Cycle the Coast of Kerala

Cycle the Coast of Kerala

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8 Days From

$1950

$1896

Cycle the Coast of Kerala

8 Days Starting in Cochin and ending in Varkala

Visiting: Kochi, Muhamma, Alappuzha, Thrikkunnapuzha, Karunagappalli, Varkala

Tour operator:

Exodus Adventure Travels

Tour code:

MIA

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 14

Physical rating:

Leisurely / Moderate

Age range:

16-99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Active

Interests:

Beach Tours, Cultural

Activities:

Cycling, Sightseeing, Walking

From: $1950 $1896 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$54

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Kerala is an excellent place to discover by bike; a true tropical paradise with an idyllic coastline, lush tranquil backwaters, colourful temples and old stone churches. It's not surprising that Kerala is often referred to as 'God's own country'. Offering a gentler experience than the often frenetic north, Kerala is great for a first time bike trip or your first visit to India. From the old spice port of Cochin to the laid-back beach town of Varkala, we gently cycle through beautiful landscapes, fascinating towns and colourful fishing villages, sampling superb south Indian cuisine along the way. A night in a village homestay provides a unique insight into the warm Keralan hospitality, and the backwaters of Kerala are cruised on a traditional houseboat before relaxing on the sweeping beaches of Varkala.



Highlights

  • Cruise the backwaters on a traditional houseboat

  • Experience warm hospitality in a village homestay

  • Explore the old spice town of Cochin

  • Relax on the sandy beaches of Varkala

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Start Cochin.

Location: Kochi

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Casino Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: No Meals

Start Cochin. Those on the group flight usually arrive at our hotel in the

afternoon. We'll then have our bike fitting and test our bikes. 



*Comfortable Hotel*



Day 2 : Explore Cochin By Bike And Foot.

Location: Kochi

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Casino Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today is a good opportunity to get used to the bikes, exploring the

historical town of Cochin (Kochi) by bike and foot. The Portuguese

established a base here, followed by the Dutch, who were forced to hand it

over to the British in 1841. With a multicultural heritage, it is now the

bustling commercial capital of Kerala. Merchants began trading spices such as

pepper and cardamom with the Chinese, Arabs and Portuguese more than 600

years ago. Warehouses are still filled with the smell of tea and spices are

lime-washed bright green, yellow and blue; rickety old bikes and hand-painted

trucks piled high with goods fill the narrow streets and food stalls stand on

every corner. Most of the major sights are found in Fort Kochi and

Mattencharry. We'll visit St Francis Church, which is close to the hotel.

Built by the Portuguese in 1503, it is the burial place of Vasco de Gama and

his tomb can be found inside the church. We then make our way to the Dutch

Palace in Mattancherry. Constructed by the Portuguese in 1568, it was gifted

to the Maharaja of Kochi before the Dutch took it over. Close to the palace

is Jew Town and the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 for the Jewish members

of Kochi’s trading communities, it is adorned with hand-painted tiles from

China and elegant Belgian chandeliers, all donations from wealthy merchants.

The area around the synagogue, called Jew Street, is a heritage zone with

many antique and handicraft shops and is excellent for shopping. The fish

market near the Chinese fishing nets is also worth a visit. Cochin is also

the centre for Keralan arts, so this evening we'll enjoy a Kathakali dance

performance, a form of religious dance and play unique to Kerala.



*Comfortable Hotel*



Day 3 : Cycle To Muhamma, Past Old Portuguese Villas And Through Fishing Villages.

Location: Muhamma

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Deshadan Backwater Resort (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Riding out of Fort Cochin, we pass 500 year old Portuguese villas, a striking

contrast to the tiny fishermen's huts dotted along the beach road, with their

wooden boats pulled up under the palm trees and nets hung out to dry. Many of

these fishing villages are Christian. At Arthungal we can rest under the

shade of the coconut trees, sip tea and admire the view of the old stone

church. Continuing along the coastal road, we make our way towards the

backwaters of Muhamma. Kerala is renowned for its backwaters; a network of

canals and lakes which we cruise on a traditional rice barge later on in the

trip. Tonight we stay in a backwater resort overlooking Vambanad Lake. The

veranda and the gardens are excellent spots for relaxing whilst backwater

life unfurls before you. Treatments such as Ayurvedic massages are offered

here.



