2 Weeks of Spa and Surf in Sri Lanka
Arts & Culture
Digital Nomad Travel
This exotic paradise has something for everyone - palm-fringed beaches with a fantastic surf culture, historic forts and ancient temples, a lush interior prime with incredible trails and plantations, national forests offering unique safaris, and a beautiful bustling capitol city. For one looking to indulge, there are many excellent luxury hotels with top-tier architecture, design, culinary, and wellness features. Many are surprised to find Sri Lanka's landscape, cuisine, and hospitality to be amongst the most underrated and unrivaled in Asia. This is the trip of a lifetime!
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Where to stay
Santani Wellness Kandy
Embark on a transformative wellness journey at Santani Wellness in Kandy, Sri Lanka, where breathtaking natural surroundings, holistic wellness practices and luxurious accommodations come together to create an unforgettable retreat for rejuvenation and self-discovery.
Ceylon Tea Trails - A Relais & Châteaux Property
An exquisite journey into the heart of Sri Lankan tea country, blending colonial charm, luxury amenities, and unparalleled hospitality.
Ever-stylish Aman escape on Sri Lanka’s palm-fringed south coast for beach time, jungle exploration and rare privacy.
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Day 1: Arrival
Most international flights will arrive late at night into Colombo. Check into your hotel or villa (we recommend staying on the outskirts of the city at Wallawwa.) Enjoy a healthy traditional Sri Lankan meal, and begin to adjust to the time change.
Day 2: Kandy
Travel by car approximately 2.5 hours to the historic highland capital of Kandy.
Suggested activities include:
Attend a performance and lesson of traditional Kandyan dancing and drumming at the Dance Academy.
Enjoy lunch of authentic Sri Lankan dishes such as the “Kollu Curry” and “Navaratne Curry”at King’s Pavilion.
Tour the Royal Botanic Gardens - the largest in Sri Lanka and one of the best in Asia.
Stop and walk the grounds at the sacred Temple of the Tooth.
Day 3: Relax
Day 4: Sigirya
Get an early start to the day to make the three hour road trip to Sigirya Rock Fortress. Make the hike to the UNESCO World Heritage site which will take about 1.5-2.5 hours round trip. Have a well-deserved lunch or opt to spend the night at the beautiful Water Garden Sigirya in the heart of Sri Lanka’s “Cultural Triangle”. Option to visit a private spice garden in Matale where you can learn about clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, pepper, cocoa, and vanilla.
Days 5-7: Hatton
We highly recommend enjoying some down time with a stay at the beautiful Ceylon Tea Trails. Spend time sipping tea, exploring the tea country area, and taking in the breathtaking views.
Day 8: Boarding
Board the local train to Ella. A Sri Lanka must-do! You’ll experience unbelievable views during the ~4-hour ride while winding through tea plantations and past waterfalls. Check out the Nine Arch Bridge. Check into a guest house for the evening and relax.
Days 9-11: Tangalle
Drive down to the coast and spend the next couple of days learning to surf, practicing yoga, and checking out the local cafes in this eco/boho paradise on the Indian Ocean. Cruise around all of the towns between Tangalle and Hiriketiya to get a sense of the vibe. I’m happy to give you a list of my personal favorite places to eat and drink in the area! Splurge on a massage at the incredible Amanwella spa - right on the beach! For the animal lover, whale-watching off of Weligama is unforgettable.
Days 12-13: Galle
Head towards the historic city of Galle. On the way, visit Top House, a working cinnamon estate where you’ll learn about the history and modernization of the industry and enjoy stunning hilltop views all the way down to the ocean. Arrange in advance a home-cooked lunch at the owners’ plantation house.
You’ll want at least a day to walk the narrow streets and take in Galle Fort - a rich and ancient Sri Lankan cultural center. Arrange for a local guide to get the most out of the experience and watch the sun set at the Galle Face boardwalk. Depending on your interests, two great optional activities include visiting the fishermen and attempting stilt fishing, or taking a traditional cooking class where you’ll visit the market and learn a classic recipe in a local’s home.
Day 14: Departure
On the 2-hour drive to Colombo, stop to walk around and have a fantastic lunch at the Lunuganga Estate Bentota. Favorite dishes include plain or egg hoppers, kiribath, and fiery chili- and lime-infused coconut sambol. The hotel is amazing - designed by a famous architect and has impeccable gardens.
Spend the afternoon on a guided walking tour of Colombo where you’ll learn about the fascinating history and have a chance to find great authentic souvenirs to bring home such as incredible textiles and spices. Stop at the Old Dutch Museum. We love feasting on the legendary Sri Lankan lagoon crab at Ministry of Crab for a final meal before heading back to the airport to travel home.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Discover the Real Jamaica: Port Antonio
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Sri Lanka