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The ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress in Sri Lanka at sunset.

Cycle Sri Lanka 2023

Challenge level: 4 out of 5

When can I go?

15 September - 24 September 2023 On Sale
Duration 10 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info $523

Extend your stay in Sri Lanka

Fancy staying longer in this beautiful part of the world after your challenge? Your wish is our command! We're delighted to offer you a stunning 3-night extension package on the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka's west coast. See the full details here.

If you’d like to take advantage of this idyllic island break, please let us know by Friday 26th May 2023. Email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday-Friday, 9am–5pm)

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Total commitment Info

Cycle Sri Lanka 2023

Prepare to discover paradise on Earth and join our sublime cycle across Sri Lanka. Join Dream Challenges in 2023 for an amazing cycling challenge.

Together we’ll ride from the west to the east coast of the serendipity island, stop at the world-famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress and finish at the white-sand beaches of Trincomalee. 

Our beautiful route will take us across the rainforest-like rubber growing west of the country to the sprawling plains and idyllic beaches of the east. We'll be treated to unending amazing panoramas the whole way as we pass through rolling tea plantations, bustling towns, remote villages and the lush tropics, where vanilla, cardamom, jack fruit and cocoa grow.

We'll immerse ourselves in the serene local lifestyle, watch over 800 amazing animal species and climb the sacred Sigiriya Rock Fortress, widely named the Eighth Modern Wonder of the World! We'll also get a fantastic taste of Sri Lanka’s tea culture with a tour of one of the island’s gorgeous plantations.

Our adventure will end with a free day at the beach in Trincomalee, to relax and enjoy one of the world’s finest natural harbours.

Get a glimpse of our stunning Cycle Sri Lanka route!
Get a sneak preview of our spectacular cycling route across Sri Lanka in this awesome video created by one our amazing Challenge Leaders.

Your itinerary

Days 1 & 2
UK – Negombo, Sri Lanka

Our adventure begins when we meet at the airport in London. From here, we catch an overnight flight together to Negombo, arriving in the stunning country of Sri Lanka on Day 2. Our team of local challenge guides will be there to greet us and together, we transfer by coach from the airport to our hotel in Negombo.

In the afternoon, we have our bike fitting and take some time acclimatising to the awesome tropical climate! We end the day with a challenge briefing and our first group dinner.

Day 3
Negombo – Kitulgala | approx. 60km

After breakfast, we mount our bikes at the hotel and kick off along the West Coast. We follow a route through stunning scenery that welcomes us on to our challenge. Pedalling through towns and small villages, bustling with friendly locals, we’ll also pass lush rice fields, before descending through rainforest-like rubber plantations, to our hotel in Kitulgala.

Hydration is key and we’ll stop regularly to rehydrate ourselves with water, King coconut and fresh fruit. We may even take a dip in the streams we pass that are suitable for swimming, if you really need to cool off!

Day 4
Kitulgala – Kotagala - Nuwara Eliya | approx. 60km

Today, we conquer Sri Lanka’s central hills. Beginning with breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to our starting point in Kotagala. From here, we spend the day cycling uphill through beautiful tea plantations. The spectacular views more than make up for the tough ride, with breath-taking panoramas of the rolling tea mountains on every side.

Finally, we reach our hotel in the beautiful city of Nuwara Eliya. Nestled in the hill country of the Central Province, Nuwara Eliya is sometimes known as “Little England”, due to its rows of Tudor-style hotels and bungalows with pretty gardens. Here, we settle down for dinner and a good night’s rest.

Day 5
Nuwara Eliya – Kandy | approx. 65km

Breakfast at the hotel fuels us up for a longer, but equally as stunning, day of cycling. We mount our bikes at the hotel and ride first to a fantastic tea factory and plantation. We take a break here to make the most of the brilliant opportunity to learn how Sri Lankan tea is made. Surrounded by rows of Ceylon tea plants, we take a tour and get some insight into the manufacture of the delicious local drink.

Then we’re back in the saddle for a picture-perfect descent through rural villages and yet more beautiful tea plantations. Passing through the small towns of Pupuressa and Galaha, we eventually come to the suburban Peradeniya, where we meet our coach transfer. After an enchanting day’s ride, we rest tonight in the city of Kandy.

Day 6
Kandy – Dambulla | approx. 60km

Hopping on our bikes after breakfast, we cycle into the central cultural region of the country! Passing through charming villages along the way, we enjoy handsome vistas of small gardens, lush greenery and tropical spice plantations.

From our saddles, we’ll likely see a great variety of flowering plants growing, including vanilla, rubber, cinchona, jackfruit, cocoa and cardamom. We stop for a lunch in a traditional spice garden in Matale, where we enjoy a taste of the local curry, amidst a spice paradise.

Then it’s back on our bikes, until we come to our hotel in Dambulla, the closest town to the famous Sigiriya rock fortress. Of course, we make the most of this fab opportunity to climb and explore it! Widely known as the eighth Modern Wonder of the World, this is an ancient archaeological wonder, formed from the magma of an extinct volcano. It reaches 370m above sea level, overshadowing its surrounding jungles by a whopping 200m.

Day 7
Dambulla – Trincomalee | approx. 98km

We’ve made it to our last day of cycling! Although we’ve experienced a range of contrasting terrains and ecology on our challenge already, we have yet another mix-up.

Our route takes us along an almost perfectly straight road, with wide plains sprawling on either side, all the way to our finish line! We end our mighty 343km challenge at the beautiful beach of Trincomalee, on the east coast of the island.

Tonight, we celebrate our incredible achievement for heart charities with a bonfire on the beach and shots of the local spirit, Arrack.

