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Cycle the Backroads of Sri Lanka

Explore rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike



At a glance

* 10 days cycling (including 1 optional ride) with full vehicle support
* 95% tarmac, 5% unsurfaced road
* Routes mostly follow quiet backroads, with frequent climbs
* Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader and driver. Min age 16 years
* 11 nights hotels, 2 nights guesthouses, all en suite

Explore rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike

Although a compact island, Sri Lanka is incredibly diverse. Exploring on two
wheels is the best way to see this rural country and to experience the way of
life of its friendly people. We travel from ancient cities and the fortress
at Sigiriya to the hill country towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, where the
cooler temperatures and lush scenery make for a relaxing ride. In the south
we visit Yala National Park, where we go in search of leopard, before ending
the trip on the beaches of the beautiful south coast. Most of the route is a
continuous ride, and transfers are kept to a minimum.

In many regions of Sri Lanka the bicycle is the most common form of
transport, so travelling by bike yourself is a great way to mix with the
people and to gain access to their world. This trip covers a substantial part
of the island, taking in as much as possible of the scenic and cultural
variety that Sri Lanka has to offer. The combination of visits to the ancient
cities, great rides through the beautiful hill country, the varied wildlife,
and a chance to relax on one of the many wonderful beaches, will certainly
give you a taste for serendipity.

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

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

 

* All breakfasts and 10 lunches
* All accommodation (see below)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Local bike hire

Food:
All breakfasts and 10 lunches included.

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) so
please be prepared for this as 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. All lunch and tea stops are subject to change
dependent on the cycling speed of the group as well as the weather
conditions.

Start destination: Sigiriya

End destination: Colombo

Cycling profile

Day 1

The group flight from London typically arrives at Bandaranayake International
Airport around lunchtime and we transfer to Sigiriya (approximately 4 hours)
where we stay for the next 2 nights.
*Hotel Sigiriya or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 2

After breakfast we ride along gravel roads following an old irrigation canal
to Dambulla, the 2nd Century BC Buddhist cave temple. It is well worth the
walk to view the five caves, which contain many ancient Buddha statues, some
carved from the solid rock. Returning via the busy market town we take
another quiet back road riding through chilli and rice fields before cycling
back at our hotel for lunch and a relaxing swim in the pool. In the late
afternoon we climb the 5th Century rock fortress of Sigiriya to see the
beautiful frescoes painted onto the rock face (not recommended for those who
suffer from vertigo). The ruins of the palace on the summit are surpassed
only by the magnificent aerial view of the surrounding jungle. Stay as long
as you like, as it’s only 10 minutes walk back to our hotel.
*Hotel Sigiriya or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 3

A long morning ride along a quiet back road which is part of the Sigiriya
nature reserve, before joining the highway travelling east towards
Polonnaruwa, riding all the way to our lunch stop and overnight stay. For
those who fancy a swim, the hotel also has a swimming pool, a pleasant place
to spend the hot early afternoon. Later we tour the old ruined city of
Polonnaruwa, which dates from the 10-13th centuries.
*The Village Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 4

We follow the local lake’s man-made 6km dam and feeder canal to its source,
the Amban Ganga River. The afternoon ride is flanked by the stunning
Kalanduwa hills on one side and the borders of Wasgomuwa Wildlife Park on the
other. As the jungle gives way to plantations, we enter the spice growing
region of Sri Lanka. The night is spent in a family-run guest house with
small cabanas dotted around the estate. It’s basic but the home cooking in
clay pots on wood fired stoves gives you the real flavour of Sri Lanka. If
you would like to find out more about the spices used in the piquant Lankan
curries, the owners can arrange a visit to one of the renowned spice gardens
a short walk down the road.
*Countryside Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 5

