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8 Days | 7 Nights
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Discover the amazing culture, wildlife, and scenery of this diverse country on two wheels, with fun activities for the whole family along the way. You’ll take in all of Sri Lanka’s major highlights on this family cycling tour, biking from Sigiriya in the heart of Sri Lanka and ending up in the historic town of Galle.
Cannondale CX3 or Trek E-bike
Friendly Sri Lanka guide
3 to 14
Modern boutique hotel, colonial resort
Discover the beautiful country of Sri Lanka as you and your family pedal through its tea covered hills, white sand beaches, and lush monkey-filled jungles. With wonderful places to stay, activities to keep the whole family engaged, and delicious food to please the palate, this is truly a family cycling holiday in paradise.
Starting with a transfer from the capital city of Colombo to the rock fortress of Sigiriya, the itinerary heads up to the 'Cultural Triangle' of Sri Lanka, before turning south to the tea-covered hills of the central highlands. You’ll continue pedaling south and west, through the primary tropical rainforest of Sinharaja, to where the tour ends at the lovely walled city of Galle.
Along with visits to some of the country's most famous historical sites, and encounters with the local wildlife, we have included some fun, kid-friendly activities on this trip including a treasure hunt at Sigiriya. This journey through Sri Lanka on two wheels will provide a great cultural lesson for the kids, fun exploration, entertainment, and family memories that will last a lifetime.
150 Km riding. The terrain is a mix of sealed and unsealed roads on secondary roads and quiet country lanes, with a short stretch on a slightly busier road. A support vehicle is on hand for all the riding if you would like to rest your legs.
Pedal-assist E-bikes are an available option on this tour for a $245 surcharge.
Please Note - This tour is intended for families only. It is possible for us to schedule a private session of the same tour for adults, on request, at a nominal surcharge.
Cycle through the countryside around Sigiriya before heading to its rock fortress for an exploration.
Visit the mystical caves of Dambulla and explore the temple and Buddha statues within.
Walk to the hill of Little Adam’s Peak for some sweeping views of tea plantations down below.
Spend the night in an eco-lodge in the Sinharaja Rainforest with all the sounds of jungle life then take a walk through the next day.
We start this morning with a pickup from your Colombo hotel, followed by a 4.5-hour transfer to take us northeast into the cultural heart of Sri Lanka. Leaving the bustling city behind, we soon find ourselves in the dry zone where subsistence farmers tend their crops of rice, aided by irrigation tanks mainly constructed during ancient times. Following our first tasty lunch, we hop on the bikes for our inaugural ride along hard packed dirt roads, shaded by trees and with no traffic at all - a relaxed start to our two-wheeled adventure. We stay just outside Sigiriya tonight and tomorrow night at a comfortable resort.
We start this morning with some easy cycling through the countryside and farmland surrounding Sigiriya. Our ride today is mostly on unpaved roads, alongside irrigation canals. Keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife that can be easily spotted in this area including monitor lizards, squirrels, peacocks and mongoose!
After our ride, a leisurely lunch awaits before we head to the Rock Fortress around mid-afternoon. The rock of Sigiriya is probably Sri Lanka's most famous historical site, appearing on many of the country's promotional posters, and it's easy to see why. An ancient palace perched on top of a precipitous rock jutting out of the plains, surrounded by water gardens at its foot - it doesn't get more exotic than that!
Kids will love to climb to the top of the framework of walkways and steps bolted into the rock, but don't look down if you are scared of heights! An exciting treasure hunt on the way is sure to make the visit even more entertaining for young ones. From the top, enjoy the panoramic views down over the plains and dry hills as the sun sets before we descend and return to the hotel.
Leaving Sigiriya, we saddle up for the ride to Dambulla. We cycle along small, quiet back roads where the terrain remains flat, with minimal traffic and a chance of spotting elephants. The caves of Dambulla, the best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, are a riot of colorful Buddhist statues, cut into a cliff face rising 160m above the surrounding plains. The whole family will enjoy an exploration of this magical place.
Following lunch, we transfer to Kandy, the central town of the hill country, with a drive of around 2 hours through some stunning countryside dotted with tea plantations. This afternoon we spend some time visiting this charming city, including the famous Temple of the Tooth, which houses a tooth relic of the Buddha. A day full of interesting cultural sites.
After some more time for further exploration of Kandy, a journey to remember awaits us. As we gain height, the road weaves its way up to almost 2000m above sea level. The views from our van are stunning, with neat green rows of tea bushes on all sides. After arriving around lunchtime, we will check into our hotel: a grand old building with a history.
This afternoon we will explore Sri Lanka's highest hill town by bike. Nuwara Eliya was a popular escape from the heat for the British during colonial times and the legacy of this is an abundance of British style buildings. We'll be accompanied on our cycling by a guide who can regale us with stories from past times. It is a much cooler climate up here where mist and even frost can often be seen in the mornings.
This morning we set out on a ride that takes us out of town and around a nearby crater lake. Then pedaling a couple of short hills brings us through a tea plantation, where we will stop to visit a tea factory, to see tea leaves being dried, chopped and packaged. Here we can taste a cup of the freshest tea - straight from the bush.
Let’s hop back on the bikes 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 cycle, and after passing one of these we arrive in the small town of Ambewela.
