38 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

38 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

38 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly + Taxi:  22 h 30 min
1
Kandy
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
2
Trincomalee
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
3
Jaffna
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
4
Anuradhapura
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
5
Dambulla
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
6
Polonnaruwa
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
7
Ella
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
8
Udawalawe National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
9
Tissamaharama
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
10
Galle
— 9 nights
Taxi + Fly:  22 h 15 min
End: Toronto

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 Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple. Explore Kandy's surroundings by going to Pinnawala (Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage & Luv SL), Matale (Sera Ella falls, Sri Muthumariamman Temple, &more) and Kurunegala (World's tallest granite Samadhi Buddha statue in Kurunegala & Ethagala). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Hindagala Temple, explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy War Cemetery, and admire all the interesting features of Royal Botanical Gardens.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Kandy trip builder website.

Toronto, Canada to Kandy is an approximately 22.5- hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of ferry, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Toronto to Kandy, you'll lose 10 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Trincomalee.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Matale, Pinnawala, Peradeniya, Kurunegala
Find places to stay Jun 24 — 28:
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
Trincomalee

Trincomalee ©
A center of Tamil culture and language, Trincomalee suffered greatly during the 30-year civil war, but the troubles haven't dimmed the natural and cultural charms of the place.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Koneswaram Temple and Scuba & Snorkeling. The adventure continues: stroll through Nilaveli Beach, don't miss a visit to Fort Frederick, stroll the grounds of Trincomalee War Cemetery, and steep yourself in history at Wilgam Rajamaha Viharaya.

To see more things to do, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Trincomalee trip itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Kandy to Trincomalee in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can drive to Jaffna.

Things to do in Trincomalee

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Nilaveli
Find places to stay Jun 28 — Jul 1:
Highlights from your plan
Koneswaram Temple ©
Koneswaram Temple
Nilaveli Beach ©
Nilaveli Beach
Trincomalee War Cemetery ©
Trincomalee War Cemetery

3
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Nallur Kovil and Casuarina Beach. Take a break from Jaffna with a short trip to Kovalam Beach in Karainagar, about 58 minutes away. There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil, get engrossed in the history at Jaffna Archaeological Museum, enjoy the sand and surf at Seven Wells Beach, and trek along Kayts Causeway.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Jaffna trip app.

Traveling by car from Trincomalee to Jaffna takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can go by car to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Jaffna

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Kovalam Beach
Find places to stay Jul 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Nallur Kovil ©
Nallur Kovil
Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil ©
Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil
Nagadipa Purana Vihara ©
Nagadipa Purana Vihara

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Ruwanwelisaya and Isurumuniya Temple. There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, delve into the distant past at Sakwala Chakraya (Star Gate), admire the engineering at Tissa Wewa, and don't miss a visit to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Anuradhapura online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Jaffna to Anuradhapura takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Dambulla.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Ritigala Forest Monastery ©
Ritigala Forest Monastery

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Dambulla Cave Temple and Nalanda Gedige. Get out of town with these interesting Dambulla side-trips: Habarana (Spas & Safaris), Euphoria Spice and Herbal (in Matale) and Karu Arts & Crafts (in Naula). There's much more to do: delve into the distant past at Sigiriya, make a trip to Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs, explore the galleries of Pethikada, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Dhilip De Alwis.

To see other places to visit and tourist information, refer to the Dambulla trip maker.

Getting from Anuradhapura to Dambulla by car takes about 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Dambulla

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Habarana, Sigiriya, Matale, Minneriya National Park, Karu Arts & Crafts
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Dambulla Cave Temple ©
Dambulla Cave Temple

3
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Gal Vihara and Sandakada Pahana. Change things up with a short trip to Passikudah Beach in Kalkudah (about 1h 20 min away). Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Lankathilaka Image House, make a trip to Thuparama, delve into the distant past at Polonnaruwa Vatadage, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Polonnaruwa.

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

Traveling by car from Dambulla to Polonnaruwa takes 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can go by car to Ella.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Passikudah Beach
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
Gal Vihara ©
Gal Vihara
Passikudah Beach ©
Passikudah Beach

3
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Lipton’s Seat and Ella Spice Garden. Get out of town with these interesting Ella side-trips: Diyaluma Falls (in Koslanda) and Buduruwagala (in Yala National Park). The adventure continues: expand your horizons at Honey Bee Garden, admire the sheer force of Ravana Ella Falls, take in the awesome beauty at Little Adam's Peak, and explore the striking landscape at Ella Rock.

To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Ella trip itinerary site.

Drive from Polonnaruwa to Ella in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in July, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Udawalawe National Park.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Buduruwagala, Diyaluma Falls, Lipton’s Seat
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Honey Bee Garden ©
Honey Bee Garden
Lipton’s Seat ©
Lipton’s Seat
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): stroll through Elephant Transit Home (ETH) and then explore the striking landscape of Udawalawe National Park. On the 18th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Visit Udawalawe National Park and then take an exotic tour of a safari tour.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Udawalawe National Park vacation maker site.

Getting from Ella to Udawalawe National Park by car takes about 2.5 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to drive to Tissamaharama.

Things to do in Udawalawe National Park

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Transit Home (ETH) ©
Elephant Transit Home (ETH)
Safaris

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Safaris and Kataragama Temple. Venture out of the city with trips to Kiri Vehera (in Kataragama) and Yala National Park (in Yala National Park). There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape of Bundala National Park, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, don't miss a visit to Kirinda Viharaya, and explore the activities along Tissa Wewa.

To find photos, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Tissamaharama day trip planning website.

Drive from Udawalawe National Park to Tissamaharama in 2 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Galle.

Things to do in Tissamaharama

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Kataragama, Bundala National Park, Kirinda Viharaya, Yala National Park
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Yala National Park ©
Yala National Park
Bundala National Park ©
Bundala National Park
Tissa Wewa ©
Tissa Wewa

9
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara and Handunugoda Tea Estate. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Galle: Bentota Beach (in Bentota), Beruwala (Safaris, Beruwala Beach, &more) and Mirissa (Mirissa Beach & Dolphin & Whale Watching). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Sea Turtle Farm, walk around Viharamahadevi Park, make a trip to Japanese Peace Pagoda, and contemplate the long history of Meera Mosque.

For more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Galle trip planner.

Getting from Tissamaharama to Galle by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. In July, daytime highs in Galle are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 31°C. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Galle

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Colombo, Hikkaduwa, Tangalle, Unawatuna, Beruwala
Find places to stay Jul 21 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Sea Turtle Farm Galle Mahamodara ©
Sea Turtle Farm Galle Mahamodara
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Japanese Peace Pagoda ©
Japanese Peace Pagoda

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