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.
|Tour Cost||US$2,795||Single Supplement||US$1,195|
|Bike Hire||US$195||Total Cycling Distance||560 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)||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
|Date||Availability||Price||Single Supplement||Bike Hire||Book|
|August 18, 2013||Guaranteed to Depart||USD 2,595.00||USD 975.00||USD 195.00|
|November 24, 2013||Available||USD 2,595.00||USD 975.00||USD 195.00|
|December 22, 2013||Available||USD 2,795.00||USD 1,195.00||USD 195.00|
This cycling tour was outstanding for the route and beautiful scenery, the support we received from excellent guide, interesting places to visit along the way, and high quality lodging and meals. We highly recommend it as a fantastic way to see beautiful Kerala!
It was getting hot in early March, so the best time for the tour would likely be Dec and Jan.
Kristina Isberg & Peter Fenczik - February 2013
We were sent all of the necessary information in a well organized timely manner.
Our driver and guide were great. Very friendly, communicated well, had a fun sense of humor.
The hotels were lovely the distances were just right and there were plenty of stops. We really like being able to order food rather than having to eat buffets. It was the perfect blend.
The bikes were perfect for the road conditions.
Wendy West - January 2013
My favourite part of this trip was cycling through the tea plantations - they were wonderful.
Clare Makepeace - December 2012
The tour was excellent. Fun, interesting, tough. Some of the places we went through were spectacular. The backwaters and the trip on them was unforgettable. The scenery, food and people were a joy. The guides and driver were faultless.
Richard Stokoe - December 2012
The route was fabulous. The roads were scenic and cycling through the tea plantations was a joy. The road surfaces were better than expected and traffic lighter than anticipated. Safi (the guide) knew the route well and we enjoyed every day.
Stefan D. - December 2011
I had a fantastic time thank you very much. I'm looking at coming on many more of your trips. It combined two of my favourite activities, Asian travel and Cycling. What more could I want?
Clive Diamond - February 2011