This one is definitely worth a boast post or two
Our two ultimate Sri Lanka itineraries
Ah Sri Lanka. The country with some of the world’s most sought after beaches, iconic cultural attractions, immense wildlife and of course: colourful Tuk Tuks. With so many excitingly diverse places to see, things to do while you’re there and experiences to..well..experience, it can quite rapidly become overwhelming when it comes to starting the research and the planning of your ideal two week Sri Lanka itinerary. In this article we’re going to delve into two of our best Sri Lanka itineraries so that you can gain an insight as to what’s out there, how best to see it all and start forming an idea of what your perfect two week itinerary in Sri Lanka might look like. So, from ancient icons and rolling tea plantations to hip beach resorts and heart-pumping safaris, read on and you’ll be well on your way to booking an envy worthy two week holiday in Sri Lanka before you know it, we promise.
- Colombo - Nuwara Eliya - Arugam Bay - Yala - Udawalawe - Galle - Colombo
- 7 stops - 13 days
- Character Accommodation
- From £2,941 p/person
First up it’s our Sri Lanka Discovery itinerary. Boasting a total of 7 stops in the space of 13 days, this colourful and diverse itinerary will ensure you see as much as possible of this incredible country without spending too much time on the move. Yep, this itinerary offers a little something for everyone from the city dwellers and history buffs to the animal lovers and water babies alike. So whether you’re someone who likes a little bit of everything or you’re a couple who just can’t agree, this itinerary might just be the one for you.
Your two weeks in Sri Lanka will start in colourful Colombo. Long gone are the days where Colombo would be used solely as a stopover point before darting off to the country’s much sought after beaches and cultural attractions. Yup, Colombo is officially where it’s at. Brimming with some pretty impressive colonial-era and religious buildings dotted around the city, Colombo is also known for its up and coming status with its ever-growing skyline and cosmopolitan hang-outs meaning whether its culture, history or a bit of style you’re after, Colombo probably has it.
You’ll stay in Villa Talangama during your stay in Colombo. A world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll stay in your very own villa set amongst the natural scenery of the surrounding wetlands making this the perfect place to rest your head after a long day of exploring Colombo’s iconic attractions. Who said city trips couldn’t be serene?
After an exciting start to your two weeks in Sri Lanka, you’ll venture on to Nuwara Eliya. Also known as “Little England” this city welcomes its visitors with awe-inspiring natural scenery and a charming contrast between colonial and modern day Sri Lanka. A typical day here will see you strolling past charismatic mock-Tudor buildings and colourful rose gardens one minute before you head into Nuwara Eliya’s atmospheric centre the next while your senses are aroused with colourful food markets and bustling city vibes. Oh, and this vibrant city isn’t just known for its charming buildings and busy street life – it’s also famous for its sweeping views of tea plantations. And seriously, what’s a visit to Nuwara Eliya without a Tea Picking Experience? Included in the price of this itinerary, you’ll get the incredible opportunity to witness how the nation’s favourite drink is picked and processed before having a warm cup of tea of your own as you take in the views of the surrounding tea plantations. Sounding good so far?
It gets better. During your stay in Nuwara Eliya, you’ll rest your head in The Grand Hotel – the previous home of Sri Lanka’s former governor. Talk about fancy! This mock British manor house has everything you’d expect from an Elizabethan home with British architecture and stylish décor throughout. Enjoy first-class service set within a peaceful atmosphere and get some well-deserved shut-eye in the hotel’s large and cozy rooms.
After a busy four days of taking in everything these vibrant cities have to offer it would be almost rude to not stop off for a beach break. Introducing Arugam Bay, the east coast’s slice of heaven. This trendy beach spot is known for its relaxed surfer vibes but if you’d just prefer to flop onto the beach as soon as you arrive, there’ll be no judgement from our side.
