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Kingdoms of Lanka Self-guided – Classic

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Kingdoms of Lanka Self-guided - Classic

Self-Guided Tour

Price from

1690 USD


7 Days | 6 Nights



Tour Code



Self-Guided Cycle Tour of Sri Lanka’s Ancient Capitals

A 7-day independent bike adventure, starting and finishing in the cloud city of Kandy in the mountains of central Sri Lanka. Heading north to tour through the ancient wonders of the cultural triangle. A self-guided and compact option for those keen to explore central Sri Lanka by bike.

Quality Bikes
Merida Matts 40 D or Trek E-bike

Your Guide

Group Size
1 to 14

Comfortable hotels & guesthouses


Minimum Age


Independently cycle tour the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka in the heart of the cultural triangle, made famous by the Hindu and Buddhist texts from antiquity.
Start by making your way out of the mountain of Kandy, cycling the stunning "18-bends road". Pedal through beautiful national parks towards the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa, the 1000-year old former capital. Ride to the famous Lion's Rock in Sigiriya, the ruin of a palatial fort on the top of the 200m high rock outcrop. Then head to the hill, cycling through the tea country on the way back to Kandy. Along the way, use our suggestions to guide your chosen stops and meals and enjoy great accommodations. This adventure is yours!

407 Km riding. The terrain is a mix of sealed and unsealed roads on secondary roads and quiet country lanes. There are a few sustained climbs (although not too steep) at times and some thrilling descents.

Deposit payment: $465 USD
Single room option: $550 USD
Solo rider option: $1,050 USD


Cycle your way out of Kandy on the famous “18 Bend Road” towards the sacred town of Mahiyanganaya.

Pedal to the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa for an exploration of 1000-year-old Sri Lankan history.

Ride to the imposing Lion’s Rock with the ruins of an ancient palace on its summit.

Glimpse the incredibly diverse wildlife of Sri Lanka, perhaps spotting peacocks, monitor lizards, or mongoose.

Day to Day

Whether you stayed the night in Colombo or Negombo (Negombo is closer to the airport) on arrival, you will need to make your way to Colombo Station (a taxi is recommended). Then you will take a morning train from the national capital Colombo to the central city of Kandy. After you check into your hotel, you will be met by our representative who will help you get fitted up on your bikes. They will also take you through the other associated equipment and then provide a bit of a briefing on practicalities for Sri Lanka and your ride. You can then spend the remaining daylight hours exploring the area around the hotel by bike as a light warmup ride.


You start out your tour in the central cloud city of Kandy. The proud capital of an ancient mountain kingdom, Kandy was the last place to fall to the British during the colonial invasion. Kandy is a beautiful city with a temperate climate, littered with historical, colonial buildings that circle its stunning central lake. The city is most famous for being the location of the “Temple of the Tooth” a significant Buddhist relic. The day’s ride is a special one, as you cycle East out of the city on the infamous yet now newly renovated “18 bend road” towards the temple town of Mahiyanganaya.


Today you'll cycle the picturesque long corridor between 3 lush National Parks (Knuckles Reserve/ Maduru Oya/ Wasagamuwa) to reach the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The immaculate ruins of Polonnaruwa, depict in detail the 1000-year-old ancient capital of Sri Lanka in all its glory. Park your bikes and take a look around.


Moving from one wonder of the ancient world to another, today you'll cycle through back roads and trails of the wetlands and jungle to discover Lion’s Rock. Sigiriya Rock is an imposing sight standing at an impressive 200meters, with its summit home to the remains of a luxurious palace from over 1500 years ago. Your hotel sits in the shadow of this amazing rock, and there is a good chance of hearing the trumpets of wild elephants in the jungle this evening.


Leaving Sigiriya, you'll cycle a trail through farmland. On the way, you will hopefully see plenty of local wildlife, with peacocks, giant monitor lizards, and mongoose being common sights. You may even meet an elephant or crocodile during this section.

After lunch, you continue through lush, green jungle and then begin your gentle climb into tea country. The last leg of this day is a steeper climb that can make your heart rate go up a bit, however, it is achievable with well timed stops.


A thrilling descent awaits this morning as you pedal through tea hill plantations and small villages into the valley. A short ride on the flat, and then it is into the climbing again, although a much gentler gradient than yesterday. After gaining some elevation again, it's time to ride some ups and downs along the side of the valley before eventually coming out just east of Kandy. The roads get slightly busier with motor rickshaws and the like before you cycle across the river and tackle one last hill to arrive at your hotel, set by the main lake in Kandy.


This morning you will be met again by our representative to collect your bikes and equipment before you check out of the hotel. We can assist you in arranging your onward travel, whether it be a further adventure into the tea country or the beaches in the south or returning to the airport.



The beauty of a self-guided tour is that, though the exploration is on your own, we’ve taken care of all the details for you. This means that the route is planned out and programmed into a GPS system and app and your luggage will be waiting for you at one of our chosen accommodations. This bike exploration of Sri Lanka combines all the fun of an independent adventure with our expertise and knowledge of the area, the must-see sights and best places to eat in order to make your experience more directed and enjoyable.


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