WHY ARE THESE SRI LANKA TRAVEL ROUTES SO POPULAR?

Finding the best Sri Lanka travel routes can be a daunting task for most travelers. Because there are many travel routes to reach every tourist attraction, finding the best travel route that saves you time can be very handy for the success of your Sri Lanka tour. This article features popular travel routes in Sri Lanka that lead to top-notch tourist attractions on the island. On these routes, the article also mentions many interesting places to visit.

Table of Contents

Sri Lanka is most famous for its palm-fringed, pristine beaches, but the island offers a lot more than that. Sri Lanka is a tropical nation of jagged mountain peaks, millions of years-old rainforests, wildlife reserves teeming with wild animals, storybook castles, ancient monuments, and medieval towns that seem unchanged by time. With fascinating ancient cities, folk museums and rustic villages showcasing the country’s traditional culture, plus walking trails for discovering Sri Lanka’s natural wetlands and wildlife, there’s plenty to hold your interest here.

We carefully scratched the annals of Sri Lanka trips and formulated this blog post with the 14 best Sri Lanka travel route(s) for holiday trips in Sri Lanka. If you are considering a Sri Lanka tour, one or several of the options below can be considered as a Sri Lanka route(s) for your trip.

Transport in Sri Lanka

Although some travelers choose to explore Sri Lanka on rental motorcycles or scooters, the most convenient alternative is to hire a car complete with a driver and travel across Sri Lanka. The majority of drivers are fluent in English and are familiar with all of the ins and outs of driving in the country, including the best roadhouses to pull over at for spicier rice and curry. If you hire a driver for a longer journey, don’t be surprised if they extend an invitation to their home for a meal before the end of your stay. Here are some of our suggested driving routes in Sri Lanka to get you started.

Sri Lanka’s transportation system primarily relies on a road network, centered in the country’s business capital, Colombo. A rail network handles a part of Sri Lanka’s transport needs. There are traversable waterways, harbours and three international air terminals: in Katunayake, 35 kilometers (22 mi) north of Colombo; in Hambantota; and in Jaffna.

Streets represent around 93% of Sri Lanka’s land transport. Sri Lanka’s road network is about 12,000 kilometers (7,500 mi), consisting of A- and B-class streets and 151.8 kilometers (94.3 mi) of expressways. The main transport modes in Sri Lanka are buses, passenger cars and motorcycles.

GradeDescriptionSpeed limit
EHigh-speed, high-traffic expressways duplicating heavily travelled A-Grade routes100 km/h (62 mph)
AThe national highway network70 km/h (43 mph)
BMajor provincial roads used as feeders for A- and E-Grade roads60 km/h (37 mph)
CLocal residential roads50 km/h (31 mph)

Expressways

NumberNameStartEndLength (km)LanesCost (USD)Cost/km (USD)
 E01 Colombo–Matara ExpresswayKottawaMatara1264 (provision for 6)765.4 million6.07 million
 E02 Outer Circular ExpresswayKottawaKerawalapitiya2961.12 billion38.6 million
 E03 Colombo–Katunayake ExpresswayNew Kelani BridgeKatunayake25.86,4 (provision for 6)291 million11.28 million
 E04 Colombo–Kandy ExpresswayKadawathaKatugastota98.94,64.5 BillionUnder construction

Sri Lanka’s national highways are graded A or B. A-Grade roads are subdivided as AA, AB or AC.

Road gradeLength
A4,221.37 kilometres (2,623.04 mi)
AA3,724.26 kilometres (2,314.15 mi)
AB466.92 kilometres (290.13 mi)
AC30.19 kilometres (18.76 mi)
B7,943.65 kilometres (4,935.96 mi)
Total of A- and B-grade roads12,165.02 kilometres (7,558.99 mi)

The southwest has the highest road density, particularly in the region around Colombo. Sri Lanka has well-built highways with a smooth bitumen surface and street markings; nonetheless, a few provincial streets are in poor shape. We are improving and repaving heavily traveled streets. A public vehicle can be used to reach most parts of the island.

How do I find the best Sri Lanka travel route?

