Day 1 Transfer to Jaffna
Most of us will fly into Colombo, but we meet up in nearby Negombo and travel by van to Jaffna. We’ll be based in the Heritage Hotel for two days, so we can settle in slowly and visit some of the sites closeby.
Day 2 Point Pedro Loop 75 km loop
Flat easy roads to the most northerly point on the island. We will work our way though some lagoons and towns…perhaps a tea stop or two - then skirt back along the coastal fishing villages before returning to Jaffna. Best to celebrate with a massive dosa at Mangoes.
Day 3 Jaffna-Mannar 120 km
Well-paved flat roads, through farmland and jungle to bring us at the end of a long day to a long and windy peninsular road that leads to Mannar. But thou shalt pass!!..and so we arrive in quiet Mannar. Beware the wild donkeys, who lay about like lazy asses …we will visit a massive baobab tree, gifted some 700 years earlier by Arab traders.
Day 4 Mannar-Anuradhapura 60 km (partial transfer)
After a transfer along the flat road out of Mannar, we loop cross -country on your only unpaved road section of this trip. It’s relaxing cycling - and fun - and the countryside is friendly and connects us to Anuradhapura, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight world heritage sites of Sri Lanka. We cycle indirectly alongside two great Buddhist stupas, one of them the Jetavanaramaya, the immense brick structure that was the third highest building of the ancient world.
Day 5 Anuradhapura-Siguriya 75 km
Nice riding today, finishing up on a small road that takes us to the ancient 200 m high rock fortress of Siguriya, a World Heritage Site. One of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning, it was initially built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century and was at that time both a palace and a fortress. We arrive at the end of the day, perfect timing to explore the lower gardens, and the ramparts before climbing up past the Lion Gate to the citadel.
Day 6 Siguriya-Matale -Kandy 75 km (van transfer to Kandy..or ride up!)
We stop after about 25 km at the Dambulla caves, YET another World Heritage site, YET more stairs. But after all this is the largest and best-preserved site on the island, and it’s all good preparation for the upcoming tea hills and spiritually – uplifting. There are 5 caves to visit and catch our breath before heading cross country to Matale..then Kandy.
Day 7 Kandy Rest day
A fine hotel so it’s worth a rest day – there’s a nearby World Heritage site and some fabulous cafes and we will organize an afternoon outing to a nearby tea factory.
Day 8 Hatton 70 km
Today is dedicated to cycling through a big salad of tea hills, and we finish in Hatton, a centre of the Ceylon tea plantations.
Day 9 Udawalawe 108 km (downhill!)
Quiet roads and beautiful rewards of eucalyptus dreams and flowers await! How lucky are we to be cycling here! There are some hills but overall we descend, and the last long stretch levels out as we approach the wildlife area of Udawalawe.
Day 10 Udawalawe Rest Day, wildlife Safari
The wildlife area of Udawalawe, known as a bird sanctuary and refuge of the Sri Lankan elephant.
Day 11 Mirissa 80 km
Today we finish on a rolling day at the Dondra Lighthouse, which marks the most southerly point of the island. We can stretch out and swim at the beach, before we head to the open beaches of Mirissa, another 17 km west – but we can van transfer you there!
Day 12 Mirissa Rest day
For those interested we will hold a cooking class, otherwise just across the street is the fabulous Mirissa beach!!! See you there!
Day 13 Departure
You are welcome to travel to Colombo and join Dave on the South India ride: http://www.southindiabicycleadventure.com
Or extend your stay in Sri Lanka! Let us know and we can help you plan!