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Cycle Sri Lanka Coast to Coast

itinerary

DAY 1

Depart London

We depart London on an overnight flight to Colombo.

 

Meals: On flight 

DAY 2

Arrive Sri Lanka

Arrive in Colombo where we are met by our guides and driven by private bus to our hotel. Here we check in and we have a little time for relaxation after our long flight, before a bike fitting and briefing with our guides on the challenge ahead, a great Sri Lankan dinner follows and an early night.

 

Meals: D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 3

Kitulgala - 85 km

For the first day of our Sri Lankan adventure we start our challenge in the cooler air of the early morning. The first 35 kms will be a gentle warm up before we tackle two steep sections which should shake the cobwebs and jetlag out of us! These are the foothills of the mountainous central highlands region that we will be cycling through over the next three days. Once out of the hills at Ruwanwella we stop for lunch and this afternoon we have a final 30km of gentle uphill all the way to our accommodation on the banks of the Kelani River, where a cold beer is waiting for us. Although this was the site for the filming of David Lean’s masterpiece “Bridge on the River Kwai”, it certainly isn't a major tourist attraction and our hotel can be best described as ‘adventurous’! For our meal tonight we have a magnificent buffet of local delicacies.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Lodge

DAY 4

Nuwara Eliya - 60 km

This is one of the toughest days as we make our way into the heart of the central highlands. A 90min transfer to Kotagala through the Ginigathena Pass, avoids 30kms of main roads. At Kotagala we start our day's challenge which will bring us by mid-morning to the planters’ bungalow on the Thalawakelle Tea Estate, where we stop for a cup of the finest Ceylon Tea, overlooking the magnificent Devon waterfall. From here our route heads upwards and north off the main road through Watagoda on an incredible tea estate road cut into the escarpment, on 18km of the toughest section of our Sri Lankan challenge. Nothing quite prepares you for this and many of us may end up walking to the top. The day finishes with a relaxing downhill to our hotel in Nuwara Eliya.  

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 5

Kandy - 107 km

We leave through the pretty highland town of Nuwara Eliya for a long day in the saddle. We soon start on a 15km downhill that will take us to the Bluefield Tea Estate, where we have a quick visit before continuing on our way. Another 40kms of great downhill takes us to Delpitiya where we start on almost deserted roads for the next 50km with the most spectacular views. Lunch is close to the village of Pupuressa with its wonderful waterfalls and in the afternoon we make our way through Gallaha and all the way to Kandy. We enter alongside its beautiful University and continue on to the hotel in this lovely and relaxed city. We leave our bikes at the central hotel, free to explore the delights of this picturesque city.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 6

Habarana - 86 km

After a great breakfast we have a long day cycle ride once again, directly from our hotel through the bustling streets of Kandy to Wattegama where we return to quiet roads, descending from the hill country to the flat “dry zone”, with great views of the Knuckles mountain range to the east. From Matale the roads are flanked by giant fig trees, that provide welcome shelter from the sun and we stop for lunch at a local spice garden where we can see the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that are produced in this region. Our last section today is to the famous Dambulla Cave Temple, from where we are transferred to the hotel in Habarana to relax by the pool and recover from our long cycling day. 

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 7

Trincomalee - 96 km

The final day feels almost totally on the flat and the kilometres pass quickly. This area is recovering from the effects of more than 20 years of civil war. We ride on the high bund of the Kantale reservoir, one of the oldest and biggest in Sri Lanka, and eventually arrive at our lunch spot. We continue past Kandurukanda Mountain and a small section of the Somawathie Chaitiya Sanctuary. Along the last section of road as we come into Tampalakamam, just outside Trincomalee, we also pass the Naval Headwork Sanctuary. The hotel will be ready for our arrival and we can finally collapse after a long hot hard day. This evening we mark the end of the challenge with a celebratory meal in the grounds of the hotel close to the golden sandy beaches of Trincomalee. 

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 8

Colombo

This morning, after breakfast, we transfer back to Colombo. In the afternoon we are dropped off in the centre of town and have the rest of the day free to visit the main sights of Colombo. This evening there is the chance for those that wish to make their way into Colombo to see it by night or otherwise just relax in the hotel overlooking the ocean. 

 

Meals: B

DAY 9

Arrive UK

This morning we return to the international airport in Colombo in time for our flight back to the UK.

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