Sri Lanka Biking Adventure

from $3810 NZD

Sri Lanka offers a diverse cycling experience from jungle safaris, beaches, tea plantations to exotic countryside.

Be captivated by the romance, colour and spice of Sri Lanka, a truly remarkable destination that you’ll never forget! The quiet back roads of this Island make it ideal for cycling. We start along the west coast catching glimpses of the local fishing boats, before cycling inland past Budhist and Hindu monuments. Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was once known has been influenced by ancient dynasties, Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and British, all leaving their imprints and a resulting curious mix of ancient cities, monuments and colonial architecture. We explore the rock fortress of Sigiriya and the once medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, and take a wildlife safari in the Wasgomuwa National Park. We overnight in a wonderful range of accommodation, from spa resorts to colonial bungalows on tea estates, to remote rustic lodges and beachside hotels.

Negombo to Colombo

Bandaranaike International Airport
  • Mountain Biking
  • Grade
  • Group size: minimum 2 / maximum 16
  • USD645 single room surcharge (USD675 high season)
  • USD220 mountain bike hire
  • USD440 e-bike hire
  • Prices from 2020 subject to change
  • This tour is invoiced in USD
  • Riding is mainly on ashphalt roads but also on non technical dirt trails (mountainbike  required)
This Sri Lankan bike tour is on quiet back roads, estate tracks and gravel paths. We cover 563 km in eight days of cycling, most of the terrain is undulating, and there are are many days with more than 70 km of riding. The road surfaces are mixed: most days we ride on reasonably good quality asphalt roads, but there are enough sections on very badly broken or dirt tracks that require a mountain bike. 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 vehicle is always available to help. This trip is suitable 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 we head inland and there are some long distances to cover.

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival Day: Negombo

No biking

Welcome to Sri Lanka. After arriving at Colombo Airport, please make your own way to the tour hotel in Negombo (approx 8 km from the airport). Later this afternoon the group will get together for a trip briefing and welcome dinner.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2

Negombo to Dambulla

Biking: 54 km

We ride along the picturesque old coast road for about 30km, passing the distinctive patchwork sails of the Karavas fishing community, with their boats pulled up along the beach or sailing just off the coast. After the fish markets we head inland on quiet back roads for another 30km. Then its a 3 hour transfer to Dambulla, a 2nd Century Buddhist cave temple which is the largest and best-preserved in the country with about 150 Buddha statues. We break for lunch at Kununegala lake before another short transfer to tonight's accommodation situated amongst mango trees and paddy fields.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3

Dambulla Loop

Biking: 60 km

Today's ride through the countryside is on a mix of tarmac and red dirt roads past orchards, paddy fields and elephant grass. From the shores of Kandalama Lake there are excellent views of the ancient 5th Century rock fortress Sigiriya (Lion Rock). We'll walk through the water gardens before climbing 300m to view the ruins of King Kasyapa's summer palace at the summit. We'll also pass the impressive frescos that depict more than 500 ladies. Our afternoon ride back to the hotel is on red dirt roads as we follow an old irrigation canal framed by long green grass.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4

Dambulla to Polonnaruwa

Biking: 78 km

Our ride begins with an ascent over the Kaladuwa Hills on a good tarmac road. On the descent, keep an eye out for wild elephants. We ride through the historic park of Polonnaruwa, the 10th Century capital and best preserved of the ancient cities. Abandoned in the 13th Century, it was rediscovered in the 18th Century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Brahmanic chiseled stone monuments built by the Cholas, show us the glory of the ancient Rajarata Kingdom. A short 20 minute transfer leads to our accommodation on the banks of the reservoir.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5

Polonnaruwa to Kandy

Biking: 75 km

A short transfer takes us back to Polonnaruwa from where we ride around the huge lake known as the sea of Parakrama (named after the great King who built it). Part of the ride is through Angammedilla National Park. This small forest reserve is an elephant corridor linking Minneriya to Wasgomuwa National Park. Here we join part of yesterday’s ride, following the Ambon Ganga (river) back towards its start point in the foothills around Naula, said to be the center of the Island. We end the ride here to avoid busy roads and transfer to Matale for lunch, situated in the spice growing region of Sri Lanka. Then its on to Kandy the spiritual and cultural capital of the hill country and Sri Lanka’s second largest city.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6

