Central Kerala Bike Tour

  • Ride through the God’s own scenic backroads
  • Get to see the very best of Kerala – sandy beaches, meandering backwater canals, the lush green hills and thick wilderness

Ride through the God’s Own Route and leisurely float across the backwaters of Kerala on this timeless Kerala safari. With its evergreen mountains, dense forests, swift flowing rivers, abundant wildlife, extensive backwaters and blue lagoons, Kerala looks like a fairyland.

This safari offers rich mix of diverse terrains from tall mountains and deep valleys to endless backwaters and wide sandy beaches. 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 Keralan life.

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    6 days / 5 nights

  • Start / End

    Kochi / Kochi

  • Price

    From $1050 pp dbl. occ.

    + $230 for sgl. occ.

  • Hotels

    Casual Inns

  • Riding Style

    Active Rider

Contact Us to open your date as a group tour date

Group Departures

PRIVATE TRAVEL

Make it a private tour or further customize if you already have a group or the dates shown above do not coincide with your travel plans.

ITINERARY

Brief Itinerary

* with shuttle
DayPlaceHotelDuration~ Cycling DistanceNon-Cycling Highlights
1 – 2Kochi to MunnarKaivalyam Retreat250km / 31mi*
40km / 25mi*
Mighty & green Western ghat mountains covered with Tea plantations
3ThekkadyWildernest170km / 42mi*Thick green forests and spice plantations
4AlleppeyEmarald Isle145km / 28mi*Backwaters of Kerala and it’s way of life
5Vembanadu lakeHouseboat1Rest DayOvernight in a houseboat floating on backwaters
6Kochi50km / 31mi*

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival Note:

Cochin(Kochi, COK) has direct connecting flights via Middle East & few destinations in Southeast Asia. Direct domestic flights can be connected to Cochin either from Mumbai or Bangalore. 

Meeting time and Location:

Meet your Trip Leader at 8:30 am at our Kochi shop. We recommend to do bike fit at least a day before departure. If you plan to arrive early, please contact your trip consultant for a list of suggested hotels at Kochi, if required. It is good to pick a hotel in Fort Kochi area.

Day 1: Kochi to Munnar

We start with a 2 hours shuttle bus to get out of traffic jammed roads till we reach the scenic stretch. The first 15kms we ride through rubber plantations. The road is smooth with occasional climbs to get you warmed up for the rest of the day. You also get to see a lot of pineapple farms and cocoa plantations along the route. The ride is a scenic one with short stretches of canal and varying terrain. We ride for another 20km before we stop for a lunch break. The next part of the ride has gradual climbs as we head towards Munnar. We ride through wild plantations and get glimpses of the Periyar river along the way. All you can see here is a ridiculous amount of green – refreshing after a day of cycling.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 50km / 31mi*


Day 2: Munnar

After sipping hot tea in your bed, get ready to bike into the wilderness. Overlooking the town, Annamali peak at 2695 m is the highest mountain in Kerala and well worth the ride to Top Station 1,950 m/ 6,397 ft for the fine views over the town and neighbouring Tamil Nadu. You’ll ascend 500 m in this gradual uphill climb.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 40km/25mi*

Day 3: Thekkady

Today we head towards the cardamom country, Thekkady. Soon the tea-carpeted hills are replaced with the unmanicured cardamom and spice plantations.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 70km / 42mi*

Day 4: Alleppey

This is going to be a beautiful ride – from the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady, through the tea gardens that lie lower. A hilly ride, with both dips and steep climbs, but the cool weather helps you grapple with this challenging ride better.

After biking, we transfer you to Alleppey. Alleppey is the backwater destination of India, as it lies at the edge of the massive Vembanad Lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 45km/28mi*

Day 5: Vembanadu Lake or Kerala backwaters

Spend the night on backwaters aboard your own private houseboat. The houseboats, converted rice barges, come with a captain, cook and crew; we just sit back and relax under the blanket of stars.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fort Kochi

On the last biking day, we ride along the beach road to Fort Kochi and stopover at Marari beach for a refreshing dip. Your leaders will make arrangements for transportation to the Cochin International Airport or your hotel in Kochi.

