Kerala in Style
Bursting with a variety of experiences, Kerala throws up myriad experiences; deep-rooted culture, verdant surroundings, unique food, and a slice of India like none other. Experience stretches of biking through God’s own country, hiking and overnight camping at the hill station, and kayaking in the backwaters! The diverse landscape apart, Kerala’s cultural hook is also what intrigues visitors. You can see Kathakali closely or stay in hundreds of years old houses – Kerala throws a cultural surprise at you at every corner.
In this multi-sport trip in Kerala, we have covered as many experiences for you! Be it the history immersed narrow streets of Fort Kochi, floating in the backwaters in a houseboat, or a wildlife trip into the thick forests. The blend of exquisite heritage places to stay or experience and the combination of bike, hike, and kayak is bound to make this an unforgettable journey.
Kochi | 14:00hrs
Kochi | 12:00hrs
50km or 30mi
Min. 2, Max. 14
scenic backroadsBike in the God’s own scenic backroads
|DAY 1||Cochin||Fort House||D|
|DAY 2||Thattekad||Hornbill Camp||B, L, D||35km/21mi*||cycling|
|DAY 3||Munnar||Aranyaka||B, L, D||65km/40mi*||cycling|
|DAY 4||Munnar||Aranyaka||B, L, D||40km/25mi*||cycling|
|DAY 5||Munnar||Camping||B, L, D||hiking|
|DAY 6||Thekkady||Wildernest||B, L, D||hiking|
|DAY 7||Thekkady||Wildernest||B, L|
|DAY 8||Vagamon||Winter Wale||B, L, D||50km/30mi||cycling|
|DAY 9||Kumarakom||Abad Whispering||B, L, D||45km/28mi*||cycling|
|DAY 10||Alleppey||Pamba Heritage Villa||B, L, D||30km/19mi*||cycling,kayaking|
Day 1: Cochin
Meet your trip leader post-lunch, 02:00 pm at your hotel of stay in Fort Kochi and head out to see Fort Kochi by 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, Arab 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.
Later, in the evening, go to see the traditional dance form, Kathakali (you can also see the face painting before the show). After the show, we will have dinner at a seaside restaurant known for seafood and Indian delicacies.
There is a lot to pack in this day but be well rested for the night as we start early on the next day.
Day 2: Thattekad
This morning we start with a 2.5 hours shuttle bus 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 outdoors camping facility- The Hornbill Camp.
We check into our snug and comfortable Swiss tents and get ready for an activity-packed day. Hornbill Camp offers Kayaking in the Periyar River, bird watching, and plantation walk around the property. The stay gives you a taste of the wilderness of Kerala along with all the comforts. The camp is situated in the environs of a tropical forest where you have nothing but birdsong for company!
Day 3: Munnar
Today we ride into the countryside and follow the Periyar River. The gradual rising trail winds its way through rubber and pineapple plantations to the Idukki forest reserve. We continue our gradual climb towards our lunch stop at a local restaurant. After lunch, bike amongst enormous grass plants, eucalyptus trees, and past alpine tea plantations in the rugged Munnar hills to your hotel.
Day 4: Munnar
After sipping hot tea in your bed, get ready to bike into the wilderness. Overlooking the town, Annamalai peak at 2695 m is the highest mountain in Kerala and well worth the ride to Top Station 1,950 m/ 6,397 ft for the fine views over the town and neighboring Tamil Nadu. You’ll ascend 500 m in this gradual uphill climb.
Later we head to Munnar town to visit the market.
Day 5: Munnar
A rest day for biking, but never really a rest day. We hike through tea plantations and rainforests. The hiking path is easy to walk through, with less variation in altitude. We reach our campsite located at 1600 m/ 5249 ft. Overnight in a simple tent camp. The camp area are is bordering the grassland and forests. The area is rich in birds and butterflies. With the best position to view the sunset, sunrise, night sky, you will be just lost in time. Oh never to miss is the beautiful and panoramic view of western ghat mountains ranges.