Kandy - rest day

Biking: none

Nestled among hills and centered around a lake, picturesque Kandy has long been an important religious centre of the Sinhalese and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Explore the town centre's old shops, antique and gem specialists or the bustling market. A must do is to see the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sacred Kandy which houses the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic, a tooth of the Buddha.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7

Kandy to Hatton

Biking: 78 km

Now we tackle the hill country of Sri Lanka. For those who enjoy riding but find hills a bit too challenging there is the option of taking the train for the final part into Hatton. A short 8 km transfer takes us out of town to Peradeniya famed for its Botanical Garden and university. Starting the ride from the campus we wind our way along a river valley with some short climbs opening out to the surrounding vistas, with our first tea stop in Gampola town 21 km away. There is also the option to board the train here with a picnic lunch. From Gampola we start to see the tea carpeted slopes of the hill country. Riding at a gentle pace you can stop to take photos of brightly dressed tea pickers and colourful Hindu temples. We will regroup now and then at the tea outlets brewing the best tea on the island, fresh from their respective estates. Reaching Hatton we descend to one of the old colonial tea planters bungalows set in lovely gardens. Those taking the train will be met at the station and shuttled to the bungalow.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8

Hatton to Udawalawa

Biking: 58 km

Today’s ride will be along tea estate tracks through the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea growing region. You’ll be greeted by the pickers at work and their children as we head towards the Peak Wilderness and the distinctive triangle shaped mountain, known as Adams Peak. The long climb with an easy gradient up to Bogowantalawa town gets tougher for the last 10 km as we head to a remote pass with dramatic views. The mountain pass is part of the Peak forest reserve, its distinctive stunted forest contains many rare and endemic plants as well as the shy bear monkey more often heard than seen. The reward for the long climb is a stunning 30 km, 1000 m descent, through small villages and tea country communities, ending close to Banlangoda town. After lunch at a local restaurant we pack our bikes and transfer to our hotel on the edge of Udawalawe National Park and set on the banks of a lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9

Udawalawa loop

Biking: 52 km

Riding from the hotel we cycle 21 km to Udawalawe National Park, one of the best parks to see wild elephants in Sri Lanka. The park, centred around a reservoir, has approximately 400 elephants in small herds scattered around the park and mid-morning is a good time to see them close to the water’s edge. We may also see wild buffaloes, crocodiles, sambur deer and monkeys. There are lots of resident water fowl and hawk eagles to keep the photographers happy. We lunch in a nearby eco lodge and then mount our bicycles to follow an irrigation canal back towards our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10

Udawalawa to Mirissa

Biking: 81 km

Starting at the hotel we ride through a network of fantastic back country roads. Here you get to experience the southern Sri Lankan charm – lots of smiling faces and a slow pace of life. It’s a quite a long, undulating ride, but with lots of fruit stops to break up the day. Be sure to try one of the 14 varieties of bananas in Sri Lanka, each with its own taste and medicinal qualities, to give you energy. We try to get to the beach by the early afternoon leaving you free time to enjoy the surf. Tonight we will dine at one of the many nearby restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11

Mirissa to Galle to Mirissa

Biking: 39 km

Cycling through open paddy fields and cinnamon estates we arrive in Galle mid morning giving you plenty of time to explore the historic master piece in Sri Lanka. The original fort was expanded by the Dutch to its present size and later the British added the court complex and several other outstanding buildings. You are free to choose your own lunch and we meet up again for a farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12

Departure Day: Mirissa to Colombo

No biking

Today we transfer 3 hours to Colombo where we can drop you at the airport or to a hotel if you are extending your stay in Sri Lanka.

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation: 11 nights in a mix of hotels, bungalows, and lodges
  • Airport departure transfer (day 12)
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Local English speaking riding guide(s)
  • Vehicle(s) for transport and general support
  • Drinking water, soft drinks and fruit while riding

Tour Excludes:

  • Airport arrival transfer (day 1)
  • International or domestic flights and airport taxes
  • Passport and travel visa requirements
  • Bike hire
  • Optional activity costs
  • Personal expenses and drinks (except water while riding)
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guide(s) and support crew