Hennie biking among the tea plantations in Munnar, Kerala, India.

Uncle John's Ice Cream truck in Kerala, India. Photo via Flickr:Vinoth Chandar
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Exotic Kerala, India Bike Tour

India Bike Tours

Luxury coastal bike tour in India’s deep south

  • India! How do we begin to describe a bike tour in India? It is a country that is an exotic blend of color, charm, and, yes...chaos.

    However, this bike tour in Kerala, a state in Southern India, will showcase the best of the country, far from the frenzy of the urban centers. The people here refer to their home as "God's own country" and for good reason. It is a tropical paradise.

    There is 600 km of glorious Arabian Sea Coast that ribbons the west and on the east, tower the mountains of the Western Ghats, whose slopes support tea, coffee, and spice plantations. In between, is a lush green landscape, emerald Backwaters, and a network of 44 rivers.

    National parks like Eravikulam and Periyar, plus Wayanad and other sanctuaries, are home to elephants, langur monkeys, and tigers.

    Step out of your comfort zone, and into another, on this exotic adventure in India.

    Highlights:

    • Tea plantation
    • Munnar
    • Fort Kochi
    • Kumarakom and the backwaters

    See our other bike tour in India!

  • 2020 

    Luxury Hotels

    # of pplDouble/twin
    2 $ 4800 £ 2433 $ 4,253 2896 $ 4971 kr 30947 $ 3,150
    4 $ 4472 £ 2267 $ 3,963 2698 $ 4632 kr 28834 $ 2,935
    6 $ 4411 £ 2236 $ 3,909 2661 $ 4569 kr 28441 $ 2,895
    8 $ 4305 £ 2182 $ 3,814 2597 $ 4458 kr 27754 $ 2,825
    10 $ 4236 £ 2147 $ 3,754 2556 $ 4387 kr 27312 $ 2,780

    Single supplement: $ 998 £ 506 $ 884 602 $ 1034 kr 6435 $ 655

    Standard Hotels

     

    # of pplDouble/twin
    2 $ 3627 £ 1838 $ 3,214 2188 $ 3756 kr 23382 $ 2,380
    4 $ 3261 £ 1653 $ 2,890 1967 $ 3377 kr 21024 $ 2,140
    6 $ 3284 £ 1665 $ 2,910 1981 $ 3401 kr 21171 $ 2,155
    8 $ 3154 £ 1599 $ 2,795 1903 $ 3267 kr 20336 $ 2,070
    10

    $ 3131 £ 1587 $ 2,775 1889 $ 3243 kr 20189 $ 2,055

    Single supplement: $ 701 £ 355 $ 621 423 $ 726 kr 4519 $ 460
    Increased discounts applied as group size increases.

    There will be a 15% supplement for tours booked during peak season from Dec. 15, 2020 to January 15, 2021

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    The closest major airport to Kochi, India is Cochin International Airport (COK / VOCI). This airport is in Nedumbassery, India and is 39 km from the center of Kochi, India.

    Local Travel

    An airport transfer is included in your tour price

    Climate

    Kerala is blessed with a pleasing and enjoyable climate throughout the year across all the seasons and months. Peak Season in Kerala from September to March is the best season to visit Kerala for holidays. In these months the weather is warm and comfortable, but not hot. Summer Season from March to May, is hot but not humid, as it is near the tropics. A good website to explore regional weather including average high/low temperatures and average rainfall is weatherbase.com.. A good website to explore regional weather including average high/low temperatures and average rainfall is weatherbase.com.

    Passport/Visa information: Please make sure that your passport is still valid for at least six months from the end of the tour. An electronic visa (e-visa) is available for passport holders of 150 countries including Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA and citizens of EU countries, with the application and the fee submitted. Fees vary depending on nationality. The visa is valid up to 60 days from the date of arrival. Visit here to apply and for the full list of eligible countries.  For citizens of countries not specified a visa must be acquired before arriving in India. Please contact your local Indian embassy to receive a standard tourist visa. Locations on embassies worldwide are available here. 

    Mandatory vaccinations?
    There are no compulsory vaccinations although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Tetanus and polio vaccinations should also be up to date at the time of travel. Please visit the CDC site for more information and remember to consult with your doctor/physician for the most recent information.