The number of inquiries such as “What is the best travel route in Sri Lanka?” and “What is the best trip in Sri Lanka?” has been steadily rising. We thought of writing this article elaborating on several popular travel routes in Sri Lanka that you should hit atleast once in a lifetime. This article features 14 travel routes, and we will keep adding more in the future. I believe this article is very handy, not only for local travelers but also for foreigners. If you plan a short Sri Lanka trip, such as a one-day  trip, choosing the best travel route is critical to the success of your trip because you need to minimize the time spent traveling and allocate maximum time to exploring the sites.

Benefits of having the best travel route for a Sri Lanka trip

Choosing the best travel route is critical to your Sri Lanka tour’s success. It is very important, especially if it is a short trip, such as a 1-day Sri Lanka trip or a 2-day Sri Lanka tour. We all strive to minimize our travel time to allocate more time for sightseeing and leisure activities.

A short trip means you have very little time for sightseeing, and saving time on travel is very important. Even if it is a multi-day Sri Lanka trip, such as a 5-day Sri Lanka tour or a 1-week Sri Lanka trip, reducing the time on the road means you can add many other interesting places that are not already included in your trip.

On a previous occasion, we wrote a detailed blog post about Sri Lankan trips. We carefully scratched the annals of Sri Lanka trips and formulated this blog post with the 14 best Sri Lanka travel routes for holiday trips in Sri Lanka. If you are contemplating a tour of Sri Lanka, you may choose one or more of the routes listed below for your journey. Most of these routes provide an easy gateway to many popular one-day trips in Sri Lanka.

  1. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Kataragama.
  2. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Matara Expressway.
  3. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Nuwara Eliya via Kitulgala.
  4. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Arugam Bay via Kandy.
  5. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Anuradhapura via Puttalam.
  6. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Trincomalee via Dambulla.
  7. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Kandy via Kegalle.
  8. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Rathnapura.
  9. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Bandarawela via Haputale.
  10. Sri Lanka travel route Nuwara Eliya to Bentota via Kithulagla.
  11. Lanka travel route Colombo to Sigiriya via Kurunegala.
  12. Lanka Travel Route from Colombo to Mirissa/Beach Lovers Route.
  13. Sri Lankan travel route Colombo to Badulla across the hill country/Tea lovers route.
  14. Sri Lanka travel route from Anuradhapura to Kandy/route for lovers of history and culture.
  15. Sri Lanka travel route from Mirissa to Aru Gam Bay/wildlife lovers route.
  16. Route for a Sri Lanka 7-day tour on the southern route.

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

The above-mentioned travel routes in Sri Lanka are most suitable for short trips from Colombo, such as a 1-day Sri Lanka trip or a 2-day Sri Lanka trip. If you plan a Sri Lanka trip for more than two days, like a one-week Sri Lanka trip or a 10-day Sri Lanka tour, you could combine a few of the above-mentioned travel routes to make a much bigger circuit.

If you plan a one- to two-week Sri Lanka trip, we would like to recommend the below-mentioned travel route, which is one of the most popular Sri Lanka travel routes for Sri Lanka tours from 7 to 14 days. This travel route covers the most important tourist places, such as historical sites in the cultural triangle, Sri Lanka’s hill country, southern Sri Lanka and west coast beaches.

This travel route starts in Colombo and goes northward from the west coast to the cultural triangle, then heads to Sri Lanka’s hill country to Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. Afterwards, head to Sri Lanka’s south coast, and then from there, the tour goes along the beaches to the west coast and Colombo.

  • Day 1: Colombo-Anurahdapura-Sigiriya
  • Day 2: Sigiriya-Polonnaruwa
  • Day 3: Polonnaruwa-Kandy
  • Day 4: Kandy-Nuwara Eliya
  • Day 5: Nuwara Eliya-Yala
  • Day 6: Yala-Galle-Bentota
  • Day 7: Bentota-Colombo

1. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo-Kataragama:

Words cannot convince you of the beauty of this coastal travel route from Colombo to Kataragama. It would definitely be fun to cruise along the pristine beaches of western and southern Sri Lanka.

This is one of the most popular travel routes on the island. The travel route is very popular among local and foreign travelers, as it leads to many interesting places. Sri Lanka’s south coast itinerary is a very popular trip in Sri Lanka and travelers who book south coast tours hit this travel route.

