Ride through the the different topographies of Sri Lanka – tea plantations, beaches, meandering irrigation canals, hills, forests and historic towns
Get acquainted with the remnants of a historically rich period of the country with its array of monuments and temples.
This trip entails traveling back in time to 2500 years ago to the heart of the Sri Lankan civilization. A land that is bound to mesmerize you, Srilanka offers the most vivid and diverse experiences for travellers within the confines of its relatively small size. Packed with jungle safaris, beaches, tea plantations, and exotic countryside. We traverse through the entire stretch of Srilanka, starting in the central northern province of Sigiriya, going southwards till we hit the southern edge, Galle.
Enjoy Sri Lanka’s rock fortress at Sigiriya and the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa. Besides the ancient trail, enjoy the hill station of Nuwara Eliya, home to the tea planters community, and elephants at Udawalawe. Local cuisine blended with aromatic spices, architecturally acclaimed temples, heritage sites, and a scenic cycling route will engage your senses as you bike through vivid Sri Lanka.
Have an early morning breakfast and get ready to take a classic loop around Sigiriya visiting Dambulla cave along the way. We start the exploration in the backdrop of the large Lion Rock after which the town was named. We ride along gravel roads following an old irrigation canal to Dambulla, the 2nd century BC Buddhist cave temple. One has to walk up some distance to see the five caves, which still house many ancient Buddha statues.
Post-lunch, head to the 5th-century rock fortress of Sigiriya. Sigiriya is a small town named after the huge ‘Lion Rock’. It was here that King Kasyapa decided to forge his roots, build a palace on a high rock and embellish its sides with frescos. The last part of the climb, starting from the ‘lion paw’ is quite steep. The ruins of the palace on the summit are surpassed only by the magnificent aerial view of the surrounding jungle.
History awaits to be explored today, as we ride to Polonnaruwa, an ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka, which came into existence during the 12th century. The initial stretch is through a forest, with lots of greenery. The ride is mostly flat with few rolling patches in between. Post-lunch, we explore the remains of this architectural wonder and later return to the hotel to relax rest of the evening.
Wake up to the rhythm of nature and to the music of birds. Back on the saddle, we ride through a forest, with lots of greenery. For some time, we ride along with a large water tank in Minneriya. The ride is truly extraordinary.
Our next base to explore Sri Lanka’s cultural capital, Kandy. Perched amongst the tea-clad hills of the Kandy Plateau, this is home to one of the most significant sites for Buddhists: the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic.
Today you can plan your own day. If you wish, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic after lunch, a temple held in great Buddhist veneration, and located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy and houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Of the rituals performed in this temple, the one held on Wednesday is of great importance. The tooth is washed with a herbal concoction, which is said to have healing powers; the water is distributed amongst devotees.
Day 7: Nuwara Eliya
Today is the most spectacular ride past tea plantations to Sri Lanka’s old British tea valley, Nuwara Eliya. With gradual climbs and few steep hills to conquer, it is a beautiful journey that takes us to the hill country of Sri Lanka with a climb of about 1,400m. Cycling may be hard sometimes and the only thing that will keep you going is picturesque scenery, reservoirs, waterfalls, and panoramic views of beautiful mountain ranges.
It’s a classic loop today around Nuwara past tea plantations and waterfalls. Clumpy green hills covered in a moss-like carpet of bright tea shrubs, keep us company through the ride. Nuwara is known as the hilly respite from the plains of Colombo, so expect clean crisp cool air to refresh you completely.
On our ride, we encounter tea pickers, undulating hills, small villages, and small shops on the corners of the roads. Feel free to strike up a conversation. You will be delighted at the eagerness and warmth of Srilankans, to make guests feel at home.
Today we explore Horton Plains. After an early breakfast, we transfer to Horton plains for a walk till Worlds end.
Horton Plains is one of Sri Lanka’s better-known National Parks – a vast stretch of grasslands and thick forests known for its avian life and thickly green vegetation. This is the only national park in the country that you can explore on foot, although on designated trails. It’s here that the country’s three major rivers initiate, making it one of the most fertile lands on this soil. World’s End is a dramatic scenic viewing point in the park, which can be reached by a 4km-walking trail.
We have lunch and a further ride towards our destination, Ella. Riding from Nuwara, we pass through grasslands, forests, dairy farms, windmills to reach Ella. Standing at an elevation of 1,041m, Ella is a little off-beat town when compared to Nuwara Eliya with views of green mountains around.
Ella is an excellent place for a walk and a short hike. We recommend taking an early morning hike to nearby areas such as Little Adam’s Peak or Rawana Falls.
Have a late morning start and ride to Udawalawe National Park along gravel roads, through forests with grasslands, shrubs, and teak plantations of Sri Lanka. Be careful while riding through an initial descend as we drop from about 900m to 80m within a short distance. After a long patch of flat terrain, finally enter the Udawalawe National Park, home to hundreds of Sri Lankan Elephants and other wild animals.
A true jungle experience with well-planned safaris and knowledgeable staff, the national park helps you assimilate the wildlife at close quarters.
Go on an early morning safari in Udawalawe in search of Elephant herds. And, then off to Tangalle, following one of the irrigation canals flowing towards the south. Time for an infusion of something different in the topography – bananas! The crisp air of the countryside and the rural setting is perfect to understand and enjoy the interiors of the country. As we close into Tangalle, that’s when the warm clammy seaside air hits you, sometimes heavy with the weight of the smell of fish. If we stick to timing, there will be no better way to spend the evening than to see the sun descending into the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Sri Lanka.
Ride to Galle through coastal and interior trails. Post-lunch, explore Galle Fort on foot. Erstwhile Gimhathiththa, the town is rife with Dutch and Portuguese architectural remnants, museums, cathedrals, and a beautiful coastline to enjoy the sunny beaches.
Excellent outing, we were looked after very well, the bikes were good, the guides were very nice people, accommodation was of good quality.
Aug 2, 2018
by Emma Trewella on Vivid Sri Lanka Bike Tour
Overall with we very much enjoyed our…
Overall with we very much enjoyed our tour and bike ride through Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is an awesome place to visit. We were very happy with the quality and maintance of the bikes. The tour guide was confident and flexible to our needs. The hotels were generaly of a high standard and some exceeding our expectations. Our driver was always very careful and mindful to lock the vechicle so we could safely leave our belongings in the bus.The food was generally delicious and plentiful but perhapes not as much protein (meat) as we are use to while riding. Snacks were always available and bus never far away. The extra activities were fantastic and really added to the trip and experience of Sri Lanka . The Safari was the highlight. Would have loved more time in the highlands exploring the tea plantaions and doing an extra hike !
Feb 15, 2017
by Lynn Danford on Vivid Sri Lanka Bike Tour
Indeed Vivid Sri Lanka
CYCLING IN SRI LANKA WAS A FANTASTIC COMBINATION OF CHALLENGING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; BEAUTIFUL WEATHER; STUNNING SCENERY; EXOTIC PLANTS AND WILDLIFE; AND FASCINATING HISTORY AND CULTURE.
Feb 3, 2017
by Carol Southard on Vivid Sri Lanka Bike Tour
I loved it! It really did exceed my expectations. Thank you!