With 10 days, your family can visit at least four regions in Sri Lanka. Crafty kids can create souvenirs in a Tangalle mask-making workshop, while aspiring chefs will learn the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine in a Kandy cooking class. Take your budding wildlife photographers on a safari in Yala National Park and your little historians to ancient sites such as Sigiriya Rock. Families looking for a relaxed pace should head to Dikwella for snorkeling, a countryside bike ride, and a walk in Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

Itinerary #1: Family Fun in Sri Lanka: Ancient Cities, Tropical Beaches & Exotic Wildlife

Families who have a range of ages and those visiting Sri Lanka for the first time will appreciate the variety on this itinerary. Start with a safari in Minneriya National Park, then hike to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, let the kids try traditional farming in Hiriwadunna Village, go dolphin-watching in Pasikudah, tour the Royal Palace in Kandy, engage your young chefs in a cooking class, and do some sightseeing and souvenir shopping in Colombo via tuk-tuk. With the chance to visit numerous historic sites—including the Citadel of Yapahuwa, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, and Batticaloa Fort—it's also ideal for your little historians.

Combine ancient wonders with relaxing beach time as you explore Sri Lanka as a family
Combine ancient wonders with relaxing beach time as you explore Sri Lanka with your family
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Anuradhapura, Tour the Citadel of Yapahuwa Anuradhapura
Day 2 Explore Anuradhapura, Safari at Minneriya National Park, Nocturnal Lori Tour Anuradhapura
Day 3 Sigiriya Rock Hike, Visit Hiriwadunna Village  Anuradhapura
Day 4 Transfer to Pasikudah, Explore the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa Pasikudah
Day 5 Visit Batticaloa Fort, Family Beach Cinema Night Pasikudah
Day 6 Snorkeling Fun in Passikudah, Dolphin Watching Excursion Pasikudah
Day 7 Transfer to Kandy, Guided City Tour  Kandy
Day 8 Hanthana Butterfly Tour, Family Cooking Class Kandy
Day 9 Kandy Botanical Gardens, Transfer to Colombo, Colombo Tuk-Tuk Tour  Colombo
Day 10 Depart Colombo  

On arrival in Colombo, your driver will transfer you to Anuradhapura, where the kids can stretch their legs on a walk around the Citadel of Yapahuwa. After a good night's rest, take your young naturalists on a wildlife safari in Minneriya National Park, followed by a nighttime tour in search of the big-eyed loris. Climb the (1,200) steps up Sigiriya Rock for panoramic views and a family photo before heading to Hiriwadunna Village. Here, the kids can engage with village life through traditional farming and lunch with a local family. Then, it's off to Pasikudah, where the little ones can spot monkeys amid the Polonnaruwa ruins.

Enjoy a family movie night under the stars on Day 5 and a snorkeling excursion on Day 6 before moving on to visit the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Spot colorful butterflies on a family hike in the W15 Hanthana Estate, then surprise your aspiring chefs with a cooking class with the local community. Before you hop in the car for the ride back to Colombo, burn off some energy with a walk around the Kandy Botanical Gardens. Finally, back in Colombo, zip around the capital in a tuk-tuk, then take the kids to enjoy the lively streets and vendors in the Pettah merchant quarter before departure. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Family Expedition to Sri Lanka: Culture, History & Outdoor Adventures

Adding a couple more stops to the itinerary, this family-friendly trip is best for families that are keen on traveling by train and at a faster pace. You'll admire the statues and golden interior of Dambulla Cave Temple, take a family trek up Sigiriya Rock, tour the sacred sites of UNESCO-listed Kandy, and cap off your trip with a zipline excursion in Ella for the adventurous kids followed by a safari in Yala National Park and snorkeling in Hikkaduwa for the wildlife lovers. If you have aspiring musicians in the family, the drum-making workshop in Kuragala is sure to be a hit. 

Children practicing traditional fishing skills in Hikkaduwa
Observe traditional fishing techniques in Hikkaduwa
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Sigiriya, Dambulla Cave Temple Tour Sigiriya
Day 2 Sigiriya Rock Hike, Visit Hiriwadunna Village  Sigiriya
Day 3 Transfer to Kandy, Guided Historic City Tour Kandy
Day 4 Drum-Making Workshop, Adventure to Ambuluwalwa Kandy
Day 5 Train to Ella, Free Afternoon to Explore Ella
Day 6 Ravana Zipline Experience, Transfer to Yala National Park, Family Safari  Yala National Park
Day 7 Yala Rural School Visit, Transfer to Sinharaja Forest Reserve Sinharaja Forest 
Day 8 Transfer to Hikkaduwa, Afternoon Snorkeling Excursion Hikkaduwa
Day 9 Turtle Hatchery Experience, Guided Tour in Galle Hikkaduwa
Day 10 Depart Hikkaduwa  

Kick off your family trip with a stop at Dambulla Cave Temple en route to Sigiriya. After a Sri Lankan dinner, tuck the kids in early; they'll need their energy for the 1,200 steps-climb up Sigiriya Rock tomorrow. Then, cruise the river in Hiriwadunna and prepare lunch with a local family before departing for Kandy. On a city tour, your guide will engage the kids with stories about sacred sites, including the Royal Palace. Crafty kids and young musicians will be delighted with your next activity: a drum-making workshop in Kuragala. In the afternoon, take in the far-reaching views from the whimsical Ambuluwawa Tower.

