18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Zagreb
Fly:  17​h 15​min
1
Sigiriya
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Kandy
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h 15​min
3
Mirissa
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Hikkaduwa
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h 45​min
5
Ella
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 45​min
6
Negombo
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Zagreb

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.
On the 25th (Wed), explore the striking landscape of Minneriya National Park. On the next day, delve into the distant past at Sigiriya, then make a trip to Pidurangala Rock, then look for all kinds of wild species at Dhilip De Alwis, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Golden Temple of Dambulla.

For maps, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Sigiriya trip planner .

Zagreb, Croatia to Sigiriya is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and taxi; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time (CET) to India Standard Time (IST) is 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to drive to Kandy.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Habarana, Golden Temple of Dambulla
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Minneriya National Park ©
Minneriya National Park

3
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Kandy Garrison Cemetery. Escape the urban bustle at Royal Botanical Gardens and Kandy Lake. Venture out of the city with trips to Victoria Golf & Country Resort (in Rajawella), Elephant Freedom Project (in Kegalle) and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (in Pinnawala). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Knuckles Forest Reserve, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asgiriya Maha Viharaya, and make a trip to Kandy view point.

To see other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Kandy trip planner .

You can drive from Sigiriya to Kandy in 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel to Mirissa.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Knuckles Forest Reserve, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Royal Botanical Gardens, Elephant Freedom Project, Victoria Golf & Country Resort
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ©
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens

3
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Take a break from the city and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Medawatta Beach. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Mirissa Beach and Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa). Get out of town with these interesting Mirissa side-trips: Matara Beach (in Matara) and Nandana Tea Factory (in Akuressa). There's much more to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, look for gifts at LAZY.RIDE, enjoy the sand and surf at Marakolliya Beach, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Medaketiya Activity Beach.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read our Mirissa trip itinerary maker site .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Kandy to Mirissa in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Mirissa are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Matara, Tangalle, Nandana Tea Factory
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Mirissa Beach ©
Mirissa Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa) ©

3
nights
Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa ©
One of the most scenic beach resorts in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa features a number of long white sand beaches with palm trees and gentle waves.
You'll get in some beach time at Hikkaduwa Beach and Bentota Beach. Visit Galle Fort and Naga Viharaya for their historical value. Change things up with these side-trips from Hikkaduwa: Sinharaja Forest Reserve (in Galle) and Unawatuna (Spas & Wellness, Jungle Beach, & more).

For photos, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Hikkaduwa online travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Mirissa to Hikkaduwa takes 1.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Hikkaduwa are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel to Ella.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Unawatuna, Galle, Bentota Beach
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Hikkaduwa Beach ©
Hikkaduwa Beach
Jungle Beach ©
Jungle Beach
Bentota Beach ©
Bentota Beach

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.
Get in touch with nature at Little Adam's Peak and Ella Rock. Explore Ella's surroundings by going to Lipton’s Seat (in Haputale), Thotupola Kanda Nature Trail (in Ohiya) and Saga Travels & Tours Nuwara Eliya (in Nuwara Eliya). The adventure continues: admire the sheer force of Ravana Ella Falls, take in the views from Demodara Nine Arch Bridge, stop by Ella Gem & Jewelry, and pick up some new kitchen skills with Honey Bee Garden.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Ella trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Hikkaduwa to Ella takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to travel to Negombo.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Thotupola Kanda Nature Trail, Saga Travels & Tours Nuwara Eliya, Lipton’s Seat
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Ravana Ella Falls ©
Ravana Ella Falls
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock

3
nights
Negombo

Negombo ©
Located close to the international airport, Negombo has a reputation for being either the first or last taste of the country for visitors.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple and Thewaththa Church (Basilica Ragama). Visiting Negombo Beach and Nature & Wildlife Tours will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Negombo: Colombo (Old Kathiresan Temple & Mount Lavinia Beach). The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Anne's Church, and see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour.

To find photos, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Negombo trip planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Ella to Negombo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in January, and nighttime lows around 26°C. On the 10th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Negombo

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Colombo, Thewaththa Church (Basilica Ragama)
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Negombo Beach ©
Negombo Beach
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©

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