Day 6: Thekkady
Wake up along with birds, watch the sunrise sipping a hot cup of tea. Prepare for the hike to the high-altitude forest and grasslands. The hiking ends at the Great escape gap.
If you still have power left in your legs, you can cycle a bit today along a winding country road, passing small hamlets and spice plantation villages to Thekkady.
Day 7: Thekkady
This morning we take a nature walk in Periyar National Park in search of mongooses, elephants and learn about the flora and fauna in Periyar Tiger Reserve. Later, we head to a garden of spices and learn about the spices from a local farmer.
Day 8: Vagamon
This is going to be a beautiful ride – from the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady to the tea gardens of Vagamon, and that too, through the rubber plantations. 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 you can either relax or indulge in outdoor activities like paragliding, easy hikes, or explore nature trails.
Day 9: Kumarakom
The ride today takes us near spectacular Vembanad Lake. Enjoy stunning vistas in all directions. We bike and transfer the rest in the van.
Day 10: Alleppey
Today step into a kayak. Soon you will be kayaking the backwaters, through inland canals, with people living very close to the water edges. Enjoy a simple lunch in a local village restaurant. See the village life in action and hear the stories from our local guide.
Post-lunch, if time permits, ride through the narrow trails and experience a fabulous birdlife, situated right at the edge of mesmerizing Vembanad Lake.
Day 11: Kochi
On the last biking day, we ride along the beach road and the journey will be refreshing and easy. We ride past fishing villages and numerous Christian churches along the coast will to a small village named Ezhupunna and then to Kochi.
Dates and Prices
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 (subject to availability). All options are personally reviewed.
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.
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
Philip Hemsted from UK5.0
Wonderful two week experience
Wonderful two week experience of Kerala backwaters and mountains. Biking 40-60km day, couple of days hiking and a day kayaking, with plenty of time to relax and explore. Great for wildlife. Highlights include watching sunrise from Western Ghats, nature walk in Periyar wildlife sanctuary, kayaking through backwaters. Additional visits to spice gardens, tea factory, boat builder and toddy restaurant made it feel more than a holiday and more of an education. Knowledgable guides and good minibus support made the daily routing comfortable. Cycling in Indian traffic does take some getting used to, especially frequent use of horns and buses running to a timetable. Our guide Dibin was very safety conscious and had no problems in traffic.
Linda & Robert from CA5.0
Thank you for such a well planned, superbly led trip
Thank you for such a well planned, superbly led trip. We learned so much more about Kerala and it’s unique characteristics and beauty than we thought we would. This was our first trip to India and our first “organized tour group”. Both exceeded our expectations. We will surely return. Dibin – personable, knowledgeable, flexible. Sajib- good natured, patient. Dibin’s style, competence and communication skills were invaluable assets for the success and enjoyment of this trip. Bikes were solid — easy to handle and needed for some of the bumpy roads.
Michael Szilagyi from UK5.0
Highly recommend this bike ride
Highly recommend this bike ride – I had a great time every day of the tour! The 'Taste of Kerala' bike trip is one of the best vacations I have ever taken, if not the best of them all! It was my first multi-day bike tour (11 days total), and Art of Bicycle Trips made the entire trip a truly unique and wonderful experience! Kerala is referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’, and after all the sights you will discover on this tour, the description is true to word. The biking itself was fantastic, but all other non-biking aspects of the tour were just as delightful. From start to finish, including initial correspondence prior to arrival, Dibin responded promptly to my inquiries, answered all my questions, and half way through the trip was very helpful in extending my stay in Cochin to include a beach side stay with some kayaking along the backwaters. And best of all, he is an AWESOME bike tour guide!! I cannot say enough about how great and truly amazing it was to be a rider on his bike tour. Dibin’s English is excellent and being from Kerala, he has an impressive knowledge of the history and culture of the area. And the van driver Shajee, was also very supportive and equally great in his job bringing up the rear via the support van. I felt very safe, was well looked after by both guide and driver, and in good hands through the entire journey. The ride itinerary as posted on Art of Bicycle Trips webpage is