If you have a week to spend in Sri Lanka, you might opt for a highlights tour that features stops at ancient temples and national parks. Another great option is to focus on wildlife viewing, choosing an itinerary that includes multiple Jeep safaris and a whale-watching tour. Relax on a laid-back tour of Sri Lanka's beaches, consider an itinerary geared to active families, or get off the beaten bath on a trekking trip around the country's quieter landscapes. Read over the following itineraries to learn more about your options.

Itinerary #1: Highlights of Sri Lanka

This weeklong highlights tour takes you to Sri Lanka's top attractions, featuring safaris in two national parks, visits to UNESCO-listed temples, and a tour of a tea plantation in Hill Country.

Massive stone-carved lion paws at Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore "Little Rome" in Negombo Negombo
Day 2 Visit the Fish Market in Negombo & Continue to Wilpattu Wilpattu
Day 3 Go on a Safari in Wilpattu & Sightsee in Anuradhapura  Sigiriya
Day 4 Visit Temples in Dambulla & Sigiriya Kandy
Day 5 Tour Kandy & Learn About Tea in Nuwara Eliya Nuwara Eliya
Day 6 Spot Elephants in the Wild in Udawalawe National Park  Udawalawe
Day 7 Depart Sri Lanka  

Welcome to Sri Lanka! The trip begins in "Little Rome," also known as Negombo. You'll visit the famous fish market, a great place for colorful photo ops, before moving on to Wilpattu National Park. Look for elephants and leopards on a safari around the park before continuing on to Anuradhapura, a city where you'll sightsee and learn about the great Sinhala civilization. On day four, tour the famous rock fortress in Sigiriya and the cave temples of Dambulla.

In the second part of the trip, you'll visit the incredible temple complex of Kandy and learn about the harvesting and production of tea in high-altitude Nuwara Eliya, part of Sri Lanka's Hill Country. Finish the trip with another Jeep safari, this time in Udawalawe National Park, home to water buffalo, lizards, sambar deer, monkeys, and a huge variety of birds. Sleep in a tented safari camp before the trip comes to a close. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Sri Lanka Wildlife Adventure 

Elephants, monkeys, sloths, whales, dolphins, rare birds: you'll see all of these and more on this exciting wildlife adventure around Sri Lanka's national parks and coastline.

An elephant in Yala National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive & Explore the Capital City of Colombo Colombo
Day 2 Go on Safari in Udawalawe National Park & Cooking Class Udawalawe
Day 3 Observe Wildlife at Yala National Park Yala
Day 4 Go on a Game Drive & Transfer to Mirissa Mirissa
Day 5 Whale-watch off the Coast of Mirissa Mirissa
Day 6 Free Day on the Beaches of Mirissa Mirissa
Day 7 Depart  

Start the adventure with a bit of cultural sightseeing and shopping in the capital city of Colombo before being whisked away to the wilderness on the following day. Go on an exciting Jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park, one of the best places in the world to see wild elephants. You'll also take a Sri Lankan cooking class at the safari camp on day two. Then continue on to Yala National Park, keeping your eyes open for Sri Lankan leopards and other exotic wildlife during a guided safari.

You'll explore the coast during the second part of the trip, basing yourself in oceanfront Mirissa. Go snorkeling or diving, rent a motorbike to explore the area, or just relax on the beach. Rise early on day five for a whale-watching boat tour off the coast. You could go out on the water again on day six, in pursuit of more whale-watching opportunities, or enjoy some free time for water sports, swimming, and sunbathing before the trip ends. Learn more

Plan your trip to Sri Lanka
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Itinerary #3: Beaches of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's gorgeous landscapes, from the coastline to national parks home to a wide variety of wildlife, take center stage on this 7-day tour around the country. 

