Kerala Spice Trial Cycling Tour

Destination

Kerala

Duration

11 Days

Activity

Cycling

Grade

Intermediate

Stays

Standard

Price

$1750

Departures Available
January 15, 2025
- January 25, 2025

The Classic Kerala Cycling Holiday

A classic itinerary to explore and experience the best of Kerala – the land of Spices. The itinerary offers best chance to see the splendid landscapes of Kerala from backwater, hills and forests, the taste the traditional cuisine; vegetarian and seafood made of coconut oil and to witness its humble culture in totality.
You will start from the Colonial city of Fort Kochi. Ride further towards the lowland forest of Thattekkad, a prime birding destination. Then riding through the scenic Kallar Valley, towards the misty tea hills of Munnar. We will further progress our ride through the Cardamom hills of Shatanpara and the wilderness destination at Periyar – Thekkady. Here we will spend an additional day for forest and cultural activities. We will ride further through the folded rocky hills of Vagamon. Here on, we will ride downhill to the serene backwater village and the land of water Lilly Festival – Kumarakom. Next day is to explore the backwater village to stay at a homestay here or spend your day cruising on the famed houseboat. You will ride further toward the fishing village of Marari to end the ride, spending the rest of the day along the pristine beach here.

Tour Highlights

Tuk Tuk Sightseeing Tour Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi Sightseeing on Tuk Tuk

A tuk-tuk tour is a fun and efficient way to explore the charming streets of Fort Kochi, where visitors can witness the iconic Chinese fishing nets, the historic St. Francis Church, the Dutch Palace, and the colorful Jewish Synagogue.
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Birding experience at Thattekad

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is a popular destination for birdwatchers, where visitors can spot rare and exotic birds such as the Malabar grey hornbill, Indian pitta, and Sri Lankan frogmouth. The sanctuary is also home to various species of flora and fauna.
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Kayaking experience at Thattekad

Kayaking on the Periyar River at Thattekad is a great way to explore the serene waterways of Kerala surrounded by lush greenery and wildlife.
Two people on bicycles in front of a tea plantation, Valparai, South India

Tea plantations of Munnar

Munnar is famous for its picturesque tea plantations, which provide a breathtaking view of the landscape. Visitors can take a tour of the tea factories, taste the different varieties of tea, and even witness the traditional tea-making process.
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Cardamom forests of Shantanpara

Shantanpara is a scenic hill station in Kerala, known for its lush cardamom forests, which provide a refreshing and aromatic ambiance.
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Wilderness of Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, where visitors can take a boat ride on the serene Periyar Lake and witness a variety of animals such as elephants, tigers, and wild boars in their natural habitat.
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Backwater homestays and experiences

Kerala offers a range of eco-friendly and sustainable accommodations, including eco-hotels and backwater homestays. Visitors can enjoy the unique experience of living amidst nature, indulging in traditional cuisine, and learning about local culture and traditions.
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Vagamon Hill station

Vagamon is a scenic hill station in Kerala, known for its lush greenery, rolling hills, and serene lakes. Visitors can take a trek through the hills, go paragliding, and indulge in adventure activities such as rock climbing and rappelling.
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Leisure at Pristine beach of Marari

Marari Beach is a pristine and secluded beach in Kerala, perfect for a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday. Visitors can indulge in water sports, take a stroll along the sandy shores, or simply relax under the shade of the palm trees.

Itinerary

Day1: The colonial city of Fort Kochi

Activity: Bike Fitting, Fort Kochi sightseeing on Tuk Tuk, Kathakali
Meals: Breakfast
Our guide will pick you from Cochin International Airport. It will be roughly an hour drive to reach Hotel in Fort Kochi. After you settle down and relax, the bike fitting is scheduled. Afternoon, we will go out for the History tour of Fort Kochi to know more about its colonial heritage on the famed Tuk Tuks. Once been a major port and trade centre, it evolved as a settlement hotspot for numerous merchants from across the world. The gradual intermingling of their cultures for centuries has made Fort Kochi a unique heritage city to visit. We will walk through the Jew street, flea market, watch the creaking Chinese fishing nets and the sunset. It will be nice to check out a local restaurant for dinner before winding up in a comfy hotel
Chinese Fishing Nets Fort Kochi
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Day 2: Cycling to birding hotspot of Thattekkad

