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Cycle Kerala

India - Trip code CKB Cycling
Carbon Footprint Leaf Icon
851Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.
Days 13
Low Deposit US$23
Was From US$2720
Now from US$2310
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

A cycling holiday in southern India along Kerala's backroads through a landscape of tropical forests, spice, tea and rubber plantations. Discover village life, search for wildlife in Periyar National Park and relax on Indian Ocean beaches.

  • Keralan backwaters to the highlands - Pedal along beautiful coastlines, through plantations and tropical forests
  • Kochi - Explore this fascinating colonial coastal town
  • Kovalam - Relax on the stunning beaches on the Malabar Coast
  • Diwali Festival - Celebrated from 12th November 2023 while the group is in Kovalam
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 12

    Lunch: 3

    Dinner: 2

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide

    Assistant Cycle Guide

    Bike Mechanic

    Boat Crew

    Driver(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

    Bicycle

    Boat

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    Accommodation

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    Cycling grade:

    Leisurely

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    Group Size:

    10 - 16

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Trip information

Climate and country information

India

Climate

There is considerable variation between the different regions of India but, in general, the climate is tropical. Summer temperatures on the plains are very hot, but cooled by the South-West Monsoon, which lasts from June- September. During these months it can be very wet and therefore very humid. At altitude, temperatures can become quite cool at night even in the summer and may drop below freezing between December and February so warm clothing is necessary. In the winter, northern and mid India can be very cool, with cold evenings, so warm clothing, including plenty of layers, are essential. The south of India remains warm and sunny during the winter months.

Time difference to GMT

+5

Plugs

3 Pin Round

Religion

Catholicism, Hindu, Islam and Sikhism

Language

Hindi and English.

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Kochi - Kathakali dancing GBP 6.50

Clothing

Bear in mind that the area is tropical with high humidity. Lightweights are needed all year round with some warmer clothes (ie fleece and long trousers) for the cooler winter evenings (November to March) in Wagamon. When cycling: quick drying cycle tops, padded cycle shorts and cycling gloves are strongly recommended as they will protect you from sunburn and may also help protect your hands if you fall. Bring a swimming costume for the beaches. Whilst cycling in shorts is acceptable and expected, please note that for visits to temples and city sightseeing, tight fitting sleeveless t-shirts, brief or tight shorts and miniskirts should be avoided, since they attract unwelcome attention.

Footwear

If you are not bringing cycle shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes as these are better for cycling - transmitting your energy into the pedals more efficiently. This becomes more relevant and recommended the more demanding the grade and distances to cover. SPD cycle shoes are not well suited to tours that combine sightseeing with cycling.
Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike, particularly for walking in the national park and around Wagamon.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

We recommend you bring a daypack and one main piece of luggage (total allowance: 44lb/20kg) which will be transported between hotels while you cycle. Check the bike details section to see if a pannier or handlebar bag is provided on the bike. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn. Cycle glasses to protect against dust, pollen and the sun, padded cycle gloves and a water bottle or water delivery system (e.g. camelback or platypus) are also useful. You may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. If a handle bar bag or pannier is not provided (check bike details) then you may like to bring a small rucksack to wear while cycling. Other items to consider bringing are a sunhat and sun cream, torch, earplugs and insect repellent. Please carry some or all of your cycling equipment e.g. helmet as part of your hand luggage.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. However, you might want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline

Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, your leader may organise a group's tips kitty for included activities and meals and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Accordingly, you should allow GBP45, approx. 3'800 Indian Rupees for group tipping.
For all non-included services and meals on your trip please tip independently at your discretion.

India

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£8
Dinner price
£10
Beer price
£3
Water price
£0.5
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Indian Rupee Recently new 500 and 2000 rupee notes have been bought in to circulation and as the old notes are no longer accepted there have been some cash flow issues. You don't need to worry about being given old notes as it's very easy to tell the difference, the new notes are pristine in comparison with most Indian money which is fairly tatty.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
GBP/US$ are the best currency to change into local currency.
Where To Exchange
The Indian rupee is a restricted currency and it is best not to obtain in the UK as rates are very poor. You can either change money at the airport on arrival or in major towns during the tour. Your Tour Leader will advise you on the best places in each town. Both GBP and USD cash are easy to exchange at the airport and at hotels however you will be restricted to changing £60 cash at a time and it's not possible to change money at these locations using a credit or debit card.
ATM Availability
ATMs are available in most large cities in India but they are very limited elsewhere so please do not rely on this.
Credit Card Acceptance
Very rarely, only in the larger outlets.
Travellers Cheques
Opportunities to exchange are limited.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Bicycle, Boat

Accommodation notes

Comfortable - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

Planters Homestay, Near Wagamon - This is a spacious and comfortable two storey family mansion house, built over 50 years ago and located in a small rural village. It has bright and airy guest rooms, all en-suite. Some, but not all rooms have air conditioning. The house is surrounded by lush gardens with rubber and tropical fruit trees plus palms and tall teaks and lots of bird life.

