Looking for Sri Lanka Itinerary for 3 Weeks? Sri Lanka is surrounded by the Indian Ocean which has become a major tourist attraction for many reasons. As its blue waters sparkle, the gentle wind chases away the harshness of the sun. The yellow sand, the shining water followed by the blue sky filled with white fluffy clouds creates that one charming view one may never get tired of gazing at.
The beaches along the south coast, Hikkaduwa, the Unawatuna beach, the Jungle Beach in Roomassala etc are very popular among tourists as it always offers the perfect spot for a sunbath on bright summer days. These coastal water also provides the tourists a chance to experience water sports like sea-boat rides, scuba diving and snorkeling by the reef or even surfing. As we head east along the South Coast, the sight of stilt fishing at the sunset is another unique and picturesque view one should never miss. And not to forget, whale watching in Mirissa and the world famous surfing destination in Arugambay.
To witness the turquoise sea water embracing the sandy shore, one should definitely visit the Nilaweli beach and enjoy the boat ride from the beach to the pigeon island. Passekudah Bay and Kalkudah Beach, the marble beach, Negambo beach and Mount Lavinia are some more iconic beaches popular among tourists.
Day 1 – Kandy
Your 3 weeks in Sri Lanka begins from Kandy. To head towards upcountry, the tourists can catch a train from Colombo and take the Main Line to Badulla. The Main Line passes through Kandy, the city of the ancient Royalty. It is also renowned as a world heritage site as the city holds the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic. Touring Kandy in the month of July and August would present the tourists with the annual Esala Perehara which is known as the grandest Buddhist festival held in Sri Lanka and one of the most beautiful pageants in the world. As the train makes its steep climb from Rambukkana onwards, the winds turn chilly and the view gradually transforms into scenic tea estates, valleys, waterfalls, lakes etc.
Day 2 – Kandy
Kandy Lake can be presented as an iconic place in the entire city of Kandy since it is located in the heart of Kandy, next to the Temple of the Tooth. The backdrop is so pretty and picturesque to be true, and there are quite a lot of peaceful spots where you can just sit and stare at the river & the Temple. There’s even an island in the lake, with palm trees!
The temple also known as ‘Sri Dalada Maligawa’ is a world heritage site and a focal tourist attraction. The sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha is stored at this temple after his cremation in India. Buddhism is the prime religion in Sri Lanka and this temple remains the heart for religion and history. The brick wall of the temple is known as ‘water waves wall’. The holes in this wall have been made to light coconut oil lamps and they add charm to the whole structure. The main entrance gate is called ‘Mahawahalkada’. There is a moonstone called as ‘Sandakada pahana’, which is carved beautifully using Kandyan architectural styles. ‘Esala Perahera’ – festival of tooth relic is the annual pageant that takes place around the month of July/August. Large number of locals and tourists gather at the temple to take part in religious activities and to enjoy the magnificent stage of celebrations.
The Ceylon Tea museum is situated about 4 km south of the Kandy city along the Handane road. This four floor building has prehistoric exhibits on tea pioneers of Sri Lanka – Sri James Taylor and Thomas Lipton. The ground and the second floor display the antique items of machinery used in tea brewing. A library and an auditorium with facilities for audio visual presentations are available on the first floor. A tea café is situated on the top floor of this museum and experience the real taste of Sri Lankan tea while enjoying the magnificent Kandy view through the telescope kept on this floor. If you are looking for some tea souvenirs to take home, the third floor is dedicated for selling of tea.
The Devon Falls is a waterfall situated 6 km west of Talawakele in Sri Lanka, A plantation of an English coffee planter, Devon is situated near the falls. This is where the name of the falls is derived from. The waterfall is 97 meters high and is known as the 19th highest in the island. The waterfall lies on the main route to Nuwara Eliya from Colombo after passing Hatton. You can reach the top of the falls by turning left from Dimbula, and taking the Dimbula – Nawalapitiya Road (B117). The best view of the waterfall is in front of Mlesna Tea Centre. The waterfall view is so beautiful that travelers make sure they stop and have a look while on their way. A hot cup of tea and a breathtaking view is all you need when you are on a vacation.
