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Cycle Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Cycle Sri Lanka

Biking
·
Start: Negombo
·
End: Colombo

Discover a world of spice and splendour on a two-wheeled trip across Sri Lanka

Activity
Biking
LocationSri Lanka
Duration14 days
Start / EndNegombo / Colombo
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Sri Lanka

Cycle Sri Lanka

Biking·
14 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Negombo
·
End: Colombo

Description

Ride through tea plantations, quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is gaining traction as one of Asia’s most exciting new destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. In betwee...

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Itinerary

Day 1Negombo
Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo which is located close to the international airport. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at 5:30 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the meeting will take place. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is best explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception. Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Riding distance: none
Day 2Anuradhapura
Rise early and enjoy some breakfast at the hotel. Start off with a test-ride through the city streets, from the hotel to the fish market. This gives you a nice insight into the daily working of the market and the dry fish industry. You will then cycle from Negombo to Chilaw (approximately 40 km). Along the way, you'll encounter quaint fishing villages, the scenic Dutch canal, coconut plantations and various tile factories. Sit down to a picnic lunch on arrival in Chilaw. Afterwards, hop aboard a coach and travel to Anuradhapura (approximately 90 km). Here you can settle into your hotel, relax and perhaps take a swim in the pool. You have the option of joining a 'food crawl' through the streets and markets of Anuradhapura – a great chance to sample some tasty local cuisine. Notes: The fish market in Negombo is closed on Sundays. Riding distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, mostly flat with approx. 170m/560ft of elevation gain.
Day 3Anuradhapura
After breakfast, cycle to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Anuradhapura (approximately 20 km each way). Enjoy a guided bicycle tour of the ancient city. Among the ruins you'll see the sacred old Bo Tree – a spiritual reminder of the beginnings of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the inspiration for Anuradhapura's great buildings. The ruins themselves are spread over quite a large area, with some in woodland settings and others appearing more cultivated with columns and ponds dotted about. While you're here you will visit the impressive Isurumuniya Temple. Pay a visit to the Anuradhapura museum, then enjoy a local lunch. Return to the hotel and enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon. Riding distance: approx. 37kms/23 miles, mostly flat with approx. 130m/430ft of elevation gain.
Day 4Polonnaruwa
Cycle from Anuradhapura to Ritigala, passing paddies, man-made water tanks and jungle patches (approximately 70 km). Sit down to some lunch along the way at a countryside kiosk. Make a visit to the beautiful Ritigala monastery, which dates back nearly 2000 years and is named after the mountain on which it sits.. After exploring the site and learning a thing or two about its local mythology, board a coach and travel to Polonnaruwa (approximately 60 km). Relax and unwind on arrival.  Riding distance: approx. 70km/44 miles, mostly flat with approx. 210m/690ft of elevation gain.
Day 5Dambulla
Saddle up for a morning ride to Polonnaruwa. For breakfast you'll dine at a local village house. Arrive at the ancient site of Polonnaruwa, the second oldest of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, and do some exploring. Visit the likes of Vihara temple, Parakrama statue and Siva temple while you are here. Then cycle to Diyabeduma (approximately 45 km). Marvel at the scenery along the way – sanctuaries, man made channels and farm lands – before sitting down to a picnic lunch. Next, travel from Diyabeduma to Dambulla by coach (approximately 40 km). Enjoy some free time on arrival. In the evening you'll visit the Dambulla wholesale vegetable market, where there's an option to join in on a food crawl. Riding distance: approx. 45km/28 miles, mostly flat with approx. 160m/530ft of elevation gain.
Day 6Sigriya Rock & Kandy
This morning you will cycle approximately 15km from your hotel in Dambulla to Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress perched among lush greenery that strikes an awesome pose against the skyline. Hike to the top and enjoy some well-earned breakfast, taking in the lovely views. Afterwards, jump back on your bike and pedal your way through spice plantations and pleasant countryside (approximately 35kms) and reward yourself with lunch at a spice garden near Matale. Enjoy a rest in the support vehicle as we drive the final kilometres to Kandy. In the evening you will sit down to a traditional Kandyan dance performance – a riveting insight into an age-old culture. Riding distance: approx. 50km/31 miles, mostly flat with approx. 150m/500ft of elevation gain.
Day 7Kandy
After breakfast at the hotel you have the option to either head out for some extra cycling in the Hanthana Mountain Range (weather/time permitting) or stay in Kandy and explore. Later in the morning the group will head to Giragama (approximately 15 km) for a guided tour of a tea factory. This is a great chance to learn about how Sri Lanka's best-known beverage is made. You will also sample some of the delicious varieties on offer. Enjoy an afternoon of free time to relax. In the evening you will visit the Temple of Tooth Relic, the most important Buddhist site in the country. Explore the complex that surrounds it, then return to town for an (optional) food crawl. Riding distance: none (optional cycling available)
Day 8Hatton
Transfer to Kandy railway station after breakfast. From the station you will embark on a scenic train trip from Kandy to Hatton, then cycle from Hatton station to Maskeliya (approximately 40 km) through leafy tea plantations. For lunch, enjoy an authentic Tamil meal from a local kiosk. Check into your guesthouse, then relax. In the evening, there's an optional climb of Adam's Peak, a beautiful, conical, snow-capped mountain (2,243 m). The best time for this activity is from mid December to early May. Riding distance: approx. 38km/24 miles, light climb near the start then mostly downhill with approx. 380m/1250ft of elevation gain.
Day 9Tissamaharama
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before cycling down from Bogawanthalawa to Balangoda (approximately 55 km). This is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Sri Lanka – it follows a path along the tea plantations and passes lush pine forests. Have lunch at Balangoda on arrival, then transfer from Balangoda to Tissamaharama (approximately 100 km). Along the way, you'll stop to visit an elephant transit home which helps rehabilitate elephants for re-entry to the wild. The elephants are often released into the Uda Walawe National Park. Riding distance: approx. 52km/32 miles, uphill at the start then mostly downhill with approx. 720m/2360ft of elevation gain.
Day 10Yala National Park
Cycle from Tissamaharama to Kataragama after breakfast (approximately 20 km each way). The holy city of Kataragama is a colourful and vibrant religious centre that rivals Adam's Peak in terms of national importance. This is where the two-week Kataragama Festival attracts thousands, mostly Hindus, each year in July/August. Afterwards, take a jeep ride through the beautiful Yala National Park, home to elephants, crocodiles, and gorgeous waterbirds such as the great thick-knee. Yala also lays claim to one of the world's highest concentration of leopards. Riding distance: approx. 38km/24 miles, lightly undulating with approx. 170m/560ft of elevation gain.
Day 11Mirissa
After breakfast, cycle from Tissamaharama to Hambantota via the pretty Bundala National Park. After lunch at Hambantota, continue to Mirissa. Enjoy an afternoon of beach splendour in Mirissa. The beach itself is a long curve of sand with lovely clear waters for swimming – a great spot to watch the sunset. Consider cycling to nearby Weligama, where colourful fishing boats bring fresh fish to sell along the shore. The local cottage industry of lace products is also well worth a look. Riding distance: approx. 39km/24 miles, flat with approx. 60m/200ft of elevation gain.
Day 12Mirissa & Galle
Enjoy some time to relax with a free day that is yours to spend as you please. You might like to go whale-watching, which is more successful from November through to April. Later drive to Galle (approximately 50 km each way). Spend the evening exploring Galle, home to an impressive World Heritage-listed Dutch fort with extensive walls and many interesting old buildings. Enjoy a stroll around the historic fort and watch the sunset from the ramparts before driving back to Mirissa.  While the famous stilt fishermen casting lines from their traditional poles are an iconic sight unfortunately this activity has become a real tourist trap, with tourists expected to pay for the opportunity of taking a photo. We advise our travellers to use their best judgement before paying for a photo. Riding distance: none
Day 13Colombo
Depart Mirissa after breakfast with a transfer to Colombo (approximately 3 hours). On arrival, check into your hotel and then take a city walk past the bustling Petta Bazaar, Independence Square, Parliament, and the National Museum. Your walk finishes with a shopping opportunity at the Barefoot fairtrade store. Here you can find a collection of handicrafts from around the country and support small cottage industries. Tonight there's an optional final group dinner to celebrate your journey. This comes in the form of a food crawl along the city's tantalising market stalls.  Riding distance: none
Day 14Colombo
Your trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast and the hotel's check-out time is 11am. For those who are staying on and want to explore Colombo further, check out our Urban Adventure day trips. Riding distance: none

