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Cycle the Back Roads of Sri Lanka

From £1899 for 14 days
Trip Overview
Although a compact island, Sri Lanka is incredibly diverse. Exploring on two wheels is the best way to see this rural country and to experience the way of life of its friendly people. We travel from ancient cities and the fortress at Sigiriya to the hill country towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, where the cooler temperatures and lush scenery make for a relaxing ride. In the south we visit Yala National Park, where we go in search of leopard, before ending the trip on the beaches of the beautiful south coast. Most of the route is a continuous ride, and transfers are kept to a minimum. In many regions of Sri Lanka the bicycle is the most common form of transport, so travelling by bike yourself is a great way to mix with the people and to gain access to their world. This trip covers a substantial part of the island, taking in as much as possible of the scenic and cultural variety that Sri Lanka has to offer. The combination of visits to the ancient cities, great rides through the beautiful hill country, the varied wildlife, and a chance to relax on one of the many wonderful beaches, will certainly give you a taste for serendipity.
Essential Info
Starts: Start Sigiriya
Ends: End Colombo
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Cycling
Trip Code: EMIR
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Sri Lanka
What's Included


All breakfasts and 10 lunches included


10 days cycling (including 1 optional ride) with full vehicle support 95% tarmac, 5% unsurfaced road


Trip Highlights

•    The magnificent cave temple at Dambulla

•    Climb the rock fortress at Sigiriya for breathtaking views

•    Explore the old ruined city of Polonnaruwa

•    The fascinating town of Kandy

•    Ride through tea estates to Nuwara Eliya

•    Search for leopard in Yala National Park

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Departing: 14th Feb 2021
Returning: 27th Feb 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 14th Mar 2021
Returning: 27th Mar 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 28th Mar 2021
Returning: 10th Apr 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 4th Apr 2021
Returning: 17th Apr 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 25th Jul 2021
Returning: 7th Aug 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 8th Aug 2021
Returning: 21st Aug 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 19th Sep 2021
Returning: 2nd Oct 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 17th Oct 2021
Returning: 30th Oct 2021
Availability: Good
Departing: 7th Nov 2021
Returning: 20th Nov 2021
Availability: Good
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
The group flight from London typically arrives at Bandaranayake International Airport around lunchtime and we transfer to Sigiriya (approximately 4 hours) where we stay for the next 2 nights. *Hotel Sigiriya or alternative accommodation in the area*
   Print Trip Notes
Similar Trips


GROUP TOUR from £1195 for 12 days


- Imagine the once fearsome giant lion's head that marked the entrance to Sigiriya’s Lion Rock, then climb up to a 200 metre high abandoned palace fortress
- Get up close to elephants in Udawalawe National Park, and learn about the nearby organisation that works with orphaned or abandoned baby elephants
- Jump in a jeep to safari though national park, and feel the excitement and anticipation of maybe spotting a leopard


GROUP TOUR from £1590 for 15 days


- Explore the ruined cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa,
- Wander throught the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relicin Kandy
- Lion Rock at Sigiriya is an amazing ruined fort and one of the highlights of this fine country


