General

Where else can you tick off five off the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in one go? Consisting of Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, these three great, ancient capitals form the Cultural Triangle.

Crammed with monuments and ruined cities, there is so much to see in this one area, it’s an obvious ‘notto-miss’ on this small group cycling tour. Cycling offers the opportunity to see things close up, cycle the many backroads and absorb a grassroots feel of the country.

The ride commences on the road to the beautiful old town of Kandy. Sweet-sounding Kandy lives up to its name, deep in the heart of the island and in perfect proximity to explore Adam’s Peak, which is known by a multitude of different names and brings together four separate strands of religious beliefs. Kandy is home to the famed Temple of the Tooth Relic and located around an atmospheric lake. The following day pedal through open countryside to see the ancient Buddhist cave temples of Dambulla or the city of Polonnaruwa (which you may recognise from Duran Duran’s ‘Save a Prayer’ video if you are a fan).

Pedalling out of Dambulla head to Sigiriya, it’s dominating rock fortress will be in continuous view as you cycle towards it. It’s well worth the climb to explore its green slopes and holy summit. Taking a 4×4 through Minneriya National Park, home to herds of elephant, a sprinkling of leopards, buffaloes, boar, spotted deer, sloth bear, crocodiles and jackals, is another Sri Lankan treat and a generous slice of safari adventure. After an adventurous morning, cycle back to Polonnaruwa, an ancient former capital with 800 years of history and with fascinating ruins rescued from the jungle’s grip. Cycle through and explore this historic complex.

The last stop is the even more ancient heritage site of Anuradhapura, the centre of Theravada Buddhism and the most continuously inhabited city in the world.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU:
CYCLE THE SCENIC BACKROADS / ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS VISIT / GOLDEN TEMPLE OF DAMBULLA / SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS / JEEP SAFARI AT MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK / ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK OF POLONNARUWA / RUINS OF ANURADHAPURA

Destination Sri Lanka
Cities and Locations Negombo / Kandy / Dambulla / Polonnaruwa / Anuradhapura / Colombo
Duration 7 Days / 6 Nights

Tour Schedule

This cycling holiday is a small group tour itinerary based on set departure dates; it can be booked as it is or created on a private basis with flexible dates.

This is an active tour including 5 days of undulating cycling covering 222km on back roads, estate tracks, gravel and some rough dirt tracks. A reasonable level of fitness is required however a support vehicle is always available.

All prices are person share twin based on low season.

Itinerary

This holiday is a suggested itinerary; it can be booked as it is or used as a starting point for creating your perfect custom-made tour of Sri Lanka.


Day 1 Colombo – Negombo

Upon arrival at Colombo Airport you will be met and transferred to nearby Negombo for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 Negombo – Kandy

Early morning, transfer from Negombo to Mawanella to begin riding. Cycle past paddy fields and coconut plantations and up through the Balana Gap. Stop at the Royal Botanical Gardens before arriving in the stunning UNESCO World Heritage city of Kandy. Cycle 42km

Day 3 Kandy – Dambulla

Head towards Dambulla on a mix of tarmac and unsealed roads. Reach the Golden Temple of Dambulla a famous rock temple dating from the first century BC and explore the surrounding caves. Cycle 40km

Day 4 Dambulla - Polonnaruwa

Today enjoy a view of the of the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress along the shores of Kandalama Lake before climbing up the rock itself – you are rewarded with panoramic vistas for your efforts. Cycle 35km

Day 5 Polonnaruwa

A jeep safari this morning in Minneriya National Park offers a chance to spot wild elephants. Back on the bicycles, cycle to Polonnaruwa Tank, a manmade lake. This afternoon explore Polonnaruwa, the 10th century capital and best preserved of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities. Cycle 45km

Day 6 Polonnaruwa – Anuradhapura

Start the day with a drive towards Anuradhapura, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world – ride through the ruins. Considered sacred to Buddhists, see the Bodhi-Tree said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. Cycle 60km

Day 7 Anuradhapura - Colombo

Today, transfer to Colombo Airport where tour arrangements end.

Terms & Conditions

Itinerary and price subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. Please refer to our full terms and conditions available on our brochure or from our website. Active Asia reserves the right to alter the hotels and/or the itinerary if needed due to availability and/or adverse weather conditions.

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