Today is tougher as we head for the hills and Kandy, the spiritual and
cultural capital of the hill country. Those who feel like an easy day can
jump onto the bus for the 50km trip to Kandy, while the rest of us pedal
away, riding through the Moorish town of Matale. Its inhabitants, descendants
from Arab spice traders, still control most of the spice market, which is a
good place to pick up some freshly ground curry powder. As Kandy’s roads are
as old as the city itself, we may have to drive the last few kilometres to
avoid the traffic. Surrounded by hills, the town is centred around a small
lake and the Temple of the Tooth. The afternoon is free to wander through the
streets and markets.
*Hotel Thilanka or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 6

A free day to explore the town. Kandy has many interesting attractions
including the wonderful Botanical Gardens, the famous Temple of the Tooth,
and streets lined with interesting curio shops. The surrounding hills are
dotted with wonderful temples.
*Hotel Thilanka or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 7

In the morning we visit a tea factory on the edge of the town, and then cycle
through hilly country towards Ella, stopping for lunch at a local restaurant
and later tea in Bandarawela, a trading centre where exotic fruits from the
east coast are traded for hill-country vegetables. Arriving in the late
afternoon, we watch the sunset from the famous view point, Ella Gap. On a
clear day you can see the coast shimmering in the distance.
*Hotel Country Comfort or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 8

Descending 1000m we leave the breathtaking scenery of Uva Province for the
gentle rolling hills of the dry zone, stopping at the impressive rock-cut
Buddha Statues at Buduruvagala. The giant 15m rock carving of Buddha is
flanked by small figures depicting his helpers and a very rare image of
Maitreya, the future Buddha, which dates from the 10th Century. The
tranquillity of the place is enhanced by the lotus-covered lake where we will
relax on the banks and enjoy some fresh fruit before riding on to lunch. Here
we can retreat from the heat of the day, before the final 30km to
Tissamaharama, the capital of the old Ruhuna Kingdom.
*Chandrika Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 9

In the morning we cycle to Kataragama temple, which lies 16km northeast of
Tissa. People of all faiths come to seek favour with the god Skanda, who is
reputed to restore people’s health. The colourful and noisy pooja is always
busy, with thousands of pilgrims during the festival season from July –
August. Tissa is close to Yala National Park, the best park in Sri Lanka to
see leopard. After lunch we have a safari in the park, when we may see
elephant, deer, wild boar, sloth bear, asian jackal, lots of birdlife and if
very lucky a leopard. We return to Tissa for the night (please note that the
sanctuary may be closed for 4-6 weeks from September to October allowing the
park authorities to check the animals. We therefore go to an alternative area
close by, usually the Udawalawe National Park).
*Chandrika Hotel or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 10

Leaving early to avoid the heat of the dry zone, we ride along the boundary
of Bundala Bird Sanctuary. During certain times of the year thousands of
flamingos can be seen wading in the brackish shallows, eyed up by crocodiles,
basking in the early morning sun. We hit the main road for the final 30km to
Hambantota, a series of sandy bays fanning out from this typical coastal
town. Transfer from Hambantota to Ahangama by coach. For the next 2 nights we
stay in Ahangama.
*Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 11

Relax at the hotel or join a late morning ride along rural roads to the
village of Wandurugama before returning via Koggala Lake and back to the
hotel to end our riding. This afternoon is free to explore the beach area or
swim and laze by the pool. In the late afternoon we can view the stilt
fishermen climb their poles to catch a few bites for supper. From November to
April we can also go whale watching off Dondra head, near Mirissa, which is
one of the best places in the world for seeing Blue and Sperm whales. Huge
pods of dolphins are also often seen accompanying the boats.
*Insight Resort or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 12

Leaving mid morning, we will stop to visit Galle. The Old Dutch fort was
built in 1663 after the Dutch took the island from the Portuguese. The old
ramparts and small back streets bring alive some of the history of the fight
for colonial domination of this prized island. You’re free to find your own
lunch, meeting back at the bus at around 2.30pm for the 2 hour drive to
Colombo. The rest of the day is free to relax by the pool or shop along the
main street. For the last evening meal we can choose from one of the many
restaurants in Colombo.
*Hotel Sapphire or alternative accommodation in the area*

Day 13

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 end after check out.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-03-112018-03-24