There are many places on this route that you can’t simply ignore. So plan your tour with several additional hours for the stops. This is a very popular route among foreign travelers because it brings them to some of the island’s best beach resorts, such as Bentota Beach, Kalutara, Galle, Hikkaduwa, and many other beach resorts in southern Sri Lanka.

Using the A-2 road on this travel route

You can use the A-2 main road from Colombo on this stretch. Many interesting tourist places in southern Sri Lanka, including Galle, Unawatuna, Matara, Tangalle, and Hambantota, are accessible via the road from Colombo to Kataragama. However, travelers can reach south-coast beach resorts from the Colombo international airport via the southern expressway and avoid Colombo city, which definitely saves them a lot of time.

Using the southern expressway on this route

The southern expressway’s opening has reduced the travel time between the south coast beaches and Colombo by approximately 3 hours. Being able to avoid heavy traffic in Colombo enables travelers to save a lot of time on their trip to the south coast. However, if you need to visit tourist attractions from Colombo to Kataragama, you must drive on the usual coastal road.

Road Trip Condition: The distance of the route from the Colombo city tour to Kataragama is 284 km, it lies very close to the sea, and it has an average altitude between 1-3 meters above sea level throughout the trip.

There are many attractions to stop at along the way from Colombo to Kataragama, and beaches are the main highlight of this road trip, all the way from the beginning to the end. The road is open throughout the year and is in very good condition, too. The journey takes about 2 days, with stops for sightseeing and activities. The best time to visit is from November to April.

Places to stop on the Sri Lanka travel route from Colombo to Kataragama:

  • Kalutara: Gamgatilaka temple, Kalido beach
  • Beruwala: Kachchimale mosque
  • Bentota: Bentota beach, water sport centre
  • Balapitiya: Madu river safari, sea turtle farm
  • Hikkaduwa: Hikkaduwa Beach, Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary, Mask Museum, Moonstone mines
  • Galle: Galle fortress
  • Unawatuna: Unawatuna beach, stilt fisherman
  • Weligama: Weligama beach, Kustarajagala temple
  • Matara: Polhena beach, whale and dolphin watching, blowhole, the star fort
  • Kataragama: Yala wildlife reserve, Kataragama temple

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

2. Sri Lanka travel route: Colombo to Matara Expressway:

This is a very convenient weekend gateway from Colombo. A road trip from Sri Lanka to Matara is an activity that most local residents are fond of, which provides a perfect setting for a peaceful beach tour of Sri Lanka. Don’t forget to go whale- and dolphin-watching in Mirissa and beach-hopping on the beaches. The picturesque palm-fringed beaches and shallow-torque waters of the Indian Ocean calm those jittery nerves.

Drop into a beach restaurant and sample a fresh seafood dish while admiring the perfect sunset on the horizon. So if you are near Colombo or somewhere on the west coast, pack yourself and set off on this memorable journey.

Road Trip Condition: The expressway spans 158 km from Colombo to Matara, with a total driving time of 2 hours, not including the time required to reach the expressway entrance. The expressway prohibits the use of two-wheelers and only permits a maximum speed of 100 km per hour. The best time to visit is from November to April.

Some of the places to stop on this Sri Lanka travel route are:

  • Matara: Star Fort, Hummany/natural fountain, Whale watching in Mirissa

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

3. Sri Lanka travel route Colombo to Nuwara Eliya via Kitulgala:

A perfect travel route for Sri Lanka 3-day tour through the tea country. The graceful blend of Sri Lanka’s hill country’s beautifully landscaped tea garden and cascading waterfalls of perennial waterways in Nuwara Eliya is a sight to behold.

The city’s sheer beauty surprises the newcomers. The breathtaking scenery along the trip from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy completely mystifies the travelers.

The winding roads, high elevation, and healing climate of the hills make it a fantastic road tour of Sri Lanka that will etch a permanent spot in your heart for an eternity.

You traverse the mountain terrain, and it is a challenging ride that requires your best attention, but the beauty of this Sri Lanka trip hides the uncertainty of the terrain. If you drive to Nuwara Eliya from the airport or from Colombo, this is the most convenient way of reaching your destination. The drive is long; however, it is very enjoyable as you drive along with the lush green vegetation.

