Cycling Holiday in Kerala

Introduction

This is cycling holiday in South India is much more than just cycling trip, the Plains, Hills and the Backwater cycling tour is an opportunity to experience the beautiful landscapes, fascinating towns, stunning beaches, the superb food and Kerala culture.

Itinerary summary

Day 1: Arrive Kochi

Day 2: Kochi to Thattekkad

Day 3: Thattekkad to Munnar Muthuvaankudi

Day 4: Munnar Muthuvaankudi to Munnar Pothamedu

Day 5: Munnar Pothamedu to Suryanelli

Day 6: Suryanelli to Vandanmedu

Day 7: Vandanmedu to Periyar Tiger Reserve

Day 8: Periyar Tiger Reserve

Day 9: Periyar Tiger Reserve to Vagamon

Day 10: Vagamon to Kumarakom

Day 11: Kumarakom to Alleppey

Day 12: Alleppey

Day 13: Alleppey to Marari

Day 14: Departure


Highlights
  • Explore the spice plantations, backwaters and hill stations
  • Visit the Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Houseboat cruise at Alleppey
  • Cycle through verdant scenery and wildlife
  • Discover India’s diverse culture, religion and people
  • Day 1
    Arrive Kochi

    After arrival today we will transfer you to 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. Merchants began trading spices such as pepper and cardamom with the Chinese, Arabs and Portuguese more than 600 years ago. The Portuguese established a base here, followed by the Dutch who were forced to hand it over to the British in 1841. Kochi is a major port on the west coast of India, set on a cluster of islands surrounded sparkling blue lagoons and backwaters. Most of the major sights are close by on Fort Kochi and Mattencharry. Warehouses filled with the smell of tea and spices are lime- washed bright green, yellow and blue; rickety old bikes and hand painted trucks, piled high with goods fill the narrow streets and food stalls stand on every corner. Its historic links can be seen in the Colonial bungalows, old synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, the oldest European church in India and a medieval Portuguese palace.

  • Day 2
    Kochi to Thattekkad

    After breakfast you will set off on your bicycles making the most of the pleasant early morning temperature. The starting point is slightly out of the city area; so that we can avoid the morning ruch hour and reach a quiet countryside where the roads are mostly level. Today you will cycle through scenic countryside, passing temples, spice gardens, paddy fields and rubber plantations. In the afternoon we will arrive at our spectacular eco lodge on the banks of the River Periyar.

  • Day 3
    Thattekkad to Munnar Muthuvaankudi

    The ride passes through the narrow winding country roads along the banks of the River Periyar and through dense low altitude forests of Neriyamanagalam. These are forests where reed is extracted for manufacture of traditional household items like baskets and mats. This is an excellent opportunity to see the numerous rubber estates, pepper plantations, cardamom estates and finally tea. Towards the end, it is the time to challenge yourself as the roads get much steeper. You cycle through different villages to reach Muthuvaankudi. Later in the evening you can take a walk around the village and learn more about its culture, traditions and the spices that they cultivate here.

  • Day 4
    Munnar Muthuvaankudi to Munnar Pothamedu

    We will make our way to Munnar (the hill country) after breakfast. Once a favourite summer resort town of the British, the hill town of Munnar is set amidst dramatic mountain scenery; craggy peaks, tall red wood trees, and some of the world’s highest tea plantations. In the afternoon you can visit the Tea Museum, to learn some interesting facts about ta plantations and tea production in Munnar; and also watch the endangered Tahrs at Rajamalai and roam the bazaars of Munnar.

  • Day 5
    Munnar Pothamedu to Suryanelli

    Today, you will cycle through the Grahams land Tea Estate and the daunting mountain pass at the “Lackhart Gap”, a testimony to the perseverance of the early planters. We will arrive at the Anaerangal Camp, Suryanelli, where we will stay in cottage tents.

