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8 Day Amazing Cycling Holidays in Kerala

Hilton Garden Inn Trivandrum, Punnen Rd, Statue, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695039, India

Unforgettable Cycling Holidays India

Take an eight-day cycling adventure on roads that are sandwiched between the lush forests of the Western Ghats and the golden sands of the Arabian Sea. Ride through the incredible countryside with the chance to swap bike for boat and enjoy a river cruise. In this spiritual place, a bike is a place of active meditation, a place to let the brain relax and refresh while roads are navigated and gorgeous surroundings are absorbed.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point-to-point
  • Terrain: Hilly, paved, mostly flat
  • Difficulty levels: Easy (Cyclist does not need to have a certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day)
  • Total distance: 269 kilometers / 167 miles
  • Type of bike: Road bike

Highlights

  • Bike hire included
  • 6 days guided cycling tour
  • Boat cruise and guided walking tour
  • Discover the beauty of Athirappally Waterfalls
  • Support vehicle throughout the tour
  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


6 cycling days in English
The organizer also speaks: Hindi
Group size: Maximum of 15 participants
Airport transfer included: Trivandrum International Airport
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Accommodation

You will stay in fantastic hotel accommodations with en suite facilities and a lifetime experience of staying on a houseboat in Kerala. Specifically, you will stay in the following accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn in Trivandrum, The Gateway Hotel in Varkala, Kettuvallam Houseboat in Kerala, Poetree Sarovar Portico in Periyar (two nights), and Hotel Arches Kochi (two nights).

Program

Day 1: Trivandrum

Welcome to Trivandrum, locally known as Thiruvananthapuram. Your Indian Kerala adventure begins with an important group meeting at 6:00 p.m. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the reception where it will take place.

India Yoga Retreats will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you cannot arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you are able to attend.

India Yoga Retreats will be happy to book an additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. If you arrive in Trivandrum with free time to spare, perhaps wander around Kerala’s capital.

Admire its British colonial architecture, visit an art gallery or stroll through the intricate Puthenmalika Palace, which was previously closed to the public for 150 years. In the evening, maybe head out for dinner with your fellow travellers.

Accommodation: Hilton Garden Inn Trivandrum

Day 2: Varkala

Say 'hello' to your bike support team this morning, then get suited up and fitted to a bike before starting your first ride in Kerala. Leaving from Trivandrum, head straight towards the beach on the flat road that takes you all the way up to the Varkala.

The scenery is memorable, with Kerala on your right and nothing but long stretches of sand, palm trees, and the Arabian Sea on your left (approximately 50 kilometers). Varkala sits on India's Keralan coast and is home to some of the whitest and most pristine beaches in the whole country.

Even though this is a popular destination for Indian tourists, the beaches are quiet and laid-back. The town itself, a string of laid-back bars, restaurants, guesthouses, and hotels, will be explored on an orientation walk. If you want to get active, there are plenty of water sports on offer.

If you have time, perhaps take the bike and cycle through fishing villages to Varkala Lighthouse. Sitting on the sand and watching the sun dip below the horizon is the perfect way to end a day here.

Total distance: 51 kilometers / 32 miles

Elevation gain: 240 meters / 780 feet

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: The Gateway Hotel Varkala

Day 3: Kerala Houseboat

By support vehicle (approximately 60 kilometers) and bike (approximately 30 kilometers), ride to the backwaters of Kerala this morning and discover sleepy Alleppey. Once a significant trading port, the town is now famed for the long ‘snake boats’ races that take place in August every year.

There you will board a typical Keralan houseboat (Kettuvallam) to cruise through the complex system of beautiful lagoons and canals. These floating cottages have western toilets, private bedrooms, a dining area, and sundeck for you to relax on.

The backwaters are best explored by boat as life revolves around the water there. Children often learn to swim before they can walk and they row boats before they ride a bike. Float down the waterways, try your hand at fishing, and just lay back and enjoy this unique landscape.

The houseboats cruise through the backwaters for the whole day. As per the local administration rules, at around 5:30 p.m., the boats are supposed to be put aside for overnight stay. Air conditioning is available only from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Fans are available throughout the day along with the options to recharge your gadgets. Each houseboat will have three to four rooms so the group will be split between a few houseboats.

Total distance: 30 kilometers / 19miles

Elevation gain: 155 meters / 500 feet

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Kettuvallam Houseboat Kerala

Day 4: Periyar

Leave Alleppey and the houseboat behind. Travel by support vehicle inland for approximately 80 kilometers (3.5 hours) to Vagamon and start your first ride among the hills of Kerala. Today can be a tough but beautiful ride as the route undulates along winding roads and verdant green hills.

Ride for approximately 45 kilometers then avoid the really steep sections by climbing into the support vehicle and continuing all the way to the sleepy town of Periyar. In the evening, why not soothe your aching muscles with a well-earned traditional Malayalee massage.

  • Total distance: 45 kilometers / 28 miles
  • Elevation gain: 750 meters / 2,460 feet
  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Poetree Sarovar Portico, Periyar

Day 5: Periyar

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy an easier day in the saddle as you cycle through the Kerala high country and the many tea plantations that dot the hills. Enjoy a long downhill into the spice trade town of Kumily, on the border of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and gateway town to Thekkady and the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Then enjoy an evening walk in the nearby jungle. You also have the opportunity to witness firsthand the fascinating Indian martial art Kalaripayattu, considered to be one of the oldest surviving fighting styles in existence.