Road trip conditions: The road spans 176 km through the mountains. A sharp increase in the road’s elevation starts in Awissawella and ends at an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level in Nuwara Eliya. The journey will take around a day with sightseeing stops. The best time to visit is from November to April.

Some of the places to stop on this Sri Lanka travel route are:

  • Kitulgala: Adventure sports centre for water rafting, trekking, bird watching, etc
  • Talawakele: Devon Fall, St. Clares Falls
  • Nanuoya: Horton plains national park
  • Nuwara Eliya: Ambewela farm, strawberry farm, Seetha Amman temple, Haggala gardens

4. Sri Lanka travel route: Colombo to Arugam Bay via Kandy

This road is currently one of the best on the island, and I highly recommend embarking on a trip along this wonderful route. You start your journey on the west coast and end your tour on the east coast of Sri Lanka, at the country’s widest point. Arugambay is a popular beach resort in Sri Lanka; perhaps it is the most popular on the east coast. The pristine beaches in Arugam Bay are ideal for beachcombing and surfing. However, Aru Gam Bay is a seasonal beach resort, and the best time of year to visit Aru Gam Bay is in May, June, July, and October. Arugam Bay is considered one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in July due to the dry and sunny weather.

The journey will take around 8 hours without stopping, so calculate the time required for the tour with all the stops for sightseeing and other breaks along the way. The trip to Arugambe from Colombo is one of the most popular activities among road trip enthusiasts in Sri Lanka. If you have good driving stamina, you will be able to reach Arugam Bay within 2 days with visits to important tourist attractions.

This will be a very picturesque and experience-rich road trip to Sri Lanka. You will encounter mountains, escapements, patches of forests, beaches and all other geographical conditions available on the island.

This route from Kandy to Arugambe via Bibile is one of the most beautiful trips through forests in Sri Lanka that you will ever take.  Plan your motorbike road trip so that you can enjoy the refreshing, unpolluted air in this greenish area.

Road trip conditions: The road spans 329 km through the central mountain range. You start the journey at lower elevated areas on the west coast and end the journey at the east coast beaches, while halfway down the track you will touch the point, which is 500 meters above sea level.

Some of the places to stop on this Sri Lanka travel route are:

  • Kandy: tooth relic temple, Peradeniya botanical garden
  • Kegalle: Pinnawala elephant orphanage
  • Arugam Bay: beach hopping

Visiting tooth relic temple: what you need to Know

All visitors to these sacred places are supposed to dress in a particular manner to uphold their religious values. There is a set of rules that every visitor to religious sites observes while visiting sacred places in Sri Lanka. If you are wondering what these rules are, check out this article “13 RULES TO OBSERVE WHILE VISITING SRI LANKA BUDDHIST TEMPLE, SRI LANKA TEMPLE DRESS CODE TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH DRES’ CODE“.

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

5. Sri Lanka travel route: Colombo to Anuradhapura via Puttalam

Travelers can’t imagine an awesome road trip of this nature along pristine beaches and through the untamed wilderness. This road trip will be a memorable experience due to the fascinating blend of wildlife, coastal, cultural and historical experiences. So much in a one-road trip! So, prepare yourself and hit the road.

However, we recommend combining your trip on this route with a cultural triangle tour to see many interesting cities in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, including Sigiriya.

This is a very picturesque Sri Lanka travel route through some of the least populated areas in the central province. You drive a large part of your trip through the wildlife reserve, and there is a high possibility of spotting wild elephants as you travel from Puttalam to Saliyawewa.

Road trip conditions: The road spans 207 km along northwest Sri Lanka and makes a sharp turn inland at Puttalam. The journey takes around 4 hours. You can encounter moderate traffic between Colombo and Puttalam, after which the road becomes empty. Be careful, as you will have to travel through the forested areas after Puttalam. It is best to avoid traveling at night on this Sri Lanka travel route because of the wild elephants.

Some of the places to stop on this Sri Lanka travel route are:

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

6. Sri Lanka tour from Colombo to Trincomalee via Dambulla

This is another popular Sri Lankan travel route from Colombo to the east coast of Sri Lanka. This is the most convenient travel route to reach Trincomalee from Sri Lanka’s west and southern coastal cities. On this road trip, the travelers avoid going through the central mountain range, and their destination is located more to the northeast of Sri Lanka.

