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Cycling holiday in Kerala
Plains, Hills and Backwaters Cycling
Cycling holiday in Kerala (KC - 02)
Region : South India



Cost per Person

US$  1850

Based on a minimum of 2 people travelling

Tour Overview

Much more than just a cycling trip, the cycling holiday in Kerala is an opportunity to experience Kerala’s culture, food and traditions. As you cycle quietly on the back roads of this green state, you will get a chance to wander off the usual tourist trails through the rugged beauty of its mountains of Munnar, the wildlife-rich rain forests of Periyar, the fascinating backwaters near the ancient port of Alleppey, the spice gardens in the lowlands and the historic city of Fort Kochi. Food is an essential component of this cycling holiday in Kerala. You will be amazed at the different types of cuisines in such a small geographic area, each characterized by the local spices and herbs of the micro-region through which you will be passing, like the kuttanadan duck of the backwaters, the mappas curry of the lowlands or the rice appams along this route and let’s not forget the scented tea at Munnar. We stay in very comfortable heritage hotels, luxury camps, organic spice farm villas, and Homestay and rice boats during this amazing trip through the Green magic of Kerala.

Cycling holiday in Kerala

Day1: Kochi
On arrival, you will check into a heritage hotel at Fort Kochi. After lunch, the rest of the afternoon and evening can be used to discover this amazing city of Kochi. Kochi (Cochin as it was known in colonial times) is a major port on the west coast of India, set on a cluster of islands surrounded by sparkling blue lagoons and backwaters. Its historic links can be seen in the Colonial bungalows, an old Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, the oldest European church in India and a medieval Portuguese palace.   
Day2: Thattekkad
After breakfast you will start off on your cycles making the most of the pleasant temperature early in the morning, and head towards the foothills of the Western Ghats towards the lowland forests of Thattekkad. Your cycling will commence a little away from city limits to avoid the morning city traffic and reach a quiet countryside where the roads are mostly level. You will pass by the scenic countryside that showcases temples, spice gardens, paddy fields and rubber plantations. After a leisurely lunch en-route, you will reach the spectacular eco-lodge on the banks of the River Periyar.   
Day3: Munnar Muthuvaankudi
Today, after breakfast, you will set off again, along the Periyar riverbank, through the dense low altitude forests of Neriyamanagalam. These are the forests where reed is extracted for manufacture of traditional household items like baskets and mats. The stunning views of forests, redwood trees and mountain peaks, make it an ideal holiday destination. Towards the end, it’s time for you to challenge yourself as the roads get much steeper. Cycle through different settlements to reach Muthuvankudi, where you will be staying in a well-appointed Eco boutique resort, and it will bring you some well-deserved rest after the day’s uphill cycling. Explore more; this village has many stories to unfold. Set out on a guided walk in the village to know about the culture, tradition and the spices they are cultivating. You can spot many varieties of birds and fruit trees. Use your opportunity to learn tips from the local people while they prepare food in their traditional methods.
Day4: Munnar Pothamedu
Pedal towards your next destination after breakfast. Start your journey through the small village roads, then the scenery slowly changes to small farms of spices like pepper and cardamom, tea estates and finally towards Munnar along the main road. “Welcome to the land of Neelakurinji ‘the flower which carpets the hills once in twelve years’ and the Endangered Neelagiri Thar, and be welcomed by the hills blanketed in lush green tea plantations”. Pedal all the way up to an altitude of 1600-1800Mts above sea level. Visit Tea museum in the afternoon, to learn some interesting facts about tea plantations and tea production in Munnar. Return to the hotel to retire for the day in the lap of nature.   
Day5: Suryanelli
Today, you will cycle through the Grahams land Tea Estate and the daunting mountain pass at the “Lockhart Gap”, a testimony to the perseverance of the early planters. When you arrive at the Anaerangal Camp, Suryanelli, your stay will be in cottage tents.   
Day6: Vandanmedu
Start your mountain biking expedition after early breakfast. You will circle around the picturesque Anaerangal Lake, through the tea estates, to Vandanmedu. On this route, you will be able to set your sights on the cardamom estates that gave these hills their name. The thick aroma of the spice gardens and the beautiful forests will be the highlight of today's ride through the Cardamom Hills. You will spend your night in a magnificent resort at Vandanmedu, set amidst cardamom and tea estates.   
Day7: Periyar Tiger Reserve
Your next destination is the Periyar Tiger Reserve. It is a famed protected area that is home to large herds of Asiatic Elephants, the Indian Bison, and the Tigers that India is renowned for. Periyar cycling involves roads surrounded by spice gardens and tea plantations. The ride is quite comfortably short and you will reach the reserve in time for lunch. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you can take a walk with the local guides into the rain forest. The reserve is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts and ornithologists, with its rich fauna, which apart from the elephants, tigers and bison’s, also includes has over 300 species of birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Blue-winged Parakeet, and the Crimson-backed Sunbird.   
Day8: Periyar Tiger Reserve
The Mannans are among the oldest indigenous group of people to inhabit the Periyar Tiger Reserve. As late as the 1940s, they lived in the remotest areas of the Tiger Reserve. Their lifestyles were simple, and they made their living by fishing and cultivating a few crops. Today, they are the main conservators of the forest. You will get to walk and talk with them, as they will help you discover the tropical rain forests and wildlife. You will also gain some insight into their interesting way of life.   
Day9: Kulamavu
Another long day ahead of you, and perhaps the best day of the trip! It is also the most challenging day of the week with undulating paths all through. The view is magnificent and you will have spice plantations on either side. You get to see the famous arch dam of Idukki on the way and cross the beautiful Kulamavu dam just before you reach your destination for the night, Green berg resort. The last bit is a tough climb and a worthwhile challenge.  
Day10: Kumarakom
Today, you will be taking a downhill ride through the mountains heading towards the plains and from there through the rubber country of Palai to Kumarakom, the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. Here, you will settle into a beautiful resort on the banks of the Kumarakom lagoon.   
Day11: Alleppey - Houseboat
You will cycle towards the small villages set against the amazing water world that makes up the backwaters. Here, you will clamber on to one of Kerala’s most luxurious forms of accommodation and transport, the houseboat. Reclining on cushions and drifting through quiet canals, you will pass by paddy fields, teams of ducks, floating markets, local toddy shops, temples and churches.   
Day12: Alleppey
At Alleppey, you will disembark and make your way to a heritage villa along the backwaters. Cycling through this route gives you a close look at the life of the people living along the backwaters. Immediately upon arrival, you will realise that this is the perfect spot to unwind. Whether it is reading ensconced in a hammock, dangling your toes in the water, getting an ayurvedic massage or trying out the local tea shop, you can shake off the exhaustion of your journey with the great choices offered to you at this villa. You can also visit the fruit and vegetable market, the ancient temple or the local pottery factory. A more adventurous option would be to go cycling through the ‘necklace of villages’ of Kuttanadu, walking through the countryside or learning to cook in family kitchens.
Day13: Marari
Pedal towards your next destination after breakfast. 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 take you to your destination for the day, a beautiful beach villa. Today's ride will take you along the fishing villages and coconut plantations on one side and the sea on the other. You will reach in time for lunch at the villa. You could wind down by spending the afternoon on the beach.   
Day14: Depart
This day marks the end of the Cycling holiday in Kerala and you will be transported to the airport, with fond memories of your exciting activity holiday in India.   