GROUP TOUR from £1595 for 12 days


- Witness the amazing Sri Lankan seafood on offer at the Negombo seafood market
- Spend time with welcoming locals keen to share the mysteries of Sri Lankan cuisine – learn Tamil, Sinhalese, and Bergher cooking in their homes
- Soak up the scenery while sipping a glass of the local arak – Sri Lanka’s signature local liquor
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Excellent holiday in a wonderful country - fun cycling with a lovely group of people, great food, amazing scenery and wildlife, and lots of local life to observe and enjoy.
This was a wonderful trip with great cycling, eating, sight-seeing and so much more. We got a great insight into the local history, culture and economy. The group got on well and enjoyed the wit and humour of its members, but the tone was set by the leader, Suresh, who informed us and amused us in equal measure.
Great cycling holiday through a stunning country.
If you are having any doubt about booking this, think again. This is a trip of a lifetime and a truely amazing experiance. Cycling the backroads of Sri Lanka gives you a wonderful insight into the country.
Fantastic trip- beautiful country with lots to see, friendly people and great food
Absolutely loved this trip and would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind a little bit of graft for a whole lot of fun!! First of all, we had a cracking bunch of lads looking after us and they played a major part in creating a very enjoyable experience. Suresh was our main man and he was faultless in coordinating everyone to be where we needed to be, when we needed to be there. So many times above and beyond his call of duty throughout the trip to ensure extra activities were expertly organised and helping several of us who stayed on after the trip with travel arrangements etc. Sri Lanka proved to be far more than I expected; - the culture, lush verdant landscapes, golden beaches, bird, reptile and animal life and of course the people. Suresh's huge enthusiasm for his homeland was evident in all aspects and he obviously made sure we were treated like royalty wherever we went. The cycling was tough, even 'brutal' in the heat and humidity but descents through beautiful valleys and riding the backroads through villages, fields and forests was a real pleasure, our team made sure we had plenty of fruit, snacks and drinks to keep us going. A major plus on this trip for me was the minimal bus transfers and cycling hotel to hotel
There are two exceptional things about this trip, Sri Lanka and our guide Suresh. Sri Lanka is full of interest, landscape, culture, food and wildlife. So cycling through the mainly quiet roads of this beautiful and engaging country was always going to be good. The amazing level of enthusiasm, competence and good humour shown by Suresh and the rest of the team made for a truly exceptional holiday
A wonderful way to see Sri Lanka. The route captured everything from wildlife to culture to coast. Our Guide and Team were all exceptional, we couldn't fault them. A fabulous experience coupled with the opportunity to meet a super group of people. A good blend of moderate and challenging . A little less traffic, fumes and "excitement" on one or two of the roads we could have done without...
This was simply the best cycle trip so far . Sri Lanka is as vibrant and colourful as I had hoped, and the cycling was amazing , but it is hilly so be prepared for some serious inclines in the saddle. It's not all back roads as per the title, but I felt safe throughout and it was great to see the hustle and bustle as well as the tranquility. The food was a journey in itself , and the standard of accommodation was far better than expected. One place is slightly ' below standard' , but the entertainment that night of our fantastic guide Suresh giving us a cookery demonstration more than made up for it. The trip is full on and busy but you will be entertained from the 6am wake up calls starts until you have your first well earned Lion beer every evening. Great company in my fellow cyclists, great support and the best ever guide in Suresh to make sure we made ' maximum damage' to cycling Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 .
Gosh where to start... we have been on 3 trips now with Exodus and each time l think the guide is good, but Suresh was a true Ambassador not only for Exodus but most importantly Sri Lanka. He was so proud of it, the people, its geography, wildlife, flora and fauna and of course its culture. That deep knowledge helps convey a strong level of confidence and insight whenever he was "guiding" or asked questions about Sri Lanka. So that's him in a nutshell but there is so more to talk about what he and the supporting team delivered during our 2 weeks. The team were excellent, they were well briefed understood exactly what was needed, nothing was ever too much trouble. Every morning the bikes were cleaned if dirty, chains were cleaned and oiled & of course checked to ensure our safety. Whenever we stopped the team would quickly remove our drinks bottles and refill to ensure we kept hydrated, it was after all hot! In addition to our guide we also had two other cyclists riding, both were excellent at either supporting riders at the back of the group or riding ahead at key junctions to point the way or many cases stop the traffic