The perfect no rush 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary.
My perfect no rush 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary is designed to give you some of the essentials together with some relaxation, so that you don’t just run and run to see all the monuments but you also relax and sample its wonderful nature.
From north to south, there are a lot of beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka. In fact, the country is one of the most incredible places to explore. There’s no question about that!
By now you probably know that I’m Sri Lankan by birth, and after my first visit to Sri Lanka in 2005 I visit this beautiful island as much as I can. Not only because I was born there but because I find it really interesting from many points of view.
From relaxing cosy beach life to wildlife adventures, Sri Lanka is able to satisfy any type of traveller. There are really so many highlights this country has to offer.
At every single step there is a wonder, and exactly for this reason it could be a dilemma deciding what to do and what to leave out; especially when having only 10 days to spend in the Island.
Before I proceed to my perfect no rush 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary, I just want to acknowledge one important point.
Contrary to what many tourists believe, the Bandaranaike International Airport is not in Colombo, but it’s in a town called Katunayake, which is about 50 minutes’ drive from Colombo and 20 minutes’ drive from Negombo. What I mean here is that you are not landing in Colombo. Therefore, plan your movements accordingly.
DAY 1- Colombo – 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary
No doubt I would say to start your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary in Colombo. It is probably not going to be your favourite Sri Lankan city, but surely it has its own value. I recommend that you don’t skip Colombo.
And then… being Sri Lanka’s capital it’s very busy and chaotic and therefore, it is better to have it as a first stop, so as to keep the most relaxing places at the end of your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary.
Of all the things you can do in Colombo, I suggest you do not miss the street food at the Galle face beach at sunset. Especially if you are there on a weekend.
DAY 2/3 – Sigiriya – 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary
Sigiriya is a city in the central province of Sri Lanka. I advise you stay two days in Sigiriya because there are really many things to do here.
In addition to the legendary Lion’s Rock, you can also hike the Pidurangala Rock at sunset. And, you can also take advantage of the chance to visit the Dambulla Cave Temple.
It is easy to spot wild elephants in Sigiriya, so pay attention when going around during the late evening hours.
I feel like I must suggest to you a beautiful place to stay in Sigiriya. Back of Beyond Eco Resort. This remains among my favourite accommodations in Sri Lanka. I love the location, their food, and the care they have for the environment.
This is the place where I stay every time I go to Sigiriya.
Back of Beyond is also a good option when travelling with children.
If instead you are looking for a good restaurant, I suggest for you the one called Rastaurant. It is a riverfront restaurant from where you can see some domesticated elephants bathing
DAY 4 – Kandy – 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary
Kandy is home to the famous Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Veediya). Let’s say that it represents the spiritual centre of Sri Lanka.
Besides visiting the Tooth Relic Temple, there are many other things to do in Kandy. For example, you can be part of the cultural program with a classical Sri Lankan dance taking place every evening in the theatre behind the temple.
Well, I think that for your one day in Kandy these activities are more than sufficient.
Obviously, I could list many more things to do in Kandy but we are talking about “the perfect no rush 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary” so we need to eliminate something. From Kandy move down to Nuwara Eliya.
DAY 5 – Nuwara Eliya – 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary
Along the way from Kandy to Nuwara you can stop at any of the Sri Lankan Spice Gardens for a quick visit.
Nuwara Eliya is often referred to as ‘Little England’ because it has a British country village feel. In fact, Nuwara Eliya was once the favoured cool-climate escape for the hard-working and hard-drinking English and Scottish pioneers of Sri Lanka’s tea industry. I like this Sri Lankan city a lot. Not only because there are so many things to do in Nuwara Eliya but also because its landscapes transmit a great sense of relaxation and serenity.
Nuwara Eliya cannot be missing in your “10 day Sri Lanka itinerary” because it gives you a wider point of view of the country and its culture.
The one thing that you should definitely do in Nuwara Eliya is visit a tea factory. I got to see several of them and I can say that any of them are fine. I find the Damro Labookellie Tea estate a little too touristy, but I wouldn’t exclude it for this reason.
If you have enough time available, try a train trip in this area. It is said to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the world.
Read Also: Time saving train journey to Nuwara Eliya.
DAY 6 – Sri Pada/Adam’s Peak – 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary
Hiking Adam’s Peak is a wish for many. Mine too.
Adam’s Peak is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain in the centre of Sri Lanka. It is known among the locals as Sri Pada. It is the most sacred peak in the world. It is sacred to four religions: to Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and Hindus. And for this reason, thousands of devotees and pilgrims climb this mountain every day. The number increases during the full moon day.
Would you believe that after 10 times to Sri Lanka I haven’t gotten to do it yet? That one time I tried it, I got stuck in the street due to the traffic of pilgrims. In fact, it was a full moon day!
The hike to Adam’s Peak usually starts before 2 am. There are 5,000 steps and it is a five-hour night climb. So, arm yourself with a patient and good mood.
As an alternative to Adam’s Peak, I suggest you go to the Horton Plains National Park.
Read Also: Adam’s Peak Hike: When the moon is not a loyal companion
DAY 7/8/9 – Unawatuna – 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary
I remind you that “The perfect no rush 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary” is made to make you return home relaxed, but at the same time without making you lose the essentiality of Sri Lanka. For this reason, I think you should stay based 3 nights in Unawatuna and explore the nearest cities without moving with your bags and luggage.
Once in Unawatuna, you can visit Mirissa, Dondra, Weligama, Hoggala, Hikkaduwa, Ambalangoda, and Galle. As well as for Nuwara Eliya, I recommend not to leave Sri Lanka without visiting Galle. It is another piece of the country which has its own characteristic.
There are plenty of things to do in this area. You can visit the turtle farm, the world famous Sri Lankan stilt fishermen, extraction of precious stones, the longest lying buddha of Asia (Galagoda Sailatharamaya temple), river trips through the mangroves, and go for a whale watch in Mirissa. Believe me, you won’t get bored for sure.
DAY 10 – Negombo – 10 day Sri Lanka Itinerary
For your last day in Sri Lanka, I suggest Negombo. It is an easy city in which to stroll about, for the distances are not that far and the street scenes are interesting. It is a catholic city, it is a fishing city with a good beach life, and most convenient, very close to the airport; I mean reachable in 30 minutes. In Negombo you can take a boat trip on the Hamilton canal-lagoon at sunset or visit one of Sri Lanka’s best fish markets.
If you are driving by yourself in Sri Lanka, take the highway to get from Unawatuna to Negombo.
If you are travelling by car, know that Google Navigation is inaccurate in Sri Lanka. So, don’t be surprised if you have calculated less time than what it truly takes. Sometimes what is said to be 3 hours can even be 6 hours, unless you are on a highway.
Though I know so little of Sri Lanka (I mean for being born in Sri Lanka), I’m very proud of being half Sri Lankan, and I don’t want to hide from you that I got a bit of nostalgia while writing this 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary. I wish I was there now.
Sri Lanka is a country rich in history and nature as well as cultural and religious diversity, and as I said already there are so many reasons why everyone should visit Sri Lanka at least once.
This article called The perfect no rush 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary is aimed at those who want to visit the country without hustle and bustle. But at the same time, they will carry back home a heritage of information and culture.
Moreover, Sri Lanka is safe for travel, so you should definitely consider planning your trip soon.
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August 26, 2021 at 4:22 am
I’ve always wanted to visit Sri Lanka but am worried that I wouldn’t be able to spend 10 days there. Do you think its doable in 6-7 days?
August 28, 2021 at 6:52 pm
Hi, yes definitely! If you don’t want to run too much you can remove Sigiriya from your list.