best hiking trails in Sri Lanka

The Best Hiking Trails In Sri Lanka Will Amaze You

The island country of Sri Lanka has been described as one of the most scenic in the world thanks to its varied landscapes of valleys, plains, and mountains. But far from just looking the part, the natural wonders of its geographic layout make Sri Lanka a challenging, yet enticing, prospect for would-be mountaineers. Below are some of the best hiking trails in Sri Lanka.

There are endless possibilities littered throughout the nation – including ancient wonders and even totally untouched islands. You might even spot native wildlife such as elephants and leopards or, if you’re really lucky, whales. What’s more, with an average of seven and eight hours of peak sunshine throughout the year, visibility is never a concern for intrepid adventurers.

All in all, this South Asian nation stands out as an ideal location for hikers wanting to plan their next adventure holiday. But with so much to offer explorers from the coasts to the highlands and plenty to see and do along the way, it might be hard to know where to get started. That’s why we’re here to share with you some of the best hiking trails in Sri Lanka.

While this list certainly doesn’t serve as the de facto itinerary for visitors, think of it as the perfect tasting menu for any trekking holiday to Sri Lanka. Here are just a few of the incredible hikes and trails, with varying levels of difficulty, that should be considered during your visit.

Nature Trail Ella

Located in Sri Lanka’s hill country, the Ella Trail has it all. With views of mountains, hills, and waterfalls, there are Instagram-worthy locations for snapshots all along the route. But despite its popularity on many travel companies’ itineraries, Ella doesn’t accommodate visitors who have a preference for the finer things in life – it’s situated in a very rural corner of the country. 

The town is set in the rural landscape of the highlands, with the treks having a jungle-like atmosphere. The location and nature of the town mean it doesn’t possess any of the trappings of the more tourist-friendly areas. However, because of this, it makes for a perfect location for backpackers seeking a more adventurous holiday.

Kayts Causeway

Kayts is an island town located in northern Sri Lanka. The Kayts Causeway, to which it lends its name, connects the town to an old, abandoned Dutch fort. This 5km walk is over easy terrain and allows for plenty of opportunity to take in the scenery. It’s hands down one of the best hiking trails in Sri Lanka. The lagoons contain numerous prawn farms, attracting an abundance of beautiful seabirds. The flat nature might not appeal to dedicated hikers but can serve as an easy alternative for those wanting to enjoy slow travel in a breathtaking vista.

Chariot Path Kandy

Set at the top of a mountain is the grassy plain trail dubbed the “Chariot Path”, due to its resemblance to a pathway. The grassland is surrounded by a pygmy forest near the Frotoft Tea Estate in the district of Kandy where you could also have a Kandy homestay experience. The hike is roughly 6.2 miles (10km) long and will take two days to complete so you will need to come prepared to spend a night on the trail.

You can also expect difficult weather conditions, such as wind and rain, on your journey. While the distance might not seem excessively long, the extra equipment you’ll have to carry might make it more of a challenge than the route suggests.

Kirigalpoththa Mountain Range

This trek is not for the faint of heart as it’s a difficult climb up the second tallest mountain in Sri Lanka – which sits over 7,800 feet above sea level. If you are up for the challenge, remember you must be an experienced hiker before tackling this peak.

The path that leads you to Kirigalpoththa is accessed via the Horton Plains Trails and will take you 11 hours in total to complete. As this is a more difficult trek, it’s highly recommended to hire an experienced guide who can prevent you from getting lost and offer aid if needed.

Conclusion – The Best Hiking Trails In Sri Lanka Are Varied

From treks across mountain peaks to peaceful lagoon strolls, Sri Lanka’s diverse landscapes are a dream come true for those seeking adventure holidays. The above four are some of the best hiking trails in Sri Lanka. And, you never know what to expect with the natural world keeping you on your toes at all times. But to those with an adventurous spirit, this only adds to the challenge, making reaching the end of a long hike all the sweeter.

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