 Accommodation, Most Meals, Transportation by AC car as per itinerary, Multi-geared bicycles, Accompanying Biking guide, Mineral water & Refreshments during cycling, All applicable taxes.

Holiday Feedback

 "I like to thank you once more for our fantastic trip. Everyone was impressed of the beauty of the South, the fantastic guiding and the mostly fantastic resorts/hotels." Henk Klein Teeselink  2014-12-23

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday? We think of the entire tour as being Swallows and Amazons, in India, by bicycle. The sheer diversity and the immediacy of exposure to the people and landscape, and (for us), the exotic birdlife, made this a complete adventure. One can't experience all of that through a car window. 2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday? Throw yourself into the whole thing but don't over-exhaust yourself in the early days of cycling. 3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation? Kalypso Adventures has the interests of Kerala, and its people, at heart and seeing it all by bicycle minimised our environmental impact. We cycled, we looked, we walked and we bought a few things that re grown or made by local people. 4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall? The best holiday we have ever been on. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall? 5 *****  Keith Lough 2017-10-02

We just wanted to say what a fantastic time we had over the last two weeks on your cycle tour of Kerala. We saw some wonderful things, ate some amazing food and stayed in some lovely accommodation. But best of all, we were looked after superbly by our guide, Francis and driver, Das, they were so kind and helpful, nothing was too much trouble for them to make our time more enjoyable. Thank you. Kate and Dave Newton 2019-04-28

