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 wonder 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. This evening you can get to know your fellow cyclists over a welcome dinner.
The first ride of the trip takes us inland to a more rural, authentic part of Sri Lanka, off the beaten tourist route. You'll get a taste of this exotic country as you cycle among coconut and rubber plantations. The area is affectionately called 'Little Rome' due to it's numerous Catholic churches. A ride along flatland takes us through villages where you can encounter friendly locals before a transfer to Jaffna. We'll take a break at Killinochi, where the LTTE or Tamil Tigers were based.
Today's cycling is approximately 102km.
Immerse yourself in Jaffna's buzzing markets, small fishing port and old Star Fort built in 1618 to protect the peninsula. As we make our way to Kyats Island this is your opportunity to set your own speed. Don't miss out on the water birds as we cycle to the northern tip of the island, Casuarina Beach. We'll take a picnic lunch and (optional) dip in the pristine Indian Ocean before starting the journey back to the mainland.
Today's cycling is approximately 71km.
Today we cycle along another causeway, en route to Ponneryn, the Jaffna lagoon, which rewards us with minimal traffic. The road connects to the sea at Lluppaikkadavai, our lunch spot, which hopefully treats us to sightings of Dugongs, a rare sea mammal! We'll continue cycling to Mannar Island, where the day will finish at a 700 year old Baobab tree, nicknamed the elephant tree, due to its large structure. This tranquil island is peaceful and the perfect place to relax with a beer. On a clear day you may even be able to see the Rameshwaram tower in India!
Today's cycling is approximately 117km.
It's time to head back to the mainland, cycling through 'Giants Tank', a lake surrounded by rice paddies built by King Dhatusena. The afternoon is reserved for rest so we head out on an evening exploration to Anuradhapura. This ancient city dates back to the 4th century BC and is home to some of Asia's oldest Buddha monuments!
Today's cycling is approximately 119km.
This morning we'll immerse ourselves in Sri Lanka's core religion, Buddhism. Our route takes us past multiple temples and intricate stupas, our end destination? Ritigala, a beautiful nature reserve. There is a myth passed through generations that some of the rocks are from the Himalaya's, released by Hunman, a monkey god.
This afternoon we visit a landmark Sri Lankan monument, Sigiriya, aka the 'Lion Rock'. An abandoned royal palace which was then converted to a monastery for Buddhists it is brimming with hidden treasures, from the mirror wall to the incredible views from the top, prepare to be amazed.
Today's cycling is approximately 78km.
Our fist stop, Dambulla cave temple is the largest in Sri Lanka! Embellished with frescos, this complex dates all the way back to the 2nd century BC. After a transfer to Melsiripura its time to explore another key Sri Lankan element - spices. Allow your senses to go wild as we surround ourselves among nutmeg, clove and pepper plantations. After a stop at a Spice Garden we begin the ascent up Wattegama valley covered in rice paddies and jungle topped hills.
Today's cycling is approximately 86km.
Today is a well earned rest day! Kandy holds a religious significance and acts as a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. Delve into the atmospheric market, old shops and antique gem stores. We highly recommend a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of Sri Lanka's eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Today we conquer hills, hence the shorter distance. Remeber to bring a camera, as we the tea district scenery is well worth a photo! Cycling along the Mahaweli River leads us too Hatton, one of the islands oldest tea plantations. Tonight's accommodation was formerly a colonial home for planters.
Today's cycling is approximately 83km.
Prepare for some climbs this morning, passing tea plantations and Adam's Peak, a holy mountain. Our descent is lengthy and the last 30km is on straight flatland which taking us to Uda Walawe National Park.
Today's cycling is approximately 106km.
If you're an early bird or love animals there is an optional morning safari, with the chance of seeing elephants, crocodiles and birds. Later we'll start our final cycle of the trip, following luscious rice paddies to Dondra Lighthouse, in the very south of the island. Our tires will touch the Indian Ocean, signalling the end of our journey from North to South! This evening our farewell dinner will be held in Galle.
Today's cycling is approximately 80km.
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 Singhalese capital Annuradhapura BC200-AD1000, a centre 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.