Sri Lanka 7 Day Itinerary (May – September)

Even relatively smaller in size, it is not possible to cover the entire island in a week. With increasingly more destinations popping up all over the world, some travelers prefer to choose a country they have never been to for their vacation. If you are a first-time traveler to Sri Lanka and have only one week for the vacation this itinerary tailor-made to make the most of it. Due to the different monsoon seasons, suitable beaches differ depending on the month you travel. This itinerary is for travelers who plan to visit between May and September. During this period western and southern beaches are not safe because of rough seas and heavy rains due to Monsoon. So the best option for beaches is the east coast. If you plan to visit Sri Lanka between October and April please look here.

This itinerary starts from visiting Sigiriya and then an elephant safari in Habarana. Then continuing to Pasikuda, visiting the ancient city of Polonnaruwa on the way. After enjoying the beach in Pasikuda, stay a day in Kandy before leaving for Negombo.

Day 1
Negombo Beach, Sri LankaArrive at Colombo International Airport, Katunayake.
Drive from Katunayake to Negombo (13 Km, 30 min).
Visit Negombo Beach if time permits.
Stay in Negombo
If you use public transport book a hotel in Colombo. Negombo is the best for those who use private transport.
Take an airport taxi from Airport to your hotel in Colombo.
Taxi from Airport to Colombo cost about LKR 2500 (1 hour).
Walk outside the terminal to find the bus to Colombo Fort. (Route No. 187. AC bus cost less than LKR 200)
If you arrive at night it is recommended to take an airport taxi to the hotel instead of public transport because can be difficult to get from Colombo Fort to the hotel.
There is no dedicated railway station in Airport. So the train is not recommended.
Day 2
SigiriyaDrive from Negombo to Sigiriya (150km, 4h).
Visit Sigiriya, the most popular world heritage site in Sri Lanka. Arguably the 8th wonder of the world.
Drive from Sigiriya to Habarana (17km, 30 min).
Elephant Safari in Habarana. (Evening safari could start from 3pm). Costs about LKR 5000 for a 3 hour safari. But please be aware that there is no standard rate and most of the times it is up to the bargaining power of the customer. Safari will take you to either Hurulu Eco Park, Minneriya National Park or Kaudulla National Park, depending on where the herds are.Stay in Habarana
Arrive at Colombo Private Bus Terminal as early as possible in the morning. Buses run approximately every 1 hour. Take a bus going to Trincomalee or Kaduruwela (Polonnaruwa). You need to get off at Inamaluwa Junction and then take a tuk-tuk to Sigiriya. Tell the bus conductor that you are going to Sigiriya and ask him to remind you to get off. (They are happy to help). The bus will take about 5 hours. (Non AC about LKR 200) From Inamaluwa Junction to Sigiriya it will cost about LKR 500 for a tuk-tuk. The train is not recommended for this journey.
It will take about 1 hour to reach the top of Sigiriya which is about 200m above sea level. The iron steps are steep in some places but the magnificent scenery from the top is well worth the effort.
There are a lot of safari jeeps available for hire near Sigiriya. You can arrange the same jeep to drop you at your hotel.
Day 3
Polonnaruwa 02Visit Dambulla Cave Temple a world heritage site.
Drive from Dambulla to Polonnaruwa (70km, 2h).
Visit Polonnaruwa ancient city, a world heritage site.
Drive from Polonnaruwa to Pasikuda (70km, 1h 30m) Stay in Pasikuda
Take a tuk-tuk (hotel can help to arrange a one) from the hotel to Dambulla cave temple.
From Dambulla take a bus to Kaduruwela (Polonnaruwa). (2 hours, Cost less than LKR 100).
You can use tuk-tuks to travel around Polonnaruwa Archeological sites.
Take a Batticaloa bus from Kaduruwela (Polonnaruwa) and get off at Valaichchenai. (1h 30min, Cost less than LKR 100).
Take a tuk-tuk from Valaichchenai to your hotel in Pasikuda.
Day 4
Pasikudah beachPasikuda Beach, Shallow sea and crystal clear water. One of the safest beaches in Sri Lanka. An ideal place for a sea bath with kids. Eastern beaches such as Nilaveli, Uppuveli and Marble Beach in Trincomalee are also suitable during these months.
Stay in Pasikuda
Day 5
Kandy lakeDrive from Pasikuda to Kandy (190km, 5h).
To enjoy the magnificent mountain scenery, drive to Mahiyanganaya and take the famous 18 bend road to Kandy. Stay in Kandy
Take a tuk-tuk to Valaichchenai to take a bus to Batticaloa. (1h, Cost less than LKR 100)
From Batticaloa take a bus to Kandy. (5h, Cost less than LKR 300)
Day 6
Front view of Temple of the Tooth, KandyVisit Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a world heritage site.
Drive from Kandy to Peradeniya. (6km, 20m)
Visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden.
Drive from Peradeniya to Negombo (100km, 3h 30m). Enjoy the famous mountain scenery along Kadugannawa pass.Stay in Negombo
ake a tuk-tuk to travel around Kandy and then to Peradinya Botanical Garden.
From Kandy to Colombo you can either take Bus or Train.
If you prefer the bus, take a bus to Colombo from Kandy - Colombo bus station. (No. 01, AC less than LKR 500, 3h)
There are 3 suitable trains at (15:00, 16:05 and 16:55). Click here for more details.
Take a bus to Negombo from Colombo Central Bus Terminal. (AC less than LKR200, 1h).
Day 7
Srilankan Airlines, Airbus A330-300 4R-ALM NRT (25270830011)Leave for the next destination from Colombo International Airport, Katunayake.
Take a taxi from your hotel to Airpot. (Cost about LKR 1500).

Travel Tips

Public Trasport

  • Cost is very low compared to private transport.
  • Public buses will charge extra for big luggage.
  • Those who travel with children are recommended to use private transport.
  • Tuk-tuk is the best option to travel short distances within the city. But be cautious when using specially at night.

Click here to book your accommodation in Sri Lanka.