South India Coast To Coast Cycling Tour

Destination

South India

Duration

14 Days

Activity

Cycling

Grade

Intermediate

Stays

Premium

Price

$2900

Departures Available
February 1, 2025
- February 15, 2025

Gems of Kerala and Tamil Nadu Cycling Holiday

South India Coast to Coast Cycling is a classic tour focusing on Scenic Destinations, Ancient Temples, Historic Monuments Culture and Village Life. The tour starts from the historic city of Fort Kochi in the South Western Coast and ends at Mahabalipuram in the South Eastern Coast of India. The tour also offers ideal opportunity to interact with the warm-hearted Tamilians, try out the special Chettinadu Cuisines, South Indian Thali meals, steaming Idli and Sambar.
Initially, we will ride from Kochi towards the pristine beach of Marari. Next day, we ride to the backwaters of Alleppey for houseboat cruise in Vembanad Lake. We will progress our ride towards the Western Ghats to explore the misty hills of Vagamon and wilderness destination of Thekkady. We will traverse the downhill winding roads and ride to the great plains of Tamil Nadu towards the temple town of Madurai. Next day, we will visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple. From here, we will ride to Chettinadu famous for unique architecture and culture of the Chettiar community. We will further ride to the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu – Thanjavur and visit the Brihadeeswara Temple. Riding along the river Cauvery, we will reach the fishermen village of Tarangambadi. We will further ride to the erstwhile French Colony, Pondicherry to visit the French quarters and the Auroville. Then, we ride to the coastal village of Mahabalipuram to see the ancient monuments here.

Tour Highlights

Madurai Temple

Great Temples of Madurai & Thanjavur

Madurai is famous for its Meenakshi Amman Temple which boasts of stunning architecture, intricate carvings and a history dating back to the 6th century. Thanjavur is home to the Brihadeeswara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is one of the largest and most magnificent temples in India, featuring towering gopurams and exquisite sculptures.
Day 10 - Ride to Vagamon

Hill Destinations of Vagamon and Thekkady

agamon is a quaint hill station known for its lush greenery, tea plantations and scenic valleys, while Thekkady is famous for its Periyar National Park which offers exciting opportunities for wildlife spotting, trekking and bamboo rafting.
photo_2019-01-30_16-24-23 (1)

Walk through Periyar Tiger Reserve

The Periyar Tiger Reserve is a beautiful forest reserve that offers visitors a chance to walk amidst the wilderness and witness the rich biodiversity of the region, including elephants, tigers, gaurs, and more than 300 species of birds.
Munnar Cycling - Lockhart Gap Road

Scenic Countryside and Village Life

The countryside of Tamil Nadu and Kerala is filled with stunning landscapes, picturesque villages and a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can experience traditional village life, interact with locals and witness daily activities such as fishing, farming and handicraft making.
Marari

Beaches of Marari and Mahabalipuram

Marari Beach in Kerala and Mahabalipuram Beach in Tamil Nadu are two of the most beautiful beaches in South India. Visitors can relax on the golden sands, take a dip in the clear waters, and enjoy a range of water sports and activities.
IMG_20181220_122709

Traditional Cuisines of Kerala & Tamil Nadu

Kerala and Tamil Nadu are known for their diverse and delicious cuisines, which include a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Must-try dishes include dosa, idli, sambar, biryani, and seafood delicacies.
Vagamon

Plantation and Heritage Walks

Visitors can take a walk through lush tea, coffee and spice plantations and witness the cultivation and processing of these crops. They can also explore the rich heritage of the region by visiting ancient temples, forts, palaces and museums.
Houseboats of Alleppey

Backwater Houseboat Cruise

Kerala's backwaters are a unique and enchanting network of canals, lagoons and lakes that offer visitors a chance to relax and unwind while cruising on a traditional houseboat. Guests can witness the scenic beauty of the backwaters and enjoy delicious local cuisine on board.
Tuk Tuk Sightseeing Tour Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi Sightseeing on Tuk Tuk

Visitors can explore the charming city of Fort Kochi on an auto-rickshaw tour, which takes them to historic landmarks such as the Chinese fishing nets, St. Francis Church, the Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue. The tour provides a unique and exciting way to experience the rich history and culture of the city.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fort Kochi

Activity: Bike Fitting, Fort Kochi sightseeing on Tuk Tuk, Kathakali Dance Show
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
Jew Street Fort Kochi
10 Marari

