Sri Lanka by Bike – Cycle, Hike & Safari Sri Lanka’s Natural Wonder

 

 

Discover Sri Lanka by bike over 8 days, cycle touring from the capital, Colombo, through lush highlands to the coast. Along the way, you’ll enjoy South Asia’s best cycling, nature-packed hikes and safaris through national parks, luxurious hotels, delicious cuisine and the rich history and culture of Sri Lanka’s welcoming people.

EARLY RIDER PRIZE: Be in the first 4 to book a departure and get 5% OFF the tour price*
*Not applicable with private, family, or self-guided tours, other discounts, trip credit, or special offers

Highlights

  • Explore Horton Plains National Park and take a walk to World’s End for dramatic mountain views.

  • Take a tea plantation and factory tour to learn about this interesting process

  • A jeep safari through Yala National Park reveals elephants, leopards, wild boar, buffalo, and monkeys.

  • Ride amazing, almost traffic-free roads, through stunning vistas of hills covered in tea plantations

  • Enjoy scenic train transfers with postcard views on the highland rail network

  • Discover the rich history of Galle's historic coastal fort on a walking tour

Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Day 1

    We start today with an early pickup from your Colombo Hotel before we drive to the Colombo Fort station to board the train that takes us up into the hills towards Kandy. The scenic journey takes 3-4 hours before we arrive around lunchtime, to meet our support team and our bikes. To warm up our legs, we’ll cycle from the train station into the center of town, pedaling down small roads to escape the traffic. Our ride takes us along a river and its local villages. In the evening, there is time to visit the Temple of the Tooth, where the sacred Buddha tooth relic is placed with supporting stories illustrated in a prayer hall. Tonight we’ll enjoy our first dinner together in Kandy.

  • Day 2

    Today we pedal back roads and find ourselves climbing soon after leaving Kandy. As we go, the population thins out and the tea creeps in. As we weave our way through tea plantations, keep an eye open for roadside shops selling delicacies such as fresh dates and dried corn crackers. We then enjoy some descents today and a wide variety of road surfaces, always with minimal traffic.

    We finish our ride down at the Gampola railway station where we board the train for the higher elevations. The train ride is stunning, and the carriage is quite comfortable. We alight at Nana Oya and then travel by car the short distance to Nuwara Eliya. You will need your warm clothes up here, but the hotel does have an open fireplace and a great meal for dinner.

    Note that the short ride group today will be able to linger over breakfast a little longer, before taking a short van transfer to their start point at the top of the climb. From there on, the two groups will follow the same route.

  • Day 3

    Today we take a loop ride that takes us first on a fun descent, then on a sustained, but not terribly long climb up through tea plantations. We will likely see colorfully dressed ladies with baskets on their heads, picking the tender leaves from the tea trees.

    We reach a ridgeline and ride through Ambewela, an area known for its dairy farms. We stop at a strawberry farm and if time permits, a dairy. We will stop for a cup of tea in quaint Ambewela and then ride the ridge back to Nuwara Eliya through a lovely, lush green landscape.

    In the afternoon, we venture out to a tea factory, set on a plantation where we can see the process that transpires after the pickers turn in their baskets full of tender leaves. We’ll learn a little about the history of tea in Sri Lanka and of course, have an opportunity to sample the product.

    We’ll return to Nuwara Eliya for another evening at our comfortable hotel.

  • Day 4

    A very early start is needed today for the transfer by vehicle up to Horton Plains National Park, and we’ll enjoy some light snacks to get us started. From there, we will walk through grassy highlands to World’s End Lookout where we take in astonishing views over the valley from the clifftop. Keep your eyes peeled while you walk, as we should hopefully glimpse some deer and monkeys along the way.

    A local breakfast of roti and sambal is had back at the hike start/finish point and once we have warmed ourselves with a cup of tea, we can commence a truly thrilling bike ride, descending from 2100m above sea level to about 930m. That is not to say the whole ride is a descent, there is some up and down to keep the legs moving and overall it is a beautiful route that starts in cloud forest and montane grassland, descends through Eucalypts and cedar, and ends up back down in tea plantation country. The scenery is stunning and by the time you roll into another comfortable hotel, you have probably earned yourself a restful afternoon.

  • Day 5

    We will take a drive through the beautifully scenic landscape. After easing our way into the day with those nice views, we arrive at a little town called Ella where we take to our bikes. From here we’ll cycle out along a ridge, with deep valleys on either side and tea plantation workers often out in the fields picking tea or tending to the plants. The first 15km has us climbing to a point where the short ride group will join. Then it is an enjoyable and continual downhill coast to the flatlands. When we run out of gravity-assisted riding, we’ll stop for lunch in a small village and immediately you can feel the shift between regions.

