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North Sri Lanka Revealed

A comprehensive journey discovering this inspiring island focusing on the
undiscovered northern regions



At a glance

* Travel by private bus, boat, bicycle and jeep
* Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs.
* 16 nights hotels, all en suite

A comprehensive journey discovering this inspiring island focusing on the
undiscovered northern regions

Sri Lanka is a small county but it offers a range of sights and experiences
that few destinations can match. This is the most comprehensive itinerary of
the island that Exodus runs as it includes the undiscovered Northern
provinces, an area where few tourists are yet to travel. From the ornate
Hindu temples of Jaffna in the north and the secluded beaches of the east, to
the wildlife of Udawalawe National Park in the south and the popular
highlights of Sigirya and Kandy in-between; this is a trip that explores
everything that Sri Lanka has to offer.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/aks.jpg?t=1DgNUM

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts and 4 lunches
* All accommodation (see below)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

Food:
All breakfasts and 4 lunches are included.

We suggest allowing about £15-£17 (approx. US – US.50) per day for
all other meals. Sri Lankan cuisine is a fascinating reflection of the
island’s heritage; there is a unique fusion of fresh local produce with
spices brought to the island over the centuries by Malays, Arabs, Indians as
well as the Dutch, Portuguese and English. Despite, or perhaps because of,
these influences Sri Lankan cuisine is often referred to simply as ‘Rice
and Curry’; this is the staple dish in most restaurants and is usually a
serving of rice accompanied by assorted meat and vegetable curries as well as
various pickles, ‘sambols,’ and a handful of tiny poppadum’s – all
using the contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli, curry leaves, cinnamon and
garlic. The variety is constant and this along with the abundance of fresh
seafood and fish ensures the cuisine is a constant highlight of the trip.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any
special dietary requests. Please note that in Sri Lanka the availability of
certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free,
please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home.
Spicier food can be avoided easily and lots of the hotels with serve Western
options alongside traditional food.

Start destination: Wattala

End destination: Colombo

Cycling profile

Day 1

The group flight arrives at Colombo’s Bandaranaike Airport and we transfer to
our hotel at Watalla on the coast just north of Colombo. Those not flying
with the group will meet us at the hotel.
*Palm Village Hotel or similar*

Day 2

We depart after breakfast for the drive to Anuradhapura (approx. 4-5 hours)
including a game drive in Wilpattu National Park. Wilpattu, Sri Lanka’s
largest national park, is a fairly thick dry zone jungle interspersed with a
number of flood plain lakes banked with delicate white sand. The biggest
draws in Wilpattu are leopards and Sloth bears. Alongside these, it is
possible to see Asian elephants, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Wild boar,
Asiatic buffalo and Mugger crocodiles. Leaving the park, we drive to nearby
Anuradhapura where we spend the next two nights.
*The Lakeside at Nuwarawewa or similar*

Day 3

Today we start in the sacred city of Anuradhapura. Now picturesque ruins, it
was once a major centre of Sri Lankan civilisation. There is a lot to see
including huge bell-shaped stupas, the sacred Bodhi tree, eight major
palaces, monasteries and monuments. Later in the day we travel the short
distance to the mountain peak of Mihintale, believed to be the site of a
meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which
inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
*The Lakeside at Nuwarawewa or similar*

Day 4

We have a full day’s journey north today to Jaffna (approx. 6 hours). After
an hour we will stop at Tantirimale monastery, which is set in a vast
panoramic area amongst sprawling boulders, in the midst of thick forest. The
climb and the walk around the caves and restored ruins is a pleasant
experience. Reaching the top of the rock we arrive at the Bodhi tree, one of
the first eight off shoots of the original Bo-sapling brought to Sri Lanka
during the time of King Devanampiyatissa in the third Century BC. After our
visit here we will continue our journey to Jaffna.
*Tilko Jaffna City Hotel or similar*

