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Sri Lanka by Bike

Home > Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka by Bike

Scheduled Tour

Price from

2390 USD

Duration

8 Days | 7 Nights

Level

3

Tour Code

GHSB21

VIEW TOUR DATES

Sri Lanka by Bike - Cycle, Hike & Safari Sri Lanka’s Natural Wonder

Discover Sri Lanka by bike over 8 days, cycle touring from the capital, Colombo, through lush highlands to the coast. Along the way, you'll enjoy South Asia's best cycling, nature-packed hikes and safaris through national parks, luxurious hotels, delicious cuisine and the rich history and culture of Sri Lanka's welcoming people.

Quality Bikes
Cannondale CX3 or Trek E-bike

Your Guide
Friendly Sri Lanka team

Group Size
6 to 14

Accommodation
Modern hotels

Activities
Ride/ Walk / Safari

Minimum Age
+14

Overview

Take an 8-day guided adventure in paradise. Not only does this trip to Sri Lanka include some of the most beautiful bike touring in South Asia, but it also includes a great hike through a national park, a jeep safari with the chance to see leopards, a historic walking tour, luxurious lodgings, mouthwatering food, and a cultural experience like no other. Did we forget to mention fantastic riding?

Sri Lanka, a small island with a big heart, is well known for its highland tea plantations that we will spend time exploring by bicycle. We also take in the city of Kandy with its sacred Buddha tooth relic and pleasant mountain climate. The highland train network is a real treat for taking in postcard views at a relaxed pace and we make use of this at several points. You'll also enjoy a safari through Yala National Park where we'll see animal and birdlife, and spend some time on the southern coast with its crashing surf, relaxed pace of life and historic Portuguese forts.

This is the perfect bike tour to see some of the best of Sri Lanka in just over a week. You'll get a taste of the highlights & hidden treasures and be blown away by the diversity this small island nation boasts.

Pedal-assist E-bikes are an available option on this tour for $245.


249-281 km / 154-174 mi riding. On this tour, most days will provide you with a choice between a short ride and a long ride. 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. There is always a support vehicle on hand to give you a lift if you need a break from the riding.

Highlights

  • Explore Horton Plains National Park and take a walk to World’s End for dramatic mountain views.
  • Take a tea plantation and factory tour to learn about this interesting process
  • A jeep safari through Yala National Park reveals elephants, leopards, wild boar, buffalo, and monkeys.
  • Ride amazing, almost traffic-free roads, through stunning vistas of hills covered in tea plantations
  • Enjoy scenic train transfers with postcard views on the highland rail network
  • Discover the rich history of Galle's historic coastal fort on a walking tour

What's Included

  • 7 nights in premium hotel accommodation
  • All Meals: 7x Breakfasts, 8x Lunches, 7x Dinners 
  • Snacks, local treats, hydration drinks, fruit and water while riding
  • Quality well maintained bike and helmet
  • Expert local guide and naturalist
  • Full vehicle support
  • All ticket, activity and entry costs included in the itinerary
  • Custom country-themed jersey and water bottle as mementos

What our Guests Say

Day to Day


Riding:
26km
16mi
Meal:
LD

We start today with an early pickup from your Colombo Hotel before we drive to a small village station to board the train that takes us up into the hills towards Kandy. The scenic journey takes 3-4 hours before we arrive around lunchtime, to meet our support team and our bikes. To warm up our legs, we’ll cycle from the train station into the center of town, pedaling down small roads to escape the traffic. Our ride takes us along a river and its local villages. In the evening, there is time to visit the Temple of the Tooth, where the sacred Buddha tooth relic is placed with supporting stories illustrated in a prayer hall. Tonight we’ll enjoy our first dinner together in Kandy.

Riding:
26.5 or 43km
16-27mi
Meal:
BLD

Today we pedal back roads and find ourselves climbing soon after leaving Kandy. As we go, the population thins out and the tea creeps in. As we weave our way through tea plantations, keep an eye open for roadside shops selling delicacies such as fresh dates and dried corn crackers. We then enjoy some descents today and a wide variety of road surfaces, always with minimal traffic.

We finish our ride down at the Gampola railway station where we board the train for the higher elevations. The train ride is stunning, and the carriage is quite comfortable. We alight at Nana Oya and then travel by car the short distance to Nuwara Eliya. You will need your warm clothes up here, but the hotel does have an open fireplace and a great meal for dinner.

Note that the short ride group today will be able to linger over breakfast a little longer, before taking a short van transfer to their start point at the top of the climb. From there on, the two groups will follow the same route.

Riding:
43km
27mi
Meal:
BLD

Today we take a loop ride that takes us first on a fun descent, then on a sustained, but not terribly long climb up through tea plantations. We will likely see colorfully dressed ladies with baskets on their heads, picking the tender leaves from the tea trees. 

We reach a ridgeline and ride through Ambewela, an area known for its dairy farms. We stop at a strawberry farm and if time permits, a dairy. We will stop for a cup of tea in quaint Ambewela and then ride the ridge back to Nuwara Eliya through a lovely, lush green landscape.

In the afternoon, we venture out to a tea factory, set on a plantation where we can see the process that transpires after the pickers turn in their baskets full of tender leaves. We’ll learn a little about the history of tea in Sri Lanka and of course, have an opportunity to sample the product. 

We'll return to Nuwara Eliya for another evening at our comfortable hotel.

