Kerala and tropical India cycling vacations

Join a small group on a relaxed two week cycling vacation around the back roads of Kerala and the tea plantations of the Western Ghats - ideal for India first-timers.
Bangalore Mysore Bandipur National Park Mudumalai National Park Western Ghats Kerala Cochin Alleppey Keralan houseboat Varkala
Price
US $3379ToUS $3599excluding flights
Duration
15 Days
Type
Small group
Reviews
More info
Optional single supplement from £944 - £976.
Minimum age 16.
Last minute
Late availability on these dates: 19 Dec
Make enquiry

Description of Kerala and tropical India cycling vacations

Map

Price information

US $3379ToUS $3599excluding flights
Optional single supplement from £944 - £976.
Minimum age 16.
Make enquiry

Check dates, prices & availability

Travel guides

India cycling
The wonderful thing about cycling in India is that you are traveling with the local people. At their speed, through their terrain, stopping to drink ...
Kerala
Kerala is like opening up a lucky bag of surprises. The first thing most people pick out is the western coastline that unfurls along the Arabian Sea. ...

Vacation information

Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
Diet:
We cater for both vegetarians and vegans.

Reviews

2 Reviews of Kerala and tropical India cycling vacations

5 out of 5 stars
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In depth story review

“There were so many brilliant tea breaks at roadside cafes, always with a freshly prepared snack, like a banana fritter, en route.”

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2019 by

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


Had to come home early. But whole vacation really enjoyable ;well run buy excellent guides who looked after us very well. They organised great food
and drinks at local tea shops etc.. We were often in areas where european
tourists were not that common so lots of hellos from people/children we
passed the indian people were friendly and made us welcome

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


Was very hot so factor 50. Don't need cleats they have good quality flat pedals which work well with walk shoes with good lugs for raised knobs of pedal to fit into.

Fantastic food-great curries (very hot) at every meal. Eat well but dont over eat so tummy can adjust to spices. Drink a few lassis to neutralise chillies and to give tummy a rest in prep for next great meal.

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


As we ate in local tea rooms yes for those small businesses

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


Excellent. Great intro to India and a welcoming people/culture. Kerala is rich state so poverty etc less obvious. Would do the trip again

Reviewed on 16 Dec 2015 by

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


The most exciting has to be the 54km DOWNHILL cycle through the tea planation's of the Western Ghats...exhilarating! The 13km UP Otty Hill the day before was memorable in many other ways...not to mention just how steep it was! This was a memorable trip mainly due to the fact when cycling you are totally immersed in the country, much more so than any other form of transport I have experienced: it gives a total assault on all your senses it was just amazing.


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


Take your own water bottle to try to reduce the amount of plastic thats wasted here.

Cycle gloves are good idea as they protect the hands from the bumpy roads and help with absorbing the sweat in the heat of Kerala.

In the first few days, go easy on the spicy food; The food is wonderful but may be hard for your constitution to cope with breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Book it now and get used to being in the saddle for the trip distances as much as you can.

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


Absolutely and definitely. Our tours guides would not have had a job without this trip. All were local Indians.

We always stayed and ate at small local run food outlets, cafes and restaurant's. Our guide knew the best places to go to experience the best traditional foods.

Reducing plastic water bottle was a pet aim for our guides and they always bought large canisters to refill up our bottles from rather than constantly buying new bottles.

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


Has to be a 5 star! I will definitely do another cycling vacation with these guys they were simply excellent.

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet

Activity:
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!) although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, use markets to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of India.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Lack of recycling is already a massive problem in India so we suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle where possible. We have asked all the hotels and restaurants which we visit regularly on our trips to install R. O. plants for treated water, so clients can re-fill in the aim that we will use less plastic en route.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

People

Local Craft & Culture:
We are keen to encourage guests to engage with the culture of India and to purchase local crafts and services where possible. Your local guide will be able to recommend the best of the area’s colourful and vibrant markets and small businesses and through our commerce, tourist wealth is more evenly distributed. You might pick up a ‘masala dosa’ in Mysore, explore the shops specialising in locally grown tea and oils and handmade chocolate in Ooty or receive an Ayurvedic massage in a Keralan cottage. There are locally crafted gifts and souvenirs available by most of the landmarks we visit, and your guides will be able to advise you on which to buy and which to avoid.

Accommodation & Meals:
This trip sees you spend most nights in hotels with en -uite facilities, three nights in lodges and one in a traditional houseboat. You will notice that our hotels employ locally and use local produce from markets in the area wherever possible. The hotels are waste and energy conscious and have their own policies like asking guests to turn off the power when leaving a room in order to save electricity. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In the seafood restaurant we visit in Cochin clients can even see how the food is made.

Charity:
For years we have been involved in campaigning for tiger conservation in Bandhavgarh. In late summer 2014 we teamed up with The Corbett Foundation, an Indian charity dedicated to conservation-oriented research. They have proved instrumental in enabling us to get the funds to where they are needed. Through this we have now completed the building of a community hall at Tala Village, solar pumps in the park for wildlife and staff in the dry season, bio gas plants and smart stoves for villagers and provided the salary for 2 full time teachers at the government school. Our work in India continues to be of great significance and most recently we have been able to purchase a 4 wheel drive medical vehicle and pay for outreach medical support.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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