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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:

End destination:

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: 2017-10-292017-11-11

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Customer Feedback

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.

Read full review

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!

Read full review

Great cycling, beautiful scenery and good food

Summary:
This is one of the best cycling trips I’ve done. There’s a good variety on
cycling terrain (mountains, backroads, beach, towns, villages) and the
scenery is great throughout the trip. And you see a lot of wildlife on and
off the bike. Plus lots of temples to visit.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Hill climb to Nuwara Eliya.
Visiting local people on our tea breaks and learning more about their way of
life.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh and his team were excellent. Everything run smoothly throughout the
trip. Suresh’s local knowledge taught us a lot of the Sri Lanka life that you
don’t find in guide books. And he always had a surprise (a positive one) up
his sleeve… And the best curry – guaranteed!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be aware of the local bus drivers… They drive very fast and rather close
to you… When in doubt, wait and let them pass.
The weather is very hot and humid – remember to stay well hydrated.

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

Answer:
Go for it – it’s a great trip overall!

Read full review

excelent trip

Summary:
This was a very well organised trip. where the guide could not do more to
help people.
it is good that from when you get the bikes to when you finish there are no
transfers, you can cycle all the way. Plus the scenery is very good.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
cycling through the back roads and small villages

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
very helpful especially with my food restriction ( being a coeliac)

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
It can be very hot so drink a lot

Read full review

Probably one of the best cycling holiday in the world!

Summary:
Two weeks of full on great cycling and when we were not cycling we were
climbing rocks, learning how to cook, going on safari, walking round a tea
factory, having a massage, learning about the spices of Sri Lanka, swimming
in sea, watching whales, elephants, coloured birds and wandering around a
temple or two. No time to spare and always something to see or do.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The hill climb to Nuwara Eliya, the birds and wildlife we saw when cycling,
the incredible scenery and climbing the Sigirya Rock. But I particularly
like the way this trip supports local families and businesses who provided
some of the tea stops and the back stories provided by Suresh on how they
came to do this.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh makes it his mission to ensure that everyone has a good time all the
time. He had everything covered, making sure that your luggage gets to your
room, that everyone gets the best room, the best view, the best bike, the
best tea and the best curry – guaranteed!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Get yourself fit so you can enjoy the cycling. There are lots of dogs as
mentioned in other reviews but we did become expert at spotting the ones
likley to give chase from those happy to lie perilously close to the edge of
the road. Unfortunately Sri Lanka does not come out well in dog welfare.
There is a good variety of food and not all of it is curry.
A breathing mask would have been a help to deal with the vehicle pollution in
Kandy.

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

Answer:
Go for it and enjoy.

Read full review

The perfect way to see Sri Lanka…

Summary:
A fabulous trip – cycling is the perfect way to experience Sri Lanka. The
trip is varied, interesting, enjoyable and fun. Loved it all – the local tea
stops, the wildlife, the scenery, the food, the people, the temples…. A
wonderful experience in a beautiful country.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
So many highlights it’s hard to choose…. Seeing wildlife as you pedalled
along was incredible, peacocks, kingfishers, monitor lizards, monkeys and
even an elephant and crocodile and just so many amazing birds I’d never seen
before. The people… So warm, welcoming and friendly. I will remember the
beautiful smiles, the greetings of good morning whilst pedalling through
villages and the children excitedly running to wave and greet us. Visiting
Sigiriya Rock, Dambulla Rock Temple, the long scenic downhills, the beautiful
hill country area and seeing a leopard at Yala national park.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Superb… Best guide I have ever had. Suresh gives 100% every single day.
He is extremely organised and very aware of group and individual needs and
works tirelessly to ensure everyone is having a good trip. Suresh has a good
sense of humour and he goes the extra mile to give the group so many
wonderful experiences. He is very knowledgable and passionate about his
country – you learn so much about culture and wildlife. An outstanding guide
– we were very grateful for his enthusiasm, endless energy and for making it
such a fun, enjoyable and interesting trip. Also he gave us some great advice
for our extended time in Sri Lanka. Thank you Suresh!!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
There are a lot of dogs around… Some just sleep on the road, others wander
in front of you, some just bark as you pass by but you occasionally get one
that will chase you. We didn’t have any problems at all but if you are a
person who is really scared of dogs this might be an issue.

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

Answer:
If you have any extra days to extend your holiday in Sri Lanka I would
recommend it. Taking a few days to chill out after the trip was really good.

Read full review

A fantastic fortnight in Sri Lanka

Summary:
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country. The people are friendly, the food is
excellent, the scenery is fantastic and the history and culture are amazing.
Cycling on the backroads gives you a chance to experience all of this first
hand. A truly memorable trip.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
There was something positive every day but for me completing the hill climb
followed by fantastic descents with stunning views was a highlight. The
wildlife was amazing – and not just in the National Park!

I have also been inspired to get creative in the kitchen!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Exodus should consider itself lucky to have Suresh as a tour leader. He is
the kind of guy who even though you may have only just met you feel like
you’ve known him for ages. He looks after everybody and you know that he is
putting his customers first. He has a great sense of humour and puts
everyone at ease but behind the scenes you know he is working tirelessly to
make sure everything is just right. He also has great knowledge of the
history and culture of Sri Lanka which made the trip even more interesting.
The rest of the team, Upali, Charmara and Tissa also did a fantastic job.
Nothing was too much trouble.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
In some places there are dogs. The vast majority are asleep but occasionally
one might bark and give a bit of a chase. They are not a big problem, just
something to be aware of if they make you nervous.

