Best of Sri Lanka Luxury Bike Tour
From the lush tea plantations to the stunning beaches, this trip offers an ideal introduction to the country's rich culture and diverse landscapes.
Immerse yourself in the local way of life as you ride through scenic villages and diverse topographies, encountering wildlife and majestic mountains along the way. Experience the charming hill station of Nuwara Eliya, where the tea planters community resides, and witness the beauty of Udawalawe's elephants in their natural habitat.
Highlights include a stunning 90-min train journey to Ella, a hike to World’s End, and a visit to the famed Nine Arch Bridge.
End the trip on a high with a stay at the luxurious Anantara Peace Haven Tangelle Resort. Nestled in a local coconut plantation bordering the glistening ocean and golden shoreline, this tropical paradise is the perfect venue to experience the tranquillity of Sri Lanka’s coast one final time.
Read a comprehensive insight into the trip on our blog here.
Negombo | 17:00hrs
easy to moderate
50km or 30mi
myriad landscapesRide through the the different topographies of Sri Lanka – tea plantations, beaches, meandering irrigation canals, hills, forests and historic towns
|DAY 1||Negombo||Jetwing Blue||D|
|DAY 2||Kandy||Earls Regency||B,L,D||40km / 24mi||cycling|
|DAY 3||Nuwara Eliya||Heritance Tea Factory||B,L,D||70km / 42mi||cycling|
|DAY 4||Nuwara Eliya||Heritance Tea Factory||B,L||35km / 21mi||cycling|
|DAY 5||Ella||98 Acres Resort and Spa||B,L,D||30km / 18mi||cycling, hiking|
|DAY 6||Udawalawe National Park||Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort||B,L,D||30km / 18mi||cycling, hiking|
|DAY 7||Tangalle||Anantara Peace Haven||B,L||60km / 36mi||cycling|
|DAY 8||Colombo via Galle||B||40km / 24mi||cycling|
Day 1: Negombo
On the day of the tour, our guide will meet you at your hotel in the evening at 17:00hrs. We'll use this time to do a bike fit to ensure that your cycling experience is as comfortable as possible. After that, we'll have a relaxing dinner together and go over the briefing for the tour.
Negombo is a vibrant coastal town with a mix of Dutch and Portuguese architecture and a bustling fish market. If you have time, we recommend exploring the town's canals, beaches, and historic sites. You could also take a boat ride to the nearby Muthurajawela Marsh, which is home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife.
Day 2: Kandy
Today we recommend hitting the road early to avoid the heat. After a short transfer, get ready for the day’s cycling. An easy-paced ride that takes us along the stunning coastal route with stops at fish markets. Later we turn inland and take a shuttle transfer of about 3hrs to Kandy.
Perched amongst the tea-clad hills of the Kandy Plateau, this is home to one of the most significant sites for Buddhists: the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic which we visit in the evening. As we enter the temple's hallowed halls, we'll be mesmerized by the intricate architecture and awe-inspiring religious artifacts, including the tooth relic itself, believed to be a sacred relic of the Buddha.
Day 3: Nuwara Eliya
Today's ride promises to be nothing short of breathtaking as we embark on a journey through Sri Lanka's stunning hill country, with its lush tea plantations and sweeping mountain vistas. The route to our destination, the old British tea valley of Nuwara Eliya, is a challenging one, with gradual climbs and a few steep hills to conquer. However, the awe-inspiring scenery, glistening reservoirs, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic views of the majestic mountain ranges make every pedal stroke worth it.
We'll stop for a delectable lunch at a picturesque spot overlooking a stunning waterfall and panoramic landscape. Here, we can take a moment to soak in the beauty of our surroundings and rejuvenate ourselves for the rest of the journey. We continue riding to Nuwara Eliya, where we'll spend the rest of the day exploring this charming town.
Nuwara Eliya, also known as 'Little England,' is a town that exudes colonial-era charm, with its well-manicured lawns, Victorian-era architecture, and immaculate gardens.
