7-Day Itinerary In Sri Lanka With Your Girl Gang

by Akriti Seth
by Akriti Seth 1763

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From rainforest to arid plains, from highlands to sandy beaches; Buddhist ruins, palaces, frescoes and a lot of beauty, Sri Lanka has all of it!

What Is It?

Sri Lanka is an island country in the vast Indian Ocean. Surrounded by the ocean on all the sides, the land has all kinds of geographical areas, from hills to plateaus to flat lands. Rich with flora and fauna, Sri Lanka is a land of natural abundance, rich culture & heritage and extremely caring people.

Sri Lanka

I decided to take off to this land with four of my cousins. An all girls trip and just believe me when I say it was the best ever trip I’ve taken in my life. Without much ado, here’s my itinerary for 7 days in paradise.

Also Read: Travel Tips by Jacqueline Fernandez In One Minute!

Day 1: Colombo – Galle

As you reach Colombo in the morning, head to the area of Negombo. There are a number of options for you to stay beside the ocean and take in the fresh air and waves. As the sun goes up, you can either choose to laze around in the guest house or walk outside for an amazing tan.

Silver Sands in Negombo

Negombo has a lot to offer in terms of shopping & food which we can certainly be enjoyed. As the evening approaches take a train from this rustic railway station called Mardana in Colombo to the Galle City. It’s a 3.5 hour journey in which you will be running parallel to the ocean and believe me when I say that that feeling is unmatched.

Mardana Station In Colombo

Train Ticket: LKR 180

Most part of the country sleeps early so by the time you reach you will be left with no other options than to head out for a good dinner, come back and rest while you prepare yourself for the next day.

A view from the train.

Day 2: Galle – Bentota

Take a cab early in the morning from Galle to visit the city of Bentota which is 2 hours away. The beach in this side of the country is rough but Bentota river offers an amazing experience of a boat ride into the mangroves.

Spot a water monitor, crocodile and a variety of exotic birds as you sail through the river surrounded by rich foliage.

Water Monitor in the river

Boat Ride in Mangroves: LKR 1500 per person for 1 hour

Post that you can either head for a relaxing spa or towards Geoffrey Bawa’s Lunuganga, which is quite simply, a work of art. The breathtaking gardens are like a suite of serene outdoor rooms, amid the wider wilderness of Sri Lanka.

Price of Spa: LKR 3000 per person for 1 hour
Lunganga: LKR 2000 per person for a tour around the property

You can stop over at a Turtle Hatchery for an informative session about the turtles and their conservation. We stopped by at Victor Hassel Blad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Centre where we saw beautiful albino turtles.

Turtle Hatchery in Sri Lanka

Turtle Hatchery Ticket: LKR 500 per person

As you head back to Galle, stop by a beach and witness the huge ball of fire take a dip in the sea. The day has ended and the country will soon be fast asleep. In Galle, you can head to this place called Indian Hut if you’re missing Indian food already.

Cost for Dinner: LKR 700 per person

Sri Lankan Food

Also Read: A List Of All 46 Countries That PM Narendra Modi Has Visited Till Date

Day 3: Galle & Unawatuna to Ella

Unawatuna is around 5 kms away from Galle. The highlight for us here was the Jungle Beach. You hike for around a kilometre to reach a small beach. With a cutesy shack that serves delicious food this place is heaven for people who just want to chill.

unawatuna

Shack feels a the Jungle Beach

Food at the shack: LKR 800 per person

Post this head to Unawatuna beach for a swim in the ocean and a beer by the sea followed by a lunch at the Galle Fort. Take a tour of the Galle Fort as it is a must visit when you’re in Sri Lanka.

To save time what we did was take a cab to get to Ella the same day & by the night fall we were in Ella already.

pagoda at Galle

Day 4: Ella

Ella is a beautiful hill station in the country of Sri Lanka at a height of around 1,041 metres above sea level. With a variety of things to do here, we started off with a drive to the Ravana Waterfall. Soak your feet in the chilled water of the falls and witness the vast nature and it’s brilliant play.

Head to the Sita cave which is quite a climb to a crescent shaped cave which is said to be a place where Ravana hid Mata Sita after kidnapping her.

You can head to Little Adam’s peak if you’re a hiking enthusiast or choose to chill at the Cafe Chill which is quite a hot spot amongst tourists.

The 9 Arch Bridge is quite a picturesque location and very very instagram-friendly. Careful as you hike here, as you might just get attacked by leeches like us.

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Day 5: Ella – Nuwara Eliya

Said to be one of the most beautiful train routes in the world, take an early morning train from Ella to Nuwara Eliya. The beautiful tea gardens on either side and the first rays of sun will sure give you an experience of a lifetime.

Train from Ella to Nuware Eliya

Trains in Sri Lanka

Because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Take a tour around the city of Nuwara Eliya and head to Grand Hotel (1891) for a cup of coffee. Well, if you’re lucky enough like us, you might just spot Malinga there.

You can take a Tea Factory tour around or visit the Sita Temple. Enjoy some water sports at the Gregory lake and head to this vintage post office to get some collectibles or just to tell your loved ones that you love them by sending postcards.

Tea Estate in Sri Lanka

If you leave by 5, you’re sure to hit Candy by 7 where you can shop at ODEL or just watch some traditional Sri Lankan Dance at the YMBA.

YMBA Ticket: LKR 2000 per head

Day 6: Kandy

The next day you can cover a number of tourist destinations. While on the way to Dambulla caves from Kandy, stop by a Spice Garden as your trip is not complete unless you’ve got some tea and spices in this country.

Make sure you’re wearing clothes covering below the knee and your shoulders. Dambulla caves are also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla and are a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. Post the caves, head to Sigiriya Fort (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) which is a huge toadstool rock over which ruins of an old fort are what will enchant you with a 360 degree view

Sigiriya Fort

PS: Sunset at the Sigiriya Fort is a wonderful feeling.

Tickets to Dambulla: LKR 1500
Tickets to Sigiriya: LKR 2230

Also Read: 20 Countries That Allow Indians To Visit Without A VISA

Day 7: Kandy – Colombo

You’ll have a heavy heart by now! But hey, there is another highlight that waits you today. It is Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. With around 50 elephants in the orphanage, you can take a bath in the river with the elephants and see them enjoy.

PS: You might just spot a Batik factory, so ladies get yourself prepared to be mesmerised by this art and shell some cash for batik prints.

On the way to Pinnawala, take a quick tour of the Botanical Gardens and the Tooth Relic (Buddhist Monastary) in Candy.

Tickets for Pinnawala: LKR 2000
Tickets for Tooth Relic: LKR 2000
Tickets for Botanical Garden: LKR 1500

With this! I can assure you that you won’t want to leave the country but we’ve no choice. Colombo airport is a 2 hour drive from Pinnawala.

Tips:
1. We hired a cab throughout, which made out trip amazing.
2. DO NOT forget to carry sunscreen, because we’ve all come back 5 shades darker.
3. Bargaining is key
4. Carry a jacket and socks for Nuwara Eliya.

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