Sri Lanka in 3 Weeks
Tour itinerary - 20 nights / 21 days
There are no arguments, Sri Lanka is nothing short of a paradise. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the diversity of experiences that you can have in Sri Lanka. That is why we wanted to put together an itinerary that enables you to enjoy the best of Sri Lanka within a 3-week holiday.
Note - Travellers Isle specializes in arranging tailor-made tours in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Please drop us a message for an itinerary that reflects your interests, budget, tour duration and the weather conditions of the month that you travel.
Day 1 & 2 – Airport / Negombo
Your 3-week holiday in Sri Lanka starts with a relaxing two days in Negombo. Your driver will greet you at the airport and escort you to your beach front hotel in Negombo. Enjoy a tender coconut while lying on a sunbed. It is the perfect remedy for the jetlag.
If you wish to start exploring right away, you may visit the Negombo fish market and enjoy a bird watching safari in Muturajawela lagoon, during your stay in Negombo.
Travel time from airport to Negombo - About 30 minutes
Day 3 – Negombo / Anuradhapura
The real adventure begins on day three. Once you are ready, your driver will take you to your next destination, Anuradhapura. On your way to Anuradhapura, you may visit a small pottery factory run by a local family to observe our pottery industry.
In the late afternoon, you may tour the Anuradhapura ancient city, which is the first kingdom of Sri Lankan kings. Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanweliseya, the Samadhi statue, and the Brazen Palace are just a few of the locations that you will see during this tour.
Travel time from Negombo to Anuradhapura - About 4 hours
Day 4 – Anuradhapura / Wilpattu / Anuradhapura
In the morning of day 4, your driver will take you to Wilpattu national park for a half day safari. The picturesque national park is packed with wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled. Deer, wild boars, sloth bears, and leopards are masters of illusion.
The evening remains unscheduled. You may simply spend your time relaxing by the hotel pool or touring rural Anuradhapura by bicycle.
Travel time from Anuradhapura to Wilpattu - About 2 hours
Day 5 – Anuradhapura / Jaffna
Due to the thirty years long civil war in the north, Jaffna had little exposure to the rest of the world. The grim days are long behind us and the people in Jaffna are looking forward to welcoming you.
On the fifth day of the tour, your driver will take you to Jaffna. While there, you may visit the visit the Nallur Hindu Kovil, Nagadeepa temple and the Jaffna Fort. You will also be able to enjoy some traditional Tamil food, which will probably become a highlight of your tour.
Travel time from Anuradhapura to Jaffna - about 4 hours
Day 7, 8, 9 & 10 – Jaffna / Nilaveli
Once you are ready, your driver will take you to Nilaveli for the second ocean side stay of your 3-week Sri Lanka tour. Relax at your beach front hotel or swim in the calm Nilaveli sea. If you are interested in snorkeling, we can arrange a snorkeling trip to the nearby Pigeon Island.
Travel time from Jaffna to Nilaveli - about 4 hours
Day 11 – Nilaveli / Sigiriya
Spend the morning at the beach. Around 12.00 pm your driver will pick you up from your hotel to take you to your next destination, Sigiriya.
On your way to Sigiriya you may stop for a jeep safari in Minneriya national park, which is the best national park for elephant watching in Sri Lanka. During the dry season, it is not unusual to see hundreds of elephants gathering around Minneriya lake for fresh water and tender grass.
Travel time from Nilaveli to Sigiriya - About 2.5 hours
Day 12 – Around Sigiriya
On the morning of day 12, is planned a visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the heart of ancient King Kashyapa’s kingdom (477 – 495 CE). The fortress is nothing short of a miracle. It includes a palace (built on top of Sigiriya rock), landscaped gardens, and still functioning water fountains.
In the late afternoon you may experience the rural life of Sri Lanka. For this village tour we will travel by bullock cart and catamaran. At the end of the tour, you will be invited to enjoy some delicious Sri Lankan food in the home of a villager.
Day 13 & 14 – Sigiriya / Kandy
On day 13 the adventure continues to Kandy. Before leaving Sigiriya, you may visit the Dambulla Cave Temple. En route to Kandy, you may also visit a spice garden to learn about the secrets of our traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.
The rest of the day may be spent simply relaxing, but there are so many things to do in Kandy. You have time to visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth, Peradeniya Botanical garden or enjoy a performance of traditional Kandyan dancers.
Travel time from Sigiriya to Kandy - about 2.5 hours
Day 15 – Kandy / Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya is a small town in the hill country, Sri Lanka. Due to its high altitude, Nuwara Eliya has a lot cooler weather conditions compared to the rest of the country. So, put on some warm clothes on before heading to this picturesque small town.
On the way to Nuwara Eliya, you may stop by the gorgeous Ramboda waterfall to admire its beauty. You may also tour a tea plantation and a factory to learn about the production process of our well renowned Ceylon Tea.
Travel time from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya - about 2.5 hours
Day 16 – Around Nuwara Eliya
A refreshing start for the day would be a hike to the World’s End. It is a viewpoint located in the Horton Plains national park. Unlike other national parks in Sri Lanka, visitors are allowed to explore it by foot. The breathtaking views of the endless plains and the picturesque waterfalls will make the time fly. When you reach the World’s End, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the valley beyond you. Do not get too close to the edge though. It is a sharp drop of 870 m (2,854 ft).
Day 17, 18, 19 & 20 – Nuwara Eliya / Tangalle
When you are ready, your driver will take you to Tangalle for the last beach stay of your holiday. On the way to Tangalle, you may stop in Ella for few excursions and lunch. Some of the popular attractions in Ella are Little Adam’s Peak, 9 Arch Bridge and Ravana waterfall.
After the lunch, the trip continues to amazing Tangalle beach, which would be the perfect ending for your amazing 3 week holiday in Sri Lanka.
Travel time from Nuwara Eliya to Tangalle - about 4.5 hours
Day 21 – Tangalle / Airport
It is your last day in Sri Lanka. Time permitting, you may spend the morning enjoying the sea. Your driver will take you to the airport on time to catch your return flight. As all good things must come to an end, he will give his farewells and drive back to Colombo.
Travel time from Tangalle to airport - About 4 hours
End of the tour
More holiday suggestions
Frequently asked questions
1. How much does it cost?
The tour cost depends on the month you travel, number of adults and children participating the tour and the quality of the accommodation that you choose. Please drop us a message specifying your requirements, so we can send you the exact cost for this tour.
2. Will you be able to customize this itinerary according to my needs?
Absolutely. Travellers Isle specialize in tailor-made holidays. We are more than happy to customize this itinerary according to your needs.
3. For which months is this itinerary most suitable?
December, January, February, March, April, July and August are the best months for this itinerary. For other months, itinerary should be adjusted to avoid bad weather.
(In July and August, the sea of the southern beaches is too dangerous/rough for swimming. If swimming in the ocean is a high priority, the itinerary should be modified with an east coast beach.)
4. Is it possible to replace the beach stay of this tour with the Maldives?
Yes, we can easily plan the beach stay of this tour in the Maldives. Please check our Sri Lanka and Maldives holidays section for more information.