Start and end in Kochi (Cochin)! With the bicycle tour Kerala: Spices and Tea, you have a 10 day tour package taking you through Kochi (Cochin), India and 4 other destinations in India. Kerala: Spices and Tea includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
After lunch, we explore Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, Kerala?s commercial capital with one of the finest natural harbours in the world. We visit St Francis Church the oldest European Church in India. Vasco Da Gama was buried here before his remains were taken back to Portugal. Next we visit the Roman Catholic Santa Cruz Cathedral built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, which is famous for beautiful paintings on its ceiling. We continue to the Jewish Quarter with its Old Synagogue and the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese. Later we take a boat cruise to visit Bolghatty Palace and observe the fascinating Chinese fishing nets in action.?Start point Transfer you from the airport to your hotel, Kochi, Kerala, India
In and around ThattekadCochin to Thattekkad Cycling distance: 47km/ 29 mi? We drive out of town for about two hours (with no Freeways, driving even on a highway is slow) then cycle on a very minor road through a tropical landscape to the bird Sanctuary of Thattekkad. ?We will pass rubber, banana, tapioca, coconut and pineapple plantations and have time for a visit to the bird sanctuary.
In and around MunnarThattekkad to Munnar Cycling distance: 69 km / 43 mi ? with a 1,395 m / 4,600 ft altitude gain? We continue on the minor road until we reach the main highway to Munnar. After just 600 m we turn off the hwy and swoop down through a forest to the Periyer River and the Kallerkutty dam. ?From here we start the challenging climb to Munnar and its world famous tea plantations. ?We will also see jacaranda trees and cardamom plantations. ?With the gain in altitude the temperature will decrease from c.32/ 90 F at the coast to ?a pleasant c.25 / 77 at Munnar, with night time temperatures dropping to 10 C / 50F.
In and around KumilyDay 4 Munnar to Kumily / Periyar / Thekkady Cycling distance:96 km / 60 mi? Today we make our way to Kumily, known for its spices and proximity to Periyer Tiger Reserve. ?The Periyer Wildlife Sanctuary covers 777 sq km of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest. ?The greatest attraction of Periyar is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. ?The day is quite hilly but there is an overall loss in altitude as we descend to 800m / 2,640 ft . The day starts with a spectacular descent through forest and tea plantations, later passing rice fields, coffee and cardamom. ?There will be excellent views of the Western Ghats.? Day 5 Kumily ? Theni return, Cycling distance: 70 km on backroads, ? Return by mini bus.? We take an excursion into neighbouring Tamil Nadu, a poorer state where you will see many bullock carts and perhaps a working elephant or two. We start with a fabulous descent into a ?scenic, wide fertile valley and continue gently descending until the town of Theni. Here we have lunch then return on the highway in the mini bus. Time to relax in the afternoon by the pool or do a little shopping.? Day 6 Kumily Rest day? Options include an early morning three hour gentle hike in the Park accompanied by a guide, who will identify plants, birds and other wildlife. ?There will be a late breakfast on return. ?Then a visit to a tea plantation and factory and an optional late afternoon trip on Lake Periyer where you are likely to see wildlife, most likely deer, buffalo and elephants, by the lake side. Take binoculars.
In and around KumarakomKumily to Kumarakom. Cycling distance: 88 km / 55 mi? We start the day with a climb as we make our way through tea plantations to the grasslands of Vagamon. ?We finish with a fabulous 24 km descent. ?On reaching the highway we board the mini bus to drive (1? hrs) to Kumarakom, located near the coast on inland waterways. ?A spectacular day?s biking. ?Kumarakom is a paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. ?The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, is a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal.
Kumarakom/Alleppey/Kumarakom. CyclIng distance: 32kms / Houseboat cruise? After breakfast we will bike 32 kms (around 2- 2.5 hours cycling) on flat minor roads through villages to Alleppey. We will board a day-cruise house boat, modeled on a traditional rice boat ("ketuvallam"), for lunch and a delightful lazy afternoon cruising on the picturesque lake and canals with views of villages, paddy fields and ?the mangrove forests that hug the banks.
Alleppey to Cochin. Cycling distance: 55 kms? After breakfast we will drive to Alleppey to commence cycling on a flat road, parallel with the Arabian Sea coast, back to Cochin, arriving in time for lunch. ?You will pass hundreds of brightly coloured fishing boats along the way. ?In the afternoon there will be time to wander around historic Cochin or do some last minute shopping before our farewell dinner.
We wish you ?bon voyage? and hope to see you again. ?An airport transfer is included.?End point After breakfast at Killians Boutique Hotel Post Box 22, River Road, Fort Kochi , Kochi, Kerala, India 09:00