On this 10-day tour of Sri Lanka and the Maldives you'll enjoy the perfect mix of cultural exploration and beach-side relaxation. Starting on the tropical tear-drop island of Sri Lanka, learn about the country's centuries of history at temples, palaces, forts, and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Transfer to the Maldives islands, a short flight from Sri Lanka, where you can enjoy lazy days on the beach being as relaxed or active as you wish, perhaps snorkeling and windsurfing if you like.

Highlights

  • Spend time in vibrant, modern Colombo city
  • Experience the pristine beauty of the Maldives' lagoons
  • Climb to the top of the UNESCO-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Tour the temples of Kandy, Sri Lanka's cool hill city

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sri Lanka - Transfer to Negombo Negombo
Day 2 Negombo to Girithale, via Yapahuwa Girithale
Day 3 Tour Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa Girithale
Day 4 Girithale to Kandy, via Dambulla and Mathale Kandy
Day 5 Tour the Temples of Kandy Kandy
Day 6 Kandy to Colombo Kandy
Day 7 Fly to the Maldives Colombo
Days 8-9 Maldives South Male Atoll
Day 10 Maldives – Airport  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sri Lanka - Transfer to Negombo

Beaches of Negombo

On arrival at Bandaranayke International Airport you'll be met by a representative and transferred to Negombo.

Negombo is a major city, located in Western Province, and quite near the airport. The city is known for its trawling industry, and has busy fish markets, sandy beaches, and many hotels and restaurants, especially seafood restaurants. There's also an abundance of handicraft, batik, and jewelry boutiques throughout the city. 

Day 2: Negombo to Girithale, via Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa

Depart from Negombo after breakfast and travel to Girithale, stopping en route at ancient Yapahuwa, a medieval kingdom. The citadel of Yapahuwa, lying midway between Kurunegala and Anuradhapura, was built around a huge granite rock that rises abruptly 300 feet (100 m) above the surrounding lowlands.

After touring Yapahuwa, continue to Girithale and check in to your hotel.

Day 3: Tour Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa

Views from the Sigiriya Rock Fortress

This morning, head to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The ruined palace complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most treasured historical monuments in Sri Lanka. The frescoes and mirror walls alone make every challenging step up to the fortress worthwhile. 

Return to the bottom of the hill and enjoy a refreshing king coconut, before proceeding to Polonnaruwa. The second-largest city in this province and famous for its clean and beautiful environment, Polonnaruwa is full of amazing ancient constructions and the huge lake Parakrama Samudra, built in 1200. This contains many archaeological sites. UNESCO has declared this ancient city a World Heritage Site, too.

Return to Girithale, for a second night there.

Day 4: Girithale to Kandy, via Dambulla and Mathale

Kandy is a hill town

Leaving Girithale this morning, the first stop of the day will be at the Dambulla Cave Temple. The popular cave temple complex dates from the 2nd century BCE, and is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are over 80 caves here, some of which are used by monks for meditation. The famous Rock Temple has five separate caves containing 153 magnificent Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan monarchs, and four Hindu deities.

Later, visit a spice garden in Mathale, where you can learn about Sri Lankan spices, which are used for cooking and medicine.

Finally, arrive in Kandy, a charming hill town surrounded by hills, valleys, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. It is the cultural center of Sri Lanka, and a UNESCO-listed city. The sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined at the Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Tooth. The arts and crafts center and the Buddhist Malwatta and Asgiriya monasteries are must-see places in Kandy. In the evening, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and enjoy a cultural show.

Day 5: Tour the Temples of Kandy

Gadaladeniya Temple
Gadaladeniya Temple

Today you'll visit three important temples: Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka, and Ambekka.

The Gadaladeniya Temple, with an ancient monastery, is found on the flat rock at Diggala. According to an inscription there, this temple was built in 1344, and is South Indian in style. The Lankatilaka Temple dates back to the Gampola Kingdom, the 14th century. The temple protrudes in four directions, like a cross. What you see today is just part of what once existed. The Ambekka Temple was also built in the 14th century. The shrine consists of three sections: the sanctum of Garagha, the dancing hall, and the drummers' hall. The splendid wood carvings, ornate pillars, and high pitched roof of the drummers' hall make it a particular must-see.

Day 6: Kandy to Colombo

Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo

Today you'll travel to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is a beautiful city with modern high-rise buildings amid old colonial ones, making it a picturesque place. Galle Face Green in Colombo, a favorite hangout spot for locals and tourists alike, overlooks the Indian Ocean. Colombo is also a shoppers’ paradise, with smart shopping malls and the famous Pettah Market.

After your arrival you'll take a city tour, and visit Galle Face Green to taste Sri Lankan street food.

Day 7: Fly to the Maldives

Welcome to the Maldives
Welcome to the Maldives

After breakfast, proceed to airport for your flight to Maldives, which takes about 1.5 hours. On arrival in the Maldives you'll be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your resort, beside a gorgeous lagoon and white-sand beaches, where you can spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Days 8-9: Maldives

White-sand beaches on the Maldives
White-sand beaches on the Maldives

Spend your days relaxing in a little piece of paradise. Take a dip in the expansive turquoise lagoon, snorkel among the coral reef, visit local islands, and experience the warmth of Maldivian people and their culture. You can opt to take a calm canoe trip out onto the water, or even try some windsurfing. The vast lagoon can accommodate a range of activities and interests. In the evening, enjoy some delicious cocktails while watching the sun set.

Day 10: Maldives – Airport

Farewell Maldives
Farewell Maldives

It's time to say goodbye to the lovely Maldives. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.

Map

Map of Discover Sri Lanka & the Maldives - 10 Days
Map of Discover Sri Lanka & the Maldives - 10 Days