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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 traveling alone?
You are not required to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. The tour operator will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler 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
The Tour Operator is committed to ensuring all trips are safe and that they travel responsibly with the safety of riders, staff and local communities paramount, always.
Their health and safety policies follow recommendations from the World Health Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travel protocols for tour operators and they have worked with all their suppliers to undergo a comprehensive risk assessment and safety audit for every trip. As every country is different with varying and fast-changing requirements for entry, they require for every trip tocommit to the following basic requirements:
- All participants must be double vaccinated by a recognized vaccine and will need to show evidence upon booking and on arrival.
- All Tour Operator tour leaders and support staff will have completed a COVID-19 health and safety training course and will all have been double vaccinated prior to a tour starting. For 2021 departures onwards, they are planning to have our leaders tested within 72 hours of meeting the group.
- The Tour Operator follows the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels protocol and has received the stamp of approval, which provides travelers with an assurance that they have adopted the health and hygiene global standardised protocols.
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.