  • Day 6
    Suryanelli to Vandanmedu

    Today we start our mountain biking expedition to Vandanmedu after breakfast. You will circle around the picturesque Anaerangal Lake, through the tea estates, to Vandanmedu. One 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 the night in a magnificent resort at Vandanmedu, set amidst cardamom and tea estates.

  • Day 7
    Vandanmedu to Periyar Tiger Reserve

    Our destination today is the morning ride to Periyar passing through forests, tea gardens, mountain villages and spice plantations. It is a famous 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 reserve is a treat for wildlife enthusiast and ornithologists, with its rich fauna, which apart from the elephants, tigers and bison’s also includes over 300 species of birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Blue-Winged Parakeet and the Crimson backed Sunbird.

  • Day 8
    Periyar Tiger Reserve

    Today we will go to visit the Mannans. The Mannans are among the oldest indigenous group of people to inhabit the Periyar Tiger Reserve. As late as the 1940’s, 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. You will get to walk and talk with them, as they will help you discover the tropical rain forests and wildlife.

  • Day 9
    Periyar Tiger Reserve to Vagamon

    Vagamon town is set against the rolling grasslands of the Western Ghats and the cycling route passes through spectacular sights of the tea gardens interspersed with pristine forests that have made this place so beautiful. The route consists of a perfect mountain biking country with a great scenic view that consists of small spice growing hamlets dotting the landscape and undulating roads through tea estates and forests.

  • Day 10
    Vagamon to Kumarakom

    Today, you will be taking a downhill ride through the mountain passes to the plains and from there we cycle through the rubber country of Palai to Thodupuzha to Kumarakom, the gateway to the back waters. Here, we will settle in to a beautiful resort on the banks of the Kumarkom lagoon.

  • Day 11
    Kumarakom to Alleppey

    Today sees us cycling though the roads passing small villages set against the water that makes up the backwaters, giving us the opportunity to see close at hand the life of the people living along the back waters. Once we arrive that the heritage villa you can relax in the hammock, dangling your toes on the water, taking massages and trying out the local tea shops.

  • Day 12
    Alleppey

    After a lie-in you can enjoy an optional short bike ride to explore Alleppey town 3.5km away and stock up some gin and limes. Alternatively, you can take part in a yoga lesson. Around midday we will embark on an unforgettable journey on the fabulous backwater houseboat of Kerala. These converted rice barges have 2 berth cabins with en-suite bathrooms and come with their own cook. With our bikes stacked on the side of the boat you won’t see the saddle for another 19 hours, just relax and watch the world go by. On one side of the canal vast paddy fields of iridescent green stretch as far as the eyes can see; on the other, are fishing nets and coconut trees.

  • Day 13
    Alleppey to Marari

    After breakfast we pedal towards our next destination. The route passes through country roads and small villages where we will see coconut husk being processed and made into coir ropes and mats. We will hit the beach road that will take us to our destination for the day, a beautiful beach villa. We will cycle along the fishing villages and coconut plantations one side and the sea on the other.

  • Day 14
    Departure

    This day marks the end of the Bike tour in Kerala and you will be taken to the airport, with fond memories of you exciting cycling holiday in South India.


  • Cycling Holiday in Kerala

    This is cycling holiday in South India is much more than just cycling trip, the Plains, Hills and the Backwater cycling tour is an opportunity to experience the beautiful landscapes, fascinating towns, stunning beaches, the superb food and Kerala culture. As you cycle quietly on the back roads of this green state, you will get a chance to wander off the usual tourist trail through the rugged beauty of its mountains of Munnar, the wildlife rich rain forests of Periyar, the fascinating back waters near the ancient port of Alleppey, the spice gardens in the lowlands and the historic city of Fort Kochi. This trip offers the chance to cycle through colourful villages where rural life has remained little- changed for Centuries

    Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec

    Duration:14 days

    Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate

  • Included:

    • All meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • All Accommodation
    • All Transport
    • Tour leader throughout
    • Mountain bikes
    • Support vehicle

