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Southern India Coast to Coast Ride

14 days
Activity level:
Moderate / Challenging
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Group size:

Cycle through two distinctively different Indian states

The two southernmost states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala perfectly depict the contrasting nature of India. Seeing them on two wheels gives us an excellent opportunity to soak up the rich culture and appreciate the different landscapes as we cycle by. Tamil Nadu sees far fewer visitors than other Indian states, but this is part of the attraction as we follow quiet backroads from the fertile coastal plains in the east to the remarkable hills of the Western Ghats, which form the border with Kerala. Our ride takes us past some of the most impressive sites of southern India, including the former French colony of Pondicherry and the magnificent Sri Meenakshi Temple at Madurai. After cycling through the cooler highlands and tea estates of the Western Ghats, we reach the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, where a relaxing houseboat cruise offers the chance to unwind and reflect on a memorable journey.


  • Cycle through two distinctively different Indian states
  • Sample regional dishes served on a banana leaf
  • Cruise on a traditional Keralan houseboat

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels, 1 night houseboat and 2 nights mansions
  • 10 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • Group normally 4 to 14, plus local cycling leader and driver. Min age 16 yrs
  • E-bike hire available on request, supplement from £165, USD $231 or CAD $274
  • Countries visited: India

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 8 dinners 
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
  • E-bike hire supplement
Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Cycling

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour


Low altitude, 100% tarmac

Day by day breakdown
Day 16.0km/4.0miles
Day 232.0km/20.0miles
Day 3101.0km/63.0miles
Day 468.0km/42.0miles
Day 5102.0km/63.0miles
Day 699.0km/61.0miles
Day 742.0km/26.0miles
Day 971.0km/44.0miles
Day 1082.0km/51.0miles
Day 1135.0km/22.0miles
Day 1257.0km/35.0miles

Responsible Travel

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:


How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • The hotels we stay in are dedicated to hiring local staff, this helps to benefit the surrounding community by providing employment opportunities and income alternatives where they may be otherwise hard to come by.
  • Our local partners share a commitment to projects which benefit their communities.  
  • This tour encourages guests to visit local cafes and restaurants and use markets to purchase traditional crafts.


How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • On this trip we visit national heritage sites and the entrance fees included generates income which is used for the upkeep and development of these important monuments and nature parks.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.
  • Where possible on this trip paper bags are used as an alternative to single-use plastics.


How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally-sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • In some restaurants there is the option to have plant-based meals.
  • This trip favours locally-owned and run accommodation.


Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Cultural respect:
    • Best to ask before photographing people, ceremonies, or sacred sites.
    • It's polite to use only your right hand when eating something without cutlery and when handing money and small objects to someone else.
    • Before entering a holy place remove your shoes and give them to the shoe minder. When you collect your shoes again give the minder a few rupees. You’re permitted to wear socks in most places of worship.
    • Religious etiquette advises against touching the heads of locals even children, or directing the soles of your feet at a person, shrine,  or an image of a deity. You should not touch a carving of a deity.
    • When visiting religious sites dress and behave respectfully, don’t wear shorts and sleeveless tops – this applies to both men and women. Head cover for women and sometimes men is required in some places of worship. 
    • Generally it is best to dress modestly throughout your time in India as a sign of respect.
    • Making the effort to fit in is invariably appreciated so being aware of these aspects of cultural respect will assist you during your travels in India.



  • Day 1

    Start Chennai; transfer to Pondicherry via the shore temples of Mahabalipuram.

    Those who are on the group flights will land in Chennai early in the morning. Those not on the group flights will need to be at the airport when the group land if they would like to join the group transfer. Once everyone has arrived we will then depart on the 3.5 hour drive to Pondicherry with a break at Mahabalipuram which is famous for its shore temples and rock carvings. Carving in stone is still a living art here and we will see stonemasons chipping away along the roadside, practicing skills that have flourished for centuries. On arrival in Pondicherry we assemble the bikes and explore this former French colony, a short 6km ride, before an evening briefing about our cycling adventure. 
    Hotel Atithi or similar

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    Circular ride passing the spiritual commune of Auroville. After lunch in the old quarter the afternoon is free.

