Sri Lanka Heritage by Bicycle

Sri Lanka Heritage by Bicycle

7 Days From



Sri Lanka Heritage by Bicycle

7 Days Starting in Katunayake, Sri Lanka and ending in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Visiting: Negombo, Kandy, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National Park, Anuradhapura, Colombo

Tour operator:

SpiceRoads Cycling

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

2 - 16

Physical rating:


Age range:

Min age:18

Special diets catered:

Please advise requests

Tour operated in:
Trip Styles:



Cycling, Sightseeing

$1862 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$88

NB: Prices correct on 18-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Sri Lanka, the 'Teardrop of India', is a collection of ancient and natural delights that will bedazzle visitors as you move from religious to monarchical to colonial sites. Left behind by Buddhism, Hinduism, the British, Dutch, Portuguese, and Indians these influences are seen throughout our trail of historical and cultural sites.

We visit five of Sri Lanka's eight UNESCO World Heritage sites as we cycle through the backroads and absorb a very traditional and grassroots feel of Sri Lanka. Our ride start by rolling into the beautiful old town of Kandy, home to the famed Temple of the Tooth and located on a picturesque lake. We next head into open abundant countryside, riding towards the caves and statues of Dambulla's Golden Temple. The dominating rock fortress of Sigiriya will be in view most of our ride as we cycle towards it.

After a climb to the top we walk through one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. At Minneriya National Park, we will find plenty of elephants on our jeep safari. The next fascinating stop on this trail of Sri Lanka’s most ancient cities, Polonnaruwa, is an immense former capital created in the 12th century. Hidden in dense jungle for many years, Anuradhapura, our last heritage site is a treat: with palaces, monasteries and monuments and a principal shrine of Buddhism.

Our bicycle journey will be on quiet back roads, estate tracks, and gravel paths. We cover 222 km in 5 cycling days, and much, if not most, of the terrain is undulating. When you combine the great variety of cycling with the cultural and natural attractions, there is plenty to delve into and enjoy.

Suitability: This trip is an active tour, which means you can expect to exert yourself on some sections of the ride. Cyclists should be in relatively overall good physical shape with at least a moderate degree of cycling experience. Being physically fit will, of course, be a huge asset, but as the tour is fully supported, the van is always close at hand if needed.

Biking Conditions: The road surfaces are mixed: most days, we ride on reasonably good quality asphalt roads, but there are enough sections on very badly broken or dirt tracks that you will need a mountain bike, preferably one with front shocks. However, there is nothing technical involved on this tour, and anyone, assuming they have a reasonable level of fitness, will be able to join. A support truck is always available to help.


  • Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens where we take a break to see some of the more than 4,000 species of plants.

  • Explore Golden Temple of Dambulla, a UNESCO Heritage site.

  • Chance to see some signature wildlife of Sri Lanka in Minneriya National Park.


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Day 1 : Arrive In Sri Lanka

Location: Bandaranaike International Airport

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Suriya Resort

Meals Included: Dinner

We will meet you at Bandaranayake International Airport upon your flight arrival and transfer you to our nearby hotel in Negombo for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 : Negombo - Kandy

Location: Negombo, Kandy

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Thilanka Hotel Kandy

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We depart in the early morning and transfer from Negombo to fertile Mawanella. Our ride begins amidst coconut and rubber plantations and skirts rice paddy fields and local villages. After a gentle warm-up, it's time to start climbing up to and through the Balana Gap. We then ride down to the Royal Botanical Gardens where we take a break to see some of the more than 4,000 species of plants. It's then a short ride onto the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Kandy, one of Sri Lanka's most sacred destinations. Surrounded by mountain ranges and built around a lake, Kandy is home to the Temple of the Tooth, where a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha has been enshrined since the 4th century AD.

Ride: 42km

Elevation: +806m

Descent: -479m

Day 3 : Kandy - Dambulla

Location: Kandy, Dambulla

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Sigiriana Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we have a short transfer to the town of Matale, known for its cultivation of spices. Here we start riding towards Dambulla using a mix of tarmac and red dirt roads. Our scenery will again be dominated by bright fruit orchards, rice paddy fields, and the huge elephant grass that grows wild. Our destination is the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a UNESCO Heritage site. This famous rock temple dates back to the first century BC, and we explore the caves that sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. Once he regained the throne, he built some of the most magnificent rock temples to be found on the Island. We finish at our hotel where there'll be time for a swim before dinner.

