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Classic Kerala Cycling Holiday

Duration:
8 days / 7 nights
Destinations:
Cochin, Munnar, Periyar, Kumarakom, Mararikulam
Price Guide:

Price guide for this 8 day Classic Kerala Cycling Holiday tour:

  • £1375 in low season
  • £1470 in high season

based on two people travelling.

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Overview

See Kerala the way countless tourists can't – on this Kerala cycling holiday. Weave through tea plantations, pass bathing elephants and spice farms. Flat plains and challenging hills culminate in the sumptuous seaside route to Mararikulam.

No need to bring your own bike - we will provide you with a trusty steed for tackling all types of terrain. Our support van is on hand to carry your luggage, necessary equipment and all-important refreshments. 

Your cycling holiday will be led by an expert cyclist who will also double as a tour guide, to ensure you see all the sights and hidden gems.

Please see our Cycling Tour FAQs for more information. 

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you.

Classic Kerala Cycling Tour - 8 Days / 7 Nights

This classic cycling tour of Kerala gives you the chance to take in the essence of India at just the right pace. You’ll be kitted out with high-spec, multi-geared, hybrid bikes and convoyed by a support van for repairs and refreshments. Accompanied by a biking guide they’ll take you on routes through plantations, to hilltop vantage points and beside the Arabian Sea.

Code: COC007

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Day 1 - Arrive in Cochin

Once you arrive at Cochin International Airport you’ll be met by your Authentic India Tours guide and accompanied to your hotel, approximately 90 minutes away by air-conditioned car. You’ll have the chance to unpack and unwind before you’re taken on an afternoon sightseeing tour around the charming Fort Cochin and Mattancherry.

Fort Cochin highlights include visiting the old harbour where you can see fishermen using Chinese fishing nets, a trip to the oldest European church in India, St Francis, and to the area’s bustling fish market. Mattancherry has some interesting old buildings to explore, such as the colonial-influenced Dutch Palace and the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth, the 16th Century Paradesi Synagogue. You’ll stay overnight at Cochin’s Fort House Hotel, right by the waterfront.

Accommodation: Hotel Fort House
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Day 2 - Cochin to Munnar

Travelling 90 minutes by car takes you to traffic free streets from which to start your cycling tour of South India. Cycling 60 kilometres in total, the first 10 kilometres take you on an easy, flat route beside rubber and pineapple plantations. Then a gradual climb up the Hills of Munnar affords you views of a landscape of tea-bush-clad hills.

The final 24 kilometres of the route are steep, but you have the option of being transferred back to the hotel by car before we start this section. You’ll stay in a cottage at the Ambady Estate for two nights – this private retreat is nestled amid 70 acres of cardamom plantations.

Cycling distance: 60 kms

Accommodation: Ambady Estate
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 3 - Munnar

After breakfast you’ll set off on your bikes through some of the most spectacular tea plantations in India, for a distance of 40 kilometres. Munnar’s landscape has been heavily influenced by the tea production that started here in the 1880’s, leaving a rich scenery of green undulating hills. As you cycle the ups and downs of the Kannan Devan Hills you’ll get the chance to stop at various vantage points to catch your breath, complete with remarkable views.

One of the finest viewing points is the Great Mattupetty Dam, which confines a large water reservoir that elephants use to drink and bathe. You’ll also stop at Echo Point where you can test its namesake echo, and Top Station, the highest point in Munnar, for a lookout over the mist covered hills, the lowlands of Nadu and across to the famed Indian mountains, the Western Ghats.

Cycling distance: 40 kms

Accommodation: Ambady Estate
Meals included: Breakfast

 

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Day 4 - Munnar to Periyar

Today your 60 kilometre cycle ride will engage all of the senses, as you’re treated to 360 degree views over the tea fields of Lockhart Gap and then the scent of cardamon in the air. The rugged Cardamom Mountains are where 70% of India’s cardamon is produced, and alongside the fragrant cardamon, coffee plants are grown and you’ll cycle past old oak trees wrapped in pepper vines.

It’s then on towards the town of Nedumkandam, winding through traditional villages as you ride your way towards the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. That evening you can learn more about the spices you’ve smelled that day on an informative trip to a spice plantation. Your base for the next two nights will be a cottage at the superior Cardamom County hilltop resort.

Cycling distance: 60 kms

Accommodation: Cardamom County
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 5 - Periyar

A cycle free day, you’ll start early this morning to take a nature trek through the Periyar Tiger Reserve, part of Periyar National Park. Tribal trackers will take you through Bengal Tiger habitats to spot the graceful creatures and across different forest and grassland nature trails for approximately four to five kilometres.

In the afternoon, take a boat trip across Lake Periyar where you can see wild elephants, bisons, Sambar Deers, Nilgiri Langurs and Malabar Giant Squirrels on the shores. The park is also home to over 320 species of birds, and you could catch a glimpse of the impressive black eagle or rare species like the Wynaad Laughingthrush.

Accommodation: Cardamom County
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 6 - Periyar to Kumarakom

Winding 65 kilometres through spice plantations, your journey today will take you to Elappara and up to Vagamon hill station. Here you can relish in the cool mountain air as you look down on the untouched landscape of pine forests and waterfalls, giving you a real taste of the essence of India. Then it’s downhill towards another plantation area of Teekoy, where you’ll drive to the tranquil backwaters of Kumarakom. Here you’ll stay overnight in a bungalow at the Coconut Lagoon, a heritage resort, overlooking the beautiful Vembanad Lake. You’ll have the rest of the day to relax in these beautiful surroundings.

