Kerala Explorer Bike Tour

  • Ride through the God’s own scenic backroads
  • Get to see the very best of Kerala – sandy beaches, meandering backwater canals, the lush green hills and thick wilderness

Ride through the God’s Own Route and leisurely float across the backwaters of Kerala on this timeless Kerala safari. With its evergreen mountains, dense forests, swift flowing rivers, abundant wildlife, extensive backwaters and blue lagoons, Kerala looks like a fairyland.

This safari offers rich mix of diverse terrains from tall mountains and deep valleys to endless backwaters and wide sandy beaches. You will be cycling through roads flanked by thick forests, breezy seashores, tea & coffee carpeted hills and by a long canal. Apart from the diverse topography, this cycling trip will be a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Keralan life.

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    8 days / 7 nights

  • Start / End

    Kochi / Kochi

  • Riding Style

    Active Rider

Group Departures

ITINERARY

Brief Itinerary

* with shuttle
DayPlaceDuration~ Cycling Distance
1Kochi1
2 – 3Munnar245km / 28mi*
40km / 25mi*
4Thekkady160km / 37mi*
5Vagamon150km / 30mi
6Alleppey145km / 28mi*
7Kumarakom140km / 24mi
8Kochi50km / 31mi*

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Kochi

Meet your Trip Leader at your hotel in Kochi. Today is kept for arrival and bike fitting.

Day 2: Munnar

We start with a 2 hours shuttle bus to get out of traffic jammed roads till we reach the scenic stretch. The first 15kms we ride through rubber plantations. The road is smooth with occasional climbs to get you warmed up for the rest of the day. You also get to see a lot of pineapple farms and cocoa plantations along the route. The ride is a scenic one with short stretches of canal and varying terrain. We ride for another 20km before we stop for a lunch break. The next part of the ride has gradual climbs as we head towards Munnar. We ride through wild plantations and get glimpses of the Periyar river along the way. All you can see here is a ridiculous amount of green – refreshing after a day of cycling.

We head straight to your hotel in Munnar. Enjoy a goodnight’s rest here so you are ready to explore Munnar the next day.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 40km / 24mi*

Day 3: Munnar

Munnar is a pleasant contrast to the beach lined destinations or 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 equal amount of downhill slopes to bring relief 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 favourite cycling route in Kerala. As we ride all the way upto Top Station, you will be stunned with 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 visit a Tea Factory. If time permits, you can also visit the Tea museum in Munnar town, which takes you through the journey of Munnar’s metamorphosis as a tea destination, when A.H. Sharp planted the first sapling in late 1800s . You can also pick up handmade jam, tea leaves and recycled paper products as souvenirs.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 40km/25mi*

Day 4: 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 minds. 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 Tall trees.

After cycling, the last stretch is covered in the shuttle.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37mi*

Day 5: 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 the outdoor activities like paragliding, easy hikes or explore nature trails.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 50km/30mi

Day 6: Alleppey

It’s a long  day towards Alleppey and we need to start early. A 06:30am start would be  ideal  to escape the heat and cycle in cooler hours of day.  This is going to be a beautiful ride – from the Cardamom Hills to backwater plains. A hilly ride, with both dips and steep climbs, but the cool weather helps you grapple with this challenging ride better.

We stop cycling by 10:30am and take a van transfer to Alleppey.  The transfer normally takes 3 hours to reach Alleppey.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 45km/28mi*

Day 7: Vembanad Lake

Ride through the narrow lanes and experience a fabulous bird life before arriving at Kumarakom, situated right at the edge of mesmerising Vembanad Lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 40km/24mi*

Day 8: Fort Kochi

On the last biking day, we ride along the beach road to Fort Kochi. The tour ends in Fort Kochi

Meals: Breakfast
Distance cycled: ~ 50km / 31miles*

*with shuttle – short transfers

REGION

insightful details

Terrain

The tour covers mainly two landscapes of central Kerala, the lowlands and highlands. The lowlands stretches are flat and are very close to the coastal line and backwaters. Highlands includes hills and mountain with moderate to challenging climbs for a beginner, followed by refreshing downhills.

Altitude range: From below sea level in backwaters to 2000m in western ghats

Overall ride distribution:
25% through low land areas with 0% slope gradient
50% through hills with 1-4% slope gradient
25% through the mountains with 5-8% slope gradient


See

Fauna:
Egrets(little, moderate, large), Cattle Egrets, Cormorants, Brahminy kites, Pond Heron, Kingfisher, Mynah, Ducks, House crow, Goats, Cows, Water buffaloes, Bonet macaque(common monkey), Wild boar, Asian Elephant and a Great Hornbill(if lucky!)

Flora:
Plantations – Coconut, Banana, Rubber, Pineapple, Tea, Eucalyptus, Cardamom
Forests – Bamboo, Figs, Lantana, Trumpet, Flame tree Farms – Paddy farms, Fish farms, Spice farms(pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric)


Experience

Food: Keralan spicy fish curry along with boiled tapioca sauteed with little turmeric and mustard Kerala vegetarian meal on banana leaf, variety of spiced-up local side dishes and curries prepared with beef, chicken, mutton, clams or prawns

Drink: Chaaya(milk tea), Sulaimani (a black tea), toddy(naturally fermented sap brewed from coconut flower bud)

Art: Cultural show with traditional dance forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, Ottanthullal and Kalaripayattu, Kerala’s own martial art

Culture: Hinduism, Fort Kochi with its fusion of 7+ communities, profuse influence of Christianity along the coast, backwater village life, tea plantation culture.


Recommended Reading List

  • “Nine Lives: In search of the sacred in modern India” by William Dalrymple – explores the lives of 9 people in India and their religious paths.
  • “Potrait Kerala” by Aruna Nambiar – presents kerala, it’s land, people, faith, rituals, artforms through more than 200 photograhs
  • “God of small things” by Arundhati Roy – a story set in backwater village of Kerala, capturing aspects on communism, Kerala Syrian christian way of life and caste system
  • Kerala – land of palms” by I.H. Hacker, a peek into life in Kerala during early 1900

YOUR BIKE

Scott, Marin, Giant, Trek

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. All our bike tours in Kerala run on some of the best hybrid bikes in the cycling tour industry (and we maintain them meticulously). Upright position, good traction and optimal balance between performance and comfort are some of the characteristics.

MEET THE LOCAL SPECIALIST

Dibin Devassy

Dibin Devassy

From Art of Bicycle Trips

After six years, Dibin was happy to leave Dubai’s clinically clean environs and come home to exploring the wonderfully unkempt and thickly green landscape of good old Kerala on his cycle. Amongst the diverse Kerala experiences, Dibin loves the traditional cuisines and organic farming methods the most! If he’s not scouring through the Kerala trails, you will find him hooked to movies with an intellectual tug; Into the Wild is his favourite! He is a native of Thrissur, Kerala.