Cycling holiday in Sri lanka
Late availability on these dates: 09 Oct, 13 Nov
Description of Cycling holiday in Sri lanka
This two week cycling holiday in Sri Lanka is a wonderful way to get to know this beautiful island. Follow the west coast north and then loop inland to explore the lush hill country, before dropping back down to the coast for some time relaxing on the beach. You’ll pedal through fishing villages, jungle landscapes and tea plantations in a round trip that takes you from Negombo to Colombo.
Vehicle transfers will move you and your bike to each perfect cycling destination and there’s plenty of time for exploring temples and ancient sites on foot. Each ride is typically about 40km long, with some longer routes included. The itinerary also includes cycling-free days, on the coast, in Kandy and in Colombo, and there is plenty of down time for relaxing off the bike and exploring on foot.
Cycling is a fun, low impact way to explore Sri Lanka, with lots of opportunities to meet local people, stop off at roadside food stalls and discover quiet, less visited spots. The island has many beautiful ruins and important temples, beautiful national parks and cool mountain retreats. It’s perfect for cycling, with a mix of routes and ever changing landscapes to discover. In between cycling, relax on the beach, take a scenic train ride and tuck into the island’s amazing food.
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5 Reviews of Cycling holiday in Sri lanka
Reviewed on 15 Feb 2020 by Fridrik GudmundssonThe most memorable part of the holiday was the smile of the Sri Lankans and beautiful sights. Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Mar 2019 by Jo CookOur team was incredible, this was echoed by group members who have previously been on such holidays Read full review
Reviewed on 18 Feb 2019 by Esther KieboomCycling across the most beautiful stretches of countryside of Sri Lanka, meeting local people, learning more about buddhism. Our guide Sam, together with his team, made this a most exciting and memorable holiday. Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Feb 2019 by Linda VernonThe balance of the holiday between physical exertion, seeing the sites and enjoying the wildlife and beauty... Best I ever had. For me it was very good organisation & accommodation. Excellent guide leader and bike crew. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Feb 2019 by Natalie ParkerMost memorable: Seeing an elephant at the side of the road waiting to cross as we were making our way from one stop to another! The wildlife and the beautiful scenery were highlights. Read full review
PlanetA key tenet to our company's commitment to responsible travel is to actively avoid (and discourage people from visiting) any establishment that participates in, or condones the riding or performing of elephants. On this trip you'll stop to visit an elephant transit home which helps rehabilitate elephants for re-entry to the wild. The elephants are often released into the Uda Walawe National Park. We also visit Yala National Park, where animals such as leopards and elephants can be viewed in their natural environment. To help minimise the impact on the animals and their habitat we endeavour to use smaller, quieter vehicles and stick only to the official roads.
On cycling trips it is easy to use plastic excessively, especially in hot and humid climates like Sri Lanka. Rather than use single-use plastic bottles we refill our water bottles from a large water drum kept on our support vehicle.
Despite its reputation for an active rainy season, in 2017 Sri Lanka has suffered its worst drought in four decades, with more than a million people experiencing acute water shortages. To help minimise our impact we avoid using single-use plastic bottles and refill our water bottles from a large water drum kept on our support vehicle. We are also working with our accommodation suppliers to minimise water wastage by installing signage to encourage water conservation practices. We encourage our travellers to take short showers and to never leave the tap water running unnecessarily.
Our greatest contribution to minimising our transportation's impact on the environment is to simply travel by bike, avoiding any use of energy or fuel. When we do use a vehicle we are committed to providing local experiences and as part of this philosophy during this trip we use local forms of transport wherever possible, including a train on this itinerary. Where we do use a support vehicle we will always ensure that it is an appropriate size to suit the cyclists it supports - no using a 16 seater minivan if we only have 10 people travelling.
On this trip we use our own local Sri Lankan supplier who shares our commitment to responsible business, from waste and water management to ensuring we are leaving as minimal a foot(tyre)print as possible. Where we use a third party to assist in the running of the trip we ensure they are educated on all aspects of responsible business, and supported in making any changes they need to improve in this regard.
PeopleAn important part of travel is mixing with the locals and experiencing “real life” in the destination. On this trip, along with staying in locally-owned hotels/guesthouses, we visit small cafes and restaurants and buy locally produces crafts and produce. This gives locals the opportunity to earn money directly and our travellers the chance to interact with Local Sri Lankans in their everyday environment.
We also use only Sri Lankan cycling guides and support staff, as well as local guides in many destinations. We source local activities which we believe are sustainable to the economy in that they allow the flow of income from visitors to be distributed to a greater audience rather than remain concentrated with tourism providers, this could be as simple as spending time in a local café, to cooking classes in a home and shopping at small local stores.
In fact, all aspects of this trip (on the ground) are operated by local Sri Lankans, including all our cycling guides, support vehicle drivers, local site guides, and accommodation providers. We provide our cycling leaders with a formal 4 day cycling training so that they are up to speed with the needs of our travellers as well as building their skills.
Locals know where the best food, souvenirs, local crafts and entertainment can be found. This trip is operated by local Sri Lankans and we ensure any shopping opportunities (from the bustling Colombo to the tiny villages we stop off at while cycling along the way) are authentic experiences that showcase Sri Lanka's rich and unique culture and crafts. Along with visiting truly local places like the Dambulla wholesale vegetable market we are also mindful to visit and financially support sites that are culturally important to Sri Lanka and its history such as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Anuradhapura and Kandy's Temple of the Tooth, the most important Buddhist site in the country. While the famous stilt fishermen casting lines from their traditional poles are an iconic sight unfortunately this activity has become a real tourist trap, with tourists expected to pay for the opportunity of taking a photo. We do not actively visit the beaches where the 'stilt fishermen' merely pose for photos, and advise our travellers to use their best judgement before paying for a photo.
Our philosophy is to act local and that means respecting the local laws, traditions and cultures and this is something that our tour leaders will discuss with our travellers at the very first group meeting. We also take care to form genuine and mutually beneficial relationships with local people. An excellent example is in Maskeliya where we enjoy an authentic Tamil meal from a local kiosk, freely mixing and chatting with the locals. We are also mindful to help connect our travellers with the cultural aspects of Sri Lanka, through activities such as enjoying a traditional Kandyan dance performance – a riveting insight into an age-old culture.
As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. A bicycle means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, providing a profound and lasting positive effect for the individual as well as their community. Bicycles for Humanity collect donated (used or new) bicycles, repair them if needed and send them to Africa. Along with donated bicycles each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles for Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed, helping the community to move away from aid dependence.
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