*Comfortable Hotel*



Day 4 : Continue Riding Along The Coast To A Backwater Village In The Region Of Alleppey.

Location: Alappuzha

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Gabby World Community Homestay (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We continue along the coastal road towards Alleppey, another start point for

the backwaters trips. Our ride takes us through Kainakary Village, eventually

reaching Chennamkary, a traditional village in the Kuttanad backwater region

of Alleppey. We'll spend the evening here in a homestay, arriving in time for

lunch. The homestay is spread across a number of houses owned by different

families. Rooms are air-conditioned and come with their own bathroom. It's a

fantastic opportunity to experience warm Keralan hospitality. We'll enjoy a

cooking demonstration in the evening, followed by dinner. 



*Homestay*



Day 5 : Optional Morning Bike Ride To Explore The Village; Board Houseboat In The Afternoon.

Location: Thrikkunnapuzha

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Houseboat

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A laid-back morning today. You can either relax at the homestay or go on an

optional short bike ride to explore the village. At midday, we board our

houseboat for a backwater cruise to Trikunnapuzha. These converted rice

barges consist of 2-berth cabins with en suite bathrooms, and are equipped

with their own cook. We stack our bikes on the side of the boat (we'll be

saddle free for the next 19 hours) whilst we watch the world slowly go by.

Vessels of all sizes use the network of canals and lakes, with smaller boats

ferrying passengers and goods between tiny hamlets perched on narrow spits of

land. On one side of the canal we can see vast paddy fields, and on the other

side are fishing nets and coconut trees. As the sun begins to set, the boats

are moored together and we gather on the deck for sundowners and dinner. 



*Houseboat*



Day 6 : Disembark Houseboat; Cliff-Top Ride To The Laid-Back Beach Town Of Varkala.

Location: Karunagappalli, Varkala

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Sajjoys Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast is taken on the houseboat before we disembark. We then enjoy a

cliff-top ride to the laid-back beach town of Varkala. We set off along a

quiet coastal road to the Valaazhikal ferry crossing, loading the bikes onto

a local fishing boat to cross the river estuary to Karunagapally, where we

meet our support vehicle and transfer to the beautiful beach town of Varkala.

We'll stop for lunch en route. We spend the next two nights at Varkala,

staying close to what is considered one of India's best beaches. With coffee

bars, shops and yoga schools perched along the red sandstone cliff-top, this

town is an excellent place to chill out.



*Standard Hotel*



Day 7 : Short Morning Ride To The Surrounding Coastal Area; Afternoon Free To Relax And Enjoy Varkala.

Location: Varkala

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Sajjoys Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, we enjoy a small morning ride to explore the surrounding

coastal areas. Returning to the hotel by lunch time, there is time to enjoy

the beachside location and perhaps try one of the beach shack restaurants,

which serve excellent seafood. We recommend trying some of the Tandoori

dishes - the clay ovens give a more authentic taste to the breads and

curries. Tonight there is the option to enjoy a final group dinner at the

hotel's restaurant, which serves a variety of Keralan dishes. 



*Standard Hotel*



Day 8 : End Varkala.

Location: Varkala

Meals Included: Breakfast

Those on the group flight will be transferred to Trivandrum airport for their

flight back to London. For Land Only travellers, the trip ends after

check-out.



What's Included

  • Meals
    7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners.


* All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners included
* All accommodation
* Transfer for group flights
* Local bike hire

What's Not Included

  • Single supplement

  • Visas and vaccinations

  • Travel insurance

Accommodation

We spend five nights in hotels, one night on a houseboat and one night in a homestay (all en suite).