    Excluded:

    • Flights: International or Domestic
    • Travel Insurance
    • Staff Gratuity
  • Things to bring:

    • Helmet (compulsory)
    • Cycling shorts and jerseys
    • Loose fitting Shorts and T-shirts to wear over the tight lycra cycling gear
    • Warmer layers for the evenings in the hills
    • Cotton trousers
    • Dull coloured clothing for the game drive
    • Water proofs
    • Biking gloves
    • Swimwear and towel
    • Favourite energy snacks
    • Sandals with toe protection
    • A water bottle
    • High Factor sun cream
    • Insect repellent
    • Torch
    • Sunglasses
  • ABOUT THIS TOUR

    Himalayan Challenges (HC) is an operator of all Adventure Travel and sports shown on our website. HC is registered with the Department of Tourism and Civil aviation, Government of Himachal Pradesh, India.
    In respect of these Booking Conditions, “We/ Himalayan Challenges” and “You/ Participant(s)”- will be the person(s) whose name and details appear on the online booking form.

    1) Insurance:

    Before joining the tour we recommend that you take out travel insurance. This should include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses, cancellation, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. You must supply documentary proof of it to us before starting the trip. If you do not have travel insurance you must have a credit card with at least a US $5000 limit.

    2) Booking Confirmation:

    Your booking will be confirmed by email once we have received a deposit of 50% and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 month prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

    3) Terms of Cancellation:

    (a)All cancellations must be made in writing and signed by the person who signed the booking form and will be taken into account by the agency upon receipt of that letter.

    If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:

    DATE OF CANCELLATION CHARGE INCURRED
    2 months before departure Loss of deposit
    29 days to 2 months before departure departure 30% of total trip cost
    10 to 28 days before departure 60% of total trip cost
    Less than 10 days before departure 100% of total trip cost

    (b)If you do not show up at the meeting point specified on the agreed date, we will assume you have been delayed and will wait for you to contact us with your new expected arrival date. If you do not contact us within 48 hours we will assume you have cancelled the tour. There is no refund of any money paid.

    (c) The tour will not be cancelled unless we are forced to do so because of unusual or unforeseen circumstances, such as a major natural disaster, major political unrest or war. If we cancel the tour we will promptly refund all payments made to us including the deposit (less the unrecoverable costs such as air tickets cancellations). We shall not be liable to refund any additional expenses that you may have incurred (such as insurance, visas, vaccinations and other incidental costs).

    4) Refunds:

    (a)In case the journey is broken off early upon the client’s own wish or causes, Himalayan Challenges shall not be liable to any refund of the days not utilized. Clients will have to pay for hotel or any extra costs incurred after leaving the itinerary.

    (b)The trek information sheets and the dossier give information and conditions relating to the tour and are deemed to be part of the contract and so you should be fully aware of their contents. However, the itinerary is an indication of what the group should accomplish, but is not a contractual obligation- changes may be made because of exceptional weather, flight cancellations, sickness or other unforeseen circumstances. No refund will be given for unused services or unrealized dreams.

    (c)Himalayan Challenges shall not be liable to refund of any Bank charges deducted while making the bank transaction.

    5) Your Responsibility

    (5.1)Acknowledgement of Risk:

    It is a fundamental condition that you acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken as a guideline only. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, Strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties. In such cases, Wild Himalayan Challenges shall be responsible for suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Wild Himalayan Challenges shall be responsible for refund after deducting expenses already incurred.

    (5.2)Physical Fitness:

    You confirm that you are in proper physical and mental condition before going on a Challenge/trek/tour with Himalayan Challenges. You confirm that it is your own responsibility to determine the ability to participate. If you are going on an Expedition a Doctors Certificate would be required stating that you are fit for such a tough and demanding experience. You also confirm that you will notify us about any medical condition or the use of prescribed medication that we should know about. It is your duty to notify us beforehand and is your responsibility to obtain medical advice as regards to vaccinations required for the trip.

