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India - Kerala & Tamil Nadu (with flight)

India - Kerala & Tamil Nadu (with flight)

3rd February 2022 - 20th February 2022 (18 days)

This popular moving-on tour, with full vehicle support, uses mid-range/good hotels. It takes in the highlights of Kerala: Kovalam Beach, Cape Cormoran, the hill stations in the Western Ghats, the Cardamom Hills, the inland waterways and Cochin on the Malabar Coast. In Tamil Nadu see the famous temple in Madurai, a World Heritage site, and the pilgrim town of Palani. On most cycling days much of the day will be spent riding, but there are some days with little or no cycling and lots of interesting sightseeing. Fly London Heathrow or Manchester to Trivandrum, returning from Cochin.
This tour is not yet open for bookings and the dates and prices shown are provisional. However, if you are interested in making a booking and being added to a waiting list to be notified when bookings open, please use the 'Enquire Now' button.

  • Holiday Type Guided
  • Tour Manager Fleur Woolley
  • Grade Moderate
  • Booking Status Enquiries Only
  • Accommodation Hotel
  • Board Basis Half Board
  • Travel Arrangements Air
  • Road / Off Road Road
  • Holiday Style Moving-on
  • Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
  • Holiday Ref 03576

Price
£3,250

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India - Kerala & Tamil Nadu (with flight)

Thursday 3rd February

Fly from London Heathrow or Manchester to Dubai.  Onward flight to Trivandrum. 

Friday 4th February

Arrive Trivandrum. Vehicle transfer to the hotel. Your room will be available on arrival so you can take a short sleep.  Assemble bikes. After lunch we will take a short local ride to test the bikes. Stay 1 night. Meals: B L D

Saturday 5th February

Cycle through pepper and rubber plantations to Chittar Lake at the foot of the Western Ghats. Afternoon free to explore or enjoy the infinity pool. 37km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B L D

Sunday 6th February

Vehicle transfer to visit  Padmanbhapurum Palace.  Cycle to Kanyakumari passing through the west coast fishing villages. Explore the Cape sea front which is known as the holy meeting place of three oceans and view the sunset over the Arabian Sea. 43km. Stay 1 night.  Meals: B L D

Monday 7th February

Short vehicle transfer to Nagarcoil station in order catch the early morning train to Madurai. We will have lunch on arrival at our Hotel. In the afternoon we visit on foot the magnificent Meenakshi Temple and local markets.  Stay 1 night. Meals: B L D

Tuesday 8th February

Vehicle transfer to Batalagundu. Cycle through jungle and tribal villages to Thandikudi, 1,200m above sea level in the Western Ghats. 37km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B L D

Wednesday 9th February

Cycle to the  hill station of Kodaikanal, 2,000m above sea leval. Today's ride is a steady climb through colourful jungle with spectacular views. 46km. Stay 2 nights. Meals: B L D

Thursday 10th February

You can choose to use today as a rest day, or a free day to explore Kodaikanal. We will be organising a walk around the lake, botanical gardens and Coaker’s Walk with a cafe stop for lunch. Meals: B D

Friday 11th February

Cycle to the pilgrim town of Palani. We will be able to have lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon there is an optional  guided temple tour and Pooja Ceremony. 66km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B L D

Saturday 12th February

Cycle to Munnar via sugar cane plantations and a crocodile sanctuary. 42km. Vehicle transfer through the Indira Gandhi Tiger Reserve and the Chinnar National Park. Cycle through a sandalwood forest, coffee and tea plantations. 42km. Total 84km.  Stay 2 nights. Meals: B L D

Sunday 13th February

This is a rest day but you can explore Munnar and visit the Tea Museum. For those that wish to cycle, there is an out and back ride to Top Station. 73km. Meals: B D

Monday 14th February

Cycle to Kumily, in the Periyar National Park, through the Cardamom Hills. Today's ride will start early and take us down  through rolling hills and tea plantations. 103km. Stay 2 nights. Meals: B L D

Tuesday 15th February

This is a rest day. In the morning there is a guided tour of a spice plantation and a visit to an elephant camp. In the afternoon you will be at leisure to explore or enjoy a rejuvenating ayurvedic massage. Meals: B D

Wednesday 16th February

Cycle an undulating route through tea plantations with a long descent from the Western Ghats. 75km. Vehicle transfer in the late afternoon to our hotel in Kumarakom. Stay 2 nights. Meals: B L D

Thursday 17th February

A leisurely houseboat cruise of the beautiful inland waterways, with our lunch on board. This is one of Kerala’s highlights. Meals: B L D

Friday 18th February

Cycle to Fort Cochin on the Malabar Coast, through shady coconut palms and sleepy fishing villages, prawn farms and rice paddies beside the Arabian Sea. 68km. After the ride we should prepare our bikes for the return journey. Stay 2 nights. Meals: B L D

Saturday 19th February

Free day to explore Cochin, the Dutch Palace, spice warehouses and antique shops. There is an optional sunset boat trip and traditional Kathakali dance demonstration. Meals: B D

Sunday 20th February

Early morning transfer to Cochin Airport for flight to Dubai. Onward flight to London Heathrow or Manchester, arriving same day.