This is a popular travel route among foreigners because a large number of travelers head to Trincomalee beaches every year in the months of July, August, September, and October. This is one of Sri Lanka’s busiest roads, and you pass many heavily populated cities along the way, such as Dambulla and Kurunegala.

This travel route leads you to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, a small deviation that allows you to cover many important monuments in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Popular tours for exploring Sri Lanka’s historical sites include the Sigiriya Dambulla tour from Colombo and the Cultural Triangle mini-tour, both of which utilize this travel route.

As a result, it will take approximately six hours to reach Sri Lanka’s east coast from Colombo on this route. After Habarana, you will travel through the highly forested area of Gal Oya National Park. There is a high possibility of encountering a family of wild elephants as you traverse through the forest. The entire distance you have to cover is 268 km and it will take around 6 hours for this road trip to Sri Lanka.

Some of the places to stop on this Sri Lanka travel route are:

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

7. Sri Lanka travel route: Colombo to Kandy via Kegalle

By far, this is the busiest Sri Lanka travel route and one of the most popular road trips in Sri Lanka, mainly due to the route’s ending point, Kandy. Kandy is one of the country’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and there are dozens of interesting places to visit in Landy. Kandy is one of the most popular mountain travel destinations, with a large number of tourist attractions. It is believed that every Sri Lankan tour package should include Kandy.

Kandy is Sri Lanka’s cultural center and most popular holiday destination. Kandy is the central province’s most important transport interchange, connecting all corners of the country and key cities. Therefore, most of the roads leading to Kandy are very busy, especially the route from Colombo to Kandy.

You have to plan the road trip according to the time you lose in traffic. This Sri Lanka road trip to Kandy is something every traveler wishes to take, and it is an easy gateway from most parts of the country. Most of the trip is filled with picturesque, lush green foliage, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and unwinding.

Road trip conditions: You have to cover 115 kilometers. This Sri Lanka road trip requires a little bit longer than usual due to the mountain terrain, and the journey takes around 4 hours from Colombo to Kandy. Among the best road trips in Sri Lanka for photography, be aware that the battery of your camera may drain sooner than you anticipate.

Kandy One day tour from Colombo and Bentota

Some of the places to stop on this Sri Lanka travel route are:

  • Kegalle: To visit the Pinnawala elephant orphanage
  • Mawanella: to visit Embekke Devala, Gadaladeniya
  • Pilimathalawa: Tea factory
  • Kelaniya: Kelaniya temple
  • Peradeniya: Royal botanical garden
  • Kandy: Temple of the Tooth Relic

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

8. Travel route from Colombo to Rathnapura

This scenic road between Colombo and Ratnapura puts most Sri Lankan western province road trips to shame; this main road is one of the most favorable among nature lovers. Ratnapura itself is a city in the woods and claims to be a part of the country’s most valuable forest patch, known as the Sinharaja Rain Forest. If you are venturing on a Sinharja rainforest tour package from Colombo, this could be the best route for you.

The foliage becomes denser as you approach Ratnapura, and the enormous trees on either side of the road form a canopy. Ratnapura is a major city on the island with high rainfall, so it often goes underwater during the monsoon rain.

Check the weather before you start this road trip. And plan your trip with at least 2 days of sightseeing in the area; here you get waterfalls, rainforests, trekking sites, museums, and many, many more.

Road trip conditions: It will take around 2 hours to cover this short stretch of 75 km, which makes for an enjoyable road trip. There will be notable traffic congestion at the beginning of the trip, but it gradually diminishes as you drive towards Ratnapura, and the road becomes very empty once you have completed the first half of the trip.

Adventure Lanka – Sri Lanka 5 Nights Tour

Some of the places to stop on this route are:

  • Rathnapura: Bopath Ella waterfall, saman Devala temple, Sinhraja, Sri Pada

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

9. Sri Lanka travel route from Colombo to Bandarawela

This is the ideal itinerary for a 2-day or 3-day tour in Sri Lanka. Any Sri Lankan citizen will be familiar with the name Bandarawela, and it is also very well-liked by tourists from other countries who are enamored with the area’s soothing climate and stunning mountains. However, Bandarawela is one of the most beaten-track tourist places in Sri Lanka for most foreign travelers.

