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Kerala Cycling Tour, India

offered by supplier M20818 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 5 - 16 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: October - April
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1545 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1649 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Kerala in India, is home to one of the world's oldest civilisations and commonly known as 'God's own country'. A beautiful, memorable destination for a bicycle holiday, with rich and varied cultures, Kerala is included in the National Geographic Traveller as one of the world's 50 must-see destinations. Kerala has long held a fascination for travellers, what better way to explore this wonderful region than a mountain bike tour?

The terrain here is geographically diverse, with the Arabian Sea to the west and the mountains of the Western Ghats to the east, offering a great variety of cycling. On the redspokes Kerala bicycle holiday you will visit stunning beaches on the Malabar coast, lush green hill stations shrouded in mist, sloping tea plantations, blue lagoons and tropical rainforests, before finally exploring the fascinating and beautiful inland waterways. The serene ambience of the Alleppey backwaters is one of the unique attractions of Kerala.

Our tour includes the unforgettable experience of a night on board a luxury houseboat or 'Kettuvalom'. The following morning we enjoy a leisurely cruise through the tranquil small lakes and amazing surroundings. Another highlight of our India cycling trip is the food. Distinctive Keralan cuisine is flavoured with diverse natural herbs and spices, great for vegetarians and far less fiery than the style of curry to be found further to the north of India. The India cycling tour through Kerala and Tamil Nadu is rich in experiences and will give you a great insight into this fantastic region and its culture, all from the unique vantage point of a bicycle.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Trivandrum.
Arrive Trivandrum. Whatever time your flight arrives on the arrival day, you will be met and transferred to your guesthouse near Trivandrum where we will have a group briefing this afternoon. We will assemble our bikes for a short ride to Kovalam Beach.

Day 2: Trivandrum to Madurai.
This morning we have a pleasant ride around the back roads of Kovalam through palm groves with tantalising views of the Malabar coast. We visit a multi-faith fishing village where there are churches, mosques and a synagogue. Later this afternoon we take a train to Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Cycles transported by road.

Day 3: Madurai / (Nilakottai) - Vathalagundu.
Breakfast at hotel followed by a visit to the magnificent Meenakshi temple. Later this morning you have time to explore the town. After lunch, and a short vehicle transfer, our cycling begins. This is a lovely ride to Vathalagundu Village along an old narrow road which rises from the plains up into the hills with views out across semi-desert land interspersed with lush green palm plantations and a lake.

Day 4: Vathalagundu to Kodaikanal.
A stunning 1200 metre ride to the cooler climate at the hill station town of Kodaikanal. There is a long climb to finish this afternoon's cycling, but we are rewarded with scenic views of the plains below as we end the day.

Day 5: Kodaikanal Rest Day.
You have the chance to take it easy in pleasant surroundings today after yesterday's cycle, or go walking. Known as 'the princess of hill stations' Kodaikanal has beautiful views, forested areas and waterfalls. You can take a boat ride on the man made star shaped lake.

Day 6: Kodaikanal to Palani.
Our day begins with a 5km downhill ride before we join undulating road for 30-35km. We continue our long, winding cycle downhill away from forest and coffee plantations to the arid plains at a low of 300 metres. After lunch we head to Palani, a densely occupied Hindu pilgrim town.

Day 7: Palani to Marayoor.
Today we cycle through Indira Gandhi National Park and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (32 kms) to Marayoor. In the Malayalam and Tamil languages mara means hidden and oor means land. The fresh mountain air and views of mist-clad hills and hamlets make this a beautiful location.

Day 8: Marayoor to Chinnakanal.
Another fantastic cycle ride through the fabulous tea plantations to the hotel near Chinnakanal on the road to Thekkady. Thekkady is the country's sole tiger reserve, with a bountiful array of tropical flora and fauna, and is home many endangered species and a rich tribal culture.

Day 9: Chinnakanal to Kumily.
Leaving the tea plantations, cycle down through the Cardamom Hills from Chinnakanal to Kumily. This is a hilly 30km, we are likely to be greeted along the way by the local children with a polite 'good morning' in impeccable English. We will stay 2 nights close to the Periyer National Park.

Day 10: Kumily - Rest Day.
Non-cycling day. After a leisurely breakfast you have to opportunity to take a guided tour of the spice plantations near Kumily. There will also be time to explore the town, take a walk through the market where you will find spiced chocolates, spiced preserves, specialty teas and coffee, or have a rejuvenating ayurvedic massage.

Day 11: Kumily to Vagamon Village.
The first 25km of our journey is along well surfaced rolling road through tea plantations. We can stop along the way to visit a plantation. After lunch, on our route towards Vagamon village, we follow quiet twisting back roads through moorland, complete with dry stone walls. The area bears an uncanny resemblance to a British moorland, with the exception that the bushes are tea plants rather than gorse.

Day 12: Vagamon Village to inland waterways.
Lots of downhill and easy riding this morning. We cycle from Vagamon to the inland waterways. We will board houseboats in time for lunch and begin a cruise of the beautiful inland waterways. One of Kerala's highlights.

Day 13: Alleppey to Cochin.
We disembark at Alleppey late morning and begin a coastal ride through shady coconut palms and sleepy fishing villages. Stopping for a picnic lunch you have the opportunity to cool off with a dip in the Arabian Sea. This afternoon we cycle through prawn farms and rice paddies to Cochin on the Malabar Coast. The town is an intriguing mix of Indian and Chinese influences with fading remains of British and Portugese architecture. You can visit the Dutch Palace and the 400 year old synagogue, or explore spice warehouses and antique shops. There is also an interesting folk lore museum.

Day 14: Cochi.
Tour ends today. There will be a transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Tour Mileage.
Between 35 - 90 kilometres per day (Please note: There are 7 days where the elevation gain is between 1,000m - 1,700m).

Supplemental Tour Information:
Notes:
- All meals are included on cycle days
- Breakfasts and evening meals (vegetarian and fish options always available) will be taken at the guesthouse/hotels
- Full board is provided on the houseboats.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Vehicle transfers to and from airports and vehicle support with baggage transfers are included
- Overnight train from Trivandrum to Madurai and 13 nights accommodation in mid-range/good hotels/guesthouses with air conditioning/ceiling fans and en-suite facilities
- One night will be on a houseboat (2 or 3 twin bedrooms with private facilities on board). All rooms are based on two people sharing.
- The services of an English-speaking guide throughout the tour along with all visits/trips as per the itinerary.

Price Excludes:
- International flights
- Meals on non cycle days (Light lunch and refreshments are provided by our back up crew on cycle days)
- Visa costs (£30)
- Gratuities (these are at the discretion of the tour participants)
- Any personal expenses
- Travel insurance.

About This Supplier
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2011

M20818 is a specialist company taking small groups of cyclists to spectacular, remote areas of the world. We offer a unique blend of physical challenges, cultural experiences and cycling camaraderie, at highly competitive prices. M20818 guides are experienced cyclists and tour leaders. Destinations include Laos,...

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