Sri Lanka 7 Day Itinerary (October – April)
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. So if you belonged to that group 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. Hense this itinerary is for travelers who plan to visit between October and April. If you plan to visit Sri Lanka between May and September please look here.
This itinerary starts from visiting Sigiriya and then continues to Kandy after an elephant safari in Habarana. Final 3 days are in southern beach resort before visiting Galle to end the journey. Scroll down to see travel tips and information about public transport.
|Arrive 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 the 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.
|Drive 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).|
|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). Then get off at Inamaluwa Junction and take a tuk-tuk to Sigiriya. Be sure to 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. 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
|Visit Dambulla Cave Temple a world heritage site.|
|Drive from Dambulla to Kandy (70km, 2h).|
|Visit Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a world heritage site.|
|Stay in Kandy|
|Take a tuk-tuk (hotel can help to arrange a one) from the hotel to Dambulla cave temple.|
From Dambulla take a bus to Kandy. (3 hours, Cost about LKR 100).
You can use tuk-tuks to travel around Kandy.
|Drive from Kandy to Unawatuna (222km, 5h). Drive from Kandy to Unawatuna is the longest journey on this itinerary.|
|One of the most popular beaches in Sri Lanka. Best for Swimming, Snorkeling and Scuba Diving. Stay in Unawatuna|
|From Kandy to Unawatuna (Galle) you can either take Bus or Train. Both will take around 6h.|
Click here for more details on train and timetables.
If you prefer the bus, take a bus to Colombo from Kandy - Colombo bus station. (No. 01, AC less than LKR 500, 3h)
From Colombo - Private Bus Terminal take a bus to Galle. (No. 02, AC less than LKR 500, 3h)
Get off from Unawatuna or the closest bus stop to your hotel. (You can ask the hotel. Again seek the help from the conductor.)
Take a tuk-tuk from the main road to the hotel.
|Enjoy the beach.|
|Stay in Unawatuna|
|One of the most popular beaches in Sri Lanka. Best for Swimming, Snorkeling and Scuba Diving. Well developed tourist facilities with a huge selection of accommodation, foods, and entertainment. Southern beaches such as Hikkaduwa, Wadduwa, Koggala, and Bentota are also suitable during these months. Beaches further down the coast such as Mirissa, Weligama and Tangalle are also possible options, if you don't mind the increased distance.|
|Drive from Unawatuna to Galle. (6km, 15min)|
|Visit Galle Fort, a world heritage site.|
|Drive from Galle to Negombo (160km, 3h).|
|Stay in Negombo|
|Walk or take a tuk-tuk to the nearest bus stop in the Colombo - Galle main road and take a bus to Galle. (Cost less than LKR 50).|
Galle Fort is walking distance from Gall bus stand.
Take a bus from Galle to Colombo (No. 02, AC less than LKR 500, 3h), then take a bus to Negombo from Colombo Central Bus Terminal. (AC less than LKR200, 1h).
|Leave for the next destination from Colombo International Airport, Katunayake.|
|Take a taxi from your hotel to Airpot. (Cost about LKR 1500).|
- 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 especially at night.