Bandarawela is one of the most beautiful places on the island, with mountains, valleys, tea gardens, and patches of forests. Bandarawela also hides a large number of cascading waterfalls, and some of them are simply difficult to miss, such as the Diyaluma Falls.

The most fascinating feature of Bandarawela is its healing climate, where the nighttime temperature occasionally drops to freezing. During the day, the temperature hovers around 25 degrees Celsius.

This route from Colombo to Bandarawela via Ratnapura is by far the easiest road to get there. One distinct feature of this off-the-beaten-path Sri Lanka travel route is the lack of traffic compared to the other popular Sri Lanka route (Colombo-Kandy-Ella-Bandarawela), which leads to Bandarawela. The road is also in very good shape, which means you can speed up, but be careful with the bends.

The road mostly traverses through rural areas, with only a handful of bustling cities coming into view. You also drive along the picturesque mountains and valleys to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Tea plantations dominate the lush green vegetation for a large part of the drive. However, this upcountry road is narrow compared to most leading travel routes in Sri Lanka and gets considerably steeper after Ratnapura.

Road trip conditions: The trip’s distance is 190 km. The traffic moves quickly at the beginning of the trip because of the lack of traffic, but it gets slower as you get closer to your destination. You must maintain your speed to avoid the sharp curves.The duration of the journey would be around 5 hours. The route is very photogenic, featuring coconut plantations, patches of forests, rubber plantations, mountains, waterfalls, streams, and rivers.

Some of the places to stop on this route are:

  • Ratnapura: Visiting a gem museum, Sman Devala temple
  • Haputale: Tangamale forest reserve, Adisham bungalow
  • Bandarawela: Tea gardens, waterfalls
Ramboda waterfall, which cascades from the Ramboda plateau.

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

10. Sri Lanka travel route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota

This travel route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota rushes through Sri Lanka’s upcountry and is one of the most beautiful Sri Lanka travel routes. It is very popular among locals as well as foreign travelers. Usually, this is the last leg of a Sri Lankan multi-day trip that includes cultural places in the triangle, Kandy, Tea Country and West Coast Beach. On this route, you head to west or southern coast beaches; tea country invariably means Nuwara Eliya.

The route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota is beautiful, and you will see only lush green vegetation throughout the trip. From Nuwara Eliya, travel westward to Hatton and Thalawakele. Both are popular tea-producing regions in Sri Lanka and offer some spectacular scenery, including green-capped mountains, laid-back villages, waterfalls, rivers, streams, and huge tea plantations. Hatton and Talawakelle are largely unexplored places in Sri Lanka; they have great potential for nature tours and trekking tours. On this route, you will also come across Kitulgala, which is Sri Lanka’s adventure playground. Here, you have the opportunity to do many adrenaline-pumping activities, such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, rainforest trekking, waterfall abseiling, and so on.

The trip on this route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota lasts about 5 hours and 3 minutes and you will drive 215 km.

Important places to visit on this route are;

  • Hatton: Devon Fall, St.clairs Fall, St.clairs Tea Centre
  • Kitulgala: whitewater rafting, rainforest trekking and other adventure activities

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

11. Sri Lanka travel routes: Colombo to Sigiriya

By far, Sigiriya is the most visited historical monument on the island. This UNESCO world heritage site attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every day, especially during the peak holiday season in Sri Lanka.

A large number of foreign travelers book Sri Lanka day trips from Colombo to Sigiriya, and local tour operators, such as Seerendipity Tours, offer Sigiriya trips on a daily basis. Due to the popularity of Sigiriya as a historical monument, this is one of the most popular Sri Lanka travel routes among travelers. You can extend this tour to Polonnaruwa or continue eastward to Kalkuda and Pasikudah. The Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa Tour is a popular 1-day route that starts in Colombo.

The trip to Sigiriya from Colombo mainly takes place via Kurunegala on the Colombo-Polonnaruwa main highway, which is the best travel route to reach Sigiriya from Colombo. The road is in very good shape and less crowded, except in major cities. This Sri Lanka travel route scratches the northern dry zone of Sri Lanka for the most part of its 175 km trip.

