2 weeks in Sri Lanka, itinerary
I have noted that a large number of travellers, who write us, looking for 2 weeks Sri Lanka itineraries, especially the travellers from Europe asking questions like “can you propose 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary“, “what is included in the 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary” etc. Therefore I thought of writing this article, of course, the article is very lengthy because it includes a lot of information, about 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary. This lengthy article about 2 weeks in Sri Lanka itinerary also includes a tour program towards the end of the article. So if you have any questions regarding the 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary or like to know more about it, please get in touch with me on email@example.com.
Sri Lanka is a south Asian island and one of the countries, where you make a trip of a lifetime; even you stay 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. There are several reasons for it, one reason being the perfection of the island in a holiday destination perspective. Mountains, beaches, rainforests, tea gardens all seem to be sculpted and painted by a skilled artisan, so much that you might need to remind yourself that you are on a Sri Lanka road trip, trekking through the gorgeous rainforests or looking across green-capped mountains with tea gardens that you are, in fact, it is real, that’s why Sri Lanka is on the bucket list of most travelers in the world.
Sri Lanka is a long-haul holiday destination for most travellers coming from Australia, the US, Africa and Europe. Therefore most travellers visiting from those countries opt to have holidays that last about 2-3 weeks. But the most travellers coming from Arabian countries, Asian countries do make only short vacations here and stay about 1 week. The travellers from those countries book short holiday packages such as Sri Lanka 4 days tour, Sri Lanka 6 days tour. Sometimes the travellers from neighbouring India show up on the island during the long weekends and do, even more, shorter tours very often.
So it is understandable if you come from a faraway country like Germany or the US you wish to see the maximum of this beautiful island. To be honest, you will be able to see a lot during the 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, but you will not be able to cover the entire country. Even Sri Lanka is small you need years to see the entire country.
2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary: How to spend 2 Weeks in Sri Lanka
I think first of all you need to figure out how to get around Sri Lanka during the 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. My advice is hiring a private vehicle with a local driver cum GUIDE, especially if you are a foreigner. Mind you, these driver/guides are not only capable of handling the vehicle properly on the road but also capable of sharing their knowledge on various subjects such as history, culture, wildlife, nature etc of the island. They are trained by the Sri Lanka tourist board to work with foreign travellers and they are trained to disseminate information on various subjects such as history, nature, culture, traditions, wildlife…the list goes on. You get the trustworthy information from them and these guides possess a guide license from the tourist board.
If you are eying at a budget tour and looking for ways and means of saving money during the 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, you need to get ready with some other arrangements with regards travelling around Sri Lanka. Please check on these articles they might help you. Self-guided 10 days Sri Lanka tour, Colombo on budget
In this Sri Lanka itinerary for 2 weeks, because travelling by a private taxi is the best way to travel around the island. There are some other transport methods such as domestic flights, intercity buses but they do have pros and cons compared to private transport by Taxi.
Believe me, you will be able to explore many interesting places such as Cultural triangle, central province, mountains, southern Sri Lanka and west coast of Sri Lanka within 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. But you are a bit of short of time to add northern and eastern Sri Lanka to the itinerary unless you are ready to move briskly from one place to the other during this 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. If you like to have a relaxing tour and have some leisure on the beach it is best to leave northern and eastern parts of the country from the 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary.
You will have to come some other time and plan another 2 weeks tour to explore northern and eastern Sri Lanka. There is so much to do and see in Sri Lanka you are never short of things to do and see for any type of tour.
Most travellers in Sri Lanka prefer to explore west coast beaches, southern Sri Lanka, central mountain range and cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. All of them are important places of the most trodden path of Sri Lanka.
I have compiled this detailed post in order to provide more insight for travellers, who are in the process of planning a 2 weeks Sri Lanka tour itinerary. In fact, I get a large number of emails from our readers asking questions like where can we go for 2 weeks in Sri Lanka and what can we see during 2 weeks in Sri Lanka etc. Therefore I have compiled this 2 weeks Sri Lank tour itinerary, which is very much easy going and includes plenty of leisure too.