Trip code: MIRP180311

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2665

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Date: 2018-03-252018-04-07

Trip code: MIR180325

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2285

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Date: 2018-04-152018-04-28

Trip code: MIR180415

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2245

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Date: 2018-07-152018-07-28

Trip code: MIR180715

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2225

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Date: 2018-07-222018-08-04

Trip code: MIRP180722

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2605

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Date: 2018-08-052018-08-18

Trip code: MIR180805

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2225

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Date: 2018-09-092018-09-22

Trip code: MIR180909

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2225

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Date: 2018-09-232018-10-06

Trip code: MIRP180923

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2535

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Date: 2018-10-142018-10-27

Trip code: MIR181014

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2225

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Date: 2018-11-042018-11-17

Trip code: MIR181104

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2245

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Date: 2018-11-112018-11-24

Trip code: MIR181111

Availability: Available

Price: €2245

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Date: 2018-11-252018-12-08

Trip code: MIR181125

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2245

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Date: 2018-12-162018-12-29

Trip code: MIRP181216

Availability: Available

Price: €2795

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Date: 2018-12-232019-01-05

Trip code: MIR181223

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2535

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Date: 2019-01-062019-01-19

Trip code: MIR190106

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-01-132019-01-26

Trip code: MIR190113

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Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-01-202019-02-02

Trip code: MIR190120

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Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-01-272019-02-09

Trip code: MIR190127

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Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-02-032019-02-16

Trip code: MIR190203

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Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-02-102019-02-23

Trip code: MIR190210

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Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-02-172019-03-02

Trip code: MIR190217

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Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-02-242019-03-09

Trip code: MIR190224

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Price: €2345

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Date: 2019-03-102019-03-23

Trip code: MIRP190310

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Price: €2765

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Date: 2019-03-242019-04-06

Trip code: MIR190324

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2375

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Date: 2019-04-142019-04-27

Trip code: MIR190414

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Price: €2375

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Date: 2019-07-212019-08-03

Trip code: MIR190721

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Price: €2335

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Date: 2019-08-042019-08-17

Trip code: MIR190804

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Price: €2335

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Date: 2019-09-222019-10-05

Trip code: MIRP190922

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2725

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Date: 2019-10-132019-10-26

Trip code: MIR191013

Availability: Available

Price: €2375

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Date: 2019-11-032019-11-16

Trip code: MIR191103

Availability: Available

Price: €2375

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Date: 2019-11-102019-11-23

Trip code: MIR191110

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Price: €2375

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Date: 2019-11-242019-12-07

Trip code: MIR191124

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Price: €2375

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Date: 2019-12-152019-12-28

Trip code: MIRP191215

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Price: €2915

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Date: 2019-12-222020-01-04

Trip code: MIR191222

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Price: €2665

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Customer Feedback

Backroads of Sri Lanka – cycle

Summary:
To see Sri Lanka on two wheels was just the most amazing experience for us.
Cycling through tea plantations, rice paddies, local villages and wildlife
sanctuaries. A stunning country with the friendliest of people. Being part of
a group made the holiday like one big party with friendly banter from
breakfast through to lights out in the evening. Early starts met with the
usual groan but what a way to spend the day flying along the roads enjoying
all the sights along the way. A well organised trip with an excellent leader
in Suresh. Nothing is too much trouble. A must do for the those out there
thinking about your next Exodus adventure.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Watching the sunset and the sunrise the next morning in Ella listening to the
call to prayer across the valley with the mist swirling around the mountains.
Peaceful and just magical.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
How many words can we use. Suresh. Amazing. Witty. Helpful. Great listener.
Entertainer. Historian. Super fit. Playful. Comedian. Kind. Considerate. Our
group were 16 who became one large family all of us chatting and having the
best time with Suresh being the party organiser. A great trip.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Book it and ask for Suresh as your tour leader. Nothing is stopping you. This
has to be the only way to see this beautiful country. Get out there and see
it.

Read full review

Cycling and so much more.

