Buddha statues in Dambulla cave temple

Two weeks in Sri Lanka: our itinerary

Our itinerary for two weeks in Sri Lanka during peak season allowed us to see some tea plantations in the mountains, a whole lot of temples, elephants up close, beautiful beaches and some city pulse.

This is our itinerary for two weeks in Sri Lanka. It’s pretty much what people see in Sri Lanka in two weeks, but I especially enjoyed going to a small town and staying the night instead of coming in on a tour. This is an overview of our itinerary, follow the links to the individual posts to find out more!

Where we stayed

Kandy (2 nights)
Sigiriya (1 night)
Kandy (1 night)
Ella (3 nights)
Udawalawa (1 night)
Tangalle (3 nights)
Galle (1 night)
Colombo (2 nights)


View over Kandy

We arrived at Colombo airport in the late afternoon, so to save time, we had arranged an airport pickup with our hotel in Kandy. The journey took around three hours because of heavy holiday traffic, our driver said that it normally goes faster. We spent two nights in Kandy, giving us enough time to see the main sights in town, such as the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Kandy, the perfect start of a trip to Sri Lanka

Dambulla, Sigiriya

We left Kandy in the morning, walked to the bus station and found a bus for Dambulla, two hours away. We just stopped there for a few hours to see the Dambulla cave temples, then took another bus for half an hour to Sigiriya where we spent the night. In the morning we went to see Sigiriya Rock, then at noon took another bus back to Kandy for one more night.

Dambulla and Sigiriya on your own

Sigiriya Rock from a distance

Kandy again

This time we were just in Kandy for one afternoon, before taking the train to Ella the following day. We went back to a favorite restaurant and took a relaxing walk around town, preparing for a long six hours on the train.

The scenic but busy train ride from Kandy to Ella

Ella entrance sign


We spent three nights in Ella, which was a good time for exploring some of the area on food without any stress. We didn’t like Ella town itself very much, as tourism had completely taken over the town, but the countryside around it was lovely.

What to do on a day out in Ella

View from Little Adams Peak in Ella


We had no plan as we left our homestay in Ella, but when we got down to the road a man approached us to offer a shared taxi to Udawalawe which would drop us at the door of our next homestay. As the alternative had looked like three public buses, connecting at various major crossroads, we didn’t think twice about it. It took a couple of hours, which I’m guessing is a lot faster than the buses, giving us time to visit the Udawalawe elephant orphanage and book a safari for the following morning. We spent one night here, which is plenty, and left at noon after the safari.

Close encounter with elephants at Udawalawe National Park

Elephant on the road


We didn’t know where to go on the coast, but it was peak season and lots of accommodation was already booked up or having doubled their prices. As we wanted an easy bus ride down from Udawalawa we choose Tangalle, a small town with some tourist hotels on one side, and homestays on the other. We were very happy with this, as we ended up staying with a lovely family and eating some of the best food we had in these two weeks.

Away from it all on the beaches of Tangalle

Boats at Tangalle beach


We spent one day in Galle, the old portuguese town, which was quite different than the other towns we had been in.Galle Fort was a little bit overcrowded with tourists, but very pretty. We climbed the city wall and got a good view into the cricket stadium.

A day and a night in colonial Galle

Street in Galle


We wanted to spend a few days in Colombo at the end of the trip, and this time we splurged on a nice hotel with a pool overlooking the ocean. We walked a lot, visited some temples, and quite liked the city.

Is Colombo worth your time?

Market district of Colombo

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