Sri Lanka Heritage by Bicycle

DestinationsSri Lanka
Tour MeetsBandaranayake International Airport
Tour EndsColombo
Fly in toBandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
Fly out ofBandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
Group Size2-16 riders
Minimum Age18 (on scheduled departures)
222kmTotal cycling distance
44kmAvg distance / day
413mAvg climbing / day

Trip Profile

Our bicycle journey will be on quiet back roads, estate tracks, and gravel paths. We cover 222 km in 5 cycling days, and much, if not most, of the terrain is undulating. When you combine the great variety of cycling with the cultural and natural attractions, there is plenty to delve into and enjoy.

Suitability: This trip is an active tour, which means you can expect to exert yourself on some sections of the ride. Cyclists should be in relatively overall good physical shape with at least a moderate degree of cycling experience. Being physically fit will, of course, be a huge asset, but as the tour is fully supported, the van is always close at hand if needed.

Biking Conditions: The road surfaces are mixed: most days, we ride on reasonably good quality asphalt roads, but there are enough sections on very badly broken or dirt tracks that you will need a mountain bike, preferably one with front shocks. However, there is nothing technical involved on this tour, and anyone, assuming they have a reasonable level of fitness, will be able to join. A support truck is always available to help.

What's Included

  • SpiceRoads jersey
  • Water bottle
  • Support vehicle
  • Guide(s)
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Airport pick up
  • Airport drop off
  • Accommodation
  • Snacks and drinks

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Visa fees
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

Nuts & Bolts

Bikes

Included in this tour are well-known makes of hybrid or mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension.

We also have E-Bikes available for hire. They are of SCOTT brand and come in 2 models with alloy frames, 9-11 speed, Shimano disc brakes, and components.

Bike Repairs

Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.

Safety

Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.

Guides

You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.

The Nitty Gritty

Passports and Visas

Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry. You must obtain a US$35 visa (US$20 for SAARC countries and no charge for children under 12) via the ElectronicTravel Authorization (ETA) system before entering the country. If you don't obtain a Visa Approved Reference number through ETA you can obtain a visa on arrival for US$40.

Health

We recommend that you visit a travel medical doctor and ask about vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites as the problems experienced cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

Weather

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, with distinct dry and wet seasons. The seasons are slightly complicated by having two monsoons. From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half and the Maha monsoon blows from October to January, bringing rain to the North and East. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. Average temperatures for Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions are 27°C while at the higher altitudes like Kandy (500m), the average temperature is 20°C. A gortex rain jacket and a warm jumper for the central highlands are suggested clothing.

The best months to visit Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west coast, and from April to September for historical sites and the east coast. As we are traveling the length of the country it is likely for us to experience rain, however, it will be warm and we will likely continue riding through it.

Accommodation

The hotels listed are our first choice and where we hope you will stay, however, during festivals or other major events there is a chance we will have to substitute another hotel.

Food

Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local and feature rice and curries. Sri Lankan curries come in many varieties of colors and flavors and can be meat- or fish- based dishes, but there are also vegetable and even fruit curries. Many of the spices used have ayurvedic value when used in curries. Meals are a mixture of local and western cuisines, with the local key ingredients being rice, coconut and especially spices, reflecting the island's history as a spice producer and trading center for hundreds of years. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.

Drink

Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit, and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is readily available everywhere but is NOT included in the price.

Solo Travelers

SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.

Extra Expenses

We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10 a day for incidentals.

Money

The Sri Lankan currency is the rupee (Rs). There are several money changers in the capital as well as major tourist cities and attractions. They generally don’t charge commission and their rates are pretty good, with unlicensed money changers giving slightly better rates than officially licensed ones. However, ATMs are recommended if you are unsure and afraid of getting ripped off. ATMs have spread to all of the cities and major regional centers of Sri Lanka with Commercial Bank having the largest network of ATMs accepting international Visa, MasterCard, and Cirrus/Maestro cards. Any bank or exchange bureau will change major currencies into cash, including US dollars, euros and pounds sterling. To get the best rates, change rupees back into hard currency before you leave the country.

General booking info

Booking

If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions

From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.

Deposit

For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.

Balance

Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.

Cancellation Policy

On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.

Loyalty Riders Club

For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.

International Flights

International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.

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