If you’re thinking of taking your sightseeing holidays to another level (by doing it on a bike), one of the best places to do this is in Sri Lanka.
It’s a compact place that’s jam-packed full of things to see and do. From stopping off to see ancient monuments to racing through the paddy fields and up into the highlands, there’s something for everyone. And the best bit about exploring Sri Lanka by bike is that you can stop off and explore any areas that particularly take your fancy – you won’t miss anything!
Here’s a taster of just some of the things you can expect to see on your travels:
This is an ancient city that dates back as far as the 10th century and is a UNESCO site. Although compact, it’s great for exploring on a bike because you’ll be able to cover the entire area, taking in all it has to offer.
And don’t miss the Topa Wewa Lake, which is nearby, as this is well worth cycling around for some unspoilt, picturesque beauty.
Keen bikers will enjoy the challenge of Ella as this area is far hillier, but the air so much cooler. Ella itself is a quaint village that’s surrounded by tea plantations, and its high viewpoint (Ella Gap) is the perfect place for photos and to watch the sun go down (or come up). You might also want to leave your bike behind as you explore the Ravana Ella Falls and Little Adam’s Peak – both of which can be easily reached by foot.
Frequently shortened to Tissa, this ancient capital dates back to the 2nd century and is where you’ll find the locals washing and swimming in the reservoir, Tissa Wewa. Here you’ll also find the Sandagiri Dagoba and Maha Stupa, and when you’ve finished there, head off northeast for 16 kilometres to the Kataragama Temple. There you can seek Skanda’s favour, as people from all types of religions often do.
While here, you’re also given the perfect opportunity to see a leopard by heading to the Yala National Park (you might want to join a tour and leave your bike behind for this, though!).
Even though this area has been developed more heavily than others, it is still well worth stopping off here to see the stunning Temple of the Tooth. However, as the roads appear to be as old as the temple, you may need to hop in a taxi or car here (as many cycling holidays will do) so you’re not thrown off your bike by one of the many potholes!
The area is a little hilly but does offer a plethora of temples and you’ll also want to head off to the north to the well-known spice market of Matale (an old Moorish town).
Ultimately, cycling is the ideal way to discover the diverse landscapes of Sri Lanka, while immersing yourself with the locals for a truly authentic experience.