From dreamy rice fields to sprawling tea plantations, rural villages to nature preserves teeming with wildlife, the range of Sri Lanka’s geographical and cultural treasures is astounding—and there’s no better way to see it all than on two wheels.
Any time of year is a good time to ride in Sri Lanka.
The tea country which is lovely to ride through, has one very important element and that is elevation. The only truly flat areas in Sri Lanka are the areas close to the coast and the central dry area around Sigiriya. All through the year, you can expect a strong but short downpour once the pressure builds up.
Anyone who has been on a general, vehicle-based tour of Sri Lanka will likely be quite shocked when you tell them that you plan to ride a bike there.
In the dry, central area around Sigiriya and Dambulla, there are some very pleasant, hard-packed dirt roads where you can ride along in peace and often site wildlife such as Peafowl, Monkeys, Kingfisher, and Mongoose.
Through the tea plantations you can enjoy the views and the winding road helps to keep it interesting, There are usually Tea Pickers working off in the plantations on the side of the road with a soft chatter coming from these green crops. You’ll see lovely views out over the hills and often typical, colonial-era buildings, usually part of the plantation properties.
Sri Lanka has a unique cuisine. The tendency, at first sight, is to compare it to Indian cuisine and while you will see some similarities (dahl, for instance), Sri Lankan food tends to be a little lighter. The food found at roadside curry shops for locals can be very spicey, but in the places that cater to both well-off Sri Lankans and foreigners and have a higher level of hygiene usually allow you to add your own chili to a dish.
Some special dishes that we’ve enjoyed over the years are:
- Stewed, young jackfruit curry
- Eggplant cooked in various delicious ways
- Beetroot curry
- Egg Hoppers (a sort of rice pancake made into a bowl with an egg fried in the bottom of it and then fried onions and other items added to it)