Where You’ll Stay

On this unique and exotic tour, you will have your choice of either luxury or standard accommodations. You overnight in heritage villas, hotels, homestays, luxury cottage tents, and an air-conditioned deluxe rice boat, all with private facilities. On the day to day itinerary, you will find the name of the preferred accommodations for each overnight based on availability.

What’s Included

  • 13 nights accommodations in either standard or luxury accommodations
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Refreshments and mineral water while cycling
  • Airport transfers
  • Support vehicle
  • Cycling guide
  • 21-24 speed, mountain bike Trek/Merida/Cannondale (incl. water bottle holder, helmets)
  • Helmets are available, but it is advisable to bring your own

What’s Not Included

TourBike
TypeGuided
SkillModerate–Difficult
Length14 days
From$2155 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Dates

2020

October through February
 

Skill Level

We are rating this tour moderate to difficult but please do not let this stop you from experiencing this once in a lifetime tour. There is a support vehicle at all times available for those who wish to take a break from cycling.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Exotic Kerala, India Map

Day 1: Kochi
Day 2: Kochi - Thattekkad, 37 mi. (60 km)
Day 3: Thattekkad - Muthuvaankudi, 37 mi. (59 km)
Day 4: Muthuvaankudi
Day 5: Muthuvaankudi - Munnar, 18 mi. (29 km)
Day 6: Munnar - Periyar, 44 mi. (70 km)
Day 7: Periyar
Day 8: Periyar - Kulamavu, 50 mi. (80 km)
Day 9: Kulamavu
Day 10: Kulamavu - Kumarakom, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 11: Kumarakom - Alleppey, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 12: Alleppey
Day 13: Allepey - Marari, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 14: Marari

Day 1: Kochi
Your exotic cycling adventure begins with your arrival to the historic city of Fort Kochi. After checking in, you have the remainder of the day to see this historic city with its ancient churches, the synagogue, and museums at your leisure. One highlight is the Chinese Fishing Nets at the harbor. Said to have been introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these cantilevered nets, set up on teak and bamboo poles, are physical remnants of Fort Kochi's ancient trade with the Far East. Fishermen work the nets all day long, lowering them into the water and then hauling them up using a remarkably efficient pulley system.  Tonight you will overnight either in the Brunton Boatyard or Dutch Bungalow, depending on the level of accommodations you choose. In the evening, you will enjoy a classical dance performance of Kathakali, a guided city tour, and harbor cruise. 

Accommodation:
Luxury: Brunton Boatyard
Standard: Dutch Bungalow

Activities: Guided city tour & harbor cruise with dinner

Day 2: Kochi - Thattekkad, 37 mi. (60 km)
Early in the morning, you will make your way to the lowland forests of Thattekkad, set on the banks of the Periyar River. The journey will take you through the spice gardens that have made Kerala famous all over the globe. On arrival, you will be staying at the luxury tented Hornbill Camp, set amidst a coconut grove on the banks of the Periyar river. The camp consists of cottage tents built on raised platforms and overlooks the lowland forests of the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekkad. The tents are spacious with rustic luxury as well as modern living standards. This jungle camp is the perfect setting for an evening of relaxation as you listen to the sounds of the forest.
(B, L, D)

Accommodation:
Luxury and Standard: Hornbill Camp

Day 3: Thattekkad Muthuvaankudi, 37 mi. (59 km)
Today, after breakfast, you will set off again, along the banks of  Periyar River, through the dense low altitude forests of Neriyamanagalam. These are the forests where the reed is extracted for the manufacture of traditional household items such as baskets and mats. The view is filled with forests of redwood trees and mountain peaks. Towards the end, it’s the time to challenge yourself as the roads get much more steeper.
Cycle through different settlement to reach your stay at Muthuvaankudi, bringing you some well-deserved rest after the day’s uphill cycling. (B, L, D)

Accommodation:
Luxury: Kites Munnar
Standard: Eco Tones

Day 4: Muthuvaankudi, 37 mi. (59 km)
You can explore the village more in-depth as it has many stories to tell; culture, tradition, and the cultivation of spices.You can spot many varieties of birds and fruit trees. Use this opportunity to learn tips from the local people while they prepare food in their traditional methods. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: 
Luxury: Kites Munnar
Standard: Eco Tones

