Coastal Tamil Nadu & Central Kerala Bike tour

  • This trip acquaints you with the most famous Dravidian temples, dating back to centuries: Sree Meenakshi Temple and Thanjavur.
  • Experience a little bit of France in India at the seaside town of Pondicherry.
  • Get upclose to the coastal village life of Tamil Nadu.
  • Get to see the very best of Kerala – meandering backwater canals, the lush green hills and thick wilderness

From coastal east to west of South India, starting from Chennai and ending in Kochi, this tour takes you through two contrasting states Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

A trip into the heart of Tamil Nadu gives you a chance to peek into the 2500 years old Dravidian civilization. This cycling tour will certainly transport you into civilizations before. Along with a slice of history, expect to cycle down pristine coastlines, forested mountains and bucolic small villages where children run to greet you with a big smile.

Reach Kerala by climbing up the western ghats mountain range. You will be cycling through roads flanked by thick forests, tea & coffee carpeted hills. Immerse yourself in Keralan life – learn how to cook a few local dishes, watch captivating Kathakali performances and take a walk in the spice & tea plantations with experts.

The trip is planned as a mélange of food, culture, classical music, temples, history and a great cycling topography. 

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    14 days / 13 nights

  • Start / End

    Chennai / Kochi

  • Price

    Casual Inns: From $2,495 pp dbl. occ.
    Premiere Inns: From $4,995 pp dbl. occ.
    The price is indicative and may vary due to size of group, accommodation, time of year you travel

  • Hotels

    Premiere or Casual Inns

  • Riding Style

    Easy to Active Rider

Group Departures

PRIVATE TRAVEL

Request a quote or further customize:

ITINERARY

Brief Itinerary

* with shuttle
DayPlacePremiere InnsCasual InnsDuration~ Cycling Distance
1 – 2MahabalipuramRadisson Blu Temple BayIdeal Beach Resort220km / 12mi
3PondicherryHotel de l’orientGratitude Heritage Home130km / 18mi
4TharangambadiGate HouseGate House160km / 36mi
5ThanjavurIdeal River View ResortStar Regency160km / 36mi
6 – 7MaduraiHeritage MaduraiMeenakshi’s Sunshine Hotel260km / 36mi
8 – 9MunnarWindermere Estate,
Tall Trees,
Chandy’s
Windy woods
Kaivalyam Retreat,
Aranyaka resort, Devonshire greens
280km / 50mi*
10ThekkadySpice VillageWildernest,
Hotel Treetop
160km / 36mi*
11Kumarakom / AlleppeyCoconut Lagoon,
Kumarakom Lake resort, Purity
Emerald Isle, Pamba Heritage145km / 27mi*
12Vembanadu LakeHouseboatHouseboat1Rest Day
13Fort KochiOld harbour hotel,
Brunton Boatyard, Malabar House
Fort House hotel,
Tower House
155km / 35mi*
14Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival & Departure note: Chennai

Arrive at the Chennai airport (MAA) and hire a direct taxi to Mahabalipuram. You can also choose to spend a pre-tour night at Chennai and then take a taxi to Mahabalipuram. We can suggest you few hotels to stay at Chennai. Please write us.

The trip ends in Kochi, Kerala and you will fly out of Kochi International Airport(COK)

Day 1 & 2: Mahabalipuram

Famous for its ancient rock carvings, especially the Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram was once the second capital and seaport of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Mahabalipuram is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries and remains a renowned centre for stone carving. As you enter into the village, you’ll see and hear the constant tapping of hammer and chisel as artisans chip away at exquisite sculptures.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Distance Cycled: 20km / 12mi

Day 3: Pondicherry

Today we shuttle to Pondicherry, a former French colony, which still has its colonial ambience intact in cobble-stoned streets, bright cafes, and architecture style in most of the buildings. We check into a heritage homestay and later go for a cycling loop in the vicinity. Head out in the evening to explore the town. You can walk along the main Goubert Avenue where the whole town congregates in the evenings for walks as the breeze from the sea makes the weather ever pleasant.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 30km / 18mi