Gregory lake is one of the elegant and lovely gardens and the second largest in Sri Lanka. The garden has a cool climate because of its height of 5,400 feet above the sea level. Flowers start to bloom from December and the garden is colorful till February. During the off-season, the weather is chilly and remains green. The garden comprises many tropical and subtropical plants. You will see all colors of roses in the rose garden and orchid flowers are gorgeous. The garden was established in 1861, under George Henry Kendrick Thwaites as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop at that time. When Tea replaced the Cinchona, it was converted into an experimental area for tea cultivation, and then a botanical garden in later years.
This ancient fortress of King Kasyappa, now stands evidencing the ruins of an ancient civilization and is a world heritage site. The rock is named after its natural structure, resembling a sleeping lion – in Sinhala, ‘Sinha’ mean a lion and ‘Giriya’ means rock. You have to climb up the rock that is about 200 meters high through the lion’s mouth to reach the top. There are steps built that you can use to climb up and it is not so difficult although little tiring. Lion’s paws carved in the bedrock, mirror wall and the frescoes of about 500 beautiful ladies are remarkable that they are highly preserved. Flat-topped summit has gardens and ruins of excellent ancient architectures and the surrounding landscape view is splendid. Sigiriya is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.
The Sigiriya Museum is considered as one of the most attractive museums in South Asia. Three decades of archaeological research on Sigriya Sri Lanka, UNESCO World heritage site, can be experienced at the Sigiriya Museum. This museum, gives an excellent insight on Sigiriya’s historical and cultural importance. The museum is designed very similar to the Sigiriya rock. A true experience can be stimulated as the concept of Green Building with the mastery use of water and trees are followed. The floors of the museum are built in such a way that the visitors can experience the climb of Sigiriya. The museum reminds of the historical rock fortress. Exhibits of various valuable archeological artifacts such as a human skeleton, tools, jewels, sculptures and painted portraits are placed inside to beautify the museum.
Pidurangala is a massive rock formation which is almost directly opposite to the Sigiriya. Pidurangala rock has a majestic view and is surrounded by beautiful lakes. This is known as the best place to get an eyeful of the Rock Fortress itself. It has its own historical importance and was a prominent Buddhist monastery during the times of King Kasiyappa. Pidurangala has two levels for climbing. One, stone steps and then, the boulders. Climbing Pidurangala is not difficult at the beginning, but later you may have to catch a breath to wriggle between the rock faces. It would be worth the climb and the trouble because of the absolute breathtaking view. Also the Rock of Sigiriya is very clear from the rock summit.
Documented as part of the ‘Cultural Triangle’ of Sri Lanka’s Ancient Cities, Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is firmly on the tourist trail. Dating back to 380AD, the site comprises ancient ruins, well-preserved dagobas, brick pools and crumbling temples. Many of the holy sites are still in use today as places of worship, predominantly throughout the pilgrimages on poya (full moon) days. We were lucky enough to visit on a poya day and were a part of the throngs of people dressed all in white as they came to pay their respects to the ancient gods.The ruins are located close to the modern-day city but cover a vast area; you will to explore them as there is simply too much distance to cover by foot. The most common options for this are either by tuk tuk or by bicycle
Polonnaruwa was the flourishing profitable and spiritual center of Sri Lanka some 800 years ago. It contains of a lot of temples and religious constructions. For three centuries it was the regal capital, of both the Chola and Sinhalese kingdoms. In Polonnaruwa, it all started in the late 10th century when the South Indian Chola dynasty had occupied Sri Lanka.The Cholas picked Polonnaruwa as their new capital and enthused the capital from Anuradhapura. Their motives were seemingly that is was a deliberately better place to be protected from attacks from the Ruhunu Sinhalese kingdom in the south-east, and that it had fewer mosquitos.In 1070 though, the Chola dynasty was surpassed by the Sinhalese kingdom (King Vijayabahu I), which kept Polonnaruwa as his capital. And it was during this Sinhalese period that Polonnaruwa reached its high glory.The second king (King Parakramabahu I, 1153-86) built many large buildings, beautiful parks and a huge lake/ tank of water (25 square km). The third king (King Nisanka Malla, 1187 – 96) tried to match his predecessors`achievements, and ended up bankrupting the kingdom in his attempts!In the early 13th century the cities glory was fading, it was abandoned, and the capital moved to the western side of the island where Colombo is today. That was the sad end of the era of beautiful Polonnaruwa as a capital.
