If you have limited time but want to get the best of Sri Lanka’s mountains, vast history, temples and a visit to the ocean follow this itinerary. You can easily swap and change routes on this itinerary, do it in reverse, miss some spots or add some in.
Arriving in Columbo take a bus or private car to the city. If you have landed early enough to catch transport to Adam’s Peak do so. If not spend the night in Colombo and head for Adam’s Peak first thing the next morning. Pre-book your train here.
Wake up really early and get your hiking boots on! Climb to the top to witness a sunrise you won’t forget! After you return from the hike grab some breakfast and take a train to Ella
Day 3, 4 & 5
Next up is an amazing stay in Ella. Spend some time relaxing in this super chilled village. There are many activities to choose from which include hiking to Ella Rock and/or Little Adam’s Peak, watching a train drive over the famous Nine Arch Bridge or organise a tea tour and spend the day exploring the Sri Lankan tea fields.
Following your stay in Ella take the famous Ella to Kandy train. It is recommended to book a few days in advance to avoid disappointment. My suggestion would be to book when you arrive in Colombo if you’re on a tight schedule or book when you arrive at Ella if you can be more flexible with time and wait a day or two if the train is booked.
Arrive in Kandy, grab some lunch and organise transport to take you to Sigiriya
Organise a tuk-tuk the night before and the following morning climb Pidurangala and watch the sunrise over Sigiriya rock. After the sunrise, you can visit Sigiriya rock if it’s in your budget. Watching the sunrise will not only leave you with a memorable but it will help you beat the crowds at Sigiriya!
After a morning of exploring take a bus to Anuradhapura.
Day 8 & 9
Spend time checking out the well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sinhala civilization.
Day 10 & 11
Next, take the bus to Trincomalee and enjoy some time relaxing on the beach and check out the grand Koneswaram Temple which stands on Swami Rock cliff. Trincomalee is a super chilled beach and a good place to relax after some busy days exploring!
Day 12 & 13
Catch a bus to Jaffna on the northern tip of Sri Lanka. Check out the Nallur Kandaswamy, a huge Hindu temple with golden arches and an ornate gopuram tower. Rent some scooters and spend the day driving checking out local ruins and salt flats and learning about Jaffna’s tough past. Catch an overnight bus from Jaffna to Colombo.
Spend a day exploring the up and coming city of Colombo before departing Sir Lanka