exactly how the ride went, and all accommodations, etc. were as indicated on the itinerary. I appreciate the fact that Art of Bicycle Trips was also able to outfit me with an XL bike frame, which made the ride much more comfortable for someone of my height. Dibin is also a good teacher - though I do exercise extensively, I do not bike ride regularly, and Dibin taught me a lot about biking technique and methods all along the rides. The bike rides were a perfect mix of city, country, mountain, and coastal riding through the many beautiful parts of Kerala. I especially enjoyed the rides through the tea plantations and the ride up and over the border with Tamil Nadu to Top Station – where it becomes nicely cooler at 2,000 meters as well! They drive on the left side of the road in India, and traffic can be a bit intimidating at first if you are not accustomed to it, but I always maintained the line behind Dibin, who was very good at pointing out potholes, bumps, heavy traffic, etc., along the way, and after a day or so I felt like I fit right in with the all traffic flow around me – rickshaws, cars, scooters, motorbikes, etc., and even cows - all of which are a unique part of the Indian experience. Road traffic in Kerala is minimal compared to Delhi or other large cities I visited in India. The traffic diminished significantly after leaving Cochin early on in the tour. I did not fall down, run off the road, or crash into a cow or anything else – not once! As I requested, Dibin kept the pace just challenging enough to keep me at my best riding form. I loved every kilometer of this 500km bike tour, even the uphill rides, and anxiously looked forward to each new day of riding and the adventures it would bring. I did this trip in August, which can be rainy season, but my trip was only interrupted by heavy rain once, and for less than two hours one afternoon. I was lucky in that sense as it could have rained much more. We rode in some misty rains for short periods, but with rain jacket, it was all good, and just as fun – most of the trip had plenty of sunshine. The accommodations were unique, charming, and always pleasant. It was so nice to stay in such comfortable places after a good day of biking! The overnight stay on the house boat and cruise through the backwaters was one of the many ways Art of Bicycle Trips made the trip special. All the meals were delicious, as I found the many foods of Kerala to be highly agreeable with me. The non-biking activities provided alternate and enjoyable breaks after riding - tea museum tour, spice garden visit, etc., but I especially liked the hike through the nature preserve via a park guide -- it was a good way to get some different outdoor activity on a non-biking day. And everyone in Kerala is super friendly too, which further enhanced my love of the place and its people. I took my own gel bike seat cover, which helped minimize any saddle soreness for me. I wore dri-fit athletic clothes which worked perfectly. And laundry service was often available at most of the stays, and for an inexpensive price too. WI-FI too was available in every stay except the house boat. Knowing what I know now, I would have used pedals with toe cages, to help maintain a better cadence and let my top of leg muscles assist the uphill efforts versus solely pushing down on the pedals, but even without the toe cages, I did just fine. Beyond that, all equipment on the bike was perfect and functioned great. Helmet and water bottle were also provided along with a small carry case on the handle bars, and snacks along the way (loved the soft peanut brittle snack). I opted to carry a very small and lightweight waterproof day pack type backpack on the rides, in which I kept my wallet, rain jacket, insect repellent, small camera, etc. – but not much more as I wanted to stay light. Other belongings can be kept in the van, and no day pack of any kind is needed as you bike, as the support van is never more than 10-15 minutes away – so just personal preference in this respect. Thank you so much Art of Bicycle Trips, and Dibin, for all you did to make this an amazing tour!! I will have many lasting memories of my Kerala biking adventure as a result of your tour and the fine work you all do! I look forward to doing another bike tour with Art of Bicycle Trips again on a future trip to Asia. If you are relatively bike fit, no need to be a hard core rider, just fit enough to ride a bike at least 25-30km a day and open to the challenge of some longer rides, with some uphill trials here and there for 2-3 days of the trip, then I highly recommend this Kerala bike tour!!! And the uphill climbs are nicely rewarded with downhill coasts all along the way. And as always, the support van is always there, to pick you up if you want to cut a ride short or take a break and ride in the van for a bit on longer bike rides. Apologies for the lengthy review, but also an indication of how much I enjoyed and recommend this tour! :))))