How do you plan your most memorable Sri Lanka road trip?

The Sri Lanka road trip itinerary should include several key components if it is to be a well-balanced experience. You might not be able to include all the important activities and places in your Sri Lanka road trip, but it will not be a daunting task to pack most of those interesting things into your Sri Lanka road trip, of course, with proper planning. Planning your Sri Lanka road trips is very important to having an unforgettable Sri Lanka tour. Keep reading this blog post to help you plan the best Sri Lanka road trip itinerary.

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Sri Lanka road trip

While in Asia, Sri Lanka ranks as one of the smallest countries, which is good news for travellers with limited time. During a single visit, you can explore many of Sri Lanka’s most gorgeous villages, virgin forests, tea covered slopes, karst landscapes, and beach cities, as well as capture a lifetime’s worth of majestic elephants.

Many people discover as they drive across Sri Lanka that, while the country appears compact on a two-dimensional map, it is a 3D heavyweight. The terrain is rich with breathtaking mountain ranges, their summits mirrored in lakes fed by rivers that flow across undulating slopes before merging with the Indian Ocean.

The key to a Sri Lankan road trip, regardless of the season, is to take your time and enjoy Sri Lanka’s quiet byways. Allow yourself to feel as free as the open road. The distances offered are not straight between the start and end sites; they assume a deviation from the main path, allowing you to see more of each area.

What can I see on a Sri Lanka road trip?

On a Sri Lanka road trip, you should seriously consider visiting some of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic tourist destinations, including pristine beaches, rainforests, wildlife reserves, UNESCO world heritage sites, and Sri Lankan hill country. Most of these places see a large number of travelers. However, apart from popular tourist attractions like the Sigiriya rock fortress and tooth relic temple, the island is home to thousands of other off-the-beaten-track tourist attractions. This blog post highlights several tourist attractions that you can effortlessly incorporate into your upcoming Sri Lanka road trip.

Sri Lanka is a South Asian island that is far smaller than India and lies south of its big neighbor. Sure, Sri Lanka has also suffered at the hands of power-hungry militant groups and politicians, and it has seen more than its fair share of war and misery (with a civil war from 1983 to 2009), but today Sri Lanka is a totally safe country without any terrorist groups. The island is safe, stable and open to trailblazing visitors in search of the ultimate cultural, historical, nature and jungle experience.

How do you plan your best Sri Lanka road trip?

The Sri Lanka road trip itinerary should include several key components if it is to be a well-balanced experience. You might not be able to include all the important activities and places in your Sri Lanka road trip, but it will not be a daunting task to pack most of those interesting things into your Sri Lanka road trip, of course, with proper planning. Planning your Sri Lanka road trips is very important to having an unforgettable Sri Lanka tour. Keep reading this blog post to help you plan the best Sri Lanka road trip itinerary.

Is Sri Lanka a safe holiday destination?

The Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009, which was the most welcoming news for the present generation on the island. The civil war was a big blow to the island’s economy and caused a heavy toll on civilians, soldiers and rebels. Today, after more than 10 years, Sri Lanka is one of the safest holiday destinations in the world, with political and economic stability.

What are the important things to be added to the Sri Lanka road trip itinerary?

  1. Cultural triangle of Sri Lanka: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa.
  2. A national park-Yala, Udawalawe, and Wilpattu.
  3. Hill station-Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela, Haputale.
  4. Beaches on the West Coast, southern coast or east coast
  5. Galle Fortress.
  6. bit of adventure—whitewater rafting, trekking.

8 travel routes for your upcoming Sri Lanka road trip

  1. Sri Lanka road tour on the route Colombo-Kataragama:.
  2. Sri Lanka trip from Colombo to Matara Expressway:.
  3. Traveling from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya via Kitulgala:.
  4. Sri Lanka road trip from Colombo to Arugam Bay via Kandy.
  5. The road trip of Sri Lanka on travel route Colombo to Anuradhapura via Puttalam. …
  6. Road trip from Colombo to Trincomalee via Dambulla.
  7. Sri Lanka travels from Colombo to Kandy.
  8. The road trip of Sri Lanka from Colombo to Rathnapura.