Meals: Breakfast
Distance cycled: ~ 50km / 31miles*

*with shuttle – short transfers

Casual Inns

Kaivalyam Retreat: Munnar (1 night)

A holistic retreat with a focus on Yoga, Kaivalyam is perched on the corner of a hill with spectacular view of rolling hills, draped in tea plantations. The soothing ambience is perfect for relaxing or doing some yoga in the company of the misty mountains. What you are going to love most about the place is the fresh organic food.

Wildernest: Thekkady (1 night)

Frankly, there’s not too much fuss at The Wildernest. Comfortable beds, clean sheets and a king sized breakfast each morning. The rest of the experience is, naturally, Periyar itself.

Alternative Hotel*: Hotel Treetop

India-Kerala-Houseboat

Houseboat: Alappuzha (1 night)

Houseboats in Kerala traditionally made from local Angili or jackfruit wood. Stitched together by coconut rope and protected from elements by cashew oil, no nails are used in their construction.

* if the above stated hotel is not available

REGION

insightful details

Terrain

The tour covers mainly two landscapes of central Kerala, the lowlands and highlands. The lowlands stretches are flat and are very close to the coastal line and backwaters. Highlands includes hills and mountain with moderate to challenging climbs for a beginner, followed by refreshing downhills.

Altitude range: From below sea level in backwaters to 2000m in western ghats

Overall ride distribution:
25% through low land areas with 0% slope gradient
50% through hills with 1-4% slope gradient
25% through the mountains with 5-8% slope gradient


See

Fauna:
Egrets(little, moderate, large), Cattle Egrets, Cormorants, Brahminy kites, Pond Heron, Kingfisher, Mynah, Ducks, House crow, Goats, Cows, Water buffaloes, Bonet macaque(common monkey), Wild boar, Asian Elephant and a Great Hornbill(if lucky!)

Flora:
Plantations – Coconut, Banana, Rubber, Pineapple, Tea, Eucalyptus, Cardamom
Forests – Bamboo, Figs, Lantana, Trumpet, Flame tree Farms – Paddy farms, Fish farms, Spice farms(pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric)


Experience

Food: Keralan spicy fish curry along with boiled tapioca sauteed with little turmeric and mustard Kerala vegetarian meal on banana leaf, variety of spiced-up local side dishes and curries prepared with beef, chicken, mutton, clams or prawns

Drink: Chaaya(milk tea), Sulaimani (a black tea), toddy(naturally fermented sap brewed from coconut flower bud)

Art: Cultural show with traditional dance forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, Ottanthullal and Kalaripayattu, Kerala’s own martial art

Culture: Hinduism, Fort Kochi with its fusion of 7+ communities, profuse influence of Christianity along the coast, backwater village life, tea plantation culture.


Recommended Reading List

  • “Nine Lives: In search of the sacred in modern India” by William Dalrymple – explores the lives of 9 people in India and their religious paths.
  • “Potrait Kerala” by Aruna Nambiar – presents kerala, it’s land, people, faith, rituals, artforms through more than 200 photograhs
  • “God of small things” by Arundhati Roy – a story set in backwater village of Kerala, capturing aspects on communism, Kerala Syrian christian way of life and caste system
  • Kerala – land of palms” by I.H. Hacker, a peek into life in Kerala during early 1900

INCLUSIONS & MORE

we go the extra mile

Beautiful Hotels

On this Casual Inn tour, experience the best of small boutique hotels at each destination. They are chosen carefully so that you are well rested, get a drift of the local character or an enthralling view from your verandah! Under circumstances of non-availability of hotel, we will put in equivalent or a better hotel. Any extras at hotel are at your expense.

Quality Bikes

When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Most of our tours in Kerala run on some of the best hybrid bikes in the cycling tour industry. Upright position, good traction and optimal balance between performance and comfort are some of the characteristics.

Outstanding Food & Refreshments

Local food plays an integral part in experiencing the culture of region and we make sure that you get plenty of this. The inclusion of daily meals is highlighted in detailed itinerary. Drinking water and soft drinks such as juice, tea/coffee is included while riding. Refreshments such as fresh fruits, biscuits, cakes, salted chips is provided.

Charming Guides

Our most visible and perhaps most important role is played by a Trip Leader, the folks who make a trip exciting, comfortable, knowledgeable and who are able to steer you towards the real experience! In most of the trips, we have two guides riding with you. One is leading the group of riders and other is closing at the back.