Day 4 : Dambulla - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa

Location: Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Giritale Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our tour pedals out of Dambulla and proceeds to the unique ancient 5th century rock fortress of Sigiriya (Lion Rock). As we ride along the shores of Kandalama Lake, we’ll get excellent views of Sigiriya, another UNESCO World Heritage site. We park our bikes and climb up to the abandoned royal palace, converted to a Buddhist monastery. On our way up, we pass famous frescoes and mirror wall. The views from the top are fantastic and more than worth the effort. Once we have explored Sigiriya thoroughly, we'll have a short transfer to our hotel in Polonnaruwa.

Ride: 35km

Elevation: +230m

Descent: -244m

Day 5 : Polonnaruwa - Minneriya National Park - Polonnaruwa

Location: Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National Park, Polonnaruwa

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Giritale Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

An early morning jeep safari awaits as we head to Minneriya National Park to hopefully find some wild elephants. This morning is the chance to see some signature wildlife of Sri Lanka in an uninhabited wilderness environment. The park is the habitat for wild elephants, buffaloes, boar, spotted deer, sloth bear, sambhur leopards, crocodiles, jackals also varieties of butterflies. Our morning safari ends with a snack, and then it's time to mount the bicycles again. We cycle back to Polonnaruwa on a smooth tree-lined road through a forest reserve. When we reach the Polonnaruwa Tank, a very large man-made lake, we have lunch and relax as we still have a busy afternoon ahead of us. We next explore our fourth UNESCO Heritage site, Polonnaruwa, the 10th century capital and best preserved of Sri Lanka's ancient cities.

Ride: 45km

Elevation: +355m

Descent: -355m

Day 6 : Polonnaruwa - Anuradhapura

Location: Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Rajarata Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We start the day with a drive of about 2 hours, so we can ride through the ruins of Anuradhapura, the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. From the 4th century BC, it was the capital of the Sinhalese until the beginning of the 11th century AD. During this period, it remained one of the most stable and durable centres of political power and urban life in South Asia. Considered sacred to Buddhists, we'll see the Bodhi-Tree said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. The riding will be flat and interesting, and you have a cool down in the hotel pool to look forward to after our day of cycling.

Ride: 60km

Elevation: +319m

Descent: -365m

Day 7 : Anuradhapura – Colombo

Location: Anuradhapura, Colombo

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, we transfer you to Colombo for your flight onwards or trip extension to Galle.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Airport pick up and drop off service are included.

  • Fully Guided

    Experienced local English-speaking guide on this tour.

  • Meals

    As detailed in itinerary.

  • Water bottle,Snacks and drinks

  • SpiceRoads jersey

  • Support vehicle

What's Not Included

  • Additional Services

    Tips service are not included.

  • International Travel

    International flights are not included.

  • Visa fees

  • Alcohol

Bike Hire

Mountain Bike: Included, SCOTT E-Bike: US$ 195

Single Supplement

US$ 395

Mode of Transport


Included in this tour are well-known makes of hybrid or mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension.

We also have E-Bikes available for hire. They are of SCOTT brand and come in 2 models with alloy frames, 9-11 speed, Shimano disc brakes, and components.

Bike Repairs

Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    This tour is classed as MODERATE. Moderate trips are for the recreational cyclist looking for a bit more of a challenge. Riders can expect distances of over 75 kilometers on flat terrain, or maximum daily climbing of up to 500 meters over a shorter distance. Moderate trips have more variety in day to day riding, and can include a longer or more challenging climbing day or two. Road conditions may be rough or hard-packed dirt, but with no off-road or technical sections. Cycling experience and good fitness are strongly recommended.

    To prepare yourself, aim to ride twice a week, with a long ride on the weekend so that you’ll be comfortable riding for several hours at a time. Add variety to your cycling experience, like new routes and in new areas, to build confidence.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in itinerary.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Domestic and International flights are not included.

  • Are vaccinations required for this tour?

    We recommend that you visit a travel medical doctor and ask about vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites as the problems experienced cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    Travelers need a travel authorization to visit Sri Lanka for Tourism. Visa-exempt visitors entering Sri Lanka must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Travelers can submit the eTA application and make payment online here. Once the application is approved, travelers receive their eTA confirmation electronically. An eTA is electronically linked to a passport and valid for up to 30 days. The application process only takes a few minutes and you should receive confirmation within 24 hours. However, do not leave it to the last minute and apply as soon as you are able to avoid any delays or hassle before departing for Sri Lanka. We suggest keeping a print out of the ETA approval as well as a digital copy on your phone.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is US$ 395.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, Local English speaking guide on this tour.

  • What is the maximum group size?

    The max group size is 16 peoples.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes, Airport pick up and drop off service are included.

  • Do I need to have travel insurance?