    Circular ride to Auroville, a new-age spiritual commune. Founded in 1968 by 'The Mother' and named after her Guru Sri Aurobindo, it offers a more balanced way of living. Revitalized by some earthly fruit juices, we ride the 15km back into town, seeing some fishing communities and cycling along the promenade, which still retains some of its Gallic charm. Depending on time, lunch may be at Auroville or back in Pondicherry, and the rest of the day is free to explore. 
    Hotel Atithi or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Pleasant ride along village roads to experience the rural life of Southern India. Our afternoon ride heads to Chidambaram, famed for its bronze deity casting.

    Starting from our hotel, we ride out of Pondicherry and soon leave the bustle of the city for quiet backroads, experiencing rural life where simple mud huts contrast with the brightly coloured saris worn by the local women. This is the real India and in true Indian style we stop at a roadside restaurant for a tea break. Back on our bikes we cycle another 66km to Chidambaram. Staying in the grand mansion of the village we sleep in the extended family villa – with its own temple it’s almost like stepping back in time. 
    Lakshmivilas Heritage Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Riverside ride to the 16th Century Nayak's capital of Thanjavur; afternoon free to visit the town and Royal Palace.

    Scenic morning ride following quiet roads and tracks along the banks of the Cauvery River to Thanjavur. Previously a capital between the 9th and 13th Centuries, it regained its status under the Nayaks in the 16th Century who rebuilt the Royal Palace, Durbar Hall and libraries. After lunch, we take a vehicle transfer to the Thanjavur Hotel. Late afternoon we visit the palace which houses one of the finest collections of bronze sculptures and stone carvings in southern India and the famous vegetable market at Tanjore followed by a visit to the huge Brihadishwara Temple, one of the largest in India and known locally as simply the 'Big Temple'. 
    Hotel Parisutham or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Long ride through the Tamil Nadu heartland to Chettinad

    Leaving the city by the old road, we head out into the Tamil Nadu heartland, visiting the oldest clay horse temple en route, to an area renowned for its impressive mansions built by wealthy traders known as Chettiars. Some of these palatial houses have been converted to boutique hotels, offering a glimpse of the past. The grand interiors of Burmese teak and elaborate plaster work retain much of the traditional architecture of a bygone age. But it's from the kitchens tucked away at the rear of the house that the real flavour of India comes to life: Chettinad cuisine is as traditional as its buildings, the piquant curries are slow cooked in copper pots over a wood stove and are as memorable as the ride to get here. 
    Chettinadu Mansion or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Scenic ride to Madurai, a highlight of any trip to India.

    Today we have a scenic ride to Madurai. Another rocky outcrop is the sacred abode of Lord Murugan, the son of Shiva and also know as Skanda, the most revered god in Tamil Nadu. Staying at Madurai we avoid the worst of the busy traffic. 
    JC Residency or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Free morning to visit this magnificent temple city. Transfer to lunch then ride past Indian vineyards before a final ascent into the Western Ghats and our night stop at Thekkady.

    Morning free to explore the old city and Sri Meenakshi Temple, one of the largest temple complexes in India and one of the highlights of Tamil Nadu. Thousands of huge stone pillars line the hallways, each adorned with different deities, are said to represent the 3,333,333 gods of the Hindu cosmos. A constant flow of worshipers, offering pujas, (rituals performed by the temple priests to the various deities) add to the heady atmosphere of incense and camphor smoke, and make this an unforgettable experience of Hindu culture. Blessed, we leave the heat of Madurai for the cool air of the Cardamom Hills. We transfer by vehicle to our lunch stop at Theni. After lunch we will be dropped off at Cambam, from where we ride to Kumily. Hidden behind the banana plantation are the vineyards of southern India's new venture into wine making. These give way to the forested slopes of the Western Ghats and a slow but beautiful ascent up through the rainforest to Thekkaday, a small town close to the entrance of Periyar National Park and our accommodation for the next two nights. 
    Abad Green Forest or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Free day to relax or visit the nearby Periyar N.P.