Day 5

Leaving Jaffna early in the morning we drive across causeways to Punkudutivu
(approx. 1 hour) where we will take a ferry over to Delft (Neduntheevu). This
is the largest island in the Palk Strait and is Sri Lanka’s furthest
inhabited point. The island has a small population but a rich history and is
home to a variety of small archaeological and cultural sites, as well as wild
ponies. Very few tourists venture here and with little infrastructure it is
an adventurous journey. We also visit Nainativu and Nagapooshani Amman, an
impressive Hindu temple, as well as the Buddhist shrine of Nagadeepa Vihare.
Please note that today’s inclusions are weather dependent, if it is not
possible to travel to Delft then your leader will organise alternative
sightseeing.
*Tilko Jaffna City Hotel or similar*

Day 6

A slightly more relaxing day, but we still keep busy visiting a number of
sites in and around Jaffna. In the morning we will head out of the main city
to visit the Hindu temple at Keerimale, one of the oldest shrines of the
region and the northernmost shrine on the island. Its adjacent water tank,
the Keerimalai Springs, is believed to have curative properties. We will also
visit Dambakola Patuna where the sacred Buddhist Bo Sapling first arrived in
Sri Lanka. Returning to Jaffna city there will be time for lunch before
visiting Jaffna Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1618, as well as Jaffna
Public Library, a buliding known for its elegant neo-Mughal design.
*Tilko Jaffna City Hotel or similar*

Day 7

We leave the very north of the country today and head to the beaches of the
east coast (approx. 6-7 hours). En route we will stop at the hot springs of
Kanniyai, where there are seven hot wells of varying temperatures, commonly
referred to as ‘the Seven Wonders of Sri Lanka’.
*Pigeon Island Beach Resort or similar*

Day 8

Today is free for you to relax by the hotel pool or do some optional
activities such as whale watching (March – August) or snorkelling. The
tropical conditions of the Indian Ocean mean it is the habitat to hundreds of
thousands of varied species. Your leader will give you further information,
and costs, for the optional activities before you arrive in Nilaveli.
*Pigeon Island Beach Resort or similar*

Day 9

We set off early this morning to see some of the sites of Trincomalee before
transferring to Sigiriya (approx. 3 hours). The main site we visit is
Koneswaram temple, one of the three principal places of worship dedicated to
the Hindu god Shiva; we will also see the outside of Fort Frederick, built by
Portuguese colonials. After transfering to Sigiriya and having lunch we drive
to the foot of the Lions Rock. The imposing 5th century rock fortress of
Sigiriya rises 600 feet from the plains overlooking the surrounding
countryside giving far-reaching views. Used as a safe haven from invaders,
the route to the top is up a series of steep steps and gangways. From the
base, where a moat surrounds impressive water gardens, we ascend 200m,
passing an overhanging rock under which superb portraits of native maidens
holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the rock wall. Crowning the
flat-topped summit of the rock are extensive remains of the King’s Summer
Palace from where there are breath-taking views of the surrounding
countryside. The descent is much easier and you can cool off in the hotel
pool at dusk.
*Hotel Sigiriya or similar*

Day 10

This morning we will take a gentle bike ride through the local villages and
soak up the atmosphere. In the afternoon you can either relax by the hotel
pool or take an optional game drive to see elephants in their natural
habitat. We will visit either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park, or the
Hurulu Eco Park. Which park we visit will depend on the time of year and
where the majority of elephants are at the time.
*Hotel Sigiriya or similar*

Day 11

Today we visit the magnificent Cave Temple at Dambulla, for some, the most
impressive sight in Sri Lanka. There are colourful and very well preserved
paintings and statues of the Buddha inside the caves, which date back to the
1st Century BC. After lunch we stop at a spice garden near Matale where you
can see various spices and herbs growing. There is a chance to stock up on
massage oils, spices and Ayurvedic medicines. After this we drive to Kandy.
*Hotel Thilanka or similar*