Day 4: Tharamganbadi

We leave Pondicherry early in a shuttle to avoid traffic and ride in the latter part of the journey to Tharamganbadi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 5: Thanjavur

After breakfast, we ride into the adjoining temple village, Thanjavur. The World Heritage–listed Brihadishwara Temple is the main highlight here with its large Maratha Palace complex. Thanjavur is dotted with beautiful living temples in the entire region and we head out with a guide to see the important ones. The village is also known for its bronze paintings that can be bought as souvenirs.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 6: Madurai

It’s a long ride into Madurai; during which you might need to dodge some traffic. The large Sri Meenakshi Temple complex in Madurai is world famous for its size and the amount of pilgrims that come here each day. Madurai one of South India’s oldest cities and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. This is where Mahatma Gandhi took the decision, in 1921, to wear nothing but khadi (homespun cloth). Khadi textiles and tailors’ shops are everywhere in town.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 7: Madurai

It’s best to visit the main temple early in the morning when its relatively less busy. Meenakshi Amman (Sri Meenakshi) temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500-year-old city of Madurai. The temple complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Munnar

This morning we start with a 2hours shuttle to get out of traffic clogged roads. Today, the initial 25km is an easy ride, on smooth plain next to rubber and pineapple plantations, also with a stretch along an irrigation canal. Post lunch, we will be greeted by a long stretch of gradual climb. For miles ahead, you can only see a ridiculous amount of green! Seeing this, you are sure to forget the weary legs. We stop cycling as the climbs start to challenge us and take transfer to Munnar.As the hills of Munnar start emerging, you will be simply amazed to see the neat hills and mountains carpeted with tea bushes.

We head straight to the British styled farm retreat, Windermere Estate. Stylish cottages with their plantation ambience intact are inviting after a hard day of cycling. Enjoy the copious cups of tea, relax in the library or if you are feeling energetic enough, head out for a plantation walk. Enjoy a goodnight’s rest here so you are ready to explore Munnar the next day.

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

Day 9: Munnar

Munnar is a pleasant contrast to the beach lined destinations or lagoon backwaters of Kerala. A hill station, which has been immortalized by movies, Munnar is great to cycle in. The routes are undulating and sometimes challenging, but you will find equal amount of downhill slopes to bring relief steep climbs.

Enjoy a morning of Yoga if you please and head out to Top Station, a viewpoint of great touristic eminence. The riding stretch to Top station is one of our favourite cycling route in Kerala. As we ride all the way upto Top Station, you will be stunned with  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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 30km / 19mi*

Day 10: Thekkady

We bid adieu to Munnar and head towards the cardamom hills of Kerala, a small town of Kumily. We take in the spectacular views of tea clad western ghat mountains, near Lockhart Gap. As you are riding, the 360 degrees view of the lush tea 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. The last stretch is covered in the shuttle before we reach the wonderful award winning property of Spice Village.

Eco conscious nuances of Spice Village seamlessly bound with modern comforts is what makes Spice Village special. If you have the energy, head out for a short spice plantation walk. Else, you can relax by the pool or get a drink at the historic library bar of the resort.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37mi*

Day 11: Kumarakom / Alleppey

This is going to be a beautiful ride – from the Cardamom Hills to the tea gardens of Vagamon. A hilly ride, with both dips and steep climbs, but the cool weather helps you grapple with this challenging ride better. Vagamon is an enchanting hill station where we will stop by for lunch.

From Vagamon, we take a van transfer to Kumarakom. Kumarakom is one of the finest backwater destinations of India, as it lies at the edge of the massive Vembanad Lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 45km / 27mi*

Day 12: Vembanad Lake or Kerala backwaters

We check-in into a houseboat today. 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Rest Day

Day 13: 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: ~ 55km / 35miles*

Day 14: Departure

Your leaders will make arrangements for transportation to the Cochin International Airport (COK).

*With shuttle – short transfers.

INCLUSIONS & MORE

we go the extra mile

Beautiful Hotels

On this Premiere Inn tour, experience the best of luxury 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, dry 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.