43 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

43 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

43 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Cairo
Fly:  11 h
1
Colombo
— 7 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
2
Dambulla
— 4 nights
Fly:  2 h
3
Yala National Park
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
4
Arugam Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
5
Ella
— 6 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
6
Udawalawe National Park
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  2 h
7
Kandy
— 7 nights
Fly + Taxi:  1 h
8
Galle
— 8 nights
Taxi + Fly:  12 h 15 min
End: Cairo

7
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.
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple and Borella All Saints Church will appeal to history buffs. Get a sense of the local culture at Ganeshism Studio Gallery and Kande Viharaya Temple. Explore Colombo's surroundings by going to Holy Cross Church Kalutara (in Kalutara), Bentota (Bentota Beach & Dolphin & Whale Watching) and Palace Seaside (in Waskaduwa). There's still lots to do: take an exotic tour of a safari tour, browse the eclectic array of goods at Pettah, pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Mother of Expectation Church Eldeniya Kadawatha, and browse the different shops at Arcade Independence Square.

To see reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Colombo driving holiday website .

Cairo, Egypt to Colombo is an approximately 11-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 3 hours traveling from Cairo to Colombo. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Cairo in April: high temperatures in Colombo hover around 39°C and lows are around 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to travel to Dambulla.

Things to do in Colombo

Shopping Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Bentota, Palace Seaside, Holy Cross Church Kalutara, Negombo Beach, Kande Viharaya Temple
Find places to stay Apr 21 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Pettah ©
Pettah
Safaris
Bentota Beach ©
Bentota Beach

4
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Golden Temple of Dambulla and Dhilip De Alwis. Do some cultural sightseeing at Sigiriya and Dambulla Cave Temple. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dambulla: Pidurangala Rock (in Sigiriya), Karu Arts & Crafts (in Naula) and Anuradhapura (The Royal Palace (Vijayabahu Maligaya), Mihintale, &more). There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Polonnaruwa, take in the exciting artwork at Pethikada, don't miss a visit to Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs, and browse the fresh offerings at Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre.

Before you visit Dambulla, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by train from Colombo to Dambulla takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Yala National Park.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Habarana, Polonnaruwa, Karu Arts & Crafts
Find places to stay Apr 28 — May 2:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Polonnaruwa ©
Polonnaruwa

5
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.
Get some cultural insight at Kataragama Temple and Kiri Vehera. Step out of the city life by going to Yala National Park and Safaris. Venture out of the city with trips to Bundala National Park (in Weligatta), Tissamaharama (Off-Road Tours & Nature & Wildlife Tours) and Walawe River Safari (in Hambantota).

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Yala National Park trip itinerary maker tool .

Fly from Dambulla to Yala National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. May in Yala National Park sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 29°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to travel to Arugam Bay.

Things to do in Yala National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Tissamaharama, Kataragama, Walawe River Safari, Bundala National Park
Find places to stay May 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Yala National Park ©
Yala National Park
Safaris
Bundala National Park ©
Bundala National Park

3
nights
Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay ©
Visit Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse and Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil for their historical value. Step out of the city life by going to Whisky Point, Sri Lanka and Arugam Bay.

For reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Arugam Bay trip itinerary maker.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yala National Park to Arugam Bay. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Ella.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

Historic Sites Outdoors Shopping
Find places to stay May 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse ©
Sangaman Kanda Lighthouse
Whisky Point, Sri Lanka ©
Whisky Point, Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay ©
Arugam Bay

6
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.
Lipton’s Seat and St. Xavier's Church will appeal to history buffs. Take a break from the city and head to Little Adam's Peak and Horton Plains National Park. Get out of town with these interesting Ella side-trips: Nuwara Eliya (Kande-ela Reservoir, Swarnagiri Maha Viharaya, &more), Safaris (in Udawalawa) and Dhowa Rock Temple (in Bandarawela). There's much more to do: learn more about the world around you at R. M. S Antique And Brassware, admire the sheer force of Ravana Ella Falls, take in the dramatic natural features at Ella Rock, and take in the views from Nine Arch Bridge.

To see more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Ella route maker website .

Drive from Arugam Bay to Ella in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in May, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Udawalawe National Park.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Nuwara Eliya, Safaris, Dhowa Rock Temple, Lipton’s Seat
Find places to stay May 10 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Horton Plains National Park ©
Horton Plains National Park
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock

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.
On the 17th (Sun), explore the striking landscape of Udawalawe National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take an exotic tour of a safari tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Elephant Transit Home (ETH).

For photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Udawalawe National Park trip itinerary maker website .

Getting from Ella to Udawalawe National Park by car takes about 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in May, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Udawalawe National Park

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

7
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.
Visiting Royal Botanical Gardens and Knuckles Forest Reserve will get you outdoors. Do some cultural sightseeing at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Kandy Lake. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kandy: Elephant Freedom Project (in Kegalle), Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (in Pinnawala) and Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa (in Polgahawela). There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items, don't miss a visit to Kandy view point, get lost in a book at Buddhist Publication Society, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asgiriya Maha Viharaya.

To find ratings, maps, and tourist information, read our Kandy planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Udawalawe National Park to Kandy in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Galle.

Things to do in Kandy

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Nelligala International Buddhist Center, Siri Gautama Sambuddharaja Maligawa, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Bambaragala Viharaya, Knuckles Forest Reserve
Find places to stay May 18 — 25:
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

8
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
Popular historic sites such as Galle Fort and Naga Viharaya are in your itinerary. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Tsunami Photo Museum and Saffron Robes. Change things up with these side-trips from Galle: Mirissa (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Mirissa Beach), Hikkaduwa (Hikkaduwa Beach, Community Tsunami Museum, &more) and Matara (Snake Farm & Matara Paravi Duwa Temple). There's still lots to do: view the masterpieces at Indika Art Gallery, enjoy the sand and surf at Jungle Beach, browse the exhibits of EXOTIC ROOTS, and visit a coastal fixture at Tangalle Lighthouse.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Galle driving holiday planning website .

Getting from Kandy to Galle by combination of flight and taxi takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. In May in Galle, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 30°C at night. On the 2nd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Galle

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Tangalle, Matara, Mirissa
Find places to stay May 25 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Mirissa Beach ©
Mirissa Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort

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