Day 12

Kandy is located on a small lake and we spend the day in and around the town.
We visit the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most important
Buddhist relic. The Tooth of Buddha was taken from the funeral pyre in 543 BC
and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. There are
literally hundreds of worshippers who visit the temple each day and in August
the most spectacular ceremony takes place. Some of our trips in August should
coincide with the Kandy festival, but the exact dates, decided by priests,
are not known until 5 months prior to the event. After our visit we drive to
a beautiful viewpoint over Kandy overlooked by a huge Buddha, and visit a gem
museum where you can see the products of the traditional methods of gem
extraction. Another highlight is the vast Peradeniya Botanical Garden with
species of orchid, plants endemic to Sri Lanka. In the evening we may have
the chance to attend a performance of local dancing and fire eating.
*Hotel Thilanka or similar*

Day 13

This morning we leave Kandy and head towards Ella; on the way we visit a tea
factory to learn about tea production. We should also have time to stop in
Bandarawella, a trading centre where exotic fruits from the east coast are
traded for hill-country vegetables. We continue on to Ella Gap where we
hopefully have spectacular views of the coastal plain nearly 1,000m below.
Almost the whole of the southern part of the island is in view and on a
particularly clear day the shimmering silver of the Indian Ocean is visible.
*Hotel Heaven’s Edge or similar*

Day 14

We have a chance for a relaxed breakfast before we head further south to
Udawalawe National Park. With an area of 30,821 hectares, this park covers
the catchment area of Udawalawe reservoir, and has a rich elephant population
estimated at around 500. We view the wildlife of the park by jeep giving us
the best chance to see elephants in their natural habitat. After our game
drive we leave for the coast, with its beautiful palm fringed bays.
*Insight Resort or similar*

Day 15

Today’s free day to relax on the beach or by the hotel pool. There are also
numerous optional activities that you can take part in during the day
including a boat ride through mangrove swamps to a cinnamon plantation. From
November to April you can go whale watching off Dondra head, one of the best
places in the world for seeing Blue and Sperm whales. Huge pods of dolphins
are also often seen playing alongside the boats.
*Insight Resort or similar*

Day 16

We set off today and drive along the coastal road to the historic port of
Galle, visiting a turtle hatchery on the way. Galle dates back to the 17th
century, and now a UNESCO world heritage site. We take the express way to
Colombo reaching our hotel in the late afternoon.
*Hotel Mirage or similar*

Day 17

If you are travelling on the group flight we will have a morning transfer to
the airport for the daytime flight to London. The arrangements for those not
flying with the group ends after check out.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-02-092018-02-25

Trip code: AKSO180209

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2065

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Date: 2018-03-022018-03-18

Trip code: AKSO180302

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2065

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Date: 2018-03-232018-04-08

Trip code: AKSO180323

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2095

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Date: 2018-08-172018-09-02

Trip code: AKSO180817

Availability: Available

Price: €2065

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Date: 2018-09-142018-09-30

Trip code: AKSO180914

Availability: Available

Price: €2035

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Date: 2018-10-122018-10-28

Trip code: AKSO181012

Availability: Available

Price: €2065

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Date: 2018-11-092018-11-25

Trip code: AKSO181109

Availability: Available

Price: €2085

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Date: 2018-12-212019-01-06

Trip code: AKSO181221

Availability: Available

Price: €2285

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Date: 2019-02-082019-02-24

Trip code: AKSO190208

Availability: Available

Price: €2195

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Date: 2019-04-112019-04-27

Trip code: AKSO190411

Availability: Available

Price: €2195

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Date: 2019-08-162019-09-01

Trip code: AKSO190816

Availability: Available

Price: €2195

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Date: 2019-09-132019-09-29

Trip code: AKSO190913

Availability: Available

Price: €2155

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Date: 2019-10-112019-10-27

Trip code: AKSO191011

Availability: Available

Price: €2155

Book now

Date: 2019-11-082019-11-24

Trip code: AKSO191108

Availability: Available

Price: €2195

Book now

Date: 2019-12-222020-01-07

Trip code: AKSO191222

Availability: Available

Price: €2415

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Customer Feedback


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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