Sri Lanka is a small island however the road travel times between places are two and a half to three times greater than would be expected. This is because of the narrow roads and heavy traffic – buses, tuk tuks, trucks and animals. The two expressways in the island are the exception. Many local drivers have yet to learn how to use these efficiently so cars amble along around 70kmph. Fast for Sri Lanka! The Southern expressway cuts down time between popular locations on the South West Coast as far as Matara while the EO3 moves traffic with more speed from Colombo to the airport at Katunayake.
For a relaxed holiday, most visitors engage a tour company, free lance operator or point to point taxi cars to get around the country. In this case there are two models – the one way hire and the round trip hire. For the one way point to point hire rates are calculated at SLR75 per kilometre which allows for the vehicle to return to home base or at either SLR45 per kilometre for a round trip hire, [point A to B,C,D. . .and back to A] or at USD 55 – 75 equivalent in SLR depending on the type of vehicle. In this case the kilometres per day allowance is often up to 150km. In any case a greater distance on one day is very arduous for both driver and passengers. Distances here are provided for you estimate a ball park number of kilometres your chosen itinerary will cover. The approximate times between locations will assist you to work out what you can manage from places listed. The four different transport models for independent travellers can be found in my ebook here
Travel times given are an estimate only, dependent on traffic conditions, weather and shortest, but not necessarily the quickest, route. As I don’t like to rush or be late I’m inclined to over estimate rather than under estimate time needed. Buses, whilst travelling at break neck speed, take longer.