7 useful ideas for your Sri Lanka road trip

  • Adventure trip Kithulgala Water Rafting Package
  • Road trip to Sri Lanka upcountry with Kandy
  • Road trip to Kandy from Colombo and Bentota
  • 2 Days Kandy-Nuwara Eliya road trip
  • The Essence of Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle: Kandy and Sigiriya Tour
  • Sri Lanka road trip to Cultural Triangle
  • Adventure Lanka road trip: Sri Lanka 5 Nights Tour

What are the 5 best-selling Sri Lanka road trips?

Venturing on a Sri Lanka road trip is the best way to explore this fascinating tropical island and I believe every road trip to Sri Lanka should be planned carefully in order to reflect the natural, cultural, and historical values of the country. This blog post is about road trips in Sri Lanka and means to serve travelers who are looking for information to plan a memorable Sri Lanka holiday experience.

What are the top 5 places for a one-day Sri Lanka road trip?


What are the top 5 places for two-day Sri Lanka road trips?

1. Nuwara Eliya, 175 km from Colombo

The duration of the road trip is 2 days and includes the elephant park, tooth relic temple, tea gardens, Nuwara Eliya, Gregory Lake, Seetha temple, and many other interesting places. More information.

2. Yala National Park, 281 km from Colombo

This 2 day Sri Lanka trip takes place along the western and southern coast of Sri Lanka. The 2-day trip allows you to visit many interesting places, such as Yala national park, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Tangalle, Kataragama, and Kataragama. More information on this trip.

3. Polonnaruwa, 225 km from Colombo

Polonnaruwa is one of the most popular ancient cities on the island, wity dozens of historical monuments. The ancient temples, palaces, statues, parks and hospitals are among the prominent exhibits in the old city. Read more on this Sri Lanka trip.

4. Kitulgala, 102 km from Colombo

This 2-day tour includes Whitewater rafting, bird watching and rainforest trek in Kitulgala. The tour also includes Kandy as well as the elephant park Pinnawala. Read more on this Sri Lanka road trip.

5. Mirissa Beach, 150 km from Colombo

The tour to this popular beach holiday in Sri Lanka includes visits to Hikkaduwa, Mirissa beach, Madu estuary, Galle fort and a whale-watching trip off Mirissa. More information.

What are the top 3-day trip places for a Sri Lanka road trip?

1. Anuradhapura, 200 km from Colombo

Anuradhapura is the most ancient city of Sri Lanka, which is tucked away 200 km from Colombo. This 3-day road trip of the cultural triangle includes Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, and Polonnaruwa. These 3-day Sri Lanka road trip mainly covers the important religious and cultural sites of the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. sigiriya village tour, cooking class, kandyan cultural show, Minneriya and Kaudulla safari are few other activities that can be done on this trip

2. Kandy, 117 km from Colombo

Kandy is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Sri Lanka and the gateway to Sri Lanka’s hill country. The city of Kandy draws a large number of travellers every day due to its large number of tourist attractions. tooth relic temple, royal botanical garden, Pinnawala elephant orphanage, cultural show, museums, tea gardens, and a large array of shops are some of the favourite places for travellers. The 3-day trip to Kandy also includes many other tourist attractions like Nuwara Eliya, Elephant orphanage, tooth relic temple, royal botanical garden, and Kandyan cultural show.

3. Polonnaruwa, 225 km from Colombo

Polonnaruwa is the second most ancient city in Sri Lanka and attracts a large number of tourists. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa harbours thousands of ancient constructions, such as temples, palaces, stupas, gardens, audience halls, and many more. Polonnaruwa is the place to many dozens of ancient monuments of Sri Lanka, which lies 225 km from Colombo.

4. Yala, 166 km from Colombo

Yala national park of southern Sri Lanka is the most popular national park for wildlife tours in Sri Lanka. There is a big demand for a wildlife tour of Yala from Colombo and west coast beach resorts. This 3-day wildlife tour starts in Colombo and includes many interesting places such as Yala, Galle Fort, Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, the Madu River Estuary and Bentota.

5. Mirissa Beach, 150 km from Colombo

Mirissa is a coastal village in southern Sri Lanka and was a popular hideout for leisure seekers. But, today, Mirissa is not only popular for beach holidays but also for whale watching. 3-day trip to Mirissa is a popular program, which allows you to spot a large number of blue whales and many other sea creatures, as well as plenty of time for a leisurely beach holiday.