Activity: Cycling to Thattekkad, Nature walk at Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Optional Kayaking
Activity Distance : 50 Kms
Terrain : Mostly Flat
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast, we will transfer you away from the bustling city traffic. We will reach a quiet countryside to start the ride. We will ride through mostly flat backroads with few easy climbs. The ride will progress along irrigation canals through the village. You can see local cultivates of rubber, pepper, nutmeg banana and pineapple plantations along the route. We will be riding toward the lowland forest of Thattekkad a prime biding hotspot in South India. The place along the banks of Periyar River is the prime habitat for several species of birds including many water birds. After a classic lunch, we visit the famous Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary to look out for the endemic birds around. We can also stroll through nearby plantations and countryside to meet the local cultivators here.

Day 3: Cycling to scenic Kallar Valley

Activity: Cycling to Kallar Plantation Walk
Activity Distance : 60 Kms
Terrain : 60
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
In the morning, we will ride towards the offbeat destination of Kallar Valley. The ride will be through village roads and stretches of highway with moderate and tough hilly and undulating terrain. You will ride with the refreshing view of Periyar river, lush rainforest, small waterfalls and streamlets, chirruping birds and lurking bonnet macaques watch your way. You will also pass along patches of rubber, pineapple and Cashew plantations along the route. Towards the end of the ride, we will reach a serene and vast farm resort in Kallar valley. Afternoon, we can go for a small nature and plantation trek or visit the tribal village to understand their simple sustainable life closely. These humble local inhabitants live in harmony with nature and contribute immensely towards agricultural labour in various plantations and making local handicraft as well.
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Day 4: Cycling to misty hills of Munnar

Activity: Cycling to Munnar, Visit Tea Museum and Bazaar Walk
Activity Distance : 30 Kms
Terrain : Hilly
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Leaving the valley behind, we will ride to the high altitude tea-growing hills of Munnar. The terrain with hilly and undulated with steep and tough climbs. Though the distance is less, the efforts need to be significant. We will slowly pedal through the manicured tea plantations, with a view of the misty and scenic valleys toward the small town of Munnar. We will wind up our ride at an 84-year-old tea estate bungalow nestled amidst the vast plantation with its refreshing breeze and cool climate. In the evening, we will go out to visit the tea museum for more insights about the history of tea growing in this region. You will also get to taste different varieties of Tea and gain more insight into processing and production here. Further, we will visit the local bazaar selling tea, flowers, spices and local products.

Day 5: Cycling to Cardamom forests of Santanpara

Activity: Cycling
Activity Distance : 45 Kms
Terrain : Up and down
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
It time to set course to Shantanpara with its cardamom reserve forest and rich biodiverse vegetation. The wet and cold climate is ideal for wild cardamom and supports other cash crops like pepper and coffee. The terrain will be a mix of uphill, downhill and undulating roads along the vast tea plantations to start with. We will pass along the picturesque Anaerangal lake and many photo points. Anaerangal lake with a small earthen dam is the centrally located lake between the hillocks of Suryanelli. It is the key source of water for the wildlife especially for elephant herds and the villages in this remote hilly region. Riding through the cardamom forest roads, you will reach the vast plantation resort to have well-deserved rest after fairly tough cycling. If you wish to explore the area more, you can try out trekking through cardamom hills and plantations to see the distant plains of Tamil Nadu in the afternoon.
Munnar Thekkady Cycling
Cycling to Thekkady

Day 6: Cycling to Thekkady

Activity: Cycling to Thekkady, Traditional Martial Arts - Kalaripayattu show
Activity Distance : 60 Kms
Terrain : Up and down
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
We will head towards the wilderness destination of Periyar through the Cardamom Forest route. The terrain will be a mix of uphill, downhill and undulating roads. You will pass along various spice plantations like cardamom and pepper. You will also see patches of tea and coffee plantations en route. Till noon, you will comfortably reach an eco-homestay nested in the thick vegetation all around. After relaxing, the rest of the day is scheduled for Kalarippayattu Show (a traditional Kerala Martial Art form) or an optional cooking class to learn to prepare a few traditional dishes.

