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Sri Lanka 2 Week Itinerary where to go in sri lanka sigiriya ella kandy yala national park mirissa

The Perfect Sri Lanka 2 Week Itinerary – Where To Go & What To Do

Piecing together your perfect Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary? Here’s how to pack in the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer! Inc accom, activities and more!

Busy planning your Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary and not quite sure how to fit everything in?

From the rock fortress of Sigiriya and the stunning wildlife of Yala National Park to the beaches of Mirissa and the surf on the South West Coast, here’s how to pack in the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer.

The Perfect Sri Lanka 2 Week Itinerary – Where To Go & What To Do

Colombo

Length of Stay = 1 night (if you land late)

Ayubowan (Hello) and welcome to Sri Lanka!

For many, your Sri Lankan adventure will begin in the capital city of Colombo. Depending on what time you arrive, we recommend spending one night exploring this lively city.

Known as “the garden city of the east”, Colombo is a city full of attractions and sights to be seen. Be sure to check out the many colonial-style buildings, the Old City and the National Museum. One of the most fun ways to do this is by jumping on the Tuk Tuk Safari – which explores the city in a convertible tuk tuk, one of the most fun ways to get around anywhere in Sri Lanka!

I also recommend the iconic Viharamahdevi Park, where you can visit the mini zoo, stroll around the parklands and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

If you land early on day 1 you could always head straight off to the next destination or simply skip over Colombo for an extra night somewhere else. I’m not a huge fan of cities so I wouldn’t blame you!

Top Activities:

  • Old City
  • Tuk Tuk Safari
  • Viharamahdevi Park

Places to stay:

 

 

Sigiriya

Length of Stay = 2 nights

Located a3.5 hour drive from Colombo (or if you want to splash out a short 30 minute flight), Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Sri Lanka’s most popular attractions.

where to go in sri lanka mirissa sigiriya yala national park kandy ella itinerary 2I’d recommend spending 2 nights here to explore the amazing Sigiriya Rock Fortress (aka Lion Rock) and the surrounding area.

Standing at 200 metres high, Lion Rock is a stunning ancient rock formation that was converted into a rock fortress waaaay back in the 5th Century AD.

Today, the rock is embellished with historic relics from medieval Sri Lanka’s royal palace, including the old city structures on the top.

Spend your time exploring Lion Rock by taking on the challenging hike to the top. In just 30 minutes you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in all of Sri Lanka.

I’d suggest visiting early morning before it gets too busy, and be sure to bring a water bottle along as the Sri Lankan sunshine can be strong! Or of course you could head up for sunset instead, which is equally breathtaking.

Another great thing to do in Sigiriya is to visit Pidurangala Rock. This attraction is hard to miss, as it’s located right next to Sigiriya Rock!

And just like it’s neighbour, Pidurangala Rock offers a great hike and breathtaking views of the surrounding plains. While you’re on the active adventure trend, why not embark on a cycling tour of the Sigiriya area? It’s a great way to see the sights, get in some exercise and explore the local side of this spectacular region.

Top Activities:

  • Hike Lion Rock
  • Pidurangala Rock
  • Cycling tour

Places to stay:

 

 

Dambulla temple

Length of Stay = 1 night (or you could do en route to Kandy)

Located just 25 minutes from Sigiriya, Dambulla is a small region that’s well worth a visit.  During your 1 night stay in Dambulla, you must check out the famed Dambulla Temple.

Sitting 160 metres high above the ground, the temple is build into the cliff and features five caves that have been transformed into a sacred Sri Lankan memorial site. Dating back 3,000 years, the temple houses ancient skeletons that were once the inhabitants of the caves.

Each of the five caves features a different interior with statues of different religions.There are over 150 Buddha statues as well as ancient artefacts, paintings and murals made that date back to the prehistoric times.

Spend your time exploring the caves and the rich cultural history that remains – even if you’re not religious it’s a pretty awesome spot to explore.

And if you want to free up and extra night in your Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary you can always stop off here on a shorter visit en route to Kandy.

Top Activities:

  • Visit the Dambulla Temple
  • Learn about the rich cultural history
  • Marvel at the ancient artefacts and statues

Places to stay:

 

 

Kandy

Length of Stay = 2 nights

Located just over 2 hours by car from Dambulla, Kandy is a bustling city in the heart of Sri Lanka. At first, this city doesn’t look like it has much to offer, apart from heavy traffic, however it’s well worth including on your Sri Lanka itinerary thanks to it’s awesome attractions.

Sri Lanka tea plantation ella kandyThe Temple of the Tooth is an absolute must-visit in Kandy. It is believed to house the tooth of Lord Buddha himself.

Alongside Sigiriya is one of the most popular places to explore in the country – so give yourself a good few hours to wander around this stunning temple.

Kandy is also a fabulous place to try some local Sri Lankan cuisine. The city is bursting with cafes and restaurants that offer affordable and delicious meals that are sure to impress – so get out there and indulge your tastebuds with curries, sambol and more!

In Kandy, you can also explore the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Boasting a wide variety of flowers, plants, bamboo forests, monkeys and birds, the Botanic Gardens are the largest in all of Sri Lanka. Be sure to check out the beautiful orchids!