I wanted to thank you again for the magnificent 45-day cycling tour that you have organised for us in South India. This has been definitively our best cycling trip so far. We have been cycling in many nice countries over the years (France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, United States, Canada, etc.), but this cycling trip surpasses them all. The roads and the landscape were beautiful. The homestays, resorts and hotels were authentic and typical of India (among the best places that we have ever done). The food was tasty. And the places and cities that we visited were most interesting and instructive (temples, palaces, public markets, tiger reserves, tea, coffee and spice plantations, Auroville, etc.). But what we will probably remember the most are the smile, the joy and the happiness of the Indian people themselves who were waving bye-bye to us along the way, the nice and colourful dresses of the women and, obviously, the kindness, the amiability, the generosity and the wide knowledge (trees, birds, plantations, villages, history, everything...) of Francis and Das. As we had the occasion to tell you, we came to India as a guest, but we left the country as a friend. We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to see such a nice country and to meet such wonderful people. We are definitively looking forward to cycle again with you in India, most probably in the Northern part of the country. Please give our best regards to your wifes and children.         A year ago (last December and January), my spouse and I made a 45-day cycling tour of Southern India with Kalypso Adventures. We are used to cycle in Canada, in the United States and in Europe, but this cycling tour was probably our best cycling tour ever. Not only was the trip interesting because of the beauty of the landscape, the amability of the Indian people and the professionalism of our guide and our chauffeur, but the trip was also interesting because of the respect that Kalypso Adventures had for the people and the nature. The places we slept - usually historic bungalows in tea, coffee and spice plantations, huts in tiger reserves and traditional farms - were respecting all the criteria for a trip in symbiose with nature. We always cycled on small and quiet country roads, in order to cycle through small villages, avoiding heavy traffic roads, noise and pollution. Our guide was quite knowledgeable about everything we saw during our trip: birds, trees, plants, farming, handicraft, industries, etc. Our guide and chauffeur encouraged us to meet people whenever possible: visit a farm, visit a sugar cane plantation, visit a Hindu Temple, interact with local people, etc. During the day, at lunch time, we always ate at small and local restaurants, always avoiding fast-food or big chain restaurants. Our guide and chauffeur were quite conscious of the need to protect the environment; they were recuperating any waste. For all these reasons, I believe that Kalypso Adventures most certainly figures among the best Responsible Tourism Organization in India.   Thanks again and have a great time. You have a great country, Kalypso Adventures is a great organisation and you are great people.  Jacques Carriere &Therese Masson 2019-01-20

Route Maps



 Q. Are cycles provided for this tour?
Cycles are provided for the tour

Q. What type of cycles are provided?
We provide CANONDALE / TREK / GIANT cycles.

Q. Will I get choice of my size?
We can provide frame sizes from 13” to 21”.

Q. Can I get my own cycle?
Yes, you can, but do let us know in advance.

Q. What other equipment are provided?
Standard items provided with the cycles are Pedals, Bar ends, water bottles and Helmets. We however recommend you bring your own helmets and camelbaks.

Q. What about transfers?
All transportation is included in the cost including airport pick up & drop at the nearest airport. The vehicle is also used to ferry your luggage , cycle & yourself as required.

Q. What kind of terrain can I expect?
The terrain consists of both level roads and mountainous terrain.

Q. What are the distances cycled each day?
We will send you this with the detailed itinerary.

Q. Are meals included in the package?
Most meals are included. The itinerary will have the details.

Q. What do I do if I’m too tired to cycle?
There is a vehicle that accompanies you throughout the trip. You can load the cycle on to carriers and take a ride it till you are ready to cycle again.

Q. Are panniers provided?
No but can do on specific request.

Q. Do we have a guide who cycles with us?
Yes, our guide will cycle with you throughout the trip.

Q. Do we get to shop along the way.
Yes, you will get opportunities en-route to do a bit of shopping. However, unless specifically asked for, our guides will not recommend any particular shop. We or our guides do not take commissions on shopping.

Q. Do we get to interact with local people?
You will get lot of opportunities to interact with local people and the itinerary specifically designed for such interactions.

Q. Does our visit help the local community in any way?
Yes, Most of the places you would be staying at are in small homestays, family owned resorts or camps and eco lodges managed by local community members . Your guides are selected from amongst the locals.

Q. Are entries into national parks, treks, elephant rides etc. included in the package?
No, all entries and activities will be charged extra but at actuals.

Q. Is the water available en-route safe to drink?
We recommend that you drink only the bottled water provided by us or if you are buying water, ensure that the bottle is sealed and has an ISI mark (India Standards Institute).

Q. How spicy is the food?
Typically Kerala food is spicy. We ensure that the food we provide is medium spicy unless you ask for bland food. Any special food requirements can be met if sufficient advance notice is given.

Q. Do we get an option of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food?

Q. What is the type of accommodation?
Accommodation provided is a combination of heritage villas, Eco Lodges & luxury Tents - all with a common thread of excellence in service. Most are family owned and run with great care and love. Food is a very important part of these journeys and we have ensured that Keralan cuisine is a part of this adventure. Our prices are based on 'twin-sharing' basis. For those interested, we provide single rooms, but at additional cost. While staying at the camp we provide all essentials including sleeping bags. A open-air barbeque around camp fire is another highlight of this adventure.

Q. What are the Exclusions ?
• Insurance - Please take your own insurance
• Tips to the guide and driver
• Personal expenses like beverages, laundry, telephone bills etc..
• Airport departure taxes (if any)

Q. Do we need a VISA ?

Yes, visitors to India must obtain a Visa before departure.


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If you are looking for a trekking, walking cycling holiday, kayaking expedition in the backwaters, wildlife & birding or family activity holidays in Kerala & other regions of India, we have a wide range of tours to choose from !

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