    Yes! SpiceRoads insists that all clients must take out good travel insurance before joining one of our tours. There are inherent risks involved in cycling and mountain biking and we will not be liable for your medical expenses or evacuation in case of an accident. This insurance must include adequate coverage for any personal accident, medical expenses, injury, death and repatriation. Insurance should also provide coverage for cancellations or curtailment of the holiday. Clients should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for any dangerous or unusual activities that might be included in their tour. If you join the tour without adequate insurance you may be disallowed from continuing on the tour without the right of refund. Clients are solely responsible for arranging their insurance and they should ensure that they are covered for the full duration of their tour. Your tour leader will ask for copies of your insurance before allowing you to join the tour. This protects both you and us.

  • Is the trip guaranteed to depart and does it require a minimum number of people?

    There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If the trip status is ‘Limited’ will mean we have only a small number of spaces available for booking. If you are unsure about the trip status, please contact us.

  • Why hire a bike from SpiceRoads?

    SpiceRoads bikes are never just "fit for duty" but a key component of our riders’ tour experience and satisfaction. For tours with bike hire option, renting one of our bikes saves hassle, not to mention precious luggage allowance. All SpiceRoads tours use well-known makes of mountain, hybrid or road bikes (depending on the tour) with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes or disc brakes and Shimano components. Mountain bikes all have front suspension. We renew bikes in our fleet every two seasons. When in use, our bikes are well-cared for, including full service before each trip and daily cleaning while on tour. SpiceRoads tour support vehicles carry plenty of spares and extra tubes for every emergency.

  • Do you have E-Bikes?

    Electric "pedal assist" e-bikes are available on select tours. E-bikes can help manage long distances and climbing terrain through the use of a pedal-activated electric motor. Unlike other e-bikes, "pedal assistedr" e-bikes feel more natural to the rider. We recommend e-bikes for riders interested in tours that might normally be too challenging for them, or for groups of riders with mixed ability. E-bikes provide assistance for long distance or more challenging terrain, but they can’t do all the work for you! Always chose a tour within the range of your own abilities to ensure your own enjoyment when exploring a new destination. Contact us for a complete list of e-bike available tours.

  • What do I need to bring if I rent a SpiceRoads bike?

    Bikes rented for tours always come with a helmet, a single water bottle cage, and a standard saddle. If you prefer to bring your own saddle (just the saddle, not the seat post), additional water bottle cage, or SPD pedals, we will fit them to your bike for the tour. Don’t forgot to bring your shoes and cleats if you bring SPD pedals! Women specific seats are recommended for longer tours. We have a limited supply of gel seat covers to soften the ride, and of strap-on toe cages. Please enquire about adding these during your booking.

  • Do you have details of the SpiceRoads fleet?

    In Thailand we have a fleet of Verve city bikes, TREK 4300 and X-Caliber 7 mountain bikes, TREK 7.2 X, FX 3 and 7200 hybrid bikes and Trek 2.1 C, Domane 2.0, Lexa SL and carbon Émonda S5 road bikes. We also carry Giant 2019 Explore E+ 3 e-bikes. Our bicycles are available in sizes ranging from 13 inches to 22 1/2 inches or 47 cm to 62 cm. Please note that a certain frame model is not guaranteed. In Bangkok and Chiang Mai, baby seats, tag-alongs, and child bikes for children are available. In Bangkok the single-wheeled tag-along bike attach to the seat-post of an adult bike, allowing a child to pedal along behind the adult. There's no age limit to the tag-along bike, but there is a 36 kg weight limit. Bike hire is include in the tour price for short tours, while longer tours offer bike hire as a supplement, as many riders opt to bring their own bike for our cycling tours. Depending on the destination, length of tour, and type of bike, hire costs vary.

Reviews from travellers on this tour


Amazing Tour

The tour was amazing and the staff were so helpful

The tour was amazing and the staff were so helpful and friendly. The hotels were all top class and the sites we visited and the local food at the lunch stops were great. Just wandering which tour to do next.


Beautiful Sri Lankan Nature Trip

Riding through the beautiful Sri Lankan nature, wi

Riding through the beautiful Sri Lankan nature, with our excellent guide and helpers, the excellent hotels and super delicious food, made this trip unforgettable. I will be back :)


Tour Was Very Enjoyable

Tour was very enjoyable and we were very fortunate

Tour was very enjoyable and we were very fortunate to only have 4 guests so it felt very personal. The cycling was good and varied and distances were fine. Chemara was very informative about the wildlife, particularly bird spotting.


Great Biking Experience With Excellent

Great biking experience with excellent guides to e

Great biking experience with excellent guides to ensure the satisfaction and safety of riders.

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    SpiceRoads Cycling allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform spiceroads cycling, 40 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    SpiceRoads Cycling requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of spiceroads cycling charges.

    At 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 0% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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