Cycling tour of South India

Tour Overview

One of the best ways to experience the true essence of local life is to get on a bicycle and ride all across places, and this is what the bike tour of South India all about. Itineraries crafted after detailed study and recce of the routes, Cycling tour of South India aims at delivering exciting experiences close to local life, history, culture, forest, wildlife, plantations, backwaters and the beaches. Knowledgeable guides would escort the whole tour sharing with you interesting local stories and way of life. Technical backups and assistance along with beautifully crafted itineraries would enable you to experience a slice of a different world at peace of mind.  Let's do it!

Cycling tour of South India Map

Sketch Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Arrive Kochi [COK]

  • Day 2 - Cycling to Thattekkad [50 kilometers]

  • Day 3 - Thattekkad to Athirapally waterfalls [50 kilometers]

  • Day 4 - Cross the forests to the tea county of Valparai [90 kilometers]

  • Day 5 - Ride town the Ghats to the Tamilian town of Pollachi [60 kilometers]

  • Day 6 - Cycling up the Western Ghats to Munnar [60 Kilometers]

  • Day 7 - Riding through the mountain ranges to Thekkady [100 kilometers]

  • Day 8 - Spend the day doing bamboo rafting at Periyar National Park [nil]

  • Day 9 - Head to the rolling hills of Vagamon [50 Kilometers]

  • Day 10 - Ride down through the tropical backwater countryside routes of Alleppey [30 kilometers]

  • Day 11 - From the backwaters to the beaches of Mararikular [20 kilometers]

  • Day 12 - Departure transfer to Cochin International Airport [COK]​

       

       Each day the entire route would not be cycled.

       The program is idea as a group tour, however we can organize the tour if there is a minimum of two adults.

Itinerary - Cycling tour of South India

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thattekkad hanging bridge - Green earth
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Day 1 - The tour starts from Kochi | Arrive at Cochin International Airport [COK]

On arrival at Cochin International Airport, we will drive to Fort Kochi, the older part of Kochi, which was primarily a port town, where the colonial powers of the pre-independent India had settled. You could still see those old colonial bungalows and large warehouses where spices and tea were stocked before shipping. The primary aim of the first day in Kochi see around Kochi, beat the Jet lag, brief you about the programs we are going to do in the coming days. You can walk to the Jew town, see the Dutch palace & Synagogue and enjoy the beautiful sunset at the estuary. The day is at your disposal and you can spend it the way you want, the real tour starts from tomorrow, so you are on your own for today.

Day 2 - Fort Kochi to ‘Cherukunnam’ in Thattekkad [50 kilometers of riding]

After breakfast, we leave Fort  Kochi by car and begin to cycle after we move out from the City borders. Cycling tour of south india through the countryside, in the backdrop of coconut groves, paddy fields, and quiet villages to the village of Cherukunnam close to Thattekkad. We are heading to the Edamalayar forest ranges and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to around two hundred varieties of birds, many of them are on the verge of exciting. The Periyar river, the longest river in Kerala flows through these forest ranges before joining the Arabian sea. The scenic Boothathanketty dam reservoir is not very far. We would settle for the night at an eco-lodge campsite on the banks of the river. There is scope for some river kayaking at the property.

Day 3 - Cycling to Athirapally & Vazhachal forest ranges [50 kilometers of riding]

Early morning there is an option for kayaking in river Periyar that flows through core forest patches of the Edamalayar region. After breakfast, it was time for us to ride to the Athirapally waterfalls which are mostly the part of the Vazhachal forest division. The Athirapally waterfall is considered as the Niagara of India where the 80 feet high falls gush down in the backdrop of the thick green evergreen forest. The ride would go on the tarmac, and the weather slowly varies as we proceed. The region is known for a larger concentration of the Great Indian Hornbill, which is the state bird of Kerala. On arrival, we visited the waterfall the downstream and settled at the resort of stay for the night.

cycling through valpara - Green earth tr

Day 4 - Vazhachal forest division to Valparai in the Anamalai hills [90 kilometers]

Today would be some of the rawest as well as the most exciting ride of the entire tour. We are going to ride up to Valparai, a small tea county in the state of Tamil Nadu. What makes this ride very interesting is that the ride is going to be through a forest track, climbing up the ghats and the hairpins. There is every chance of sighting herds of Elephants,  Black Langur, Lion Tailed Macaque, a wide range of beautiful birds, reservoirs, dams, tea plantations and villages. Sighting is common, but you never know. On arrival at Valparai, we would directly move to the resort of stay. Valparai is less touristic and comes under Anamali hills. There are a lot of old British bungalows part of the tea plantations, converted into a heritage accommodation facilities.

cycling through rural tamil nadu - Green

Day 5 - Ride down the Ghats, to the plains of Pollachi in Tamil Nadu [60 kilometers]

After breakfast, we proceed from the tea county of Valparai to plains of Pollachi in Tamil Nadu. We ride down the Ghats from where we could see the Aliyar Dam reservoir. Vegetable farms, paddy fields, Coconut plantations and chicken farms are a common sight on either side of the road; the South-West monsoon gives a lot of water to this part of the state. The transition of weather from the hills to the plains would be evident, and we are going to stay at a lovely place today.

Even though Pollachi is located in the plains of Tamil Nadu, the area receives considerable rainfall from the South West monsoon which makes the place relatively green. The ride through the country side would be interesting, you would be missing the ups and downs on the track, its going to be a plain ride.