This Sri Lanka 2 weeks tour itinerary starts in Colombo, followed by 7 days road tour to explore cultural triangle, mountains, Kandy, southern Sri Lanka and west coast, finishing up in Bentota, where you based for the rest of the holiday and plan the beach stay, and other activities such as water sport, snorkeling, boating etc. 6 days in the beach resort is the most leisurely part of the tour and you will proceed to the airport from the beach resort.
However, if you can afford to have only short time for the tour, you can break down the tour itinerary into several parts such as beach stay, cultural triangle tour, Kandy and central mountain range, southern Sri Lanka etc, and choose only most appropriate between them.
Sri Lanka 2 weeks Itinerary
Planning is an essential part of any holiday package and proper planning helps you to craft the best itinerary while saving time and money. So, the same theory should be applied to your 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary too, plan your tour properly and customize this 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary to suit your requirement.
If you plan your Sri Lanka 2 weeks itinerary from April to November, it is best to choose north and eastern Sri Lanka for your beach stay. If you plan your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka from November to April, you have to go to the west coast or southern coast beaches to spend your beach holiday. It is due to the monsoon pattern, read my articles on sri lanka weather, sri lanka rain eason. There is no doubt that your tour works very well if you choose the best beach for your beach stay according to the prevailing weather pattern. Read my article on beaches to get to know more about it.
If you plan to have a beach hotel as the base, when you are holidaying 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, choosing the best climate zone is a very crucial factor. Otherwise, the rain can dampen your holiday. You can explore important tourist attractions from the beach resort by making short tours, in fact, it one of the popular methods among the travellers. It is very practical with regards to Sri Lanka because the island is small and the island has a very good road network. If you wish to book any short Sri Lank tour, you can check on our trip page.
Spend 2 Weeks In Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour
Most multi-day Sri Lanka tour packages kick off in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka in the central province and moves towards southern Sri Lanka. You should be fit for the few days that you spend at the cultural triangle and you should have relaxed physical and mental conditions. Because there is a lot to see in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka there is a great deal of walking as well.
If you spend a long time on the flight and exhausted it is best to spend a day in the nearby Negombo beach resort, it helps you to rejuvenate yourself before starting the cultural triangle tour.
During the cultural triangle tour, you come across many historical places such as temples, palaces, museum, Dagobas etc. Cultural triangle tour is most importantly a tour to learn the historical and cultural aspects of Sri Lanka. Usually, the travellers need around 3-4 days to explore the places in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka and it includes many places such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy. If you are not much of City travellers and like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city this is a perfect opportunity for you.
Even though there are many historical places to explore in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, you can still do many other interesting activities such as wildlife exploration, taking part in cooking classes, trekking, birding etc. If your budget and time permit you to do something like that, there is plenty of opportunities awaits you, it will definitely add some more value to your tour 2 weeks in Sri Lanka trip. If you can find few hours each day of the cultural triangle tour, you can see and do many interesting things such as visiting wildlife reserve, making village tour, trekking, bird watching and many other things.
If you love nature there are many possibilities to enjoy the untamed wilderness in the form of trekking, making a safari, bird watching. Cultural triangle of Sri Lanka is dominated by lush green vegetation and there are many exciting trekking routes runs through these patches of forests.
There is a large number of tanks within the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka and these inland water resources provide possibilities for boating, fishing, kayaking and bathing. Bird watching is also a very popular activity here and bird watchers able to spot many species of avian fauna species that reside in the dry zone of Sri Lanka.
Doing a village tour allows you to explore the village life and visit farmlands including typical Sri Lanka lunch. Visiting the village temple and meeting school children in the village school will be memorable incidents.
So if anyone asks me what to do in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, I would like to recommend you a village tour, safari in the nearby national park, visiting historical places.
Where to stay during the cultural triangle tour
I recommend you to stay either in Sigiriya or Habarana in the first 2 nights of Cultural triangle tour. Habarana and Sigiriya are centrally located within the Cultural triangle, giving easy access to all major tourist attractions located within the cultural triangle. In fact, most tourist hotels that are to be found within the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka are concentrated into Habarana and Sigiriya.
There are many choices with regards to accommodation in Sigiriya and travellers can book luxury accommodation to very cheap dormitories type of accommodation. Special care should be given if you book accommodation during the peak holiday season, the availability of accommodation can dry out during the peak holiday season making it difficult to find a place to stay.