Here we stay at the Oliphant Boutique Villa. The place still retains its old-world charm with wooden lofts, and old brass fans. Perfect ambiance coupled with exquisite comforts to transport you back to the colonial times of Sri Lanka.
Day 4: Nuwara Eliya
Today's ride takes us on a classic loop around Nuwara, where we'll have the opportunity to explore the stunning tea plantations and waterfalls that dot the landscape. The clumpy green hills, covered in a moss-like carpet of bright tea shrubs, make for a picturesque backdrop to our ride.
We'll also encounter tea pickers as we ride through the tea estates. This is a great opportunity to learn about the tea-making process and gain insight into the lives of the hardworking locals who cultivate these magnificent tea plantations.
In the evening, we recommend taking a stroll through the town's bustling bazaars, sampling local delicacies, and picking up souvenirs to take home.
Day 5: Ella
Today's ride promises to be the highlight of the tour, offering a breathtaking undulating ride from Nuwara Eliya through a diverse range of landscapes. We will pass through lush grasslands, dense forests, dairy farms, and windmills, and stop at Pattipola railway station, the highest railway station in Sri Lanka, situated 1,897 meters above sea level.
The final stretch of the ride includes a challenging 4km uphill climb, leading to Horton Plains, one of Sri Lanka's most popular national parks. This vast expanse of grasslands and thick forests is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including many endemic bird species. We will explore the park's designated trails on foot, including a hike to World's End, a dramatic scenic viewpoint offering panoramic views of the park. The total hike is approximately 8km, and we will also visit Baker's Falls, a stunning waterfall in the park.
If time permits, we will take a downhill ride to Ohiya railway station for lunch, followed by a scenic 90-minute train journey to Ella. Ella is a charming town situated at an elevation of 1,041m, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Please note that as our arrival time at Ohiya railway station is uncertain, we cannot make advance reservations for 1st class tickets on the train. We will need to purchase on-the-spot tickets, which are available only for the 2nd and 3rd class.
Day 6: Udawalawe National Park
Start your morning with an invigorating hike to Little Adam's Peak and Nine Arch Bridge, both easily accessible from Ella. Enjoy panoramic views of lush green hills and valleys, and take in the beauty of the impressive Nine Arch Bridge, a railway viaduct that dates back to the British colonial era.
After the hike, we'll start our ride towards Udawalawe National Park, passing through forests, grasslands, and teak plantations. The initial descent can be steep, so we'll proceed with caution. After arriving at the base, we'll take a short transfer to our lunch spot and refuel for the rest of the day.
In the afternoon, we'll embark on an exciting safari adventure in Udawalawe National Park. The park is home to hundreds of Sri Lankan elephants, as well as other wild animals such as leopards, deer, and buffalo. With well-planned safaris and knowledgeable guides, you'll have a chance to observe these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat.
Day 7: Tangalle
Today, we'll set off towards Tangalle, cycling along one of the beautiful irrigation canals that flow towards the southern coast. Along the way, we'll pass through lush banana plantations, providing a refreshing change of scenery from the mountainous terrain of the past few days. Cycling through the countryside will give us an opportunity to soak in the rural lifestyle and connect with the local culture.
As we approach Tangalle, the air becomes warm and humid, with the salty scent of the sea in the distance. After a long day of cycling, there's nothing quite like relaxing on the beach and taking in the beautiful surroundings of Tangalle.
Upon arrival in Tangalle, we will check into the luxurious Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort. The resort is nestled in a coconut plantation and boasts a stunning beachfront location. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of Sri Lanka's southern coast.
Day 8: Colombo via Galle
Today, we embark on a beautiful coastal and interior trail as we ride toward Galle after a short transfer. The stunning views of the ocean and the gentle sea breeze keep us company throughout the ride. As we make our way toward Galle, we will pass through charming coastal villages and verdant countryside landscapes.