Day 2: Cycling to Marari

Activity Distance : 45 Kms
Terrain : Flat
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
After the breakfast, we will start the ride toward the pristine beach destination of Marari. The road will be mostly flat throughout with view of the Arabian Sea. You will be riding along the patches of wetlands, coastal village of Chellanam, Fishing Harbour of Andhakaranazhi and coconut groves. We will visit coir factory enroute to learn more about coir and coir products made by the locals here. Once, this cottage industry was a prime source of income for the locals, men and women alike. We will ride to a serene beach resort at Marari and settle down. Evening, we can go for a walk in the fishermen village nearby and chit chat with the brave sea warriors. During the 2018 Kerala floods, these good Samaritans were at the forefront to rescue stranded people with their fishing boats. You will wind up the day watching the beautiful sunset at the beach here

Day 3: Cycling to Alleppey & Houseboat Cruise

Activity Distance : 30 Kms
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Houseboat Night
Vagamon

Day 4: Cycling to Vagamon

Activity: Cycling to Vagamon, Local walks or Leisure
Activity Distance : 100 Kms
Terrain : Initially Flat roads and gradual undulating and finally uphill
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
Initially, we will ride through the flat roads of Backwaters village with the view of craggy coconut palms, the lush green paddy fields and canals with flock of quacking ducks. We will further ride towards the rubber country Pala and Erattupetta to pass through valleys with rubber, spice and pineapple plantations, tranquil villages, small temples and churches along the way. Afterwards, the terrain will be undulating and long uphill Ghat roads. We will also be stopping by at various photo points enroute. Today’s ride will end at a small eco-resort nestled amidst lush tea plantation at the hill destination of Vagamon. Evening we will go out for a casual countryside walk or relax at the resort watching the picturesque misty hillocks.

Day 5: Cycling to Periyar (Thekkady)

Activity Distance : 45 Kms
Terrain : Cycling to Thekkady, Nature, Green walk at Periyar Tiger Reserve, Spice plantation visit or Kalaripayattu show
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
Today, we will ride towards the wilderness destination of Periyar (Thekkady). The terrain will be undulating with few strenuous uphill climbs. You will ride the winding roads with view of scenic landscape, hilly meadows, spice and tea plantations. We will end the ride at a premium resort in Thekkady. After freshen up and a quick lunch, we will visit the Periyar Tiger Reserve for a nature walk along the rainforest periphery. We will be escorted by a local tracker belonging to one of the indigenous tribe presently employed with the forest department to safeguard the reserve. The biodiverse reserve is abundant in flora and fauna with 35 species of Mammals including the majestic Bengal Tiger (spotted rarely) and the Asiatic elephant, more than 260 Bird species including the Great Indian Hornbill. Other intense day-long treks, bamboo rafting and overnight camping programmes are also available. It’s worth spending an extra day here if you are a nature enthusiast. After the forest activities, we will be visiting a spice plantation in-depth and a walk around the local spice market.
6 Thekkady
A man on a bike riding down a road with cows in the background.

Day 6 & 7: Cycling to Madurai and a Day break day

Activity: Day 6 - Cycling to Madurai & Leisure, Day 7 - Meenakshi temple Visit, Palace and Bazaar Walk
Activity Distance : 140 Kms
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
Today, we will traverse the final stretch of the Western Ghats. The ride will be combination of downhill and flat on hairpin bend roads. We will cross the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu and ride through the countryside along the grape yards, coconut grooves, vegetable plantations and small temple. After riding convenient distance, we will transfer you for rest of the distance to reach Heritage Resort in Madurai. We will relax at the resort after the long ride. Tomorrow is the break day and it’s the time to visit the epic Madurai Meenakshi Temple on Tuk Tuks. The temple is dedicated to Goddesses Meenakshi – a form of Parvati and Sundareshwar – a form of Shiva. The narration of temple dates back from 6th Century CE. The temple complex covers an area of 14 Acres with its many grand pillars, sanctums, Mandapas, Gopuras, sculptures and wall paintings. The 10 Day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam (Holy Marriage) Festival in April – May is the prime attraction here. Millions of pilgrims gather here to offer prayers during the occasion. After the temple visit, we will stroll through the 17th Tirumala Naykar Palace and the local market with its fruits and flower shops before getting back to the Resort for the scrumptious Dinner.