Throughout your time here, you’ll stay in the oh so sophisticated Aprota Villas. Both modern and charming, this resort is the welcoming sanctuary you’ll need after a long hard day of sunning it up on the hotel’s very own private beach. Opt for a lazy day – book in hand, toes in sand, or take a stroll through the evergreen gardens before taking full advantage of your villa’s standalone bath. Yep, this one’s for the ‘gram.
After you’ve had your fill of flip flops ‘n sandy toes, you’ll head into some of Sri Lanka’s most sought after national parks where you’ll get up close and personal with Sri Lanka’s wildlife.
You’ll spend days 7-9 in Yala National Park where you’ll embark on an incredible jungle safari. Expect nothing less than incredible encounters with everything from leopards and crocodiles to sloth bears and elephants while you’re surrounded by lush grasslands, glistening lagoons and dense forests. And when it comes to resting your head, we have to admit, we’re pretty jealous with this one. You’ll be staying in the elegant Mahoora Tented Safari Camp which has been recognised for its commitment to sustainable tourism with its carbon neutral tents, each of which boast a restful living area, a candlelit bedroom with an en suite and cozy carpets creating the perfect blend of comfort and safari vibes.
Next up you’ll head to Udawalawe National Park for yet another incredible wildlife experience. This particular park is famous for its high number of elephants meaning that a few impressive encounters with these majestic creatures are very likely to be on the agenda here. As part of this two week Sri Lanka itinerary, you’ll also have a trip to Udawalawe’s Elephant Transit home included in the price of your trip where you’ll get to hang out with orphaned and injured calves while you learn all about their rehabilitation before they’re sent back into the wild. You’re welcome.
After a day of thrilling encounters and cuteness overload, you’ll rest your head in Centuria Wild. This hotel prides itself upon its luxurious rooms and first-class service in addition to its close proximity to Udawalwe National Park making your stay here a simple and relaxing one.
Days 11-13 of your two week Sri Lanka itinerary will be spent in Galle – Sri Lanka’s hip and historical hub. This incredibly charming city is known for its narrow streets, colonial-era buildings and of course the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Galle Fort. But don’t be fooled by Galle’s historical status – just take a stroll down one of the city’s many winding streets and you’ll come across an array of quirky cafes, stylish boutiques and an abundance of art and photography. Oh, and this city is oh so conveniently located on the coast meaning that when you’re sick of beautiful architecture and winding streets (hint, that’s not possible) you can soak up the rays on the seafront and get back to the holiday basics.
When it comes to where you’ll get some shut-eye, you’re in for a treat here. You’ll stay in Fort Bazaar which is beautifully located in the heart of the UNESCO listed Galle Fort. This elegant hotel combines both contemporary style with traditional middle eastern décor and has been sophisticatedly furnished with four-poster beds meaning one thing: a good night sleep is most definitely on the cards here.
After an amazing nearly two weeks in Sri Lanka exploring its colourful history, sunning it up on the beaches and coming face to face with its abundance of flora and fauna, it’s officially time to head onto your final stop of the trip and back to where you started in Colombo. This will be the perfect time to see any last bits you might have missed the first time round and spend time back at your hotel, Villa Talangama while you reflect on your incredible two weeks in Sri Lanka.
- Habarana - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Yala - Udawalawe - Galle - Bentota
- 7 stops – 15 days
- Classic Accommodation
- From £2,764 p/person
Next up it’s our Sri Lanka in Depth itinerary with our authentic experience pack. When it comes to spending two weeks in this incredible country, this itinerary will give you the opportunity to see the best bits of Sri Lanka, stay in some of their best hotels and come face to face with this country’s intriguing local way of life. You’ll explore this awe-inspiring country’s cultural highlights, come face to face with its immense wildlife, revel in lazy beach days and experience rural, Sri Lankan life like you’ve never seen it. This itinerary has it all.
