The classic cycling route through Sri Lanka, made more achievable by the addition of the train. This trip runs Colombo to Galle.
This is an unforgettable week on the bikes. Broadly achievable by all
riders, with quiet backroads, lots of downhills and comfortable
accommodation with style and character.
Sri Lanka has so much diversity in landscape, culture and an amazing collection of flora and fauna. We experience all of these aspects on this trip as we travel from the central city of Kandy through the tea plantations and national parks to the coast where we enjoy the famously beautiful southern beaches before concluding in the historic Galle Fort.
A great trip to pick up as part of a wider Sri Lanka holiday, or the mainstay of your adventure, and one that also matches up well with our Flatlands Of The North trip.
Peak Season Surcharges
Please note that for tours commencing from Aug 1 to Aug 31 and from Dec 20 to Jan 10 there is a peak season surcharge of 10% on the price of this tour due to hotel rate increases at this time of year.
7 days duration
230 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes Grasshopper so special?
Find out how your next ride goes the extra mile.
Click on each icon below to see more...
Top quality, well maintained Merida, Giant or Trek (actual make of bike may vary) mountain bikes in a full range of sizes are included in your tour, fitted with hybrid tyres for touring. Handlebar bags for your personal possessions are also provided.
Sri Lanka offers a great variety in choice for accommodation, and we make full use of this. From a grand old colonial property in Nuwara Eliya, to an eco lodge in the rainforest, and a modern hotel in contemporary style in Kandy we have all options covered.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country. Your leader will be supported by an assistant guide/mechanic who is tasked with keeping the bikes in tip top shape and often will lead the riding while the leader will ride among the group.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available for tired riders and to carry your luggage.
Sri Lankan food is centered around curries and has an emphasis on vegetables. This is not to say that there is not variety though. Given Sri Lanka's International integration over the centuries, there is a good variety of food available. While lunches tend to be quite similar due to the remote areas traversed, the evening meals often provide for a great deal of choice. As we near the coast, some amazing fresh seafood and fish becomes available and some of the properties in which we stay, pride themselves in their meal offerings. We are experienced in catering for all dietary requirements and invite you to discuss this with us in advance if you are concerned in any way. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars, local snacks and fresh fruit are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
Take It Home
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
2 to 10
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 10 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
for Sri Lanka by Bike the Easy Way
Train to Kandy & Cycle
An early start from your Colombo hotel is necessary to catch the early train up to Kandy. The train is comfortable and a nice way to take in the scenery. Arriving late morning, we have lunch and get kitted up for the first ride. We drive out of town to clear the traffic and to gain some elevation. We start riding among tea plantations and as we wind our way back to Kandy on the backroads through the villages, the landscape changes with the sun's path. We approach Kandy from the back door on quieter roads and a footbridge, riding right to the door of the hotel. Meals: LD
Train to Nuwara Eliya & Explore by Bike
Another train ride and one to remember. Today we gain some serious height as the train weaves its way up the passes to almost 2000m above sea level. The views are stunning and the fellow passengers usually in good spirits as many will be heading up to the hills for family holidays and the like. We make the last leg of the journey to Nuwara Eliya by car and check in at the hotel. We then set out on a loop ride that takes us through town and around the crater lake. Then a couple of short hills take us through a tea plantation and before you know it, we are on a beautiful road through lush green fields with dairy cattle and forests of a very different appearance to what we have seen so far. The villages get smaller and smaller as we go and after passing one of these, we take a turn and loop back to town, arriving just in time for a drink at sunset from the balcony of the historic hotel. Meals: BLD
Nuwara Eliya - High Country Exploration
We have a lazy morning in Nuwara Eliya this morning. It is a much cooler climate up here and we can expect some mist and frost in the morning. A game of golf may tempt some, but others are likely to be content just exploring the town with its abundance of British colonial-era buildings. After lunch we set off on the ride which will take us first around the lake and then down a fast, well made road before we make a turn and get into some winding roads on a somewhat challenging gradient, but only for a short while. Once we meet the railway line, we follow that, passing through the high country train stations that are mere whistle stop locations, but are very important to those who live up here. Dairy cows can be seen grazing as we pass through Ambewella and we then turn around and come back to Nuwara Eliya on a different route, stopping at a fully operational tea factory on the way. That same open fire and hot soup await in the charming, colonial era hotel.
