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Exploring Sri Lanka within 8 days could be a tough nut to crack as there are so many places to see in this magnificent country. Sri Lanka is also known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean and is home to 8 beautiful UNESCO world heritage sites.
Sri Lanka is a country that is rich in culture, scenery, and heritage. Nothing can prepare you for the surprises that the country gifts to its guests. the time spent here may always seem less, but don't worry, this Sri Lanka itinerary is perfect for your trip
You will land in Colombo and then will go to Kandy to visit the beautiful Kandy Lake, Museum, and then the holy temple of tooth. Then you will reach Nuwara Eliya via a scenic train journey that will land you to the Horton Plains where you will hike up to the world's end.
After Nuwara Eliya, you will go to the beaches of Bentota and then finish the tour in Colombo
Below is your day to day plan and strategy of how you can extract the most fun out of your Sri Lanka Tour –
Arrive at Colombo
Colombo is the ideal place to begin Sri Lanka Itinerary, as it is the commercial capital of the country.
Colombo – Kandy: By road – 4 hours
Kandy is declared to be one of UNESCO world heritage sites in the country. The city rests amidst the Kandy Plateau which consists of a large area of tropical plantations, mainly tea and spices.
The historical records suggest that Kandy was first established by the monarch of the Kingdom of Gampola, Vikramabhau III. It was the capital for the last generations of Sri Lanka’s kings until it fell into the hands of the British in 1815. The city is famous for its tea plantations and biodiverse rainforest. The rest of the day is for leisure
Overnight stay will be at Kandy.
Located in the middle of the hills and tea plantations, Kandy has much more to offer than natural scenery-
Some of the experiences are-
Kandy National Museum – The building was known as “Palle Vahala'' when it was established during the Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe era and was a palace of King's harem. The architectural style of the building is of the Kandy period.
Later, the building was used to keep the various items of historical value made by the Kandy Art Association. Today, the Museum has more than 5000 objects from different ages of times and events of history and culture.
The next stop will be the Temple of Tooth, Sri Lanka’s most sacred site. It is believed that the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka in the 4th century A.D and was preserved in the temple. This holy relic is a symbol of sovereignty for the Sinhalese kings.
The temple is unique and beautiful when its architecture glorifies the decorative walls which will catch the attention of the mind and the soul within a split-second.
When you look up you will be amazed by the beautiful golden roof and the artistic designs engraved on it. Every day devotees come to participate in religious services in the evening. The services are accompanied by traditional music and drumming.
You can then enjoy the stroll around the Kandy Central market amidst the rich aroma of spices and tea, and shopping crafts and textiles from the local craftsman.
Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
Today you start your journey to Nuwara Eliya via train.
The train starts and it takes some time to leave Kandy’s small houses and farms but when the train begins to climb and the noise of the city faints, begins the scenic journey of one of the most beautiful train journeys. The train passes through the waterfalls and tea bushes, which could be hard to navigate as they appear on opposite sides, so we recommend getting a camera and starting to click some pictures, as the scenery just gets better and better.
Nuwara Eliya is in the tea country, with naturally landscaped Botanical Gardens. It is also called “Little England” because it is where British settlers set up their holiday Bungalows and spent their downtime.
You can take a stroll through the gardens and tree plantations.
Overnight stay will be at Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya – Horton Plains
Horton Plains National Park could be the brightest highlight of your Sri Lanka Itinerary, as the place is positioned at the eastern boundaries of the upper montane forest range of central highland of Sri Lanka.
The plateau of Horton plains bears the 2nd and 3rd highest peaks of Sri Lanka namely Kirigalpoththa (2389m) and Toto Polakonda (2357m. The area covered by the Horton plains is 3160 hectares and accounts for 8% of the total upper mountain forests and grasslands of Sri Lanka.
The rainwater of Horton plains Plateau is drained through tributaries to Mahaweli river to the north, Walawe river to the south, and Kelani River to the west.
At the edge of the park, there is a stand cliff called the “world’s end”.
Overnight it will be at Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya to Bentota
Located on the southwest coast, Bentota is one of those places where you can enjoy various activities such as fishing, diving, snorkeling, parasailing, paragliding, and dolphin watching.
The beaches are known for being pristine and peaceful. The water of the beaches is crystal clear. And there are many activities in which you can indulge yourself in fun activities, but today for leisure your exploration of Bentota will start from tomorrow.
Overnight stay at Bentota.
Bentota was a major trading hub, where the spice trade was very prominent. The Portuguese dominated the maritime spice trade and built a fort on the Banks of Bentota.
Many activities can be done in Bentota, we recommend you to explore the place with a bicycle, go to the brief gardens, and shop your heart out with traditional masks and dance masks.
The beaches of Bentota are so filled with marine life that out of 7 species of marine turtles in the world, 5 are found in the clear waters of Benota’s coast. The five species are – Hawksbill Turtle, Loggerhead turtle, Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, and the Olive Ridley turtle.
You can spend the rest of the day exploring the city or just chilling at the beaches till sunset.
Overnight stay will be in Bentota.
Bentota - Colombo
Welcome back to the largest city in Sri Lanka! The city is a mixture of modern life, architecture and old buildings, and ruins from the time when it was the capital of the British Ceylon.
You can visit the National Museum that houses statues and narrates the story of ancient Sri Lanka, and then take a stroll at the fort area to see some stunning monuments and then wander the dynamic streets of Pettah.
Later in the evening, proceed to visit the Gangaramaya temple, which is a Buddhist temple that consists of several buildings and is filled with an enormous amount of artifacts. The temple has the relics of Buddha’s hair and has a LOT of statues of Buddhas, in stone, white plastic, and gold.
Today you can revisit the places that you would like to get another chance of snapping some great images.
Don’t forget to grab a bite of the delicious street food made with exotic spices.
Later during the day, visit the Dutch Period Museum and Dutch Reformed Church where you will discover about dutch influence and history. The museum was built in the late 17th century, as the official residence of the Dutch governor.
The collection inside the museum includes artifacts, artwork, and furniture as well as arms and militaria.
Later you will catch your flight, we wish you a happy journey ahead.