so we could just continue cycling. We also had 3 others in the support team who were equally as helpful and again just could not do enough for you. Nobody could fault the team. I would say the group had a mixed level of experience, but at no point did any of them ever indicate that they always felt riding with them. They were always very encouraging. Many of the roads were as the trip notes state were just back roads quiet and full of life - local people, children shouting hello or goodbye, animals and birds. Traffic and driving in Sri Lanka can at times be described as a little chaotic, but even when we had to ride on main roads (A roads) they were never that busy. Whilst cycling Suresh’s knowledge of his environment was second to none, he ensured that we never missed anything - he even ensured that we had the right "lucky" Jeep driver to ensure we saw a Leopard in Yala National Park. His “management” of us was very professional, courteous and exceptionally polite when asking for people’s attention, it is often difficult to get but he did through his knowledge, respect and of course good humour. His ability to laugh at himself is a great virtue! When it came to the day to day logistics of riding, no stone was ever left unturned. Suresh ensured we received 100% service from not only him and his team but also those who provided us with Sri Lankan hospitality. Whether it was a simple & basic tea house, 4* hotel, or a dinner on the beach the relationship he had created with them meant service was second to none. It was evident that if any of these were not delivered to his exacting standards then he would tirelessly secure somewhere better. All these establishments knew that. I could say more but where to stop my final example would be on our departure day from the group. We decided to stay an additional week near Galle, so we asked Suresh if he could book us train tickets, contact the HomeStay to see if we could hire bikes, etc. which he duly did. Come the day of our departure at 6am from the Hotel, Suresh organised a tuk tuk for all 3 of us to get to Colombo train station. He accompanied us on to the right platform and ensured we get on the train safely. Once we were on he then of course left us. We then saw him 10 minutes later back on the platform. He had sent some photos of us on the platform to the WhatsApp group but when asked did we have seats he then had to stop his journey back to the hotel and return to the station to take some photos of us in said seats as evidence. Why would you do that? Simple because he truly cared. We absolutely loved every minute of our holiday to Sri Lanka, the people, its culture, the birds, wildlife, history and geography. All of this was fully exposed because of the insight and passion that Suresh and his team had. They truly bought it to life, guides can make or break a holiday, they made it for all of us. We will have no hesitation in returning and recommending this trip to other cyclists. It was ACE!!!!
A really enjoyable trip with a charismatic tour leader, and superb scenery, wildlife and food. The support team were great, always trying their best to look after you, and the driver had nerves of steel negotiating the chaotic traffic. Sri Lanka has emerged from some dark times, and is once again a terrific place to visit, with great variety and vibrancy and a lovely, friendly vibe. Plenty of smiles and high-fives as you ride through the landscape, shouts of “Bye!” Following you down the road.
This trip was so much more than expected. Our guide, Suresh, and his team were superb, seamlessly organising every aspect of our trip - snacks, luggage into hotels, tyre changes and even a shelter to get changed under when the rain became too torrential to cycle in! His knowledge and love for his country and the extra events he organised (e.g. dinner ‘al fresco’) combined with his great sense of humour made this a trip we will never forget - definitely an amazing way to experience the scenery and local life of this beautiful country. Other than one hotel, where we had no running water (this could have been due to the torrential rain), a mattress on a concrete slab and insects galore, the majority of hotels were good and some were very good. The cycling for me (a regular but non club cyclist) was tough in places but generally manageable other than the long uphill ride to Nuwara Eliya where I managed to cycle to the lunch stop. My advice to anyone in the same situation would be to take the train - it would give you the advantage of having the afternoon in the hotel and time to see the surrounding area, rather than travelling in the support vehicle. All in all, an experience not to be missed!
A well organised trip with lots of variety to keep everyone interested.
A wonderful holiday with wonderful people! Our exceptional hosts Ruwan and team lead us on an amazing journey, exploring the countryside, the wildlife and introducing us to their culture and way of life. I was very much looking forward to my first trip to Sri Lanka and I loved it. Cycling through the countryside, paddy fields teaming with bird life, being greeted with big smiles and high fives from the locals was a real pleasure. I really enjoyed the hilly days, some are challenging then the lion beer, curry and rice at the end of the day are perfect.
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