Once a port of entry for traders from the world over, Kerala is known for the best tea, spice plantations, savoury cuisine, rich culture and the most scenic roads leading up to the hills and back down by the backwaters. The perfect weather conditions, transforming landscapes, good tarmac roads, cozy and luxurious accommodations and challenging riding conditions make for the best biking getaway that we call the Kerala Hill to Coast Road Bike Tour.
Fly in with your road bikes and enjoy riding through forest reserves, climbing up hills gaining 1400+ meters while enjoying the beautiful landscapes. This is a High Intensity road bike tour of Kerala with long riding days, hill climbs and yet it is very picturesque, offering a good mix of coastline riding and challenging hill ascents. All this while we host you in cozy boutique accommodations, offering savoury local food and the best views of tropical southern India. We ride from the quaint old port town of Kochi transcending south along the coastline through fishing villages and the countryside. We then head up into the tea plantations of Munnar, ride through forest reserves and alongside waterfalls before heading back down to the coastline, riding further along the backwaters of Alleppey before looping back into Fort Kochi.
While you ride, you can distinctly see the landscape reshape itself giving a 360º view of Kerala experienced at the pace of a pedal.
Who can do this tour?
High Intensity: This is a road bike tour, specially curated for the active endurance cyclist who has clocked in a good number of miles on the saddle.
You will be riding and average of 80+ KMs every day gaining a maximum elevation of 2000m on some days. The ride is a mix of rolling terrain, intense climbs and some exciting downhill riding. Your days will start early and you will be riding for about 7+ hours on most days. The ride through the day will be through small villages, countryside backroads and on some days on the highway for very short distances, for most part of the ride we’ve mapped routes away from the highway for ease of riders. Evenings are at leisure, you can choose to rest or alternatively step out to explore the region.
Physically, this is an actove an intensive tour but with the comfort of a reliable team and local rider and cozy boutique accommodations.
This high intensity bike tour will circumvent Kerala from iots old port town of Fort Kochi by the coastline riding south along the coastline and then we take the internal roads riding inland and up into the hills of Munnar and Valparai before circling back down to the coastline completing the loop as we reach Fort Kochi. The ride takes the scenic routes along backroads and some stretches of riding highway sections. Overall a challenging 8 days of riding over 600 Kms on road bikes, supported by an efficient team that will manage local food and interesting stopovers for some insights into local lives.
“Namaskaram” Welcome to Kerala. Upon your arrival at Cochin International Airport you will meet your Unventured tour host who will be taking you on an unforgettable experience for the next 10 days. A briefing about your tour will be planned based on your time of arrival. We’ll also give you a broader introduction to India as a country. Check in to your hotel for a delicious lunch. Post lunch we unpack our bikes and set them up for the adventure to come with a short test ride along the by lanes of Fort Kochi. Overnight stay in Fort Kochi.
Drive Distance: 30 Kms (Airport to Fort Kochi)
Accommodation Type: Heritage Resort
● Meet and greet
● Tour briefing and planning
● Un-packing your bike and short test ride
We depart early morning, post a hearty breakfast toward our first destination on the Hills to Coast trail, Alleppey. A 72 km ride along the coastline, starting with a short distance through small villages and quaint alleyways will take us along to the road with the Arabian sea by our side. Alleppey is one of the oldest planned city in the region with planned canals running through the backwaters and is popularly known as the “Venice of the East”. We reach our accommodation by lunchtime, and post a traditional Keralan lunch we rest and then take the evening out on a canoe ride along the canals exploring villages and countryside life inalong the backwaters. An ideal way to connect with the locals as they go about their day. Overnight stay in Alleppey.
Ride Distance: 72 Kms
Accommodation Type: Heritage Resort
• Ride by the coastline
• Canoe along the canals of Alleppey
• Stay at a heritage resort
Post an early breakfast, we ride toward Varkala, about 124 KMs away along the coastline of the Arabian sea. We will trail through small villages, lake beds and onward to the cliff- like landscape of Varkala, which is a geo heritage site known for its Cenozoic rock cliff formations. The history of the region is diverse with an ancient temple with the bell acquired from a shipwreck of a Dutch trading ship. Popular with travellers who are looking to go beyond the “tourist spots”, the evening is at leisure to connect with travellers from around the world and rest for the next day’s ride. Alternatively, time permitting we can visit the ancient temple, as mentioned above (Janardhana Swamy Temple) which is that’s 2000+ yrs old. Overnight stay in Varkala
Drive Distance: 124 KMs
Accommodation Type: Beachside Resort
● Ride along the coastline
● Visit an ancient temple
● Stay at a beachside resort
Today we ride toward the quaint little town of Pathanamthitta situated 75 Kms away from Varkala. Although this town is our first stopover en route to Munnar, it’s no less of a destination. Bordered by the hills of the Western Ghats, the scenery is a treat to the eyes with unending stretches of forests, rivers and rural landscapes. Don’t be surprised if you bump into a fair or a festival en route., Tthe little district is popular for pilgrims and devotees visiting the native God Ayappa. Your accomodation today is at a unique Ayurvedic spa. Spend the, evening at leisure to use the spa facilities or simply sit back and enjoy the view from your balcony. Overnight stay in Pathanamthitta
Ride Distance: 75 KMs
Accommodation Type: Ayurvedic Spa Resort
● Rolling terrain
● A scenic ride along the hills
● Optional Ayurvedic Spa session
We are still in the midst of the hills and post an early breakfast we ride out toward Thodupuzha, a historical town which was once a princely state ruled by the King of Travancore. This town is home to the river “Thodupuzha” that runs through the town. Your 95 KMs ride today is along the thick, lush green canopies of the western ghats. After having lunch en route we reach our accommodation. Our evening will be spent at leisure. Overnight in Thodupuzha.
