22 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

22 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  16​h 45​min
1
Colombo
— 1 night
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Dambulla
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Kandy
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Ella
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Arugam Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Yala National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Rekawa
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Mirissa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
9
Galle
— 1 night
train:  1​h 45​min
10
Colombo
— 1 night
Fly:  16​h 45​min
End: Brisbane


Learn more about your trip

1
night
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.
To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Colombo vacation planner .

Brisbane, Australia to Colombo is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. You'll gain 4 hours traveling from Brisbane to Colombo due to the time zone difference. In January, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 27°C. You'll set off for Dambulla on the 13th (Mon).

Things to do in Colombo

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:

2
nights
Dambulla

Dambulla ©
On a trip to Dambulla, visit the largest and best-preserved cave temple complexes in the country, declared a World Heritage Site.
Explore Dambulla's surroundings by going to Euphoria Spice and Herbal (in Matale) and Ruwanwelisaya (in Anuradhapura). Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Golden Temple of Dambulla, take in nature's colorful creations at Popham's Arboretum, enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, and browse the fresh offerings at Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre.

To see ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Dambulla trip planning site .

You can take a train from Colombo to Dambulla in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Kandy.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Ruwanwelisaya, Euphoria Spice and Herbal, Dambulla Cave Temple
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya
Euphoria Spice and Herbal ©
Euphoria Spice and Herbal

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.
On the 16th (Thu), contemplate the long history of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, explore the activities along Kandy Lake, then don't miss a visit to Kandy view point, and finally admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanical Gardens.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Kandy planning app .

Drive from Dambulla to Kandy in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can drive to Ella.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Royal Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Kandy Lake ©
Kandy Lake

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Rakkhiththa Kanda Aranya Senasanaya (in Wellawaya) and Nuwara Eliya (Horton Plains National Park & Mohini falls). The adventure continues: take in the awesome beauty at Little Adam's Peak, take in the dramatic scenery at Ravana Ella Falls, get engrossed in the history at R. M. S Antique And Brassware, and savor a delicious cup with a coffee and tea tour.

For maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Ella tour itinerary maker website .

You can drive from Kandy to Ella in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can go by car to Arugam Bay.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Nuwara Eliya, Rakkhiththa Kanda Aranya Senasanaya
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Demodara Nine Arch Bridge ©
Demodara Nine Arch Bridge
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock

3
nights
Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay ©
On the 21st (Tue), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kudumbigala Monastery, contemplate the waterfront views at Pottuvil Lagoon, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally explore the activities along Arugam Bay. Here are some ideas for day two: get outside with Whisky Point, Sri Lanka, then delve into the distant past at Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil, and then make a trip to Muhudu Maha Vihara.

To see ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Arugam Bay road trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Ella to Arugam Bay takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Arugam Bay are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Yala National Park.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

Outdoors Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Arugam Bay ©
Arugam Bay
Pottuvil Lagoon ©
Pottuvil Lagoon
Muhudu Maha Vihara ©
Muhudu Maha Vihara

2
nights
Yala National Park

One of the most popular national parks in the country, Yala National Park boasts a wide variety of animals, and does important work in conserving and growing populations.
Get out of town with these interesting Yala National Park side-trips: Tissamaharama (Off-Road Tours & Safaris) and Kataragama (Kiri Vehera & Kataragama Temple). Spend the 25th (Sat) exploring nature at Yala National Park.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Yala National Park trip app .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Arugam Bay to Yala National Park. January in Yala National Park sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to travel to Rekawa.

Things to do in Yala National Park

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Kataragama, Tissamaharama
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Safaris
Yala National Park ©
Yala National Park
Off-Road Tours

3
nights
Rekawa

Rekawa ©
A small town with a laidback vibe squeezed between the ocean and the shores of a rich lagoon surrounded by mangroves, Rekawa draws visitors throughout the year with a pioneering turtle conservation project, the most notable tourist attraction in Rekawa.
Change things up with these side-trips from Rekawa: Ussangoda National Park (in Hambantota) and Blow Hole Hummanaya (in Dikwella). There's much more to do: delve into the distant past at Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara, stroll through Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary, visit a coastal fixture at Tangalle Lighthouse, and enjoy the sand and surf at Kahandamodara Beach.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Rekawa vacation planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yala National Park to Rekawa. January in Rekawa sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can drive to Mirissa.

Things to do in Rekawa

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Tangalle, Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary, Blow Hole Hummanaya, Ussangoda National Park, Kahandamodara Beach
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa) ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Indika Art Gallery ©
Indika Art Gallery

2
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
For maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Mirissa trip planner .

Drive from Rekawa to Mirissa in 2 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Galle.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors Beaches Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Mirissa Beach ©
Mirissa Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Spas

1
night
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
On the 30th (Thu), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, kick back and relax at Jungle Beach, and then contemplate the long history of Galle Fort. On the 31st (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Sea Turtle Farm, kick back and relax at Hikkaduwa Beach, and then take in the exciting artwork at Saffron Robes Gallery and Studio.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Galle itinerary planner.

You can drive from Mirissa to Galle in an hour. Another option is to take a train. In January in Galle, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to take a train to Colombo.

Things to do in Galle

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna
Find places to stay Jan 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Hikkaduwa Beach ©
Hikkaduwa Beach
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Jungle Beach ©
Jungle Beach

1
night
Colombo

Colombo ©
To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, use the Colombo vacation builder app .

You can take a train from Galle to Colombo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Colombo

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Murugan Temple
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 1:
Highlights from your plan
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Galle Face Green ©
Galle Face Green
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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