Day 7: Free Day at Thekkady

Activity: Half Day Bamboo Rafting in Periyar Tiger Reserve, Spice Plantation Visit
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
The next day is reserved for activities in the Periyar National Park nestled in the Western Ghats. The biodiverse reserve is abundant in flora and fauna with 35 species of Mammals including the majestic Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic elephant, more than 260 Bird species including the Great Indian Hornbill. This biodiversity hotspot is home to many species of Amphibians, reptiles, insects, fishes etc. Here, we will be going for a moderate nature walk along the periphery of the forest. More intense activities such as Bamboo Rafting, Border Hiking and overnight Tiger Trail programmes can be booked based on your interest and schedule. After the forest activities, we will be visiting a spice plantation in-depth and a walk around the local spice market.
Bamboo Rafting in Periyar Tiger
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Day 8: Cycling to hilly meadows of Vagamon

Activity: Cycling
Activity Distance : 60 Kms
Terrain : Up and Down
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
Today, we ride the final stretch of Western Ghats during the tour. Again the terrain will be a combination of inclined and undulating countryside. You will be riding on the winding roads through cardamom and tea plantations with the view of scenic hills and valleys with dancing meadows in the refreshing breeze. You will pass through small settlements and small towns of Vandiperiyar and Elapara. We will wind up the ride at a misty resort on the hilltop at Vagamon. The scenic hill destination is a is the perfect romantic getaway to spend time with your loved ones. Afternoon, you will be having time to relax sipping a hot coffee; watching the spectacular view from the hill resort or go for an evening walk at the nearby pine forest iconic to the region.

Day 9: Cycling to placid Backwaters of Alappuzha

Activity: Cycling to Pala, transfer to Champakulam, Backwater Village Walk and experiences
Activity Distance : 50 Kms
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
The day is going to start with the continuous downhill ride towards the midlands. We will ride through the rubber country of Pala and agrarian village of Erattupetta along valleys of rubber, spices and pineapple plantations, small temples and churches. We will transfer you to our next destination, remote into the meandering water world. You will drive along the lush green paddy fields, fish and duck farms, coconut lagoons and canals to reach Champakulam Village. Here, you will be greeted by the friendly host at the heritage homestay situated right on the banks of Vemabanadu lake. After lunch, we will go around for a village walk to see the church, toddy shop, vegetable market, local tea shop and meet the delighted villagers or explore the tranquil village on country canoe. You can opt to spend a leisurely day on the famed houseboat instead of the homestay or both. On the houseboat, you will be having traditional meals with fresh catch, watch the reels of the backwaters life slowly unfold before you and enjoy the sunset.
Cycling to Alleppey
Cycling to Marari Beach

Day 10: Cycling to the pristine beach of Marari

Activity: Cycling to Marari, Coir Factory Visit
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Winding up the rustic yet simple experiences of the backwater village, now we ride toward the pristine beach destination of Marari. The road will again be flat with some high bridges over the canals. You will be passing along paddy fields and coconut lagoons. We will visit the coir factory enroute. Coir products making were once a prime source of income for the locals, men and women alike. You will get to know how each and every part of a coconut tree is used for various purposes and has been blended into the culture of the land. We will ride to a serene beach resort, a couple of steps away from the cottage you will be staying in. Afternoon, we can go around the fishermen village nearby to meet the brave sea warriors try to know more about their intense life. During the 2018 Kerala floods, these good Samaritans took their fishing boats braving the gashing flood waters to rescue stranded and helpless people in remote areas of the coastal villages.

Day 11: Depart

Tour Ends You can opt to extend your stay at the Marari Beach for Leisure. Our travel assistance team will make the necessary booking based on the discussions with you. Else, we will be happy to drop you to Cochin Airport if this is according to your schedule.
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Route Map

Kerala Cycling Holiday Route Map

Inclusions

  • Accompanying English Speaking Guide
  • Geared Bicycles (Trek / Giant / Cannondale / Scott)
  • Accommodation in Twin Share
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Snacks, Beverages & Drinking Water
  • Activities as mentioned
  • Entry Fees at Forest, Monuments, Plantation, Museums etc
  • Transfers in AC vehicle
  • Airport Pickup and Drop
  • Toll, Vehicle Permit & Parking
  • Government taxes

Exclusions

  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Gratitude

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