Drive Distance: 95 KMs
Accommodation Type: Hotel
● Scenic ride along the hills
● Rolling Terrain
Today is going to be an intense day with one of the longest climb sections into Munnar, also known as the “Queen of the Hills”. The views here are just as rewarding. We start post breakfast and ride deeper into the hills getting past small hillside villages and miles of tea plantations on either side of the trail. A delightful picnic lunch en route and we reach Munnar by early evening. Take a leisurely evening off to rest and explore Munnar. Time permitting we will visit a local martial art centre for a quick session of “Kalaripayattu” a local warrior like art form practiced by the soldiers. Overnight in Munnar
Drive Distance: 75 KMs
Accommodation Type: Hotel
● Uphill climb to Munnar
● Scenic views of tea estates
● Visit a local Martial art center to witness the art form of “Kalaripayattu”
Another day of climbing from one hill station to another. Post breakfast we start our 155 KMs ride to Valparai. This is perhaps the longest day through the stretch of the tour. Valparai has the most scenic vistas of the Anamalai hills in the western ghats surrounded by tea estates and spice plantations. Valparai is at the foothills of the Anamalai hills that is home to wildlife like tigers, Indian elephants, and panthers. Set your worries aside, the only wildlife you will be encountering will be the magnificent bird life and some macaques. We are expected to reach our destination by evening. Dinner and overnight stay in Valparai.
Drive Distance: 155 KMs
Accommodation Type: Hotel
● Intense climb to Valparai
● Ride along the forest borders
● Scenic views and possibility of spotting some endemic birdlife.
Today is going to be a long downhill ride to the coast. We begin post breakfast and ride about 160 KMs to the quaint fort town of Kochi. Today is our last day of the ride and post lunch en route we will get past the urban sprawl of Ernakulam and onward to reach Fort Kochi by evening. Depending on time we will decide on driving out the final end of the ride through the city limits. Sit back in your lovely heritage resort and get a tall drink, you’ve earned it. The local chef’s will dish out delicious seafood and keralan delicacies. Overnight in Fort Kochi.
Drive Distance: 160 KMs
Accommodation Type: Heritage Hotel
● Fun downhill ride to Fort Kochi
● Ride through tea estates and spice plantations
● Stay in a heritage hotel
Dive into the history of Fort Kochi and relish in the colonial architecture while your tour host guides you through the historical and colonial influence this quaint seaside port town had to endure. Take a walk around the spice markets, visit the Mattancherry Palace and explore the different foreign communities, mainly Dutch and Jewish, that still reside within the bylanes. Post lunch, your evening will be filled with Indian folklore art and cultural experience where we will be experiencing an enthralling performance of the Indian classical dance form Kathakali. Your Unventured team will help you pack your cycle and ready it for your journey onward. Overnight stay in Fort Kochi.
Drive Distance: 10 -15 KMs
Accommodation Type: Heritage Hotel
● Explore Fort Kochi and get an insight into the local communities
● An evening of classical Indian dance performance
Post breakfast, depending on your flight schedule we check out and we will head toward the Cochin International Airport for your onward flights. Some of you may be planning some further travel adventures in this beautiful land. Speak to us at Unventured about what other travels in South India could await you!
Drive Distance: 45 KMs (Fort Kochi to Cochin Airport)
Accommodation Type: NA
Our “Hills to Coast ” tour is a blend of some intense cycling and some leisurely explorations. Being a high intensity ride, this tour is supported by a team that consists of mechanical support, a support vehicle at short distances and of course a NOLS certified Unventured tour host to ascertain everything is planned to your comfort and all you have to do is rest and ride!
PREPAREDNESS – PHYSICAL & MENTAL
The tour is a good blend of adventure, riding, food, nature, wildlife, culture, and real-world experiences of Kerala, giving you a unique insight into the local way of life via off the beaten path experiences. Information with regard to people, culture, currency and introducing the region’s political, historical and cultural structures will be via detailed emails well before the tour begins. This tour is graded as high intensity in terms of physical activities, riders MUST have prior experience in long distance climbs in their own hometown or be willing to set aside dedicated training time prior to the tour. A training regime will be emailed to you to make sure you enjoy rather than endure this adventure.
Accommodation: Accommodation will be in Heritage Hotels, Plantation Bungalows, Homestays and Eco Hotels with good hygienic attached bathrooms offered on a twin-sharing basis.
Transport: We will have a dedicated AC private vehicle at your service through the entire term of the tour. There will also be a carrier vehicle for the cycles. All transfers from the Airport to the hotel will be in comfortable cars or vans.