Kandy is the last stronghold of Sri Lankan monarchy and lies 95 km from Habarana. Kandy is one of the corners of the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka and other 2 corners are Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. There are several dozens of places with importance to visit in Kandy; Tooth relic temple is the most important of them all and Peradeniya botanical garden follows. Both of them are places not-to-be-missed when you are 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. I have written several articles about the city of Kandy and things that you can do in Kandy. In order to give you an idea about the things in Kandy to do and to see I spell it out in point form below;
- Visiting the most important Buddhist temple of Sri Lanka the tooth relic temple
- Visiting Peradeniya botanical garden
- Visiting Gadaladeniya temple
- Learn the rich wood carvings of Embekke temple
- Visiting Lankathilaka temple
- Trekking around Kandy lake enjoy the bird watching tour
- Visiting the Kandyan cultural show to see Sri Lankan dance performances
- Strolling in Downtown Kandy
- Learn the art of Batik
- Learn about precious stones of Sri Lanka at Gem museum
- Visiting the War cemetery (world war II)
- Trekking through the Udawattekele sanctuary to avian Fauna species and enjoy the various other tropical trees and plants
Sri Muttumari Amman temple and Aluvihare temple
Sri Mmuttumari Amman temple is a religious site devoted to Hinduism and located in Matale, the city has a considerable Tamil community. Muttumari Amman temple is an important tourist attraction in Matale. This temple is visited by a large number of Hindu travellers coming from India but it is not included in most tour packages meant for travellers outside of India. It is mainly a religious site and it does not have considerable historical value
You encounter these 2 temples and spice garden during your road trip form Sigiriya (your base for first 2 nights) to Kandy. Both are religious places and Aluvihare particularly has a rich historical value. You can consider adding them to your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka tour if time permits you to do it. The travellers need to buy entrance tickets at the Hindu temple while entrance is free at the Aluvihare temple.
Spice gardens are specially designed small plantations with many varieties of spices and herbs. These herbs are extensively used in indigenous medicine known as Ayurveda. The visitors do not need to pay any entrance fees here. However, they do sell various items such as spices and Ayurveda products to the visitors, which is the main income of the garden management. If you are an enthusiast of plant-based products and love to use spices it is worth drop into this places.
Duration of the Cultural triangle tour of the 2 weeks in Sri Lanka itinerary is 4 days, the itinerary as below
Leave Colombo at 7.00 AM and drive to Sigiriya/Habarana via Kegalle. You can make a stop at Pinnawala elephant orphanage if you wish to. I suggest you stay around 45 minutes at Pinnawala elephant orphanage to see the feeding, bathing and other activities of the elephants. Later proceed to the hotel in Habarana via Dambulla making the second stop at Dambulla golden cave temple.
Dambulla cave temple is one of the major tourist attraction is the country and it is a UNESCO world heritage site. You simply cannot miss it, during your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, because you do not get any other opportunity to see many dozens of Buddha statues in one place, as well as large extent of painted walls and a ceiling dating back to 1st century BC, like here. Read more on Dambulla golden cave temple on my article Dambulla golden cave temple.
With all these sightings and travelling, you will be able to check-in the hotel at around 1500 hrs, in the afternoon optional village tour or safari in the nearby national park. Overnight stay in Habarana/Sigiriya
After the breakfast leaves for Anuradhapura to learn about the first capital of Sri Lanka. In the afternoon drive to Polonnaruwa historical city and witness dozens of temples, palaces, gardens, lakes and a museum. Overnight stay in Habarana/Sigiriya
Reach the hotel at around 1700 hrs after the sightseeing and spend time leisurely at your resort. You can plunge into the swimming pool and have swim perhaps!
After the breakfast leaves for Sigiriya rock fortress, afterwards, proceed to the hotel in Kandy. Check-in and leisure in the evening visit tooth relic temple and Kandyan cultural show. Overnight stay in Kandy Read more on Sigiriya
Leave for a sightseeing tour of Kandy and visit Peradeniya botanical garden, Kandy lake, downtown Kandy etc. Overnight stay in Kandy
Exploring mountains of Sri Lanka during the 2 weeks in Sri Lanka
Now you have finished the circuit of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, you can drive to Colombo or west coast from Kandy in a 3 hours time. If you feel not wanting to go to the mountains and have an urgency to plunge into see, then you can head on to the beaches from Kandy.
