Best of Sri Lanka Premiere Bike Tour
This trip offers a perfect introduction to Sri Lanka. We ride through some of the best that Sri Lanka has to offer such as tea plantations, mountains, wildlife, and beaches.
Fresh seafood, scenic villages, and a variety of social and topographical landscapes await you on this cycling tour. Enjoy the hill station of Nuwara Eliya, home to the tea planters community, and elephants at Udawalawe. Local cuisine blended with aromatic spices and a scenic cycling route will engage your senses as you take on this short biking trip in Sri Lanka.
Colombo | 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 Lagoon||D|
|DAY 2||Kandy||Earls Regency||L,D||30km / 18mi*||cycling|
|DAY 3||Nuwara Eliya||Heritance Tea Factory||B,L,D|
|DAY 4||Nuwara Eliya||Heritance Tea Factory||B,L||35km / 21mi*||cycling|
|DAY 5||Ella||98 Acres Resort and Spa||B,L,D||55km / 33mi*||cycling|
|DAY 6||Udawalawe National Park||Grand Udawalawa||B,L,D||60km / 36mi*||cycling|
|DAY 7||Tangalle||Anantara Peace Haven||B,L,D||60km / 36mi*||cycling|
|DAY 8||Colombo via Galle||B||50km / 30mi*||cycling|
Accommodation - Premiere Inns
Premiere accommodations include some of the most prestigious hotels. These hotels have won accolades and awards or are acclaimed as ‘the best by credible publications such as Condé Nast Traveler and Travel+Leisure. Heritage properties, art décor contemporary places, or chic boutique stays that are a notch above the rest are a part of this list.
Jetwing LagoonStep into luxury accommodation and experience the tranquil elegance of Geoffrey Bawa’s first resort creation.
Day 1: Negombo
We suggest that you arrive in Sri Lanka at least one day in advance and settle in at your hotel in Negombo near the Bandaranaike International Airport to recover from your flight journey.
Our guide meets you at your hotel at 17:00hrs. We do bike fit and convene over dinner tonight.
Day 2: Kandy
Our guide meets at 8:30am at your hotel in Negombo/Colombo. After a short transfer, get ready for the day’s cycling. An easy-paced ride takes us through the rural hamlets of Sri Lanka and we finally arrive in 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. We arrive at a luxurious boutique hotel, Kings Pavilion through country roads. An erstwhile abode to Kandyan noblemen, the hotel has enough cozy spaces to settle in with a book, or go for a spa treatment, or just indulge in the great food. For all the cycling that is planned for you, there is enough time to enjoy Sri Lankan hospitality.
Day 3: Nuwara Eliya
Today we take a spectacular train journey past tea plantations to Sri Lanka’s old British tea valley, Nuwara Eliya. With gradual climbs and few steep hills to conquer, it is a beautiful journey that takes us to the hill country of Sri Lanka with a climb of about 1,400m. Second class tickets on a train can be booked in advance, however, 1st class tickets are only available closer to departure and the availability depends on that day. Though usually available, there may be chances that we have to take a journey in a shuttle instead or by bike if you prefer.
We arrive at Nuwara Eliya and check-in at the Heritance Tea Factory Hotel, remodeled from an old tea factory that used to be present in the days of the Raj. The place still retains its old-world charm with wooden lofts, old brass fans, and even an original engine that was the main source of power in those days. Perfect ambiance coupled with exquisite comforts to transport you back to the colonial times of Sri Lanka.
Day 4: Nuwara Eliya
It’s a classic loop today around Nuwara past tea plantations and waterfalls. Clumpy green hills covered in a moss-like carpet of bright tea shrubs, keep us company through the ride. Nuwara is known as the hilly respite from the plains of Colombo, so expect clean crisp cool air to refresh you completely.
On our ride, we encounter tea pickers, undulating hills, small villages, and small shops on the corners of the roads. Feel free to strike up a conversation. You will be delighted at the eagerness and warmth of Srilankans, to make guests feel at home.
In the evening, enjoy a stroll in the town.
Day 5: Ella
Today we explore Horton Plains. After an early breakfast, we transfer to Horton plains for a walk till Worlds end.
Horton Plains is one of Sri Lanka’s better-known National Parks – a vast stretch of grasslands and thick forests known for its avian life and thickly green vegetation. This is the only national park in the country that you can explore on foot, although on designated trails. It’s here that the country’s three major rivers initiate, making it one of the most fertile lands on this soil. World’s End is a dramatic scenic viewing point in the park, which can be reached by a 4km-walking trail.
We have lunch and a further ride towards our destination, Ella. Riding from Nuwara, we pass through grasslands, forests, dairy farms, windmills to reach Ella. Standing at an elevation of 1,041m, Ella is a little off-beat town when compared to Nuwara Eliya with views of green mountains around.
Day 6: Udawalawe National Park
Ella is an excellent place for a walk and a short hike. We recommend taking an early morning hike to nearby areas such as Little Adam’s Peak or Rawana Falls.
Have a late morning start and ride to Udawalawe National Park along gravel roads, through forests with grass lands, shrubs, and teak plantations of Sri Lanka. Be careful while riding through an initial descend as we drop from about 900m to 80m within a short distance. After a long patch of flat terrain, finally enter the Udawalawe National Park, home to hundreds of Sri Lankan Elephants and other wild animals.
A true jungle experience with well-planned safaris and knowledgeable staff, the national park helps you assimilate the wildlife at close quarters.
Day 7: Tangalle
Go on an early morning safari in Udawalawe in search of Elephant herds. And, then off to Tangalle, following one of the irrigation canals flowing towards the south. Time for an infusion of something different in the topography – bananas! The crisp air of the countryside and the rural setting is perfect to understand and enjoy the interiors of the country. As we close into Tangalle, that’s when the warm clammy seaside air hits you, sometimes heavy with the weight of the smell of fish. If we stick to timing, there will be no better way to spend the evening than to see the sun descending into the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Sri Lanka.
Day 8: Colombo via Galle
Ride to Galle through coastal and interior trails. Post-lunch, explore Galle Fort on foot. Erstwhile Gimhathiththa, the town is rife with Dutch and Portuguese architectural remnants, museums, cathedrals, and a beautiful coastline to enjoy the sunny beaches.
Extend at Galle/Tangalle and spend the days at leisure or transport to the Colombo International Airport for your onward journey.
Dates and Prices
Our base pricing is in USD. However, we can also quote in AUD, GBP, CAD, and EUR, and you can pay in the same. Please write us.
From US $900
From US $180
Couldn't find a trip with convenient dates?
Open your date as a join-in tour or customize further as private one.
We offer private departures on almost all our itineraries, and for groups of four or more, they cost the same as our standard trips!
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 that 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.
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.
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.
Reviews from our friends
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