We start our cycling tour from Trivandrum, the jewel in the emerald necklace distinguished by its British colonial architecture, a long shoreline with renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater and rich culture heritage. The timeless beauty of the palm fringed beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, enchanting woods and forests of Thekkady. A mountain range slopes support tea, rubber and spice plantation. We continue our cycling journey through the pride of Kerala's nature's splendour the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake - an artificial lake. A dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. A tour is best experienced if you get the feel of local culture, food, villages and the life of local people.
Cycling / Terrain
The tour is designed to enjoy the cycling through the rural life and meet the local people of South India. The vehicle will accompany and en-route make stop for bottled water and Juices for the cyclist. A nice way of sharing different experiences encountered on the way. The support vehicle will always travel behind the last cyclist. If you wish to take a break from riding than wait at the side of the road and supporting vehicle will pick you up.
January to mid-April and October to December is the best time to cycle in Rajasthan. Average temperatures range from max of 25°C and minimum of 7°C. The desert sun is not so intense and the days are cool and pleasant, perfect for cycling. Please bring a sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses. The mornings and evenings are generally cool and mild, however, January and late December can be very cold. Please bring a jumper/windcheater and a sweater/shawl. There is no humidity and little or no rain can be expected. For detailed travel kit recommendations, please refer to our FAQ section.
|Cycling in Kerala's Backroads|
|(11 Nights / 12 Days)|
Trivandrum - Kovalam - Varkala - Houseboat - Thekkady – Cochin
|Day 1: Arrival Trivandrum Airport - Drive to Kovalam|
On arrival at Trivandrum airport our representative will assist you and transfer you the hotel. In the evening we will take a small cycling ride to see if any adjustment is required in the bicycle.
|Day 2: Kovalam - Veli Lagoon; visit Anjengo fort and Cycle to Varkala||(Cycling Approx 30 km)|
Transfer by bus to Veli after breakfast. This morning there will be 20 kms to a small Gulf Lagoon. The Lagoon is a big lake separated from the ocean by small width of sandbar spits and fishermen can be seen fishing. We will visit the fishing village of Anguthengu to board the boat. En-route we will stop to visit Anjengo Fort, built in 17th century by the East India company. It was the first business centre of the British on the Malabar Coast. Here onward we move towards Varkala known as temple town and is famous throughout the region, the millions of Hindus come here for pilgrimage to worship Janardhana Swamy. Janardhana Swamy Temple belonging to the past times. Having arrived in Varkala we will relax, walk in Arabian coast beaches, wonder among the palmes and enjoy the stunning sunset. Dinner in the local restaurant. We stay overnight at Varkala.
|Day 3: Cycle Verkala / Paravoor Village and cycle to Kollam||(Cycling Approx 45 Km)|
We will interact with local people and ride from one to the other villages. We can see the coir-making talent and fishing skills as well. We continue our riding to an Elephant trader’s camp where we have the option to ride on one of the working elephant. Kollam is surrounded by coconut palms and cashew tree plantation and is situated at the edge of Ashtamundi Lake. This town is the centre of cashew industry. The old wooden houses are of typical Keralan style, these houses are situated at the southern end of backwaters, which makes it extra ordinary ideal spot. We stay overnight at Kollam.
|Day 4: Boat trip along Backwaters; cycle through villages to Mancombu||(Cycling Approx 20 km)|
After getting transferred to Kollam jetty we take a motorboat to travel through the backwaters to Kayamkulam. This is the phenomenal way to explore waterways covering 1900kms. These boats often carved in the shape of a dragon. The boats are livelihood of the villagers. Also work as taxis, mode of delivery and are used in harvesting. Great pyramids may be seen, En-route will stop Ayiramthengu coir village for lunch and eventually reach our destination Kayamkulam. We will be riding 15 kms to catch a boat, which will take us to Cochin. From Cochin we will take a bus to drop us Manarasal Snake Temple close to Thottapally. After we visit the temple we will be transferred to our accommodation in an ancient trading town Alleppy.
|Day 5: Full days cycling through Backwaters’ villages; afternoon canoe trip||(Cycling Approx 40 km)|
We will be spending whole day exploring our surroundings. While going through villages and a large number of backwaters we have the chance to interact with the villagers, visiting churches and temples and will return to take moonlit cruise by a narrow long boat which enter into waters. We find locals sing traditional songs in a row. We can leave the main channel padding at our own speed to explore smaller waterways. The labourious villagers survive on small land, cows, pigs, chickens and vegetable gardens. Generally the gardens have coloured flowers such as hibiscus, which in contrast grows sharply to match tropical greenery.