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Day 6 - The epic ride to Munnar, we would transfer you by surface until downhill [60 kilometers hours]

Today's ride will take us to Munnar, known for its prominent peaks of Anamudi and Meesapulimalai, the highest and the second highest peaks in South Indian nestled within the Western Ghats. Munnar is very much known as the Indian honeymooner's paradise, mostly because of its weather and scenic beauty around. We would be riding up the ghats from the east and riding up and down through the winding tea plantation routes of Munnar. It is going to be a chilling day with a lot of ups and down and a lot of natural beauty to see around.

 

Even though we identify the whole region as Munnar, it is very much the town center. We would be cycling through Chinnar wildlife sanctuary, Lakkam falls, Marayoor Sandalwood forest and finally to Munnar.

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Bamboo ratting at periyar - Green earth
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Day 7 - Munnar to Periyar, the mountains trail [100 kilometers]

The route from Munnar to Periyar is a mountain to mountain biking experience. This road maintains an average of 3500 MSL throughout from Munnar to Thekkady. The route map mostly consists stretches of the vast expanse of tea plantations, dam reservoirs, evergreen forest and finally you enter into the cardamom hill reserves where you start to find a beautiful change in the vegetation around. The Periyar National Park is home to some of the most indigenous and extinct species of flora and fauna.

 

On route, there are a few stretches of border road where you could see the plains of Tamil Nadu, something similar to a view you get from an airplane. It's a different world out there when you look at the plains from the mountains. 

Day 8 - No ride, its going to be a session of bamboo rafting at Periyar National Park

We plan to break the ride today and try venturing into the forest doing some Bamboo rafting at Periyar National Park. Early morning we start the walk from the Periyar National Park along with forest guides. The whole idea is to walk through the forest, understand the vegetation, flora & fauna and the beauty around. After around 3 hours of walk, we get into handmade bamboo rafts and row around the reservoir of the sanctuary where you get to see a different world altogether. It is going to be a half day program and you would be back by afternoon for a great evening to relax.

Our guide into the forests would be local tribal men part of the forest department who are poachers turned protectors of the forest who knows the in and out of the forest.

Day 9 - Ride down to the rolling hills of Vagamon [50 kilometers]

Today we ride to the rolling hills of Vagamon and most of it would be riding downhill the ghats where you pass by coffee, cardamom, and tea plantations. Vagamon is a beautiful hamlet with rolling grasslands and rustic pine forests. It is going to be a perfect mountain biking day through the countryside. There are chances of slight drizzles that make the place misty, however, based on the weather we ride ahead to Vagamon. We stay overnight at a resort in Vagamon.

Vagamon is the only place in South India where you get to do mountain Para-gliding. The Eastern winds make it ideal for thermal and dynamic winds. When we ride based on the weather, we could see people gliding up in the air.

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Day 10 - Get down the hills to the backwater countryside [30 kilometers]

Today we ride together to the backwater town of Alleppey; we further move down the ghats the Western Ghats, pass by villages and paddy fields until we reach Alleppey. The backwaters are an extension of the sea into the water; this phenomenon is common in Coastal Kerala. You get to see a vast expanse of the water, and it is entirely a different water world. The combination of lakes and Lagoon make it beautiful, and a whole lot of people live on the banks. Of these backwaters. We would be riding through the banks of the backwater where we get to see an entirely different backwater culture; everyone has a boat here. Fishing and backwater based occupations are common. You will find bicycles common here in the countryside, and if anyone joins the ride, you wouldn't be surprised. The day comes to an end once we reach our resort of stay.

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Day 11 - The final day ride to Mararikulam beach [20 kilometers]

Two weeks of the ride through the beautiful countryside of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu, today we approach towards the end of the bike tour. We ride to Mararikulam, a beautiful tropical beach very close to Alleppey; it is hardly 20 kilometers. The coastal road bike ride will give you glimpses of fishing villages, fish sales on roadsides and fishermen folks preparing their nets. On arrival at the resort, you have the rest of the day at leisure. In the Evening we go for a leisure ride to the beach to enjoy the beautiful sunset at the beach. The tour has come to an end and we have a small meet up by evening about the experience we had together for the past two weeks and we part for the night.

A relaxed journey, cherishing memories of your Cycling tour of South India, back to the airport.

We make sure that your entire journey will end up with total comfort and relax mood.

Day 13 - Departure Transfer to Cochin International Airport [2 hours]

The program includes

  • Modern bicycles with gears, helmets and other cycling accessories.

  • Service of an English speaking tour leader/guide and cyclist accompanying the entire tour.

  • A backup vehicle with essential tools and spares.

  • Breakfast, snacks, and dinner.

  • Plenty of drinking water throughout the trip.​

The prices start at USD 900 per person based on two adults traveling on twin sharing basis with individual cycles and vary if it is a group, based on the group size. The trip is very much customizable as per the requirement. If you are interested, kindly do contact us at hello@greenearthtrails.com or send us a query using the below Enquire Now tab.

Notes

  • This tour is planned as a group tour, however if it is just two cyclists, we could organize the tour.

  • Once you have decided to go ahead with the tour, you will be required to take an Indian Visa on your own contacting an Indian embassy or Indian missions abroad. 

  • To confirm your participation we would require 50% of the tour as an advance deposit. You can make this deposit with either by bank transfer or by credit card.

  • Kindly update us if there are any special requirements including meal preferences.

  • The tour does not come along with a travel insurance.

  • In case of an emergency, all the necessary requirements would be done by us as a tour operator within our limits.

  • The cancellation policy would be as mentioned below.