Usually, this is the first leg of Sri Lanka multiday tours because most tourists visit historical monuments lying in the northern plain at the start of their trip. The journey from Colombo to Sigiriya takes around 4–5 hours.

A few stops to make on this route are:

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

12. Sri Lanka Travel routes: Colombo to Mirissa/Beach lovers route

This relaxing day trip from Colombo into the south of Sri Lanka follows the route of the coastal railway, which connects some of Sri Lanka’s historic cities with some of the country’s most well-known beach resorts. During the high season, you won’t find a lot of peace and quiet, but you will find lots of sun-kissed sand, as well as decent locations to stay, eat, and catch some waves.

Begin your journey in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s historic capital city, where you can go to the markets and temples and enjoy a crab curry at a five-star restaurant. After that, head south to the beaches of Aluthgama and Bentota, making sure to take some time to see the stunning Brief Garden inland. If you have the means, this stretch of shore is home to some of the most luxurious Ayurvedic treatment resorts in all of Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa is a great place to spend a day or two having fun in the water, and Ambalangoda is an excellent place to learn about the island’s unique kolam customs.

The Dutch colonizers erected a fortification and a historic lighthouse around the streets of Galle, a World Heritage Site. After a satisfying meal and a restful night in the historic district, continue on to the beach resort of Unawatuna, the surfing hotspots of Midigama and Weligama, and squeeze in a visit to the Handunugoda Tea Estate before arriving in the town of Matara, which is quintessentially Sri Lankan.

Interesting places encountered on the beach lovers route

  • Kalutara Beach
  • Wadduwa Beach
  • Bentota Beach
  • Beruwala Beach
  • Galle Fort
  • Hikkaduwa Beach
  • Mirissa Beach
  • Spice/Herbal garden
  • Madu river estuary
  • Kande vihara Temple
  • Sea turtle conservation project

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

13. Colombo to Badulla across the hill country/Tea lovers route is among the best Sri Lanka travel routes

This route allows travelers to explore Sri Lanka’s scenic hill country on a road trip. In fact, this is the most popular rain travel route in Sri Lanka. This route boasts one of the world’s most scenic train journeys.

The trip on this route convinces you that Sri Lanka has more to offer than just its beaches. One of the most picturesque train rides in Sri Lanka, the trek inland from Colombo to the Hill Country is also awe-inspiring by car. From the city center, follow the A1 highway inland to the city of Kandy, where Sri Lanka’s holiest temple is located, making several stops along the way to take in the sights.

If you rent a car and hire a driver, you may stop at several beautiful gardens and temples on the outskirts of the city before traveling out to the real tea region. Explore the jade-green tea fields lining the mountain road to Nuwara Eliya, passing estates such as Glenloch along the way. When it comes to accommodation in Nuwara Eliya, there are endless options available at a variety of price points.

Continue onward over the breathtaking Horton Plains to Haputale, where tea tycoon Sir Thomas Lipton established his empire, and stop by Lipton’s factory at Dambatenne. Afterwards, wind your way around more scenic overlooks and into Ella, where you can relax in a guesthouse and eat some authentic Sri Lankan fare. We’ll let you decide whether or not you want to take a photo of the Nine Arches Bridge on the outskirts of town for Instagram.

Interesting places encountered on the Tea lovers route

  • Pinnawala elephant orphanage
  • Kandy
  • Peradeniya garden
  • Hill Country Resort, Ella
  • Hill Country Resort, Nuwara Eliya
  • Tempel of the tooth relic
  • Scenic waterfalls and tea garden
  • Horton plains national park

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

14. Sri Lanka travel route from Anuradhapura to Kandy/route for lovers of history and culture

This fascinating travel route takes you to the most ancient monuments in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. If you are a traveler who loves culture, history, religion, village life, and wildlife, a trip on this travel route is the perfect activity for you.

The verdant lowlands of Central Sri Lanka are a stark contrast to the island’s sunny reputation. There are remnants of ancient Buddhist kingdoms in Sri Lanka scattered throughout the area, which is home to hornbills and bee-eaters.