Summary:
This is a cycling trip for anyone of average cycling ability, or above, who
also wishes to sample all the culture sights, sounds and tastes that
beautiful Sri Lanka has to offer. Accommodation varies from simple guest
houses to nice hotels, but it is as stated in the trip notes and perfectly
adequate in all instances to refresh and rest after a fantastic day. The food
is delicious, be it served in a street café or hotel buffet, and options for
those who don’t like their food too hot are always available.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Every minute spent cycling through this country is inspirational. The scenery
and wildlife are awesome and the friendly locals (in particular the children)
ensure you are never lonely. They will take time out of their daily schedule
to wave, cheer and speak as you pass; making you feel humbled to be so
welcomed to their beautiful country.
Time taken to enjoy a fantastic jeep safari in Yala National Park, climb Lion
Rock at Sigiriya, go whale watching and explore the old towns of Kandy and
Galle are also extremely memorable.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
I have never travelled with any other tour guide who commits himself so
totally to ensuring that his clients have a fantastic holiday in the way that
our guide Suresh Bandara did. His love and knowledge of his country shine
through and he shares this with the group in the most enthusiastic and
entertaining manner. He constantly goes the extra mile to cater for the
individuals interests (for example organising two extra early morning bird
walks for interested parties) and has a knack for identifying when a special
occasion is being celebrated and organising a special surprise. The safety
and comfort of the group are clearly paramount to him and cycling is always
undertaken at a pace to suit everyone.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Travel light. Apart from your cycling clothes you don’t need a lot more. The
Sri Lankan people are quite reserved so shorts which go below the knee and
long light trousers are more useful than very short shorts when not cycling!
You will also need long sleeves and trousers to protect against the insects
at night in some locations. It is fun to haggle the price when shopping in
Kandy and Galle, however you will find the hotel shop in Kandy is very good
value for anything from jewellery to trousers and they are prepared to
barter.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
You will be hard pushed to find a cycling tour which has more of an impact on
you than this one. If it is your first cycling tour go for it. You will be so
well looked after and encouraged that you will return home determined to book
your next one.

Read full review

“Best holiday so far………guaranteed!”

Summary:
A great trip that had everything including dramatic scenery, lush
countryside, wonderful cycling, adventure in a safari park, beautiful beaches
and of course lots of tea!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
We really enjoyed the safari and seeing elephants, crocodiles and leopard in
their natural habitat.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh took care of our every need from the moment we arrived and met us at
the airport. He goes above and beyond in ensuring that we all had a fantastic
experience, taking any stress away from us so we could enjoy every moment.
His excellent relationships with the locals tells you that this is someone
who is well respected among the community, which in turn means you get the
best out of seeing how the people live and work.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Well everyone talks about that hill! My advice is to enjoy it – take it at
your pace and see how you get on. If you are an accomplished rider then you
will love it, if not, then it is a great challenge! There is of course the
support bus always at hand. There is also the alternative of the train, for
which 1st class tickets need to be booked months in advance. 2nd class
tickets are available on the day but be prepared to stand the whole way!
The tea and water stops are great but do not include electrolytes so you
might want to take your own.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
This is our second Exodus cycling holiday and we are looking to book for 2019
but this will be hard to beat………………….or will it??

Read full review

Cycling the friendliest island in the world

Summary:
Highly recommend this trip as the best way to see Sri Lanka. Not only is it
a most beautiful country that has such varied landscapes and sites to see
each day, but you do it all by 2 wheels with very little overland journeys in
a minibus. Its also a fantastic mix of cycling and sightseeing. What’s more
the local people are so friendly everywhere you go…could it be the
friendliest island in the world?

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
For me personally my greatest achievement and moment of inspiration was
climbing Sigiriya rock rather than the cycle challenges that I didn’t find
too challenging, as I had to conquer my fear of heights for the climb!
Really thanks to Neelaka our guide and the rest of the group who were so
calming and encouraging. I am so glad I got to the top as the 360 views of
Sri Lanka were just stunning and I will never forget this moment in Sri
Lanka.