On Day 5, enjoy Hill Country views on the train to Ella, where you'll take your adventurous kids on a zipline excursion before embarking on a safari in search of elephants, peacocks, and other wildlife in Yala National Park. Encourage the kids to play games and share stories on a cultural exchange at a school, then continue to Sinharaja Forest Reserve for a refreshing walk and restful overnight stay. Next, your driver will whisk you away to Hikkaduwa, where you'll fill the final days of your family vacation with swimming, snorkeling, and a visit to the Sea Turtle Hatchery and Rescue Center. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Sri Lanka Family Discovery: Sigiriya, Kandy, Ella, Yala & Tangalle

Adding the beachside town of Tangalle, this family getaway is suitable for families with children seven and older, as some hiking is involved. You'll cruise through the Sigiriya countryside on bikes, take a guided tour of Kandy, hike to Little Adam's Peak, and end with a treasure hunt and mask-making in Tangalle. This trip is also an excellent fit for blossoming wildlife photographers and kids who adore animals as you'll meet the monkeys of Disney's "Monkey Kingdom" at the Polonnaruwa ruins, visit Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, search for leopards on safari in Yala National Park, and observe sea turtles at the hatchery in Galle.

Meet the stars of Disney's "Monkey Kingdom" in Polonnaruwa
Meet the stars of Disney's "Monkey Kingdom" in Polonnaruwa
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Sigiriya, Dambulla Cave Temple Tour Sigiriya
Day 2 Hiriwadunna Village, Cycling Excursion in the Sigiriya Countryside Sigiriya
Day 3 Visit the Monkey Kingdom of Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya Rock Fortress Hike Sigiriya
Day 4 Transfer to Kandy, Guided Historic City Tour, Waterfall Swim Kandy
Day 5 Train to Nanu Oya, Tea Plantation & Factory Tour, Transfer to Ella Ella
Day 6 Hike to Little Adam's Peak, Explore the Nine Arch Bridge Ella
Day 7 Transfer to Yala National Park, Visit Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home Yala National Park
Day 8 Family Safari in Yala National Park, Transfer to Tangalle Tangalle
Day 9 Galle Dutch Fort & Treasure Hunt, Mask Workshop, Sea Turtle Hatchery Tangalle
Day 10 Depart Tangalle  

Dive into Sri Lankan culture with a visit to Dambulla Cave Temple, followed by a tour of Hiriwadunna village, where the kids can try their hand at farming and cooking with a local family. Then, take a family bike ride through the countryside, passing rice farmers and water buffalo. If your kids are fans of Disney's "Monkey Kingdom," they'll be thrilled to meet the stars—the monkeys at the Polonnaruwa ruins. Take a hike up Sigiriya Rock (if little legs are weary, stop at the halfway point) before transferring to Kandy. Here, you'll check out the Bahirawakanda Buddha statue and let the kids choose souvenirs in the local shops. 

Board the scenic train to Nanu Oya for a tea estate tour and continue to Ella for a leisurely family dinner. In the morning, choose a hike depending on your family members' ages and levels of fitness: a moderate hike to Little Adam's Peak or a gentler walk at the Nine Arch Bridge. The animal lovers among you will appreciate a stop to meet the residents of Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home en route to Yala National Park. After a wildlife safari, your driver will take you to Tangalle to cap off your family trip with a treasure hunt, mask-making workshop, and sea turtle hatchery in Galle. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Sri Lanka South Coast Family Adventure

Beach-loving families who prefer a relaxed pace can opt for this south coast adventure. You'll be based in Dikwella, where you can enjoy family beach days, snorkeling, and whale watching. You'll also have the chance to learn how to surf together in Weligama Bay, take a bird-watching boat ride on Koggala Lake, cruise the countryside by bike, and let your crafty kids connect to the culture through art during a mask-making workshop in Kolam. Given the pace and the variety of kid-friendly activities, this trip is excellent for all ages, including younger children. 

A Sri Lankan family walks along the Galle old fort walls
Spark young imaginations as you walk along Galle's old fortress walls
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Dikwella Dikwella
Day 2 Sri Lankan Mask Carving Workshop, Galle Fort Treasure Hunt Dikwella
Day 3 Koggala Lake Boat Ride, Cinnamon Island Visit, Evening Sea Turtle Watch Dikwella
Day 4 Cycle Through the Southern Countryside Dikwella
Day 5 Set Sail on a Whale Watching Tour Dikwella
Day 6 Discover the Sinharaja Rainforest Dikwella
Day 7 Learn to Surf the Waves of Weligama Bay, Afternoon Snorkeling Excursion Dikwella
Days 8-9 Beach Days in Dikwella Dikwella
Day 10 Transfer to Colombo, Depart  

On arrival in Colombo, your driver will chauffeur you to Dikwella, where you can ease the kids into your Sri Lankan adventure with a swim at the beach followed by a seafood dinner. In the morning, invite the kids to create a keepsake in a mask-making workshop in Kolam, then challenge them to a treasure hunt at the fort in Galle. Next, budding birders will enjoy a bird-watching boat ride on Koggala Lake, and young chefs will be captivated by a cinnamon tour at Cinnamon Island. In the evening, learn about sea turtles (and if you're lucky, observe them nesting!) at the Nature Friends of Rekawa's conservation project.

Witness local life on a family bike ride through the countryside (if the little ones need a rest, they can hop in the support tuk-tuk), then join a whale watching cruise near Mirissa. Give the kids binoculars and see how many animals they can find on a hike in Sinharaja Forest Reserve on Day 6 before you head to Weligama Bay for a family surf lesson the following day. Spend the final days of your vacation as you wish: snorkeling, swimming, souvenir shopping, or simply relaxing on the beach recounting your favorite memories together. Learn more

More Great 10-Day Sri Lanka Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Sri Lanka? Check out these other 10-day Sri Lanka itineraries, with outdoor adventures, family-friendly trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 10 Days in Sri Lanka - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
Map of 10 Days in Sri Lanka - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas