Sri Lanka North to South Suggested Itinerary 

A full discovery of Sri Lanka touching the north, south, east, and west coasts.

When you have over two weeks to dedicate to a holiday to Sri Lanka, you can cover a lot of ground to explore the true diversity of this nation. This trip combines visits to the best historical and religious sites with opportunities to spot Sri Lankan elephants in the wild and indulge in some luxury beach resorts on different coasts. A driver accompanies you for most of the trip, making the journeys between destinations as easy as possible, although there’s a scenic train journey between Kandy and Ella and private transfers to make your holiday seamless.

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16 nights
Colombo, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Trincomolee, Habarana, Kandy, Ella, Yala, Galle

Recommended itinerary

Day 1

Colombo

After touching down in the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, a private transfer will take you to a comfortable city hotel. Perhaps there’ll be time for a refreshing, post-flight swim in the outdoor pool. The real adventure begins after a restful sleep.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Days 2-3

Anuradhapura

Your driver will meet you this morning. They’ll be on hand every day for most of your trip, taking you from place to place in comfort. Today, you’ll journey 120 miles northeast to Anuradhapura, famous for its ancient and atmospheric ruins. You’ll stay at the beautiful Uga Ulagalla for two nights, a serene boutique hotel where you can take village cycle tours or hop aboard a tuk-tuk to explore.

Days 4-5

Jaffna

Your driver will take you to Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula today. Jaffna is a lesser-visited part of Sri Lanka, but an incredible place to learn about Tamil culture and huge Hindu temples.

Hindu Temple

Days 6-7

Trincomalee

Your journey south takes you to Trincomalee on Sri Lanka’s east coast, where you’ll check into a beachside hotel. Two nights here gives you enough time to get to know Pigeon Island, a nature park spread across two islands connected by coral where you can spot abundant marine life, from colourful reef fish to rare species of sea turtles.

Trincomalee

Days 8-9

Habarana

Your driver will take you inland for a safari experience next. You have two days to take a jeep safari through Minneriya National Park, home to wild Asian elephants, and visit the remarkable Sigiriya Lion Rock.

Habarana

Day 10

Kandy

You’ll continue south to Kandy, checking into the delightful Coffee Bungalow in the Kandy Hills. On the way, your driver can take you to the Dambulla Cave Temple, a Buddhist site with exquisitely preserved cave shrines. Your driver departs today as the next leg of your journey is by train.

Temple of the Tooth, Kandy

Day 11

Ella

The Kandy to Ella train is a scenic railway journey that’ll take all day. Sit back and enjoy the trip until a transfer collects you at Ella station and brings you to 98 Acres Resort & Spa, a boutique hotel on a tea estate.

Days 12-13

Yala

A private transfer takes you south from the Hill Country to Yala, a wild and beautiful National Park. You’ll stay on the coast just outside the park. It’s a perfect location to enjoy the beach and venture into the park on a jeep safari to see Sri Lankan elephants and scan the terrain for leopards and sloths.

Days 14-15

Galle

You’ll head west along the south coast to Galle for the final beach stay of your holiday. If you visit between November and April, you’ll have the opportunity to look for blue whales at Mirissa. After two nights at The Fortress, a luxury beach resort, a private transfer takes you back to Colombo for your flight home.

Galle