6. Sigiriya, 175 km from Colombo

Sigiriya tucked away 75 km from Colombo. Sigiriya Rock Fort, the 5th-century palace complex, is the main attraction in Sigiriya. Many UNESCO world heritage sites surround Sigiriya, which is located in the center of the Sri Lankan cultural triangle. Sigiriya is an ideal destination for a 3-day Sri Lankan road trip as it allows easy access to many interesting places such as temples, wildlife parks, patches of forests, quint village and colonial cities.

What are the places included in a multi-day Sri Lanka road trip?

If you plan an extended  multi-day Sri Lanka road trip, such as a 10-day tour, a 14-day tour, or a 21-day tour, you have the opportunity to visit a large number of tourist attractions across the island. Here is a list of popular places you can incorporate into your road trip.

  • Colombo
  • Negombo
  • Cultural triangle attractions (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Minneriya, Pidurangala)
  • Hill country cities (Kandy, Nuwara eliya, Ella)
  • South coast of Sri Lanka (Yala national park, Udawalawe National Park, Kataragama, Tnagalle, Mirissa)
  • West coast of Sri Lanka (Galle, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Bentota)
  • East cost Sri Lanka (Nilaveli, Trincomalee, Pasikudah, Kalkudah and Aru Gam bay)

Sri Lanka road trip along southern route

The best time to take the trip on the southern route is from November to April. The tourist will explore the cultural triangle, Sri Lanka hill county, and the south and west coasts on this trip.

Sri Lanka road trip along northern route

The best time to take the tour on the northern route is from May to October. The tour includes mainly the Sri Lanka hill country, the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, as well as the east coast.

Sri Lanka cultural triangle road trip

The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka is on the bucket list of 99% of tourists on the island. It has a totally different contrast compared to the seaside. Here, the remnants of long-gone Buddhist kingdoms in Sri Lanka protrude from dense forests brimming with hornbills and bee-eaters.

Begin at Anuradhapura, where daily prayers are still held at two-thousand-year-old brick stupas the size of airplane hangars. After paying your respects at Sri Maha Bodhi, a tree that was propagated from the same tree that the Buddha obtained enlightenment under, go on to the intriguing Ritigala monastic complex.

Take a break from the historical cities at the elephant-filled Minneriya National Park, then return to the ancient monuments at Polonnaruwa, which is home to some of the most remarkable temples, statues, and ruins in all of Sri Lanka. Travel west through Sigiriya, a rocky outcrop that is home to King Kasyapa’s demolished citadel palace and accessible only by a stairway.

Travel towards the south to Dambulla, where the arid brickwork is substituted with brightly colored cave temples. A final stop in Kandy, where the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic remains the beating heart of contemporary Sri Lankan Buddhism, will bring the trip up to date.

Sri Lanka from a holiday destination perspective

The island is small in size but the country is big from a holiday destination perspective. The country has a stunning landscape, pristine beaches, fascinating culture, and century-old archaeological sites. Nestled on the southern tip of India, the island is inhabited by 21 million people, It is difficult to think that someone easily overlooks the island in favour of other holiday destinations in Asia, due to its popularity as a holiday destination.

History of Sri Lanka

The history of Sri Lanka goes back many thousands of years and the island was inhabited even during the stone age. The stone age existed in the country in 2 phases: pre-pottery and pottery. The stone-age human being named Homo sapiens Balangodensis lived in the area of Balangoda. Since then, people have been continuously residing on the island.

The island is one of the few countries in the world, that has been continuously inhabited by humans since the Stone Age period. Archaeologists have found a large number of stone tools, animal parts, plant and tree seeds, and numerous other items that these ancient people used. Most road trips to Sri Lanka include a cultural triangle in the central province, where people can see the remnants of Sri Lanka’s rich historical past.

Colonial History of Sri Lanka

For more than 400 years, the Portuguese, Dutch, and British all occupied the island. Nevertheless, Arab traders started visiting the island in the 15th century. The advent of the Portuguese in 1505 marked the beginning of the colonial administration that existed for more than 400 years on the island.

Portuguese, Dutch, and English administration

The country has a large number of colonial reminiscences, especially along the coastal belt, palaces, churches, fortifications, and aqueducts are the most common among them. Portuguese ruled the country from 1505 AD to 1656 AD and Dutch ruled the country until 1796 AD, from 1656 AD.

Dutch administration was ceded to the British without any bloodshed in 1796 AD and ruled the country until 1948 AD. Being a country that belonged to the British Empire and was part of the British allies, Sri Lanka suffered heavy casualties during the Second World War. Japanese had heavily bombed many parts of the island due to its strategic importance.

