"Trade four wheels for two, exploring Indian backroads and famous Kerala region and byways by bicycle"
This two-week tour through the state of Kerala reveals the very best that this lush green corner of India has to offer. Sandwiched between the verdant Western Ghat mountain range and the glimmering Arabian Sea, Kerala is known for its stunning backwaters, countless tea and spice plantations and fantastic wildlife reserves. Go off the beaten track and get to know the real Kerala, gaining more intimate access on an exploratory cycling trip. Mingle with local villagers, relax on tropical beaches and really get to know the soul of the place.
Your adventure begins in Kovalam, where you’ll discover beautiful beaches and bustling markets. Mount your bicycle and continue through traditional fishing villages to reach Kollam, the southern gateway to Kerala’s famous backwaters. Discover miles and miles of peaceful palm-fringed inland waterways, travelling by foot, bike and wooden canoe. Head further inland past scenic tea, spice and rubber plantations to reach the quaint hill station of Wagamon. Challenge yourself with some hill-cycling, before being rewarded with a visit to Periyar National Park, where you can observe wild elephants, leopards and a host of other rare wildlife. Conclude your tour in the port of Kochi on the Arabian Sea, enjoying its beautiful harbour and bustling bazaars.
Active India Holidays are local operators and, as such, have seen first-hand the benefits that tourism can bring to some of India’s most remote regions. They understand that tourism often helps to alleviate poverty and develop communities and, as part of the global tourism industry, acknowledge that they too have a crucial role to play in providing commercial benefits and financial impetus in local communities. The company is conscious of both the negative and positive impacts its operations potentially have within sensitive environments and communities, particularly in the Himalayas where most of Active India’s trekking and adventure operations are conducted.
Travelling through India on two wheels is not only a great way to really immerse yourself in the country, but is also an eco-friendly, carbon neutral activity. Active India employs local staff and uses locally-owned hotels, products and food, helping to support communities by injecting valuable financial resources into the local economy. Furthermore, this also creates a more authentic India travel experience for tourists – so everyone’s a winner! Active India hopes to contribute towards building a tourism industry that brings pleasure to travellers whilst also constructing a future for the local people and places that the industry depends on.
Arrival in Trivandrum - Kovalam Arrive at Thiruvananthapuram’s international airport and receive a traditional welcome before transferring to your hotel in Kovalam. In the evening, prepare your bikes for the ride and, if you wish, take them out for a spin in the local area with a guide.
Kovalam: After breakfast bike around Kovalam, travelling through fishermen’s villages at a steady pace to get used to the bikes (and the Indian roads!) Spend some free time relaxing at the beach in the afternoon. Take an optional cookery class in the evening and learn how to make some traditional dishes.
Kovalam – Veli – Perumathura – Varkala: Travel to Veli by bus, before mounting your bikes once more for a cycle to Varkala. Stop en route at the fisherman’s village of Anjengo, and visit the British-built Anjengo Fort. Upon your arrival in Varkala you’ll check in to your hotel before enjoying a free evening.
Varkala – Paravur – Kollam: Cycling through villages on your way to Paravur, you’ll observe locals busying themselves with typical activities such as coir making and fishing. Enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch and stop at the beach for a swim. Next, transfer by bus to Kollam and check in to your hotel. In the evening, visit the lighthouse and Thangassery village.
Kollam – Alleppey: Take a morning bus transfer to the boat jetty at Kollam, before boarding a private boat to Kayamkulam. Here, you’ll begin your cycle through fisherman’s villages to Jetty, where you’ll take a bus ride to visit the Mannarasala Snake Temple. Finally, travel by bus to Mancombu for a night’s homestay.
Mancombu: Today is free for you to explore the local waterways by bike or on foot. Later, take a sunset cruise along the backwaters in a traditional wooden canoe.
Mancombu – Chengancherry – Erattupetta – Vagamon: After breakfast, drive to Kanjirapally where you’ll mount your bikes for a 15km cycle to Erattupetta. Continue to Vanilla County near Vagamon, and, in the evening, take an optional drive to a viewpoint at Ayyampara to watch the sunset.
Vanilla County Estate: There are various optional excursions available today: take a cycle ride to the Poonjar Palace, walk around the plantation and learn about different plants, or enjoy a relaxing swim in the Meenachil River.
Vanilla County – Thekkady: Take a morning drive to Vagamon town, travelling uphill along a zigzag road. From here, cycle to Elappara and on to Kuttikkanam. Continue cycling downhill through villages to Peermade where you’ll board a bus for a short transfer to Thekkady. Check in to your hotel before visiting the Tea Factory and spice garden.
Periyar: Depart early in the morning for a walk into Periyar National Park. The nature trek in the National Park is short and easy, and leaves the rest of the day free for activities including a Martial Arts Class, Ayurvedic Massage or a boat-ride on Periyar Lake.
Thekkady – Kochi: Take a bus transfer to Kuttikkanam. Continue by bike to Malayattoor, then board another bus that takes you to the bustling port of Kochi. Known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Kochi is famed for its beautiful natural harbour, and is India’s oldest European settlement and is a melting pot of English, Dutch and Portuguese influences. In the evening, watch a Kathakali dance show (optional).
Kochi: Cycle to Mattancherry to visit the Palace and Jewish Synagogue. Explore the commercial area and St. Francis Church, followed by Fort Kochi and the town’s bazaars in the evening.
Tour Concludes: Transfer to Kochi’s international airport for your onward flight.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person (on a double sharing basis)
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly about this tour's departure dates, availability and costs
- Refunds: 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund.
- Full board meals during the Homestay
- Breakfasts only while staying at hotels
- English speaking monument sightseeing guides at cities
- Services of a cycle mechanic throughout the tour
- All land transport
- Government service tax as applicable
- Travel insurance
- Indian visa fees
- Bike hire charges (approximately £100 per bike for the entire trip)
- Personal cycling equipment (helmets, panniers, or any other gear)
- Any monument entrance fees
- Flights (domestic/international)
- Any optional activities or services not mentioned in inclusions
- Services of any professional English speaking tour leader/escort during the tour
- Miscellaneous expenses for tips, laundry, drinks, any medical emergencies and souvenirs etc.