Day 8

Today is free for you to spend as you wish at the peaceful and picturesque Trincomalee, one of the world’s finest natural harbours. You can kick back on the sandy beach and soothe your muscles in the turquoise waters, visit the Shiva temple or tour the historic town for souvenirs!

To allow you more flexibility on this well-deserved day of leisure, only breakfast is provided. This leaves you free to try out the various restaurants and cafes for lunch and dinner.

Day 9
Trincomalee – Negombo

We bid goodbye to the east coast after breakfast and transfer back to the west coast to Negombo. For the rest of the day, you’re free to explore the city, arrange your own lunch and enjoy an awesome sense of achievement at the place where our ride began. We meet back up in the evening for our farewell dinner, with a magical view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.

Day 10
Negombo – UK

After a final breakfast in Sri Lanka, we transfer to the airport for our flight back to London. This is where we part ways and make our own way back home.

Book my place

Funding options

Self Funded

Pay the registration fee (£349) and challenge costs (£1,995) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £350).


Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £349, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay your challenge cost of £1,995 yourself 12 weeks before the challenge starts.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £350), your food, accommodation, transfers, entry fees, guides, bike hire, mechanics and medical support, including a UK-registered doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • Please also remember to budget for your visa and your airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £350).
  • Choose to fundraise as much as you can or make a personal donation to the charity of your choice.
Book my place


Pay your registration fee (£349) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £350), and fundraise £3,990 or more for your chosen charity.


Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £349, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Fundraise the minimum sponsorship target of £3,990 for a charity of your choice at least 12 weeks before your challenge starts.
  • Providing you have raised the funds, the charity you are supporting will pay the challenge costs of £1,995 on your behalf.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £350), your food, accommodation, transfers, entry fees, guides, bike hire, mechanics and medical support, including a UK-registered doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • Please also remember to budget for your visa and your airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £350).
  • Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we ask you to contact the charity you want to support. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, you can choose another charity or self fund your challenge.
Book my place

Cycle Sri Lanka 2023

This cycle is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.

We send you a realistic training plan as soon as you sign up, which builds up over time. We strongly recommend that you train as much as you can as the better prepared you are, the more you'll enjoy the adventure. We'll be tackling long distances and some tough terrains and the humidity will add to the challenge, although we will be avoiding cycling in the hottest part of the day. 

Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.

Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Cycle Sri Lanka 2023. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow cyclists on your training and fundraising.

You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.

One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join our awesome cycle in Sri Lanka.

16 and 17-year olds may participate if given permission by Dream Challenges. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. Simply email events@dream-challenges.com and we'll be happy to help.

There will be around 40 participants in our group for Cycle Sri Lanka 2023. You'll no doubt make a bunch of awesome new friends!

Your non-refundable registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.

Your challenge costs of £1,995 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:

  • Your flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £350).
  • Meals throughout the challenge (except for your lunch and dinner on Day 8 and lunch on Day 9).
  • Accommodation.
  • Bike hire.
  • All transfers and luggage transportation in Sri Lanka.
  • Entry fees where applicable.
  • A team of awesome, outdoor remote first-aid trained local guides and Dream Challenges staff.
  • Full support from the Dream Challenges office in the lead-up to and during your challenge.
  • Medical support, including a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will accompany us throughout the challenge.
  • Mechanical support.
  • Your Cycle Sri Lanka 2023 medal and t-shirt.

In addition to paying your registration fee and either fundraising or self funding your challenge costs, you will need to budget for:

  • Your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £350 but subject to change – up or down).
  • Your lunch and dinner on Day 8 and your lunch on Day 9.
  • Your personal travel insurance.
  • Your visa for Sri Lanka. (You will need to arrange this yourself. We'll send you details of this in the lead-up to the challenge.)
  • Gratuities.
  • Optional tours.
  • Personal expenses.

A cycle helmet is essential and must be worn at all times. Cycling shorts are also recommended and everyone will need their own water bottles or a camel back-type hydration system.

Apart from that, no specialist equipment is required. We will supply you with a list of everything you will need to take before you go.

Cyclists will have the use of 18 or 21-gear bikes and we suggest you bring the saddle or gel cover you are used to riding on.

We stay in comfortable hotels throughout this challenge on a twin-sharing basis.

If you would like to pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself wherever possible, please get in touch at least 17 weeks before the challenge and we can arrange this for you at an additional price. Simply email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).

Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Sri Lanka, please let us know at least 17 weeks before the challenge start date and we can arrange this for you.

The best way to get in touch is by emailing bookings@dream-challenges.com or you can call us on 01590 646410 during office hours (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday).


Travel Insurance

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance upon registering for this challenge, covering health, accident, loss, and repatriation. We advise that you arrange personal travel insurance as soon as you can after you register to ensure you have coverage for your booking as well as the challenge itself.

Dream Challenges has details of an example policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can also call us for details on 01590 646410 during our office hours (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday).

You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity cycle in Sri Lanka.

Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate coverage for your challenge.

It is your responsibility to obtain a visa for Sri Lanka if you need one. Ensure that you apply and obtain your visa in plenty of time. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sri-lanka

The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your cycling challenge for charity and we will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.

Once you have registered, we will send you regular email updates with everything you need to know about your challenge, including the itinerary, an example insurance policy, the structure of an average cycling day, a full kit list, and a realistic training plan to help you get fit for the challenge. The training programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.

We'll also send you important details and seasonal fundraising ideas. During the cycle, we'll have a UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying the group at all times, along with a team of outdoor remote first-aid trained challenge guides.

Yes, we'll have a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, a Challenge Leader, and a team of outdoor remote first aid trained challenge guides.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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