Exploring colonial memories

You need a multi-day Sri Lanka road trip to explore the island for sure because there are a large number of important colonial tourist attractions, such as churches, forts, scattered on the island. However, most of those colonial reminiscence are dotted along the low-country (along the beach), where the longest colonial administration prevailed. Galle Fort, Trincomalee Fort, and Wolvendaal Church are some of the noteworthy tourist attractions.

The island boasts one of the best road networks in the region and travellers can reach any part of the island with ease, during their Sri Lanka road trip. There are a large number of options for travellers to get around the island, such as taxis, public buses, trains, taxis, self-driven vehicles, and TUK TUK.

Getting around on your Sri Lanka road trip

The most effective but expensive transport method is a taxi. If you have limited time and like to see and experience as much as possible during your Sri Lanka road trip, a taxi is the best bet for your success. A private vehicle with a local driver is the best way to embark on your road trip and it has a good ROI. Taxi fare is cheap on the island compared to most other countries in the region. The cost of a taxi is 150 rupees per kilometer, and there are some additional charges if you keep the vehicle in your possession for a few days.

If you are not worried about time and are considering being sparse on expenses, public transport such as buses and trains are the best options for you. It saves you a lot of money compared to what you need to pay for a Taxi. Whereas other methods are concerned, TUK TUK is suitable only for short drives and not good for a multi-day Sri Lanka road trip.

The self-driven vehicle can be obtained in the resort areas but is strongly not recommended for foreigners due to unfamiliarity with the roads and traffic. Therefore, travelling by car with a local chauffeur is the best option to explore the island.

Sri Lanka road tour: exploring the Cultural Triangle

Kandy is one of the essential parts of a Sri Lanka road trip because Kandy is considered the cultural centre of the island. Kandy was the capital and ruling centre of the Kandyan kingdom until the Kandyan Kingdom was ceded to the British crown in 1796, and many of the old structures built by the Kandy kings are still in very good shape. The historical part of the city is a UNESCO world heritage site and includes many prominent landmarks and buildings, such as Buddhist temples, Hindu shrines, and museums.

Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy mark the 3 corners of the cultural triangle and are full of architectural goodness. The cultural triangle is not only abundant in cultural sites but also in many other important natural attractions such as national parks, mountains, and forests. You can take a bullock cart ride, go kayaking in a village tank, visit farmland or even have a cooking class at a village house. Drop into a village school if you can find the time, visiting school children will be a highlight of the day, while children also enjoy seeing the visitors.

Anuradhapura, the first base of the Sri Lanka road trip

Usually, Anuradhapura is the first base of exploration for most travellers, who start the Road trip from Colombo (airport) and choose to explore the island from a historical angle. Anuradhapura is a true cultural and historical hub and you can spend months exploring the engineering and artistic feats of ancient people.

What do we see in Anuradhapura?

Every corner of Anuradhapura is bestowed with numerous historical monuments and several areas in the old city are declared world heritage sites and boast staggering hundreds of temples, palaces, ponds, Buddha statues, and hospitals built many centuries ago.

As you step into Anuradhapura, you feel like you are at an archaeological zoo, You see numerous historical constructions all around you. In order to admire the artistic and historical jewel, a much-preferred transport mode is a bicycle. It allows you to move quickly while giving easy access to every piece of the monuments.

One of the wonderful things about Anuradhapura is that you can enjoy the priceless, historical monument at your own pace with freedom. Even though Anuradhapura attracts a large number of fans, due to the vastness of its area, you would miss much of the crowd, as they scattered over a vast area. The historical monuments in Anuradhapura are much older than the monuments in other historical places such as Polonnaruwa and Kandy. Some of the artefacts are more than 2 thousand years old.

Can I visit Polonnaruwa on my Sri Lanka road trip?

It is Polonnaruwa you encounter after Anuradhapura in this road trip, which showcases some of the medieval constructions and another architecturally rich town; it showcases a large number of artefacts dating back to the 13th century. Most historical constructions of this magnificent walled city belong to King Parakramabahu, Nissanka Malla and King Vijayabahu. The archaeological remnants found in Polonnaruwa are in very good condition and much younger compared to the artefacts found in Anuradhapura.

Is it possible to visit Sigiriya and Dambulla on a Sri Lanka road trip?