    Today is free to relax or go on one of the trekking and boat safaris to the nearby Periyar National Park. Centred around a man-made reservoir, it is possible to see wildlife all year round, although the best time is the dry season (March-May) when herds of elephant come to the lake to graze by the shore; if you are very lucky you may even see a leopard or tiger coming down to quench their thirst.
    Abad Green Forest or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    MIT: Ride through tea estates; tea factory stop; continue on to Vagamon

    Riding from the hotel we cycle through cardamom and tea estates, stopping mid-morning for tea and to visit the local tea factory, learning more about the tea making process. Refreshed, we continue along hilly tea plantation roads with a lunch break at a small roadside restaurant en route to Vagamon, an area of outstanding natural beauty and one of the most scenic roads in Kerala. We end the ride with a superb winding descent on a quiet road and stay at an old plantation bungalow. 
    Vanilla County Plantation homestay or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Cycle through rubber and spice plantations to Kottayam, the Syrian Christian heartland of Kerala.

    Today we ride through rubber and spice plantations en route to Kottayam, known as the Syrian Christian heartland of Kerala. Here grand churches dot the landscape and we break at Palai to visit St Thomas Church, its white washed facade and distinct gilded ceiling predates its Portuguese renovation. All roads converge into Kottayam City, and we avoid the city by following country roads and stop for a lunch break at Erttumanoor Town. Then entering a world in which the author Arundhati Roy set in her book 'The God of Small Things', close to the shore of Vembanad Lake. 
    Whispering Palms Lake Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Free morning to explore or relax by the lake before boarding a houseboat for a stunning backwater cruise.

    Free morning to relax and enjoy the lake view; or ride to the nearby Kumarakom bird sanctuary and then take a sightseeing ride along the shore of the lake. Midday we board our houseboats for a stunning backwater cruise. The houseboats, converted rice barges now come with a captain, cook and crew; we just sit back, sip long drinks and watch the world go by. 


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Final ride along the coast road to Fort Cochin

    In the middle of the morning we disembark at Muhamma. Riding along the backroad we cross over to the coastal road to the Arthingal Beach for our first view of the Arabian Sea, and finally know that we've cycled across India from coast to coast. We then ride on to Fort Cochin for lunch. 
    The Dutch Bungalow or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Free day in Fort Cochin

    A free day to explore the town of Cochin, its bazaars and old harbour area. Warehouses filled with the smell of tea and spices are limewashed bright green, yellow and blue; rickety old bikes and handpainted trucks piled high with goods, fill the narrow streets and food stalls stand on every corner. Further along the road we come to Mattancherry and the Dutch Palace. Next to the Palace is the synagogue, built in 1568 for the Jewish members of Cochin's trading communities, adorned with hand-painted tiles from China and elegant Belgian chandeliers, all donations from wealthy merchants. The area around the synagogue is excellent for shopping. For food, try the fish market near the Chinese fishing nets, where you can buy the day's catch and have it cooked to your own taste. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities here.

    The Dutch Bungalow or similar 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 14

    End Cochin.

    If you are on the group flight you will have an early morning transfer to the airport for the flight back to London. Those not flying with the group will leave us at the hotel in Cochin.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Currently e-visas for India are not available for many nationalities, including UK passport holders. Visa application is via the Indian Embassy, and it can take several weeks . We recommend you use the services of the visa agency CIBT. Please check their portal on our Travel Hub (scroll to the bottom of the page), with clear instructions on what is needed and prices:

We hope that this situation will change soon and will update our website as soon as it does.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 8 dinners included.

You should allow approx. £10 (approx. US$16) per day for lunch and dinner when they are not included. £3-4 (approx. US$4.80-6.40) for lunch, and £5-6 (approx. US$8-9.60) for dinner without drinks. This amount may vary according to how much you drink. Generally you can eat out very cheaply in India. There is a good choice of restaurants and sometimes there is a choice between Indian and Western style food. If you are a vegetarian, South India is an ideal destination. Lunches on riding days are usually taken in local roadside cafes. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approx. £1-3 (approx. US$5). Please note that service in Indian restaurants can be quite slow. Mineral water is carried in the support vehicle and you can refill you water bottle from these large containers. 


