Be captivated by the romance, colour and spice of Sri Lanka on this varied cycle tour which takes in coastal roads, hill country and tea estates.
Sporting the name Ceylon in its days within the British Empire, Sri Lanka, the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” has known many identities on its journey to modernity. Famous for its peaceful Buddhist ruins, including the beautiful palace and frescoes of the 5th-century fortress Sigiriya, Sri Lanka enjoys year-round sunshine and breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean from every shore.
Follow the coastal roads, pausing to breathe deep at the fish markets (or not) and capture the colorful sails of the local Karavas fishing boats on camera. Catch the whiff of cinnamon being cooked as you cycle, and tackle the hill country outside of Kandy to reach one of the island’s highlights; the tea estates. Sri Lanka’s landscape combines a great mix of challenging terrain and beautiful scenery; perfect for this tour.
Cycle red dirt tracks which wind through the countryside, flanked by elephant grass—and maybe wild elephants too. Drink in the water gardens at Sigiriya, before climbing Lion Rock to awe at the views overlooking the ruins. A wildlife enthusiast? Sri Lanka offers the chance to spot a wide range of birds and animals in their natural habitat. From small creatures—like mongoose—and over 400 species of bird, to the world’s largest animals, the elephant and blue whale, Sri Lanka is a nature lover’s dream.
Why you'll love this adventure
- Option to take your own bike or hire one locally
- A great mix of challenging terrain and beautiful scenery
- Lots of wildlife spotting along the route
5 January 2020
16 January 2020
2 February 2020
13 February 2020
15 March 2020
26 March 2020
5 April 2020
16 April 2020
This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.
Your journey will be on quiet back roads, estate tracks and gravel paths. The route covers 575 kilometres in 9 cycling days, and much, if not most, of the terrain is undulating and there are three days with more than 70 km of riding. When you combine the great variety of cycling with the cultural and natural attractions, there is plenty to delve into and enjoy.
- Support vehicle
- Meals (as indicated)
- Snacks and drinks
- Cycling jersey
- Water bottle
- International flights
- Visa fees
- Optional Mountain Bike Hire (USD220)
- Optional single room ( USD645 – USD675)
Mixture of 3* & 4* standard hotels, boutique hotels and guesthouses (11 nights)
Most meals are local and feature rice and curries. Sri Lankan curries come in many varieties of colors and flavors and can be meat- or fish- based dishes, but there are also vegetable and even fruit curries. Many of the spices used have ayurvedic value when used in curries. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please advise at the time of booking.
Who is this trip for?
This ride is for those who have some biking experience as well as experts. The beginning of this ride is relatively flat, but there will be hills as you head inland and there are some long distances to cover. Never underestimate the heat and humidity of tropical Sri Lanka, as it will likely ensure things feel hot. This is a true journey through the finest terrain and scenery of Sri Lanka, with the best culture, nature and wildlife thrown in along the way, ensuring you get the very best of everything from your cycling efforts.
The road surfaces are mixed: most days you will ride on reasonably good quality asphalt roads, but there are enough sections on very badly broken or dirt tracks that you will need a mountain bike, and preferably one with front shocks. However, there is nothing technical involved on this tour and anyone, assuming they have a reasonable level of fitness, will be able to join. A support truck is always available to help.
You will be led by a local English-speaking guide. If the group is 9 people or more another guide will join the tour. All the guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
For the full factsheets, please make an enquiry and we’ll send them right away to help you decide if this is the perfect trip for you.
When's the best time to travel to Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, with distinct dry and wet seasons. The seasons are slightly complicated by having two monsoons. From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half and the Maha monsoon blows from October to January, bringing rain to the North and East.
There is also an intermonsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. Average temperatures for Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions are 27°C while at the higher altitudes like Kandy (500m), the average temperature is 20°C. A gortex rain jacket and a warm jumper for the central highlands are suggested clothing.
Is fresh water supplied?
Keeping you completely hydrated is taken very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price.
Recommended extra expenses?
It is recommended that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10 a day for incidentals.
Is money easily accessible in Sri Lanka?
The Sri Lankan currency is the rupee (Rs). ATMs have spread to all of the cities and major regional centers of Sri Lanka with Commercial Bank having the largest network of ATMs accepting international Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus/Maestro cards. Any bank or exchange bureau will change major currencies into cash, including US dollars, euros and pounds sterling. To get the best rates, change rupees back into hard currency before you leave the country
Can I travel as a solo traveller?
Absolutely. There is no compulsory surcharge for travelling alone. Accommodation is arranged on a twin share basis with another group traveller of the same gender. If you cannot be matched, a single room will be provided at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
Are spare bike parts available?
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though it cannot be guaranteed there’ll be spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Do I need to bring a helmet?
Yes. Wearing a helmet is required and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
What are the local hire bikes like?
Because some people can’t imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, they are not automatically provided them as part of this tour. However, you are able to hire bikes locally for the price listed on the page above. The bikes are Specialized Hard Rock mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27- speed gearing, v-brakes and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, and that it is in good mechanical order.
These guys love sharing their passion for travelling by bicycle. With over 20 years experience and having set up the first dedicated cycle touring company in Asia they now curate extraordinary cycle adventures in over 32 countries on every type of terrain, for all ages and experience.
Whether you're a keen road cyclist, love touring or are just looking for a different kind of adventure, they offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with remarkable cultures, characters and landscapes in a way that no ordinary tour could.
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