There's a lot to see in Sri Lanka—two weeks will allow you enough time to explore all the island's top sights or even travel to other countries in the surrounding area. However, you can still enjoy Sri Lanka in a shorter time frame. Five days is long enough to see the highlights or spend some time relaxing on the beach, while with seven days, you can go deeper and experience multiple regions.
Make the Most of Your Time in Sri Lanka
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For a short but sweet trip to Sri Lanka, try one of these 5-day itineraries. You might focus on the country's top highlights, featuring visits to UNESCO-listed temples and a safari in a national park, or you may focus more exclusively on wildlife viewing. Alternatively, cool off on a laid-back tour of Hill Country—excellent for tea lovers—or spend your time exploring the beautiful beaches of the Sri Lankan coastline. Find out more about your options by reading the itineraries below.
With six days in Sri Lanka, you can visit three to four destinations. Balance heritage sites and popular spots like Kandy with outdoor adventures in Knuckles, perfect for first-timers, or take the summer to indulge in three nights in Trincomalee, suited to beach lovers. Alternatively, wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate spotting elephants in Udawalawe National Park. Meanwhile, those interested in a more in-depth experience might want to get off the beaten path and discover Sri Lanka by bike.
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.
Abundant wildlife, breathtaking natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and delicious food—Sri Lanka has them all, making this tropical island nation a welcoming destination for families. Spend a week with your family discovering Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle, looking for elephants, monkeys, and elusive Asian leopards, and visiting iconic sites such as Sigiriya Rock, once carved into the shape of a lion, and Kandy's Royal Palace and Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
With eight days, you can explore the temples, mountains, and beaches of Sri Lanka on a well-rounded itinerary or opt for a nature-packed trip and spend your days spotting wild elephants and taking in expansive views from ancient fortresses. For those looking to pack in as much as possible, embark on a best-of-Sri Lanka tour around the country's famous temples and coastal towns. In contrast, those looking to slow down can enjoy a leisurely tour from Negombo through Nuwara Eliya to the capital city of Colombo.
In nine days, you can visit multiple regions and experience many cultural highlights of Sri Lanka. This includes trips to the famous Cultural Triangle of ancient Buddhist cities as well as highland tea plantations and the golden coast of the country's south. You can also include some wildlife spotting in national parks, hikes up rock temples, and cultural exchanges with local artisans.
With 10 days to spend in Sri Lanka, there are several great ways to structure your trip. Choose a highlights tour to the country's UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient temples, explore the great outdoors on an active adventure that includes cycling and whitewater rafting or relax on a laid-back itinerary showcasing quiet beaches and villages. Alternatively, you could combine a week in Sri Lanka with a few days in the island paradise of the Maldives. Read over the following itineraries to learn more about your options.
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.
Cover the highlights of four plus provinces of Sri Lanka in 11 days. Opt for a classic itinerary that loops around the country and hits three coasts or spend more time inland and add Kandy to the mix and climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Add a night in modern-day capital, Colombo as well as a night in the ancient capital of Anuradhapura in the country's interior. Alternatively, budding or skilled surfers may choose a holiday to hit world-class waves at famous beaches.
Twelve days allows you time to visit six to seven destinations if you keep pace. First-timers can hit the highlights, like Sigiriya, on a nature, culture, and architecture-focused trip. Families and couples will find bonding activities, such as stargazing in Kalkudah, on a summer tour. At the same time, wildlife enthusiasts and high-end travelers will enjoy the safaris and elevated experiences on a luxury getaway. Those that want to spend time surfing or learning to surf can stick to the coast on a "big wave" focused itinerary.
With 13 days in Sri Lanka, you can soak up the country's laid-back culture and impressive landscapes on a well-rounded itinerary perfect for first-time visitors. Or opt for a wildlife-packed trip and embark on safaris in Wilpattu National Park and Yala National Park and visit the famous fortress of Sigiriya. For those ready to slow down, settle into a nature and relaxation trip, and spend your days between the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya, the beaches of Pasikudah, and the lakes of Wilpattu National Park.
There's a lot travelers can see and do with two weeks to spend in Sri Lanka. Explore the island on a highlights tour that takes you to historic temples and national parks, focus on coastal destinations and UNESCO-listed sites, or opt for an itinerary that includes cycling and boating through Sri Lanka's natural wonders. If you're traveling with children, consider a family-oriented tour, or if you're eager to see the Maldives, combine ten days in Sri Lanka with a few more in the paradise of these nearby coral islands. Learn more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.
There's fun for all ages in Sri Lanka, and two weeks gives you ample time to cover the highlights with your family. If you prefer a mix of culture and wildlife, you'll enjoy the sacred city of Anuradhapura, safaris in Yala, and the beaches of Weligama. The family who is up for an adventure will appreciate a safari and exploring Sigiriya Rock Fortress, visiting orphaned elephants in Udawalawe and Tangalle for temples, boat rides, and turtle watches. Active families will love the junior ranger program, jungle night walks, and beach activities in Passikudah.
In 15 days, you can travel the length and breadth of Sri Lanka while hitting every coast along the way: north, south, east, and west. And there's a lot to see and do on this island, from exploring ancient Buddhist cave temples to lazing on golden beaches, hiking up rock fortresses, and visiting historic tea plantations in the central highlands. Whether on holiday, a honeymoon, a wellness retreat, or simply chasing the endless summer, Sri Lanka has something for everyone.