The most important feature of the Indian climate is the monsoon. The main monsoon strikes the coast of Kerala in late May and sweeps its way northward over the next month or so. The ideal time to visit is during the dry season from October to March, but monsoons have been known to be late and it can rain as late as November. Days will be hot and the nights warm: the average range of maximum daytime temperatures being between 21ºC and 35ºC and from 6ºC to 20ºC at night. However, in the hills temperatures can be considerably cooler and you can expect temperatures to drop to a few degrees above zero at night. We ask you to note that frequent rainstorms can be expected throughout the tour on November departures. However, the storms are usually of quite short duration and the sun normally comes out fairly quickly afterwards.

Chennai, India

Cochin, India

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified 'Road'
Activity Level: 4 (Moderate/Challenging)
Average daily distance: 65km (40 miles)
No.of days cycling: 10
Full vehicle support
Terrain and route: almost entirely surfaced roads including plenty of quiet backroads with low levels of traffic, but this does increase when approaching towns. Road surfaces mostly good. There is one sustained climb en route, and some undulating sections with short climbs, but the support vehicle is available if required. Longer days at the beginning of the trip are mostly flat, but always interesting. Most rides are door-to-door, allowing plenty of time in the saddle.

Indian roads can be rough in some places, with potholes. Please bear this in mind if you are bringing your own pedals and clip-in shoes.

Please note that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI's schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels, houseboat and mansions

Most of the hotels are comfortable tourist-class and all have ensuite rooms. 2 nights will be spent in Indian grand homes; one of these is a palatial wedding mansion built by the Chettis and the other is a 19th Century plantation owner's family home. The night near Kottayam (Day 9) will usually be spent in a local homestay. The accommodation here is spread out so some of the group will stay in the main house and others in permanent Swiss Cottage tents. These each have a raised bed and mattress, an attached veranda and toilet.

Hotels in India usually do not have heating as there are really only a couple of months in the year when the weather can get cooler.   You can however request more blankets or the hotel may be able to provide a standing heater for your room.  Please talk to your tour leader if you need help in this matter.  

Houseboats are comfortable, the majority of cabins on board are on a twin share basis, and all cabins have toilet facilities. The houseboats have a communal dining area and are air-conditioned at night between 8pm and 6am.

Customers should be aware that the gas water heaters used on all houseboats are open-flued systems, as used in many parts of India. While this complies with Indian law, it does not meet UK standards and therefore we must inform travellers that there is a risk (while minimal) of carbon monoxide emissions. We have asked our leaders to install a Carbon Monoxide alarm, and they have been asked to brief groups to keep their rooms ventilated (i.e. window open) at night to ensure sufficient air circulation. 


Please note that the single supplement does not include the night at Vanilla County Plantation on Day 9 and cannot be guaranteed on the houseboat either due to limited rooms.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries


By choosing an e-bike cycling holiday, riders can now go further, faster, and see mo

  • Reviewed March 2020

    A great holiday

    This trip was pretty much exactly what it said on the label. A varied ride through contrasting states. Well organised and well run. No problems and a lot of fun. A good balance of riding and relaxation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing particularly stands out. There were many interesting things to see but for me there was no one inspirational moment. This is not a negative comment - it was all good with no real highs and no lows.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shekar - Excellent. He was organised and always very considerate. He led well and although some minor incidents must have raised his stress levels he coped well. He loved to talk and would use two words when one would do but he was interested in improving his English (which was very good) so as to communicate more efficiently. Sometimes he made up the odd facts, particularly dates, but this was just an amusing characteristic and one would not treat his historical knowledge too seriously.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In our group everyone had done at least one cycling trip with Exodus before. There are some quite long days so I am not sure I would recommend the ride for first timers unless you were already keen cyclists. India is a mad place to cycle but quite safe once you get to grips with the techniques of getting through the crowds as one exits or enters a town or city. It is hot - low 30's C - but this is fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotels are varied from decent tourist establishments in towns to home-stays in rural areas. The latter are perfectly comfortable and interesting places. Many do not serve alcohol which is a bit of a bore because many, like myself, appreciate a cold beer after a hard hot ride. This is partially overcome by the guide organizing a supply which we could sneak in to our rooms (known as health drinks). This is Ok but arranging to meet in someone's bedroom for an end of day drink is not the same as having a social time in a bar. Some places you cannot be seen to drink in public so that includes no alcohol with meals.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Sarah Nicholas

