A journey through the Pearl: 1 month tour in Sri Lanka
Need Sri Lanka itinerary 4 weeks? Sri Lanka, a tiny tropical island shaped like a teardrop just south to the massive Indian subcontinent was hidden from the spotlight until recently. The country had survived a bleak past with foreign invasions, political instability, terrorist attacks and natural disasters and emerged with courageous and optimistic towards the future. Now that the country has finally settled down after centuries of darkness the travelers are discovering this islands true beauty. A unique exotic island ringed by endless golden sandy beaches with lush green forests and mountains covering the centre, Sri Lanka boasts of a proud history that dates back to more than 2500 years with many timeless ruins sited all over the country. The whole island is a cultural hub where the every page of the country’s history has contributed towards building up a heritage and culture so fine and can call its own.
Its natural beauty is the epitome of peace and tranquillity any traveller looks for in their getaway from reality. Though tiny as it seem the opportunities are endless and the small size just means you can get to anywhere in a shorter duration. Within 1 month you can cover most of the island and can get the true essence of what this tropical island has to offer.
2 Days Kandy
Your one month in Sri Lanka starts in Kandy, also known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka is small town located among the hills in the centre of the island. It is a beautiful town surrounded by the green mountain ranges and has a historical, cultural and religious significance to the Sri Lanka. It was the last reigning kingdom in Sri Lanka before it fell in the hands of the British crown. The town is based around the Bogambara Lake and is home to the sacred temple of the tooth relic which is considered the heart and soul of Kandy. It was named as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites which has preserved most of the town without changing with contemporary times. During your stay in Kandy you can visit the Udawattakele forest reserve, the national museum of Kandy. Bahirawkanda viharaya where you can go in to the large white Buddha statue you overlooking the entire town of Kandy. You can also head a little out Kandy in to nearby towns where you can witness a lot of significant sites like the Lankathilaka viharaya, Gadaladeniya viharaya and the Ambuluwawa biodiversity complex.
3 Days Nuwaraeliya
Known as ‘little England” by the locals, the town of Nuwaraeliya is largely known for its Tea plantations. The town is situated further up in the hills and the climate is much colder than rest of the island. Nuwaraeliya is cold, cosy and beautiful making it the most romantic town in the country. Surrounded by tea plantations, waterfalls and splendid sceneries this town’s architecture shows the influences of the British rule. While you are in Nuwaraeliya you can visit one of the tea factories and see how the world famous Ceylon tea is made. You can also go for a hike in the Hortain Plains where you can go up to the “worlds end”. Other popular tourist attractions in Nuwaraeliya are the Haggala and the Victoria Parks, Piduruthalagala- the highest peak of Sri Lanka, the Ambewela Farm and the Moon plains. There are many waterfall that you come across on your way to Nuwaraeliya but the most interesting one would be the lesser known Bomburu Ella. Your trip to Nuwaraeliya is not complete without an evening spent by the Gregory Lake where you can engage yourself in a lot of fun activity and food.
2 Days Dambulla
Dambulla, a town famed for the iconic cave temples which is named as one of the 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka. This ancient temple is a complex built in 5 caves hooded by an overhanging rock dates back to 2nd-5th century BC. Inside the temple you can find statues and paintings depicting Lord Buddha and his life. There are total of 153 statues of Lord Buddha and statues of Hindu gods and goddesses and kings of Sri Lanka. Another historically and archeologically significant site is found closer to the cave temple is the Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site where 2700 year old human skeletons were found. You can also visit the Minneriya National park and the Rose Quartz mountain range in Jathika Namal Uyana while you are in Dambulla. However one of the most significant tourist attractions of all is found on the way to Dambulla- the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This is also one of UNESCO world heritage sites where the ruins of an ancient fortress and a royal palace is found built on top of a large rock shaped like a lion.
2 Days Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura, a town of historical significance was once the 1st kingdom of Sri Lanka which lasted for the longest period of time. But for Sri Lankans, especially Buddhists it is also a place of pilgrimage. The ancient city complex contains well-preserved collections of archaeological and architectural masterpieces like enormous stupas, palaces and many other structures. It is truly a fascinating place to visit and a major tourist attraction rightfully named as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
2 Days Jaffna
As a town which was out reach for many travellers during the 30 year civil war, Jaffna is now becoming increasingly popular among both local and international visitors. Jaffna is a peninsula with a lot of small islands surrounding it. It is the fortress of Hindu tradition and the best place to learn and experience the Hindu Culture. There are many tourist attractions which had somehow survived the war. But the huge Nallur Kovil tops the list. It is sacred place of worship for followers of Hinduism. Another significant place to visit is the Naga Viharaya a place of worship for Buddhists situated in the island of Nagadeepa accessed by a 20 minute boat ride.
2 days Trincomalee
Trincomalee is located on the north eastern region of the country over the east coast. Trinco, as widely called by locals is an untouched land famed for the white sandy beaches with pure blue seas. Trinco is also known for the gokkana bay,the historic natural harbour with a strategic importance that resulted in many battles over its control. Koneshwaram Kovil, a medieval temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is situated on the crest of Konesar malai which is a promontory overlooking the Indian Ocean and the gokkana bay. The other tourist attractions are the Pigeon Island where you get the opportunity to snorkel or just relax on the Nilaveli Beach. Many tourist visit the Old Portuguese fort called the Fredrick fort. There are many museums in town which will be interesting as you can learn about the history of Trinco.