Sunrise over the beach in Bentota
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Enjoy the Beaches of Mirissa Mirissa
Day 2 Whale-watch off the Coast of Mirissa Mirissa
Day 3 Cycling Tour Around Galle Mirissa
Day 4 Free Day in Mirissa Mirissa
Day 5 Continue Along the Coast to Bentota Bentota
Day 6 Beach Day at Bentota Bentota
Day 7 Depart   

The beach resort of Mirissa is the starting place for this relaxing journey along Sri Lanka's coastline. Swim, sunbathe, and walk on the beach, then get to bed for some rest—you'll have an early wake-up call the next day. Embark before dawn on a whale-watching tour off the coast—you're likely to spot blue whales from the boat deck. On day three, you'll head out on a full-day cycling tour around Galle, stopping to see the Dutch fort, visit a tea factory, and go on a boat ride on Koggala Lake.

There are fewer scheduled activities on the agenda for the second part of the trip. You'll have ample time to relax on the sand, try water sports, and spot rare birds as you transfer from Mirissa to Bentota, another fantastic beach resort on the Sri Lankan coast. On the last morning, you'll travel to the capital city of Colombo to do some sightseeing and shop for souvenirs in the bazaar of Pettah before it's time to catch your flight out. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Outdoor Adventures in Sri Lanka 

Suited for all ages, this 7-day journey through Sri Lanka's great outdoors features trekking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, and safari tours in national parks.

Hiking in Horton Plains National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore "Little Rome" in Negombo Negombo
Day 2 Hike Through Spectacular Scenery in Knuckles Knuckles
Day 3 Go Trekking & Visit Temples in Kandy Kandy
Day 4 Visit a Traditional Village & Raft on the Kelani River  Nuwara Eliya
Day 5 Discover Horton Plains National Park Belihuloya
Day 6 Explore the Capital City of Colombo Colombo
Day 7 Depart Colombo  

Kick off your itinerary in Negombo, taking some time to visit the famous fish market on day one. Then you'll transfer to the Knuckles Mountain Range for a trekking adventure through gorgeous landscapes on day two. Hike Manigala Rock on day three, then continue on to Kandy, where you'll be able to tour the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Stop in a traditional drum-making village on day four.

Next, you'll go whitewater rafting on the Kelani River and overnight in Nuwara Eliya, located in the heart of Sri Lanka's Hill Country. Day five is devoted to exploring the wilderness of Horton Plains National Park, home to elk, deer, giant squirrel, wild boar, wild hare, porcupine, and leopard. As the sun lowers in the sky, you'll have the chance to go canoeing in Samanalawewa Reservoir, then spend a day sightseeing and shopping in Colombo before flying out. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Trekking in Sri Lanka

Get off the beaten path on this trekking adventure through the rugged landscapes of Sri Lanka, including Horton Plains National Park and Ella Rock.

The trail to the top of Ella Rock in Hill Country
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Discover the Ancient Rock Fortress of Sigiriya Sigiriya
Day 2 Hike to the Top of Pidurangala Rock & Tour Kandy Kandy
Day 3 Trek & Learn About Tea in Nuwara Eliya Nuwara Eliya
Day 4 Explore Horton Plains National Park Ella
Day 5 Ascend Ella Rock Belihuloya
Day 6 Go Hiking Around Kinchigune & Sightsee in Negombo Negombo
Day 7 Depart Negombo   

The trekking itinerary begins in Sigiriya. You'll visit the famous rock fortress, where two huge stone-carved lion paws are all that's left of an ancient monument of a lion. Hike to the top of Pidurangala Rock on day two to enjoy outstanding views over the surrounding jungle. Then it's on to Kandy and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Continue the next day to Nuwara Eliya, where you'll do some high-altitude hiking past beautiful scenery and tea fields. You'll also learn how tea is harvested and produced. 

Hike through Horton Plains National Park next, spotting native wildlife, then overnight in the village of Ella. The next day's trekking itinerary takes you to the top of Ella Rock. On the last full day of the trip, you'll go hiking around the ancient village of Kinchigune, then move on to the Dutch-style canals of Negombo. You'll spend the last night here sightseeing and dining on Sri Lankan cuisine before the trip ends and you head to the airport. Learn more

More Great Sri Lanka Itineraries

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


Map of 1 Week in Sri Lanka - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 1 Week in Sri Lanka - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas