If you want to learn about what Sri Lanka has to offer, the best way is to get out there and see it for yourself. Cycle around on a self-guided tour with a local cycling operator. There are countless cycle routes, but some of our favorites include the windy road from Unawatuna Beach to Galle or the round-island route from Galle up north all the way to Jaffna. Cycling is a great way of exploring this beautiful country that manages to boast not only vast beaches and long stretches of lagoon coastline but also dense forests in its center and snowcapped peaks in its southeast corner.
Where to go cycling in Sri Lanka?
Best towns include Galle, the historic port city and fishing haven of South Asia, and Unawatuna, where you can take a swim in crystal clear lagoon waters while listening to the local fishermen as they sell their catch along this stunning stretch of beach. Another one of the best towns is Diyatalawa or ‘Place Where Water Has Form.’ The impressive temple perched on top of high cliffs offers spectacular views over the ancient ruins that lie below. And watch out for the monkeys, they’re renowned in this area!
The roads and tracks you ride on can take you through many different landscapes. There are rolling hills and valleys where you cycle through tea plantations and spices farms. You may even see children tending to their buffaloes or hear the footsteps of elephants in the forests as they move from place to place.
You will pass by immense rice paddies that stretch for miles and miles across the paddy fields with the greenest of green rice plants ready for harvest. Along the way, you will pass quaint little villages whose residents are likely to wave you through and cheer you on as they go about their daily tasks. Cycling tours of Sri Lanka are perfect for those who want to explore this beautiful country but don’t have much time.
How long does it take to travel around Sri Lanka?
What better way than to cycle around the island and really get to know its different faces. The tour operators will guide you through the myriad of off-beaten-track routes while providing tents and camping equipment too. If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, the hotels and guesthouses along the way are more than happy to have you stay in their rooms, which can sometimes include a view of the Indian Ocean.
You’ll need to give one or two months of your time to get around Sri Lanka by bike, but it is well worth it. Most importantly, cycling will give you a better understanding of this country and make you realize that it is beautiful beyond compare.