We use tourist-class hotels throughout the trip, all of which have swimming pools, while the village homestay brings a different flavour to the itinerary. The homestay is spread across several houses owned by different families. Here we experience warm Keralan hospitality, alongside a cooking demonstration and dinner with the hosts. Rooms are air conditioned and have a private bathroom. Please note, single rooms can be limited at the homestay.



Hotels in India usually do not have heating as there are really only a couple of months in the year when the weather can be cooler. You can, however, request more blankets or the hotel may be able to provide a standing heater for your room. Please talk to your tour leader if you need help in this matter.



Houseboats are converted rice barges consisting of two to five twin-bedded cabins with private bathrooms. The houseboat has a communal deck and dining area, although the style/layout can vary from boat to boat. There is a cook, driver and assistants for each boat and the food is traditional Keralan fare using local produce. Larger groups may be split over several boats; however, the group will come together for riverside stops and the overnight anchor point where your leader will be available.

Food


All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners included.

Lunches on riding days are usually taken in local roadside cafes, allowing us
to sample typical south Indian dishes such as poori (deep fried bread served
with curry) and dosa (thin pancake made with fermented rice and lentil
batter). South Indian food is very much influenced by its tropical landscape;
creamy coconut dishes enlivened with delicate spices, served on a banana
leaf. It's also an ideal destination if you are a vegetarian. Tea and soft
drinks are very cheap, and there'll be plenty of tea stops so that you can
enjoy a cold can, a cup of chai or refreshing coconut water. A (large!)
bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$5) but please note that
alcohol is difficult to get hold of in Kerala as it is a dry state.

Generally you can eat out very cheaply in India. Where food is not included,
you should allow approx. £3-£4 (approx. US$4.80 - US$6.40) for lunch, and
£5-£6 (approx. US$8 - US$9.60) for dinner without drinks. This amount may
vary according to how much you drink.
Please note that service in restaurants can be quite slow. Drinking water is
provided in the support vehicle, where you can fill your bottle from the
containers.

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Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, our local guides are English speaking.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    The minimum age for this tour is 16 years old.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    If you would like to be paired with a tour member of the same gender, there is no additional charge. A single supplement can be requested if you would like your own room.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International flights are not included with this tour.

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We are happy to assist with pre and post tour accommodation. Please enquire for detailed information.

  • Who is Exodus Travels?

    At Exodus Travels, we've been exploring the world for nearly 50 years. From Walking and Trekking, Cultural and Cycling, Responsible Wildlife, to Polar and our new Premium Adventures, we are proud to offer award-winning small group and self-guided tours to 100+ countries worldwide.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

A Cycling Adventure Through the Charms of Coastal Kerala: A Journey to Remember

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the in

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the incredible "Cycle the Coast of Kerala" trip with Exodus Travels, and it was an absolute dream come true. Every aspect of this journey, from the breathtaking landscapes to the exceptional guidance, exceeded all my expectations. The itinerary was meticulously planned, allowing us to soak up the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Kerala at our own pace. The cycling routes were well-chosen, taking us through picturesque coastal villages, lush greenery, and serene backwaters, offering an authentic glimpse into the soul of this beautiful region. The accommodations provided by Exodus were top-notch. From comfortable stays in charming local lodges to luxurious nights in beachside resorts, each place offered a unique experience, blending modern amenities with the traditional charm of Kerala. The trip leaders were incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and always ready to offer support and guidance. Their deep understanding of the local culture, history, and geography truly enriched our journey, making it more than just a cycling adventure but an immersive cultural experience. Furthermore, the local cuisine was a highlight of the trip. From delectable seafood dishes to flavorful spices, every meal was a celebration of Kerala's rich culinary heritage. The team made sure we got to savor the authentic flavors of the region, adding an unforgettable dimension to our travel experience. Overall, I cannot recommend this trip enough. It's a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation. Exodus Travels has truly crafted a remarkable itinerary, leaving me with cherished memories and a profound appreciation for the beauty of Kerala. I will undoubtedly cherish the moments and look back on this trip with fondness for years to come. Thank you, Exodus, for an unforgettable experience!

