There is a lots to see on this small island called Sri Lanka ! Beaches, Ruins, Temples, Hikes… the country offers plenty of adventures. Though, the short distances should allow you to discover a lot of its wonders even if you have only 2 weeks. Discover my suggestion of 2 weeks itinerary for a first visit to Ceylan.
Your 2 weeks itinerary in Sri Lanka
Day 1: Flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka
Day 2: Night arrival to Colombo > Taxi to Bus station > Bus to Polonnaruwa via Dambulla (6 hours) – End of afternoon free at Polonnaruwa – Night at Polonnaruwa
Day 3: Explore Polonnaruwa’s XI century ruins. Palace, dagobas and rock carved Buddha statues, teh site is huge! Rent a bike to be able to explore all of it. It will most likely be really hot, to make the most out of the day, start early. Then head back to your guesthouse for lunch time, relax and take a nap. Around 4pm, start teh second part of your explorations – Night at Polonnaruwa
Day 4: Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya (bus or tuk-tuk) – Visit of stunning Sigiriya rock and gardens – Climb to the top (don’t forget to bring plenty of water). Night in Sigiriya
Day 5: Bus to Kandy via Dambulla – Afternoon in Kandy, evening visit to the temple of the Tooth . This allow you to witness the ceremony. The atmosphere is really spiritual, remain respectful.- Night in Kandy
Day 6: Morning in Kandy – Bus to Dalhousie (Adam’s Peak/Sri Pada) via Hatton – Short night in Dalhousie
Day 7: Early climb of Sri Pada during the morning, a holy place for buddhists – You will leave around 3.00am and return for late breakfast. Return then to Hatton (either by bus or tuk-tuk) > From there you will take the Beautiful train ride to Ella, running through the hilly country and tea plantations. Don’t get fooled by the station officer, you will be happy with a second class ticket- Night in Ella
Day 8: Day in Ella, hike at Ella’s rock where you can admire the beautiful canyon. and visit of the Udawapale tea plantation – Night in Ella
Day 9: Bus to Tissamaharama > Bus or tuk-tuk to Kirinda. Afternoon in Kirinda, visit of the temple and walk by the beach. Night in Kirinda
Day 10: Morning safari in Yala National Park. Animal that you can spot there includes elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, buffalos, jaguars… Arround lunch take the bus to Tangalla via Tissamaharama > Stop at Goyambokka beach. Night in Goyambokka
Day 11: This a relaxing day, you can spend it by the beach in Goyambokka. Night in Goyambokka.
Day 12: Bus to Mirissa. Day by the beach. The sea food there is a-ma-zing, I highly recommend the jamaican bar. Night in Mirissa
Day 13: Mirissa Beach and time in Weligama to see the fish market and the fishermen in activity. Night in Mirissa
Day 14: Morning by the beach. Bus or Taxi back to Colombo airport. Night flight to Europe, with your head full of memories!
Good to know about this itinerary
- This is a high pace itinerary, where you don’t stay more than 2 nights at the same place. The fact that you never travel more than half a day makes it possible to still enjoy the ride.
- This itinerary is based on most connections made mainly by bus (highly recommended!). Hiring a private driver is a good option if you want to make the trip less demanding.
- The train ride between Hatton and Ella really has amazing views!
- If you want to feel a bit less in rush you might want to skip the day in Sigiriya
The itinerary is based on my own travel in Sri Lanka in April 2013.
Sounds expensive? Take a look at the budget for that trip (spoiler: it’s less than $50 a day!).