Is it possible to visit Sigiriya and Dambulla on a Sri Lanka road trip?”, This is a very common question among travellers. A large number of travellers are very interested in visiting these UNESCO world heritage sites. Therefore, Sigiriya and Dambulla are part of most Sri Lanka trips, especially if you book a multi-day Sri Lanka road tour, There is a high possibility of visiting these iconic tourist attractions.

Why is Sigiriya important?

Sigiriya rock fortress is another world heritage site, dating back to the 5th century AD. Sigiriya is one of the oldest landscaped gardens in Asia and part of most Sri Lanka road trips organized for travellers on the island.

Why is the Dambulla cave temple important?

A visit to the cultural triangle is incomplete if you miss Dambulla golden cave temple. This is one of the most historical temples on the island as well as in the regions, dating back to the 1st century B.C. The temple is comprised of 5 spacious granite caves that cling to the southern slope of the mountain.

The upward trek to the temple is strenuous but well rewarded, a large number of ancient paintings and statues can still be seen as you stroll through the caves of this UNESCO world heritage site. Ceiling paintings with intricate designs and natural colorings have decorated the temple for many centuries.

Hundreds of Buddha statues and god figures belonging to different periods in the past rest here. The temple is under the supervision of the archaeological department and managed by the chief incumbent of the Dambulla temple. An entrance fee of 10 USD is charged to every foreign visitor.

Visiting tooth relic temple on the Sri Lanka road trip

Kandy is another landmark of the three corners of the Cultural Triangle, Kandy is a much younger historical site compared to its other 2 counterparts and has an extended colonial inheritance, while Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa hardly show any reminiscence of colonial influence.

Kandy is one of the most important holiday destinations on the island, due to its interesting mountaineering landscape and much cooler climate compared to lowland areas of the country.

If you are fond of natural attractions such as cascading waterfalls, rivers, forests, and mountains, then Kandy should be given a prominent place in your itinerary. Don’t forget to visit the holy temple of the tooth relic or Dalada Maligwa. The Kandy cultural show can be a nice surprise for you and it has a very cultural atmosphere as many dancers and drummers perform for more than 1 hour.

Visiting wildlife reserves on the Sri Lanka road trip

Wildlife is also abundant here, with many national parks such as Minneriya, and Yala. A safari in a wildlife park is the best way to experience the fascinating wildlife of this island during your Sri Lanka road trip.

What are the best national parks to visit on a Sri Lanka road trip?

Sri Lanka has several dozens of national parks and most of them are capable of giving you unforgettable wildlife experiences. However, by considering the most popular travel routes, I would like to suggest wildlife reserves.

  • Minneriya National park
  • Kaudulla National park
  • Ecopark park
  • Yala national park
  • Udawalawe national park

Minneriya, Kaudulla, and eco-park are 3 prominent places for an interesting safari in the dry zone. These national parks are located within the cultural triangle. Due to the proximity of these national parks to the cultural sites, it can be easily added to a Sri Lanka road trip while visiting the cultural triangle. After all, having seen so many cultural and historical places, it is time to dip into a bit of nature.

If you like to have the best Sri Lanka wildlife tour, I suggest you head to the deep south of Sri Lanka and take a wildlife tour at Yala. Yala is the most popular wildlife reserve, where travellers are able to witness a wide range of animals such as Leopards, Elephants, jackals, bears, etc

Adding the scenic rail journey to the Sri Lanka tour

There is a well-developed railway network in the country, which allows travellers to reach many important cities on the island. Most travelers choose either the hill country rail journey or the train journey along the coast. However, in terms of natural beauty, the hill country train journey is better than the train trip along the coastal line.

Sri Lanka hill country train trip

For leisure travelers who wish to experience the beautiful nature of the island, the upcountry railway track between Kandy and Ella, the most suitable. You can enjoy breathtaking scenery in the lush green verdant hills.

Starting from Kandy, the train moves slowly into the high-altitude areas through the tea plantations, vegetable plots, tunnels, patches of forests, over the bridges and beautiful countryside, providing no excuses to omit this 4-6-hour spectacle.

How to book seats for the rail trip

Visiting Nuwara Eliya on the Sri Lanka road trip

Most probably, Nuwara Eliya is the next station on your Sri Lanka road trip; you will see a great deal of beautiful scenery as you drive uphill through the mountains and tea plantations. The city lies in a valley well above 1800 meters above sea level and is well known for its healing climate, and alluring countryside, which is why Nuwara Eliya is the most popular hill station on the island.

