God’s Own Kerala Bike Tour

Long Duration Tour
From₹ 52,000
Long Duration Tour
From₹ 52,000
Fixed Departure
Private/Custom Tour
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November 23, 2019
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  • 8 Days
  • 300 Kms
  • Fort Kochi
  • Fort Kochi

Tour Intensity

Medium Intensity Tour

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Tour Overview

Kerala by Bicycle Guided Adventure

‘God’s own country’ or Kerala is epitomised for its traditional roots which is imbibed in every aspect of life be it food, architecture, language or art forms. Join Unventured on a spice-scented journey through “God’s Own” Kerala trail – a journey into the heartland of exotic birds, palm-lined beaches, traditional Kathakali dance performances, lip-smacking cuisine and the quaint countryside lifestyle.

Throughout the journey, you will be smitten by the splendour of ‘God’s own country’ and its culture. Amongst the irresistible attractions in Kerala, is its performing arts scene and on the trail you will witness a Kathakali and Kallaripayattu performance that will add to the revelry of the journey along with watching the exquisite sunsets at the shores, backwaters and mountains in Kerala.

On this 8-day trail, there’s a right mix of cycling, leisure and exploration. You will experience stretches that challenge your limits, sceneries that indulge your senses and interactions with the locals that expose you to their cultures and ways of life.

Learn more about the Unventured Experience

Who can do this tour?

This expedition is for anyone with a keen interest in exploring and truly ‘travelling’ through God’s own country. You will discover its culture, traditions and history at a pace that allows you to stop, interact and enjoy the true Keralan way of life. This is not a physically “intensive” trail and hence, anyone who is initiated to cycling and is keen on exploring and riding with a group of like-minded people can sign up. The terrain in Kerala ranges from flat grounds to moderate climbs. Distances pedalled daily will range from 40 to 60 kilometres on a rolling terrain and the difficulty level will vary from being easy to moderate as we trail along.

 

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Itinerary

The expedition starts from Fort Kochi, a traveller’s hub with rustic charm and colourful history and streets lined with art bazaars.

On the trail, you will traverse through flat land forests, spice-lined loops and placid backwaters, into the heartland of explorers who came looking for spice. You will get an insight into the natural beauty of ‘God’s Own Country’, its cultural and religious past, the people and their way of life. Through culinary experiences, like home-cooked meals, you will delight in their exquisitely flavoured feasts. This expedition combines cycling and driving through the spice trail.

Day 1 : Arrive in Fort Kochi and exploring the old town

Travellers are expected to arrive at Fort Kochi by 12:00 noon. The evening will be spent with a ride to the beach and to Fort Kochi and its surroundings. This is best explored by cycling along streets that are abundant with an eclectic mix of history – Portuguese-era cathedrals and Dutch palaces and soaking in the warmth of spices while you discover this town.

Ride Distance: 10KM Accommodation Type: Hotel

Highlights:

• Meet and greet participants
• Leisure ride exploring the Portuguese and Dutch-influenced striking town of Kochi
• Spend the evening gazing at the beautiful sunset over the horizon
• Tour briefing

Day 2 :Ride to the foot of the Western Ghats - plantations and countryside

Today, you will ride towards the hills away from the coastline, wandering through small villages and plantations. Your stop for the night will be in Thattekad, also known as the “flat forest”. Your journey to Thattekad will take you through the wealth of Kerala, as you ride past rubber and pineapple plantations, along the trail of the Periyar River. You will halt at a homestay in Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (the richest bird habitat in peninsular India), named after the famous ornithologist who explored the region’s bio-diverse abundance of avian life.

Drive Distance: 75KM Accommodation Type: Hotel

Highlights:

• Cycling distance – 45km
• Ride past rubber and pineapple plantations
• Walk in the bird sanctuary, look out for endemic birds

Day 3 : Bird watching walk and ride to spice plantations

Today is the day for all you wildlife and photography enthusiasts. You’ll start your day early to catch up with some fine-winged wonders of Thattekad with a trained birder. There are chances of spotting the elusive Ceylon Frogmouth, but you will certainly sight the Drongo, Cuckoo and hopefully the Indian Pitta that breeds in the sub-Himalayas and spends winters in this very region. Bring your cameras out and get your hands dirty as you explore a rubber-manufacturing unit or savour some freshly picked pineapples with salt and chilli powder straight from a farm. Post an early lunch, you will drive out towards Thekkady and begin your short ride. Once you cross the highway, the surreal views of the mountains and cardamom plantations will take your breath away!

Drive/Ride Distance: 75KM/25KM Accommodation Type: Homestay

Highlights:

• A mix of driving up past the highway and cycling
• Head into the mountains and tea plantation
• Ride down to the spice plantations and check into a quaint homestay

Day 4 : Plantation walk/ride downhill to backwaters. Stay overnight in a houseboat

Rise and shine- wake up to the smell the spices. Today, you will walk through the heartland of spices with a guided spice plantation trail and learn about the ‘roots’ of cardamom, pepper, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg and many lesser known flavours that have tingled the taste buds of natives and outsiders alike. Apart from delighting your senses, you will also get an insight into growing, harvesting and processing of spices that adorn your plates day after day. After wandering through tantalising aromas, you will ride through rolling hills, rejoicing the fresh mountain air and head down to the backwaters of Kumarakom and soak in the dream-like backwaters in an overnight cruise boat. The party begins here and ends on the other side in Alleppey.

