Sri Lanka coast to coast cycling holiday
Description of Sri Lanka coast to coast cycling holiday
Cycling from coast to coast in Sri Lanka with an English speaking local guide is an absolute must for anyone wishing to expand their cultural horizons along with their leg muscles.
This two week trip takes you over Sri Lanka's quiet back roads so as to provide a healthy balance of untouched natural scenery and ancient sites, including the ruined temple of Yapahuwa and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.
Discovering Sri Lanka by bike really allows you to get to grips with the terrain and although the majority of the cycle routes are pretty flat there are one or two slight inclines that will provide a bit more or a challenge, as well as great views.
Optional safaris in Minneriya and Udawalawe national parks provide plenty of time to enjoy Sri Lanka out of the saddle however, pedalling past the wilderness areas of Maha Oya and Arugam Bay will no doubt provide all the inspiration you need to stick to two wheels.
Average daily distances are around 45 – 65kms so getting ready to ride before you start to cycle in Sri Lanka is definitely best advice. Overnight accommodation is in comfy locally-owned hotels and guest houses in addition to home stays in places like Batticalao - well off the traditional tourist radar.
From Habarana and Katharagama to Galle Fort and Colombo, this two week cycling holiday in Sri Lanka lets you discover the east, west and south coast scenery alongside everything else in between.
PlanetWe are proud of the wildlife in our country and we want to bring you as close as possible without stressing the wildlife. We do not promote any “animal centres” during our trips. On this holiday you have the option of going on a Safari at Minneriya and Udawalawe. We only use responsible licensed jeep drivers who are trained to not stress the animals in the park. On our nature walk in Arugam Bay, we will be exploring virgin forests. It’s very important to follow our naturalists lead as these are the last few areas of wildlife not overrun by tourism. We only do small groups into these forests and take special care to not distress the flora or fauna here.
Obviously we have a leave no waste behind policy and also encourage our guests and guides to clean up the places they visit. On this cycling tour we will be providing fruits and other refreshments during the rides. Our guides will segregate the waste. The organic waste would be deposited in the surrounding farms, while the plastic waste would be carried with us till the next recycling collection point. We don’t use plastic water bottles. There will be a 20L can where you can refill your water bottles.
Water scarcity is a major problem for Sri Lanka. Our drivers and guides are trained to use minimum water while still keeping the vehicles and cycles clean. We also encourage the hotels to use water conservation techniques. Signs to guest to use less water is just one small step towards reducing our water foot print.
We try and use hybrid vehicles whenever possible and will always have the right size vehicle for you.
PeopleOur trips are designed, planned and operated by us, the locals. We operate in areas where our guides grew up. Eat in restaurants we enjoy. Use the services of friends and family. All our local guides are from the area where we are operating. The guides on our trips started out with humble beginnings, but now are proud to represent our company and country.
The whole point of a cycling trip, is to be able to engage with the local communities. Our guides will stop whenever they see something interesting en route. Stop and talk to the farmers, fishermen and vegetable sellers. All the fruits and refreshments provided on the trip are bought from the local vendors en route. This provides additional income to them.
We also use some small home stays completely off the tourist circuit. This is a major source of income for these families. In Batticalao we let a local family lead your experience through their town.
Sri Lanka is on the brink of suffering from over tourism. In order to fight this we try and spread out tourist both in terms of timing as well as destinations. Yapahuwa, Maha Oya, Batticalao are completely not on the mass tourism radar. The routes we use are back roads not used by other tourists, this provides additional income to the small industries. The areas we visit do not get many foreign visitors. So you would be an ambassador for your country as the locals are always fascinated when they see a new face.
We try and support local charities when we can. We organise an annual cycling event that generates funds for children suffering from Cerebral Palsy.
We do not promote commission based tourism, instead we promote shops run by local cooperatives. Look out for the “Hela Bojun” restaurants, run by the local women’s cooperatives.