Sri Lanka – Cycling

Starting off in the the fishing town Negombo, we will cycle through rice fields and tea plantations, the slopes of the Knuckle range, and visit the most sacred places: Sigiriya Rock, the ancient town of Polonnaruwa and the Holy Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Sri Lanka is full of wild animals and with a little luck we will see elephants crossing the road or leopards on an optional safari in the Yala National Park before finishing the trip with relaxing days by the sea on the island’s south coast.

Day 1
Ayubowan Welcome to Sri Lanka 10km bike

Join tour in Negombo. After bike fitting we go for a little warm up ride between the lagoons and the sea of this bustling fishing town. We will see the fish market and the remains of the colonial past. Later in the afternoon enjoy the sandy beach just in front of the hotel.  

Day 2
Dambulla and on to Sigoriya, 40km cycling

Short drive to start cycling from Dankotuwa. Small back-roads and gravel roads take us through nice country side and dense jungle. After a hearty rice & curry we drive to the world heritage site of Dambulla, a series of cave temples and Buddhist sculptures. Continue to Sigiriya for overnight. 

Day 3
Climb Sigiriya Rock and cycle to Polonnaruwa 49km cycling

We climb up to the imposing Lion Rock. Steep steps lead us to some fascinating frescos carved into the rock whilst we climb to the top with the ancient fortress. Later we start cycling towards Polonnaruwa through deep countryside and tropical forest. After a lunch stop we continue alongside canals and rice fields to the hotel.   

Day 4
Exploring Polonnaruwa 30km cycling

The glory of the royal ancient city, Polonnaruwa dates back to the 12th century. We spend this morning cycling around some of the area’s major archaeological sites. After lunch, we continue to explore the area near Parakkrama Lake, one of the country’s most ancient reservoirs dating back to the 12th century. 

Day 5
To Kandy across the Knuckles range, 67km cycling

In Giritale we start cycling south along canals and through little villages. Once we get to  the foothills of the Knuckles we stop for lunch by the river. Then  we drive through remote cloud forests and later pass the centre of spice production in the country before reaching Kandy.  

Day 6
Free day in Kandy

No cycling today, but the chance to explore Kandy at our own pace. Visit the ‘Temple of the Tooth’ which is believed to host the left canine of Buddha, or explore the lively centre of the town, which retains much of its old world charm.  

Day 7
Into the highlands to Nuwara Eliya. 55km cycling

Today we are cycling along the tea plantations up the emblematic high plateau around Nuwara Eliya in the central highlands. At 1.900 metres above sea level it was once the cool summer retreat for the British and still retains that distinctly colonial feel. 

Day 8
To Belihuloya. 70Km cycling

In the morning we leave the hotel, cycling out through highlands towards Badulla. Later we cycle through the tea estates up to Haputale. We start the long downhill, and if time allows we will stop at Bambarakanda Waterfall before arriving at the hotel.  

Day 9
To Udawalawe. 64km cycling

Start cycling through the spectacular southern slopes of the highlands before  reaching the lowlands. At Elephant Transit home we get the chance to see the feeding of baby elephants. Then we can continue cycling along the border of Udawalawe National Park before reaching our hotel for today. 

Day 10
To Tissamaharama. 46km cycling

After breakfast we head for the pleasant town of Tissamaharama, a former Singhalese Kingdom capital. It’s close to the beautiful landscape of Yala National Park, famous for its abundant wild life. There are elephants, crocodiles, and over 215 species of birds. You might even see a leopard on your optional safari today! 

Day 11
To Tangalle, then drive to Unawatuna 65km cycling

After a short transfer to the coast we cycle the first 23km close to the shore and Bundula National Park, giving us a good chance to spot crocodiles. We then transfer to Tangalla and cycle again following back-roads heading to the west. Once at Matara we will drive to our hotel in Unawatuna.  

Day 12
Cycle the coastal back-roads and visit Galle 30km cycling

We take a drive to Mirissa this morning and cycle from here along back-roads to  visit  a local Ayurvedic snake doctor. The ride finishes later at Weligama Bay. From here we will return to Unawatuna by train in time for an evening stroll in Galle.  

Day 13
Free in Unawatuna

Our last day has been left free to enjoy the laid back atmosphere and turquoise waters of Sri Lanka’s southern coast. Take a walk through Rumas Sala Nature Reserve, or explore the coast by boat! Snorkelling, ayurvedic massages and even whale-watching trips are available as well.    

Day 14
Tour ends in Unawatuna

The tour ends in Unawatuna this morning after breakfast. 

Tour facts

Grading: moderate
Recommended airports: Colombo
Highlights: cycling trough tea fields and rice plantations, Buddhist temples, mouth-watering rice & curry dishes, colonial architecture in Galle, Sri Lankan people

Season: October-April (winter)


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