Discover a world of spice and splendour on a two-wheeled trip across Sri Lanka.
Ride through tea plantations, quaint fishing villages, and swathes of lush green jungle on this cycling adventure from Negombo to Colombo. Sri Lanka is gaining traction as one of Asia’s most exciting new destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks, it’s a dream for travellers who like to get active. In between two-wheeled treks, laze on the beach, ride the rails (a must in Sri Lanka), explore the country’s premier Hindu and Buddhist sites, and taste the flavours of the tantalising night markets.
Cycling allows you to get closer to the real Sri Lanka, with a leopard-spotting safari and scenic train trip taking the sightseeing to the next level.
From the sensational seafood of Negombo to the pulsing night markets of Colombo, Sri Lanka a feast for the senses. Optional ‘food-crawls’ in most locations connect you with the best local street food.
Step back in time as you explore Sri Lanka’s most important religious and heritage sites, including the Temple of Tooth Relic and Kataragama.
Forget the coffee stops, this is Le Tour with a twist. Visit a tea factory in Giragama for a guided tour and taste of Sri Lanka’s most beloved beverage.
Relax and unwind along the famous sandy beaches and azure waters of Sri Lanka’s southern coast.
Experience a fascinating slice of traditional culture with a Kandyan dance performance in Kandy.
To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain of Sri Lanka is naturally hilly, so you’ll need to be reasonably fit, especially given the warm climate. The support vehicle will always be there if you need to take a break for an hour, or a day.
As the riding is mostly on sealed roads, with the occasional gravel path, there are no technical cycling skills required. But some downhill practice is a great idea before your trip.
There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – perhaps a puncture here and there – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.
The weather in this region varies seasonally. Be prepared to get sweaty, and for the occasional rainstorm which may require a change of plans.
Sri Lankan summers are very hot, with short, sharp monsoons in the south-west. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.
If you have issues with heights, you might like to opt out of climbing the Lion Rock at Sigiriya (Day 6). There are lots of rough, narrow steps and tight walkways to be overcome.
Tourism in Sri Lanka is booming, and with it has come a huge increase in visitors to Yala National Park. Overtourism and lack of sustainable management practices have become a major concern for us in continuing to visit Yala. In order to reduce our impact on wildlife and the environment we are trialling visiting a less touristed section of Yala, known as Block 5. Should we determine that high tourist numbers at Block 5 also make it difficult to continue visiting responsibly we will change our itinerary to visit Udawalawe National Park, where wild elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards also reside, and the nearby Elephant Transit Home.
From September to mid-October when Yala National Park is closed annually for infrastructure development and rejuvenation we follow the alternate itinerary of Udawalawe NP and Elephant Transit Home.
If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort we have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle Sri Lanka trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.
2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
3. This trip has an option of an electric-motor assisted bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please enquire at time of booking.
4. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
5. Due to Intrepid's stance on elephant cruelty we do not visit the Perahera Festival and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf.
6. Train tickets from Kandy to Hatton (day 8) are in very high demand. We always try our best to secure tickets for this journey. Though on the rare occasion that we cannot, you will be provided with a private bus to take you to Hatton.
Our Cycle Sri Lanka trips score an average of 4.94 out of 5 based on 53 reviews in the last year.
If you want to see Sri Lanka as it really is and meet the loveliest people in the world, and you are prepared to put some effort into cycling through the amazing countryside, then this is the trip for you! This is the best managed trip you could ever hope for!
Review submitted 12 May 2018
Amazing trip! Definitely the best intrepid tour I have had. Sam and the crew are fantastic and so helpful! They enjoy what they do and it definitely shows and brings a great energy to the group! The trip is very well planned and educational. It gives you good interaction with the locals and in turn exposure to the culture of sri lanka. Highly highly highly recommend!!!
Review submitted 10 May 2018