Your two weeks in Sri Lanka will begin in Habarana. Although this town isn’t much of a tourist hub in itself, Habarana serves as the gateway to some of Sri Lanka’s much sought after cultural and wildlife hubs. Included in the price of this itinerary, your first day will be spent darting off to Habarana’s surrounding towns; Sigiriya and Dambulla where you’ll enjoy a guided tour through Sri Lanka’s ancient civilisations before heading to Minneriya National Park where you’ll embark on a classic Sri Lankan safari. Yep, we’re talking elephants, leopards, sloth bears, monkeys and hundreds of different bird species among an abundance of lush vegetation. How’s that for a first day on holiday?
Day four of your two week Sri Lanka itinerary will give you the unique opportunity to encounter rural Sri Lankan life and catch a glimpse at how the locals live. As part of the authentic experience pack, you’ll embark on the Hiriwadunna Village Trek and Catamaran Ride (yep, we tried and failed to pronounce it too) where you’ll embark on a scenic boat ride, take a trek through Hiriwadunna village and enjoy a well-deserved Sri Lankan lunch. So, if we can give you one word of advice, it’s to bring your camera. Your time in Habarana will almost certainly require an obligatory boast post or two when you return home. And rightly so!
You’ll stay at Habarana Village by Cinnamon during your time here. Ringed with lush vegetation and located just seconds from a tranquil lake, this charming hotel is the perfect place to come back to after a busy day of exploring Habarana’s surrounding attractions. High class hospitality from local workers adds to the authentic Sri Lankan experience while the oh so comfortable double beds and private verandas make for the perfect place to indulge in some serious R&R as you slip into the holiday mood.
After a busy few days in Habarana you’ll set off to Kandy, one of Sri Lanka’s most scenic cities. This charming city boasts an enjoyable contrast between serene natural beauty and bustling city vibes meaning you’ll get the best of both worlds during your time here. Included in this two week Sri Lanka itinerary is our Kandy Highlights tour where you’ll spend your day taking in everything this beautiful city has to offer including its botanical gardens, Kandy Lake, colonial architecture and its most popular attraction; Temple of the Tooth - Sri Lanka’s most famous Buddhist relic.
As part of the authentic experience pack, you’ll hop on an authentic Sri Lankan train and travel to your next destination in style. Yep, you’ll set off on your journey to Nuwara Eliya in one of the trains constructed by the British in the 19th century used to transport tea across Sri Lanka. Today this train journey is considered to be one of the most scenic in the world! Type the term into Instagram and you’ll see a bunch of like-minded tourists flocking to get that classic Instagrammable picture, well who can blame them? This train was practically made for social media.
You’ll be staying in Ozo Kandy during your time here. This stylish hotel boasts modern bedrooms which have been inspired with traditional Sri Lankan style and have been elegantly decorated to ensure a comfortable stay. Spend lazy afternoons dipping your toes in the rooftop pool or chilling out in the lounge as you look out over the incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
After an authentic trip on the Scenic Train Journey, you’ll be met by your driver and be taken into the centre of Nuwara Eliya. As we’ve already seen, this enchanting city offers its visitors a charming insight into both colonial and modern day Sri Lanka. It’s here that you’ll experience the ultimate contrast between home and the best of Sri Lanka as you step from Little England into a world of bustling street markets and experience the ever-present aroma of spicy cuisine.
You’ll be staying at Jetwing St Andrew’s during your time in this city and trust us, this isn’t just any old hotel. Jetwing St Andrew’s is set within an elegant restored Georgian style country mansion which boasts gorgeous green surrounding nature and adds massively to this hotel’s charming atmosphere. Each room has been beautifully decorated with large beds and crisp white linens complimented with vibrant décor and wooden flooring to create the ultimate combination of Sri Lankan personality and home comforts.
You had your first taste of Sri Lanka’s wildlife on day one of your two week Sri Lanka itinerary but now it’s time to go into full safari mode with a trip to two of Sri Lanka’s most sought after national parks: Yala and Udawalawe.
