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Motorcycle road trip Sri Lanka - On the Roads of Ceylon

Motorcycle road trip Sri Lanka

On the Roads of Ceylon

Explore this lost paradise in the Indian Ocean, on a stunning motorbike tour.

Got a question?
Benoît will guide you!

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.

Useful information
Period January to April
Duration 12 days incl. 9 days' riding
Level Intermediate
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Comfort or Boutique
From €3,180/pilot

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Your Motorcycle Tour in Sri Lanka 12 stages - 870 miles

negombo sri lanka oruwa boat fisherman
D1 / Arrive in Negombo

After being met at the airport, you take a 20-minute drive to Negombo, a fishing port and coastal resort, and settle into the hotel. You can relax on the beach or by the pool. From the shore, admire the flotillas of oruwas, traditional fishing boats with outriggers, their sails dancing on the ocean.

sri lanka fisherman beach
D2 / Negombo - Kalpitiya - 68 miles

You begin your journey by heading north towards the Kalpitiya peninsula, along a series of little oceanfront roads, passing through fishing villages and with a few trail sections too. Tropical scenery scrolls by: coconut farms, then shrimp farms.

sri lanka swimming pool hotel luxury resort
D3 / Kalpitiya - Sigiriya - 118 miles

You’ll need to rise early to admire the dolphin ballet off Kalpitiya. Then back to terra firma for breakfast, before hitting the road towards the centre-north of the island. After 18 miles of main road, you fork off and head east, the route taking you through superb scenery dotted with jungles, rice fields, and coconut and banana groves, and graced by lakes.

sri lanka schoolgirl road
D4 / Sigiriya - Sigiriya - 83 miles

This morning, you can either take an excursion to Polonnaruwa or to the buddhist caves of Dambulla. After a break near Giritale reservoir, you visit Polonnaruwa or go towards Dambulla: either way, we witness the past splendour of the ancient capital of Lanka.

sri lanka motorcycle couple paddy field
D5 / Sigiriya - Trincomalee - 100 miles

This morning we visit the Lion Rock, a Unesco World Heritage site. Our effort will be rewarded by a great viewpoint at the summit. Then we make for the east coast. For the first 12 miles, along the rural road, discover the wealth of crops. We stop in the city of Trincomalee. If the weather allows it, we can take a trip to Pigeon Island, where you just need goggles and snorkel to swim with the turtles and harmless little sharks!

motorcycle trip sri lanka landscape biker mountain
D6 / Trincomalee - Wasgamuwa - 133 miles

We drive south through the infinite eastern plains, dotted with pristine expanses, gigantic lakes and protected natural parks. We enjoy a large and long track which looks like an off-road highway. This part of the island is uncrowded, and our stage of the day takes us to a mountainous massif in the southern center of the island. We stop off at the bottom of the Knuckles chain.

sri lanka motorcycle tour
D7 / Wasgamuwa - Knuckles - 62 miles

We drive full West with the sight of the Knuckles chain, a beautiful and high mountain which remained very wild. We can enjoy magnificent views of deep blue water reservoirs, and the mountain range gets closer until a smooth and well-drawn road takes us up into the cool tropical rainforests above 1,000 meters. Finally, the first tea plantations and rural villages based on this economic activity conclude this stage of beauty!

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

We continue our discovery, venturing into the heart of the island and the region of upland plateaux, overlooked by the country’s highest peaks. There’s quite a gradient, so hang on… up to nearly 2,000 metres (6,560 ft). The road runs between reservoirs of light-blue water, then winds through tea plantations.

sri lanka route elephant
D9 / Nuwara Eliya - Ella - 55 miles

We are in the heart of Sri Lanka's tea factory. We follow a deliberately tortuous route to see a maximum of this particular region. In addition to the bushes of tea plantations, we also cross the plateau of the country, where we feel like we have arrived in Switzerland. Arrive at Ella for lunch, charming refuge for many backpackers. We then join our hideout for the night, outside this small town.

sri lanka bathing river
D10 / Ella - Udawalawe - 100 miles

Today you leave the uplands and head for the south coast. After a cooling break at the foot of the Ravana Falls, resume your journey along a superb mountain road: twisty but smooth. On reaching the plain, admire the large sculpted Buddhas at Buduru Wagala.

sri lanka beach sea coconut tree
D11 / Udawalawe - Galle - 78 miles

Early morning safari in Udawalawe National Park, a guarantee of being able to observe wild elephants. The we head south to the ocean. En route, we stop off at the sacred rock of Mulkiri Gala and admire its reclining Buddhas from centuries past. We reach the turquoise coast, then drive to Galle, an old Dutch fortified city.

sri lanka stilt fisherman
D12 / Galle - Colombo international airport

It's the end of your road trip in Sri Lanka! Today you ride back to Colombo. Transfer to Negombo airport by private vehicle, based on your flight-departure time.

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The riders' opinions

alan williams
Have done Mongolia and Sri lanka

“Have done Mongolia and Sri lanka, both Excellent and cannot wait to get on another trip, always good company great riding and a fabulous adventure.”

Well organized

“Well organized, excellent tour lead with support crew.”

stephen buskell
Vintage Rides SrI Lanka

“I was born in Sri Lanka but I was taken to parts I didn't know existed. Excellent knowledge of which routes to take to avoid the sometimes hellish traffic. The bikes were great fun : this is despite me being 125 kilos on a 350 - impressed ! They seem to be constantly reviewing their hotels which can only mean a better experience I would recommend this company to my biking friends”


Upcoming departures

From February 2nd 2019 to February 13th 2019
From February 16th 2019 to February 27th 2019
From March 3rd 2019 to March 14th 2019
From March 17th 2019 to March 28th 2019
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