The above itinerary should be treated as an indication of what is to be accomplished during the tour and not as a contractual obligation.

Accommodation & Meals

Rooms will be in mid-range/good hotels, equivalent to 2- and 3-star, with air conditioning or ceiling fan and ensuite facilities. All rooms are based on two people sharing. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken at the hotels/guesthouses. Vegetarian and fish options are usually available. On moving-on days the support crew will provide light lunches and mineral water.

Vehicle Support

Luggage will be transferred, and there will be sufficient space to assist riders if necessary. Sometimes we will need to get into the support vehicles to avoid riding on busy or damaged roads.

Passports, Visa & Health

UK passport holders must hold a passport with at least 6 months validity remaining at the end of the tour. A visa is required, and you are responsible for completing your own visa application.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for foreign visitors although it is strongly recommended that you be vaccinated against Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A and B. You should contact your doctor or travel clinic at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain these vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers.

Travel Insurance

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 our Booking Conditions.  CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.

Price

The price of £3,250 is based on a minimum number of 15 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 25th November 2021, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
This price is provisional.

Price Includes

  • Flights from London Heathrow or Manchester to Trivandrum
  • Flights from Cochin to London Heathrow or Manchester
  • All transfers in India to and from the airports
  • Vehicle support and baggage transfers
  • 16 nights hotel, sharing room, half-board
  • Packed lunch on cycling days
  • Services of an English speaking guide throughout the tour
  • Porterage and assistance with baggage and cycles
  • All visits/trips as per the itinerary
  • CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel to and from London Heathrow or Manchester Airport
  • Drinks, including mineral water, other than those supplied with meals
  • Lunches and refreshments on rest days.
  • Guided temple tour (approx. £10)
  • Visa costs (approx. US $40 in 2020)
  • Gratuities (these are at the discretion of tour participants, allow £70)
  • Any other personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Single occupancy supplement (£600, subject to availability)

Payment Schedule

A deposit of £325 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £2,925 per person is to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 25th November 2021.

Cancellations

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 25th November 2021

From 25th November 2021 through to departure

 

Cancellation charge:

Deposit (£325)

100% (£3,250)

The Area Covered By The Holiday

Kerala is India’s most southerly state and the country’s most developed region, and as such it is an ideal introduction to Asia. Standards of literacy, education, health and hygiene are high compared to the rest of India. English is widely spoken, and the tourist infrastructure is well established. However, road surfaces are sometimes poorly maintained. It is diverse in flora, fauna and physical geography, due mainly to the considerable changes in elevation, from the narrow coastal plain at sea level with its unique network of tropical lagoons and canals, to the cooler high country in the north 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, rest days and half days, and support vehicles will be with us for the duration of the tour. The terrain is hilly in the Western Ghats, but the climbs are well graded. On riding days an early start will be made to allow cooler conditions for most of the ride. 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. The drivers will indicate if you need to accept a vehicle transfer to reach designated refreshment stops or destinations. 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, and there are extra options on some days. You are, though, free to do your own thing if you wish.

Accommodation & Meals

Accommodation is in mid-range/good hotels, with air conditioning or ceiling fan 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 vehicle.

Travel

Return flights are available from London Heathrow or Manchester. You will be able to select your preferred departure airport when making your online booking.

Group Information

The maximum number of participants will be 17 excluding the Tour Manager, plus local guides who have worked for CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours before.

Weather & Clothing

It will be hot and dry with daytime temperatures up to 32°C. Sun cream is very strongly recommended. Head and eye protection are also essential. A light windproof/fleece might 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; knee-length cycling shorts are also useful).

Cycles & Equipment

Most roads in Kerala are in reasonable condition. A lightweight mountain or touring bike will be suitable so long as you are able to carry a daypack or rackpack. Equipment must be in good condition as spare parts will not be readily available, so ensure your bike is in good order, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. Use good quality touring tyres, at least 28mm and preferably 32mm. Each participant will be expected to carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs. An accurately calibrated cycle computer or GPS device is advisable.

Maps & Guides

Maps of Kerala are available from all good map shops. Some of the minor roads we use will not be shown. You will be provided with gpx tracks, route sheets and/or sketch maps, and be guided by the drivers.

Travel Insurance & Advice

Before booking you should check the latest travel advice, including security and local laws, passport and visa information, from the UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.