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Cycle Sri Lanka

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Cycle Sri Lanka

Was From $ 3,540 AUD
Now From $ 3,186 AUD
Sale!

Description

Ride through tea plantations, quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is gaining traction as one of Asia’s most exciting new destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. In between two-wheeled treks, laze on the beach, ride the rails (a must in Sri Lanka), explore the country’s premier Hindu and Buddhist sites, and taste the flavours of the tantalising night markets.

Trip Name
Cycle Sri Lanka
Last Updated
2024-03-02
Days
14
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Cycling allows you to get closer to the real Sri Lanka, with a leopard-spotting safari and scenic train trip taking the sightseeing to the next level. 
  • From the sensational seafood of Negombo to the pulsing night markets of Colombo, Sri Lanka a feast for the senses. Optional ‘food-crawls’ in most locations connect you with the best local street food. 
  • Step back in time as you explore Sri Lanka’s most important religious and heritage sites, including the Temple of Tooth Relic and Kataragama. 
  • Forget the coffee stops, this is Le Tour with a twist. Visit a tea factory in Giragama for a guided tour and taste of Sri Lanka’s most beloved beverage. 
  • Relax and unwind along the famous sandy beaches and azure waters of Sri Lanka’s southern coast.
  • Experience a fascinating slice of traditional culture with a Kandyan dance performance in Kandy.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Negombo
Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo which is located close to the international airport. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5:30 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the meeting will take place. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception. Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Day 2 - Chilaw & Anuradhapura
Rise early and enjoy some breakfast at the hotel. Start off with a test-ride through the city streets then cycle from Negombo to Chilaw (approximately 40 km). Along the way, you'll encounter quaint fishing villages, the scenic Dutch canal, coconut plantations and various tile factories. Sit down to a picnic lunch on arrival in Chilaw. Afterwards, hop aboard a coach and travel to Anuradhapura (approximately 90 km). Here you can settle into your hotel, relax and perhaps take a swim in the pool. You have the option of joining a 'food crawl' through the streets and markets of Anuradhapura – a great chance to sample some tasty local cuisine.
Day 3 - Anuradhapura
After breakfast, cycle to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Anuradhapura (approximately 20 km each way). Enjoy a guided bicycle tour of the ancient city. Among the ruins you'll see the sacred old Bo Tree – a spiritual reminder of the beginnings of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the inspiration for Anuradhapura's great buildings. The ruins themselves are spread over quite a large area, with some in woodland settings and others appearing more cultivated with columns and ponds dotted about. While you're here you will visit the impressive  Isurumuniya Temple. Pay a visit to the Anuradhapura museum, then enjoy a local lunch. Return to the hotel and enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon.
Day 4 - Ritigala & Polonnaruwa
Cycle from Anuradhapura to Ritigala, passing paddies, man-made water tanks and jungle patches (approximately 70 km). Sit down to some lunch along the way at a countryside kiosk. Make a visit to the beautiful Ritigala monastery, which dates back nearly 2000 years and is named after the mountain on which it sits. After exploring the site and learning a thing or two about its local mythology, board a coach and travel to Polonnaruwa (approximately 60 km). Relax and unwind on arrival. 
Day 5 - Polonnaruwa & Dambulla
Saddle up for a morning ride to Polonnaruwa. Arrive at the ancient site of Polonnaruwa, the second oldest of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, and do some exploring. Visit the likes of Vihara temple, Parakrama statue and Siva temple while you are here. Then cycle to Diyabeduma (approximately 45 km). Marvel at the scenery along the way – sanctuaries, man made channels and farm lands – before sitting down to a picnic lunch. Next, travel from Diyabeduma to Dambulla by coach (approximately 40 km). Enjoy some free time on arrival. In the evening you'll visit the Dambulla wholesale vegetable market, where there's an option to join in on a food crawl.
Day 6 - Sigriya Rock & Kandy
This morning you will cycle approximately 15km from your hotel in Dambulla to Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress perched among lush greenery that strikes an awesome pose against the skyline. Hike to the top and enjoy some well-earned breakfast, taking in the lovely views. Afterwards, jump back on your bike and pedal your way through the pleasant countryside (approximately 35kms) and reward yourself with lunch at a spice garden near Matale. Enjoy a rest in the support vehicle as we drive the final kilometres to Kandy. In the evening you will sit down to a traditional Kandyan dance performance – a riveting insight into an age-old culture.
Day 7 - Kandy
After breakfast at the hotel you have the option to either head out for some extra cycling in the Hanthana Mountain Range (weather/time permitting) or stay in Kandy and explore. Later in the morning the group will head to Giragama (approximately 15 km) for a guided tour of a tea factory. This is a great chance to learn about how Sri Lanka's best-known beverage is made. You will also sample some of the delicious varieties on offer. Today’s lunch is something really special – pay a visit to the Hela Bojun Restaurant, a social enterprise founded by the agriculture ministry of the Sri Lankan government to provide employment to women from local communities while training and empowering them. Try some delicious Sri Lankan dishes prepared by the women while learning a little more about the restaurant and their important mission. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax. In the evening you will visit the Temple of Tooth Relic, the most important Buddhist site in the country. Explore the complex that surrounds it, then return to town for an included food crawl.
