Enchanting Tamil Nadu Bike Tour

  • This trip acquaints you with the most famous Dravidian temples, dating back to centuries: Sree Meenakshi Temple and Thanjavur are the most famous of the lot.
  • Experience a little bit of France in India at the seaside town of Pondicherry.
  • Gorge on fresh seafood at Mahabalipuram and along the coast of Tamil Nadu.
  • Get upclose to the coastal village life of Tamil Nadu, passing through scenic fishing villages and seeing them buzzing with activity as the catch comes in.
  • See the alternative life at Auroville, off Pondicherry and soak in the philosophy of The Mother and Aurobindo. A visit to the Mantrimandir (dome at Auroville) is essential for meditation enthusiasts.

A trip into the heart of Tamil Nadu gives you a chance to peek into the 2500 years old Dravidian civilization. The state is particularly known for centuries old temples and brilliant architecture. 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. Gorge on fresh seafood at local haunts picked out by our experts and soak in some of India’s beautifully detailed rock carvings in laid-back Mahabalipuram. You also have a short rendezvous with the French colony, Pondicherry with perfect spots for yoga sessions. Add to this, a chance to tap your adventurous side and trying surfing and scuba diving. We end the tour with s trip into one of India’s largest temples, Sri Meenakshi Temple. The trip is planned as a mélange of food, culture, classical music, temples, history and a great cycling topography.

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    10 days / 9 nights

  • Start / End

    Chennai / Madurai

  • Price

    As per your 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 – 7ChettinadChettinad Visalam HotelChettinad Mansion260km / 36mi
8 – 9MaduraiHeritage MaduraiMeenakshi’s Sunshine Hotel260km / 36mi
10Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival note: Chennai

Arrive at the Chennai airport and hire a direct taxi to Mahabalipuram. The price of taxi is around Rs 1,500. 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.

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 & 7: Chettinad

We ride to Chettinad, famous for its cuisine, architecture and temples. The evening is at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 8: 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 9: 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 10: Departure

Your leaders will make arrangements for transportation to the Madurai Airport.

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.