Cycle Sri Lanka for a Sip of Ceylon
Often taken for granted by many travelers heading to India, Sri Lanka is a fantastic destination for cycling, with a wondrous coastline and beautiful highland scenery. Sri Lanka was previously known as Serendib and Ceylon. Now the island welcomes travelers with divine food, excellent accommodation, and friendly people. The cycling trip begins at the heart of the island in Kandy and finishes on the southern coast of Galle. The tea factories along the journey teach the traveler about the process of making tea, and one gets to sample a cup every time.
Tucked in between tea plantations, the roads of Kandy are packed with vehicles and tourists. Before undertaking the 10km cycling ride to Nuwara Eliya, do not forget to visit the holy site of the Temple of the Tooth, where Buddhist monks conserve and worship a tooth of the Buddha. Cycling from Kandy begins as a warm-up ride where you will get to enjoy the lovely views of the hills.
When you begin cycling the roads of Nuwara Eliya, they gradually get steep soon after leaving Kandy. It is a 45 km ride across Little England. Expect to see fewer people around and more of a gorgeous vista of tea plantations. There is a wide variety of road surfaces with minimal traffic. The rides end at Gampola railway station, where a train awaits you to head to higher elevations. You will require warm clothes in Nuwara Eliya, as temperatures drop at night. An operation tea factory around Ambewella is open to visitors seeking a cultural experience. Colonial-era accommodation is available in the region where you can enjoy a hearty meal sitting by the open fire.
The 60km ride from the Nuwara Eliya to Ella is a downhill route where you leave the high tea country and start penetrating the primary forest. Ella is rich in flora and fauna, and home to picturesque train bridges.
Embark on a scenic train ride from Ella to Heputale train station. From there on, follow the 25km of circuitous roads and a 10 km downhill ride, which flattens as you ride deeper into Udawalawe National Park home to a large Elephant population.
The final bicycle ride takes you to the old port city of Galle, where you can soak up the sun along the coastline. Enjoy a refreshing drink from a 300-year-old fort overlooking the ocean.
The peak season to travel Sri Lanka starts from December to January and July to August. It is recommended to meticulously plan and prepare your itinerary to enjoy the most of the rural and urban Sri Lanka.