Day 8 - Hatton
Transfer to Kandy railway station after breakfast. From the station you will embark on a scenic train trip from Kandy to Hatton, then cycle from Hatton station to Maskeliya (approximately 40 km) through leafy tea plantations. For lunch, enjoy an authentic Tamil meal from a local kiosk. Check into your guesthouse, then relax. In the evening, there's an optional climb of Adam's Peak, a beautiful, conical, snow-capped mountain (2,243 m). The best time for this activity is from mid December to early May.
Day 9 - Tissamaharama
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before cycling down from Bogawanthalawa to Balangoda (approximately 55 km). This is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Sri Lanka – it follows a path along the tea plantations and passes lush pine forests. Have lunch at Balangoda on arrival, then transfer from Balangoda to Tissamaharama (approximately 100 km). Wind down and share stories over an included dinner.
Day 10 - Yala National Park
Cycle from Tissamaharama to Kataragama after breakfast (approximately 20 km each way). The holy city of Kataragama is a colourful and vibrant religious centre that rivals Adam's Peak in terms of national importance. This is where the two-week Kataragama Festival attracts thousands, mostly Hindus, each year in July/August. Afterwards, take a jeep ride through the beautiful Yala National Park, home to elephants, crocodiles, and gorgeous waterbirds such as the great thick-knee. Yala also lays claim to one of the world's highest concentration of leopards. Return to Tissamaharama for the evening and enjoy an included dinner.
Day 11 - Mirissa
After breakfast, cycle from Tissamaharama to Hambantota via the pretty Bundala National Park. After lunch at Hambantota, continue to Mirissa. Enjoy an afternoon of beach splendour in Mirissa. The beach itself is a long curve of sand with lovely clear waters for swimming – a great spot to watch the sunset. Consider cycling to nearby Weligama, where colourful fishing boats bring fresh fish to sell along the shore. The local cottage industry of lace products is also well worth a look.
Day 12 - Mirissa & Galle
Enjoy a free morning to relax, or you might like to go whale-watching, which is more successful from November through to April. Later drive to Galle (approximately 50 km each way). Along the way to drop into a centuries-old Buddhist temple and meet our local artisan friend Mr Sunil. A traditional woodcarving expert, he will take you through a practical demonstration of the craft and encourage you to give it a go yourself. Afterwards, continue to nearby Galle, home to an impressive World Heritage-listed Dutch fort with extensive walls and many interesting old buildings. Spend the evening exploring, enjoying a stroll around the historic fort and watching the sunset from the ramparts before driving back to Mirissa.
Day 13 - Colombo
Depart Mirissa after breakfast with a transfer to Colombo (approximately 3 hours). On arrival, check into your hotel and then take a city walk past the bustling Petta Bazaar, Independence Square, Parliament, and the National Museum. Your walk finishes with a shopping opportunity at the Barefoot fairtrade store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. Tonight there's an optional final group dinner to celebrate your journey. This comes in the form of a food crawl along the city's tantalising market stalls. 
Day 14 - Colombo
Your trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast and the hotel's check-out time is 11am. For those who are staying on and want to explore Colombo further, check out our Urban Adventure day trips.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-03-202429-03-2024AUD $ 3,755-
30-03-202412-04-2024AUD $ 3,316-
13-04-202426-04-2024AUD $ 3,900-
20-04-202403-05-2024AUD $ 3,186-
27-04-202410-05-2024AUD $ 3,505-
29-06-202412-07-2024AUD $ 3,645-
13-07-202426-07-2024AUD $ 3,825-
20-07-202402-08-2024AUD $ 3,470-
27-07-202409-08-2024AUD $ 3,505-
03-08-202416-08-2024AUD $ 3,545-
10-08-202423-08-2024AUD $ 3,470-
24-08-202406-09-2024AUD $ 3,475-
07-09-202420-09-2024AUD $ 3,610-
21-09-202404-10-2024AUD $ 3,755-
28-09-202411-10-2024AUD $ 3,610-
19-10-202401-11-2024AUD $ 3,610-
09-11-202422-11-2024AUD $ 3,760-
16-11-202429-11-2024AUD $ 3,760-
23-11-202406-12-2024AUD $ 3,835-
07-12-202420-12-2024AUD $ 3,760-
21-12-202403-01-2025AUD $ 3,760-
28-12-202410-01-2025AUD $ 3,760-
04-01-202517-01-2025AUD $ 3,935-
18-01-202531-01-2025AUD $ 3,935-
25-01-202507-02-2025AUD $ 3,935-
08-02-202521-02-2025AUD $ 3,935-
22-02-202507-03-2025AUD $ 3,935-
08-03-202521-03-2025AUD $ 3,790-
15-03-202528-03-2025AUD $ 3,790-
22-03-202504-04-2025AUD $ 3,790-
29-03-202511-04-2025AUD $ 3,790-
05-04-202518-04-2025AUD $ 3,790-
12-04-202525-04-2025AUD $ 3,790-
19-04-202502-05-2025AUD $ 3,790-
26-04-202509-05-2025AUD $ 3,790-
07-06-202520-06-2025AUD $ 3,645-
05-07-202518-07-2025AUD $ 3,645-
12-07-202525-07-2025AUD $ 3,645-
26-07-202508-08-2025AUD $ 3,645-
02-08-202515-08-2025AUD $ 3,645-
09-08-202522-08-2025AUD $ 3,645-
16-08-202529-08-2025AUD $ 3,645-
30-08-202512-09-2025AUD $ 3,645-
13-09-202526-09-2025AUD $ 3,645-
27-09-202510-10-2025AUD $ 3,645-
08-11-202521-11-2025AUD $ 3,790-
15-11-202528-11-2025AUD $ 3,790-
29-11-202512-12-2025AUD $ 3,935-
06-12-202519-12-2025AUD $ 3,935-
13-12-202526-12-2025AUD $ 3,935-
20-12-202502-01-2026AUD $ 3,935-
27-12-202509-01-2026AUD $ 3,935-

Accommodation

Hotels (13 nights)

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available,subject to availability),Support vehicle,Train,Jeep

Map