The drive from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya will be a very interesting journey with many stops at various places such as tea garden, tea factories, waterfalls, vegetable plots etc. Sri Lanka Mountains are very photogenic and the drive takes around 3 hours due to the many twist and turn of the road combined with sightseeing.
Trek to the Ramboda falls will be interesting off the beaten track activity for any traveller, that loves nature; even you can plan to have a lunch near the waterfall because there is a hotel adjoining the waterfall. Making a trek is essential to see this beautiful waterfall because it is not visible on the main road. The route to the waterfall is not a difficult one and it will be a very easy trek.
Visiting a tea factory and a tea garden is the next highlight of the road trip from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. Here you see many mountains and valleys covered with evenly trimmed tea bushes. Several other miniature waterfalls also can be seen on the road trip to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy. But most of them are making gorgeous visual during the rainy season.
Nuwara Eliya is the most popular city with healing climate. Nuwara Eliya is one of the popular holiday destinations since the British colonial era (1796-1948). Read my articles written on Nuwara Eliya to learn more about this interesting place.
I feel I need to make a special note on Horton plains national park here. Horton plains national park is a patch of forest with a large extent of grasslands, mountains and patched of forests. It has a unique setting that cannot be witnessed in any other part of the island. Same times Horton plains national park harbours a large number of fauna and Flora species and most of them are endemic to the Horton plains national park. Read more on Horton plains national park. Exploration of Horton plains national park is only by foot. It will take around 2 hours to cover the mini-trek of the park and it will take around 3 hours to cover the entire circuit of the park.
Duration of the tour to explore mountain is 2 days
Leave for Nuwara Eliya from Kandy after the breakfast, en-route stops at Tea factory, Ramboda falls. In the afternoon Nuwara Eliya sightseeing tour to visit Gregory Lake, Victoria Park, Nuwara Eliya city. Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya
Early mornings leave for Horton plains national park, later proceed to the hotel in Yala. If you do not wish to see the Horton plains national park you could proceed to southern Sri Lanka right after the breakfast and arrive at the hotel in Yala before noon. Therefore you will be able to the safari on the same day. But if you plan to visit Horton plains national before heading to Yala, you might arrive at the hotel in the afternoon making you schedule the safari on the next day. Overnight stay in Yala
How to find accommodation Nuwara Eliya
First of all, I must say that there is no other holiday destination like Nuwara Eliya on the island. It is unique in many ways vegetation, climate, geography, economy there are many reasons for it. Therefore, Nuwara Eliya is in the bucket list of every Sri Lankan traveller and Nuwara Eliya is a part of many tour itineraries planned for foreigners. All in all the demand for accommodation and other facilities required by tourist is high so is the price. The prices of accommodation are high in Nuwara Eliya compared all other holiday tourist destinations on the island.
Early morning leave for safari at Yala national park later proceed to the hotel in Mirissa. Overnight stay in Mirissa.
Visiting Yala National park on the 2 weeks in Sri Lanka tour
Yala national park is the most important tourist attraction in southern Sri Lanka. Yala is the most visited national in the country too. This national park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Yala is the national park to see all possible species of wild animals occurring in Sri Lanka, In fact, Yala national park rank among the best places to spot leopards in the world due to a large concentration of leopards. Read more on Yala national park.
Where to stay in Yala
Yala is another major tourist attraction in the country and attracts many thousands of visitors every year. Therefore Yala and surrounding area are well developed for tourism industry with hotels, restaurants, and leisure activities. All type of accommodation options is available here at varying prices.
To be honest, Tissamaharama is the most suitable base to explore Yala national park, therefore I suggest you find a place to stay in Tissamaharama. Tissamaharama is the nearest town to Yala national park and provides all facilities required for tourists and most accommodation facilitators are also concentrated to Tissamaharama. There are many other important tourist attractions such as Kataragama temple, Krinda, Yatala Tissa vihara is also located very close to Tissamaharama.
Do not look for a place to stay in Yala because most numbers of hotels and other accommodation facilities are concentrated to Tissamaharama, which is the main city near Yala national park. Only very few hotels are to be found in Yala, hence the rates are very high.
What is the best time for Yala national park safari?