My other great moment was the cycling moment and satisfaction of reaching the
top tea hills at Nuwara Eliya after the all day ascent from Kandy. The
faster cyclists and the guides cheering everyone in at the top was memorable
as was the relief of arriving.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our group leader Neelaka was outstanding. I have always found the standard
of Exodus leaders good and have been with other companies that were good, but
Neelaka was a cut above the rest. He was such a great mix of always so
professional but letting his fun and sunny personality shine through and was
always generous with his time to impart his immense knowledge and insight
about the country, its culture and its places. He dealt with any concerns so
calmly and efficiently and together with his team got the entire group of 16
people (no less) of quite varied cycling abilities, round the country with no
problems whatsoever, with a smile on everyone faces and great memories. He
was ensured we had memorable tea and lunch stops – a fantastic variety of
local cafes with delicious local savoury snacks, local families houses and
many treats of fresh coconuts and ice cream! Most people had done a few
trips in their time but the general consensus was that Neelaka was everything
you could want in a guide and more. The cycle guide and mechanic Sandy was
also excellent in looking after everyone’s cycle needs and supporting all 16
cyclists.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Its worth getting cycle fit before this trip as it is very hot cycling which
can make the distances feel longer. I also found that it is OK wearing lycra
in Sri Lanka – they are used to weirdly dressed cyclists by now! But slap on
the sun block and take a hat for when you are sightseeing off the bike.

The food is generally amazing but some of the hotels and restaurants get a
bit repetitive on offering the same curries.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I’m now just trying to plan when I can return!

Read full review

Sri Lanka cycling

Summary:
A lovely trip to a lush green island. Cycling is generally good. Sites are
all interesting and well worth seeing.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Everyone has there own likes but for me the Sigiriya Rock and some of the
Buddhist shrines were really good. The amount of remains from ancient
civilizations is both impressive and humbling compared with what we have in
Britain. Also the bird life is plentiful and varied and the general lush
tropical landscape is lovely.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The group leader was excellent – as was the whole team. Friendly, genuinely
caring, highly knowledgeable.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
There are certain things to consider-
Although the trip title implies that you are travelling on quiet back roads
most of the time, you are not. At least half the cycling is on busy roads
which can be fun but involves a lot of dodging traffic etc. The worst aspect
of the trip is the pollution from vehicles which can get quite unpleasant as
you overtake or are overtaken by yet another bus / truck belching black
exhaust smoke. The country is going to have to tackle emissions which are
causing issues in the cities.

Generally we had a trip with no serious incidents / illnesses but most had a
short bout of stomach problems so be prepared. The lack of malaria and
serious mosquito issues is a bonus.

Take the trip notes with a pinch of salt. They need to be updated as some
days are longer / harder / easier than they say. They should be updated and
made more accurate.

It is hot – over 30C most of the time – but this is OK as long as one drinks
plenty of bottled water which is continually available.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
This is a very pleasant trip in that it is a lovely island, the people are
genuinely friendly, and the cycling is perfectly achievable for a very
average cyclist like myself.

The country is busy and appears crowded as most people either live in cities
or along the roads so wherever you cycle, however quiet and remote the little
roads may be, you are always among people and habitations.

The optional whale watching trip was OK. The plus side is that we saw a
reasonable number of blue whales at close quarters. The downside is that you
are doing that with at least another 20 boats who are rushing around trying
to get close to the same whales.

Sri Lankan food is OK but not as great as is sometimes made out. All the
hotels put emphasis on the “buffet” system but it doesn’t take long to get
fed up with yet another array of curries or dishes which you somehow feel
have been sitting around a little too long. Most hotels do have a la carte
and the prices are fair and the choice is usually decent, although don’t
expect fine dining. The lunches (included) are simple but perfectly adequate.

Alcohol – local beer (lager) is widely available in hotels and is OK. The
local stout is good but very strong. Wine usually about £18 per bottle of
house wine. Cocktails decent and reasonably priced.

