Antarctica & Arctic
Experience this beautiful country on two wheels, taking in some of the island’s most iconic sights and plenty of local life.
a Destinations d > Sri Lanka > Cycle Sri Lanka
13 nights accommodation, meals as indicated, transportation and activities as specified and services of an Explore tour leader/cycle guide and support vehicle.
Selected dates, Aug - Feb & Apr
Completing a circular journey this trip takes in ancient temples and fortresses, cycling through tea plantations and across the scenic trails of the Knuckles Range. Leaving the coast behind we explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa on two wheels before steadily climbing to wide plains. There is also the option to search for leopard in Yala National Park before making our way to the beach for a well-earned rest.
Back to Sri Lanka Tours
Climb the rock fortress at Sigiriya
Ride through the scenic tea-growing highlands
Search for wildlife in Yala National Park
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Our adventure begins in Negombo, just a short drive from the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. We take our first ride in the late afternoon, exploring the coast of Negombo.
After a morning backroads cycle, we transfer by bus to Dambulla to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dambulla Caves, which hide an incredible collection of temples, Buddhist images and Hindu sculptures that date back to the 1st century BC. (B)(L)
We cycle alongside lakes and canals to Sigiriya. We then leave the bikes as we climb the imposing 5th century ruins of the ‘Sky Fortress’ of King Kassapa. Back on our bikes we ride part way to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. (B)
Polonnaruwa reached the height of its glory in the 12th century and the city is still blessed with a number of ancient monuments, including the spectacular ruins of its Royal Palace and the Circular Relic House. After lunch explore the villages near Parakkrama Lake, one of the country’s most impressive ancient reservoirs. (B)
Today we cycle through the Knuckles Range and on to Kandy. Stop at Matale Spice Gardens to learn more about the spices grown in this verdant region. (B)(L)
With no cycling planned for today we have some free time to enjoy Kandy. The city is home to the famous ‘Temple of the Tooth’, whose jewelled shrine is believed to hold the left canine of the Lord Buddha. It was also the last capital of the Sinhala Kings and still retains much of its old world charm. (B)
Leaving Kandy we drive for around two hours through a picturesque landscape of rolling hills into the central highlands. We stop at a tea estate to learn about tea picking and processing and to see the impressive Ramboda Falls. Keen cyclists have the option to ride on good (albeit steep!) tarmac before reaching the tea estate and there is also the option to ride the final 18 kilometre section up to our hotel in Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya was once a summer retreat for the British and still retains a distinctly colonial feel. (B)
In the morning we leave the hotel, cycling out through the highlands towards Badulla. Later changing direction to ride through the tea estates to Haputale. Later we can make a de-tour to visit the Bambarakanda Waterfall, the highest in Sri Lanka, before arriving at our hotel. (B)(L)(D)
Today we cycle through the spectacular southern slopes of the highlands, then drive to the Elephant Transit home for the chance to see the feeding of baby elephants. This afternoon enjoy time to relax, or take an optional 4WD jeep safari in Udawalwe National Park. The park is famous for its large elephant herds. (B)(L)(D)
This morning, our cycle route leads us to the town of Kataragama where we spend the night and we visit the interesting local temple dedicated to Hindu and Buddhist gods. In the afternoon the is an optional game drive in Yala National Park. (B)
A morning cycle along the coast and Bundula National Park gives us a good chance to spot crocodiles. We end the day at our beachside hotel at beautiful Unawatuna. (B)
We take a short drive to Mirissa this morning and cycle from here through the backroads to Weligama Bay. In the evening there is time for an evening stroll in historic Galle. (B)(L)
Today you are free to spend the day at leisure and enjoy the beach.
After breakfast we drive to Colombo airport where the tour ends. (B)
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10 Days / 9 Nights
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