Day 5: Muthuvaankudi - Munnar, 18 mi. (29 km)
Today is a day of climbing to the heights at Munnar, famous for its exotic flora and fauna, at over 1600 meters. You will pass through high altitude forests, manicured tea gardens, cardamom plantations and winding roads to a family-owned resort within a cardamom forest.  Munnar is famed for its trekking routes or you can go on a cycling trip through the wonderfully laid tea gardens in absolute serenity through the quiet country roads. There are opportunities to sight wild animals especially Nilgiri tahr (mountain goat), elephant, bison etc.  A highlight will be a visit to the Tea Museum. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: 
Luxury and Standard: Tea County
Activities: Team Museum visit

Day 6: Munnar - Periyar, 44 mi. (70 km)
Today is a challenging day as you continue biking around the beautiful Anaerangal Lake (literally meaning the 'lake where the elephants come down') and through 'manicured' tea estates to the day's destination, the world-famed Periyar Tiger Reserve, Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. It is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna. For luxury accommodations, you will overnight in Spice Village, a resort located in the hilly tea and spice growing region of Thekkady and it is a couple of minutes from the entrance gate of the Raft at the Periyar Lake. The resort is constructed like a tribal village and has several varieties of spices and fruits growing on its sprawling grounds. Its location, within minutes away from the entrance gate of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, makes it the perfect gateway to exploring the area.  (B, L, D)

Accommodation: 
Luxury: Spice Village
Standard: Forest Canopy

Day 7: Periyar
You will have a couple of options this day, either a wildlife safari or a visit to a tribal village and spice plantations at Periyar. You choose!  (B, L, D)

Accommodation: 
Luxury: Spice Village
Standard: Forest Canopy

Day 8: Periyar - Kulamavu, 50 mi. (80 km)
Another long day is ahead of you but perhaps the best day of the trip. It is the most challenging day of the week with many ups and downs but the view is magnificent and you are surrounded by spice plantations. You will pass the famous arch dam of Idukki on the way and just before you reach the destination for the night, Lulamavu, You will cross the beautiful Kulamavu dam. The last bit is a tough climb and a worthwhile challenge to the Greenberg Resort, your accommodations for the next two nights. Kulamavu is located in the Western Ghats,  a green paradise with hills, meadows, lush green trees, and beautiful lakes. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: 
Luxury and Standard: GreenBerg

Day 9: Kulamavu
You have a free day at the resort to explore Kulamavu.  (B, L, D)

Accommodation:  Green Berg

Day 10: Kulamavu - Kumarakom, 34 mi. (55 km)
What a treat is in store for you today! Your destination leads to the famed backwater town of Kumarakom. The ride through the plains passes through settlements of rubber plantations, farmlands, fruit yards, and market places. In the afternoon you will be ready for the highlight of the tour, a cruise and overnight on one of the world-renowned rice boats, a luxurious way to see the backwaters and see the life in the backwater countryside villages.  (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Houseboat

Day 11: Kumarakom -  Alleppey, 19 mi. (30 km)
Once again we will make our way through the narrow country roads to a  villa on the backwaters near the ancient city of Alleppey - a perfect place to take in a Kerala Ayurvedic massage as you relax for the next two evening at the Punnamada Resort. (B, L, D)

Accommodation:
LuxuryPunnamada Resort
Standard: Lake Canopy

Day 12: Alleppey
You will have one more day at the backwater to explore the villages and the local markets. Alleppey possesses a large network of inland canals which provide its lifeline. It was one of the busiest centers of trade in the past with one of the best-known ports along the Malabar coast. Perhaps you would be interested in a visit to the lovely church filled town of Kottayam, and the town of Aranmula, famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is an annual event. (B, D)

Accommodation:
LuxuryPunnamada Resort
Standard: Lake Canopy

Day 13: Alleppey - Marari, 19 mi. (30 km)
The route passes through country roads and small villages where you will see coconut husk being processed and made into coir ropes and mats. You will hit the beach road that will lead to the finaldestination for the day at Marari. Wind down by spending the afternoon on the beach. (B)

Accommodation:
Luxury: Marari Beach Resort
Standard: Turtle Beach

Day 14: Departure
Transfer to Kochi International Airport. (B)

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Tour Reviews

  • Pam B. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    In spite of the area having recently suffered a disastrous flood and resulting landslides, the resilient locals went out of their way to be helpful and friendly. The driver and guide made us feel safe and supported at all times. The cycling was challenging but the guide was so encouraging! And the scenery was beautiful and so exotic

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