Riding:
41km
25mi
Meal:
BLD

A very early start is needed today for the transfer by vehicle up to Horton Plains National Park, and we’ll enjoy some light snacks to get us started. From there, we will walk through grassy highlands to World's End Lookout where we take in astonishing views over the valley from the clifftop. Keep your eyes peeled while you walk, as we should hopefully glimpse some deer and monkeys along the way.

A local breakfast of roti and sambal is had back at the hike start/finish point and once we have warmed ourselves with a cup of tea, we can commence a truly thrilling bike ride, descending from 2100m above sea level to about 930m. That is not to say the whole ride is a descent, there is some up and down to keep the legs moving and overall it is a beautiful route that starts in cloud forest and montane grassland, descends through Eucalypts and cedar, and ends up back down in tea plantation country. The scenery is stunning and by the time you roll into another comfortable hotel, you have probably earned yourself a restful afternoon.

Riding:
35-50km
22-31mi
Meal:
BLD

We board an 8:30 am train for a 1-hour journey through more of that beautifully scenic landscape. After easing our way into the day with those nice views, we arrive at a little town called Ella where we take to our bikes. From here we'll cycle out along a ridge, with deep valleys on either side and tea plantation workers often out in the fields picking tea or tending to the plants. The first 15km has us climbing to a point where the short ride group will join. Then it is an enjoyable and continual downhill coast to the flatlands. When we run out of gravity-assisted riding, we'll stop for lunch in a small village and immediately you can feel the shift between regions.

People on the flatlands and plains move a little more slowly and with good reason, it's pretty warm down here. We are now in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka, and after loading into the van we will drive between two National Parks, the famous Yala on one side and the lesser-known Lunugamvehera on the other. We often encounter Elephants along this road who levy a toll on us, paid in bananas.

We reach the coast and our stunningly located beachside resort around the mid-afternoon, so there is time to rest a little and then enjoy a walk on the beach and a sundowner before dinner.

Meal:
BLD

Today is safari day. We will take our local specialists' recommendations on whether it should be a morning or afternoon safari. That advice will depend on seasonal animal movements and the weather patterns of the day, and it will provide us the best conditions for wildlife spotting.

Either morning or evening, the safari will last around 2.5 to 3 hours and there is usually a good chance to see a range of animals. Of course, the Leopard is the star of the show and we often see them. It helps that our preferred Naturalist knows the park better than most, so he will guide our driver to avoid other jeeps and will favor sitting in wait t key locations rather than constantly driving to find animals.

Aside from the safari, the day (morning or afternoon) is yours to rest, relax and take stock of the adventure so far. The hotel has fantastic facilities including a 75m swimming pool, and the beach is patrolled by the hotel's lifeguards who are trained in Australia. Your three meals will also be served at the hotel today with plenty of flexibility.

Riding:
78km
48mi
Meal:
BLD

For our final riding day of the tour, we will first drive inland a little to get clear of busier coastal traffic, then take to the bikes for a meandering ride through lowland farming communities of the Southern Province. Here you'll encounter bunches of golden-colored coconuts sitting under thatched shelters, and various small stalls selling daily essentials. The coconuts are fantastic for drinking and the vendors are always eager for a chat.

We will weave our way through today's route, stopping for said coconuts, snacks, and other refreshments along the way. Our ride concludes at Wijaya Beach, a lovely spot overlooking the beach, with good pizza for an afternoon snack. This is an excellent place to enjoy a cold drink with your feet in the ocean, and we plan to do just that.

A short vehicle transfer will deliver us to our hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka's second-largest city. It is a historical location which we will explore in more depth with our guide tomorrow, and also a location made famous by a game very popular in Sri Lanka, Cricket.

Meal:
BL

The story of Galle Fort is fascinating and dates back even further than the 16th century when the Portuguese built the first ramparts. The Dutch arrived later and heavily fortified the settlement and then eventually along came the British. Through these many changes of rulers, the ethnic makeup of the city was born through its significant role as a trading port. Today the families who live in the fort have in most cases, lived there for many generations. This is a story that deserves two hours and we will tell it as we walk through the atmospheric streets and along the ramparts with the ocean crashing against the rocks below.

Lunch in the fort marks the end of our tour. The van will be ready to take you to Colombo City or Colombo Airport. If you are planning to remain in the area for the beaches of Hikkaduwa or Unawatuna, then we will have transport arranged for you.

Dates & Price


Dates Availability Price * Deposit payment: $500 USD
* Single room option: $910 USD
18 - 25 Mar 2023 Seats available

Adult 2390USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
06 - 13 May 2023 Seats available

Adult 2390USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
09 - 16 Jul 2023 Seats available

Adult 2390USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
22 - 29 Jul 2023 Seats available

Adult 2390USD

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13 - 20 Aug 2023 Seats available

Adult 2390USD

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26 Aug - 02 Sep 2023 Seats available

Adult 2390USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
23 - 30 Sep 2023 Seats available

Adult 2390USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
22 - 29 Dec 2023 Seats available

Adult 2490USD

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Any tour can be made private! Request quote GO PRIVATE
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WHAT MAKES US STAND OUT

GRASSHOPPER STYLE


Our Sri Lanka by Bike tour is the best way to take in the natural beauty and rich culture of this amazing island. This carefully crafted itinerary brings you to many of Sri Lanka’s highlights and its well-protected national parks, and provides plenty of connection with the authentic Sri Lankan life that surrounds you. Along the way, you will stay in great accommodation, eat tasty local meals, and learn about the wildlife, history and the culture of Sri Lanka from your expert local guide. This will be an unforgettable discovery of the Pearl of India.

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