Motorcycle road trip Sri Lanka - On the Roads of Ceylon

Motorcycle road trip Sri Lanka

On the Roads of Ceylon


Francis, travel designer

Francis is a biker always venturing out on the road to uncover new routes with as much passion as he has telling stories. He is an enthusiast and knows our itineraries like the back of his hand.

Got a passion for motorbikes, nature and history? Then head off along Sri Lanka’s magical roads and trails. There are many Indian influences here, but they are lighter, softer, and restyled. Enter a radiant and luxuriant world – from the cultural triangle to the tea plantations, with a detour via Trincomalee before venturing into rainforests and national parks, then ending your trip near Galle, with feet dipped in the sea. For bikers who fancy intensely new surroundings and variety, this complete motorcycle tour blends cultural riches and beautiful landscapes.

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Useful information
Period December to April
Duration 12 days incl. 10 days' riding
Available extensions
Level Intermediate
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Standard, Charming or Comfort
From €3,190/pilot

Your Motorcycle Tour in Sri Lanka 12 stages - 876 miles

oruwa negombo sri lanka
D1 / Arrive in Negombo

You are met at the airport and taken 20 minutes by car to Negombo, a fishing port and coastal resort. After you settle in at the hotel, time for some beach- or pool-based R & R. From the shore, you can admire the flotilla of oruwas, traditional fishing boats whose square sails dance on the ocean.

fishermen sri lanka
D2 / Negombo - Kalpitiya - 68 miles

We begin the tour by heading north towards Kalpitiya peninsula, along a series of minor coastal roads and some tracks, passing through fishing villages. We reach a stretch lined by huge coconut plantations before they give way to shrimp farms. We fork off onto the peninsula and ride between the lagoon and the ocean.

schoolgirls sri lanka
D3 / Kalpitiya - Sigiriya - 118 miles

After around 18 miles of main road skirting the immense Karuwalagas lagoon, we cross a plain peppered with jungles, rice paddies, coconut plantations, mango groves and several lakes. We make a detour to visit the Ritigala ruins, a monastery that was abandoned many years ago, nestled in the heart of the jungle. Only when the imposing Lion Rock is dominating the reddish plains do we know that we’ve arrived in Sigiriya.

buddhist temple sri lanka
D4 / Sigiriya - 84 miles

Today, we have two options: we can visit either the ancient city of Polonnaruwa or Dambulla’s Buddhist cave temple. We ride along the edge of Minneriya National Park, where elephant sightings are common. After a break near Giritale tank, we head to Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, we can head to Dambulla and its astounding caves housing numerous Buddha statues.

royal enfield sri lanka
D5 / Sigiriya - Trincomalee - 99 miles

This morning, we visit the Lion Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hike to the top, where we’re rewarded with spectacular views. We head northeast along indescribably charming country roads for around 12 miles, then rough and ready tracks to end on a recently renovated, easy road straight to the coast. We stop in Trincomalee, a city that welcomed the end of the Tamil Tiger conflict.

motorcycle adventure sri lanka
D6 / Trincomalee - Wasgamuwa - 134 miles

We drive south through the endless eastern plains, peppered with pristine expanses, enormous lakes and protected natural parks. We enjoy a long, wide track, which resembles an off-road highway. This part of the island is uncrowded and this leg takes us to the foothills of a large mountain range in south-central Sri Lanka. We stop at the foot of Knuckles mountain range.

rider sri lanka
D7 / Wasgamuwa - Knuckles - 62 miles

We drive alongside the Knuckles range, a beautiful, tall mountain that remains very wild. We enjoy magnificent views of reservoirs with deep blue waters and the mountain range getting closer and closer until we reach a smooth, well-designed road that takes up into the cool high-altitude tropical rainforests above 1,000 m altitude. Finally, we end this beautiful leg passing our first tea plantations and rural villages.

tea plantation sri lanka
D8 / Knuckles - Nuwara Eliya - 78 miles

We continue our adventure, venturing into the heart of the island and its highlands, overlooked by the country’s highest peaks. We climb up to almost 2,000 metres. The road winds through several tea plantations and their artistic formations. When we reach Nuwara Eliya, the country’s highest city, you’ll soon realise that its nickname “Little England” is no exaggeration: it still carries a strong British influence.

country road sri lanka
D9 / Nuwara Eliya - Ella - 56 miles

We are in the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country. We take a deliberately arduous route so that we can really make the most of this unique region. As well as tea bushes, we also pass many dairy farms, a landscape that could easily be passed off as Switzerland. We arrive in Ella for lunch, a peaceful refuge for many travellers. We then ride to our stop for the night, just outside this small town.

wild swimming sri lanka
D10 / Ella - Udawalawe - 99 miles

Today, we leave the central highlands behind us and head for the south coast. We make one last tea-related visit to the historical Sir Lipton’s tea factory, and weather permitting, we may even be able to take a ride to Lipton’s Seat, a lookout with perfect views across this empire of green gold. We take a break at Diyaluma Falls, the third highest in Sri Lanka. We stay on the edge of the famous Udawalawe national park.

paradise beach sri lanka
D11 / Udawalawe - Galle - 78 miles

We enjoy an early morning safari in Udawalawe national park, where elephant sightings are guaranteed. Then, we head to the much-loved south coast. En route, we stop off at Mulkirigala rock temples and the reclining Buddhas in the caves, proof of the island’s ancient Buddhist culture. We reach the turquoise waters of the coast, take a break next to the sea and then ride on to Galle, an old Dutch fortified city.

stilt fishing sri lanka
D12 / Galle - Colombo international airport

Today, we ride to Colombo. You are then transferred to the airport in a private vehicle based on your flight time. Important: Make sure that you book an evening flight.

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the full program

Available extensions

Upcoming departures

From January 7th 2023 to January 18th 2023
From January 22nd 2023 to February 2nd 2023
From February 5th 2023 to February 16th 2023
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