Cycling distance: 65 kms

Accommodation: Coconut Lagoon
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 7 - Kumarakom to Mararikulam

Working your way along the coast and through fishing villages for 40 kilometres, the scenery today involves coconut plantations to one side and the sea to the other. You'll will arrive in time for lunch, so you have the remainder of the day to spend on the beach or enjoy the lovely spa facilities.

Tonight you’ll be staying at the beautifully located Kerala beach hotel, Abad Turtle Beach Resort.

Cycling distance: 40 kms

Accommodation: ABAD Turtle Beach Resort
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 8: Mararikulam - Cochin Departure

Your transfer will take you back to Cochin International Airport three hours ahead of your return flight.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hrs and 30 mins, 100kms

Accomodation: ABAD Turtle Beach Resort
Meals included : Breakfast

Accommodation

Fort House Hotel, Cochin

Close enough to enjoy the heritage monuments of Kerala but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city is Fort House Hotel. Air conditioned rooms built around tropical gardens and with lovely views of the backwaters provide the comfortable accommodation designed with the traditional architecture of Kerala in mind. The waterfront restaurant offering local cuisine with seafood specialities and Eastern European dishes caters for all tastes.

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Ambady Estate, Munnar

Ambady Estate is located in the Western Ghats and covers 70 acres of beautiful land surrounded by the Parvathy Hills and Sahya rainforest. This unique plantation is ideal for nature lovers and offers a peaceful retreat. Capturing the essence of India and focussing on being at “one with nature”, you can enjoy natural organic produce in an environment created from locally sourced materials. Spacious cottages with modern bedrooms, living areas and private gardens make up the accommodation.

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Cardamom County, Periyar

Bordering the Periyar Tiger Reserve and boasting glorious views and scents of the surrounding spice plantations, Cardamom County is located in the mountains of the Periyar Forests. The beautifully presented cottages each have a private verandah or balcony and are built on different levels following the natural curves of the land. With a restaurant set in an open air terrace, gym, swimming pool and spa facilities, Cardamom County offers a truly relaxing break. It is also conveniently located close to the local town.

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Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom

The award-winning Coconut Lagoon is located in a charming cove in Kumarakon on the Vembanad Lake, offering a unique and delightful setting. A scenic boat ride from a private jetty to reach Coconut Lagoon will ensure you witness beautiful Kerala scenery and get a wonderful introduction to this captivating resort. No two rooms are the same, they are quirky and inspiring, offering guests an experience like no other.

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ABAD Turtle Beach Resort, Mararikulam

Located next to Marari beach and near the local village of Mararikulam, Turtle Beach Resort offers an idyllic setting. Spacious, ensuite rooms including individual patios or balconies overlooking the picturesque gardens ensures a relaxing stay. With a beautiful butterfly garden, outdoor infinity pool and Ayurveda spa on site the serenity of the resort continues.

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Destinations

The Kerala cycling holiday covers a wonderful range of destinations

Cochin (Kochi)

Cochin, also known as Kochi, is a port city located on an extensive network of waterways in the state of Cochin. It has been one of the primary gateways to the region for distant merchants and travellers since 1341. Cochin is a great place to start your Kerala holiday offering beautiful hotels, wonderful culture and architecture, friendly people and the opportunity for some retail therapy.

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Munnar

Standing at a heady 1,532m above sea level, the majestic town of Munnar is sure to captivate even the most sceptical visitor, just as it did the British colonial settlers generations ago when they visited each summer seeking reprieve from the heat of the Keralan valleys below. 

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Periyar National Park (Thekkady)

If you've ever dreamed of seeing elephants roaming free, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers you the chance of experiencing these beautiful animals in the wild from the comfort of a covered boat or car tour, without disturbing their way of life.

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Kumarakom

Hidden in the backwaters off the South Eastern end of Vembanad Lake in Southern Kerala is the small village of Kumarakom. Calm waters, lush greenery and abundant wildlife ensure that this is the perfect spot for total relaxation. The area offers beautiful quality award winning hotels and is ideally located to enjoy the Kerala backwaters. 

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Mararikulam Beach

This village is known for the authentic and quiet Mararikulam beach lined by coconut trees. It’s aptly nicknamed the ‘secret beach’ and is a favorite of the Keralan beaches on offer among locals. Mararikulam also boasts the stunning Sree Mahadeva Temple, one of the oldest temples in India, and the only temple where the deities Shiva and Parvati sit facing each other.

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Pricing and Inclusions

The price guide for this 8-day Classic Kerala Cycling Holiday is

  • £1375 in low season (May 2019 - September 2019 inclusive)
  • £1470 in high season (October 2018 - April 2019 inclusive)

Please be aware some hotels operate an additional peak pricing rate during busy times. This is normally from mid-December to mid-January. Please get in touch with your dates and we will be pleased to provide you with an accurate quote.

Prices vary depending on the number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season. Reductions are normally available for groups of three or more.

This is a private tour and can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements.

Included with this tour are the following:

  • Meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using air-conditioned vehicles
  • Multi-geared bikes
  • Accompanying biking guide for the entire tour
  • Accommodation for 7 nights on twin sharing basis
  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: bed & breakfast
  • Bottled water and refreshments during cycling
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Cochin
  • Spice plantation tour in Periyar
  • Nature trek with tribal trackers in Periyar tiger reserve
  • Tickets for boating on Lake Periyar
  • Entrances at all National parks, Museums and Monuments as per the itinerary

Price does not include:

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance and visa
  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc
  • Meals other than mentioned in the above meal plan
  • Camera & video fees at National parks, Museums & Monuments

Please see our Cycling Tour FAQs for information on what to take with you. 

Prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication may be subject to change, based on your date of travel and local market fluctuations. You will be informed of any price differences prior to booking.

For a quote based on your dates of travel, any alternative accommodation or changes to this itinerary, please call us on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.com