Driving yourself dizzy trying to figure out where to begin your travel plans in Sri Lanka? A 3-week itinerary in Sri Lanka can include many options as there’s ample time to travel around and see the whole gamut of what this tropical island has to offer! You can tune your travel plans according to where you’d like to visit first, whether it is a short drive straight to one of the many pristine beaches Sri Lanka has on offer, or to the cultural triangle, steeped with history and traditions.
Since the day to day travel breakdown will depend solely on where you’d like to go and what you’d like to see, we’d like to recommend a few locations you shouldn’t miss out on during your 3 weeks in Sri Lanka.
For Wildlife enthusiasts, there’s many different parks that may pique your interest. How about trying Wilpattu National Park, on the North West of the island? There’s also the famed Yala National Park on the South East Coast of the island, offering some of the best safaris and is famed for having the highest density of leopards in a square kilometer. Check out Kumana, if birds fascinate you! There are many glamping options in each of these areas, so be sure to check them out the Wild Coast Tented Lodges or Chena Huts by Uga in Yala.
Be sure not to miss the iconic cultural triangle, with the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya. These ancient capitals are full of crumbling ruins and interesting structures, giving you a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of life in ancient Sri Lanka. Dambulla Rock Temple is another site, not far off from these ancient cities that is known for its ornate ancient art, painted into the rock face of a beautiful temple. A definite must if you have 3 weeks and want to understand Sri Lankan history and culture on a deeper level. You can call Ulagalla Resort, Water Garden Sigiriya or Vil Uyana your home base for this leg of your travels.
Head over to the central provinces to experience Sri Lanka’s hill country which is known to have cooler climes and beautiful scenic views as far as the eye can see. The ancient city of Kandy is rich with art, architecture and tradition, whilst chilly Nuwara Eliya, Haputale, Ella and Hatton are famed for rolling tea plantations and picturesque views over the mountainsides. There are some great boutique properties on this part of the island. Try Thotalagala Bungalow, Ceylon Tea Trails, Goatfell, 98 Acres, Nine Skies or Camellia Hills for that sumptuous retreat.
The Southern tip of Sri Lanka has some of the islands best beaches. If you wish to spend a few days being an absolute beach bum, then this is the place for you! From Bentota all the way down the coast to Tangalle, you will be able to witness some pristine golden sandy beaches with friendly faces and great food on offer! Check out the whole list of amazing properties from Cape Weligama, Ani Villas, Anantara Tangalle or Kalutara, Amangalla or Amanwella and Taru Villas are a few to name!
The North of Sri Lanka is a world unto its own. Here not only is the language different, so is the food, traditions and even the visual style of the North. Relatively untouched by too much tourism, this is for people who wish to see the other side of Sri Lanka and are willing to go off the beaten track. No different from the rest of the island, the North is filled with a number of traditional and natural attractions. A number of hotels in Jaffna have popped up in the recent year a few you should check out are the Fox Resorts Jaffna and Thinnai Resort.
The Capital city of Colombo is right near the airport, so it makes sense to come here for a few days on arrival or departure from Sri Lanka. As it is the most commercial part of the island, you can get most of your shopping done here or try out one of the local restaurants and bars for truly authentic experience! For your hideaway in the heart of the city, check into The Residence by Uga or Maniumpathy.
As you can imagine, each area has a little something different to offer, so you can decide where you’d like to visit solely based on what activities you’d like to experience on holiday! The island has ample boutique hideaways you can book for a bit of rest and relaxation after a busy day of site seeing, so you don’t have to worry about roughing it out – there’s luxury accommodation options throughout the island. Travel time between these destination needs to be considered. Whilst it might not seem like a long way to travel, sometimes transfers can take long hours on the road. Its best to talk to an agent to find out the best mode of travel given your schedule. You can opt for luxury train travel, chauffeur driven cars or even local planes.
Reach out to your local travel partner at ArTravele, who have the expertise to guide you through your travel itinerary, with local insight into what’s best in the locations you are visiting! Three weeks is ample time to taste the essence of the island tropics, so let us know what you’d like to see and we’ll do the rest for you!
Enjoy you vacations with the ones you love!