Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Photo via Flickr:Hafiz Issadeen

Spices and herbs galore in Sri Lanka! Photo via Flickr:Amila Tennakoon
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Sri Lanka Spice Trails Bike Tour

Sri Lanka Bike Tours

Bike the Island of Spice

  • A bike tour in Sri Lanka is a kaleidoscope of images, experiences, and smells; tea plantations, cool highlands, ancient cities, and tropical beaches. The extraordinary flora and fauna highlight the diversity of this land, rich in history, religion, and culture.

    Once considered a lost paradise, the island was part of the hundreds of ancient trade routes, including the trade route for the coveted spices. Though no longer considered luxuries, the exotic flavors, colors and smells of these delicacies remain!

    The quiet back roads of this tear-drop shaped island make it ideal for cycling. Beginning on the west coast, dotted with the sails of the local fishing boats, the route leads inland past a multitude of Buddhist and Hindu monuments.

    Highlights:

    • Ancient Ceylon
    • Sigiriya
    • Wildlife safari in Wasgomuwa National Park
    • Temple of the Tooth
    • Botanical gardens
    • Lovely beaches

    You will be captivated by the romance, color, and spice of Sri Lanka!

  • Twin/double:  $ 4041 £ 2105 $ 3,665 2500 $ 4206 kr 26229 $ 2,710 Single supplement: $ 962 £ 501 $ 872 595 $ 1001 kr 6243 $ 645

     

    extra options

    Electrical Bike: $ 328 £ 171 $ 298 203 $ 341 kr 2129 $ 220

    Private airport transfer: $ 60 £ 31 $ 54 37 $ 62 kr 387 $ 40 (for two people)

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    This tour starts in Negombo, Sri Lanka. Bandaranaike International Airport (also known as Colombo International Airport and Katunayake International Airport (IATA: CMB, ICAO: VCBI) is the closest main international airport.

    Local Travel

    Private transfer can be arranged at a cost of 40 USD/car/way (maximum 2 passengers per car), valid from now until 30th Sep’16. You can also order a taxi to arrive to your first hotel. There is a taxi counter at the airport. (Cab drivers in Sri Lanka do expect a tip!). If you prefer public transportation, a shuttle bus operates every 15 minutes from the terminal to main bus station located about 500 m away. From here, intercity buses operate to the city. *Do note that taxis are quite inexpensive in Sri Lanka and we feel are the most convenient way to arrive to your first hotel.

    Climate

    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 jacket for the central highlands are suggested clothing.

    Recommended

    We recommend that you visit a travel medical doctor and ask about vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets.

    Remarks

    Wearing a helmet is required 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.

    Documents

    Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry.

    Europeans, Australians, and North Americans can receive a tourist visa upon entry, valid for 30 days. All other nationalities, please check for the latest updates and requirements here: www.immigration.gov.lk.

    You can also obtain the Visa Approved Reference humber via the ElectronicTravel Authorization (ETA) system before entering the country. If you don't obtain a this you can obtain a visa on arrival for US $40.


Skill Level

This guided tour will take place on a variety of road surfaces; quiet back roads, dirt roads, and gravel paths. You will encounter uneven surfaces, broken asphalt and potholes. 575 km is covered in 9 cycling days on undulating terrain. There are days with more than 70 km of riding but do note that no technical riding is required. perts. The beginning of this ride is relatively flat, but there will be hills as you head inland, and there are some long distances to cover. Never underestimate the heat and humidity of tropical Sri Lanka, as it will likely ensure things feel hot.

Where You’ll Stay

Please see day to day detail for the preferred hotels. These are carefully chosen accommodations that are the best available for the location and offer a good mix, from local bed and breakfasts to luxurious lodges.

What’s Included

  • All accommodations
  • All meals except for lunch and dinner on rest days
  • English speaking tour guide (two guides if group is larger than 8)
  • Support vehicle
  • 24 to 27-speed Specialized Hardrock mountain bike
  • Fruit, healthy snacks, water and electrolyte drinks during the rides
  • SpiceRoads water-bottle and a SpiceRoads bike jersey

What’s Not Included

Extra Stay

Please ask!