Ride Distance: 85KM Accommodation Type: House Boat

Highlights:

• Take a tour of the spice plantation and learn about medicinal plants
• Ride down from the hills with cool breeze in your face
• Spend your evening on a houseboat and enjoy the views of placid and serene backwaters

Day 5: R&R in Alleppey

After you have experienced the quintessential Kerala on the serene backwaters through Vembanad, disembark from your cruise at Allapey, best known as “Venice of the East”. Today will be a leisurely day for you to explore the canal-like pathways, perhaps even ride up to the Marari Beach or sit back and enjoy a massage and saadhya meal or relax by the gliding over placid backwaters.

Drive Distance: Accommodation Type: Resort/Homestay

Highlights:

• Indulge in some well-needed TLC with an Ayurvedic massage at the spa
• Sit back or explore glassy lagoons and soak in God’s own country
• Pick up the oars and paddle your way through the canals that connect the villages across the Keralan countryside

Day 6 :Coastline ride to Fort Kochi

After you have soaked in the backwaters, today you will gear up to ride by the coastline from Alleppey to Fort Kochi. Expect stunning views of the beach to your left, witness the sandy pathways and get a glimpse of the Kerala way of life as you ride past picturesque villages-perhaps even play a round of cricket with the locals. Of course, scrumptious seafood on your platter will add to the thrill of your ride.

Drive Distance: Accommodation Type: Resort/Homestay

Highlights:

• Ride along the coastline and breathe in the fresh country air
• Stop by at the small village churches or take a detour into the village and out to the beach
• Play a game of volleyball by the beach

Day 7 : Free day in Kochi, art performances

Today is a day for culture, heritage and the arts. Perhaps, sprinkle a tad of toddy as you walk past beaches, lined with cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, antique stores on Jew street and the spices on Mattancherry. You have the option to spend the day taking a cruise to Vypin Island, the largest fishing harbour in Fort Kochi, and return to spend an evening exploring vintage bars, charming art cafes and enjoy a Kallaripayattu and Kathakali performance, exclusively set up for you or indulge the ‘artist’ in you and sign up for a Kathakali makeup session.

Drive Distance: Accommodation Type: Resort

Highlights:

• Ride along the coastline and breathe in the fresh country air
• Fisherman villages and quaint roads

Day 8 : Depart to home

Today, you will bid goodbye to new found friends and take home memories of mesmerising, idyllic Keralan environs, the taste of local cuisine, the locals pride in their traditional roots and picture-perfect images of palm lined-beaches and surreal sunsets.

Drive Distance: Accommodation Type: Resort

Highlights:

• Indulge yourself in exploring the arts, gallery walks
• Get across to Vypin island and try tasting some local toddy
• Kathakali and Kallaripayattu performance

Tour Inclusions

Our “God’s Own” Kerala Cycling Trail is a good blend of all things Kerala has to offer, giving you a unique experience of “Gods Own Country” on a cycle. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a regular city commuter, the trail has a good combination of challenging climbs to rolling hills and whimsical countryside roads for you to ride leisurely.

You will be covering about 300Km by cycle over 6 days, trailing through quaint countryside roads, villages, forest trails and plantations soaking in the life of the locals in God’s Own Country. What’s more? Your tour leaders will introduce you to the cultural, historical, gastronomical and natural essences of “Ente Keralam”.

Preparedness – Physical & Mental

This tour is graded medium intensity in terms of distance and gradient climbing; most of the rides will be done on 100% tarmac roads. We suggest that you familiarise yourself with mountain biking in your home country. This is to ensure you take away the unfamiliarity with mountain bikes that occur due to lack of practice and physical unpreparedness and you don’t hold up the other prepared participants. This tour will include a personal guide, mechanic and a designated driver.

Cycling Support

Your tour will be supported with a “support vehicle”, the cycles are 21 speed aluminium 6061 alloy frame mountain bikes. You will also have a well-trained mechanic accompanying you, and a full repair kit with essential spares. We will also be carrying a back-up cycle along the expedition; just so that nobody misses out on the riding experience, should his or her bike have a serious breakdown.

Accommodation: Accommodation will be in quaint homestays and hotels with good hygienic bathrooms offered on a twin-sharing basis.

Transport: A team of 10-12 riders will be supported by a mini van and a pick-up truck for cycles along with a spare cycle, lunch packs and water. Through the day this vehicle will trail with the riders.

Our tour cost is inclusive of:

  • Accommodation on dates mentioned above
  • Travel from and to Fort Kochi
  • Cycle rentals
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary: lunch starting 15th November to breakfast on 22nd November
  • Participants will be provided bottled water, healthy food supplements and snack packs will be provided during ride days
  • Support vehicles as per group size, driver allowance, permit and night halt charges
  • Kallaripayattu and Kathakali performance tickets
  • Services of expert guide and mechanic for cycle repairServices of expert guide and mechanic for cycle repair
  • Medical kit

Excludes

  • Airfares (we will coordinate to book our tickets together so we all fly together and round up in Delhi at the same time)
  • Personal expenses, tips, laundry, telephone calls, personal medicines
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Camera Charges (both still & videos), entry fee. These charges to be paid by the participants directly to the concerned authorities
  • Expenses incurred due to reasons beyond our control such as bad weather or road blocks etc.
  • Evacuation charges, damage of any nature, entrance fees at monasteries
  • Anything not specified in the itinerary above
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1 Review
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Michael T

Solo Traveller

2nd year in a row we had asked Unventured to make a week long ride for our group of 12 60-ish year old men. This time we did a 800 km roundtrip from Cochin covering “houseboat” – Varkala – Vagamon – Munnar – Valparai – Fort Kochi. The tour was a huge success and Unventured and Guru did a superb job in organising the tour and taking good care of us all along. It is a great way to experience India. Thanks a lot!

November 1, 2018