Post-lunch, explore the historic Galle Fort on foot. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the best-preserved colonial-era fortifications in Asia. As we walk through the narrow streets and alleys, we will discover an abundance of Dutch and Portuguese architectural gems, museums, and cathedrals. The picturesque coastline also provides a perfect opportunity to relax on the sunny beaches and soak in the beautiful surroundings.
Extend at Galle/Tangalle and spend the days at leisure or transport to the Colombo International Airport for your onward journey. We aim to reach Negombo by 6 pm.
Ready to plan your adventure? Download a print-ready detailed itinerary.
Each hotel has been thoughtfully selected to ensure an exceptional and memorable experience for guests.
Jetwing SeaStep into luxury accommodation and experience the tranquil elegance of Geoffrey Bawa’s first resort creation.
Dates and Prices
From US $900
From US $180
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All hotels as mentioned in the tour details or similar (subject to availability).
Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.
Immaculately maintained bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.
A Van support follows the group of riders and carries all belongings.
Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.
Refreshments and mineral water while cycling.
Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples.
E-bikes are available on this trip at a surcharge. Please send a note to your tour consultant to book one.
Airport pickup and drop
We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.
Some meals may not be included. Please check your itinerary.
Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.
With a tropical climate, Sri Lanka has two cycles of monsoon which bring rain to the west and south-west coastal lines from May to September, and between October and February, it rains in northern regions and east coastline. Although the rains are generally short, with occasional heavy downpours.
Leaving out the monsoon season, the remaining months receive plenty of sunshine and are mostly dry. Temperatures remain fairly consistent year-round, with coastal regions averaging from 25 to 32°C and the mountain regions from 15 to 20°C. Sri Lanka is humid as well with relative humidity ranging between 60% & 90%.
Predominantly, Sri Lanka is almost a year-round cycling destination and our bike tours run around the year.
Most travelers require a visa to visit Sri Lanka. The process for acquiring one is relatively straightforward. For trips to Sri Lanka of up to 30 days, visas, also known as ETAs (Electronic Travel Authorization), can be obtained from the government’s Department of Immigration and Emigration website. The Electronic Travel Authorization System is available online or at the port of entry. Visitors are strongly urged to use the online system to avoid lengthy delays at the port of entry.
Reviews from our friends
Glenn F. from Ireland5.0
Overall a positive experience!
Overall a positive experience. We have been on many cycling trips around the world. Some good and some bad. This was a good one. Friendly People and lots of wildlife was best part.
Sherry from CA5.0
No better way to explore a country!
This was our second cycling vacation with the Art of Bicycling Trips. Our first was exploring India and this trip was exploring Sri Lanka. We covered over 350 miles during our 11 day trip and it was spectacular!!! Dibin did a great job putting together the routes, the guide, the hotels and the additional tours. I would highly recommend upgrading the hotel stays to the premium category. Each night we stayed in fantastic accommodations — great accommodations, great locations, excellent food. Contrasting to India where we stayed mostly in Homestays and a few hotels, Sri Lanka was SO much better. While India and Sri Lanka are geographically close, they are World’s apart in experience. I don’t think I ever need to go back to India, but I could easily return to Sri Lanka. There is no video or photo that captures the chaos of riding a bike through the towns with horns honking, til-Turks and motor bikes zipping past, busses and big trucks alongside people walking and dogs lazily laying by the road. At first appearance, it would seem impossible to bike, but in actuality, you learn to love the horns—it’s their way of communicating—and yummy also learned to always be predictable in your actions. These drivers are so accustomed to all things moving at all times and it is quite a talent to watch. Thank you Dibin! Also, if you find yourself in Sri Lanka looking for a great tour guide—find Dan. We were lucky enough to get him for our bike tour, but he has been a sightseeing tour guide (not bikes) for 16 years and he is fantastic. He found amazing restaurants and really knows the best times to tour the highlights. Thank you! Thank you!
End of reviews