Classic Kerala Premiere Bike Tour
The narrow strip of land in the South West edge of India, straddling the sandy coastline and being thrashed by waves from the Arabian Sea, is hard to ignore. Bursting with a variety of experiences, it figures in top ‘travel to’ destinations for its plethora of culture, verdant surroundings, unique food, and a bite of India like none other. From pristine beaches, lush interiors, coffee and spice plantations, misty hills, and the famous backwaters, Kerala is a marvel of exotic landscapes! Added to this, the access to its traditional art forms and culture makes it even more exquisite!
In this inland cycling trip in Kerala, we have spiced the challenge of riding in myriad landscapes, with plenty of ‘not to miss’ experiences. You will be cycling through roads flanked by thick forests, breezy seashores, tea & coffee carpeted hills, and a long canal. Apart from the diverse topography, this cycling trip will be a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Keralan life – learn how to cook a few local dishes, watch captivating Kathakali performances and take a walk in the spice & tea plantations with experts. Be it the history-soaked streets of Fort Kochi, a relaxing day in the backwaters, or proximity to wildlife in thick forests, you will love the plethora of experiences Kerala throws at you. The amalgamation of comfort in luxurious atmospheric places, sweat and sinew on the road, and fresh experiences will enthrall you.
Kochi | 13:00hrs
easy to moderate
50km or 30mi
scenic backroadsRide through the God’s own scenic backroads
|DAY 1||Kochi||Old Harbour Hotel||D|
|DAY 2||Thattekad||Windermere River House||B, L, D||35km / 21mi||cycling|
|DAY 3||Munnar||Windermere Estate||B, L, D||50km / 31mi*||cycling|
|DAY 4||Munnar||Windermere Estate||B, L, D||40km / 24mi*||cycling|
|DAY 5||Thekkady||Spice Village||B, L, D||60km / 37mi*||cycling|
|DAY 6||Thekkady||Spice Village||B|
|DAY 7||Kumarakom||Coconut Lagoon||B, L, D||40km / 24mi*||cycling|
|DAY 8||Kumarakom||Coconut Lagoon||B, L, D|
|DAY 9||Kochi||B||45km / 27mi||cycling|
Accommodation - Premiere Inns
Premiere accommodations include some of the most prestigious hotels. These hotels have won accolades and awards or are acclaimed as ‘the best by credible publications such as Condé Nast Traveler and Travel+Leisure. Heritage properties, art décor contemporary places, or chic boutique stays that are a notch above the rest are a part of this list.
Old Harbour HotelAt the heart of ancient Fort Cochin, Kerala, a place that exudes history and culture, is the 'Old Harbour Hotel'. A 300-year-old building that has long been a heritage monument of this town.
Day 1: Kochi
Meet your trip leader at the hotel around 13:00hrs and head out to see Fort Kochi by bike and foot.
One of the foremost trading hubs on the western coast of India, Fort Kochi drew colonial interest with its aromatic spices. Along with traders from China, Portugal, Arabs, and Holland came a cocktail of religions, cultural practices, and diverse food. Kerala owes its cosmopolitan vibe to the traders who braved the seas to come to this land.
Fort Kochi is dotted with remnants of the past, which you can discover by bike and foot. Step out to see the Vasco Church, Basilica, Dutch Cemetery, Jew Town and the Paradesi Synagogue, and the famous Chinese fishing nets, which lie within a 2km radius.
In the evening, we convene over dinner tonight at a seaside restaurant known for seafood and Indian delicacies.
Day 2: Thattekad
Our guide meets you at your hotel at 07:30hrs. This morning we start with a shuttle transfer to get out of traffic-clogged roads. We start cycling along the canal route to Thattekad. This first tryst with Kerala on the wheels will enthrall you. A scenic route, this smooth road along a canal is perfect to see birdlife and the verdant environs of real Kerala. Our destination is the Windermere River House, situated on two acres of lush garden right on the banks of the Periyar River.