Never make your safari at noon, when the sun shines in full force. All animals hiding to evade the heat and there is a very meagre change of spotting wild animals. Plan your safari either in the afternoon or early morning.
2 weeks in Sri Lanka – exploring Southern Sri Lanka
Beaches such as Hambantota, Tangalle, and Mirissa all are located in southern Sri Lanka, and they are some of the best beaches in the region. All beaches are very clean, wide and far less crowded than west coast beaches. Usually, we suggest our customers stay in Mirissa not only because of the pristine beaches but also because of the whale watching tour.
Mirissa is the whale watching the centre of Sri Lanka and as much as 90% travellers set off on the whale watching tours start their journey in Mirissa. Because the chances of spotting a large number of blue and sperm whales are very high here. Another striking fact about whale watching in Mirissa is, it does not take more than 2 hours for the entire scene.
Whale watching tours are organized only on the specific period of the year, so check on the article to know more about Sri Lanka whale watching tour. So check it out before you crafting your 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary and plan accordingly. If you travel during the period that is not suitable for whale watching tour, I feel there is no need to spend a night in Mirissa.
Accommodation in Mirissa
Mirissa is not a beach holiday destination where luxury seekers hang around; therefore do not expect to find large hotels here. You might be able to find several accommodation facilities providing budget accommodation and luxury accommodation, but most of them have only very limited room count.
2 weeks in Sri Lanka – beach holiday
Galle will be one of the most memorable highlights of your 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary. Galle is one of the most important tourist attractions when you drive from Yala to west coast beaches or south coast beaches like Hikkaduwa and Bentota. Galle fortress is a world heritage site and visited by a large number of foreign and local travellers. Galle is also a beach holiday destination, where you can find many idyllic beaches such as Ahangama, Unawatuna, Talpe, Weligama and Koggala. These places are not only suitable for beach hopping but also for many other activities such as diving, snorkelling, surfing, fishing, boating etc.
This 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary is crafted with the intention of a leisurely beach stay with some activities. Most beach resorts either in Southern Sri Lanka or west coast provides ample of opportunities for interesting activities such as watersports. If you feel like to do an outing during your beach stay, there are many options in the area such as visiting a religious site, visiting a national park, making a boat tour, visiting a museum, go for a disco, sip a glass of wine in a beach restaurant, try Sri Lankan seafood dish, trekking along the river… the list goes on.
Madu River boat ride / Madu river safari in Bentota is a popular activity that you can think of including in your 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary. Madu River is a Ramsar wetland and accommodates a large number of Fauna and Flora species. Mdu River is a heaven for mangrove plants and a large extent of mangrove forests spreads along the banks of Madu River. Here you can sport a large number of birds and animals such as monkey, water monitor etc.
Leisurely breakfast at the hotel and leave for beach resort either in the Southern coast of western Sri Lanka. Overnight stay in West / Southern coast
Day 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 of this 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary we reserve time for leisure in the beach resort with optional activities
Leave for Colombo international airport after the breakfast
General Tips on 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary
- When you plan the 2 weeks in Sri Lanka tour try to book your hotels, accommodation and all other activities through the local tour operators or local service provider. With local operators, you can make sure you get the best price for your 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary.
- If you happen to make your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka itinerary during the peak season (November to April it is best to make all tour arrangements I advance in order to avoid any hassle). There is a huge influx of foreign travellers during this time and hotels are getting filled up very fast. There is a high possibility of overpaying if you go for last moment room reservation during the peak season. So make sure you book all the hotels before arriving in the country in order to avoid overpaying.
- Try to use the private transport with a tourist board certified driver/guide. It helps you to have trustworthy information on during your 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary
- As you plan your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka trip check this article that I have written on clothing and gear guide for Sri Lanka. (what to pack for Sri Lanka clothing and gear guide)
- Have your special attention on the beach resort that you going to visit. It is very important to choose either west coast or east coast beaches for your 2 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary. West coast beaches are not suitable for beach holidays from May to October while east coast beaches are not suitable for holidays from November to April (sri lanka weather, sri lanka rain eason)
- Sri Lanka is a tropical country and you may not familiar with micro-organism in the country, especially if you come from a European country. Read the article on holiday tips and learn how to eat, drink and stay healthy during your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka trip (Holiday tips)