Sri Lanka cycling vacation

“Small group vacation 15 day cycling through the heart of Sri Lanka, to the Cultural Triangle and also two national parks. With 10 days’ cycling.”

Highlights

Sigiriya | Polonnaruwa | Kandy | Dambulla | Nuwara Eliya | Horton Plains National Park | Tissamaharama | Ella | Buduruvagela | Yala National Park | Galle | Kataragama Temple | Bundala National Park

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Date
Price
Basis
17 Dec 2016
US $ 2785
excluding flights
Full
 
24 Dec 2016
US $ 2715
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07 Jan 2017
US $ 2635
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Full
 
21 Jan 2017
US $ 2635
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Full
 
11 Feb 2017
US $ 3095
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Full
 
25 Feb 2017
US $ 2635
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Full
 
11 Mar 2017
US $ 2635
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25 Mar 2017
US $ 2635
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08 Apr 2017
US $ 2635
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29 Jul 2017
US $ 3095
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05 Aug 2017
US $ 2635
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16 Sep 2017
US $ 2635
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28 Oct 2017
US $ 2635
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04 Nov 2017
US $ 2635
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11 Nov 2017
US $ 2635
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25 Nov 2017
US $ 3025
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16 Dec 2017
US $ 2785
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23 Dec 2017
US $ 2785
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13 Jan 2018
US $ 2715
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27 Jan 2018
US $ 2715
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03 Feb 2018
US $ 2715
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17 Feb 2018
US $ 2715
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24 Mar 2018
US $ 2715
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14 Apr 2018
US $ 2715
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14 Jul 2018
US $ 2715
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04 Aug 2018
US $ 2715
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22 Sep 2018
US $ 2715
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13 Oct 2018
US $ 2715
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03 Nov 2018
US $ 2715
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10 Nov 2018
US $ 2715
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24 Nov 2018
US $ 2715
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22 Dec 2018
US $ 2945
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Our top tip:
Get in training, there are some good distances to cover on this trip, with a few climbs too.
Trip type:
Small group tour, max 16 people. Min. age 16
Activity level:
Moderate-challenging, varying between 32-102kms per day.
Accomm:
11 nights in comfortable, standard hotels, 2 nights guesthouses.
Included:
Flights, accommodation, all breakfasts, 10 lunches, transport, activities, tour leader, bike hire.
Meals:
For dinner, Sri Lankan food is fab, costing £5-8 per day.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome, with surcharge for single rooms.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka cycling vacation

Environment

Activity:
By using our own power to cycle around, we have a minimal impact on the environment. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints and actively try to reduce our impact through attention to waste and energy reduction. However, having said this we do try to leave behind a positive impression through engaging with locals, visiting small cafes and restaurants and buying locally produces crafts and produce. We visit culturally important sites like the 2nd century Buddhist temple at Dambulla, the rock fortress at Sirigiya and the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy and our entry fees make a vital contribution to their upkeep, whilst also celebrating Sri Lankan history.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
All of the hotels we stay in are dedicated to hiring local staff and using freshly sourced produce wherever possible. This helps to benefit the surrounding community by providing employment opportunities and income alternatives where they may be otherwise hard to come by. We also try to select accommodation which has strong environmental policies. For example, Hotel Sigiriya uses scheduled light switching, recycling and waste regulations, water saving cisterns etc. Where meals are not provided, we suggest that clients spread their commerce to small local businesses and try some authentic food. Whilst staying in the guest house, there will be a chance to try a homemade meal cooked in a clay pot over a wood fired stove and to see the spice gardens where some of the ingredients came from.

Charity:
We financially co-sponsored a local Tsunami relief project, which enabled 25 families to be rehoused and for two schools to be equipped with toilets, running water and outdoor swings. In collaboration with a German operator and the village temple, we have helped towards 10 large water tanks and an eye clinic in a remote village with a donation of 200 pairs of glasses. We also assisted a principal agent of Unicef in development of day care and education of school children of the estate sector labourers in the hill country.

Local Craft and Culture:
There are plenty of opportunities to engages with local culture on the several visits to towns, villages and historically important sites and events. There are many places to buy handcrafted souvenirs along the way (e.g. Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya) but the markets are often a favourite of the clients for their vibrancy and authenticity. At the Kandy markets and the Moorish town of Matale, there are large spice markets. We also visit a tea factory and an exotic fruit and vegetable trading centre, where clients can learn a bit about daily agricultural life for some locals and also support the community by buying things here.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Sri Lanka cycling vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 01 Feb 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Cycling through the the back roads of Sri Lanka

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be fit before you start

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, as I donated to a dog charity (Embark) in Sri Lanka on my return to UK

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Extremely good.

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