Nuwara Eliya has been a popular holiday destination for many centuries, starting during the British administration in the early 1800s. Even today, Nuwara Eliya is considered the destination with the best healing climate.

Adding a bit of adventure to your Sri Lanka road trip

You need to detour off the main road in Nuwara Eliya if you wish to get adventurous along the way. As you pass Nuwara Eliya, take the first turn to the right, and you are well on your way to Kitulgala, which is the main adventure sports centre on the island. There are many hiking trails, adventure routes, nature trails, caving paths, waterfalls, rivers and rainforests for your disposal.

Exploring southern Sri Lanka on your Sri Lanka road trip

As you go downhill from Nuwara Eliya, it is Yala, where you encounter several national parks such as Yala, Udawalwe and Bundala, where you could easily be lost in wildlife.  Kataragama temple is the most important religious hub in the southern part of the island, where people of all three religions gather for religious activities.

Jeep safari at Yala national park

Yala National Park is situated at the southern tip of the island. It is one of the best places to see leopards in the world, with the highest concentration of leopards in a given land area of its size.  Apart from leopards, elephants, bears, deer, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, monkeys, jackals, and many other species of birds can be seen here.

Usually, the Yala National Park and the southern part of the island are included in Sri Lanka road trips that last more than seven days, the southern coastal area is not included in most short trips due to its remoteness from Colombo. If the road trip does not include Yala National Park, one can opt for Minneriya or any other national park in the central province. Most Sri Lanka road trips that last about one week or less do not cover the southern part of the country, due to its remoteness from Colombo.

Adding a tour of Galle to Sri Lanka road tour

You may have lost at least five days of your trip so far since you started your Sri Lanka road trip from Colombo but have a wander around Galle, Be sure to head to the Galle Fort, which is a world heritage site and one of the best-preserved fortification of Dutch administration in the region. Star Bastion lies overlooking the ocean and is a gorgeous viewpoint to make beautiful pictures of the sunset.

Galle Fort is an architectural melting point where you witness a large number of houses, religious places, hotels, museums, and galleries in various styles. But most prominent is the Dutch architecture, with a large collection of buildings inherited from the Dutch administration in the country.

This magnificent fort dates back to the 15th century and is one of the best-preserved forts in the region. It served as the main bastion of Dutch occupants on the island from 1656 to 1796. There are a large number of houses, churches, shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, and galleries within this walled city. Today Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site and the most popular tourist attraction on the island.

See the whales on your Sri Lanka road trip

Whale-watching tours are offered in southern Sri Lanka off Mirissa and Dewundara harbors, as well as in the eastern part of the island. This is a highly seasonal activity and is available only from November to April on the west coast, while whale-watching tours are offered from May to October on the east coast. With the whale watching trips, the travellers are able to have a closer look at blue whales at their doorstep.

If you have an overnight stay in the south during your Sri Lanka road trip, you might have an opportunity to spot blue whales off Mirissa or Duwundara. You can buy a ticket for a whale-watching trip from a tour operator and it cost $ 40.00 per person with breakfast served onboard. The vessels set off either from Mirissa or Devundara fishing harbours in the early hours (06.00 hrs) every day during the season. Many boat owners offer whale-watching trips but the advance reservation of seats is highly recommended to guarantee a seat in a vessel.

One day Sri Lanka road trip ideas: easy drive to 6 places from Colombo

The road trip to Sri Lanka and the Beach holiday

The entire belt along the ocean starting from Galle to Chilaw in northwest Sri Lanka is popular for tourism; fishing and toddy industries are the other noteworthy industries for the income of the people here. You can have a beach holiday in this part of the country if you plan your Sri Lanka road trip during the six months starting in November.

When is the best time for a Sri Lanka road trip?

November to April are considered the best time of the year for a Sri Lanka road trip. A large part of the island is spared from the monsoon rain during this period. Therefore, the south coast, west coast, hill country, and cultural triangle have dry weather, making it suitable to travel on a Sri Lanka tour. However, the same period makes it not suitable to travel to the east coast due to the heavy rain.

The best time for a Sri Lanka road trip on the south and west coast is from November to April

Sri Lanka road trip from April to November

If you wish to have your Sri Lanka road trip from November to April; the ideal place for a beach holiday would be the Eastern part of the country and beach resorts such as Nilaweli, Pasikudah, Kalkudah and Batticaloa are the best options with dry weather, calm and safe sea without underwater current. During this period, the sea off the west and southern part of the country is not very suitable for sea bathing, diving, snorkelling and other activities in the sea, It is very windy and waves are choppy and accompany monsoon rain very often.

