The perfect place to start our trip, Hikka is a beach town on the South-West coast of the island and has everything you need for a fun and sun filled few days. Rather than head to the main beach, try Narigama, which is packed with beachfront bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy the sunset whilst sipping on a cocktail. If you get up early, you can even feed enormous sea turtles on the beach!
Not too far from Hikka, lies Unawatuna. Unawatuna is another beach resort and is a great place to set yourself up for exploring the surrounding areas, such as Galle and a couple of other beaches a little further down the coast. It’s also a foodie heaven, particularly if you like seafood – we had some of the best of our trip there.
Galle is an old colonial Fort. The old town is a maze of narrow, cobbled streets, lined with authentic spice and tea shops and many a place to eat. It’s touristy and a little pricey, but definitely worth a day trip.
Mirissa has a wide, sweeping beach with lots of surf. There are beach parties at various bars a few nights a week, so if you’re looking for a place to dance the night away, this is one of your best bets. Whale watching and snorkeling with turtles are just some of the great day trips on offer.
Hiri was our favourite spot in Sri Lanka. It’s not yet firmly on the beaten track, but it’s getting there, so go quickly! It’s a glimpse into what the likes of Mirissa and Unawatuna would have been a few years ago and is a little piece paradise. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in morning yoga, lounge on the beach, or try your hand at surfing, you won’t be disappointed.
A trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without a safari in one of its national parks. We chose to do ours in Udawalawe, which is less touristy than the neighbouring Yala. We loved the peacefulness of the park at sunrise and seeing the wild elephants, water buffalo, peacocks and monkeys.
Think small-ish town nestled in between towering green peaks. Ella has stunning scenery and is the main hub for a number of sites and hikes in the area. Once you’ve exhausted yourself exploring, there are some great eateries to try, too!
A bustling city set on a lovely lake, Kandy is where the legendary train ride from Ella ends (or begins, depending on your direction of travel). We didn’t stay here for long, but if you’re there for a while, try looking for accommodation a little further up into the hills, rather than in the city centre.
Habarana is the perfect place to base yourself when exploring the cultural triangle. Accommodation and food prices are fairly cheap, in comparison to the more touristy surrounding towns, and you’re on Sigiriya’s (and Pidurangala’s) door step.