As we’ve already seen, your time in Yala will be all about those incredibly rich wildlife encounters. Expect nothing less than heart-stopping experiences with some of Sri Lanka’s largest predators while taking in the array of natural scenery on offer. As part of the authentic experience pack, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit another local Sri Lankan village. During this inspiring experience, you’ll gain a unique insight into rural life in Sri Lanka in addition to getting the opportunity to try out your culinary skills as you learn how to make one of Sri Lanka’s most traditional dishes: curd. Your taste buds will thank you for this one, we promise!
When it comes to sleeping arrangements in Yala, there’s only one way to do it: staying in a safari camp. Welcome to Wild Trails Yala. This overnight stay is more of a glamping situation than a camping situation but the point with this accommodation is that your safari experience won’t end when you step out of the jeep. Yep, expect to hear some furry locals snooting around outside your tent at times! Inside, your tent will feature a large double bed, an en suite and a private veranda looking out into Yala’s dense jungle area where you’ll be able to spend your evenings and continue Yala’s incredible wildlife encounters from the comfort of your own space.
Next up, you’ll head to Udawalawe National Park where you’ll embark on yet another safari. As we’ve already seen your time here will be all about the incredible encounters with Udawalawe’s large number of elephants whether that’s during a safari or at the park’s Elephant Transit Home. You’ll also be staying at Centuria Wild during your time in Udawalawe. You might be wondering why Centuria Wild is a hotel option for both classic and premium accommodation options and it’s because Centuria Wild is the only hotel option in Udawalawe! But fear not, this charming hotel is well equipped to cater beautifully for all standards with high class service and elegantly decorated rooms, you won’t find it difficult to relax here, we promise.
After a mind-blowing few days of exploring Sri Lanka’s wilderness, you’ll head to Galle to experience everything this cosmopolitan city has to offer. As we’ve already seen, Galle is the very definition of “up and coming” and quite frankly, a two week Sri Lanka itinerary just wouldn’t be complete without a visit here.
As part of this itinerary’s classic accommodation, you’ll stay in Amari Galle and to put it bluntly, we’re very jealous. This superb hotel is beautifully located right on Galle’s seafront meaning you won’t be able to escape that relaxed “by the sea feeling” even if you tried. Yup, sweeping sea views from the hotel are on the cards here. The hotel itself boasts modern décor with whites and blues which complement the surrounding natural scenery to create a light and airy feel in each room. Oh, and it gets better. Amari offers a large seafront swimming area with some very trendy chill out areas in addition to a stylish rooftop where you can enjoy panoramic views of the ocean. Did we mention we’re jealous?
Last up but most definitely not least, it’s officially time for sandy toes ‘n lazy beach days in Bentota. Because seriously, what’s a two week Sri Lanka holiday without a visit to one of this country’s most sought after beaches? This gorgeous beach resort is all about the powdery sand, clear warm water and the lush surrounding jungle vegetation – in other words this place is somewhat close to paradise.
From water sports to delicious culinary delights you’ll be sure to find plenty to do while you’re here..unless of course doing nothing but lazing on the beach is on the agenda and rightly so after a busy two weeks! But don’t switch off just yet – as part of the authentic experience pack, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit Lunuganga Estate where you’ll take a trip back in time as you come face to face with a century’s worth of Sri Lankan and Euorpean history and artefacts. This insightful visit will see you explore the estate’s tranquil gardens and the house used in Colonial Sri Lanka as both a cinnamon estate under the Dutch era and a rubber plantation under the British era while gaining an insightful interaction with both Sri Lankan and European history.
When it comes to accommodation in Bentota, you’ll be staying at Eden Resort and Spa as part of the classic accommodation pack but trust us, this resort is far from ‘classic’. You’ll enjoy nine outstanding restaurants and bars to choose from in addition to a rooftop bar, a large swimming pool, stylish rooms and your very own balcony. Yep, we’re pretty smug about this one.
Feeling inspired? Why not explore our other Sri Lanka holidays now. Pick any itinerary that is closest to what you’re looking for and don’t forget you can add or remove extra stops, upgrade or downgrade your accommodation and add or remove experience packs to suit your holiday ideals and budget.