Colombo-Anuradhapura-Polonnaruwa-Sigiriya-Dambulla-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya-Yala-Mirissa-Bentota

Sri Lanka road trip as a package tour-Sri Lanka splendour

A 7-day Sri Lanka road trip (Sri Lanka splendour) will allow you to experience most places highlighted above. With this road trip to Sri Lanka, the travellers are able to cover a lot of ground (suppose travel by private vehicle) but still miss several places, such as northern Sri Lanka, the hiking trails in Ella and Kitulgala and beaches on the east coast.

A 7-day Sri Lanka road trip costs US$ 590 per person (all-inclusive price) on double sharing in middle-class hotels (4* accommodation). However, the rates can be reduced by choosing a lower category of accommodation. The package includes daily two meals (breakfast and dinner), air-conditioned comfortable rooms, a private bathroom with hot/cold water, twin beds, a tea/coffee-making machine and an outdoor swimming pool. This is a private tour, which means that guests get their own vehicle with a local driver/guide.

Most Sri Lanka road trips follow the same route, hitting the cultural triangle in the central province, up-country with tea plantations, and southern Lanka with safari and beaches towards the end of the trip. All road trips come with paid add-ons throughout the tour and tourists are free to choose any combination of them.

For more information on this road trip itinerary or any other tour package, please write to us at

What is the best Sri Lanka road trip itinerary for 7 days?

  • Day 1: Colombo/Sigiriya
  • Day 2: Sigiriya/Polonnaruwa/Sigiriya
  • Day 3: Sigiriya/Dambulla/Kandy
  • Day 4: Kandy/Nuwara Eliya
  • Day 5: Nuwara Eliya/Yala
  • Day 6: Yala/Bentota
  • Day7:7 Bentota/Colombo

Click here for a detailed itinerary and booking of Sri Lanka 7 days road trip

Map of Sri Lanka splendor: 7-day road trip

Map of Sri Lanka splendor: 7-day road trip

Going on your own Sri Lanka road tour

Sri Lanka is not a difficult country to do solo, however, I have written several articles on solo travel in Sri Lanka, Please check these two articles, you might be able to get some information about your solo venture. There is only a handful of information about hotels and other facilities available for tourists.

You might be able to gather some information at the tourist board office in Colombo and they have 2 websites. The tourist board has a tourist information centre, which is very handy if you are on your first visit to the island. You can find some general information that you need to plan your road trip to Sri Lanka. If you face any difficulty during your trip and need help, you should contact the tourist board in the first place, and they will help you find the solution to your problem.

Gathering information for your Sri Lanka road tour

TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet websites are also very helpful to get the general information required to plan your road trip to Sri Lanka, such as transportation, and entrance fees but they do provide very limited information.

Due to the lack of information for tourists, it will be difficult to figure out the prices for accommodation, transportation, entrance, etc, but online portals and blogs will be useful sources to gather some information.

There are many online portals providing the possibility to book accommodation, transport, and sightseeing tours online, but they do charge as much as 15%–25% commission from the travellers. Therefore, the best way to book the accommodation you need is through local tour operators, because they do get a special discounted rate from the local accommodation provider, these discounted rates are not published on the internet. Usually, discounted rates are applied when you buy a package tour.

As far as transportation for your road trip in Sri Lanka is concerned, it is a daunting task to go to the most interesting places using public transport and travellers are required to use service taxis. But travelling solo on the island is totally allowed, though very few people are doing so. If you have experience being a solo traveler, life is much easier.

Tourist board contacts

DIAL 1912 from any phone within the island
Sri Lanka Tourism Head Office
No. 80, Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka.
+94 112426900, +94 112 440001 / 2426984

Important tips for the Sri Lanka road trip

Avoid pipe born water and Stick to mineral water for drinking water

A bottle of mineral water (1 litre) costs about 50 cents USD, but the price varies depending on the brand. Most hotels provide 2 bottles of mineral water per room per day without any extra charge and it is placed in the room by the room boy or girl. Running water can be used for cleaning purposes, you can even wash your mouth with it. Drinking tap water is safe for local people but not for foreigners. The water may contain microorganisms that your body is not familiar with and can cause you some trouble.

