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

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. Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was once known, has been influenced by ancient dynasties. The Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and British have all left imprints, resulting in an eclectic mix of ancient cities, monuments, and colonial architecture to explore.


  • 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!

Tour Dates

2016 Dates
Season 1: 
October 9, November 13, and December 4, 2016

Season 2: December 18, 2016

2017 Dates
Season 1:
February 5, March 19, April 9, July 30, September 24, October 8, and November 12, 2017

Season 2: January 8 and December 17, 2017

2018 Dates
Season 1:
February 4, March 18, April 8, July 29, September 23, October 7, November 11, 2018

Season 2: January 7 and December 16, 2018

*Arrivals possible on other days. Please ask.

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. 563 km is covered in 8 cycling days on undulating terrain. There are days with more than 70 km of riding but do note that no technical riding is required.

Where You’ll Stay

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 Trek mountain bike
  • Fruit, healthy snacks, water and electrolyte drinks during the rides
  • SpiceRoads drawstring bag, a water-bottle and a SpiceRoads bike jersey

What’s Not Included

  • Transfers to and from airport (can be arranged)
  • Lunch and dinner on Day 7 and 11
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance

Extra Stay

Please ask!

Length12 days
From$2990 Rates
Client Reviews

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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 - Wasgomuwa, 47 mi. (75 km)
Day 6: Wasgomuwa - Kandy, 44 mi. (70 km)
Day 7: Kandy Rest Day 
Day 8: Kandy - Kotagala, 49 mi. (78 km)
Day 9:  Kotagala - Udawalawa, 45 mi. (72 km)
Day 10: Udawalawa – Tangalle, 48 mi. (76 km)
Day 11: Tangalle Rest Day 
Day 12: Tangalle - Galle – Colombo 

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.

Day 2:  Negombo – Dambulla, 34 mi. (54 km)
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.

Day 3: Dambulla Loop, 37 mi. (60 km)
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.

Day 4: Dambulla - Polonnaruwa, 49 mi. (78 km)
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.

Day 5: Polonnaruwa - Wasgomuwa, 47 mi. (75 km)
You will  cycle out of Polonnaruwa and ride along the eastern fringes of Wasgomuwa National Park, home to a large population of Sri Lankan elephants and many other mammals -- including sloth bears, leopards, deer, wild buffalo -- and more than 100 bird species. There’s a chance the ride can be shortened by 25 km if the water is too high to cross at the bridge as a transfer will be necessary. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a 3-hour safari inside the park. 

Day 6: Wasgomuwa - Kandy, 44 mi. (70 km)
Today there is a climb up to the Laggala pass at 1000 m and what is often described as the most stunning road in Sri Lanka. The undulating climb leads through the Knuckles wilderness before descending 1000 m over 27 km on the so-called spice road to Matale, the spice center of Sri Lanka. Though in the tropics, it can be cool and misty at altitude, so a waterproof jacket is recommended. There is a transfer that follows into Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second largest city, to avoid busy roads. 

Day 7: 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. 

Day 8: Kandy - Kotagala, 49 mi. (78 km) 
Be prepared for a day of long climbs, biking along minor estate roads through small Tamil communities, colorful Hindu temples, scared tree shrines and lots of tea plantations. This means lots of tea breaks as well! But first, there will be a transfer for the first 10 km. There then follows a 420 m climb but at 15 km long it’s an easy gradient. It is all downhill then to the town of Nawalpitiya before heading up again to tea plantations and  a stop to have a cup of the finest local tea. A highpoint of 1386m is crested,  but if the hills are too much, the support vehicle is close by. Overnight this evening is at an old colonial bungalow set in lovely gardens with beatiful views. 

Day 9: Kotagala - Udawalawa, 45 mi. (72 km)
Today's ride will be along gravel roads and tea estate tracks, through the heart of Sri Lanka's tea growing region. The pickers at work in the field and their children will greet as you head towards a tea planter's retreat at Bogowantalawa Town.  Riding through Norwood Bazaar the long climb with an easy gradient up to Bogowantalawa town will be broken up with photo and tea stops before cresting the ridge and descending down a paved switchback road. The picnic lunch today provides  wonderful views of Balangoda Town in the valley below. The day ends at a lovely hotel on the banks of a reservoir.

Day 10: Udawalawa – Tangalle, 48 mi. (76 km)
Riding along one of the irrigation canals flowing south, you pass many banana plantations. There are 14 varieties of bananas in Sri Lanka, each with its own taste and medicinal qualities. Lunch will include a sampling of ash plantain (cooking banana) at a small road side restaurant. The route then continues on rural country roads riding the last few kilometers along the main coast road to Tangalle, with time to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

Day 11: Tangalle Rest Day 
A well deserved rest day is on the agenda today to enjoy the beach or visit the turtle sanctuary at Rekkawa about 20 km away.

Day 12: Tangalle - Galle – Colombo 
First on the agenda is a transfer to the historic port of Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,  a unique blend of European architectural styles and south Asian traditions.  A guided walking tour of the fortified old city offers you a chance to view the unique blending of European architectural styles and south Asian traditions, after which, you will have time to wander the narrow streets on your own or to stroll on the walls of the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. The group meets for lunch and then is transferred  3 hours to Colombo, for the farewell dinner and end of tour.  As most flights depart late at night, there are evening transfers to the airport or if you are extending your stay in Sri Lanka, ther transfer can be to your hotel.

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

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Customer Feedback

  • A.M. Reategui 8 months ago

    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 8 months ago

    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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