TourBike
TypeGuided
SkillModerate–Difficult
Length12 days
From$2710 Rates
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Tour Dates

2019 

December 8, 2019

2020 

January 5, February 2, March 15, April 5, July 26, September 20, October 4, November 8, and December 13, 2020

Arrivals are possible on other days. Please ask.  Group size 2-16 riders.  

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Sri Lanka Spice Trails Map

Day 1: Arrival in Sri Lanka
Day 2: Negombo – Dambulla, 34 mi. (54 km)
Day 3: Dambulla Loop, 37 mi. (60 km)
Day 4: Dambulla - Polonnaruwa, 49 mi. (78 km)
Day 5: Polonnaruwa - Kandy, 46 mi. (75 km)
Day 6: Kandy Rest Day
Day 7: Kandy - Hatton, 49 mi (78 km)
Day 8: Hatton - Udawalawa, 36 mi. ( 58 km)
Day 9: Udawalawa loop,  32 mi. ( 52 km)
Day 10: Udawalawa - Mirissa, 50 mi. (81 km)
Day 11: Galle loop, 24 mi. (39 km)
Day 12: Galle - Mirissa– Colombo 

This bike tour often goes beyond the beaten track and therefore not always predictable. It is occasionally necessary to reroute or update itineraries. A tour will not be changed unless necessary for safety or to improve it. The hotels listed are always accurate at the time of writing, but if it is necessary to change, it will always be for a similar or better one.

Day 1: Arrival in Sri Lanka
There will be a welcome meeting at the Goldi Sands hotel in Negombo for a trip briefing and welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Suriya Resort
Meal: Dinner

Day 2:  Negombo – Dambulla, 34 mi. (54 km), Elevation: + 402 m / - 364 m
Directly from the hotel, the cycle route follows the old coast road, past the distinctive patchwork sails of the Karavas fishing community. Turning inland on quiet back roads, after cycling approximately 50 km, there is then a transfer of approximately 3 hours to Dambulla, breaking for lunch at Kununegala Lake.  Dambulla is famous for the 2nd-century Buddhist cave temple, Golden Temple, the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country, containing more than 150 Buddha statues. A final short ride will lead to a peaceful hotel amid mango trees and paddy fields. 

Accommodation: Thilanka Spa & Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Dambulla Loop, 37 mi. (60 km), Elevation: + 555 m / - 578 m
Today's ride is through the countryside on a mix of tarmac and red dirt roads passing orchards, paddy fields and elephant grass. You cycle along the shores of Kandalama Lake to the ancient 5th-century rock fortress Sigiriya (Lion Rock) where the 300 m ascent will challenge but the views of the ruins of King Kasyapa's summer palace will reward. After the descent, the afternoon ride follows an old irrigation canal along red dirt roads, framed by long green grass. 

Accommodation:Thilanka Spa & Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Dambulla - Polonnaruwa, 49 mi. (78 km), Elevation: + 538 m / - 655 m
You could be awarded a glimpse of wild elephants on the ascent over the Kaladuwa Hills! The ride passes along tree-lined roads through the historic park of Polonnaruwa, the 10th Century capital and best preserved of the ancient cities which was abandoned in the 13th Century, since rediscovered in the 18th Century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Accommodation: Deer Park
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Polonnaruwa - Kandy, 46 mi. (75 km),​​​​​​ Elevation: +620 m / - 381 m
A short transfer takes you back to Polonnaruwa, where you ride around the huge lake known as the Sea of Parakrama, named after the great king who built it. Part of the ride is through Angammedilla National Park, built to protect the water source. This small forest reserve is an elephant corridor linking Minneriya and Wasgomuwa National Parks. Here you retrace part of yesterday’s ride, following the Ambon Ganga (river) back towards its start point in the foothills around Naula, said to be the center of the Island. You end the ride here to avoid busy roads and transfer to lunch in Matale, situated in Sri Lanka’s spice-growing region, and on to Kandy, the spiritual and cultural capital of the hill country and Sri Lanka’s second-largest city. 

Accommodation: Thilanka Hotel Kandy
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Kandy Rest Day
A rest day is scheduled today in picturesque Kandy, an important religious center of the Sinhalese and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Nestled among hills and centered around a lake, picturesque Kandy has long been an important religious center of the Sinhalese and a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Today you can explore the town center’s old shops, antique and gem specialists or the bustling market. A must do is to see the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sacred Kandy which houses the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic, a tooth of the Buddha.  

