Cycling Kerala's Backroads
Kerala, a narrow Indian state sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the mountainous Western Ghats, is known for its tropical greenery, backwaters, wildlife reserves, tea and spice plantations. Along the way you will be staying at beautiful heritage hotels, eco-lodges and spend a night on a rice barge converted to a luxurious accommodation. We'll have our fill of ethnic and delicious food, seasoned by the local spices. Then the climbing begins as we head up to areas known for its tea plantations and spice estates. Four wildlife parks are visited on this tour where we will most likely be able see a herd of elephants. We then head towards Kumarakom from where we spend a relaxing afternoon plying the backwaters on a houseboat, where we'll also spend the night. From here it is a flat ride back to Kochi with time to explore this fascinating historic town. Its location near the equator combined with the sea breezes and cooler temperatures in the highlands makes it perfect for bicycling and lives up to its tagline – God's Own Country.
This tour include a total ascent of 10,880m and descent of 10,806 m.
|Tour Cost||Price depends on tour departure||Single Supplement||Price depends on tour departure|
|Bike Hire||US$300||Total Cycling Distance||537 kilometres|
|Tour Grade||out of 5||Number of Days||14 Days / 13 Nights|
|Number of Cycling Days||9 full days, 1 half day||Tour Meets||Kochi (formely known as Cochin)|
|Tour Ends||Kochi (formely known as Cochin)||Countries Visited||India|
|Group Size||Minimum 2, Maximum 16.||Minimum age on scheduled departures||18 years old|
- Day 1
- Arrive at Kochi (formerly known as Cochin), a vibrant seaport town that is the perfect jumping off point for our exploration of Kerala.
- Day 2
- From our hotel we ride into the countryside, passing a temple, crossing the Periyar River where, if we are lucky, we'll see elephants from a nearby camp bathing. We head towards the Thatekkad Bird Sanctuary and overnight in deluxe and unique house tents
- Day 3
- Bird watchers can rise early to see how many bird species they can see. Cycle from the hotel following the Periyar River as we head to the Valara forest reserve, passing waterfalls, as we gradually climb to our overnight hotel.
- Day 4
- A 20 km morning climb will take us up to Munnar hill station.to an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level. There are lakes, reservoirs, forests and several tea plantations carpeting the hillsides. Afternoon free to explore the town and bazaar.
- Day 5
- Ride to Top Station 1,950 m/ 6,397 ft for panoramic views over the town and neighbouring Tamil Nadu. You'll ascend 500 m in this gradual uphill but there'll be little traffic and the views will be worth the effort. Then there's the reward of the downhill.
- Day 6
- Today's ride is stunning, as we ride out of Munnar on an undulating country road that takes us through small villages with wonderful views of reservoirs and streams to Kattapana town. We overnight at a tranquil resort set amidst a plantation of spices and have a guided walk around the grounds.
- Day 7
- Easy morning ride to Periyar National Park, one of the world's richest bio-diversity spots that is a sanctuary for more than 40 tigers. We ride on small roads through deciduous forests to our resort set on the edge of the park.
- Day 8
- Free day to relax or go on one of the trekking and boat safaris to the nearby Periyar National Park.
- Day 9
- Riding from the hotel we descend on a scenic road through cardamom and tea estates, stopping to visit the Connemara Tea Factory. We overnight at an old plantation bungalow.
- Day 10
- Stunning views, combined with a 22 km descent makes this probably the best ride of the trip. We ride through rubber and spice plantations as we head towards India's second largest lake.
- Day 11
- A free morning before we board our houseboat, a converted rice barge, for a stunning backwater cruise. We just sit back, sip long drinks and watch the world go by.
- Day 12
- Mid morning we disembark at Alleppey and ride along the old canal road, pasint historic buildings. We take the beach road north to Marari Beach for a seafood lunch and relax by the sea. The afternoon ride ends at Fort Cochin and our boutique hotel.
- Day 13
- Optional morning cycle ride around the back streets of old Cochin, taking in all the major sights. Afternoon is free to relax before we meet up for our farewell dinner.
- Day 14
- Onward travel
Day 2 – Kochi - Thatekkad Ride 62 km. +1,567 m / -1,523 m.