    (5.3)Documents (just a guide)

    All participants must bring with them the following paperwork without which Himalayan Challenges may refuse them from joining their expedition:

    • Passport with at least six months validity.
    • Full driving license for your country of residence (if participating in Motorcycle Tour)
    • International Driving License (if participating in Motorcycle Tour)
    • Personal Travel Insurance (Copy should be brought on travel).

    Himalayan Challenges will take no responsibility if you are not allowed to fly due to inappropriate paperwork.

    In alliance with your expedition booking with Himalayan Challenges you agree to give authority to your expedition leader during your travels, where decisions may be needed for the benefit and safety of everyone.

    (5.4)Respect:

    (a)You agree to abide by the authority of the leader. Signing the booking form implies your acceptance of the tour leader’s decisions which could affect the group or individuals. The tour leader will give you a complete briefing at your arrival about your journey with Himalayan Challenges. The guide or group leader designated by the agency reserves the right to expel at any time a group of person or an individual whose conduct may be regarded as affecting or endangering the safety or well-being of the group. No compensation or refund will be due to such individuals.

    (b)The client agrees to behave responsibly in environmental and cultural matters and agrees to follow proper hiking and camping etiquette while in the mountains and to act respectfully towards the people and customs of the region.

    6) Accommodation

    Room allocations are as per same sex twin-room sharing- double room for couples. Where a single room has been requested, a single room supplement will apply.

    7) Our Responsibility:

    (7.1)It is our duty to ensure to we deliver the trip you have booked with us to the best of our ability and the it precedes in accordance with the itinerary as stated on our website/ tailor made to your requirement, thereafter making sure as reasonable as possible your journey is unhindered en-route. Our itineraries have been designed with consideration to the environments in which we travel its people and its cultures. Participants’ should therefore realize that hygiene and safety standards in countries which you journey are far different to the standards of your own. However, Himalayan Challenges take care when booking locations, should offer the best of the area in which you stay and dine.

    (7.2)Any Participant(s) portraying acts of negligence on the expedition will not only risk their own life, but also that of their fellow participant(s) and will be cautioned. Repeated actions of the Participant(s) in question will have their trip terminated immediately and no refunds will be given. No refunds will be given to participant(s) who leave an expedition en-route. Himalayan Challenges will not be responsible for any traffic accidents caused through carelessness.

    (7.3)Due to the nature of our adventures and their locations- Himalayan Challenges reserve the right if deemed necessary, to divert the course of an already commenced expedition away from events (deemed harmful) to the safety of an alternative route.

    (7.4)Force Majeure- if for any unforeseen reason interruptions cause delay(s) en-route, preventing Himalayan Challenges from fulfilling their expedition obligations. Any additional expenditure incurred during the interruptions will have to be borne by the participant(s). However, we will do our utmost to rectify the situation into continuing on with the adventure.

    8) Complaints:

    Himalayan Challenges endeavors to supply you the best possible service on your journey, ensuring you have a great time. However, if you have a complaint during your expedition, please notify your expedition leader immediately in order to rectify the situation. If your complaint was unresolved, then a written letter should be sent within 25 days from the expedition completion date to: Himalayan Challenges, Hillco Building, Vill. Shuru, P.O. Prini, Manali, Distt. Kullu, H.P.

    9) Law and Jurisdiction:

    The Contract shall be construed in accordance with the Indian Law and the parties irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian Court; Manali, District Kullu, H.P. to settle any disputes, which may arise out of or in connection with this Contract.

    10) Currency conversion:

    All our prices are coated in US dollars. For Client comfort, we forward quotes in their local currency on request. This also depends on the Current Exchange Rate. We will Quote the Exchange rate on the Bill.

    11)When making your booking it is implied and accepted that you have read and understood all these booking conditions and agree to abide by them.


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