Find your ideal cycling holiday
India - Bangalore to the Arabian Sea
26th September 2019 - 13th October 2019 (18 days)
This new tour crosses the southwestern part of Karnataka, part of India's tropical region, from the central forests to the western coast, dipping briefly into Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It includes two nights in Mysore (the City of Palaces) and two nights in the old hill station of Ooty. In the days of the Raj, the British travelled up to the cool hill-top air on a narrow-gauge railway (still operating today), which the group will ride from Coonoor up to Ooty. Cycling days will be interspersed with four rest days. The last two nights will be spent relaxing at a beach resort. The tour will be served by the same excellent backup team that has worked with CTC Tours in Southern India for 18 years, including the services of our English speaking guide who is an expert on the flora, fauna, geography and history of the region.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Colin Ward
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 03198
Thursday 26th September
Depart London Heathrow at 1705 on Jet Airways flight 9W115 to Mumbai, arriving at 0650 the next day.
Friday 27th September
Continue on Jet Airways flight 9W481 to Bengaluru (Bangalore), departing at 1005 and arriving at 1200. Vehicle transfer to hotel south of the city. Assemble bikes. Afternoon, test ride bikes on local roads. Stay 1 night.
Saturday 28th September
Cycle to Bheemeshwari on the bank of the River Cauvery. 67km. Spend the late afternoon and evening watching birds and animals in the forest. Stay 1 night.
Sunday 29th September
Cycle to Shivanasamudra waterfall. 43 km. Stay 1 night.
Monday 30th September
Cycle to Kermalam, through a farmland landscape to begin with and then climbing gradually into the forest. 71km. Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 1st October
Cycle, descending from the wooded highlands through numerous hairpin bends to the plain, before passing the Bavanisaga Dam and continuing on to Odanthurai at the foot of the hill leading to Ooty. 95 km. Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 2nd October
Vehicle transfer to Coonoor Station then take the preserved narrow-gauge railway to Ooty. Overnight at The Fernhills Royale Palace Hotel, former summer residence of the Maharaja of Mysore and located in 50 acres of lawns, gardens and forest. Stay 2 nights.
Thursday 3rd October
Free day to explore Ooty with our English speaking guide or do your own thing.
Friday 4th October
Cycle mostly downhill through tea plantations and National Parks (teeming with colourful birds and unusual animals) to Bandhipur (possible vehicle transfer for part of the journey). 84km. Stay 1 night.
Saturday 5th October
Cycle to Mysore through a mostly farmland landscape. 93km. Overnight at the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, built in the 1930s by the Maharaja of Mysore. It has a panoramic view across the city, and it is not unusual to see film crews shooting in the grounds and public spaces. Stay 2 nights.
Sunday 6th October
Free day to explore Mysore with our guide or do your own thing.
Monday 7th October
Vehicle transfer out of Mysore then cycle to Kushalnagar. 90km. Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 8th October
Cycle to Coorg. 43 km. Overnight in a forest homestay guesthouse. Stay 2 nights.
Wednesday 9th October
Enjoy the homestay hospitality and traditional entertainment. Discover the plants and animals of the forest with our guide and hosts or just relax.
Thursday 10th October
Cycle mostly downhill from the Western Ghats to the beach resort near Neeleshwarum. 100km. Overnight at the Malabar Beach Resort hotel. Stay 2 nights.
Friday 11th October
Enjoy the beach resort and pack bikes for the flight home.
Saturday 12th October
Vehicle transfer to Mangalore airport for the 2045 Jet Airways flight 9W438 to Mumbai, arriving at 2230.
Sunday 13th October
Continue to London Heathrow on Jet Airways flight 9W120, departing at 0140 and arriving at 0645.
Accommodation & Meals
Four nights will be spent in hotels that are former Maharaja's palaces, and two nights will be spent at a forest homestay guesthouse in the Western Ghats. The last two nights will be at The Malabar Beach Resort hotel. The remaining nights will be spent in mid-range good hotels. All rooms have air conditioning or ceiling fans and ensuite facilities. All accommodation is based on two people sharing. Breakfasts and evening meals (vegetarian and fish options are usually available) will be taken at the accommodation. On moving-on days the support vehicle crew will provide light lunches and mineral water, to be paid for from a kitty.