    A wonderful holiday

    This was our third cycling trip in India and lived up to all expectations. There is a great sense of achievement in cycling Coast to Coast from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea. It is wonderful cycling through the countryside, villages and towns and seeing and meeting people going about their daily lives.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I most enjoyed the friendliness of the people we met. I enjoyed seeing the cottage industries of the coir rope maker and coir mat maker. I love the chaos of India and the heightening of all your senses with all the sights, smells and noises.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Shakar was excellent. His love for his country was obvious. He introduced us to many 'everyday' people and showed us many places on route. He is friendly and fun and got to know and involve the whole group in the trip. He made sure we were safe throughout the cycle trip. He was ably supported by Bevan, Franklin and Jenni who made sure our water bottles were always full and any issues with our bikes were quickly sorted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cycling is a wonderful way to see India. Don't be put off by some of the long distances - the route is generally flat and there are frequent breaks for water, snacks and coffee. Cycling in the towns can be challenging but being in a group helps. Don't think you'll loose any weight as the food is delicious!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As other reviewers have said - this is a wonderful trip - go for it!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Paul Griffin

    Bay of Bengal to Arabian Sea in about 500 smiles

    This was such an excellent trip from start to finish. We experienced all types of weather from baking hot sun to cyclonic rain and along the way were constantly amazed by the friendliness and generosity of the local people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the guided tour of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple where we witnessed Bullock and Elephant in ceremonial costumes in a procession.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shekar was great, organised everything and sorted out a visit to a chemist for me when things got a bit awkward.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You will drink a lot of water whilst cycling so take something to put in it for flavour as it gets a bit dull after a while.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Tony Jenkins

    What a fantastic trip!

    Wow, what a great trip. I had a fantastic time and I am so glad that I did it. There were so many highlights. To start with the cycling was varied and interesting combining flat, uphill and undulating sections along the way as well as cycling by rivers, along country lanes, a bit of city cycling, cycling through tea plantations and many more. The food was delicious throughout and there was lots of choice. I particularly enjoyed the fresh fish and jumbo prawns in Cochin but there was also a wide variety of tasty curries to choose from along the way. All of the accommodation was relaxing, comfortable and air conditioned/had fans. The amount of different places visited was great too ranging from Hindu temples, Christian churches, tea plantation, spice plantation, bird sanctuary etc. The guides on the trip were exceptional. Abhi, the tour leader, always had a smile on his face and always had an answer for any question that you asked him. He was also very encouraging on the cycling side of things as well as pointing out lots of interesting things along the way. He also made you feel welcome and was very organised. He was great. Franklin, the driver, was also great. He was always there to help with your luggage, fill up your water bottle or offer some food for your trip. He was also encouraging too. I would just like to say a quick thank you to Virginia, Alan and Scott who were my travel companions. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to travel with. They were fun, good to talk to and helped make me feel comfortable while cycling. Thanks. Finally, I would like to say that if you are thinking about doing this trip then just do it as you will have a great time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment was the day where we were cycling through the tea plantations. I really enjoyed the cycling (including 3000ft of climbing!) and the scenery was spectacular too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Abhi always had a smile on his face and always had an answer for any question that you asked him. He was also very encouraging on the cycling side of things as well as pointing out lots of interesting things along the way. He also made you feel welcome and was very organised. He was interesting to talk to and a great human being.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It got up to nearly 46 degrees when I went on my trip so I would highly recommend wearing a cap/buff or similar under your cycling helmet as it gets so hot on your head otherwise. I would also recommend cycling gloves and padded shorts/underwear as it can get very hot and sticky. Good quality sun cream is essential too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would highly recommend going on this trip as it is varied, fun and exceptionally well run.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Eamonn O Dulainn