Start your journey in Anuradhapura, where prayer still takes place in brick stupas the size of airplane hangars, two millennia after their construction. After paying your respects to Sri Maha Bodhi, a tree that grew from the seed of the tree under which the Buddha obtained enlightenment, visit the magnificent monastic complex at Ritigala.

Polonnaruwa is home to some of Sri Lanka’s most stunning temples, statues, and ruins, so take a break from them at elephant-filled Minneriya National Park. Vertiginous stairs lead to the ruined citadel residence of King Kasyapa, perched atop Sigiriya’s rocky outcrop.

Head south to Dambulla, where cave temples in brilliant colors replace the dusty brickwork. Finish your trip off right by visiting Kandy, where modern Sri Lankan Buddhism is pulsing in the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

Interesting places encountered on the history and culture lovers route

  • Anuradhapura is an ancient city
  • Polonnaruwa, an ancient city
  • Dambulla cave temple
  • Sigiriya rock fortress
  • Tempel of the tooth relic
  • Minenriya national park
  • Kaudulla National park
  • Eco park
  • Pidurangala ancient temple

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with Seerendipity Tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us at 0094774440977.

15. Sri Lanka travel route from Mirissa to Aru Gam Bay/wildlife lovers route

This island-hopping adventure visits well-known and less-visited national parks, as well as an offshore whale-watching excursion in search of Sri Lanka’s largest wild mammal. That is, in fact, the first thing you do after arriving at the Mirissa resort on the southern coast. You can explore the Sinharaja Forest Reserve on foot with a native guide, and its avian residents are the main draw inland.

Head east to see elephants at Uda Walawe National Park (less crowded than Yala National Park), then circle back to the coast to see birds at Bundala National Park’s dunes and lagoons. To go to Kumana National Park, where you can increase your chances of encountering a leopard, you’ll need to make an inland loop; doing so is considerably simpler if you have access to a car and driver rather than relying on public transportation. Get some surf time in at Arugam Bay before calling it a day.

Interesting places encountered on the wildlife lovers route

  • Sinharaja rainforest
  • Udawalawe national aprk
  • Yala national park
  • Bundala national park
  • Kumana national park
  • Kataragama temple
  • Tissamaharama temple

16. Route for a Sri Lanka 7-days tour on southern route

Sri Lanka’s southern route is the most popular travel route with tourists. We also refer to this as Sri Lanka’s “beaten-path” travel route. More than 75% of tourists who undertake Sri Lankan trips use this travel route. The 7-day tour on this route gives you access to a multitude of multifaceted tourist places, from Sri Lankan cultural triangles to hill country, and from the south coast of Sri Lanka to the west coast beaches. 

The 7-day tour on this route typically starts in Colombo, and tourists will make the first stop at Anuradhapura to explore the ancient temples, palaces, gardens, lakes, and many more. Later, the toruists continued exploring other historical monuments in the cultural triangle, such as Sigiriya rock fortress, Dambulla golden temple, Polonnaruwa ancient city, and the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Over the next few days of the 7-day tour, tourists travel to the hill country of Sri Lanka to see the tea country, waterfalls, gardens, and lakes, as well as enjoy the healing climate of Nuwara Eliya. From Nuwara Eliya, the tourists go downhill toward the beaches of the south coast, where they will reach Tissamaharama for an overnight stay and a Yala national park safari.

At the end of the trip, tourists on this 7-day tour will travel to west coast beaches such as Hikkaduwa, Bentota, and Kalutara, as well as explore the ancient colonial fort of Galle.

Interesting places encountered on the southern route

  • Anuradhapura, Mihintale, and Aukana
  • Polonnaruwa
  • Sigiriya
  • Dambulla
  • Minneriya National Park
  • Kandy
  • nuwara eliya
  • Ella
  • Yala
  • Galle
  • Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Bentota

When is the best time for a road trip on southern route?

A Sri Lanka trip on the southern route is best from November to April. During these six months, most of the country remains dry and receives its daily dose of sunrays. From November to April, particularly the ebaches along the south and west coast, have been favorable for beach holiday lovers. The ocean is safe for sea bathing, diving, snorkeling, boating and various other salt-water-based activities. 

If you wish to book any Sri Lanka trip, please do get in touch with seerendipity tours by sending an email to admin@seerendipitytours.com. or Call us/WhatsApp us on 0094774440977.