Total distance: 33 kilometers / 20 miles

Elevation gain: 550 meters / 1,850 feet (initial climb for 3 kilometers, undulating for 20 kilometers, then downhill for 10 kilometers)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Poetree Sarovar Portico, Periyar

Day 6: Kochi

What goes up must come down and after an undulating 35 kilometers, you have the pleasure of a 20 kilometers / 12 miles winding downhill cycle that takes you from the cool hills above 1,000 meters all the way down to sea level itself.

The road then flattens out as you cycle the last section across the plains to the busy town of Ponkunnam before avoiding the busy traffic by driving to the beautiful beachside city of Kochi.

You will arrive in the early evening, with enough time to wash off the days' effort before heading out to dinner and enjoying one of India's most revered classical dances at a performance of the famed Kathakali.

Total distance: 75 kilometers / 46 miles

Elevation gain: 820 meters / 2,700 feet (undulating for 35 kilometers, downhill for 20 kilometers, then flat for 20 kilometers

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Arches Kochi

Day 7: Kochi

Today is your last day cycling in the state of Kerala as you enjoy an early morning ride from Kochi to the popular Cherai Beach (approximately 35 kilometers), famed for its Chinese fishing nets, sandy shores, and tranquil waters.

After a relaxing dip, you will say goodbye to your bikes and continue on (by support vehicle) to Athirappally Waterfalls. Aptly nicknamed “The Niagara of India”, the nearby 24-meter (80 feet) Athirappilly Waterfalls is the largest waterfall in Kerala. Enjoy the view and a packed lunch nearby the falls before returning to Kochi in the late afternoon.

Head to the Mattancherry part of Fort Kochi for a guided walking tour. Explore the Dutch Palace (Kochi Palace), which was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese and later claimed by the Dutch in 1663. Continue on to the Jewish Quarter, the Jewish community there has roots going back as far as 1,000 AD.

You will see the Jewish synagogue in the city. The tour will take around two to three hours and the rest of the evening will be free to do as you wish, before perhaps meeting for a final group dinner to recount the amazing experience you have enjoyed together over the last seven days.

Total distance: 35 kilometers / 22 miles

Elevation gain: 180 meters / 590 feet

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Hotel Arches Kochi

Day 8: Kochi

There are no activities planned for the final day. You are able to depart the accommodation at any before midday. There is so much to see and do in Kochi, why not book an extra day or two. Perhaps indulge yourself in a hands-on cooking lesson in the ‘land of spices’ and learn how to cook classic Keralan cuisine with a local. Ask your guide for more information.

Meals included: Breakfast

Bicycle hire

Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking to organise a suitable sized bike for you. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. India Yoga Retreats is unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.

CYCLING DISTANCES

You will cycle around 30 to 70 kilometers a day. Information listed in the itinerary are a guide to the approximate distances cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and may change depending on local conditions. For safety reasons, you will only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts.

You will take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days. While the beachside areas of Kerala are flat and easy to cycle, the inland section is hilly and requires a reasonable level of cycling fitness. The hills are not usually long, but are often short and steep. Work on your cardio in the months leading up to your trip to truly to enjoy the ride.

Skill level

Beginner

  • Can cycle for 2-3 hours
  • Assistance required
  • Comfortable with curves and leans
  • Basic experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Short distance ascents and descents

Included excursions

  • Join the orientation walk on your second day
  • Take an evening walk in the nearby jungle on your fifth day
  • Enjoy one of India's most revered classical dances on your sixth day
  • Take a dip in Cherai beach and explore Athirappilly Waterfalls on your seventh day
  • A guided walking tour around Fort Kochi on your seventh day

Location

This cycling holidays will take place in Kerala, India. Beyond the crowded sights of northern India lies another world, one where the rhythms of daily life are that bit slower and the surroundings that bit greener. You will cycle through a place that lends itself to leisurely exploration by bike.

Food

The price includes seven breakfasts, two lunches, and one dinner.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Visit an art gallery or stroll through the intricate Puthenmalika Palace
  • Cycle through fishing villages to Varkala Lighthouse
  • Sit on the sand and watch the sunset
  • Try fishing
  • Experience a traditional Malayalee massage
  • Witness firsthand the Indian martial art Kalaripayattu
  • Learn how to cook classic Keralan cuisine with a local

What's included

  • Bike hire
  • 6 days guided cycling tour
  • 1 boat cruise
  • 1 guided walking tour
  • 1 orientation walk
  • 1 evening walk in the nearby jungle
  • Group meeting
  • Visit to Athirappally Waterfalls and Cherai Beach
  • Support vehicle
  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Arrival transfer from Trivandrum International Airport (TRV)
  • Departure transfer to Cochin International Airport (COK)

What's not included

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplement (can be arranged)
  • Other expenses of personal nature
  • Others items which are not mentioned in inclusion

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Trivandrum International Airport (TRV). Transfer from this airport is included in the price. India Yoga Retreats will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Trivandrum International Airport Airport transfer included: Trivandrum International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 40% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
Rated: 3/10 2 reviews

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