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Sri Lanka by Bike

Home > Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka by Bike

Scheduled Tour

Price from

2890 USD

Duration

9 Days | 8 Nights

Level

3

Tour Code

GHSB21

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

Discover Sri Lanka by bike over 9 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
4 to 14

Accommodation
Modern hotels

Activities
Ride/ Walk / Safari/ Cook

Minimum Age
+14

Overview

Take a 9-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 great hikes through national parks, a jeep safari with the chance to see leopards, luxurious lodgings, mouthwatering food and a cultural experience like no other.

Sri Lanka, a small island with a big heart, is well known for its highland tea plantations that we will spend some days riding through. We also take in the city of Kandy with its sacred Buddha tooth relic and pleasant climate. Pedal by Yala National Park where we often 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.


272-412 Km riding. On this tour, most days will provide you with a choice between a short ride and a long ride. The short option doesn't mean you'll be stuck in a van following the riders, it means that we have carefully coordinated everything so that you will arrive at a start point in a car, ready to ride with the long ride group as they come through. Both groups will have a guide with them and you will have a GPS for navigation.

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 tour to learn about the interesting process, then make tasty Sri Lankan curry in a cooking class.

A jeep safari through Yala National Park reveals elephants, leopards, wild boar, buffalo, and monkeys.

Ride amazing, almost non-traffic roads, through stunning vistas of hills covered in tea plantations

Day to Day


Expand All
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:
39km
24mi
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 the grassy highlands to World's End Lookout where we take in the astonishing views over the valley from the clifftop. Keep your eyes peeled while you walk, as we may be lucky enough to glimpse deer and monkeys.

From the hike back to town is about 1 hour in the van, then there is plenty of downtime until just after lunch when we have a loop ride that takes us first on a fun descent, then on a sustained, but not terribly long climb up through tea plantations. Here we will stop to visit an operational Tea Factory where those little buds picked by the colorfully dressed ladies are turned into a salable product.

We reach a ridgeline and ride through Ambewela, an area known for its dairy farms. We stop off in this quaint little village and then ride the ridge back to Nuwara Eliya through a lovely, lush green landscape.

Riding:
29-63km
18-39mi
Meal:
BLD

For the long ride group today, we have the pleasure of a door to door ride with no vehicle transfer time. Leaving the hotel at quite a civilized hour, we start on the same descent as the day before, but this time we don't have to interrupt it. We get to lose about 1000m in elevation over about 20km, so by the time you need to start pedaling again, you might have forgotten how!

The short ride group will meet us some way into the ride where the terrain undulates before descending into the lovely little town of Ella.

The scenery through today is beautiful at every turn. Tea as far as the eye can see and lots of friendly, somewhat surprised villagers, not so accustomed to seeing foreigners riding bikes through their village. We stop for lunch in Banderawella which is a little different to some other towns we have been through in that there is a sizeable Muslim population. Buddhists are the majority in Sri Lanka, but here is a diverse mix of ethnicities and religions in the country, owing to its fascinating past and significant geographic location.

In the late afternoon, we will try our hand at cooking some local dishes and we will enjoy these for our dinner.

Ella is a cute town with incredible views! It has become a popular backpacker stop and the vibe and feel are consistent with that. It's our most modest night of accommodation, but that will still be a clean and comfortable room with an ensuite bathroom.

Riding:
49.5 or 65km
30-40mi
Meal:
BLD

Today we leave the hills but before we do, they have a treat for us in the form of one of the most scenic rides of the trip so far. We start out along a ridge, with deep valleys either side and tea plantation workers often hard at work, 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 a thrilling, enjoyable, continual downhill ride to the flatlands. When we run out of gravity assisted riding, we stop for lunch in a small village and immediately you will feel that we have moved 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 on the southeast corner of the island and after we load 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 on this road who levy a toll on us, paid in bananas.

We reach the coast and our stunningly located 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 one. That advice will depend on seasonal animal movements and the weather patterns of the day. Either way, 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 do often see them. It helps that our Naturalist knows the park better than most, so he will guide our driver to avoid other jeeps and will preference sitting in wait rather than driving around constantly trying to find animals.

Asides from the safari, the day is yours to rest, relax and take stock of the adventure so far. Three meals will be served at the hotel with plenty of flexibility.

Riding:
46-75km
29-47mi
Meal:
BLD

After all that hilly territory that we have ridden through, a day of relatively flat riding might be quite a novelty. The long ride group will make a head start in one van to pass through the nearby town of Tissamaharama and reach their start point. The short ride group will have a little more time to enjoy the resort before moving on.

The ride today passes through a dry landscape, punctuated by small villages with bright golden coconuts piled up for sale. The King Coconut as it is known is a daily consumption item and especially good for bike riders who might have had enough of the electrolyte drinks.

As we reach the town of Udawalawe, we will start to see more and more irrigated land where farmers will be growing a variety of crops including rice. This irrigation is made possible by the large "Tank" as it is known, a reservoir that was built by the ancients and one of many across the country. This antique infrastructure has helped to ensure Sri Lanka's prosperity in so many ways and the lakes create nice places for people to picnic and support the huge range of birdlife in the country.

Udawalawe National Park is located just nearby our hotel. A safari is not organized as part of the tour, but your Tour Leader can easily arrange one for you if you would like to visit the park. This park is known mostly for the Elephants of which there are a great many.

Riding:
56 - 102km
32-62mi
Meal:
BLD

After a long journey, the long ride distance might be less appealing, but today's ride allows you to make up your mind partway. We first transfer as a complete group to a high point. Then we enjoy a fun descent, just so that we remember what that feels like. There is a little climbing, but only to set us up for another little descent. We start out in tea country again and end up right by the coast in Galle.

The route today features lots of variety and the short option concludes at lunch. The short ride group will then move on to Galle while any hardy riders wanting to ride the big one can continue on.

Approaching Galle you will get a feel for this, Sri Lanka's second-largest city. It is a historical location and also a location made famous by a game that is 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: $900 USD
* Single room option: $1450 USD
24 Jan - 01 Feb 2021 Seats available

Adult 2890USD

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27 Feb - 07 Mar 2021 Seats available

Adult 2890USD

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20 - 28 Mar 2021 Seats available

Adult 2890USD

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29 May - 06 Jun 2021 Seats available

Adult 2890USD

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25 Jul - 02 Aug 2021 Seats available

Adult 2890USD

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14 - 22 Aug 2021 Seats available

Adult 2890USD

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25 Sep - 03 Oct 2021 Seats available

Adult 2890USD

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22 - 30 Dec 2021 Seats available

Adult 2990USD

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31 Dec 2021 - 08 Jan 2022 Seats available

Adult 2990USD

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Any tour can be made private! Request quote GO PRIVATE
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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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