More info

Trip title

Cycle Sri Lanka

Trip code

HPXC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Ride through tea plantations, quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is gaining traction as one of Asia’s most exciting new destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. In between t... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option),Support vehicle,Train,Jeep

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do fo... Read more

Joining point

Lavinia Hotel

Joining point description

The Lavinia hotel is a 3 minute walk to the beach and rooms have air-conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service and tea/coffee facilities. There is a fully licensed bar and restaurant.

Joining point instructions

Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. Bandaranaike International Airport is located in Negombo, approx. 35km north of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capitol. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer please head towards exit number 1 where you will see your dri... Read more

Finish point

Fairway Colombo

Finish point description

The Fairway Colombo is a sophisticated, 'smart luxury hotel' situated in the heart of Colombo. All rooms come equipped with a TV (with local and international channels), safety box, mini fridge, hot beverage facility, writing desks, air-conditioning and hi-speed Wi-Fi internet connections. The hotel boasts a rooftop bar and restaurant, gym and 24 hour coffee shop. The hotel is located within walki... Read more

Finish point instructions

We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details. If you have booked a departure transfer please ask your tour leader to confirm your pick up time. Colombo's airport is located to the north of the city, 34 kms from the hotel. Depending on the time of day and traffic the... Read more

Important information

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. This trip has an option of an electric-motor assisted bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please enquire at time of booking. 4. Bike helmets are compuls... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other g... Read more

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you w... Read more

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more

Why we love it

Cycling allows you to get closer to the real Sri Lanka, with a leopard-spotting safari and scenic train trip taking the sightseeing to the next level. 

Is this trip right for you

To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain of Sri Lanka is naturally hilly, so you’ll need to be reasonably fit, especially given the warm climate. The support vehicle will always be there if you need to take a break for an hour, or a day. As the riding is mostly o... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price.... Read more

Money matters

The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Rupee (LKR).There are many ATMs throughout Sri Lanka, which accept both Visa and MasterCard. Although this is a safe and convenient way to access money during your trip we do recommend that you carry some money in cash for when ATMs can not be accessed. Some money should be taken as US dollars cash in case of emergencies. Major credit cards are accepted in... Read more

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to pur... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit ... Read more

Responsible travel

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity an... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multisha... Read more

Transport notes

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of c... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Hotels (12 nights),guesthouse (1 night)
14days
€1,945per person
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Apr 6
Negombo
Apr 19
Colombo
€1,945
Seats left: 6
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Apr 20
Negombo
May 3
Colombo
€1,945
Seats left: 4
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Jul 6
Negombo
Jul 19
Colombo
€1,945
Seats left: 2
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Jul 13
Negombo
Jul 26
Colombo
€1,965
Seats left: 1
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