Travelling within the island of Sri Lanka, you’ll discover many scenic routes enjoyed alike by tourists and locals. Do incorporate these routes into your itinerary or make that detour you won’t regret to enjoy the best drives Sri Lanka has to offer.
The Wellawaya-Beragala road is famous for its winding roads with panoramic views of the mountain ranges, lakes, rivers and cities below. Breathtakingly beautiful during sunrise and sunset, this route is a scenic one all year through. You will pass small waterfalls along the road, including the “Damsath Waterfall”, which is activated by rainfall. This road could also lead you to the famed Adisham Bungalow, a beautiful monastery with an interesting history, and now a popular tourist attraction with delectable, homemade jams and chutneys made at the monastery with produce grown on the vast grounds.
Traveling from Kandy to Mahiyanganaya, passing the 18 Bend Road is a trip on its own and one by many as a road trip simply to enjoy the drive. This road is renowned worldwide as the perfect winding road, making it the perfect subject for aerial photos showcasing the beauty of the landscape. If you find yourself on this route, make a small detour and visit the Victoria Dam. Depending on the time of year and water levels, you may be able to witness the stunning cascade of open floodgates.
The drive from Kalpitiya to Jaffna will take you to the Northern province along the coastal line, passing the Wilpattu National Wildlife Park. Best part of this drive is the Sangupiddy Bridge stretching across Jaffna Lagoon, connecting Sangupiddy in Kilinochchi District to Karaitivu in the Jaffna District. This bridge is one of just two bridges connecting the Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland. Along the way, making a stop at the Mannar bird sanctuary would give you the opportunity to see thousands of migrant birds including flamingos and the rare, spot-billed duck.
The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka can be covered on the Polonnaruwa-Sigiriya-Anuradhapura-Kandy route. This route encompasses a treasure trove of history and culture with world heritage sites within it. You can enter the triangle from whichever part of the island you are in and change your route accordingly. The number of places to visit here are endless, including: dagobas, ancient kingdoms, sculptures, tanks and many more. In addition to these historic places, the “Jathika Namal Uyana” which is the largest quartz mountain in Asia, is a place of natural beauty, just a short drive out from this route.
Driving in Sri Lanka is always a pleasant experience and these best drives on scenic routes will ensure that you enjoy your journey as much as the attractions that you are heading to. These roads are well worth making a detour for, if your itinerary doesn’t already include them.
Whilst taking some of these scenic routes, don’t forget to make a quick stop at some of the popular stopovers in Sri Lanka. And if you are wondering what’s the best way to experience the best drives in Sri Lanka, we’d recommend renting a car on self drive basis from a reputed car rental like Malkey.