2 independent reviews for Kerala & Tamil Nadu mountain biking vacations, Western Ghats

Reviews for Kerala & Tamil Nadu mountain biking vacations, Western Ghats

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review 25 Nov 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The best part of the trip was probably the climb up on the way to Valparai in Tamil Nadu. Another highlight in Valparai was the scenic view and the very friendly people at the Stanmore Estate. Other highlights included the climb up to Munnar as well as the descent the next day on a misty morning.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Try to see the Indian traffic (which varies from road to road) as part of the adventure, while at the same time being attentative. In fact the driving style in India is pretty unique but it is manageable as the speed of (most) vehicles is low which makes it less stressful for cycling. Make sure you drink enough and sugar up your body before the climbs!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Apart from Munnar our route was largely off the beaten track. Therefore I hope that local people benefited. My only suggestion would be to include some homestays and in exchange drop some of the commercial resorts (e.g. coco lagoon and also the disappointing hotel in Fort Cochin which seem to belonged to a chain.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The trip was a very good experience with a lot of nature and also some additional activities (canoeing, getting a blessing in a Hindu temple etc.). The route was challenging but with the secured refreshents from the accompaying car its was manageable. The guide was very helpful and knowledgeable about the local plants and animals. The driver was careful and always courteous.

review 26 Jul 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We just returned from our customized cycling tour of Kerala India. We have been on a few good cycling tours in Europe but they could not compare to this extraordinary vacation. We were treated like royalty and so respectfully from the minute we were picked up at the airport until we departed. We wanted an active adventure and that's exactly what we had. We were enchanted by Kerala. The people we met while cycling on the roads as well as those we met in the accomandations were so friendly. The vacation provider staff were excellent and so informative , knowledgable and helpful. I can't praise them enough. The highlight of the trip was the interesting Indian culture, the beauty of the landscape, the wildlife we saw including exotic birds and butterflies, mongooses, elephants, gaurs, wild dogs, monkeys and more. The riding was perfect for us with 2 days of challenging mountains and the rest mostly undulating roads. We were often able to extend our riding if we wanted. We also spent one morning kayaking which was a nice change from the cycling. We enjoyed the Indian cuisine and we were vegans and found we had too much to eat. We had cooking lessons and even learned how to put on the sari. We kayaked to a toddy shack and had toddys ( fermented coconut like the local beer) with our guides. We especially enjoyed the accommodations on the home stays and liked the personal spice tours. A real perfect active vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The vacation provider is willing to arrange visits or activities according to your interests. Ask. We wanted to vary our itinerary and they helped us arrange it by adding kayaking, visits to schools and bird sanctuaries. They are eager to help with whatever you need. Be prepared that except for the initial day, the ride is on scenic roads with traffic. Through the major cities where the traffic is very congested you are transferred through them so you won't have to deal with it. Be open to new experiences and challenges as well as curious then you'll be so surprised by what is waiting for you.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Our shopping supported the local economy and individuals. Also we stayed in many eco friendly accommodations.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent! Amazing! Almost perfect. Highly recommended.

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