I loved every minute of it!

Just before I went I was getting apprehensive that

Just before I went I was getting apprehensive that I was spending 8 days with 13 other people I had never met, to share a room with someone I didn’t know, to cycle for 6 days in an unknown country and stay overnight in 5 different locations! I don't know what I was worried about, I had the absolute time of my life! The people, the country, the food, the guides, the scenery, the accommodation, the cycling; everything was perfect!

Wow, what a trip

Wow, I'm still buzzing a week after getting back f

Wow, I'm still buzzing a week after getting back from this trip. I have done several cycling trips with Exodus and this was my first one solo. The whole trip was amazing, along with a lovely group. We all got on really well and had lots of laughs. The cycling was flat and easy going. Cycling through the crazy Indian towns was surprisingly straightforward. 'Good bell, good brakes and good luck' is the motto! The Indians use their hooters and bells for spacial awareness and are very good at it. The friendly Indian children waving on their way to school has left a lasting impression. We cycled from 8am and only in the mornings. We stopped for tea and samosa, then for lunch. The hotels had lovely swimming pools. Swimming in the Indian Ocean waves on the last two days was lovely. None of us had any tummy issues. Joseph always had nice restaurants and the best seats reserved for us.

Kerala is a gem!

Spoiler alert: your senses may never be the same

Spoiler alert: your senses may never be the same again - but in a good way! We visited Kerala over 20 years ago, but only scratched the surface. Exodus is very good at stripping away all that is unnecessary, to enable you to connect with Kerala and immerse yourself into Indian culture. Throw into the mix a great bunch of fellow cyclists and you strike gold. We had a blast! The trip notes describe pretty accurately what you will see and do. Every day has new experiences. Cycling is a gentle pace and when you do hit a busy town you are shepherded through effortlessly by the two guides. Oh, and the food is seriously good. Cauliflower has never tasted so delicious. Let the magic unfold, but it will be over all too soon.

A fabulous trip!

Our action-packed week was a wonderful way to expl

Our action-packed week was a wonderful way to explore this beautiful region. Going along on a bike allowed us to experience colours, sights, smells and sounds so much better than if we had traveled around by coach. It allowed us to spontaneously pop onto the beach, visit temples and sample local delicacies. And cycling in the hectic traffic proved no great problem, just keep ringing your bell!

Fantastic trip

This was a lovely trip showing Kerala at its best.

This was a lovely trip showing Kerala at its best. Our guide was simply outstanding which left us with a lasting memory of the beautiful part of India. Very easy cycling with no climbs at all, until a couple of small ones on the optional last day cycling.

Fab trip

Fantastic trip, enjoyed every second.

Fantastic trip, enjoyed every second.

good

The home stay was awful, it would have been good t

The home stay was awful, it would have been good to have an option to have a stay at hotel instead. It's not my idea of a holiday being a strangers house. People nice enough. Some environmental issues that were offensive, think Exodus should be insistent that the locals improve on.

Cool trip

Loved this trip. Well organised. Shibu was a very

Loved this trip. Well organised. Shibu was a very likeable trip leader. Shogar and Franklin as supporters were excellent too. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the smiles of the people of Kerala. Great activities. Very flat cycling! Only hills on the last day around Varkala, and then not serious. Only disappointment for me was the very poor quality of room at the Deshadan Hotel in Varkala.

good

The home stay was awful, it would have been good t

The home stay was awful, it would have been good to have an option to have a stay at hotel instead. It's not my idea of a holiday being a strangers house. People nice enough. Some environmental issues that were offensive, think Exodus should be insistent that the locals improve on.

Read all 14 reviews

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    Exodus Adventure Travels allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus adventure travels, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus Adventure Travels requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

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    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus adventure travels charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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