Day 3 - Thatekkad - Munnar Ride 55 km. +1,551 m / -585 m.
Day 4 – Munnar Hill Station Ride 27 km. +910 m / -425 m.
Day 5 – Munnar Loop to Top Station Ride 72 km. +1,481 m / -1,498 m.
Day 6 – Munnar - Periyar Ride 79 km. +1,746 m / -2,108 m.
Day 7 – Periyar - Thekkady Ride 26 km. +493 m / -701 m.
Day 9 – Thekkady - Mavady Estate Ride 55 km. +1,123 m / -852 m.
Day 10 - Mavady Estate- Kottayam Ride 86 km.+1,395 m /-2,513 m.
Day 12 – Alleppey – Fort Cochin +614 m / -601 m.
|Date||Availability||Price||Single Supplement||Bike Hire||Book|
|November 19, 2017||Available||USD 2,895.00||USD 995.00||USD 300.00|
|December 17, 2017||Available||USD 3,250.00||USD 1,180.00||USD 300.00|
|January 21, 2018||Available||USD 2,895.00||USD 995.00||USD 300.00|
|February 18, 2018||Available||USD 2,895.00||USD 995.00||USD 300.00|
|March 18, 2018||Available||USD 2,895.00||USD 995.00||USD 300.00|
Scheduled dates don't fit your schedule? Have an idea for an alteration to the itinerary?
Contact our custom tours team to make your ideal holiday a reality.
Spice roads equipment and guides excellent-and we toured one of the most spectacular parts of the world.Great food and accommodation. First class support.
gordon howlett - February 2016
Challenging cycling, great variety of food. I wish the trip was longer.
Sara Molinaro - December 2015
Excellently led and supported, very good accommodation and meals. I had a great time, and will definitely go again with Spiceroads.
Paul Nicol - December 2015
This was our sixth Spice Roads tour and it did not disappoint. We love cycle touring, and Spice Roads' support is always outstanding.
Franklin is an excellent driver. He is calm, cheerful, and attentive. It was easy to see that driving on mountain roads behind cyclists is not the easiest job in the world, since you must drive slowly and cautiously despite the fact that some other drivers are unhappy about being held up. Franklin handled everything very well.
Jayne Bradbury - March 2015
Shibu and Franklin were amazing! They were knowledgeable; they were prompt; they were informative; they were kind; they went over and above in making our trip truly memorable. Their efforts to protect our safety from cars, auto rickshaws, motorbikes, cows, potholes, etc., was wonderful and much appreciated!
The route, the road conditions, and the road obstacles (traffic), challenged us, but it was a worthy challenge! It pushed our limits but we travel just so we can push our limits and Shibu provided that challenge! When a route was too dangerous, Shibu altered the route to accommodate our level of skill (and fear). He really adapted the route to make sure we were comfortable and SAFE!
Again, safety was Shibu's #1 goal. And, every day, Shibu maintained the bikes so they operated smoothly.Overall, the restaurants were good. The food was really delicious.
Every day there was always enough food. We never lacked for anything. Well, maybe a beer every now and then, but we understood the new law in Kerala, so no problem.
Our highlight, really, was being guided by Shibu and Franklin. They took such very good care of us, taking away all worries. The true backroads cycling was amazing, even with some difficult hills!
We really enjoyed the moments when Shibu would stop and point out a tree or a bush and talk about the fruit or the purpose of the tree. We do enjoy learning about the different cultures, cuisines, customs and geography of a country and Shibu was very informative. Margaret is a birder, so Shibu was very kind to point over several species of birds during our rides.
Clare Sheils - December 2014
Enjoyed this tour very much. Beautiful scenery!
Guide Safi, Vippy and the driver took good care of us.
Lieve De Neve-Peeters - February 2014
The trip was a great combination of cycling and culture, as well as time off to rest and relax.
Safi was amazing. He was unflappable, able to handle every situation, question and event that came to him, and even managed to find extras for us, such as great backroads to avoid traffic, and unexpected festivals and sights.
Jane Kenyon - February 2014
Guides were wonderful. Great food.
Mark Shapiro - August 2013