A fascinating journey through India's tropical south, do experience the diversity in scenery, architecture, culture and most importantly the people.
The tour starts in Cochin in the Southern State of Kerala. Leave the highways behind and cycle through villages where you will share the road with goats and sacred cows – perhaps even an elephant; See local women pumping water at the communal well as you bike through tea plantations, banana, coffee, rubber, spices and so much more.
Enjoy the lush vegetation of the Western Ghats and relax on a house boat.
Kerala is a tropical bliss with an idyllic coastline and lush tropical hills. Despite its relative riches, the majority of the population in Kerala life continue with agriculture, tea, coffee and spice plantations and the coir industry, which still provides the basic economic structure of the region.
Important: Cycling distances given are entirely optional: the support vehicle will be available at all times
Upon arrival at Cochin airport, meet and assistance by our office representative, followed by transfer to hotel in Fort Kochi for check-in. Depending on your arrival time and/or after some rest, proceed with an sightseeing tour of Fort Kochi.
Explore Cochin – start with the visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks, have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard... Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India. End your tour with a visit to Greenix village Museum, see the illustrations of traditional arts and crafts of Kerala and also witness a demonstration on Kathakali – the dance drama unique to Kerala. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
**Depending on your arrival time in Cochin, this hotel might be substituted with one near the airport, as we pass close by the airport to start cycling the next day.
Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to Mattanchery to visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and finally the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century. Later morning drive out of town for about two hours then cycle on a very minor road through a tropical landscape to the bird Sanctuary of Thattekkad. Arrival at Thattekadu and Check-in at the Hornbill Camp. Set amidst a coconut grove on the banks of the Periyar River, the Hornbill Camp consists of cottage tents built on raised platforms. The camp overlooks the lowland forests of the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, one of the richest bird habitats in peninsular India. There you will be able to enjoy a kayaking expedition's trip on the banks of the river Periyar to discover the thick forests across the river (Payable locally), or some cycling to the countryside - spice growing villages, and in the plantations that surround the camp (Half-board)
Early in the morning guided bird watching at nearest Salim ali bird sanctuary with a naturalist who will guide you through the forest and will help you with sighting and identifying the rare species of this sanctuary (packed breakfast). Return back to you hotel and after check-out by mid day drive cross the Ghats to Munnar. After just 600 m we turn off the highway and swoop down through a forest to the Periyer River and the Kallerkutty dam. From here we start the challenging climb to Munnar and its world famous tea and cardamom plantations. Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
After your breakfast in the hotel, drive cross the Ghats to Thekkady, Enroute visit a Tea Factory and get to learn everything you need to know about the Nilgiris tea, while witnessing the step-by-step of the manufacturing process. Then continue to Thekkady - Periyar Wildlife Reserve. This sanctuary is an established tourist spot and home to elephants, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur etc. with unending Chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. . The day is quite hilly but there is an overall loss in altitude as we descend to 800m / 2,640 ft . The day starts with a spectacular descent through forest and tea plantations, later passing rice fields, coffee and cardamom. There will be excellent views of the Western Ghats. Arrive and check-in at the hotel for your overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will take an excursion into neighbouring Tamil Nadu, where you will see many bullock carts and perhaps a working elephant or two. We start with a fabulous descent into a scenic, wide fertile valley and continue gently descending until Suruli wateralls. The Falls which falls from a height of 150 feet gathers into a pool amidst rich flora fauna. On the way visit a Village and one vegetable cultivation farm. Here have a lunch then return back in the hotel by mini bus. This afternoon go on a Spice plantation tour where you can touch, smell and taste almost all the spices seen worldwide. Due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 meters above sea level, Periyar is blessed with numerous types of spices. Later enjoy a stroll through the spice Markets of Kumily. (Bed & Breakfast) Greenwood Hotel
Breakfast at the hotel. You day is free to rest and to take advantage of the complimentary activities proposed by your hotel or you may opt to explore the beauty of nature, the flora and fauna of the region with a 2 hrs energizing trek (optional) into the remote areas of the National park. This reserve is an established tourist spot and home to elephants, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur etc. with unending Chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. Overnight stay at the hotel (Bed & Breakfast).
Breakfast at the hotel. You will start the day with a cycling climb through tea plantations to the southern Western Ghats in Palai. Located on the banks of River Meenachil, the town of Pala is well-known for its extensive rubber plantations and its famous numerous churches. On reaching the highway you will board the mini bus to drive (1¾ hrs) to Kumarakom, slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks, weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The bird sanctuary here is an ornithologist's paradise and a favorite haunt of migratory birds. Overnight stay at the hotel (Bed & Breakfast).
Morning after breakfast, you will bike 32 km (around 2- 2.5 hours cycling) on flat minor roads through villages to Alleppey and embark your Houseboat for a Backwaters cruise. These Houseboats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times and made out of huge planks of Jack wood, joined with coir from Coconut shells. The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. The Allepey district is one of the most popular areas where you can cruise the backwaters. It is also one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea-level, using a system of dykes. Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. Enjoy a sumptuous Keralan Lunch on Board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation. Disembark and return to your hotel. Overnight stay (Breakfast & Lunch).
After breakfast you will be cycling though some fisherman village to Kayal Pura island located on the Vembanad lake and experience life as it were a hundred years ago. Though not far from the ancient port city of Kochi, the island, connected only by traditional rowboats, is slow living. Observe its surrounding flaura and fauna. Later on visit a local Toddy shop where palm toddy, a mildly alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees, is served along with food and enjoy a lunch on route. Then drive to Cochin and check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon there will be time to wander around historic Cochin or do some last minute shopping.
Time to say good bye. After breakfast transfer to the Kochi International airport to connect your flight back home.
- Suggested cycling distances are given for each day; Distances are given in kilometers;.1 km = 0.62 miles.
- Cycling distances given are entirely optional. Cycle as little or as much as you wish each day, the support vehicle will always be close by.
- It is recommended to bring your own personal gear and cycling accessories.
|COCHIN||1||The Killians||Relax and Breath|
|THATTEKADU||1||Hornbill Camp||Tented Cottages|
|THEKKADY||3||Green woods||Deluxe room|
|MUNNAR||1||The Fog||Premium Valley view Room|
|KUMARAKOM||2||The Lake Song||Punnamada|
|COCHIN||1||The Killians||Relax and Breath|
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis at all hotels mentioned or similar
- Breakfast at all places and Lunches at Local Restaurants on route
- One Hybrid Bicycle per person
- One supporting van for Bicycles
- Mineral Water/Refreshments / Snacks on route everyday
- Services of a cycling escort for the Tour
- An accompanying service assistant
- Transportation as per itinerary by chauffeur in driven air conditioned vehicle
- Local English Speaking Guides for the sightseeing of Cochin
- Entrance charges at the monuments as mentioned in the Itinerary
- Ticket for the Kathakali Dance show in Cochin
- A guided Bird watching visit in the Salim Ali bird sanctuary
- Backwater cruise by House Boat with Lunch
- A Tea Factory visit in Munnar
- Assistance on arrival and departure
- All currently applicable taxes
- Camera fees & activity charges other than those listed in the itinerary inclusions
- Expenses of personal nature such as porterage, laundry, telephones, tipping etc
- International/Domestic flight charges ; Visa/Insurance Charges if any
- Any other items not covered under inclusions