Sri Lanka - Backroads and Beaches - Cycling Holiday
- Eying up the elephants at Udawalawe
- Stunning Sigirya and the Lion Rock
- Colonial cool in Nuwara Eliya
- Coastal cycling and beautiful beaches
- Honing in on Horton Plains after a day in the hills
- The Knuckles and Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth
View Trip Schedule
|1||Departure for Sri Lanka|
|2||Arrival in Colombo||D|
|3||Chillaw to Anuradhapura||53 Miles / 84 Kms - Flat||B L D|
|4||Anuradhapura to Habarana||45 Miles / 73 Kms - Flat||B L D|
|5||Habarana - Sigiriya - Nalanda||28 Miles / 46 Kms - Flat||B L D|
|6||Nalanda to Kandy||36 Miles / 58 Kms - Hilly||B L D|
|7||Kandy to Nuwara Eliya||31-37 Miles / 50-60 Kms - Hilly||B L D|
|8||Nuwara Eliya to Bandarawela||31 Miles / 50 Kms - Mostly Downhill||B L D|
|9||Bandarawela to Katharagama||43-60 Miles / 70-97 Kms - Mostly Downhill||B L D|
|10||Katharagama to Udawalawe||44 Miles / 71 Kms - Flat||B L D|
|11||Udawalawe - Jeep Safari||Non Cycling Day||B L D|
|12||Udawalwe to Tangalle||42 Miles / 68 Kms - Flat||B L D|
|13||Tangalle - Mirissa||43 Miles / 70 Kms - Flat / Rolling||B L D|
|14||Mirissa to Colombo via Galle||Non Cycling Day||B|
Meals: B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner Please keep in mind the distances and ascent information provided are intended to be indicative and may vary from the actuals due to accommodation changes or when compared on different GPS devices and software
For more information download our trip notes
For more information download our trip notes
As seen in the press...
Start at Chilaw on the coast and visit Anuradhapura before gliding through villages and paddy fields to the Ritigala Nature Park, which surrounds northern Sri Lanka’s highest mountain. Time in the saddle is interrupted by elephant safaris, forays into dramatic tea country, hiking in the wildlife-filled Knuckles range and chillout time at the beautiful Mirissa beach. Most days involve cycling 30-50 miles, and it’s a hilly country so some sections require a bit of effort.
The Times (September 2019), Bike and hike trips, from Italy to Ethiopia
I loved the changing landscapes...
This was my first Skedaddle overseas trip – I had already done several UK trips with you. Group size at 5 was small, which I was a little concerned about initially, but it worked very well – the group got on well together.
Overall the quality of the hotels was excellent, and much better than I had expected. My favourite day was from Nuwara Eliya to Bandarawela – I loved the changing landscapes, from tea plantations, to forests, to rolling farmland, and of course Horton Plains National Park. The weather was much more agreeable as well which helped – at that altitude it was cooler and fresher.
Our tour leader handled the tour in a highly competent and relaxed manner. He quickly established a good rapport with the group-a very likeable and affable guide. The tour support staff was superb – always smiling, helpful, on hand at junctions to show the way etc etc. Our coach driver, and the guide for all matters of a tourist,cultural,and religious nature was very competent and also a good driver getting us around safely on the transfers. The bus was comfortable, and most importantly on this trip, air conditioned.
The headline price doesn’t appear good value, especially when compared to competitors, but the trip really is very inclusive with practically all meals included. Comparing the headline price is therefore not comparing like with like. I spent less during this trip, than on any comparable overseas cycling trip.
Desmond, Belfast, UK
Could not recommend this enough...
This is my second time on this trip! The Sigariya rock, added to the cycling made a great day, but the two days coming down from Horton Plains are hard to beat. Bikes were overall perfect for this holiday. Our guides were also overall very reliable, helpful and knowledgeable. The office team did a good job making sure all was OK. Overall, this holiday is a great mixture of cycling, culture and wildlife. Could not recommend this enough, huge amounts to do and see on and off the bike.
Jim, Glasgow, UK
As seen in the press...
Muggy warmth? Heavy downpours? Rickety roads up steep hills? Yes – you find all three of these cyclists’ foes in Sri Lanka. So should you push aside all thoughts of touring the country by pedal power? Absolutely not. Just ask Saddle Skedaddle which runs a regular 15-day “Backroads and Beaches” odyssey.
The Telegraph (June 2019), There's never been a better time to visit Sri Lanka - here's where to go
It was a wonderful holiday.
It was a wonderful holiday. The group really gelled and everyone was supportive, helpful and worked as a team – probably the best combination of people that we have been on holiday with. It is a beautiful country and the Sri Lankans are so friendly and obliging. The trip was well organised and the guides did their best to accommodate all the wishes of the team. The wildlife was wonderful and we were very lucky with our safaris – beyond expectation! Really enjoyed the different activities that were put on for us – even the visits to the Temples in the rain! Thoughtful to provide lungies etc for the party to no problems with access to the temples. Enjoyed visit to Theatre in Kandy, to spice farm at Nalanda and tea factory in Nuwara Eliya and the walk about on the last night in Colombo. Enjoyed the visit to the Lion Rock immensely. Had not realised it was so vast or so magnificent! All helped to give us a better idea of the country.
Difficult to give a favourite day as so many were so special for different reasons. Safari on the night we went to Habrana was exceptional in that we saw about 150 elephants close at hand. Visit to Sigiriya Rock was so interesting and then the visit to the spice farm and neck massage! Scenery to Kandy and Nuwara Eliya was so varied and visit to tea factory interesting.
