Planning 10 days in Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka, the tear-shaped island of ancient culture, stunning natural beauties and heartwarmingly welcoming people. This country, situated in the Indian Ocean, is a place everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime. Between tropical beaches and temperate highlands, there are many places a traveler should visit and sights to see. To experience the essence of this country a traveler needs at least ten days, and we would like to suggest to you how to spend them in Sri Lanka. One could opt to spend a ten-day vacation at a place like Weligama. Peaceful beach town, not overcrowded by tourists, but a 20-minutes bus ride from a bustling tourist hotspot Mirissa.
As a foreign traveler, you will most likely arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport in the capital of Colombo. And this is a city where you should spend your first day getting to know Sri Lanka. You can book some of the sightseeing tours in open-top double-deckers, but the best way is to hire a tuk-tuk, as it gives you the freedom of choice on your own which places to visit and to set your own pace. Or you could choose to wander around the streets of Petah on foot.
While at Colombo you should make certain to visit the Gangaramaya Temple and neighboring Seema Malaka temple in the middle of Beira Lake. Another popular spot is the Old Colombo Dutch Hospital, probably the oldest building in the city which today function as a shopping and dining precinct.
On your second day, you should be heading for Kandy, a city in the heartland of Sri Lanka. You can arrive at it either by bus or train, but the most comfortable is by hiring a private taxi.
Kandy is home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which houses a relic of the tooth of Buddha. Another tourist favorite is the Royal Botanical Gardens, which are famous for its collection of orchids but also houses more than 4,000 plant species across more than half a square kilometer of area.
While staying in Kandy you can make arrangements for a day trip to the ancient fortress Sigiriya located on the Lion’s Rock, almost 200 meters tall natural rock which rises above the surrounding jungle. And on the return trip to Kandy, you should make sure to visit Dambulla Cave Temple, a temple complex sprawling between 5 caves which date back to the first century BC.
Traveling from Kandy to Ella is best done by train. Though the trip lasts between six and seven hours, this is one of the if not the most beautiful train routes in the world. Lush green hills covered by tea plantations, cloudy mountain slopes, charming old bridges, you can relax while the serene landscape goes by peacefully.
While at Ella you should make certain to visit at least one of the tea factories, which offer tours. The most popular is Halpewatte Tea Factory.
On the fifth day, you should get up a bit before the sunrise and take the 20-minute ride to the Little Adam’s Peak, not to be confused with Sri Pada, and watch the sun rising in the east from the sea of green forests. After this magnificent sight, your next stop should be Buduruwagala temple. Home to the tallest statue of Buddha in Sri Lanka, 16 meters tall carved in the cliff face in 10th century AD. On your way to or from Buduruwagala, you should stop at the Ravana’s Falls, the widest falls on the island. But also the nearby Ravana’s cave.
The sixth day is best spent traveling from Ella to Kataragama. This town is home to Kataragama temple, a temple complex dedicated to the guardian deity of Sri Lanka, Kataragama deviyo. This temple is one of the few religious places on the island venerated by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and indigenous Vedda people.
From your base in Kataragama, it is very convenient to embark on a half or whole day safari around the Yala National Park. Covering almost a thousand square kilometers, Yala hosts varying eco-systems, ranging from wet monsoon forests and fresh and marine wetlands to sprawling grasslands. It is known as the places with the highest concentration of leopards in the world. Yala is also the home of Sithulpawwa, an ancient Buddhist monastery founded in the 2nd century BC. If you have opted for the half-day visit to Yala, you should in the afternoon head for the next town, Unawatuna.
Unawatuna beach is one of the most beautiful in Sri Lanka and has many bars and restaurants where you can spend a whole day relaxing. The main part of the town has many shops and restaurants where you can have an authentic taste of Sri Lanka.
With Unawatuna being a suburb of Galle, it presents a great opportunity for a day trip to Galle Fort. Galle was a busy port town since the 2nd century AD and traded with Greece, China, and Arab countries. While the fort was first built by Portuguese in the 16th century and expanded by Dutch in the 17th. Beautiful buildings from the bygone colonial period have been mostly restored to their former glory. Many are today housing shops and restaurants, and the most popular is the old Dutch Hospital which today is a shopping and dining complex.
On the last day in this beautiful country, you should spend visiting places in its capital which you have missed on your first day. From Viharamahadevi Park and National Museum to Galle Face Green promenade. Or revisiting the streets of Pettah and its markets, seeing them now in a new light and without the shock of novelty when visiting a new country.
Everybody knows that the true meaning of a travel is the journey, not the destination. And if you are planning on visiting Sri Lanka for 10 days you should choose T2 Travels Sri Lanka, a premier tour agency in Sri Lanka which offers several types of tour packaged and custom travel packages to Sri Lanka which include hotel and travel accommodations.