If you are taking this itinerary you’ve got time on your hands and what better place to spend it than in Sri Lanka. 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 Hikkaduwa do so. If not spend the night in Colombo and head for Hikkaduwa first thing the next morning. Pre-book your train here.
Now it’s time to get your chill on as you take in the beauty of Hikkaduwa. Go swimming, relax on the beach, get a massage or swim with the turtles as you settle into Sri Lanka.
Day 3, 4 & 5
Spend the morning relaxing in Hikkaduwa before taking a lunchtime train or bus to Galle. Spend the next couple of days exploring the beautiful Galle Fort and Unawatuna. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy good local food within the fort and be sure to catch a sunset by the lighthouse. Organise a tuk-tuk or rent scooter and head to Unawatuna beach. Spend the day exploring the local bars, restaurants and beach. Head to Dalawella Beach and to find the famous swing and bag yourself a cool Insta picture.
On your way back check out Jungle beach, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported a paradise island (from the paradise island you’re on!). After check out the Japanese Peace Pagoda which is just next door.
Day 6 & 7
After enjoying some time around Galle jump on a local bus or organise a private car or tuk-tuk to take you to Mirissa. Enjoy time here lounging on a tropical beach and checking out the many restaurants and bars which offer up some great meals. Organise a whale watching tour and spend the day out on the ocean, if you’re lucky you’ll see whales, dolphins and sea turtles.
Day 8 & 9
Next up is safari time! Yala National Park is one of the most popular parks for tourists to visit. There are many to choose from but for this itinerary, we’re going visit Yala. Organise a safari with a local company, your hosts should be able to assist you. Spend some time in the parking and enjoy sites of elephants and maybe some leopards if you’re lucky.
Day 10, 11 & 12
Next, you will head into the mountains and 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 Arugam Bay.
Day 14, 15, 16
Spend your days chilling on the beach, surfing or getting some surf lessons if you’re a beginner. There are some good cafes in the area to find a coffee and a western-styled brunch. Kandy is one of the more lively towns for partying, check with your hosts to see where the action will be.
Next, up take either a series of buses or organise a private car will 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 19 & 20
Spend time checking out the well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sinhala civilization.
Day 21, 22 & 23
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 24 & 25
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.
If you’re in the mood for a tough but unforgettable sunrise hike then your next stop will be Adam’s Peak. If hiking isn’t your thing or if it’s not the right time of the year to do the hike either spend an extra day in Jaffna or head back to Colombo.
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 back to Colombo
Spend a day exploring the up and coming city of Colombo before departing Sir Lanka