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Adventure » Mountains » Mountain Biking
The Great Kerala Bicycle Tour (9 NIGHTS / 10 DAYS)
On Request
9 nights & 10 days

Known as one of the must travel destination the land of God’s own country straddling coastline constatly thrashed by waves of Arabian Sea. Its vibrant culture, the lush green surrounding, the delecious local cuisine, the mysty hills and the long unwinding canals is hard to ignore.

This inland cycling trip of Kerala has been spiced up with the challenge of riding in myriad landscapes, with plenty of ‘not to miss’ experiences. You will be cycling through roads flanked by thick forests, breezy seashores, tea & coffee carpeted hills and by a long canal. Apart from the diverse topography, this cycling trip will be a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Keralian life – learn how to cook a few local dishes, watch captivating Kathakali performances and take a walk in the spice & tea plantations with experts. Be it the history soaked streets of Fort Kochi, a relaxing day in a houseboat or proximity to wildlife in thick forests, you will love the plethora of experiences Kerala throws at you. The amalgamation of comfort in luxurious atmospheric places, sweat and sinew on the road and fresh experiences will enthrall youKnown as one of the must travel destination the land of God’s own country straddling coastline constatly thrashed by waves of Arabian Sea. Its vibrant culture, the lush green surrounding, the delecious local cuisine, the mysty hills and the long unwinding canals is hard to ignore.

This inland cycling trip of Kerala has been spiced up with the challenge of riding in myriad landscapes, with plenty of ‘not to miss’ experiences. You will be cycling through roads flanked by thick forests, breezy seashores, tea & coffee carpeted hills and by a long canal. Apart from the diverse topography, this cycling trip will be a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Keralian life – learn how to cook a few local dishes, watch captivating Kathakali performances and take a walk in the spice & tea plantations with experts. Be it the history soaked streets of Fort Kochi, a relaxing day in a houseboat or proximity to wildlife in thick forests, you will love the plethora of experiences Kerala throws at you. The amalgamation of comfort in luxurious atmospheric places, sweat and sinew on the road and fresh experiences will enthrall you

The Classic Kerala bicycle Tour

Day 01: Arrival in Cochin

Arrive at Cochin airport or  Ernakulum Railway Staiton The Cochin/Kochi is the commercial capital of Kerala and be transported to the satellite town of Fort Kochi. Fort Kochi drew colonial interest with its aromatic spices. Fort Kochi is dotted with remnants of the past, which you can discover on foot/ bike. Step out to see the Vasco Church, Basilica, Dutch Cemetery, Indo-Portuguese Museum and the famous Chinese fishing nets, which lie in a 2km radius.We will be eating dinner at Oceanos Restaurant, which is known for its brilliant seafood and great ambience. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Cochin

Begin your day with warm up take a tour of Mattancherry (4km from Fort Kochi), which has an artistic vibe with its low hanging balconies, frayed homes now turned into galleries, the vast sprawling antiques & spice markets along with landmark monuments also cover Pardesi Synagogue and Dutch Palace. Walk through the streets of Jew town exploring small shops, eating joints and visiting the monuments. Infact, the Pardesi Synagogue is the only synagogue operational amongst the Commonwealth countries. In the evening enjoy the traditional Kathakali (dance drama) and Kalaripayatu (martial arts) performances. Get your culture fix at Greenix Village, where you can see how artistes get ready by painting their faces over hours. Overnight at Hotel.

Distance cycled: ~ 35km / 21miles

Day 03: Cochin-Thattekad

You will be transported to a 90min shuttle bus to get out of traffic clogged roads of Kochi. Later start cycling along the canal route to Thattekad. This first tryst with Kerala on the wheels will enthrall you. A beautiful scenic landscape route riding through the relatively nice smooth road along a canal is perfect to see birdlife and the verdant environs of real Kerala. Our destination is the luxurious outdoors facility- The Hornbill Camp.

Settle into the comfy Swiss tents and be ready for Kayaking in the Periyar River, bird watching and plantation walks, post lunch. The Hornbill Camp gives you a taste of the rich wilderness of Kerala with all the comforts. The eco-inclined camp sits in a tropical forest where you will be inundated with the sounds of the jungle!

Distance cycled: ~ 40km / 25miles

Day 04: Thattekad-Munnar

After your breakfast you ride for about 12kms of easy plain ride followed by a long stretch of gradual climb, crossing two small waterfalls. As you go uphill the landscape and the wildplantation varies the hills carpeted with tea bushes. The last leg of approx 24km are steep climbing where you will be transferred byshuttle. For miles ahead, you can only see a ridiculous amount of green. Transferred to cottage or resort located amidst the mist and spice fragnance. Overnight at Hotel.

Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37miles

Day 05: Munnar

The hill station of Munnar is a starkly contrast to the beach lined destinations or lagoon backwaters of Kerela. This beautiful scenicn spot is world famous and has both ups and dows where you can equally enjoy the riding experience.

Begin you rday with morning Yoga if you please and head out to Top Station, a viewpoint of great touristic eminence. You can use the shuttle if you find this too strenuous. The ride on this stretch is speckled with sight seeing options like Mattupetty Dam, Echo point and the Floriculture Centre but more than that, it is absolutely beautiful. Ride all the way upto Top Station for a brilliant view of the stacked mountains and deep valleys below. After this ride, you would have certainly earned yourself a hot crisp cup of tea.