There is a lot of noisy traffic in Kandy. If you don’t like cycling in heavy
traffic with car horns blaring out then you might want to consider going in
the support vehicle for the first couple of miles on that day. But we stick
together and go slowly slowly and we all made it!

It can get a bit chilly at 2000m altitude so you might want to consider
packing a light fleece/sweatshirt.

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

Answer:
Even though I mentioned dogs and the traffic in Kandy, for me personally
these weren’t a problem and just added to the fun.

Don’t worry if you don’t like spicy food. There are milder options or even
non-spicy options available.

There’s a lot more on this trip than just cycling. There are plenty of
little trips and surprises organised by Suresh which help make the holiday a
great experience.

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Cycling the backroads of Sri Lanka sMhes

Summary:
This was an excellent trip and it did require a fair amount of fitness to get
up some of the hills. It combined some fabulous outings on our rest days.
The safari was memorable because we saw the leopard, the bear AND the
elephants. We also saw and were quite close to two whales frolicking in the
ocean. The Sri Lankan people were so warm and welcoming. We felt like Tour
de France riders coming through the rural villages as the kids all came out
to wish us ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. Accommodation was very good and it’s wise to
remember you are visiting a third world country. Traffic was courteous and
the bedlam was very organised!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
We were a fantastic group supported by a fantastic crew. Help and
encouragement got the slower ones up the hills. Pace was set so those at the
back didn’t feel like they were holding everyone up at the front.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh was amazing. He was well known throughout the route and we were
accommodated and well looked after everywhere. His knowledge about his
country was impressive. On our last but one evening we went to market,
picked our fish and prawns and the hotel put on a fantastic buffet with BBQ’d
fish and lots of local curried dishes and salads. Fantastic.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Mosquitos weren’t the problem we thought they might be but pack the deet just
in case. A buff is a good item to pack as it keeps the sun off the back of
your neck and boy…was it hot. Make sure your good on the hills and
remember for each one you get up you have to get down which rests the butt
and legs! Money was no problem changing and we had a mixture of dollars and
Sterling . It’s a long flight. We upgraded and it wasn’t alarmingly
expensive. Charging equipment wasn’t a problem just make sure you have the
correct adaptors. There are 3 to choose from.

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

Answer:
It was so brilliantly amazing. The Sri Lankan’s were so warm and welcoming.
We did have rain but it was warm and sometimes welcomed. But no mudguards
meant quite a lot of dirt came up onto your cycling kit. Washing kit wasn’t
a problem but humidity meant drying was sometimes slow. Small price to pay
for such an amazing adventure.

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Sri Lankan Highways and Byways

Summary:
A well balanced programme of moderate and sometimes very challenging cycling
with lots of cultural interest as well.
Our group of 16 like minded people were challenged by some rather
unseasonable wet weather during the first week but in many respects this made
the trip even more memorable.
The cycling was a particular challenge due to the volume of traffic in towns
( lorries,vans,motorcycles and an abundance of tuk tuks ) as well as the
notorious hill climb to Nuwara Eliya ( which we completed in very heavy rain
) ; however, I think we all went home feeling a great sense of achievement .
Retrospective pleasure ?
I was pleased to see that Exodus are supporting small enterprises – our stops
for tea, bananas,roti etc were a delight.
The hotels were mostly of exceptional standard and our meals at hotels and
local restaurants were brilliant.Perhaps I’m biased being a big fan of spicy
food.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Completing the hill climb to Nuwara Eliya followed by our stay at the Hill
Club hotel .
The hill country ride to Ella and our subsequent walk to the stunning Ella
Gap viewpoint.
I also particularly enjoyed the day when we descended 1000 metres in altitude
and on to Tissimaharama over a distance of 102 kms.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh is a top guy. No wonder he’s won the Exodus leaders award previously.
He must be in line again.
Everything was well organised with intelligent alterations to the itinerary
to cater for the wet weather we encountered.
Nothing was too much trouble. Unfortunately Suresh sustained an injury to his
ankle which prevented him from cycling for a few days. I think that many
leaders would have handed over to someone else but he carried on ( bandaged
and using a crutch ) and still with a smile, despite the fact that he was in
pain. Brilliant!
Mention should also be made of the back up team to include Upali the driver
and Sandy the mechanic. Hard working, helpful and friendly people.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be prepared for traffic fumes in built up areas – particularly Kandy. I saw
one motorcyclist using a face mask but that was it . If face masks for
cycling work ( I’m certainly no expert on this ) it might be worth
considering using one at times.

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

Answer:
Lovely country and friendly people. it was a very memorable trip made more so
by the excellent leader and a very special group who all ‘got on’ extremely
well.

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Backroads of Sri Lanka

Summary:
The Sri Lanka cycle ride was probably the most enjoyable of all my trips with
Exodus of which I have completed 8

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
There were several great moments therefore I am inclined not to nominate one

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Suresh Bandara is possibly the most accomplished bike tour guide I have
traveled with who was very instrumental in adding numerous special touches to
the experience.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Sri Lanka is a great journey by bike however it is perhaps the most expensive
I have traveled in Asia so far.

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

Answer:
I would like to compliment the team behind Suresh as well this includes
Upali, Vijay and our backstop cyclist Sandy

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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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