Top activities:

  • Temple of the Tooth
  • Try some local cuisine
  • Botanic Gardens

Places to stay:

 

 

Ella

Length of Stay = 2 nights

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without a visit to Ella and there’s no better way to do it than on the famous Kandy to Ella Train.

where to go in sri lanka mirissa sigiriya yala national park kandy ella itinerary 3The 6 hour journey is renowned as one of the world’s most scenic train journeys and takes you through some of Sri Lanka’s best sights and surrounds. 

Upon your arrival in Ella, you’ll find a lush mountain town that boasts some of the best scenery in the whole country. Rolling mountains, tea plantations and sleepy villages set the scene for a truly beautiful holiday destination.

Spend 2 days exploring this remarkable area hiking in the mountains and visiting the many tea plantations that this area is so renowned for.

You can even visit the very place where Mr. Lipton planted his first tea crop in 1890. Perfect for photography lovers, be sure to visit the famous Nine Arch Bridge and watch the iconic blue train pass through the mountains.  

Top Activities:

  • Hiking in the mountains
  • Tea plantations
  • Nine Arch Bridge

Places to stay:

 

Adams Peak

Length of Stay = 1 night

After Ella it’s time to head to the central highlands region of Sri Lanka to the amazing Adam’s Peak. A spectacular mountain rising 2,243m from the earth, Adam’s Peak is another must-visit destination on your Sri Lanka itinerary, especially for those for love a good hike or viewpoint.

Not only is it one of Sri Lanka’s most sacred places of pilgrimage but it is also said to be home to Buddha’s footprint. You can experience this incredible site for yourself on a sunrise hike up to the top of Adam’s peak. 

During the pilgrimage season,from December to May the hiking trail is illuminated by a shining ribbon of lights which can be seen from miles away. From afar it resembles a trail of stars leading to the heavens.

After hiking through 7km of lush bushland, at the summit you can take in the marvelous views of Hill Country and you can even see the city of Colombo 65km away on a clear day.

Be aware though it’s a pretty hardcore hike, so take it slow and steady – and leave yourself enough time to reach the top before sunrise, you don’t want to miss out!

Top Activities:

  • Adam’s Peak hiking trail
  • Buddha’s footprint
  • Getting heaps of photos!

Places to stay:

 

 

Yala National Park

Length of Stay = 2 nights

After an early morning start at Adams Peak it’s a 5.5 hour drive down to the coast, so get comfortable in the car for a good sleep en route to Yala National Park!

Sri Lanka yala national park leopard elephantAn absolute highlight on any Sri Lankan 2 week itinerary, Yala National Park is full of remarkable wildlife including the famous Sri lankan leopard. Bordering the Indian Ocean in south-east Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is the home for many amazing animals including elephants, crocodiles, and sloth bears.

Yala has one of the highest leopard populations in the world, which means you’ve got a pretty epic chance to see one of these amazing creatures in the wild – so make sure you have your camera charged and ready to go.

Safari’s range in length and can be anywhere from 3 hours to 3 days  you can take your pick on what fits best into your time frame (if you have longer than 2 weeks), but for most people the 1 day or half day safari experience is enough to keep you stoked.

The best part is, these guided safari’s take you to all the best places only known by the locals and you’re bound to see lots of incredible animals and scenery.

You can even stay in the National Park itself in a luxury safari camp. Experience the animals in their natural habitat and enjoy 5 star accommodation in the scenic natural surrounds, winning!

Top Activities:

  • Wildlife spotting
  • Safari adventure
  • Luxury safari camp

Places to stay:

 

 

Mirissa

Length of Stay = 2 nights

where to go in sri lanka mirissa sigiriya yala national park kandy ella itineraryAfter your dose of wildlife, it’s time to head to the beach!

And what better place to soak up the sunshine than the coastal region of Mirissa, with it’s sandy coast and palm tree fringed waters.

Located 2.5 hours from Yala National Park, this beautiful region is a hot spot for travellers from across the world – and we don’t blame them!

Sparkling seas, pumping surf and beautiful tropical ambiance that’s sure to have you relaxed from the moment you arrive. 

There’s a lot to see and do in Mirissa. You can laze about on the beach, eat some delicious seafood, learn to surf or even embark on a whale watching adventure. After a jam packed 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary it’s a great place to wind down and relax.

And of course you have to head up to the famous Coconut Hill for some pictures too!

Depending on what you want to do or where you want to be based you can also swap out Mirissa for a stay in Weligama, Midigama of Ahangama too – especially if you’re looking to surf in Sri Lanka.

Top Activities:

  • Beach time
  • Whale watching
  • Learn to surf

Places to stay:

 

 

Galle

Length of Stay = 1 night

The perfect place to end your Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary, Galle is a wonderful destination that’s all about relaxation and culture. Situated an hour from Mirissa, Galle has a lot to see and do. 

Built by the Dutch, the city of Galle dates back to 1663 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is so much history and culture to discover and you get a real glimpse into the local life here in Galle. Spend your time visiting the beach towns of Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa, explore the vibrant boutiques, cafes and bars 

If you’ve decided to extend one of your other stops on this Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary then you can always fit in Galle as an extended lunch break on the away back to the airport.

Top Activities:

  • Visit the beaches
  • Explore the boutiques
  • Check out the local cafe’s and bars

Places to stay:

 

 

What stop have made your Sri Lanka itinerary?

Anything else you’d suggest adding in?
 

 

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