Please be advised that accommodation in India is as varied as the country itself. On our tours we stay in a mix of hotels, heritage properties and homestays. Standards do not equate to standards in the UK and it's best to approach each type of accommodation with an open mind. Service can be slow in places especially when travelling with a group. For the most part hotels do not have heating so in the winter months it can be chilly and if you feel the cold you may wish to ask for extra blankets. Hot water is not always available 24 hours a day in some of the smaller properties, and with a group staying you might find if you are showering last you may miss out on the hottest water.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

India: Visas are required for citizens of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada; all other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

E-visas are available for USA, Australian and New Zealand citizens; please contact your nearest embassy for details of how to apply.

Whilst E-visas were previously available for UK and Canadian citizens, this service is temporarily on hold and applications must be made through your nearest application centre.

For UK citizens please refer to VFS Global for information -https://www.vfsglobal.com/india/uk/how_to_apply.html Please be aware that you will need to book an appointment and waiting times can be long, we recommend you begin the application process eight weeks before departure. Whilst the online form offers a relatively quick way to apply for a visa, some applicants have reported difficulty in completing the form. If you do require assistance, then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. They can complete the online visa on your behalf for a fee of £125 + the visa cost. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
 

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim

An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

India

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Cycling information
General cycling information
On this tour we cycle 269 km over ten days (an average of 27 km per day) with further optional rides available. We avoid main roads where possible and cycle mainly on tarmac back roads (90%) and some gravel paths (10%). A support vehicle accompanies the rides throughout the tour. We have graded the route as easy.
Bike included
24 gear Medirda D20 and D40 Mountain bikes, 27 year Trek-3700 Mountain bikes or 29 gear Rudley Trail Fire 4 Mountain bikes.

Bike information
Your included bike is either a 24 gear Medirda D20 and D40 Mountain bikes, 27 year Trek-3700 Mountain bikes or 29 gear Rudley Trail Fire 4 Mountain bike and will be the correct frame size for your height. A 2.5 litre handlebar bag and water bottle holder are included as well as the facility to fit your own pedals or saddle if you wish to bring them. A support vehicle accompanies the rides throughout the tour. We provide spare parts and take care of the day to day maintenance. All you need to bring is your own helmet.
Cycling grade
Easy
Additional Information
Tanya, previously Head of Customer Sales & Support at Explore, travelled on our Cycle Kerala trip and says:

"I’d probably describe this trip as a 2 week food tour on two wheels – and what better excuse to eat your way around a region than burning off energy as you cycle. Kerala is famed for its curries and sampling a wide variety of these was by far one of the highlights of the trip.  We dined daily on delights such as fresh fish cooked in banana leaves, egg curries, dosa , grilled fish, jackfruit and chicken momos (fare from the Nepalese influence in parts of Kerala) whilst sipping lots of chai and refreshing lemon soda to keep us hydrated.  We sampled an array of unusual snacks during our cycling breaks including the most delicious curried egg sweet pastry, a variety of baked sweet and savoury pastries with the odd ice cream thrown in! Vegetarians are well catered for and if you’re not a spice fan this can easily be adjusted for you. Kerala is also famed for its paratha bread and I’m sure we consumed our own body weight in it throughout the trip – guilt free!" 

Why book this trip

Diwali Festival of Light
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is one of the most important festivals in India, celebrated by families to commemorate the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The significance varies across the country with the largest celebrations held in north India. In Kerala the festival is a simpler affair. The festival's name is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Deepavali' meaning 'row of lamps' after the small clay lamps, known as diyas, fuelled with mustard oil specially made for the festival. The light from the lamps is said to help guide the goddess of wealth Lakshmi into people's homes, which are decorated with Rangoli, intricate patterns generally in a lotus design in honour of the goddess.

In 2022 Diwali festival commences on the 24th of October while the CKB15Oct22 group is Thekkady and the CKB20Oct22 group is in Alleppey.

Dates, prices and booking

📢 Prices may change - book now and today's trip price is guaranteed in our price promise
Sat 12 Nov 2022 - Thu 24 Nov 2022 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2022
US$2620
was Save
Single room (optional)
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+US$510
CKB_2022

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 28 Jan 2023 - Thu 9 Feb 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023
US$2720
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$480
CKB_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 25 Feb 2023 - Thu 9 Mar 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023 Holi Festival
US$2310
was US$2720 Save US$410
Single room (optional)
i
+US$480
CKB_2023 Holi Festival

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 11 Mar 2023 - Thu 23 Mar 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023
US$2720
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$480
CKB_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 1 Apr 2023 - Thu 13 Apr 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023
US$2720
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$480
CKB_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 14 Oct 2023 - Thu 26 Oct 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023
US$2790
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$490
CKB_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 21 Oct 2023 - Thu 2 Nov 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023
US$2790
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$490
CKB_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 11 Nov 2023 - Thu 23 Nov 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023 Diwali Festival
US$2790
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$490
CKB_2023 Diwali Festival

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 25 Nov 2023 - Thu 7 Dec 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023
US$2790
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$490
CKB_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 16 Dec 2023 - Thu 28 Dec 2023 Guaranteed departure
CKB_2023
US$2790
was Save
Single room (optional)
i
+US$490
CKB_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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