Taking enough fluid is essential during the road trip to Sri Lanka

Taking plenty of fluid is very important during your Sri Lanka road trip to avoid dehydration. Sri Lanka is a tropical country; therefore, it is warm and humid, so one needs to take at least 1 litre of water per day. Add some minerals to your water because it is sweating here a lot.

Drinking king coconut on your road trip to Sri Lanka

If you like to drink something refreshing and delicious other than water, try king coconut. They can be bought in every corner of the country. A coconut contains about 1 litre of fluid and contains a lot of minerals and vitamins. 1 coconut costs around 50 cents USD. Make sure the coconut is opened in front of you.

Visiting Temples in Sri Lanka

Foreigners are accepted in all temples around the island. Venturing on the Sri Lanka road invariably means visiting a couple of Buddhist temples. Visiting a Buddhist temple is undoubtedly the best way to learn about typical Sri Lankan life. If you travel to the Cultural Triangle, it is full of historical monuments, most of which have a close connection with Buddhism, which means most historical places in the cultural triangle are sacred places.

There are several important facts you need to know when you visit a Buddhist temple, such as a proper dress code. I wrote a dedicated post on this topic called “13 RULES YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE ENTERING A BUDDHIST TEMPLE.” Please check out the article to learn about Sri Lankan Buddhist temples and their rules and regulations.

What should you know about Sri Lankan food?

Avoid peeled fruits and salads as much as possible, if you have a meal outside the hotelAvoid food sold in wayside meal carts, especially peeled fruits and salads. They can cause you to have diarrhoea and other abdominal problems, which are most common among foreign travellers. Because the hygienic standard of local food is questionable.

Eating Rice and Curry during the road trip to Sri Lanka

One exception is eating rice and curry, it won’t cause you any problems because curry is prepared with a lot of spices, such as cumin seeds, pepper, chilli, cinnamon, saffron, etc., and has germ-killing power. However, it is recommended to have your meal in a clean and nice-looking restaurant.

Road trip to Sri Lanka and Eating local food

Eating local food is one of the most exciting things for travellers in a foreign country. But if it poses a threat and can cause you to be sick, avoiding such food is very essential.  Even in Sri Lanka, one can enjoy local food as long as it is prepared to hygienic standards and stored properly. The food sold in tourist board registered restaurants or tourist hotels can be consumed without any fear, but we are talking about the food sold by street vendors, that is open to the dusty wind and vehicle smoke.

How do you keep mosquitoes away from you?

Avoiding mosquito bites is very easy and simple during your road trip to Sri Lanka. You just need to follow a few simple steps. Sri Lanka is a tropical country and mosquitoes are occurring in all parts of the country, especially in the low-elevated areas such as the Beach area, Colombo, and the cultural triangle. Mosquitoes is mostly occurring in the late evening and at night. If you stay outside the hotel in the evening, use mosquito repellent to avoid mosquito bites.

If you see mosquitoes inside the room, you can ask for a mosquito net from the housekeeping department. Keeping the air-conditioner running and the ceiling fan working throughout the night is another 2 effective way to keep mosquitoes away from you.

How do you keep your valuables safe during your Sri Lanka road trip?

Don’t leave any valuable items unattended in the hotel, which means don’t leave any items such as money, jewellery, passports, or flight tickets in the room if you are not around. If something goes missing, the hotels do not take responsibility for the lost items.

There are instances when travellers lose their value during their trips.  Usually, most hotels provide safe boxes free of charge and keeping things locked in the safe is recommended. If something is lost in the rooms, the very first thing is to inform the hotel administration. If there is no acceptable solution given to the hotel administration, you should rush to the tourist policies, which are available in all police stations.

Why should you choose Seerendipity for your Sri Lanka road trip?

Seerendipity Tour is an entirely locally owned travel company with a head office in Colombo. The highly experienced local staff is a key strength of Seerendipity Tours, and they can plan your dream holiday to Sri Lanka.

The best price guaranteed for your Sri Lanka trip

When you book a tour with Seerendipity Tours, you directly book the tour with the local company, which means there are no middlemen and therefore you can guarantee the best price. Simply get in touch with us and let us know when you travel and what you like to see.

Plan your best Sri Lanka trip with-expert

Our staff makes a personalised programme for you, which you can change until you find the best Sri Lanka trip package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration (; all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write to us at, tel. 0094-77-440977, WhatsApp 0094-77-4440977

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