unawatuna (Jungle Beach & Japanese Peace Pagoda) and Galle Fort (in Galle). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Mirissa Beach.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Mirissa online trip planner .

Traveling by car from Tissamaharama to Mirissa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) to allow time to drive to Colombo.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Unawatuna, Galle Fort, Hikkaduwa Beach
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Mirissa Beach ©
Mirissa Beach
Jungle Beach ©
Jungle Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
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.
Family-friendly places like Bentota Beach and Negombo Beach will thrill your kids. Change things up with these side-trips from Colombo: LUV SL Negombo (in Negombo), Kalutara Beach (in Kalutara) and Guruge Nature Park (in Ja Ela). The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, pause for some photo ops at Independence Memorial Hall, don't miss a visit to Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, and stroll through Galle Face Green.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Colombo day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Mirissa to Colombo takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in January, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Colombo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Negombo, Kalutara Beach, Bentota Beach, Guruge Nature Park
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Bentota Beach ©
Bentota Beach
Negombo Beach ©
Negombo Beach
Mount Lavinia Beach ©
Mount Lavinia Beach

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