|Day 6: Drive and cycle to Vanilla County||(Cycling Approx. 35 km)|
We use a combination of engine and pedal power to reach the destination of the hill station, Vanilla County, leaving behind beautiful backwaters. We cycle up to hill station which is at the height of 400m and it is Vanilla County a charming hill station surrounded by greenery of tea gardens and spice plantations. The overlooking view of the valley and meadows surrounding countryside is heart touching. In the evening we visit Ayyampara, which has an area of startling rock covering 30 acres. The rock affords views down to Alleppey’s lighthouse, which is popular for those visiting to see spectacular sunsets.
|Day 7: Cycling around Vanilla County||(Cycling Approx. 15 km)|
Morning explore through numerous fruits and medicinal plants in a local plantation which brings us to Meenachil river. After this cycling to Poonjar Palace which is 900 years old residency of Maharajah and family. After taking lunch we have to walk elephants at work in forests of teak and sandalwood.
|Day 8: Drive and cycle to Thekkady; visit plantations||(Cycling Approx. 30 km)|
Today we will drive some of the hilly sections of road taking the meandering roads through the high ranges to Thekkady, close to Tamil Naidu border. We will leave behind many rubber plantations and spice gardens en- route to the Periyar wildlife Sanctuary. We can visit this part with a local botanist. Further on, we may have the opportunity to meet local tea pickers at a factory and get the feeling that how people live in this beautiful region before check in at our hotel in Periyar. Periyar is one of the 16 Project Tiger Reserves in India with about 40 tigers living in the 777 sq km park. We stay overnight at Thekkady.
|Day 9: In and around Thekkady||(No Cycling)|
We go to walk in the forest today in search of other wildlife such as the star tortoise, porcupine and the flying squirrel. The park is having varieties of habitats, open grasslands, deciduous, evergreen and tropical forest. There are different animal species. The ecosystem of the tropical evergreen jungle is very interesting. The trees grow up to 40m and the dense canopy above allows in limited sunlight only. Because of this reason, at ground level, there are plentiful ferns, orchids and air plants –the plants that need little light to survive.
|Day 10: Tea factory visit, cycle to Malayattoor and drive to Cochin||(Cycling Approx. 25 km)|
To begin the day we visit the Connemara Tea Factory. To reach Kuuttikkanam we drive by supporting vehicle. We continue by our vehicle to the bustling port of Kochi, with its beautiful unexpected harbour that earned it the title Queen of the Arabian Sea. It is the oldest settlement in India with its mixture of English, Dutch and Portuguese influences. Cochin is also the home of the famous Kathakali dancers. The origins came from traditional temple rituals and from the art known as Koodiyattam. The dancers take three hours in painting their faces and features, which are the facial expressions with eye movements, those are important in the dance. The dances usually portray events from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the great Indian epics. We stay overnight at Cochin.
|Day 11: Tour of Cochin by cycle; evening boat cruise||(Cycling Approx. 10 km)|
Cochin was founded for trade, originally with the arrival of the Chinese, Arabs and Phoenicians in the second millennium BC. The links to Europe were strengthened in the 16th century with the arrival of the Portuguese, closely followed by the Dutch and the English. Thus the eclectic mix of styles and influences can be seen. You can find both the oldest European church and the oldest Synagogue in Cochin amongst its winding streets. Chinese fishing nets, Portuguese houses and Dutch palaces are also seen. After spending the day tour we take a sunset cruise around the surrounding islands. We stay overnight at Cochin.
|Day 12: Cochin - Fly Out|
Timely pick up from hotel and transfer to Trivandrum Airport to board the flight.
Bicycles (Man & Ladies)
Compiled specifically for your needs
We provide you the following bicycles:
- Y-shape frame with low step-through
- Frame sizes of 44 cm, 48 cm, 52 cm and 56 cm
- 7-gear-derailleur with free-wheel
All bicycles are equipped with a precise Shimano gearshift, Shimano V-brakes with strong "bite", 28-inch hollow chamber rims, safety mudguards and a comfortable touring saddle.
Please Note: If you won´t be without your own saddle (without the post) or your own click pedals, please bring them with you and let your tour guide attach them to your bicycle..