Thattekad has always been on the list of places to visit for any serious birding enthusiast. If you have birds you want to cross off your list, this is the place to do it. You’re also likely to spot Elephant and Barking Deer, and if you’re lucky the elusive Loris, Travancore Flying Squirrel, or the Painted Bat.
Day 3: Munnar
Today we ride into the countryside and follow the Periyar River. A scenic route, along a river, is perfect to see birdlife and the verdant environs of real Kerala. The gradual rising trail winds its way through rubber and pineapple plantations to the Idukki forest reserve. We continue our gradual climb toward our lunch stop at a local restaurant.
Post lunch, bike amongst enormous grass plants, and eucalyptus trees, and past alpine tea plantations in the rugged Munnar hills to your hotel and be greeted by a long stretch of the gradual climb. For miles ahead, you can only see a ridiculous amount of green! Seeing this, you are sure to forget the weary legs. We stop cycling as the climbs start to challenge us and take a transfer to Munnar. As the hills of Munnar start emerging, you will be simply amazed to see the neat hills and mountains carpeted with tea bushes.
We head straight to the British-styled farm retreat, Windermere Estate. Stylish cottages with their plantation ambiance intact are inviting after a hard day of cycling. Enjoy the copious cups of tea, relax in the library or if you are feeling energetic enough, head out for a plantation walk. Enjoy a good night's rest here so you are ready to explore Munnar the next day.
Day 4: Munnar
Munnar is a pleasant contrast to the beach-lined destinations or lagoon backwaters of Kerala. A hill station, which has been immortalized by movies, Munnar is great to cycle in. The routes are undulating and sometimes challenging, but you will find an equal amount of downhill slopes to bring relief to steep climbs.
Enjoy a morning of Yoga if you please and head out to Top Station, a viewpoint of great touristic eminence. The riding stretch to Top station is one of our favorite cycling routes in Kerala. As we ride all the way up to Top Station, you will be stunned by a brilliant view of the stacked mountains and deep valleys below. After this ride, you would have certainly earned yourself a hot crisp cup of tea.
Roll down the hills to then visit the Tea Museum – this is a historic treasure and takes you through the journey of Munnar’s metamorphosis as a tea destination in the late 1800s when A.H. Sharp planted the first sapling. You can also pick up handmade jam, tea leaves, and recycled paper products as souvenirs.
Day 5: Thekkady
We bid adieu to Munnar and head towards the cardamom hills of Kerala, a small town of Kumily. We take in the spectacular views of tea-clad western ghat mountains, near Lockhart Gap. As you are riding, the 360 degrees view of the lush tea plantations will be forever etched in your mind. The smell of cardamom draws you quickly from the tea-lined mountains to the unmanicured mish-mash of cardamom plantations, interjected by pepper vines clinging to silver oak trees. The last stretch is covered in the shuttle before we reach the wonderful award-winning property of Spice Village.
Eco-conscious nuances of Spice Village seamlessly bound with modern comforts are what makes Spice Village special. If you have the energy, head out for a short spice plantation walk. Else, you can relax by the pool or get a drink at the historic library bar of the resort.
Day 6: Thekkady
You can explore the small town of Kumily at your own pace today. We recommend that you try and spend as much time at the Periyar National Park in Thekkady. One of the best managed in India, the national park is known for its innovative sightseeing options. Here you can take a short Nature Walk through Periyar National Park, which gives you a glimpse of the wildlife in the area.
Day 7: Kumarakom
This is going to be a beautiful ride – from the Cardamom Hills to the tea gardens of Vagamon. A hilly ride, with both dips and steep climbs, but the cool weather helps you grapple with this challenging ride better. Vagamon is an enchanting hill station where we will stop for lunch.
From Vagamon, we take a van transfer to Kumarakom. Kumarakom is one of the finest backwater destinations of India, as it lies at the edge of the massive Vembanad Lake.
