I only had a week in Sri Lanka. I could, quite easily, have spent that week on the beach, relaxing, swimming, etc., like any normal person would. Did I do that? No, of course I didn’t. In true Teresa-style travelling, I wanted to make the most of that week, especially as it had been ages since my last holiday. If I had had more time, I wouldn’t have moved on as quickly as I did. I could easily have spent two weeks on this trip, but I didn’t have that luxury. I had to be back at work in the UK a week later. As it was, I spent every night in a different town and every day I covered a fair few miles on lots of buses. Just in case you are as crazy as me and want to do this in a week, or be a bit more sensible and cover the same area in two or more weeks, here’s my route. I did all but one of the journeys using local buses, but that’s a whole other story!
This was my route:
Colombo Airport – Kandy – Nuwara Eliya – Ella (via Bandarawela) – Tangalle (via Tissa) – Mirissa (via Matara) – Negombo (via Galle and Colombo Fort) – Colombo Airport
I got straight on a bus from the airport to Kandy, which took about 4-4.5 hours. It was dark when I arrived, so I spent the following day exploring. I visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic), walked around Lake Kandy, which is an artificial lake in the heart of the city, enjoyed the view from up high, and saw a few gemstones in one of the gem museums.
After initially thinking I might not get anywhere to stay for the night, I explored Nurwara Eiya the following morning. It’s a popular town with Sri Lankans because of Lake Gregory, and the incredible surroundings. This was the coldest place I visited in Sri Lanka. They don’t call it Little England for nothing, you know!
It took three buses (should have been two) to Ella. The scenery on the way was incredibly beautiful, as it was on the way to Nuwara Eliya. This was probably my favourite place of all, so I can understand why it is popular with locals and tourists alike. There are a lot of things to see and do, so it is a great base. In the short time I was there, I went to Nine Arches Bridge, climbed Small Adam’s Peak (which really is small, but the views are fabulous), took tons of photos of Ravana Falls, and visited a Rock Temple.
Tangalle (via Tissa)
In search of a gorgeous beach, I ended up in Tangalle. This was on the recommendation of another traveller I had met in Ella. I was expecting a deserted beach, but this wasn’t the case. The beach I was at was manufactured and touristy. Nonetheless, I was glad to have finally arrived at a beach.
My quest to find a gorgeous, deserted beach continued and took me to Mirissa. The problem was, it started raining when I arrived (just my luck), so I went off to explore Matara instead. That was interesting because of the old Dutch fort, the island monastery, and the long stretch of beach. It’s one heck of a busy, noisy city, though.
On the way from Mirissa to Negombo, I decided to make the most of the time I had left, so I stopped in Galle for a few hours. It is definitely worth doing that if you have the time, even if it is just a few hours. The Dutch Fort and the Old Town are both very interesting. Gale, however, is also very noisy. Oh, and watch out for the scammers inside the Old Town! If someone starts talking to you about the Tsunami and then moves on to tell you about a local market, walk away.
I only went to Negombo because it was close to the airport, and I wanted a chilled out morning before my flight. I honestly wasn’t expecting to find such a massive beach in Negombo. It was the widest stretch of beach I saw during my time in Sri Lanka. The only thing is, there is a lot of rubbish on the beach, which is sad to see. I had to keep looking down to see where I was stepping. If it wasn’t for all the rubbish, it would have been my favourite beach.
It seems crazy when I look at the map, but these are all the places I went to during my week in Sri Lanka.
Have your say
Have you been to Sri Lanka? How long were you there for? Which was your favourite place? If you haven’t been, are you thinking of going?