Sri Lanka Spice Trails
The quiet back roads of this tear-drop shaped island make it ideal for cycling. We start along the west coast catching glimpses of the sails of the local fishing boats, before we cycle inland through a multitude of Buddhist and Hindu monuments. Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was once known, has been influenced by ancient dynasties, Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and British, all leaving their imprints and a resulting curious mix of ancient cities, monuments and atmospheric colonial architecture to explore.
We continue to the rock fortress of Sigiriya and the once medieval capital of Polonnaruwa. We take a rest day at the hill town of Kandy so you have time to view the Temple of the Tooth, relax on the lake or walk through the splendid botanical gardens. We then head into tea country and overnight at a tea estate. A safari to Udawalawe National Park will hopefully bring us to close contact to elephants. We continue to follow rivers flowing down to the south coast and and end on the beaches near the fortress of Galle.
Be captivated by the romance, colour and spice of Sri Lanka, a truly remarkable destination that you'll never forget!
|Tour Cost||Depends on date||Single Supplement||Depends on date|
|Bike Hire||US$220||Total Cycling Distance||575 kilometres|
|Tour Grade||out of 5||Number of Days||12 Days / 11 Nights|
|Number of Cycling Days||8 full days||Tour Meets||Negombo|
|Tour Ends||Colombo||Countries Visited||Sri Lanka|
|Group Size||Minimum 2. Maximum 16.||Minimum age on scheduled departures||18 years old|
- Day 1
- Meet at the Goldi Sands hotel in Negombo for a trip briefing and welcome dinner.
- Day 2
- Riding along the coast we pass the distinctive patchwork sails of the Karavas fishing community. Turning inland on quiet back roads we head to Dambulla to visit a 2nd century Buddhist cave temple. Also known as the Golden Temple, it is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country and contains more than 150 Buddha statues.
- Day 3
- Riding through the countryside on a mix of tarmac and red dirt roads passing orchards, paddy fields and elephant grass we cycle to the ancient 5th century rock fortress Sigiriya (Lion Rock) where we use our feet for a 300 m ascent to view the ruins of King Kasyapa's summer palace. After our descent our afternoon ride follows an old irrigation canal framed by long green grass
- Day 4
- Today you have to watch out for wild elephants on our descent out of the Kaladuwa Hills. We ride through the historic park of Polonnaruwa, the 10th Century capital and best preserved of the ancient cities. Abandoned in the 13th Century, it was rediscovered in the 18th Century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Day 5
- A short transfer takes us back to Polonnaruwa where we ride around the Parakrama lake and through Angammedilla National Park, a small forest reserve that is an elephant corridor linking two parks. Here we follow the Ambon Ganga (river) to the foothills around Naula, said to be the center of the Island. Lunch in the spice growing region of Sri Lanka before transferring onto Kandy.
- Day 6
- A rest day in picturesque Kandy -- an important religious center of the Sinhalese and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Explore the town center's old shops, antique and gem specialists or the bustling market. A must do is to see the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
- Day 7
- Prepre to tackle the hill country of Sri Lanka. For those who enjoy riding but find hills a bit too challenging there is the option of taking the train after cycling for 21 km. From Gampola we start to see the tea carpeted slopes of the hill country and can stop to take photos of brightly dressed tea pickers and colourful Hindu temples. Reaching Hatton we descend to one of the old colonial tea planters bungalows set in lovely gardens.
- Day 8
- Today’s ride will be along tea estate tracks, through the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea growing region. You’ll be greeted by the pickers at work and their children as we head towards the Peak Wilderness. There is a long climb with an easy gradient up to Bogowantalawa town that takes us to a remote pass with dramatic views. The reward for the long climb is a stunning 30 km, 1000 m descent, through small villages and tea country communities, ending close to Banlangoda town. After lunch at a local restaurant we transfer to our hotel on the edge of Udawalawe National Park.
- Day 9
- Riding from the hotel we cycle 21 km to Udawalawe National Park, one of the best parks to see wild elephants in Sri Lanka. You may also see wild buffalos, crocodiles, sambur deer and monkeys. There are lots of water fowl and hawk eagles to keep the photographers happy. After lunch in one of the eco lodges we cycle along an irrigation canal back towards our hotel.
