All About this Tour
Kerala is a young state on India's southern tropical Malabar Coast known for its greenery, wildlife reserves, tea and spice plantations, palm-lined beaches and exotic cuisine.
We ride approximately 238 kilometres in three and a half days of cycling. This tour is on dirt and paved roads with some climbing, but distances are not too strenuous. We have designed the route to take in the best of Kerala’s culture, countryside and wildlife, all while enjoying an active holiday. The trip is fully supported and your guide’s expert knowledge of the area and terrain means that you always know what is coming up in terms of distance and difficulty. This makes a tremendous difference, as does the constant supply of bottled water and fresh local fruits.
Biking Conditions: This trip is on dirt and tarmac roads and there is no technical riding involved on this tour. An air-conditioned support bus travels with the group to support us and participants can cycle as much or as little as they like and still enjoy the same views.
Pick-up at central Fort Cochin hotel at 8 am. After a trip briefing we are transferred to Tripunithura where we hop on our bikes and ride to Paniyeli Poru, home to some of Kerala's most beautiful natural waterfalls. Poru in Malayalam means 'fight' and the waterfall was thus named because here the three tributaries of Periyar come together and seem to be engaged in a battle. There will be a few rises on our route, but nothing steep. We overnight at Whispering Waters, a serene riverside resort boasting a front row view of the surrounding rivulets and unspoilt nature.
After breakfast we will ride to the ancient town of Thodupuzha. Passing fertile spice farms and rubber plantations along the way, we make our way to the historic town dating back to 300 BC when the Buddhist and Jain religions first made their inroads into Kerala. We will ride through undulating terrain, rubber plantations, forests, cross a river and visit a local village. Our destination today is Madaparambil resort – an exceptionally beautiful riverside resort.
Continuing on our journey, we transfer to Erattupetta to begin our cycle towards Kumarakom. We are rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding area as we ride through rubber and spice plantations and arrive in Kottayam, also known as the Syrian Christian heartland of Kerala. Here grand churches dot the landscape with whitewashed facades and distinct guild ceilings. We finish our ride of the day when we hit the water's edge and the highlight of our tour. The backwaters of Kerala are expansive and the best way to ply them is by sitting back and relaxing on a houseboat. Revamped rice barges, the boats now have modern amenities, including air con and a comfortable bed. What better way to see the lakes and lagoons as we leisurely cruise to meet our bikes again.
We dock at Alleppey, and find our bikes waiting for us. This morning's ride will be flat as we take an old canal road, passing historic buildings and taking in the serene view of this small city. We then ride north along the coast to Marari beach for a seafood lunch and a bit of relaxation. We continue riding past fishing villages as we near our final destination of Cochin. We will end the tour at your city hotel.
The bikes are well-known makes of mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, disc/v-brakes and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, and that it is in good mechanical order.
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
There are no compulsory vaccinations although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against Typhoid, and Hepatitis A and B. Tetanus and polio vaccinations should also be up to date at the time of travel. Please speak to your doctor/physician for the most recent information.
As India is such a large country, the climate and weather conditions vary across the vast region. However, the country is divided into six main climatic zones ranging from arid desert in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, and humid tropical in the southwest and the island territories.
We have tours in the following regions
Rajasthan: weather can be divided into four seasons - summer, monsoon, post-monsoon, and winter. Summer from April to June is the hottest season with temperatures ranging from 32C to 45C. Monsoon extends from July to September with a slight drop in temperature but plenty of rain. The post-monsoon period is from October to November where the lowest temperatures can reach as low as 18C. From December to March is the cold season and the best time to visit Rajasthan. Temperatures range from 15C-18C with little or no humidity.
Kerala: mostly has a tropical wet climate, which can be divided into three seasons. Summer is from February to May and is generally hot and humid. Monsoon season begins in June till around October or November. December to January holds the best weather for travel as it is cooler and the rains have subsided.
Leh/Ladakh has a cold desert like climate with somewhat extreme conditions. summers bring in harsh direct sunlight at such high altitudes while winters can get as cold as below freezing point. Lowest ever recorded was -23C. May to August is the best time for tourists to enjoy the weather and everything it has to offer.
Sikkim: has a very temperate climate with enjoyable 5 seasons. Depending on the location and altitude, the weather can vary. In Summer, the lowest temperatures reach 13C up to 28°C while in winter Temperature between 0C to 13C. The monsoon season hits around June to September.
Meals are included in the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, and D = dinner. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water and energy-restoring drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer and alcohol are available, but NOT included in the price.
SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars a day for incidentals. Included entrance fees are those for the listed sites and national parks that are part of the itinerary. Any other site fees are not included.
The currency is the Indian rupee (Rs) and there are ATMs in major cities and most towns that take international cards. However, we suggest that you withdraw money at the airport at the start of your tour. During the tour, our guide will inform you of the ATM locations in different cities.
If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions
From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.
For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.
Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.
On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.
For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.
International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.
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The information in this document is given in good faith, and covers the average range of conditions likely to be found on this trip. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, however, we will always do our best to adhere to this original itinerary