    People on the flatlands and plains move a little more slowly and with good reason, it’s pretty warm down here. We are now in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka, and after loading into the van we will drive between two National Parks, the famous Yala on one side and the lesser-known Lunugamvehera on the other. We often encounter Elephants along this road who levy a toll on us, paid in bananas.

    We reach the coast and our stunningly located beachside resort around the mid-afternoon, so there is time to rest a little and then enjoy a walk on the beach and a sundowner before dinner.

  • Day 6

    Today is safari day. We will take our local specialists’ recommendations on whether it should be a morning or afternoon safari. That advice will depend on seasonal animal movements and the weather patterns of the day, and it will provide us the best conditions for wildlife spotting.

    Either morning or evening, the safari will last around 2.5 to 3 hours and there is usually a good chance to see a range of animals. Of course, the Leopard is the star of the show and we often see them. It helps that our preferred Naturalist knows the park better than most, so he will guide our driver to avoid other jeeps and will favor sitting in wait t key locations rather than constantly driving to find animals.

    Aside from the safari, the day (morning or afternoon) is yours to rest, relax and take stock of the adventure so far. The hotel has fantastic facilities including a 75m swimming pool, and the beach is patrolled by the hotel’s lifeguards who are trained in Australia. Your three meals will also be served at the hotel today with plenty of flexibility.

  • Day 7

    For our final riding day of the tour, we will first drive inland a little to get clear of busier coastal traffic, then take to the bikes for a meandering ride through lowland farming communities of the Southern Province. Here you’ll encounter bunches of golden-colored coconuts sitting under thatched shelters, and various small stalls selling daily essentials. The coconuts are fantastic for drinking and the vendors are always eager for a chat.

    We will weave our way through today’s route, stopping for said coconuts, snacks, and other refreshments along the way. Our ride concludes at Wijaya Beach, a lovely spot overlooking the beach, with good pizza for dinner time. This is an excellent place to enjoy a cold drink with your feet in the ocean, and we plan to do just that.

    A short vehicle transfer will deliver us to our hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka’s second-largest city. It is a historical location which we will explore in more depth with our guide tomorrow, and also a location made famous by a game very popular in Sri Lanka, Cricket.

  • Day 8

    The story of Galle Fort is fascinating and dates back even further than the 16th century when the Portuguese built the first ramparts. The Dutch arrived later and heavily fortified the settlement and then eventually along came the British. Through these many changes of rulers, the ethnic makeup of the city was born through its significant role as a trading port. Today the families who live in the fort have in most cases, lived there for many generations. This is a story that deserves two hours and we will tell it as we walk through the atmospheric streets and along the ramparts with the ocean crashing against the rocks below.

    After our delightful lunch within the fort, our tour gracefully draws to a close. The support vehicle will be awaiting your departure, ready to whisk you away to Colombo City. However, if you’re tempted to linger amidst the stunning beaches of Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, or Bentota, fret not. We’ve got you covered with transport arranged for your convenience. Please note, our transport service extends to these specific areas only. If you have alternative drop-off preferences or wish to book a departure transfer, our dedicated customer service team is just a call away, eager to assist with your travel arrangements.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Booking Policy

  • 7 nights in premium hotel accommodation
  • All Meals: 7x Breakfasts, 8x Lunches, 7x Dinners
  • Snacks, local treats, hydration drinks, fruit and water while riding
  • Quality well maintained bike and helmet
  • Expert local guide and naturalist
  • Full vehicle support
  • All ticket, activity and entry costs included in the itinerary
  • Grasshopper souvenir jersey and water bottle as mementos

Personalised design

We'll help plan your trip based on you like and want to do. We know a lot about the place you're gomg. so we can give you good advice. WIIether you're into history, food, or culture, ue'll make sure your trip is just right for you. With us. your travel will be easy and fun!

Authentic Experience

We carefully choose our expert guides and travel concierges to make sure you have an authentic experience. They're passionate about their work and will bring your destination to life with care and enthusiasm.

Responsible Travel

We design our luxury trips with responsible travel principles in mind. This means we prioritize experiences that benefit both you and the planet.

It is easy to customize your Highlights of Vietnam tours with us

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True experiences

Embark on an enriching journey to explore the world, where every sight, sound, and encounter offers valuable insights and learning opportunities.

Connect people

Reconnect with nature, engage with diverse cultures, and rejuvenate your senses through immersive travel experiences.

Connect with a certified specialist to begin planning your trip.

Feel free to call one of our experts or schedule a video appointment for personalized ideas and advice.

  • Give us a call: +1 (315 ) 998 1998
  • Send an email: info@amazingbiketours.com

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    • Matt
    • Asia Specialist
    • Laura
    • Asia Specialist and New Zealand Specialist
    • Emily
    • Thailand and Asia Specialist

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