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Difficulty: Moderate


A cycle tour of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka in the heart of the cultural triangle, made famous by the Hindu and Buddhist texts from antiquity. 

This is a great 7-day bicycle adventure, starting and finishing in the cloud city of Kandy in the mountains of central Sri Lanka. Heading north to tour through the ancient wonders of the cultural triangle.
Start by making your way out of the mountain, cycling the stunning "18-bends road". Making your way through National parks towards the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa, the ancient 1000-year old former capital. Ride to the famous Lion's Rock in Sigiriya, the ruin of a palatial fort on the top of the 200m high rock outcrop. Then head to the hills, cycling through tea country on the return route to Kandy. 

Tour Features

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Tour Itinerary

Kingdoms Of Lanka

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Arrival Day Kandy - Train & Bike Fitting

Whether you stayed the night in Colombo or Negombo (Negombo is closer to the airport) on arrival, you will need to make your way to Colombo Station (a taxi is recommended). Then you will take a morning train from the national capital Colombo to the central city of Kandy. After you check into your hotel you will be met by our representative who will help you get fitted up on your bikes. They will also take you through the other associated equipment and then provide a bit of a briefing on practicalities for Sri Lanka and your ride. You can then spend the remaining daylight hours exploring the area around the hotel by bike as a light warmup ride.

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Mahiyanganaya - 18 Bends

73km Cycling

You start out your tour in the central cloud city of Kandy. The proud capital of an ancient mountain kingdom, it was the last place to fall to the British during the colonial invasion. Kandy is a beautiful city with a temperate climate, littered with historical, colonial buildings that circle its stunning central lake. The city is most famous for being the location of the “Temple of the Tooth” a significant Buddhist relic. The day’s ride is a special one, as you cycle East out of the city on the infamous yet now newly renovated “18 bend road” towards the temple town of Mahiyanganaya.

Meals: BD

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Polonnaruwa - Ancient Ruins

88km cycling

Today you'll cycle the long corridor between 3 lush National Parks (Knuckles Reserve/ Maduru Oya/ Wasagamuwa) to reach the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The immaculate ruins of Polonnaruwa, depict in detail the 1000-year-old ancient capital of Sri Lanka in all its glory.

Meals: BD

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Sigiriya - Lion's Rock

72km cycling

Moving from one wonder of the ancient world to another, today you'll cycle through back roads and trails of the wetlands and jungle to discover Lion Rock. Sigiriya Rock is an imposing sight standing at an impressive 200meters, with it’s summit home to the remains of a luxurious palace from over 1500 years ago. Your hotel sits in the shadow of this amazing rock,  and there is a good chance of hearing the trumpets of wild elephants in the jungle this evening.

Meals: BD

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Rattota - Tea Plantations

82km cycling

Leaving Sigiriya, we cycle a trail through farmland. On the way, you will hopefully see plenty of local wildlife, with Peacocks, giant monitor lizards, and mongoose being a common sight. You may even meet an elephant or crocodile during this section. 

After lunch, you continue through lush, green jungle and then begin your gentle climb into tea country.

Meals: BD

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Kandy - The Cloud City

52km cycling

A thrilling descent awaits this morning as you roll through tea hill plantations and small villages into the valley. A short ride on the flat and then it is into the climbing again, although a much gentler gradient than yesterday. After gaining some elevation again, it's time to ride some ups and downs along the side of the valley before eventually coming out just east of Kandy. The roads get slightly busier with motor rickshaws and the like before you cross the river and tackle one last hill to arrive at your hotel, set by the main lake in Kandy.

Meals: B

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Kandy - Departure Day

This morning you will be met again by our representative to collect your bikes and equipment, before you check out of the hotel. We can assist you in arranging your onward travel, whether it be a further adventure into the tea country or the beaches in the south or returning to the airport.

Meals: B



What's the Riding Like?


Rolling hills


5 days riding


367km distance

The terrain is a mix of sealed and unsealed roads on secondary roads and quiet country lanes. There are a few sustained climbs (although not too steep) at times and some thrilling descents. There is always a support vehicle on hand to give you a lift if you need a break from the riding. 

Learn a little more about this amazing little island. Recently, Grasshopper Adventures hosted a "webinar" sharing some of our knowledge about Sri Lanka.