Negombo is a great place to start any tour in Sri Lanka with its wide beach and lively bars as well as its old historic quarter you can wander around and get the feel of Sri Lankan daily life. The old fishing harbor filled with brightly decorated fishing boats and the traditional red sailed catamaran’s are great for photos. Late afternoon we meet to assemble bikes and trip briefing before a beachside dinner.
Riding from the hotel we head inland on minor backroads through one of the main rice growing regions of Sri Lanka. The verdant rice fields fringed with Coconut and Mango plantations are typical of the region. We stop near Wariyapola an old market town for lunch, you can enjoy some seasonal fruits and local spicy rotties, curry filled rolls. Afternoon ride continues another 33km to Yapahuwa a former capital dating from early 13 th Century. The Palace of King Bhuvanekabhu 1 is built on top of the huge rock, with its ornamental stone staircase one of the most spectacular in Asia. The ruined fortress is just a few KM from the hotel can be visited late afternoon.
Today's cycling is approximately 80km to 115km
Riding from the hotel along scenic roads with village life and jungle section that seldom see tourist, you can really experience rural Sri Lanka. With lots of interesting stop’s on route, from sweet tambali (tender young coconut) and Palmrya fruit sellers to authentic roadside tea stops. You may also see monkeys and peacocks, as well as other usual objects that catch the photographers eye. Ending at Anuradhapura the first Capital of Sri Lanka, we stay the next 2 nights at the old Tissa Resthouse the formers residents of the British’s Governor in the heart of the sacred area now called the Sanctuary. Late afternoon we walk to some of the nearby sites.As we cycle further, the countryside deepens and sealed
roads give way to bumpy tracks. We cross the Mekong once
more and then cycle into Kampong Cham, a beautiful riverside city.
Today's cycling is approximately 90km.
After breakfast cycle tour Anuradhapura the first capital of Sri Lanka and grandest of all the ancient cities. We start at the Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) brought as a sapling from the original tree under which Prince Siddhartha (Buddha) attained enlightenment over 2,200 years ago and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. The Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), has 1600 stone columns and is all that left of a magnificent multi-storied Royal residence. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C) is the most famous of all the giant Dagobas (stupas), and the enchanting Elephant pond and "Samadhi" Buddha statue (4th century AD) is one of the most admired statues, depicting the Buddha in a state of "Samadhi" or deep meditation. Returning for lunch the afternoon is free to explore some of the more outlining ruins or an optional Safari to Wilapttu National Park 25km away, Sri Lanka largest wildlife park and home to herds of wild elephants as well as leopard and deer can be arranged. The jeeps depart at 3pm and returns by 7.30pm.
Today's cycling is approximately 40km.
Our journey upriver continues. We cross the Mekong this morning and
begin cycling from Kratie, wheels bound ever northward through the
suburbs of this small city. Travelling along an old kings route, through the heart of Sri Lanka. The fields are full of strange vegetables, Snake & Drum stick gourds and Kikiri like around cucumber. These dry zone vegetables make excellent salads, and can be mixed with grated coconut and chilli to make a fiery sambal pickle. To really experience Sri Lankan hospitality, you must visit someone’s home, we do that for lunch. You can watch and even help prepare some of the tasty regional dishes, all served on traditional banana leaves. With plenty of fresh fruit for dessert, you may need to ride a few more KM to burn it off. Late afternoon we visit Sigiriya, which was once a fortress and majestic palace complex built by king Kassapaya (477 495 CE). Climbing a series of rock cut staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top you'll pass a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws. The surrounding landscape lily-pad- covered moats, water gardens and quiet shrines add to the tranquil atmosphere.Once we are back on the bike, the road
turns away from the river and heads for more open country. We need to take an hour
and a half transfer from here to the lunch stop for today. Our ride this afternoon heads to a bridge spanning the Sekong River where we can watch local fishermen fishing for the last of the day's catch before the sun sets.
Today's cycling is approximately 80km.
A picturesque ride along irrigation canals and around lakes to Dambulla, the impressive cave temple overlooking the town. Built by king Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C., the five cave or temples each adorned with statues and thousands of images painted on the walls and ceilings depicting the life story of Buddha and his journey to enlightenment. Here we end the ride and transfer to Matale to avoid busy roads riding the last 30km Kandy the cultural and spiritual capital of the hill country.An ancient king of this area built the temple of Preah Vihear on the
top of the hill to better worship the Hindu gods. The impressive
ruins reach skyward to nearly 500 meters, perched on the edge of cliffs
with amazing views over the seemingly endless Cambodian jungle to the
south. The temple is not yet restored but has spectacular carvings and
lintels. We transfer back this evening for dinner and leisure at the
Today's cycling is approximately 100km.
At leisure or visit the town centered around the Temple of the Tooth it is the most venerated temple in Sri Lanka. The crowded temple and surrounding streets and bazaars are fascinating to wander around. Those looking for tranquility should visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. This botanical garden was first planted as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was later expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent with an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers.
Today we ride through the heart of Tea County with plenty photographic opportunities almost at every bend. Leaving Kandy we follow the Mahaweli River back towards its birth place high in the Peak Wilderness. Sri Lanka produces the fines tea’s in the world, hand-picked by scores of brightly dress tea pluckers selecting the tips and 2 leaves.
These are then withered, rolled and dried with different processes to get green or black tea from the same bush. We will stop at a tea factory to show you more about the tea making process as we ascend up to Hatton, one of the country's early tea plantation districts. We stay overnight at an old colonial residence that was home to planters in the days of British rule. Here the staff can tell us about the origins of tea.
Today's cycling is approximately 80km.
We start off with more climbing, with a few rough sections of tarmac, up through the tea estates passing by Adam's Peak, the holy mountain of Sri Lanka, to a remote pass which is part of a wilderness forest reserve. While this area is home to the shy purple-faced langur (bear monkey) you are more likely to hear them, than see them. We then begin our long descent, stopping at a lookout point with fine views across the southern part of the island and if it’s clear day you may get a glimpse of the sea. Continuing on back roads we reach our lunch stop overlooking a small stream which you are welcome to jump in for a cool off. We may transfer last 30 kms of our ride although on a good straight flat road traffic levels can be high which ends close to Uda Walawe National Park.
Today's cycling is approximately 110km.
For early risers there is an option of an early morning safari in Uda Walawe park, known for its herds of elephants, crocodiles and a plethora of bird life. Late morning, we set off to complete our journey along good roads with vast expanses of green paddy fields on each side. The simplicity of rural life is showcased as we cycle towards Dondra Lighthouse the most southerly point of the island. With a ceremonial dip in the India Ocean with our front tires we conclude our road ride from north to south, we transfer the along the busy coastal road to our finishing point at Galle and have a celebratory dinner for accomplishment!
Today's cycling is approximately 95km.
Optional backroad ride ending at Mirrisa Harbour
We can drop you off at a Colombo hotel or help you to extend your stay in Galle.
Sri Lanka offers incredible scenery, outstanding natural beauty and abundance of Buddhist monuments and ancient kingdoms. From the Ancient city region including the first Singhalese capital Annuradhapura BC200-AD1000 a center of power for over a 1000 years to the forts and churches built by the Portuguese in the 1500's, Sri Lanka offers a journey through history like no other.
High season in Sri Lanka is between January to April and July to September and are a great
times to visit the country. There are two monsoon seasons here, one from May until July and the second between October & December so it is normally best to avoid these months. However the weather doesn't always run like clockwise here and these months can sometimes be dry.