“Cyclers see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to”
– Dr. K.K.Doty-
So, why not enjoy bicycle rides during your holiday in Sri Lanka? Cycling is the best way to explore the rich diversity of Sri Lanka by riding through different landscapes experiencing the local culture. It is the best way to look in to the 2500 years old culture and to gain an insight to Sri Lankan authentic lifestyle. Start the ride by peddling through the golden rice paddies, in to the mountains, valleys, tropical rainforests, waterfalls, ancient cities, pristine beaches and rural villages.
Most of the cycling trips take a point to point route starting from ancient cities like Sigiriya, heading to the sacred city of Kandy, then to the high tea country Ella or NuwaraEliya and down to the south coast around Galle.
Starting off with Sigiriya, you can ride to Dambulla to the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. On your returning ride through paddy and chilli fields, you can stop for a refreshing break of a king coconut. Then ride towards Sigiriya Rock Fortress to explore palace ruins, frescoes painted on the rock and witness how reasonable to say this as the eighth wonder of world! Ancient city of Anuradhapura and medieval capital of Polonnaruwa are the next top destinations. Using a bike to explore these old ruins of Sri Lanka’s finest ancient kingdoms and UNESCO sites is an unique exploration.
Kandy is a city rich in both of its natural and religious value. Most of the cycling trips follow the route around the Kandy Lake to the sacred Temple of the Tooth and to the Peradeniya Botanical Garden. Riding in Kandy is hilly but there are lot to explore in the peace and calm of the countryside.
The hill climb to NuwaraEliya is not an easy ride. Instead, you can pedal to Ella which is also hilly but the air is cool and refreshing. You will love the ride through tea plantations to famous viewpoints of Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak.
If you are wildlife lover, you have to ride to Yala National Park to spot leopards. Yala or Tissamaharama is the best place to witness authentic village life of people who spend their lifestyles according to their diverse occupations.
Riding along the pristine beaches of south coast via Galle to Colombo is a marvelous experience. You definitely have to visit Galle Fort by bicycle where you can get the essence of Dutch oriented history by peddling among the multi Dutch styled streets. Some of the exciting bike exploration routes in Galle you can choose from are:
- The Paddy Trail:
This trip usually starts and ends at Wijaya Beach after passing through Eluvila Bird Sanctuary and through paddy fields confining to peaceful local pathways. You can enjoy king coconuts to quench your thirst on your way.
- The Paddy and Lake Trail
This ride has some more excitement than the Paddy Trail. This involves a little bit more cycling, energy and stamina. The ride covers North West shoreline of Koggala Lake and its cinnamon plantations. You can enjoy Sri Lankan Thambili and Sri Lankan fruits on your way.
- The Hiyare Hill Climb
This is a more challenging and exciting route which involves climbing to the Hiyare Lake Nature Reserve through the paddy fields and via Koggala lake and then descending back to the origin. Starting early in the morning is usually recommended.
Sri Lanka is a year around destination for cycling as it is mostly a hot and humid country but there are interior areas that have higher elevations and frequent rainy conditions. A lightweight water proof jacket and cycling gear are always recommended in rainy season. Comfort is the most important thing in cycling, so lightweight clothes and footwear are always recommended.