Accommodation: Thilanka Hotel Kandy
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Kandy - Hatton, 49 mi (78 km), Elevation: +1530 m / - 891m
After a day of rest, you are ready to tackle hill country. For those who enjoy riding but find hills a bit too challenging, there is the option of taking the train for the final part into Hatton. A short 8-km transfer takes you out of town to Peradeniya, famed for its Botanical Garden and university. Starting the ride from the campus, you wind your way along a river valley with some short climbs opening out to the surrounding vistas, with your first tea stop in Gampola 21 km away; the optional train journey begins here. From Gampola, you start to see the tea carpeted slopes of the hill country. Riding at a gentle pace, you can stop to take photos of brightly dressed tea pickers and colorful Hindu temples. You regroup at the tea outlets brewing the best tea on the island, fresh from their respective estates. Reaching Hatton, you descend to one of the old colonial tea planter bungalows set in lovely gardens. Those taking the train will be met at the station and shuttled to the bungalow. 

Accommodation: Upper Glencairn Bungalow
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Hatton - Udawalawa, 36 mi. (58 km), Elevation: + 1040 m / - 1675m 
Today’s ride will be along tea estate tracks, through the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea-growing region. You’ll be greeted by the pickers at work and their children as we head towards the Peak Wilderness and the distinctive triangle-shaped mountain, known as Adam’s Peak. The long climb with an easy gradient up to Bogowantalawa gets tougher for the last 10 km to a remote pass with dramatic views. The mountain pass is part of the Peak Forest Reserve; its distinctive stunted forest contains many rare, endemic plants as well as the shy bear monkey more often heard than seen. The reward for the long climb is a stunning 30 km, 1000 m descent through small villages and tea communities, ending close to Banlangoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, we pack our bikes and transfer to our hotel on the edge of Udawalawe National Park, set on the banks of a lake. 

Accommodation: Elephant Trails
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Udawalawa loop,  32 mi. (52 km), Elevation: + 415 m / - 414m
Riding from the hotel, you cycle 21 km to Udawalawe National Park, one of the best parks to see wild elephants in Sri Lanka. The park, centered around a reservoir, has approximately 400 elephants in small herds scattered around the park, and mid-morning is a good time to see them close to the water’s edge. You may also see wild buffaloes, crocodiles, sambur deer, and monkeys. There are lots of resident waterfowl and hawk eagles to keep the photographers happy. You enjoy lunch in a nearby eco-lodge and then mount your bicycle to follow an irrigation canal back towards your hotel. 

Accommodation: Elephant Trails
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Udawalawa - Mirissa, 50 mi. (81 km), Elevation: + 844 m / - 932m
Riding from the hotel, you use a network of back roads for some fantastic cross-country riding. Here you get to experience southern Sri Lankan charm – lots of smiling faces and a slow pace of life. It’s quite a long, undulating ride, with lots of fruit stops to break up the day. Be sure to try one of the 14 varieties of bananas in Sri Lanka, each with its own taste and medicinal qualities, to give you energy. We try to get to the beach by the early afternoon, leaving you free time to enjoy the beach or a nearby surf camp. Tonight you will dine at one of the many nearby restaurants in the evening. 

Accommodation: Mandara Mirissa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Galle loop, 24 mi. (39 km), Elevation: + 237 m / - 233m
Cycling through open paddy fields and cinnamon estates, you arrive in Galle mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore this historic masterpiece. The Dutch expanded the original fort to its present size, and later the British added the court complex and several other outstanding buildings. The different architectural and cultural influences meld to create a magnificent sight. You are free to choose your own lunch. and we meet up again for a farewell dinner. 

Accommodation: Mandara Mirissa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Galle - Mirissa– Colombo
You are transferred 3 hours to Colombo where you can be dropped you at the airport or at a hotel if you are extending your stay in Sri Lanka. 

Meal: Breakfast

 

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Tour Reviews

  • A.M. Reategui 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I just finish the Spice Trails in Sri Lanka organized by Spiceroads. Excellent trip, good organization, fantastic service. Very pleased to have chosen Tripsite. Thanks Hennie!!

  • T. Manning 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Great mix of biking and other activities...safari, white water rafting, beach time, etc. Beautiful scenery, mostly quiet roads, and Spice Roads does a great job with the logistics and guiding. Highly recommended!

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