Biking vacation in Sri lanka

“Take to two wheels to explore gorgeous Sri Lanka, cycling to ancient sites and quiet villages, on a fully supported small group tour. ”

Highlights

Negombo | Anuradhapura | Ritigala | Polonnaruwa | Diyabeduma | Dambulla | Sigiriya | Matale | Kandy | optional: Knuckles Conservation Forest | tea factory visit | Temple of the Tooth | scenic train ride from Kandy to Hatton | Maskeliya | optional: climb Adam's Peak | Bogawanthalawa | Balangoda | elephant transit home | Tissamaharama | Yala National Park | Bundala National Park | Mirissa | optional: whale watching | Galle | Colombo
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Date
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03 Aug 2019
US $2410
US $2048
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10 Aug 2019
US $2410
US $2048
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17 Aug 2019
US $2410
US $2048
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24 Aug 2019
US $2410
US $2048
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07 Sep 2019
US $2410
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14 Sep 2019
US $2750
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16 Nov 2019
US $2500
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23 Nov 2019
US $2500
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07 Dec 2019
US $2600
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14 Dec 2019
US $2600
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21 Dec 2019
US $2600
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04 Jan 2020
US $2635
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18 Jan 2020
US $2635
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01 Feb 2020
US $2635
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08 Feb 2020
US $2635
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22 Feb 2020
US $2535
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29 Feb 2020
US $2535
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07 Mar 2020
US $2535
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21 Mar 2020
US $2535
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04 Apr 2020
US $2535
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18 Apr 2020
US $2440
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04 Jul 2020
US $2440
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11 Jul 2020
US $2440
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18 Jul 2020
US $2440
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01 Aug 2020
US $2440
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08 Aug 2020
US $2440
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15 Aug 2020
US $2440
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22 Aug 2020
US $2440
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12 Sep 2020
US $2440
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14 Nov 2020
US $2535
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21 Nov 2020
US $2535
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05 Dec 2020
US $2635
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12 Dec 2020
US $2635
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19 Dec 2020
US $2635
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Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your vacation not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are traveling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are traveling through. All solo travelers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travelers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your inquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Biking vacation in Sri lanka

Environment

A 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 travelers 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 traveling.

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.

As a company we are committed to carbon offsetting. The main sources of carbon emission from our trips (transport, accommodation and waste) are assessed and offset into renewable energy projects. We’ve offset over 250,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from our trips and offices worldwide, including over 40,000 tonnes of carbon in 2016. Part of the cost of your trip is dedicated to carbon offsetting.

Community

An 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 travelers 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 travelers 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 travelers 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 travelers 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 travelers 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.

4 Reviews of Biking vacation in Sri lanka

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 16 Mar 2019 by

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


Seamless organisation provided an amazing vacation...active, culture, nature.

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


Do it, encompassing many aspects....history, beach, rural, scenic manageable rides. Good standard of accommodation, excellent team

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


Benffitted country most definitely. Plastic drinking bottles were refilled.

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


We are now hooked and looking for our next trip. Read small print about tipping, this is an impact cost. Our team was incredible, this was echoed by group members who have previously been on such vacations

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2019 by

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


Cycling 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 vacation.

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


Be prepared for early starts and a very intense but exhillarating programme.

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


Yes. Although much is done to reduce environmental impacts, let's not kid ourselves: tourism is an activity that has an environmental impact.

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


10 out of 10.

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2019 by

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


The island; it was full of birds, fish, animals plants - the overall beauty of the place. We were lucky enough to spot a leopard in the reserve and I believe there are about 30 altogether so you will have a chance of seeing one. Lots of elephants too. The balance of the vacation between physical exertion, seeing the sites and enjoying the wildlife and beauty.

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


Be cycle fit although you can travel in the bus any time if you do not want to cycle and be prepared to enjoy the woo factor. Pack light.

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


Yes - we spent most of our vacation cash on the local economy which benefited the local people. Environmental impact - can't answer. Supporting conservation - most definitely yes.

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


Best I ever had. For me it was very good organisation & accommodation. Excellent guide leader and bike crew. Carefully selected route so you were cycling in the most suitable/interesting parts of the trip and sitting in the bus on the busiest roads. Stopping for lunch breaks at local houses or small cafes. We saw the real Sri Lanka and met the people. We were not in the tourist rat trap most of the time... however we visited the unesco sites so missed nothing of the
wonderful country.

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2019 by

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


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. Sri Lanka is a fantastic place to go to get a great mix of culture, nature and activities. We went to Mirissa for some relaxing beach time and I'd recommend it as part of your vacation if you are thinking of going. It was lovely to be part of a small tour so I felt safe at all times. Our tour leader was brilliant - he was informative and enthusiastic and made the whole trip memorable.

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


The temperature and climate varies so pack for all weather. Go with a tour group to get the most out of your trip - our tour leader organised things that weren't even on the itinerary to ensure that we saw and did as much as possible. He knew all the best places to eat and introduced us to all the various cuisines on offer.

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


Unfortunately you had to buy bottled water in Sri Lanka but the tour leader encouraged us to buy the biggest bottles (5l) and store them on the bus just decanting what we needed for the day into our personal water bottles. We also collected up all the plastic bottles we used and took them to recycling centers in Galle & Colombo. The operator has supported local people by including them as part of the tour for example we visited a family one evening to do a cookery class and make loads of curries - it was delicious and lovely to spend time with the family. We also visited a family run campsite and the tour operator had just paid for the new permanent tents to help support them. The tour operator does not condone elephant rides but we found otherwise to see elephants like visiting the transit center where the baby elephants are saved and looked after until they are able to be introduced to the wild.

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


It was excellent. I had travelled with this operator before but found this experience even better than last time. I think it really depends on the tour leader you get and we were lucky enough to get a fantastic guide who really cared that we had the best vacation possible.

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