Read full review

Cycle Sri Lanka – Amazing trip with some challenging cycling

Summary:
This was my 3rd trip with Exodus, and it was a really great experience.
Sri Lanka is a wonderful country, very lush & green as it is a tropical
country with lots of rain, so it is just green everywhere. The people are
very humble & friendly, they speak English in most places, except in some
really remote areas.
The cycling itself was challenging, due to the heat factor, as it is quite a
humid & hot most of the time.
Overall, the trip exceeded my expectations, & I really enjoyed the cycling as
that is what I was looking forward to.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The simplicity of the people & how humble they are, extremely friendly, and
especially since we are on bikes, they are always fascinated by where we have
come from & where we are going to, and the fact that we are cycling
everywhere.
Ridging through very remote areas is really refreshing as well, a nice break
from the busy & polluted cities.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh is a great guy & a great leader, a great sense of humour, and goes out
of his way to do more that what is expected of him & always does it with a
smile.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Some days of the cycling can be quite challenging, so ensure you have a
decent level of fitness. I am fairly fit, and there were a few days that were
tough. The weather plays an role as well, as it is very humid & hot, it adds
to the difficulty of the cycling, so ensure you are prepared.
Stray dogs are everywhere, lying in the middle of the roads roaming around,
they are generally harmless, however, as you will be on bikes, they like to
run after the bikes, sometimes giving up after a few meters, but sometimes
they can chase you for a while, can be quite scary, but you just need to kick
you leg out at them & shout at them & that will hopefully get rid of them.
Lots of sunblock & insect replant is a must.
The food is not for everyone, can be spicy & you may not get western food in
all places.
Keep hydrated, as it is extremely hot.
Some of the accommodation is not the best, think we had 2 places where is was
very basic, but that is expected, as some parts are not central & a little
remote.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
It is a lovely trip, just be prepared for some decent cycling, and ensure you
are ready for some real work, especially up the hills, climbing up to the tea
plantation area was an epic ride, & very tough. Mostly enjoy the sights &
sounds, as it was a really great trip with a great tour guide as well, who
not only lead us cycling, but also gave us a lot of history on the country as
well as some added activities, like a hike up to amazing lookout points.

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Fabulous trip

Summary:
This was one of the best trip I have done. Its a fabulous mix of cycling,
culture and wildlife/flora and you get to stay in some lovely hotels and
guest houses.

Its pretty full-on – every day was packed out – and the cycling is
challenging. Its hillier than I anticipated (or undulating inclines as our
guide described them) and although we used back roads they are still very
busy with traffic. Our group was small (8 people) and ranged from good club
cyclists to occasional/recreational cyclists. We stayed together as a group
most of the time and had numerous snack water breaks

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
There were so many great moments on this trip….
Attending the ceremony in the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy was very moving.
Seeing wild elephants on the road as we cycled through the jungle. The
fantastic massage in the spice gardens after a long days ride. Ruwan’s
cookery demonstration and the feast we enjoyed afterwards. All the birds,
wildlife and beautiful flowers.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Ruwan and his team were fantastic – I can’t praise them enough. Ruwan’s
knowledge of the wildlife/fauna and enthusiasm to share the culture of their
country was infectious. Nothing was too much trouble and they all went out
of their way to ensure we had an amazing experience.

It’s the little things that make such a different. Coming round the corner
and seeing the drivers at the side of the road with a huge smiles and plates
of fresh fruit. Taking time on the free day to show us around Kandy.
Organising meals at some lovely local restaurants.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take extra cycling kit – there’s not a lot of time to wash stuff and in the
humidity it doesn’t dry quickly.

We opted out of the long ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and got the train,
which was a wonderful experience. We travelled 2nd class which was crowded,
takes hours and you risk not having a seat but the views are fantastic and
having the chance to talk to local people and share food was very special.