    Wonderful Trip

    Just back from a wonderfully exciting ,fulfilling and enjoyable trip across India with a lovely group of people. Accommodation and food of an exceptionally high standard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting with and seeing how the people of Tamil Nadu get on with life in a manner that seemed to be so bereft of aggression and so gentle while welcoming visitors despite living in the most primitive of conditions. Seeing at close quarters the level of service provided at all of our overnight stays. The cycle through the tea and rubber plantations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shekar R. and his crew of Keryun, Bevan and were as attentive to our needs as any people could possibly be.Our water bottles were filled before we asked, our bikes were ready and we were minded and cosseted from start to finish. Shekar is very proud of his country and was keen to allow us to experience as much of its culture and people as time would allow. He took every opportunity to allow us to gain extra enjoyment from out trip by seizing opportunities which presented themselves en route such as arranging for us to join a wedding party for lunch...meeting a young schoolgirl to recite poetry and visiting houses benefits . He coped with requests and difficulties in a most efficient and caring manner and ensured that all were included in his plans.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The temperatures during March this year were exceptionally high (up to 45C) but I would advise people to travel for trips in Dec/Jan /Feb if possible. Drink as much water as possible...then some more.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it'll be delighted you did.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Hazel and Keith Sexton


    When my husband suggested cycling in India, I was to say more than a bit apprehensive but having returned from this 2 week trip I have to say that I have had one of the best experiences of my life that I could possible ever have. The contrasts when cycling were incredible - from the quiet undulating roads through stunningly beautiful tea plantations in the Western Ghats to super busy streets with buses, tuk-tuks, motor cycles, bicycles and cows to navigate around! The cycling itself was of a reasonable challenge with a few ascents but the bikes provided were of a high standard with good gearing and suspension so absorbing some of the "bumpy roads" making the ride enjoyable and rewarding at the same time. The distances cycled on a daily basis varied and even on the longer days (100 km) these were broken up with food stops/rests so nothing felt overly difficult. The food was another highlight and stopping at local "cafes" which were most definitely not on the usual tourist route a great experience and we tried so many new and delicious delicacies cooked at times on open fires by the most friendly of cooks. The accommodation on the whole was a very pleasant surprise with the standard a lot higher than we expected. All the places provided excellent breakfasts and dinners so the main issue was of NOT putting on weight! Finally, whilst the main focus was to cycle from coast to coast, on each and every day there were different cultural sights / experiences to partake of and so allowed us to see and appreciate this beautiful part of India. If you are thinking of doing a cycle trip that allows you a wealth of new experiences and adventures then do NOT hesitate to do this trip as you will not be disappointed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling in Tamil Nadu and when we passed the schools, the children in their beautifully presented uniforms would come rushing to wave to us and smile as we rode past. They made us feel so welcome. Also when we stopped, people were again very welcoming and wanted to have photographs with us and know all about us. The friendliness of the people, who themselves have very little, were so smiley and happy that it made you feel very humble.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Shekar was outstanding! From the moment we met him in Pondicherry to waving us off at Cochin airport, he could not have done more to make this trip so special for our group. He was extremely organised, knowledgeable and listened to what our group wanted and adapted the trip accordingly as he genuinely cared about us having a memorable time in his country. We felt very safe under his direction and he took full control so that when we arrived/departed different places we only had to worry about riding our bikes. He was very friendly and sociable, and worked tirelessly to ensure we had a fantastic trip. In this, he was supported by Abi, Kurian and Franklin and as a team they worked extremely well together so that all of our wants and needs were catered for. Could not ask for any more from any member of this fantastic team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cycling in India is unlike any other cycling that I have ever done! However, the team looking after us ensured we were safe so listen to what the leader tells you to do and follow any such instructions from the team guiding. On the roads do not hesitate - ride with confidence and you will be fine. Accept that parts of India have real rubbish/pollution problems, but try to see beyond this and in areas like Kerala a real effort is being made to make the region a plastic free zone. Also, embrace every new experience - there are so many - and enjoy every moment of such a trip that will leave everlasting memories.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Indian driving in the towns is best described as "chaotic" with lots of horning beeping and everyone on the road trying to navigate the street at the same time but somehow it works and before long you get used to the horns warning you that another road user is in the vicinity. This trip certainly allowed me to experience sights, sounds, tastes and smells like no other trip and if you are like I was somewhat apprehensive, then I would say to you, "Do It!" and it is something you will remember for the rest of your life.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    lindsey gill