2 Days Passikuda
Passikuda, an up-and-coming tourist destination located in the east coast overlooking the Indian Ocean is famed for its turquois-blue waters and the golden sandy beaches untouched unlike the rest of the beaches in the Sri Lanka. It is regarded as the most stunning beach in this tropical island and the best place to relax and enjoy the tranquillity. What is unique about this beach is that it has shallow seafronts that allows you to walk mile in to the warm water with water just above the knee level owing to the natural coral reefs You can take part in some water sports such as scuba diving and snorkelling where you get the opportunity to explore the unseen world underneath the deep blue waters and come face to face with the species hidden by the rest of the world as you swim through the uncharted waters. Passikuda beach is a paradise for adrenaline junkies as it offers thrilling range of extreme water sports such as wind surfing, water-skiing and kite boarding to get their hearts pumping. It will definitely be a thrilling and relaxing experience full of joy that you will remember for a life time.
2 Days Batticaloa
Another war trodden area that has come out of hiding and emergedas one of the top tourist destinations with a stunning beachfront. It is highly popular among the surfers who travels from far away to batticaloa just to wrestle with the waves on surf boards. Arugam bay beach is the most popular one out of all. Other attractions include the Batticaloa Fort and the Batticaloa gate among other things.
2 Days Ella
Out of all the villages in the highlands of Sri Lanka, Ella is of particular interest to everyone for its picturesque surrounding filled with tea estates, mountains, waterfalls. The fresh air and the cold climate gives this small town a cosy vibe. Many travellers to Sri Lanka includes Ella as one of their must see places because of all the glory this small town has brought in. it is a dream paradise for trekkers as it provides the best hiking opportunities in the island. There are plenty of things you can do in Ella and it will certainly leave you relaxed and happy. It is home to the famous Nine Arch Bridge, the magnificent 100 year old railway bridge made entirely out of blocks of stone and cement. Ella is linked to the legendary Ravana tales out of the Ramayana and during your visit you can visit and explore the places mentioned in the legend like the Ravana Falls and Ravana Cave. And if you looking to getaway from the usual hustle-bustles of life and get in touch with nature you can go hiking in mini Adams peak or the Ella rock. There is many more beautiful places to see in Ella that will surely leave memories that would last a lifetime.
2 Days Yala
Head straight to the south-east region to have true Sri Lankan wildlife experience in Yala. This is one of the biggest national parks in Sri Lanka which is home to many endogenous wildlife species. The safari through the forest to observe different species of animals in their natural habitat without the restrains of a zoo is one of a kind experience you can gain during your trip to this island. This is without a doubt an excellent opportunity for the nature lover and the adventurer in you. The most loved and the most anticipated animal during this safari is the Sri Lankan leopard- a majestic spotted creature endogenous to the island. The well preserved national park allows the animals live free and wild as they should and ensures their protection and survival.
2 Days Unawatuna
Unawatuna, a picturesque beach city in the southern coast of the island. Fringed by lush green coconut trees the Unawatuna Beach Is the ideal place to sit back and relax over a cocktail or a beer. You can also engage in many water based activities like snorkelling and scuba diving where you can swim through the coral beds underneath the blue waters of the southern seas. You can also go on a canoeing excursion on the Unawatuna lagoon and visit the other nearby attractions like the turtle hatchery, the Jungle beach and the yatagala raja maha viharaya.
2 Days Hikkakduwa
Hikkaduwa is a mandatory pit stop during your travel through the villages of the southern coast. This is popular beach resort town where visitors from all over the world enter on a daily basis for their share under the sun. Hikkaduwa beach is lined by coconut treesand has an endless array of bars and restaurants making this the ideal spot to sit back and relax. Hikkaduwa offers many water based activities like scuba diving or snorkelling to its visitors. You can also pay a visit to the Seenigama Viharaya- a small temple found on a small island closer to the mainland or ride on a glass bottomed boat through the coral sanctuary and discover the world unwater.
2 Days Bentota
Bentota an excellent destination in the southern beach to kick back and relax after 1 month of travelling, adventure and excitement. You can indulge yourself in water sports like jet skiing, wake boarding, banana boat riding and cannoning. The Brief Garden by Bevis Bawa in Beruwila which is a popular nearby tourist attraction is a garden landscaped beautifully over five acres of land with tropical plants and sculptures. The Madu river safari is an excellent experience for all the nature lovers as you cruise through the mangroves to explore the islets along the way. With a rich wild and plant life population it is a heaven for the biologists and ecologists. The turtle conservation project in Kosgoda is another popular attraction among the travellers to down south where you can witness these regal creatures in their natural habitat.
3 Days Colombo
Your 4 weeks in Sri Lanka ends in Colombo- the commercial capital of Sri Lanka is no longer a transit spot to the rest of the island. Colombo has now come to be a top destination by its own right and every traveler ultimately begins or ends their adventure in Sri Lanka from Colombo. This is a modern city with a rising skyline unlike the rest of the country which is generally untouched by the impacts of the ever changing world. It is a multicultural city where you can see all the cultures and faiths in one place living in harmony. Through skyscrapers you can still see the pillars of a heritage that dates back to colonial days. The most popular tourist attractions are the national museum of history, the independence square, the Viharamahadevi Park and the Gangarama temple. But the highlight of your visit to Colombo would be an evening stroll in the Galle face beach overlooking the setting sun. Your journey wouldn’t be complete without a shopping spree in any one of the shopping malls where you can buy items of both local and international brands.