Roll down the hills to then visit the Tea Museum – this is a historic treasure and takes you through the journey of Munnar’s metamorphosis as a tea destination in late 1800s when A.H. Sharp planted the first sapling. You can also pick up handmade jam, tea leaves and recycled paper products as souvenirs.

Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37miles

Day 06: Munnar-Thekkady

The day say good bye to the charming hill station of Munnar and move towards cardamom country, Thekkady. The first 20km on this day is a gradual climb ride through the stunning Lockard Gap. As you are riding, the 360 degrees view of the lush plantations will be forever etched in your minds. The smell of cardamom draws you quickly from the tea-lined mountains to the unmanicured mish-mash of cardamom plantations, interjected by pepper vines clinging to silver oak trees. Final stretch to be covered by shuttle.

Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37miles

Day 07: Thekkady

This beautiful hill town Thekkady can be well toured by yourself. But we however would recommend to go for boat cruise in Periyar Lake for some of the great animal sighting. Periyar National Park is one of the best managed National Park in India, the national park is known for its innovative sightseeing options, including a bamboo raft, jeep safari, boat safari and nature walks on foot. Guided tours with the forest authorities are possible to book ahead. The forest will take up a lot of your time today. We suggest you relax in the hotel to be ready for the cycle next day.

Day 08: Thekkady-Vembanad Lake or Kerala backwaters

Leaving the vast forest  you will with a gradual climb of 30km and then a great 20km downhill ride. Enjoy the hills terrain for the last time, as you hit the plains at Kumarakom (the last leg of 50km will be covered in shuttle as the traffic is bound to increase on plains). One of the finest backwater destinations, we waste no time here and check ourselves right into a houseboat. These floating wonders are luxuriously furbished, with all modern facilities. After all the cycling, there is no better way to relax other than floating in the tranquil waters of the massive Vembanad Lake. The boat also takes you through hyacinth carpeted canals, which meander close to the villages; a great way to see the backwater countryside and habitat near the water. We spend until next morning here and then it’s off on the bikes again.

Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37miles

Day 09: Kumarakom-Cochin

While riding you can feel the difference in atmosphere, temperature and humidity. You will feel some what exhausted we recommend you to have pure ayurvedic massage which will toned down your body. Enjoy the local cuisines and relax Simply relax at the beach. Overnight at resort.

Distance cycled: ~ 20km / 12miles

Day 10: Cochin

Some leisure time to stroll around the beaches or the surroundings. You will be transferred to the airport with our support team. 

As per request

IMPORTANT TRIP ADVISORY:

Tips for Bicycling tours:

1.Take off the main roads. Route choice is critical in India. Luckily India is so heavily populated that there are plenty of small, quiet tarmac roads linking villages and often running parallel to the main road. However, they are often poorly signposted. Asking for directions is a good way to meet the locals. But if you’d rather know where you are going, a GPS device can help immensely.

2. Choose tires with good grip. There can be dirt stretches on roads and you might end up on sandy shoulders if a bus comes your way or you need to swerve for a cow. The good grip on our Schwalbe Marathon XRs saved us from sliding many times.

3. Get a mirror and a loud horn. You can get them cheaply in many Indian bike shops. On busy Indian roads, 360° vision is critical as lanes and traffic rules are not generally respected, and buses may not always be willing to slow down or swerve to avoid a cyclist. People often pull into the road without looking – that’s when you’ll need your horn! On the plus side, most people drive fairly slowly and are used to two wheelers on the roads.

4. Learn some words in the local language. In India, there are 18 official languages and you’ll have to relearn basic words in each new state. Make an effort to learn some local greetings and phrases – people will love it!

5. Bring some coins from your home country. Collecting coins is a popular passtime in India, and many people asked us to show them coins from our home countries. They are small and can make nice presents, especially if you present the coin missing from their collection!

6. Learn the fine art of the head waggle. Waggling your head from side to side can mean yes, ok, no problem, thank you, hello or goodbye. It’s a positive gesture you’ll see in India every day. Nodding your head to say “yes” may be met with confused looks, so learn to waggle instead.

7. Get used to curious locals fiddling with your bike. The concept of personal space and belongings is not defined as narrowly as in the West. When people are curious, they don’t hesitate to have a good look at you or even fiddle with your bike. They are generally harmless and we always let it go, though we do recommend taking valuables with you when you leave your bikes out of sight, and keeping an eye on the “fiddlers”.

8. Find alternatives if you’ve overdosed on curries. We love the amazingly complex flavours of Indian cuisine but struggled with the local breakfast consisting of deep-fried savoury items. In the end, we carried cereal and milk powder for breakfast and supplemented this with parotha flatbread (ordered at a restaurant ther night before) and bananas. For a break from spicy food, you can order Chinese style fried noodles or fried rice in almost every restaurant. Make sure you choose popular restaurants to avoid nasty stomach bugs.

9. Carry a spoon or fork with you. Maybe you enjoy that earthy feeling of eating with your hands, but we got over the novelty factor quite quickly and preferred to take our own forks along. In many restaurants you can ask for a spoon, but in small village eateries they may not have any available.

10. Surrender. India can be intense and in-your-face. Try to go with the flow, leave expectations at home and don’t forget your sense of humour

 

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