2 WEEK ITINERARY
If you are planning to visit Sri Lanka, you are in for a treat. We absolutely loved our time there and felt that in 2 weeks we really were able to see a lot of what the island had to offer, without necessarily feeling like it was too rushed.
DAY 9-10: Yala
Leaving the mountainous Ella behind, we took a 3h taxi journey down South to Yala’s National Park.
We treated ourselves to a stay at the Cinnamon Wild Yala hotel, which is ideally situated on the outskirts of the park, where we cooled off by the pool, which we shared with a few inquisitive monkeys. That evening, we even crossed by a few elephants, on our way to the fabulous buffet spread for dinner.
The next morning we headed to the heart of the park with our guide to getting a glimpse of the country’s wildlife. We got to see a variety of mammals, from elephants to deer, crocodiles, buffaloes and monkeys as well as plenty of colourful birds. The highlight, however, has to be the fact that we spotted a leopard with her cubs in the afternoon!
Following our safari, we took to the road again for 2 hours and headed to Tangalle via taxi.
DAY 10-11: Tangalle
One of the furthest beach on the south coast of Sri Lanka, Tangalle benefits from having fewer crowds than other beach towns. As a result of our stay, there was incredibly relaxing as we enjoyed the empty white sand beaches, turquoise water and delicious fresh seafood.
Even though we did not do much more than sip coconut water, swim and relax on the beach whilst we were there, one of the highlights of our stay has to be the Lounge Bar: set on a wooden deck on Medilla beach, you pick from the daily catch of fish, lobster or crab you’d like to have for dinner. It is then cooked over a grill with Sri Lankan spices and was one of the best seafood we have had. Ever. The owner who is quite a character and a sports fanatic truly made the place come to life and we ended up returning there over and over.
Where to stay: Even though we were woken up by what turned out to be a very loud squirrel, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Serein Beach Hotel. Right on the beach the hotel felt incredibly peaceful and relaxing, the rooms were beautifully put together and the staff was very welcoming.
DAY 11-12: Mirissa & Galle
An hour away from serene Tangalle lies hip Mirissa. A little busier, the crescent beach is no less pleasant to bask in the sun and jump in the sea all day long. Whilst there are plenty of activities to do, like surfing, snorkelling or blue-whale spotting, we were quite content with indulging in pure relaxation. In the evening we went to Zephyr, a cosmopolitan beach hang-out where we tucked into some delicious curried crab and sipped cocktails while watching the sunset. Pure bliss.
The following morning we hit the road to Galle for the day, about an hour away. Built by the Dutch in 1663, Galle is a charming historic city. After walking along the city wall surrounding the fort we strolled down the narrow streets lined with stylish cafes and charming boutiques. We sampled the infamous Sri Lankan hopper for dinner at a charming restaurant called Hoppa.
Where to stay: Newly opened in 2017, Somerset Mirissa is a beautiful hotel, a short walk away from the beach with a lovely pool, friendly staff and delicious food.
DAY 13: Colombo
We finished our two week trip with Colombo, Sri Lanka’s energetic capital city. After checking out the animated markets in the Pettah district, we swapped the busy streets for the quiet waterside and gardens around the South Beira Lake. We ended our day at the pleasant Dutch Hospital complex home to lovely shops and cafes. Going all out for our last meal, we finished the day with a superb meal at The Ministry of Crab. As the name suggests it is all about the tasty crustacean here, which is cooked with a variety of sauces and eaten with a bib!
We hope that our two-week itinerary has inspired you to visit this wonderful country, full of diversity. You can, of course, do this itinerary the other way around - starting with the beaches first. We opted to end with the South coast for a more relaxing end to our trip.