We continue to Pattipola Train Station from where we jump on the train for the 1-hour ride, then a short vehicle transfer to the popular and pretty town of Ella. This town is known for its impressive 'Ella Gap': a dramatic gash between the hills with a view down through ranges of misty ranges all the way to the south coast (on a clear day). In Ella we stay in a family-run guesthouse that has a great homey feel and what a view! The rest of the day is free for you to explore the town and surrounding area.
A few gradual uphills await us once we mount our bikes this morning, as we cycle the ridges around Ella. The views over the surrounding hills are some of the best in Sri Lanka, through tea plantations with colorfully dressed tea pickers, often to be seen working right beside the road. This will make the challenging active exploration worth it!
From the ridge, we descend to lower land beyond, where the van will be waiting to take us back up to Ella in comfort. In the afternoon we take a walk to a nearby hill, Little Adam's Peak, so-called due to its resemblance in shape to the more famous and much loftier Adam's Peak. It's an easy climb to the top from where fantastic views down over the tea plantations and the Ella Gap await.
This morning, our last day on the bikes, we pedal down through 'Ella Gap' itself, past a towering waterfall and on towards the misty hills beyond. Those who love downhill cycling are sure to enjoy today's ride with its many twists and turns and the dramatic sights of a bubbling waterfall and the gap cut through the hills are sure to keep the kids entertained.
After 15km of scenic riding, we load ourselves and the bikes into the van to transfer up to the Sinharaja Rainforest where we are in a charming lodge for the evening. Enjoy living among the lively sounds of the rainforest and keep your eyes out for the wide variety of birdlife that makes its home near our accommodation.
Our morning begins with a scenic rainforest walk for some bird spotting- an exciting adventure for the whole family. Sinharaja is home to a rich variety of birdlife and along the way, we'll hopefully spot a number of colorful species like the Blue Magpie, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lankan Junglefowl or one of the many more that call this forest home.
Following the walk, we'll transfer from our rainforest lodge to the coast and the old port city of Galle, where the fort sits staunchly defending a city mostly composed of nicely restored houses and quaint cafes now. We take a walking tour to explore the fort in the late afternoon and a transfer to the hotel of your choice marks the conclusion of your tour.
For our Family Tours in Sri Lanka, we provide perfectly maintained Cannondale CX3 bikes, included in the tour price. A removable handlebar bag, comfortable saddle and refillable water bottle are provided. These bikes enable you to enjoy a mix of terrain and remove the limitations that more fragile bikes may present. We have kids bikes to suit all ages and child seats for the little ones.
Simple to use and a pleasure to ride, the Trek Conduit+ pedal-assist bike expands touring possibilities for all riders, and anything that enables people to explore more of the world by bike is a great thing in our books! Find out more about our E-Bikes here.
Always striving to deliver a premium tour experience, Grasshopper Adventures are the first (and currently only) to offer pedal-assist e-bikes as a tour option in Southeast Asia. An upgrade can be purchased for this trip, availability is limited and on a first-in basis.
Sri Lanka offers a great variety in choice of accommodation, and we make full use of this. From a grand old colonial property in Nuwara Eliya to a cozy family-run hotel in Ella, and a modern boutique hotel in Kandy we have all options covered. The remaining nights are spent in comfortable resorts.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well knowledgeable, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local guides 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 while looking out for your safety and comfort at all times. 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.
Kids are well catered for on Grasshopper tours with a range of bike options to choose from. We have quality children's frames ranging down to XX-Small for those comfortable on a bike. For the less experienced tag-alongs are available that hook to the rear of an adult bike and allow kids to pedal along if they want, and for the youngest kids we have children's seats, so no one misses out on the fun.
Sri Lankan food is centered around curries and has an emphasis on vegetables. This is not to say that there is not a 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 become 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 picky young eaters 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 even have a mini version for the younger kids. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
3 to 14
The tour is guaranteed to depart at a minimum of just one family numbering at least three members. We apply a maximum group size of fourteen, so you could expect to be traveling with one or two like-minded families.
Kids 12 years and under get a 20% discount. Kids 12 and under sharing a room with parents or 2 other siblings get a 30% discount.
This country mansion combines all of the charms of Colonial times with all of the friendly hospitality you’ve come to love in Sri Lanka. Nestled in the hills of tea country, this luxurious home near the city of Nuwara Eliya provides a unique experience.
Spend the night on a beautiful tea estate in a comfortable boutique hotel. Beautiful verdant views, an inviting pool, and comfortable rooms in stylish huts await in the hills near Ella.
Situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Sinharaja Rainforest, this unique eco-lodge allows you to live comfortably in the midst of nature. Kids will love to catch a peek of local wildlife from the deck or listen to the sounds of the rainforest.
Sri Lanka is a fantastic country - 2000 years of culture, people are very friendly everywhere.
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!
Click here to see our Sri Lanka Travel Guide.
Here is some general travel information for Sri Lanka.
Read our blog on the Sri Lanka travel warnings.
Take a moment to read our blog: Traveling with kids?
Multi-day Cycling Tours Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve specially crafted this cycling itinerary in Sri Lanka to be achievable for families with kids of all ages. Cycle through Sri Lanka’s stunning nature and sight its diverse wildlife as you stop along the way for cultural exploration and to visit the must-see sights. Kids will love exploring rocks and caves and checking out the tea picking process as well as a fun scavenger hunt. Relax knowing we’ve taken care of all of the details to allow you an unforgettable family adventure cycling Sri Lanka.
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