Walk to World's End, Cycle to Ella
A very early start is needed today for the transfer by vehicle up to Horton Plains. We then walk through the National Park to World's End Lookout where we take in the stunning views over the valley. Along the way you may be lucky enough to see deer and monkeys. After the walk we hit the bikes and take a thrilling downhill ride through a fertile valley where farmers will be hard at work, and then pass through the bustling town of Bandarawela before settling in Ella, a small town that caters well to the weary traveller. Meals: BLD
Cycle & Transfer To Yala
This morning we enjoy possibly the best ride of the trip. Not only for the beautiful scenery but also because whilst the road looks quite hilly and challenging, it is actually quite easy and very enjoyable. Just the right gradient to get the heart rate up, but allow you to maintain a good speed. After 20km or so, we start a long, but not steep descent down off the plateau. After the seemingly endless descent, we have morning tea in a small town called Passara and then transfer by vehicle to our destination, a very comfortable hotel on the edge of the Yala National Park. After some settling in, we board jeeps for the drive into the park to enjoy a safari. The aim is to see Leopards. We often do see Elephants on the way in and many deer. Some birds are also to be seen, but the prize sighting is the Leopard. A full, but very rewarding day. Meals: BLD
Cycle The Tissa Lakes, Transfer To Mirissa
After a generous breakfast spread is consumed, we take a ride on flat, mostly hard-packed dirt roads to explore the Tissamaharama area that sits just inland from our accommodation. The lakes of this area are home to a huge variety of birds, from water birds to small parrots and occasionally larger birds of prey can be seen overhead. We conclude the ride late morning and then drive onto Mirissa about two hours down the road. The hotel is just out of town, so quiet enough, but also just a short moto-rickshaw trip into the action. Meals: BLD
Cycle Unawatuna, Tour Concludes in Galle
We start out with a drive along the coast to reach the start point of our ride. Today's ride is less about distance and more about discovery. We discover the fishing villages and farming communities on this ride of the areas just inland from Galle. We finish by lunchtime and after enjoying a pizza lunch by the beach, we drive into Galle where the tour concludes at your hotel.
What's the Riding Like?
Mostly rolling hills
7 days riding
The terrain is a mix of sealed and unsealed roads on secondary roads and quiet country lanes. Whilst there are a about four uphill sections, these are not more than 2km in length and are generally achievable. The majority of the riding is flat, rolling hills and down. The distances are such that we would expect to be riding for around four hours a day, so plenty of time to rest and recover for the following day.
Sri Lanka is a year-round destination, with generally good weather. Two monsoons affect different parts of the country, so one region can be dry while another is experiencing tropical rain showers. The hill country is noticeably cooler than the plains and coast and can be downright chilly at night! March to mid-April is the driest time nationwide, with the first annual monsoon bringing rain to the southwest lowlands and central hills from late May to September and a weaker second monsoon affecting the northeast of the island from November to February.
What our guests tell us...
Just a selection of our great reviews!
Sri Lanka is a fantastic country - 2000 years of culture, people are very friendly everywhere.
I have caught the Grasshopper bug! This was my second tour with you guys and I will keep coming back for more. Riding Sri Lanka on two wheels was absolutely magical!
Other Multi-day Tours in Sri Lanka
We have an exciting range of multi-day cycling tours in Sri Lanka. Bike through the scenic tea plantations of the Hill Country, absorb the history of ancient Sri Lanka on the dry plains of the Cultural Triangle, or relax in gorgeous Galle and the beaches of the south. History, culture, amazing landscapes, friendly faces and one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the world - Sri Lanka has all this and more.
Discover the rich history and culture, delicious cuisine, welcoming people and amazing cycling that this small but dive...
Explore the hill country of Sri Lanka on two wheels, with fun activities for all the family. This trip runs Kandy to Gal...