God's Own Country - Kerala Cycling Tour Itinerary
Arrival at Cochin
Today you arrive at the airport and get transferred to your hotel. Check-in, rest and feel free to explore the city in the evening.
Cochin (now Kochi) is the vibrant mainland and port city of Kerala. As the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Cochin holds a strategic value on the map of India. Kerala is also known as the ‘Spice Garden of India’ and Cochin is an important spice trading center on the west coast of this country.
Cochin City Tour
25 mile / 40 km
Today you start exploring the historic town of Fort Kochi and there is no better way to do this than from the seat of your bicycle.
- You visit the Francis Church, Dutch Cemetery, Jewish Synagogue, a Dhobi Ghat and the Chinese Fishing Nets, a common sight in the backwaters of Kerala.
- You also visit the Jew Town that hosts a Spice Market. The bustling trade of spices is evidenced in the trucks going to and away from the warehouses, loads being taken in and out using pushcarts, and the sight of workers drying, sorting and packing spices.
- An exciting surprise – The Hidden Gem of Fort Kochi – awaits you at lunch, post which you take a short ride to Vypeen Island, which is a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch and Kerala architectures.
- You end the day by watching Kathakalli – a stylized classical Indian dance-drama and Kalaripayattu - a martial art form which originated as a style in Kerala.
28 mile / 45 km
You start early from Fort Kochi and set out to ride on the most breathtaking roads of South India.
- You will be amazed to pedal on such well-maintained roads that the smooth experience of riding on them will be etched in your memory for a lifetime.
- Your route is prominently covered with tropical rainforests and winds through some small and lonely hamlets of Kerala. The trail passes through canals, lush green paddy fields and numerous coconut trees to reach the evergreen Edamalayar Forest.
- The highlight of today is when your reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary which houses more than 500 species of birds along with a few wild animals like elephants, leopards, porcupines, sloths, and other mammals.
- Salim Ali, one of the best known ornithologist described this sanctuary as the richest bird habitat on peninsular India.
25 mile / 40 km
After an early local breakfast, today you embark upon a relatively tough ride towards a new town located between Cochin and Munnar – Adimali.
- You begin riding alongside one of the largest rivers in southern India, the Periyar. It is mostly an uphill ride today until you reach the Western Ghats. Here, you rest a bit and replenish your energy levels with a quick lunch.
- Well, your upward journey doesn’t end here! You continue riding further 15 km uphill till you reach the main road where our support vehicle welcomes you aboard and transports you to Adimali.
- Adimali is a scenic place with waterfalls, picturesque valleys and misty hills. It is a popular resting point on the way to Munnar
25 mile / 40 km
An enthralling day awaits you today as you ride through cardamom fields and tea plantations towards Munnar - a town and hill station located in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala.
- You visit the tea museum that diligently portrays the growth of Munnar’s tea estates and enjoy shopping in Munnar’s local market which is an interesting expedition in itself. Afternoon, you may choose to go for a relaxing Ayurvedic massage.
- Your stay is arranged at some of the finest bungalows or estates growing tea, cardamom and other plantation.
- In the time spent in Munnar, you indulge in a nice experience with the use of local farm fresh products to supplement your food requirements and cycle through some unique allures of this town.
Munnar Hill Station
36 mile / 60 km
Make good choices today so you don’t have regrets tomorrow – take rest, go hiking or go biking?
- Munnar hill station offers some of the most beautiful natural terrains ideal for trekking and cycling.
- You either take rest, or trek through Munnar’s jade colored tea farms and rich aromatic tea plantations or choose to ride your bike up to the Top Station which is the highest point (1700m) on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. The ride up is worth the effort because Top Station offers a panoramic view of the majestic Western Ghats which is a real treat to the eyes.
- Breezy skies, frequently changing weather, low-hanging clouds enveloping the hills, chilly atmosphere and strong winds coupled with wide range of flora and fauna are magnetizing, fascinating, charming and bewitching.
- You may spot Indian guars, barking deer, langurs, wild cats and sometimes even leopards and tigers on your road journey.
63 mile / 100 km
You make an early start from Munnar today to pedal towards Lock Heart Gap and Bison Valley.