Backup vehicles will transfer luggage, and there will be sufficient space to assist riders on the road and to transfer the whole group when necessary.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months at the end of the tour. A visa will be required. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether or not they require a visa.
There are no compulsory health related requirements for EU residents. You should contact your doctor at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain any vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £3,550 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the tour and is calculated at a rate of 88.6 Rupees to £1 sterling (based on exchange rates published on-line on 29 December 2018; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 18th July 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the tour may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Flights from London Heathrow to Bangalore and from Mangalore to London Heathrow
- 13 nights hotel, 2 nights homestay guesthouse, sharing room, half-board
- Economy class train fare from Coonoor to Ooty
- All transfers and full vehicle support with crew throughout the tour
- Services of an English-speaking guide throughout the tour
- Guided tours and visits arranged free of charge by our guide
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from London Heathrow
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches and refreshments during the day (though these will be provided by the backup crew on moving-on days, to be paid for locally, budget £120)
- Visits/trips offered as chargeable optional extras by our guide
- Visa costs (approx £80 in 2018)
- Gratuities (these are at the discretion of the tour participants, allow £50)
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£700, subject to availability)
A deposit of £800 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £2,750 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 18th July 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 18th July 2019
From 18th July 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
This tour takes place mainly in the southwest part of Karnataka, touching briefly on its neighbours Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the three comprising India’s most southerly states. Each state has its own language, but English is widely spoken, and the tourist infrastructure is well established. They are diverse in flora, fauna and physical geography, due mainly to the considerable changes in elevation, from the narrow coastal plain at sea level to the cooler high country where conditions are ideal for the cultivation of coffee, tea and exotic spices.
Rides & Rest Days
This tour is suitable for experienced cyclists capable of distances up to 100 kilometres and cycling on consecutive days. There are, however, several rest days, and support vehicles will be with us for the duration of the tour. There are some climbs in the Nilgiri Hills and the Western Ghats, which are higher but no steeper than those that cyclists may have experienced in the South of England. It is not practical, or enjoyable, to ride together as one group. The navigation is straightforward so you may cycle at your own pace and stop for photographs etc. In theory, traffic drives on the left, though in practice, in built up areas it is chaotic. In busy areas, cycle single file and well-spaced, allowing room to manoeuvre. Organised sightseeing to places of interest is included in the cost of the tour. You are, though, free to do your own thing if you wish.
Accommodation & Meals
All rooms have air conditioning or ceiling fans and ensuite facilities. South Indian food is mainly vegetarian and spicy but not hot curry. There is an abundance of fresh fruit and fish. Mineral water is widely available and will be carried on the support vehicles to be paid for from the kitty.
The maximum number of participants will be 20 excluding the Tour Manager.
Weather & Clothing
It will be hot and mostly dry, with daytime temperatures up to 32ºC. Sun protection is very strongly recommended. Head and eye protection are also essential. A light windproof/fleece will be needed in the evenings when visiting hill stations and for early morning descents. Modesty is expected in towns and temples. Ladies should cover their legs and shoulders when not cycling (a beach wrap is ideal for this; over the knee cycling trousers are also useful). Most cyclists wear the kit that they would wear cycling in a UK summer with the addition of head and neck covering.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards are optional but show courtesy to those who are following you in wet weather. Lights are a legal requirement at night, but might not prove essential as there is no intention to ride in the dark. New tyres are recommended of at least 28mm diameter. Participants will be expected to carry each day sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
You will not need to carry luggage, but a rack top pack or bar bag will be useful for carrying wet weather gear, spare clothing needed for the day, camera, snacks and your map. Helmets are recommended.
Maps & Guides
Maps of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are available from good map shops, though some of the minor roads we use will not be shown. GPX files will be provided for cyclists who like to keep track of their position with a GPS device. You will also be guided by the vehicle support crew.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.