Sri Lanka is a great country with countless beautiful sights. You can probably spend a lifetime traveling through this country, but life often limits you. However, you can manage to visit the most crucial destinations in Sri Lanka during 2 weeks. This 2 week travel route takes you to destinations like Weligama, Mirissa, Dikwella & Hiriketiya, Udawalawe National Park, Ella, Kandy and Colombo. Get ready – here we go!
Don’t miss! Some days contain links to larger articles about that specific location.
Quickly step into parts of the guide:
Day 1: Flight, arriving to Negombo
Going to Sri Lanka from Sweden is a rather long flight. We had two layovers: first one in Copenhagen, and the other one in Doha. The flight took approximately 16 hours. If you are not arriving in Sri Lanka too late in the evening, I suggest you continue straight to your first destination: Weligama. Weligama is located around 3 hours from Negombo (where the airport is located).
Getting to Weligama: Our first plan was to take the train to Weligama. Taking the train is a really cheap way to travel around the island (read more on transportation around Sri Lanka here). But after a quick scan we found out that taking a cab is pretty cheap too. We paid 12 000 LKR (around 600 SEK/60 EUR) for a 3 hour long drive – where we had comfortable seats, air conditioning and could sleep peacefully. Maybe the best decision I have ever made. We asked our guest house in Weligama to pick us up, but you can also book a taxi via Sri Lankan taxi – or ask someone at the airport.
Day 2 – 4: Chill & surf in Weligama
Weligama is the place to be for those who love surfing, trendy cafés and soft vibes. This is a laid back town to spend your first days in Sri Lanka. Weligama beach is a 3 kilometers long sandy beach, and is known as one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka for beginner surfing. Plenty of surf camps are located here, and the beach is crowded with surf schools and board rentals. Go for a surf lesson, or rent a board on your own for an hour (250 LKR) to experience the waves.
Day 6 – 7: Relax in Mirissa
Mirissa is mostly about chilling at the beach and exploring the ocean. Mirissa is sometimes missed by travelers, but was according to me the perfect place for some relaxing days. Mirissa is much smaller than Weligama, and has a soft atmosphere with a beautiful beach, clear water and great restaurants. During these days you can go diving, search for turtles, take a relaxing massage etc.
➳ Read more: Top 10 things to do in Mirissa
Day 8 – 9: Dikwella & Hiriketiya beach
Head east to the small town of Dikwella (officially Dickwella). Here you will find many trendy restaurants and two great beaches: Dikwella beach and Hiriketiya beach. Hiriketiya is smaller and famous for its surfing, and Dikwella is larger and more calm. Stay somewhere in between to experience them both.
Day 10: Safari in Udawalawe National Park
When in Sri Lanka you should definitely visit one of the many national parks. The country is home to over 26 national parks, and is probably the best country in Asia to experience wild animals. Udawalawe National Park is located between Dikwella and Ella, and is popular among those who want guaranteed elephant sightings. Unlike Yala National Park, Udawalawe is smaller – but is still home to a significant number of elephants. Udawalawe is actually one of the best places to see elephants in Sri Lanka.
Going to Udawalawe from the south coast with public transport is possible. You take a bus to Matara and there you switch to another one. After observing the craziness of the buses, we decided that going by car felt better. The car ride cost us 8000 rupees (400 sek/40 euro). We decided to book one hotel night in Udawalawe. We arrived in the evening, got some dinner at the hotel and then went to sleep to catch a 6 am safari.
Tips! While in Udawalawe, make sure to visit the baby elephants in the Elephant Transit Home.
Day 11: Visit the well-known mountain village Ella
This little mountain village is really beautiful and a must-do when visiting Sri Lanka. Although very popular (= a lot of tourists) the views are stunning and the atmosphere is chill. From here you can visit tea plantations, go on spectacular hike tours, take a dip in waterfalls and meet monkeys (that will steal your bananas you saved for your afternoon snack). From Ella you can board the train to Kandy, which is known to be the most beautiful train ride in the world.
We went from Udawalawe to Ella by car. Again worth it. It took 2 hours and cost 6000 rupees (300 sek/30 euros).
Tips! You can easily spend 3–4 days in Ella, if you wish to extend your trip in Sri Lanka.
Day 12: The world’s most beautiful train ride, from Ella to Kandy
The best way to get to Kandy from Ella is definitely by train. It takes about 7 hours, but it is definitely worth it. It takes you through tea plantations, on mountain tops and through beautiful villages. Make sure to book your ticket in advance. We booked ours a few weeks before our trip and they were almost sold out.
We didn’t have more than a few hours in Kandy before leaving for Colombo the next day. To be honest: I’m glad we didn’t have more time. There are some things to do in Kandy, but I wouldn’t want to prioritize them over the south coast or Ella.
Tips! Having more days in Sri Lanka? Then make a stop in Nuwara Eliya on your way to Kandy! This little mountain village is considered to be the highest located village (in altitude) in Sri Lanka, and is home to many beautiful tea plantations and hike trails.
Day 13: Sightseeing in Colombo
Finish your trip and stay close to the airport in Colombo. Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka, and also the biggest city on the island. We had one day here before we had to go to Negombo and the airport. The city has an interesting history, with several temples and buildings to explore – but I would say one day is enough.
Day 14: Flight back home
Head to Negombo and the airport. Give the world a big smile and enjoy the fact that you just spent 14 days in a wonderful country!
Do you have more time in Sri Lanka? Extend the route these popular places:
- Yala National Park
- Kaudulla National Park