- The Lock Heart Gap is a single lane narrow road that winds down the misty mountains into a green sea of paddy and tea plantation while the calm and serene Bison Valley welcomes you from inside its green blanket as you enjoy this amazing weather.
- Thereon you visit an ancient temple without which your trip to India is incomplete.
- Today, you also get to click pictures with tea pickers and maybe even help them pick some tea leaves.
- Post lunch you ride off to one of the most sought after pristine environments of Cardamom Hills that host scented tea gardens and produce coffee, teak, bamboo and cardamom.
- After you’ve had enough of this ‘Spice Garden of India’, with packets of fresh produce in your hands you proceed towards the Periyar National Park.
Periyar National Park
6 mile / 10 km
A warm good morning from the jungle! You may choose to nature walk or go bamboo rafting on your excursion today.
- South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary, Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. It is currently home to approximately 40 tigers.
- Although a tiger reserve, tourists come here to see the Indian elephants.
- Zealously guarded and efficiently managed, this reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna.
- Main animal life attractions: Tiger, Nilgiri Langur, Sambar, Barking Deer, Elephants, Gaur, Wild Pigs, lion-tailed Macaque, Python, King Cobra.
- Main birdlife attractions: Cormorants, Kingfishers, the Great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes.
- Half a day of jungle sight-seeing and after lunch you’re on your way to a plantation home atop misty green hills.
- Tip of the Day: Wear warm and waterproof clothing to this Disneyland-in-the-Ghats.
40 mile / 65 km
You pack up and get driven to your next destination – Vagamon, a hill station made up of series of hillocks, valleys and cascading waterfalls. It makes an ideal getaway for tourists.
- On your way uphill as you sip some refreshing tender coconut water, the trip leader chats away to glory with you about everything under the Kerala sun – right from their tea, coffee, cardamom to Kathakalli, Onam and Lungi.
- You also get to witness the local way of life by interacting with tea pickers and laborers en route.
- After having a sumptuous Keralite lunch, you set out on a cycling trail in this ‘Land of Coconuts’.
- Enjoy Kayaking in a nearby stream and hit the sack early only to be woken up by countless chirping birds next morning.
Alleppey (House boat)
31 mile / 50 km
When in Kerala, the luxurious and comfortable Alleppey boat house cruises are a noted piece of interest for vacationers.
- You enjoy a smooth and easy pedal gradual downhill ride of about 50 kms as you leave behind those majestic misty mountains.
- Thereon just hop on to our support vehicle that transports you to Alleppey through a busy road.
- Enjoy this opportunity of a lifetime traversing the backwaters of this amazingly truly ‘God’s Own Country’ and be lost in its scenic beauty only to find your beautiful inner self!
Marari Beach (Mararikulam)
8 mile / 14 km
Life is but a learning journey.
- After your morning breakfast you set out to learn coir making. Popular for being the "Land of Coconut Trees", Kerala has become an ideal locale for coir industry. Learn to make coir from master craftsmen.
- You then start biking through narrow village roads and head towards Mararikulam, a fishing village by the Marari beach, rated as one of the world’s top five Hammock Beaches by National Geographic.
- Once at Marari the options are all yours – walk on the golden sandy coast, sit on it to count the waves, observe the changing moods of the sea, work up a sun tan or enjoy a spell of surfing or parasailing. The waters in Mararikulam beach are ideal for a light swim and snorkeling too and if you’re lucky—even some surfing. A spell of beach volleyball or Frisbee are equally good options to work up the appetite before you set out to savor the scrumptious fish and seafood delicacies that Marari is extremely famous for!
- At Marari, unlike other popular beaches in Kerala, you can catch a glimpse of typical Kerala village life. The fishing village still lives the way its ancestors have. The men still go out to fish every day and the women make coir mats and brushes.
Mararikulam to Cochin
31 mile / 50 km
After a good breakfast you embark on your final ride today! Continue riding for 50 km on a straight trail alongside the beach heading towards the southern capital of Kochi.
In the evening, enjoy your supper with friends, family and crew and walk down the memory lane to experience the freshness, fragrance and friendliness of ‘God’s Own Country’ and acknowledge the beauty of the beautiful – Kerala.
Our trip leader transfers you to the Cochin International Airport only to let you depart with a bag full of happy memories and a promise in return to come back to this ‘Land of Spices’ to replenish the spice in your day-to-day life!