Day 8: Kumarakom
Trade bike with the boat today that takes us through hyacinth carpeted canals, which meander close to the villages; a great way to see the backwater countryside and habitat near the water.
Day 9: Kochi
This is not a hectic day except for the humidity in the air, which may exhaust you a bit. For a leisurely final morning, consider taking a stroll along the beach and seeing the sights of the fishing village nearby. If you have time and wish to relax for a few more days, we recommend extending to Marari Beach before departing from Kochi.
Enjoy the last day a classic coastal ride along a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach on one side and unevenly spread serene backwaters on the other. Ride through small fishermen villages, lush coconut trees, and plentiful fish farms. The ride finishes at Fort Kochi.
Dates and Prices
Our base pricing is in USD. However, we can also quote in AUD, GBP, CAD, and EUR, and you can pay in the same. Please write us.
Couldn't find a trip with convenient dates?
Open your date as a join-in tour or customize further as private one.
We offer private departures on almost all our itineraries, and for groups of four or more, they cost the same as our standard trips!
All hotels as mentioned in the tour details or similar (subject to availability).
Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.
Immaculately maintained bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.
A Van support that follows the group of riders and carries all belongings.
Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.
Refreshments and mineral water while cycling.
Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples.
E-bikes are available on this trip at a surcharge. Please send a note to your tour consultant to book one.
When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Our fleet majorly consist of the below bikes as a part of this tour. However, sometimes due to height or availability constraints, we may provide a different but similar quality bike.
Included in your trip price
Available at a surcharge
Available at a surcharge
With varied terrain, starting from below sea level in coastal plains to 1900m in the mountains, Kerala has a diverse climate. A typical tropical climate remains cooler in the highlands and hot and humid in the coastal plain throughout the year.
Mid-November to the end of February is the winter time in Kerala, which is best experienced in the highlands with a pleasant climate in the mornings and temperature falling below 10°C at the night. A fleece jacket or warm sweater and long pants may be needed for the cooler evenings and mornings in hill stations. The temperature in plains averages between 25°C to 31°C during this time.
From the beginning of March till the end of May, it is summer. The temperatures go above 40°C during some days in coastal pains and generally remain very hot and humid. The highlands still offer some relief during this time with comparatively cooler climates.
The start of June is the beginning of the Monsoon season in Kerala. Kerala receives two cycles of Monsoon. From June till September, it’s the southwest monsoon, which brings heavy rainfalls till mid of August and it slowly weakens towards the end of September. The second cycle, the Northeast monsoon, starts from the beginning of October till mid-November with light to heavy showers mainly during the evening hours.
Airport pickup and drop
We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.
Some meals may not be included. Please check your itinerary.
Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.
Reviews from our friends
Nancy from US5.0
Classic Kerala was a great adventure
Classic Kerala was a great adventure!!!!!!!! The sights, smells and scenery were all unforgettable. The trip description promised "a ridicous amount of green" and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed the variety of bicycling experiences through many different terrains. Dibin was impressive as a superb guide. He and the driver, Dipu, were both very knowledgable, helpful and shared their culture freely. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TRIP!!!!!!!
Alice Rackley from UK5.0
Go for it
Do not hesitate to trust the team at Art of the Bicycle with your holiday... we have just returned from 10 spectacular days touring the backwaters, the tea gardens, the spice plantations and the beaches of this incredible place. Luckily we decided to tour around on a bike and therefore have indulged in platefuls of the most tremendous food without noticeable weight gain. The team at Art of the Bicycle are great company, good fun and certainly go out of their way to make sure you have a holiday to remember. Go for it!
Gina Cadenasso from CA5.0
truly a trip of a lifetime
My ten day tour with ABT in Kerala was truly a trip of a lifetime. Incredible views, challenging rides, luxurious accommodations, and a crew who could not be more kind and attentive. It was a wonderful way to take in a small part of such a vast country. I hope to do more tours with ABT and am so grateful to have come across them. Their friendly manner and small groups are just what I was looking for. I would recommend their trips wholeheartedly!