Comfortable Support Van

A Van follows the group of riders throughout the trip and carries all belongings. If at any point riding seems a little hard, the van takes you for as long or as little as you wish it to. It also provides you refreshments along the way and sometimes a chilled beer.

Guaranteed to Depart Tours

We run most of our tours with minimum 2 people traveling and sometimes even with 1 person, without any extra fee. Rest assured, your trip is always guaranteed to depart. If for some reasons you don’t wish to join a tour then you can always transfer to another trip or we’ll give you a credit which you can settle against any future trip.

Entrance Fees & Transportation

Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, temples & other exclusive events and transportation from rendezvous to final drop-off is always included in your tour price. Our tour designers give as much focus on non-cycling activity as on cycling.

Deep Local Knowledge & Presence

Presence of operations in Kerala, local associations and ad-hoc field network allows us to leverage local know-how and deliver on what is promised to you without any culture and communications barrier.

Singles Friendly

It is applicable in cases where you want to opt for a room alone or we don’t find a room partner. In other cases, we will try to club you with another person, preferably of same sex.

YOUR BIKE

Scott, Marin, Giant, Trek

When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. All our bike tours in Kerala run on some of the best hybrid bikes in the cycling tour industry (and we maintain them meticulously). Upright position, good traction and optimal balance between performance and comfort are some of the characteristics.

MEET THE LOCAL SPECIALIST

Dibin Devassy

Dibin Devassy

From Art of Bicycle Trips

After six years, Dibin was happy to leave Dubai’s clinically clean environs and come home to exploring the wonderfully unkempt and thickly green landscape of good old Kerala on his cycle. Amongst the diverse Kerala experiences, Dibin loves the traditional cuisines and organic farming methods the most! If he’s not scouring through the Kerala trails, you will find him hooked to movies with an intellectual tug; Into the Wild is his favourite! He is a native of Thrissur, Kerala.

REVIEWS

from our friends

“Our 5 day Kerala backroads bicycle tour was fun and informative, the tour guide and driver were excellent. We really experienced the culture, the people, and the landscape while riding. A great way to see India!”

Robert SwenUSA

“Central Kerala bike tour was a great way to see Central Kerala. It is such a magical place. My highlights included Kaivalyam Retreat, the endless hills of tea plantations, riding through the hills and cardamom field, Abraham spice plantation & the overnight houseboat stay.”

SusannaAustralia

“I loved the trip. Of all the organized tours and activities I did in India this one was by far the most well orchestrated. Dibin really went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Christian EbersolUSA

“We did the 6 day Central Kerala trip as a couple along with a 3rd person who we hadn’t met, guided by Dibin and chauffeured by Deepu. It couldn’t have been better. This is a brilliant way to see so many aspects of Kerala in only 6 days and gives you a taste of the coast, the highland tea plantations and then more than enough time cruising the backwaters on a houseboat. It’s suitable for accomplished cyclists (i.e., people who own lycra) but isn’t arduous; unless you want to do more, which Dibin will accommodate! Dibin goes out of his way to accommodate your own seat, pedals, gear, comfort etc. and goes the extra mile before, during and after your tour in being a travel agent to help you plan other aspects of your trip that have nothing to do with the cycling. We’ve previously done 5 star bike tours in Czech R, California and Colorado and for different reasons, this was the equal of any of those. The bikes were very comfortable and reliable, accommodation and food were of a very high standard given the price, and general comfort and security on the roads in the hands of Dibin and Deepu was never an issue. If you really want to get to know the place in a short space of time then you couldn’t do better than to observe it at street level at 20 kph on a bicycle. I recommend this very highly.”

Philippa & CraigAustralia

It was truly amazing. We got the appropriate amount of information beforehand. The equipment was in good shape. The hotels were great. The distances were appropriate. The scenery was amazing. The staff were great. Food was delicious (lunch stops weren’t amazing but they were clean and affordable at least). I loved every minute of it! Thank you!”

JenniferUS

“Great trip, great food and accommodation, would highly recommend this short trip to anybody who like us doesn’t have too much time and wants to experience as of Kerala by bike as possible in 6 days.”

Tracy & AlanUK

INSPIRATION FROM THE ROAD