Horton Plain and then the descent through the Eucalyptus forests was beautiful – had to keep stopping just to take in breath-taking views. Safari at Udawalawe was out of this world. We had the privilege of seeing a 3 month old calf suckling from his mother – while some of the herd stood by protectively. It was a very emotional moment as the mother was so patient, calm and watchful! Also all the other variety of wild life – in beautiful hot sunshine!
The guides were all very eager for us to enjoy our rides and the whole Sri Lankan experience. Courteous and attentive.
Very good value for money. The hotels were better than on previous holidays. The additional activities arranged were really enjoyable and interesting. Also enjoyed the impromptu cookery lesson which we were given at our lunch stop on the way to Tangalle! I Have (recommended Skedaddle) so many times in the past and will continue to do so.
Betty, Edinburgh, UK
This was a wonderful way to visit Sri Lanka.
This was a wonderful way to visit Sri Lanka. The beautiful route, variety of activity, excellent food and a great opportunity to see what I am sure is the real Sri Lanka. We saw children so pleased to cheer us on, smiling ladies hard working folk. It was certainly a well packed holiday with a great range of activities organised for after the cycling.
All hotels were very happy to cook eggs on request and there was plenty of choice. I loved the street food snacks and the traditional fare we were given, coconut water, curd and honey, freshly cut pineapple and mango, fresh bananas to remind us of how they should taste. the food was excellent off the beaten track, but more western in the south. I loved the traditional food.
The team were great, from warm ups to support on the ride and the guides and drivers were amazing and so helpful. They were thorough and always there for us all and very friendly.
They were very keen to make sure we were all comfortable and happy and nothing was too much trouble for them. They were attentive and looked after the bikes well for us too. The bike did the job well and was comfortable and the right size. my first tour on a mountain bike and it was certainly good recommendation to use it for this tour…. I was pleased for its solidness on the rough and bumpy roads.
Pauline, Worcestershire, UK
A magical moment...
Very Good! Booking was great – the onsite staff were very well organised. it all ran really smoothly. My favourite day was Nalanda to Kandy – despite heavy rain on the way up the final climb – the clouds lifted just as I reached the tea plantation and it was a magical moment with sun on the distant hills.
Suzanne, Worcestershire, UK
Thanks very much for a great time!
The trip ran seamlessly, it was really well organised and there was so much food! Particularly enjoyed the picnics/lunches and it was great to be given local treats at some of our stops. My litre of coconut treacle made it home safely and is great on porridge.
The scenery was stunning and everyone very friendly. Prateeque and his team excelled themselves at all times, always cheerful, friendly with lots of local knowledge about plants and animals. I haven’t stopped telling people how amazing the trip was since I came back. Thanks very much for a great time!
Catherine, Surrey, UK
Brilliant introduction to cycling holidays!
It’s been a fab trip and I’m pleased to have shared it with great people. Thanks for a brilliant introduction to Skedaddle and cycling holidays – what a way to explore! I think I might have got the bug and would certainly travel this way again.
Samantha, Tyne and Wear, UK
Really brilliant holiday!
Loved it! Terrific back up by the lovely, friendly team. Tour leader was such a lovely man. Really kind, compassionate, a great cyclist and good company. One of the best we have had. Guides were all funny, kind, happy and really good at their jobs. Our bikes were cleaned and checked daily. We loved them! We are already looking forward to our next Skedaddle holiday.
Jill, Cheshire, UK
Loved Sri Lankan food – lots of variety! We have done holidays with other companies and enjoyed tham but Skedaddle definitely have the edge – team seems to care more!
Clare, Cumbria, UK
The trip was excellent.
The trip was excellent. Some great food, and probably the best accommodation I have had on a cycling trip. I really enjoyed the days going up to and down from the tea plantations! Our tour guide was a star whose positive attitude and helpfulness helped create a nice spirit for the trip.
Tim, London, UK
Well thought out.
Snacks are important if cycling all day. these were plentiful and varied. Cuisine in Sri Lanka is good and was of high standard everywhere we went. The distances and challenges were well thought out so no day was outrageous. The route allowed us to see the sights not just cycle. The transport / support vehicle provided was excellent – the perfect mix 1 Land Rover + 1 minibus + 1 lorry for bikes.
I was impressed with the variety of other activities (apart from cycle) that we experienced!
Morag, Cambridgeshire, UK
I loved the hilly days ( like climbing a lot!!) but the rest of cycling was also pretty good with lots to see on the way. Plenty of time to stop and take pictures. Great holiday!
Carmen, Cheshire, UK
Best group of people!
Sri Lanka was a great holiday for us and we really enjoyed it. It was one of the best groups of people we have been with; nobody complained about the food, weather, beer, country or each other. We had many good days and evenings talking to all of you and I would be very pleased should we find ourselves on another trip together.
Laurence, Cumbria, UK
It was a fabulous trip (soooo wish I was back there) and a huge part of that was all the other Skedaddlers.
Jo, London, UK
Food was excellent! Very varied, clean and tasty. Even too good – I ate too much and put on weight!
Martin, Cheshire, UK
Vey good support team!
The bus team were great drivers, attentive and went the extra mile by taking us out at night and hanging around to make sure we were all ok.
Andrew, Cambridge, UK
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- 15 days
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Place to place
13 nights accommodation
13 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
10 days cycling
Fully guided with vehicle support
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Last Updated: 15/07/2019