Sri Lanka - North to South
Undiscovered North East to Classic South
Sri Lanka is a fantastic cycling destination, with well-surfaced roads and diverse, beautiful natural surroundings. From ancient religious and cultural sites to rain forests, national parks, mountains, wildlife and stunning coastline, there is so much to enjoy and no better way to explore than by bicycle. For centuries adventurers and traders have been drawn to this jewel in the Indian Ocean. The island has been an inspiration to many adventurers from Marco Polo to Paul Theroux. Renowned for a rich variety of terrain and wild life within a small land space, species native to the island include monkeys, crocodiles elephants leopards and exotic peacocks. Moving forwards from a 30-year civil war which ended in 2009, Sri Lanka is fast becoming a popular area of the world for a cycling holiday.
The redspokes Sri Lanka North to South adventure begins in Colombo. We take a train to Jaffna and have time to explore the town and local islands. Dotted with deserted buildings and temples, we are surrounded by white sands, sea views, lagoons and an array of birdlife including Brahminy kites, flamingos and herons. Our next stop is Killinochchi; from here we cycle the eastern shores of Sri Lanka to Nilaveli. Prior to the civil war and tsunami this was a popular resort and the beautiful 4km stretch of golden sands is now enjoying a renaissance. There is time here for swimming, snorkelling and to visit the Pigeon Island national park.
We head inland towards Habanara in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, cycling through Kaudulla National Park: a wild life haven. A rest day in Habanara gives us time to visit the nearby extraordinary Sigiriya fortress with its series of moats, ramparts and water gardens. Moving on to Polonnaruwa we have more time to explore this cornerstone of the cultural triangle, discovering medieval ruins and sacred temples. Cycling through more beautiful scenery we reach Mahiyanganaya at the foot of the Knuckles mountain range. We head into the highlands reaching the temperate climes of tea plantations and areas characterized by colonial British culture, on a journey through hillsides blanketed in green with stunning views. Our Sri Lanka: North to South cycling tour ends in Kandy, the island’s second largest city and capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom.
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Day to Day Details
Key details of our Cycling holiday in Sri Lanka:
The Elephant Pass and Jaffna Peninsula
Nilavelli beach, coral reef Pigeon Island.
3 National parks: rich wildlife habitats.
Polonnaruwa Medieval Capital.
Hill country: mountain plantations.
Kandy:Temple of the Tooth, Udawattekelle reserve.
This map is for illustration purposes only and may not show the exact route taken on this Sri Lanka tour.