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Cycling In Sri Lanka

Cycling Holiday in Sri Lanka

14 nights from £6,285pp (excl. international flights)
Chilaw  → Sigiriya  → Minneriya  → Kandy  → Nuwara Eliya  → Udawalawe  → Tangalle

Our experts say

Cycle through rural Sri Lanka and see the best the country has to offer from a different perspective.

Cycle around Sri Lanka on our hand-picked routes with good hybrid bikes, expert guidance and backup assistance. However it's not all about the riding. You'll get to see some of the best sights Sri Lanka has to offer along the way. Check out temples, go on safari, walk barefoot on the beach, explore tea plantations and climb ancient rock fortresses. The cycling is tailored to the fitness levels of your group, so if you want to sit out some of the sections, you can. It's your holiday, so just do as much on the bike as you want.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Take to the skies!

Fly from wherever you are to Sri Lanka. From the UK the best option is overnight with Sri Lankan Airlines.

Day 2: Welcome to Sri Lanka!


Beach at Negombo

We will be waiting to greet you on your arrival in Colombo. Meet your cycling guide and chauffeur guide who will be with you for your entire trip in Sri Lanka. You also have a backup vehicle to transport your bicycles on the days you’re not riding. Your first stop is a nearby hotel on the coast near Negombo, where you can freshen up and relax after your journey. Pop out to the beach or explore the local markets.

Day 3: Cycle up the coast to Chilaw

Cycling At  Polonnaruwa

Riding through rural Sri Lanka

Today’s cycling will follow the flat coastal route north from Negombo up to the beach at Chilaw, passing through towns and villages along the way. It usually takes about an hour or two. At Chilaw check into your hotel and reward your efforts with a stroll along the beach or relaxing by the pool.

Day 4: Cycle to Nikaweratiya, drive to Sigiriya

Cycling Group At  Sigiriya

Cycling group make it to Sigiriya

Today starts with a short drive to the starting point of your cycling route at the market in the small town of Pallama. You'll be cycling about 30km eastwards through this pretty agricultural region to Nikaweratiya, where you'll take a breather, pack your bikes into the backup vehicle and continue by road to Sigiriya to climb the famous rock citadel.

You'll be staying two nights in Sigiriya.

Day 5: Day out cycling to Dambulla cave temples

Golden  Temple At  Dambulla

Golden Temple at Dambulla

Today’s cycle route from Sigiriya to the ancient cave temples at Dambulla is about 20km. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an incredible collection of 2000 year old cave temples with painted walls and huge carved Buddha statues.

You can opt to return to your Sigiriya hotel either by bicycle or car.

Day 6: Minneriya National Park & Polonnaruwa

Elephants In  Minneriya  National  Park

Elephants on safari in Minneriya

Set off early today for the cycle route to Minneriya National Park (about 45 minutes) where you can drive out in jeeps to see elephants gathering to drink by the ancient royal reservoir. It’s then another hour by road to Polonnaruwa, where you can cycle around the ruins of Sri Lanka’s 11th century capital. You'll be spending the night in Polonnaruwa.

Day 7: Cycle from Polonnaruwa to Kandy

Thilanka  Hotel  Balcony With Views

Thilanka, a hotel option in Kandy

Today’s cycling from Polonnaruwa to Kandy usually takes about 4.5 hours, but you can shorten this if you like and do part of the way by road. The route takes you through a beautiful landscape of rice terraces, and you can stop at a spice garden on the way in Matale for a cooking demonstration. At Kandy check into your hotel for the next two nights, put your feet up and congratulate yourself on your achievements so far.

Day 8: Explore cultural Kandy

Temple Of The  Tooth In  Kandy

Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

A day off cycling today as you explore the charming hill town of Kandy, formerly the capital of Sri Lanka. Visit the Temple of the Tooth and the Royal Botanical Gardens, and in the evening enjoy a performance of traditional Kandyan dance.

Day 9: Train journey to Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara  Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

Get ready for one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. The journey from Kandy takes about four hours through green hills, forests and tea plantations. Your destination is Nuwara Eliya, where you'll be staying for the next two nights. It's a British hill station from the colonial period that still feels like a bit of olde England frozen in time. Notice how the climate is much cooler.

Day 10: Cycle around tea plantations near Nuwara Eliya

View From Tea Plantation Near  Nuwara  Eliya

Tea plantations near Nuwara Eliya

This morning head out to cycle around the tea plantations surrounding Nuwara Eliya, and stop off at a tea factory to find out how the world’s finest tea is produced. You'll get to taste some too of course! Spend the rest of the day exploring the town at your leisure.

Day 11: Horton Plains and Dickoya

Horton  Plains

Horton Plains

Cycle up to Horton Plains National Park, a beautiful area of high grasslands and cloud forests. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and bicycles aren't allowed inside the national park, but there are some very beautiful walks to be enjoyed.

Depending on your energy levels you can continue to Dickoya by car or cycle, where you'll check into your hotel and relax for the evening.

Day 12: Cycle to Balangoda, drive to Udawalawe National Park

Spend the morning cycling up and down through tea plantations until you reach Balangoda, where you can hop into your vehicle to proceed to Udawalawe National Park for a jeep safari. This is one of the best spots to see wild elephants, and there’s lots of other wildlife to spot as you drive around in open-top jeeps. You'll be staying overnight at Udawalawe.

Day 13: Cycle to Hiriketiya Beach, drive to Tangalle

Buckingham  Place Suite

Buckingham Place, a hotel suggestion in Tangalle

The final cycling stretch of the tour takes about 3 hours as you approach Hiriketiya beach, from where you can continue to your hotel at Tangalle by car. The hard work is over and it’s time to party, so put your feet up and sip a well-deserved coconut whilst watching the sun set from a palm-fringed beach. Tangalle will be your home for the next couple of nights.

Day 14: Tangalle

Beach  Tangalle

The beach at Tangalle

Actually we were just kidding, you can do another cycle tour this morning if you like. Up to you. Otherwise relax and enjoy your final day by the seaside.

Day 15: Fly home

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. If you prefer we can arrange a final night closer to the airport, for a shorter and more relaxed journey home.

Duration: 14 nights

Location: Sri Lanka, Indian Subcontinent

Price: £6285pp

Our 'Cycling Holiday in Sri Lanka' itinerary includes hybrid cycle hire, cycle guide throughout, accommodation, daily breakfast, transfers & drives in AC vehicle with English-speaking chauffeur guide, wildlife safaris, activities and sightseeing as indicated. Excludes international flights.

Option to add a backup and mechanical vehicle throughout.

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