18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka trip planner

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Route & dates

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Colombo
Fly + taxi:  2​h 15​min
1
Sigiriya
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Polonnaruwa
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Kandy
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Ella
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  2​h 45​min
5
Mirissa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Colombo
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Anuradhapura
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
End: Colombo

1
night
Sigiriya

Sigiriya ©
The historic rock of the same name dominates the landscape of World Heritage-listed Sigiriya, where the steep and striking lava plug contains the ruins of an ancient empire.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Thu): explore the ancient world of Sigiriya, then don't miss a visit to Pidurangala Rock, and then stroll through Dhilip De Alwis.

To see reviews, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Sigiriya road trip planner.

Colombo to Sigiriya is an approximately 2.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Dhilip De Alwis
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Pidurangala Rock ©
Pidurangala Rock
Dhilip De Alwis ©
Dhilip De Alwis

1
night
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): appreciate the history behind Gal Vihara, steep yourself in history at Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya, then don't miss a visit to Hetadage, then explore the ancient world of Polonnaruwa Vatadage, and finally make a trip to Dalada Maluwa.

For traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Polonnaruwa online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa in 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can go by car to Kandy.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya ©
Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya
Gal Vihara ©
Gal Vihara
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage

2
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Knuckles Mountain Range and Kandy Garrison Cemetery. Step out of Kandy to go to Pinnawala and see Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanical Gardens, explore the activities along Kandy Lake, and pause for some serene contemplation at St Anthony's Church.

To find ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Kandy trip app .

You can drive from Polonnaruwa to Kandy in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to drive to Ella.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Knuckles Mountain Range, Royal Botanical Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Knuckles Mountain Range ©
Knuckles Mountain Range

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Honey Bee Garden and Spas. The adventure continues: take in the awesome beauty at Little Adam's Peak, explore the striking landscape at Ella Rock, learn more about the world around you at R. M. S Antique And Brassware, and admire the sheer force of Ravana Ella Falls.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Ella driving holiday website .

You can drive from Kandy to Ella in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In November, daily temperatures in Ella can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Mirissa.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Spas
Highlights from your plan
Honey Bee Garden ©
Honey Bee Garden
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Demodara Loop ©
Demodara Loop

3
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Spas & Wellness and Matara Beach. There's much more to do: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and look for gifts at LAZY.RIDE.

To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Mirissa holiday builder app .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Ella to Mirissa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. In November, daily temperatures in Mirissa can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to drive to Colombo.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Matara Beach
Highlights from your plan
Mirissa Beach ©
Mirissa Beach
Spas & Wellness
Fishing Charters & Tours

4
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara and Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple. Change things up with these side-trips from Colombo: Bentota Beach (in Bentota), Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center (in Kosgoda) and Kalutara (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Kalutara Bodhiya). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kande Viharaya Temple, stop by Urban Island, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and head outdoors with Diyatha Uyana.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Colombo journey planning site .

Getting from Mirissa to Colombo by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In November, daily temperatures in Colombo can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can go by car to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Colombo

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Kalutara, Bentota Beach, Kande Viharaya Temple, Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center
Highlights from your plan
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara ©
Kelaniya Raja Maha 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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): contemplate the waterfront views at Kalu Diya Pokuna Natural Black Water Pond, then make a trip to Mirisaveti Stupa, and then don't miss a visit to Isinbassagala. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mihintale, then don't miss a visit to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba, and then delve into the distant past at Ranmasu Uyana.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Anuradhapura road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Colombo to Anuradhapura takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride back home.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Ranmasu Uyana ©
Ranmasu Uyana
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba ©
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba
Mihintale ©
Mihintale

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