Day 8: Cycling to Chettinadu

Activity: Cycling to Chettinad Village, Heritage Walk
Activity Distance : 82 Kms
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
Today’s ride will be through the highways and the countryside roads. You will ride on the mostly flat terrain through villages of Narasingam, Melur and Pillayarpatti with small temples, granite quarries and workshops along the way. You will reach the land of Chettiyars famous for its heritage buildings and temples with unique architecture. These high strata business communities were also known for their traditional cuisine different from the rest. You will be staying at a typical heritage mansion which depicts the vibrant culture and way of living of Chettiyars. We will take you on a Heritage walk through the remarkable streets here and try out the spicy foods made with special masalas for lunch and dinner at the mansion. Don’t forget to learn from the chef, how these fresh ground masalas are prepared using a variety of spices.
Chettinadu Palace
atoorgoat

Day 9: Cycling to Thanjavur

Activity Distance : 116 Kms
Terrain : Mostly Flat
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
After the breakfast, we will set out to next cultural hub on the Tamil Nadu map – Thanjavur. The ride will be through village roads on flat terrain. Leaving the outskirts of Chettinadu, we will ride through villages with the view of lush green paddy fields and clusters of eucalyptus trees along the way. Thanjavur located in the fertile basin of river Cauvery is known as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu for its sumptuous harvests. Reaching here, we will set out to visit of the magnificent Brihadiswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The 11 Century CE temple was built by the Chola King Raja Raja Chola I and is one of the ‘Great Living Chola Temples” classified by UNESCO. Exemplary Dravidian architecture with its highest Vimana tower in South India and marvellous sculptures makes Brihadiswara Temple truly remarkable. We can also visit the Saraswati Mahal Library, Palace and the Art Gallery if time allows.

Day 10: Cycling to Tranquebar

Activity Distance : 102 Kms
Terrain : Mostly Flat
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
Leaving the temple town of Thanjavur, we head towards our next beach destination – Tranquebar. We will ride through on flat village roads along the irrigation canals. You will also see paddy fields, small temples and woody patches with Banyan Trees enroute. The sacred Cauvery River and its tributaries are the lifelines of the region, especially for many farming communities. You will ride into the quaint fishing village of Tranquebar (Tarangambadi). This east coast town was under the Danish influence for more than 150 years. Here you will be staying at a colonial Bungalow, once the residence of erstwhile Danish Governors and then the British Collectors. We will take a stroll to the closeby beach and the ruined 14th century Pandya Temple. We will explore the other highlights of Tranquebar viz the 17th-century Dansborg fort commissioned by the Dutch and the local fishermen village. A perfect view of sunrise from the balcony of heritage bungalow also awaits you tomorrow morning.
Fishing Village - To Tarangambadi
Beach Cycling Chidambaram

Day 11 & 12: Cycling to Pondicherry

Activity Distance : 116 Kms
Terrain : Day 11 - Cycling to Pondicherry, Visit French quarters, Day 12 - Visit Auroville, Food Tour on Tuk Tuk
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
From the erstwhile Danish province, we head north towards the French Colony of Pondicherry (Pondicherry). We will ride the flat backcountry and beach roads with rivers cutting across to converge into the Bay of Bengal. You will see fisherman villages, fish farms, and local beaches along the way. Riding north from the Cuddalore suburb, we will reach a peaceful beach hotel in Pondicherry to end our ride. We will walk along the French quarters and the happening Promenade beach in the evening. The influence of French architecture and culture can be witnessed while the heritage walk. Next day, we will be visiting the miraculous Auroville, a unique sanctum for meditation. Once been a barren land, it has thrived as universal township dedicated towards human unity and sustainable living. We will settle back at the hotel to spend the rest of the day relaxing or go around for street shopping. Afternoon, we will go around the town for a food tour to try out the local delicacies.

Day 13: Cycling to Mahabalipuram

Activity: Cycling to Mahabalipuram, Visit Temple town, Leisure at Beach
Activity Distance : 95 Kms
Meals: Breakfast, Enroute Lunch, Dinner
Today, we will leave Pondicherry and ride further north to the next beach destination – Mahabalipuram. You will ride on the east coast highway through small fishing villages and towns. You will see local beaches, coconut groves and the salt fields along the way. We will end the ride for the last day at a tranquil beach resort in Mahabalipuram. The town is known for its temples and the group of monuments which dates back from the 7th – 8th century. Pancharathas and the Shore temple by the beach reflect the architectural splendour and craftsmanship of the Pallava Dynasty. A history tour to these UNESCO world heritage sites is scheduled in the afternoon. The town is also famous for the traditional rock sculpture making industry. You can witness the craftsmanship closely at the facility, nowadays using modern machinery. After the visit, you are free to spend the rest of the day at the pristine beach resort.
IMG_20190114_161051
Goodbye Image

Day 14: Depart

It’s the time to say Adieu, with fond memories of the South India Coast to Coast Ride. We will be happy to drop you at the Chennai International Airport if this is as per your schedule. We will ride through the scenic east coast

Route Map

Coast to Coast Cycling 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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