Example Itinerary

Cycle Sri Lanka: From Highlands to Coast

Duration
12 days / 11 nights
Price Per Person
From $9,100
Interests
Bicycling
Destinations
Sri Lanka
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For 11 days, this cycling tour will take you on an unforgettable journey through some of the most exquisite sites and views Sri Lanka has to offer. From religious monuments, colonial architecture, temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, to the stunning views the nature, beaches and landscapes have to offer, the famous cycling trails will guide you through the cultural demographics that are a blended combination of British, Indian, Portuguese and Dutch influences into the local Sri Lankan way of living. You will get to taste the rich spices of local Sri Lankan cuisine, sip on locally-produced tea, while resting your body in accommodation ranging from bungalows to luxurious spa resorts across the magical island destination. Feel and experience Sri Lanka in a healthy, nature-filled way. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

• Dambulla Loop: After visiting the 150 Buddhist statues of the “Golden Temple”, take your two wheels on the 37 miles of the Dambulla loop to Lion Rock, trailing through the natural beauty of paddy fields, orchards and elephant grass.

• Colonial Kandy: Famed around the world for its distinctive pastoral scenes of both imperial-era manicured gardens and the natural mountain beauty of central Sri Lanka, this tea-laden region will see travelers visit a Sinhalese religious retreat, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, and can’t-miss local shops.

• Wasgamuwa National Park: A lesser known wildlife refuge, cyclists will journey from Polonnaruwa to Wasgamuwa National Park through the wilderness for a safari; expect encounters with elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and wild buffalo.

Day-by-Day

Day 1 Negombo

Arrive in the west coast city of Negombo. From the airport, you will be collected and transferred to the hotel and given a tour briefing, welcome dinner and initial meet-and-greet for all cyclists on the trail. The tour briefing will outline the basic itinerary for the 11-day cycle tour, including information on the terrain and viewpoints you’ll encounter along the way. Retire that night to your hotel room, and rest up for the days ahead.

Day 2 Dambulla

Wake up and indulge in a nutritious breakfast to start your day highly-energized and ready for your 11-day cycle tour through Sri Lanka. The first leg of the cycle tour is roughly 34 miles, across moderate terrain. A good breakfast get you off on the right foot, before you embark on the coastal route toward Karavas, renowned for its fresh fish markets and boats. The trail will then take an inward turn along the country roads for 31 miles, before you are collected and transferred to Kurunegala Lake for lunch and overnight stay at Dambulla, home to the Buddhist “Golden Temple” with over 150 Buddhist statues dating back to the 2nd century.

Dambulla

Day 3 Dambulla Loop

The Dambulla loop is approximately 37 miles from the resort to Lion Rock, a 5th-century fortress, trailing through the natural beauty of paddy fields, orchards and elephant grass. You will be provided with a local lunch near the ancient water gardens of the remains of King Kasyapa’s summer residence, before completing the last stretch along red dirt roads that winds along an old irrigation canal.

Day 4 Polonnaruwa

Start your day with a hearty breakfast to energize you for the day ahead: you’ll take on a 48 mile forest trail up Kahaduwa Hills, which will provide not only scenic splendors, but also great chances of encountering wild elephants in the reserved land. Lunch will be served in a hotel in Polonnaruwa tank, a 10th-century city that contains the ancient Rajarata Kingdom's stone monuments. Expect fascinating views and a traditional touch, amidst well-preserved natural antiques.

Polonnaruwa

Day 5 Wasgamuwa

Polonnaruwa to Wasgamuwa National Park is a 47-mile cycle in wilderness. Expect potential encounters with elephants, leopards, sloth bears, wild buffalo, and deer. One bridge crossing may or may not be possible, depending on water levels. If too high, a transfer will be arranged. After a well-earned, relaxing lunch, a Jeep will be waiting to take you on a three-hour safari within the national park. The national park  has a well-preserved jungle feel to it. Embrace the wilderness.

Day 6 Kandy

Taking in the breathtaking beauty of Wasgamuwa is not a bad way to start a cycling day. After a well-earned rest and healthy food, you will commence a 48-mile trail hike that will lead you to the spice capital of Sri Lanka: Matale. The day will start with a half-mile climb over Laggala Pass to access the spice trail. The higher altitudes means temperatures may drop, so it’s recommended you take a waterproof jacket or some kind of lightweight cover to keep you comfortable in cooler atmospheres. From Matale, you will be transferred to Sri Lanka’s second-largest city, Kandy, where you will then have a day of rest and relaxation at the Kandy House or Earl's Regency Hotel.

Kandy

Day 7 Kandy

Experience the beauty and buzz of the Sinhalese religious retreat, nestled along a lakeside in the mountainous terrain. Kandy - a Buddhist pilgrimage center, is renowned for its gem stores, markets, shops, while also home to the UNESCO Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Explore the natural surroundings, speak to locals and stock up on energy in this beautiful mountain city. Here, you’ll be kindly welcomed and encouraged to try local bites to eat.

Day 8 Kotagala

Not for the faint-hearted, nearly 50 miles of challenging, steep terrain will take you through the traditional tea plantations, Hindu temples and local communities known as Tamil, where you will uncover Sri Lanka’s roots. Start your day feeling relaxed, refreshed and replenished after your day of rest - today, you’ll be reaching altitudes up to 4550 feet, with the final stretch being almost 2000 feet of gradual inclination to your bungalow in Kotagala, where you will rest for the night. Support vehicles will be on call should you need them for this leg of the journey.

Kotagala

Day 9 Udawalawe

The Kotagala to Udawalawe leg is a more relaxed cycle than the previous days’ climb. You’ll trace tracks for a total of 45 miles through tea estates towards Bogawantalawa town, with ample opportunities for photos, tea stops and chit-chat with local tea workers. Lunch will be served picnic-style, amidst all-encompassing, enchanting valley views from the exquisite Balangoda town. Before reaching Udawalawe, you’ll be transferred to your hotel from the cycling trail, giving you extra time to focus on the scenery rather than the handle bars!

Day 10 Tangalle

Today will be another long, scenic ride - a total of 47 miles - that will enable you to experience a variety of views, from banana farms along an irrigation canal, to a coastal path that will lead you to a breathtaking sunset over the Indian Ocean in the town of Tangalle. Sri Lanka has 14 strains of bananas, each with unique medicinal characteristics. Lunch will allow you to taste Ash Plantain - cooking banana - at a local roadside stall, before continuing to the beaches of Tangalle.

Tangalle

Day 11 Tangalle

Allow your body a peaceful, well-deserved rest day at Amanwella, offering picturesque beach views. Alternatively, for those who may be interested, Rekawa is a turtle sanctuary, only 12.5 miles away. Enjoy sleeping in, and relax in any shape or form that suits your needs. This rest day will give you time to perfect your tan, while experiencing the serene, simple beauty the island has to offer.

Day 12 Colombo

Today, you’ll push yourself to the finish line. It’s the last 50-mile stretch - you’re heading to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Asia’s largest city fortress; Galle. Galle is a port that incorporates a true mix of colonial European architecture with the traditional Southeast Asian culture, offering fantastic and informative guided tours. Lunch will be provided in Galle. After this, you’ll transfer to Colombo, where this evening, you’ll enjoy a final dinner. 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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