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Sri Lanka Coast to Coast Cycling Tour
Sri Lanka Coast to Coast Cycling Tour (SL02)
Region : Srilanka
13
Days

Activity

Comfort

Cost per Person

US$ 1860

Based on a minimum of 2 people travelling

Tour Overview

This coast to coast cycling holiday is designed to show you a cross section of Sri Lankan culture and nature. Lesser known destinations and back-road cycling routes from start to finish are the highlights of this tour, both chosen to show you the heart of Sri Lanka. The ancient capitals of the Sri Lankan kingdoms in Yapahuwa and Polonnaruwa, safaris in Minneriya and Udawalawe, untouched wilderness in Maha Oya and Arugam Bay, the cultural connections of Baticalao, Galle and Colombo –all experiences to fully immerse yourself in. The cycling is mainly on back roads and jeep trails. It’s mostly flat except on Day 9 with some slight climbs. Traffic and main roads are avoided. Accommodation is in 3 star hotels, guesthouses and homestays.



Sri Lanka Coast to Coast Cycling Tour

Day 1: Yapahuwa
On arrival, you will be met at the airport and driven to Yapahuwa (2.5hrs). Spend some time to relax after your flight. You can check out the bikes and fit them with your accessories. As a warm up you could cycle to the Yapahuwa Temple Ruins and Museum.  
Day 2: Habarana
Today you cycle to Habarana. After a short transfer from the hotel your bikes await you to start the tour. Your route is mainly through small villages and forests. You pass small shops, houses and schools. Get a glimpse of small town life. You also pass a few lakes. You need to be on the lookout as you are in elephant country. Once you reach your hotel, you have the option of going on a safari inside Minneriya National Park. Optional Activity: Safari at Minneriya - to be paid directly. Your cycling guide can help you organise the jeep. The Park entrance fee can be paid directly to the park office.  
Day 3: Polonnaruwa
Today you will be transferred to the ancient town of Polonnaruwa. On arrival you get on your bike and with the help of a local archaeological guide you explore the ruins of this ancient Sri Lankan capital. Optional Activity: In the afternoon, you could go on a guided walk with a primatologist and learn about the various monkey families that inhabit the ruins.    
Day 4: Maha Oya
Today is one of the most stunning days of cycling. You head from Polonnaruwa down to Maha Oya through the forest reserve. En route you pass the massive Maha Oya reservoir where your cycling guide will setup a picnic lunch. Once again this is elephant country so you need to be watchful.   
Day 5: Batticaloa
You are now on the road to the east coast. You will observe slight changes in the types of house and dress. You take the back road sneaking into the town of Batticaloa - a small urban town of Sri Lanka. A nice contrast from the wilderness of the previous few days.   
Day 6: Exploring Palamunai
Today you will explore the southern part of Batticaloa, riding along the beach, visiting the fish market and, depending on the season, local organic gardens. You will meet handloom weavers, making colourful sarees and sarongs, sharing with you their ancient knowledge of this traditional craft. You can discreetly observe the midday prayer at the local mosque and interact with the believers. Your lunch will be prepared by a local family, and will reflect the typical food of the community. After a tasty meal and a relaxing chat with your host family, you will go through Kattankudy, a bustling Muslim town famous for its rich history and numerous businesses and visit its Heritage Museum.  
Day 7: Arugam Bay
Today you head further south along the east coast to the surf town of Arugam Bay. The total distance is about 110kms so you will cycle about 50kms before transferring the remaining distance. Most people know Arugam Bay for the beaches and the surfing, however the wildlife and nature inland is pristine.  
Day 8: Arugam Bay
Today an extra wheel to your mode of transport is added and you will go on a tuk tuk safari in the jungles of Arugam Bay with a local naturalist. You head to the Radella or Panama Tank, go crocodile spotting and on a long walk into the jungle. On your way back you can stop at Elephant Rock and enjoy the sunset.  
Day 9: Katharagama
Another beautiful day of cycling, you start through the Lahugalla sanctuary before reaching the small hills of Monaragala. You are now completely on back roads used only by the locals. Peacocks and mongoose run across the road frequently. You come out at the town of Buttala from where you transfer the remaining distance to Katharagama. In the evening you could visit the Katharagama Temple and receive a blessing from the temple priest.   
Day 10: Udawalawe
We cycle to Udawalawe today. Our route starts on a surreal abandoned 4-lane highway. Originally built for the purpose of servicing the southern airport the project was abandoned when the government changed. It’s another slice of life in Sri Lanka that you get to experience. The highway suddenly ends and becomes a mud trail along the Lunuganwera Resevoir. Birds galore! Your route continues to wind up to Udawalawe. Don’t miss the freshly made buffalo curd sold on the roadside. After checking in you have the option of going on a safari in the Udawawale National Park. Your cycling guide can help you organise the jeep. The Park entrance fee can be paid directly to the park office.  
Day 11: Galle
You cycle and are then transferred to the colonial town of Galle. The Galle Fort was first established in the 1600s by the Portuguese, fortified by the Dutch in the 1700s and then taken over by the British in the 1800s. As a result Galle has a vibrant mix of cultures and influences. Now it’s bustling with fashionable boutiques and restaurants while still accommodating local schools, churches, mosques and temples. Optional Activity: You have the option of going on a guided walk with a local resident. He is knowledgeable in the history but more importantly in the current state of affairs of Galle. What you pay for the walk goes completely to the local guide who leads the walk.  
Day 12: Colombo
No trip to the country is complete without visiting Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city. Your hotel is located in the city center and makes it easy for you to explore the city on foot. Optional Activity: You could also go on a guided food walk. What you pay for this activity goes entirely to the local guide who leads the experience.  
Day 13: Departure
Your holiday ends today. You will be transferred to the airport.  

Inclusions

  • 12 nights’ accommodation on twin sharing basis
  • Most meals
  • All transportation in an AC car.
  • Cycling guide
  • All equipment (cycles, helmets, support vehicle)
  • Airport transfers
  • Assistance on arrival and departure at each destination

 

Route Maps

Gallery

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