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Cycling Kerala's Backroads
Cycling on paved country roads, this tour starts with a visit to the Thatekkad bird sanctuary, one of three wildlife reserves you'll explore on this tour. Then the climbing begins, heading up to the highlands and to Munnar, known for its tea plantations and spice estates. After taking the amazing views from Top Station, descend to Periyar and have a rest day to explore the park where you're likely to see a herd of elephants, but unlikely to spot one of the tigers in residence. The tour then heads towards Kumarakom, to spend a relaxing afternoon plying the backwaters on a houseboat. From here, a flat ride back to Kochi with time to explore this fascinating historic town. And always your fill of delicious food, seasoned with local spices.
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration14 days
- Culture LevelOut There
- Skill Level3 - Intermediate
- Activity Level2 - Moderate
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance333.7 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance33.6 miles
How long is the tour? How many days of riding?
This tour is 14 days long, with 10 riding days.
How many riders will be in the group?
Groups can be from 2 to 16. For groups of 9 or more, a second guide joins the tour.
Is there a minimum age for this tour?
Yes, riders must be 18 years old by the time the tour starts.
Can I rent a bike for the tour?
Yes, quality mountain bikes can be hired for the duration of the tour.
The bikes are well-known makes with lightweight alloy frames, 24 to 27 speed gears, v-brakes, have Shimano components and front suspension.
What's the tour like?
The scenery is ever changing as you start cycling from the outskirts of Kochi and then climb the slopes of the Western Ghats, entering tea and spice country. You will ride 544 km (338 mi) in 10 days of cycling, but this tour is entirely on paved roads, so the distances are not too strenuous. The route was designed to take in the best of Kerala’s culture, countryside, and wildlife, all while enjoying an active holiday. You’ll ride from sea level to an altitude of 9521 m (31,236 ft), but this is over many days, and though there will be some steep climbs, the pace is easy. There’ll be some exhilarating descents, including one that’s 22 km long (14 mi)! The trip is fully supported, and your guide’s expert knowledge of the area and terrain means that you always know what is coming up in terms of distance and difficulty. This makes a tremendous difference, as does the constant supply of cold drinks and fresh fruit.
Suitability: You can expect some climbs with steep gradients for the first five days of this trip, then some undulating terrain towards the end. There are three days of longer distances, but they include major descents. The hills can be tackled by those with a moderate amount of fitness; however, being physically fit will, of course, be a huge asset, but as the tour is fully supported, the van is always close at hand if needed.
Biking Conditions: This trip is on tarmac roads, and there is no technical riding involved. An airconditioned support bus travels behind the group, so participants can cycle as much or as little as they like and still enjoy the same views as the rest of the group.
Am I safe?
The tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue. But to a large degree, riders must be responsible for their own safety during the tour. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a cycling tour.
Where does the tour start and finish?
The tour starts and finishes in Kochi (formerly known as Cochin). It can be accessed through the Cochin International Airport (COK).
Do I have to pay if travelling alone?
You are not required to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. The tour operator will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender. If you cannot be matched, they will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share, a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room.
Please see a message from the tour operator about policies relating to COVID-19
Updated: July 24, 2020
Due to the ongoing global impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and with many international borders remaining closed for an extended period, Spiceroads has decided to suspend the majority of tours until at least 30 October 2020.
While this is extremely disappointing for all of us, the safety and security of our travellers, along with that of our staff and partners, has always been the most important factor.
If you were booked on a tour that has been suspended due to the pandemic, you will automatically receive a credit of 100% of monies paid (of your deposit or full payment) which can be redeemed as follows:
- You can re-book a tour now for a future travel date before 30 September 2022.
- You can hold on to your travel credit until you are ready to re-book on any future departure before 30 September 2022.
We apologise for the inconvenience and sincerely hope you will understand and support us during this unprecedented crisis. Spiceroads is a small company with a big heart and we are doing everything we can to work through this crisis and plan to start operating tours again as soon as we can. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times and are communicating with everyone booked on the impacted tours.
If you are booked on a tour that is due to depart from 1 November 2020, there are currently no changes to your trip, and it is currently scheduled to depart as planned. We are monitoring the situation closely and will notify you directly if your tour is affected.
If you want to cancel your booking, you can receive a credit for the amount paid to use on a new tour with a departure date before 30 September 2022.
For new bookings please see our flexible booking conditions below:
Terms & Conditions:
- We require a deposit (as listed on the individual tour pages) or full payment to reserve a place for you on a tour.
- In the event that we are unable to operate the tour, this deposit will be transferred to another tour at your discretion or held as a credit for use anytime until 30th September 2022.
- The balance of the tour’s cost (final invoice) must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights.
- In the case where a booking is made when there are less than 45 days until the tour departure date, the tour’s cost must be paid in full within 48 hours of receiving an invoice from SpiceRoads.
- In all cases, tour fees must be paid “in full” before participation in a tour. No person(s) will be allowed to join a tour without fully settling their invoice and receiving a confirmation number from SpiceRoads.
- Some last-minute miscellaneous fees (visas, additional local hotel bookings, etc.) can be settled on the day of arrival.
Flexible Booking Policy
- This policy allows for multiple changes to the departure date.
- The change will only be approved if it is requested by the client in writing a minimum of sixty (60) days before the departure date.
- In the event the change request is moving to a different tour, then a price adjustment may need to be applied and your tour consultant will advise on what this will be.
- Deposit terms are 30% on booking or US$500 whichever is the greater.
- Any cancellation without rescheduling forfeits the deposit paid, until 45 days, at which time it is 70%, until 15 days at which time it is 100%.
Are helmets included when hiring a bike?
Yes, if you're hiring a bike from the operator, a complimentary helmet is provided, although you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.