- Day 10
- Riding from the hotel we use a network of back roads for some fantastic cross country riding. Here you get to experience the southern Sri Lankan charm – lots of smiling faces and slow pace of life. It’s a quite a long undulating ride, but with lots of fruit stops to break up the day. We try to get to the beach by early afternoon so there is some free time to enjoy the beach or the nearby surf camps.
- Day 11
- Riding from the hotel through open paddy fields and cinnamon estates we arrive in Galle mid morning giving you plenty of time to explore the historic master piece in Sri Lanka. The original fort was expanded by the Dutch to its present size and later the British added the court complex and several other outstanding buildings. You are free to choose your own lunch venue and we meet up again for a farewell dinner..
- Day 12
- Today we transfer 3 hours to Colombo where we can drop you at the airport or to a hotel if you are extending your stay in Sri Lanka.
Day 2 - Negombo – Dambulla Ride 54 km. +402 m/ -364 m.
Day 3 – Dambulla Loop Ride 60 km. +555 m/ -578 m.
Day 4 – Dambulla - Polonnaruwa Ride 78 km. +538 m/ -655 m.
Day 5 - Polonnaruwa - Kandy Ride 75 km. +620 m/ -381 m.
Day 7 – Kandy – Hatton Ride 78 km. +1,530 m/ -891 m.
Day 8 – Hatton – Udawalawa Ride 58 km. +1,040 m/ -1,675 m.
Day 9 - Udawalawe Loop Ride 52 km. +415 m/ -414 m.
Day 10 - Udawalawa – Mirissa Ride 81 km. +844 m/ -932 m.
Day 11 – Galle Loop ride Ride 39 km. + 237 m/ -233 m.
|Date||Availability||Price||Single Supplement||Bike Hire||Book|
|July 30, 2017||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|September 24, 2017||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|October 8, 2017||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|November 12, 2017||Closed||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00||n/a|
|December 17, 2017||Available||USD 2,850.00||USD 795.00||USD 220.00|
|January 7, 2018||Available||USD 2,850.00||USD 795.00||USD 220.00|
|February 4, 2018||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|March 18, 2018||Guaranteed to Depart||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|April 8, 2018||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|July 29, 2018||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|September 23, 2018||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|October 7, 2018||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|November 11, 2018||Available||USD 2,750.00||USD 695.00||USD 220.00|
|December 16, 2018||Available||USD 2,850.00||USD 795.00||USD 220.00|
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Overall I, and the small group thought it was excellent. Only 3 of us on the tour, good guide, new bikes and really interesting routes and tourist site visits. The standout was the accommodation (and the food) - so often accommodation is cheap on these tours as the operators try to make their margins but as a group we felt the accommodation always exceeded our expectations, they were either in amazing locations, had lots of character but were always of high quality. One of the participants had been on two other SpiceRoads tours and he rated this the best but rated SpiceRoads highly for the other tours he'd been on as well.
Fraser Moodie - March 2017
First time on any cycle tour- surpassed all expectations- cant wait to do another tour!
Danny Carey - February 2017
Not just a cycling tour. See the real country people and food.
Suzan Bradley - February 2017
Sri Lanka is a lovely country to see on the bike. This trip takes you off the beaten track and allows you to see the fantastic countryside and wildlife.
Lucy Ede - February 2017
The local knowledge of guides Chan and Chamara placed us riding along the backroads, immersed in the daily life happenings of Sri Lankans, which I doubt we would do to such an extent on our own. The close to daily stops at local tea shops were one of the highlights of the trip for sure.
Allison Blechman - December 2016
The lead bicycle guide "Chan" did an excellent job of balancing the diverse interests and abilities of the group between riding hard and enjoying the wildlife, landscape and people. Logistics were excellent, with decent bicycles, comfortable vehicles, good route planning and comfortable accommodations.
Hugh Rose - December 2016
Fantastic trip, the organisation could not have been better and the guide could not have done more to make a memorable holiday. Kasun did everything he could to make the tour go smoothly, he always jumped on any problems or concerns and dealt with them straight away. VJ was always very attentive to our needs and our safety. This is a great way to discover a country and explore areas that you would not normally go to. The team were enthusiastic and helpful from the start of the holiday to the end.
Alison Hallett - March 2016
Perfectly matched our hopes and expectations; balance of cycling and sightseeing, great support. A great way to experience Sri Lanka for the first time. Kasun is totally committed to providing clients with the best possible experience.
Michael Bennett - February 2016