Meet at the Goldi Sands hotel in Negombo for a trip briefing and welcome dinner.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.