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Sri Lanka cycling

Summary:
We’ve done several moderate cycling trips with Exodus and I was working up
to this one, as I loved the sound of the itinerary from first starting to
research where we might like to travel. I’m glad I did some less
challenging ones first, and I was definitely the weakest link on this trip in
our group of fit and rapid (mostly) club cyclists. But I was (they said)
never far behind, I completed every last inch of the trip and was extremely
proud of myself for completing the Nuwara Eliya ascent, albeit slowly. All
this was made possible by Suresh and his fabulous team and the support and
encouragement of the group (especially the patient and long suffering Ken who
stuck with me at the back and talked me up the hills). We loved Sri Lanka
and the insight we gained from Suresh, and his determination to make sure we
discovered his country to the fullest extent. He certainly deserves his
title as Tour Guide of the Year. Guaranteed (his buzz word). The trip was
well organised, we were lucky to be able to stay in some of the accommodation
which we were told is not always possible.

All in all a varied, enjoyable and very rewarding trip. What on earth do we
do next to follow that ? Thank you Exodus. Thankyou Suresh.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The highlights for me were the Hill Club hotel in Nuwara Eliya where they
brought us almond tea as we limped in after 11hours out and about. And a hot
water bottle for our beds. Climbing Sigiriya rock. And the multi faith
temple visit. And the visit to a family home for dinner in Ella. The jeep
safari was also very memorable.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Fabulous

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take a round pin adaptor, and a double/triple extension lead to use with it.
Most hotels have UK style plug sockets but some of the more rural hotels do
not and we weren’t always able to borrow an adaptor.

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Backroads of Sri Lanka – Fantastic!

Summary:
We loved our trip to Sri Lanka and would not hesitate to recommend it. The
itinerary is very well planned and there is a really good mix of cycling and
sightseeing.  We visited temples, caves, a tea factory, a gem factory, a
spice garden (complete with massage), several wildlife parks and walked up
the famous Sigirya Rock as well as stopping at a number of very individual
refreshment stops.  The accommodation was good throughout as was the food.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
It’s hard to pick one but all 16 of our group completing the hill climb to
Nuwara Eliya, seeing the elephants at Yala national park, climbing Sigiriya
Rock, meeting the local people at some of the tea stops were all highlights.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
What really made the trip special was the leader, Suresh.  He has led this
trip over 70 times so much of the itinerary had been developed by him,
including some really special stops at the houses of local people who Suresh
– and successive groups of Exodus cyclists – have been able to support
and help through difficult times.  Wherever we went it was clear that he was
greatly respected and no problem was too big for him to sort – and we threw
a few at him just test him out!  He is very proud of his country and
passionate about telling you its history, its wildlife and its culture –
his knowledge is amazing!  He really brought our various stops to life and
they would have meant much less to us without his guidance.  He was also
amazingly adept at spotting wildlife in the bushes while cycling along at
speed!  And all combined with a very engaging personality and some enduring
catch-phrases. The support crew of Sandy, Upali and Lasa were also excellent,
making sure we always had plenty of water, guiding us at junctions and making
sure our luggage was always ready and waiting for us.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
This trip is action-packed with some long days in the saddle so a reasonable
level of fitness is advisable to make the most of it. I would advise taking
some energy gels and electrolyte tablets to help with hydration. Be prepared
for cycling in heavy traffic in some of the towns, particulary Kandy, however
we had no problems and there’s always the option of hopping on the bus.
There were a lot of dogs around but we didn’t find them aggressive.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Cycling is a great way to see country, starting in the Cultural Triangle with
rides to the Buddha caves at Dambulla and the complex of temples en route to
Polonnaruwa and then climbing up through tea plantations in the hill country
before a long ride south to the coast. A very memorable trip made special by
the excellent leader and a great group.

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Superb action packed trip

Summary:
This was simply the best trip we have been on. We loved every element.
Cycling through the back roads allows you to get under the skin of the
country and the people – both were simply beautiful!
It was a triumph of organisation and was superbly led.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Every day had it’s own highlight but spending 2 nights at a beach hotel on
the Indian Ocean at the end of the holiday after many days of tough riding
was particularly memorable.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
He was simply superb. Knowledgable, organised, personable with a great sense
of humour. The best we have ever experienced.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Worthwhile to come with a reasonable level of fitness.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Get yourself there – you will not regret it – magical trip!

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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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