Yala 2 Days
If you have long dreamed of going on safariin Sri Lanka, spotting lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards you must visit Yala. It will be like an animal lover’s utopia.It will be everything you had hoped it would be. All you can see is animals to your left, to your right, and in front of you. You will get to see as elephants played on riverbanks and lazy lions slept the daylight away.
Passikuda 2 Days
Our mother Sri Lanka is no short of natural beauty. Beaches of Sri Lanka have the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean which kisses the sands. The first thing which comes to our mind when we speak about Sri Lanka is beaches indeed; It is true notion that Sri Lanka is mostly famous for sun-kissed beaches, It is more like a paradise in its entire splendor. All you can see in Sri Lankan beaches are icing sugar sand,cristal –clear turquoise water and off –shore coral reef. People from all around the world visit Sri Lanka in order to stopover the beautiful sandy shores for escapades. Whether you’re looking for peace of mind or a party, shallow waters or pounding surf, the Sri Lankan beaches are the perfect getaway in order to quench your travel thirst.Hikkaduwa and Arugam Bay ,Unawatuna, Ahangama, Weligama, Mirissa or Yala can be highlighted as the favorite surfing destinations in Sri Lanka. Although the beach hot spots are mostly located in the south and west of the country. Yet the east coast also is the best to snorkel or go on whale watching.Arugam Bay:Arugam bay is one of the favorite destinations for its surf and a delightful snorkeling paradise. If you are travelling from Colombo Arugam Bay can be reached via Monaragala and it is a just a seven hours drive. The wide sweeping sandy beach is also a tourist attraction for swimming all year –round.Passekudah Bay and Kalkudah Beach:Passekudah Bay is located in the East Coast of Sri Lanka. This is a wonderful spot for sea bathing. During the month of September this is an ideal for surfing and wind surfing.
Galle 2 Days
A natural and healthy spa therapy from doctor fish or nibble fish is a pleasure for the visitors of Sinharaja rainforest. You must tryout the fish therapy! It gives a great feeling of relaxation while you receive the treatment from dozens of toothless tiny fish when you place your feet in a tank of warm freshwater. These small creatures suck and nibble away the dry and dead skin in your feet or hands, leaving them feel fresh and healthy. It is totally painless and you will truly have fun with the ticklish feeling. Medical experts have discussed on the benefits of fish therapy, that they improve blood circulation in the body, effects the skin and improves complexion and is a medical treatment which treats feet problems such as psoriasis, warts and calluses.
This is one of the turtle hatcheries found near the southern coast of Sri Lanka. At this place, you will find all kinds of turtles living in Sri Lanka. This center is used as a hatchery that helps to increase the rate of hatching as well as the survival of the baby turtles, especially of the turtles near extinct. This center is also responsible for taking care of sick and injured turtles especially adults, by giving them the possible care and releasing them back to the ocean. At this place, there are around 10 tanks filled with turtles, either new hatchlings waiting their turn to be released or older ones who are unable to live in the big bad sea themselves and have been rescued.
Bentota 2 Days
Towards the Southern part of the island, this is a popular tourist resort that has a wonderful broad sandy beach.
This has a stunning landscape of greenery and blue water. The resort is the most popular location for romantic weddings and honeymoon. At the northern end of the beach, is the long and narrow bay called ‘Paradise Island’. Bentota beach is also regarded as the best spot for water sports and recreational activities. The water depth is quite low which makes it safe and enjoyable, and the water is very fresh. Diving at Bentota beach under the waters that are usually delightfully warm and in between the coral reefs is definitely an experience. There are many hotels around the beach and is the best beach for relaxation.