    Indian challenging adventure

    From dipping our rear wheels in the Bay of Bengal, travelling through the largely tourist free Tamil Nadu, over the mountains of tea plantations, through fabulous scenery, down into Kerala, and dipping our from wheels into the Arabian Sea, Abi our guide and his team looked after us with cheerfulness and a sense of humour. We ate amazing food often off banana leaves in places you would never venture into as an unaccompanied tourist, and experienced true Indian live at very close quarters. Some demanding cycling, especially on the roads of the crazily busy towns, and some extraordinary sights made an exciting experience. The Indian cookery class and the heritage home stays made the trip even more special.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing how people struggle to scrape a living together but at the same time are happy, smiling and welcoming to visitors, it is very humbling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abi was so lovely caring and happy in his work, he seemed to genuinely enjoy meeting new people interacting and helping them experience his country, and was always happy to adapt to our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We suffered no ill effects but we were careful about using regular hand wash and avoiding drinking the water. We ate largely Indian style food avoiding western style meals and ate brilliantly.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Barry Tiernan

    Coast to Coast

    This is a great holiday covering 2 distinct regions of Southern India, Tamil Nadu and Kerala The cycling was excellent, flat rides for the first week in Tamil Nadu and hilly the second week in Kerala The accommodation was generally very good. The food was excellent, enjoyed by all on the trip. There were only 6 of us on the trip(all friends), on previous tips there were 16. However it worked out really well. We all enjoyed the cycling, potholes and all. Some busy towns but enjoyable to cycle through.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We stayed at a Plantation House in Vagamon, Kerala which was a special moment for all. Such a beautiful house and the family looked after us very well, cooking a magnificent meal in the evening. Were also driven to a rock pool in a Jeep for a swim. All of us would have loved another day here The night on the houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala was also great fun, a nice touch near the end of the holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Abhilash (Abi) was wonderful. He was kind and caring, looked after us very well. Abi was always there to make our holiday enjoyable. The rest of the team, Kurian, Santos, Vipin also worked very hard and we enjoyed their company. This was a truly excellent team

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food was so good, likely to put a few pounds on!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only bone of contention were the two Abad Hotels we stayed at. The hotels were great hotels from an accommodation and food perspective. However for a group of cyclist, it is often lovely after a long day's ride to have a nice cold beer and a glass of wine at dinner, which was not possible at these two hotels While we could drink in our rooms, its not the same. We are a bit "old in the tooth" to have a sneak a drink hiding out of sight. I do not think a "dry hotel" is appropriate for a cycling group when there were several other resort hotels in the same area. This is my 4th cycling trip in Asia and not come across this before.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Kevin Frazer

    In search of a good cup of tea

    Myself and my wife (Chris) are both keen cyclists and were keen to have a bit of an adventure. This ride looked like the perfect first trip for us as it meet a number of our requirements. It needed to have enough miles to satisfy my cycling needs but not too difficult for Chris. It had to be somewhere a bit different and it had to go from A to B. Also since retiring 4 years ago I have been blogging about the best cafes/tea shops to go to on a cycle ride and this would give me the chance to blog about tea rooms in the capital of tea. The trip surpassed my expectations as we cycled through a variety of landscapes, learned about temples and tea plants whilst I was able to update my blog with news of the tea shop culture. A day to day review with photos is on my blog The second week could have done with a few more miles cycling as there were a couple of rather short days. Although the overnight ride on the houseboat maybe a highlight for some I found it a bit dull (after many trips on the Norfolk broads) and would have rather spent it on the bike. I was particularly impressed with the organisation of the team once throughout the trip making the whole experienced very relaxing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I just loved cycling in a completely unfamiliar environment but I was blown away by how friendly the Indian people were. So much waving and friendly chatting it was such a welcoming country. As the number one self appointed tea room reviewer in the whole of Norfolk I also loved going to the roadside tea shops in search of a great cup of tea, although I didn't really find one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As we arrived at Chennai airport we were not sure what to expect but we were warmly welcomed by Shaker, our tour leader, and from that point until we flew home we didn't have to worry about a thing as all our needs were taken care. I don't think we could have been looked after any better by Shaker and his team and I was really impressed with their friendliness and organisation. I couldn't speak highly enough of them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was very hot when we went so we probably overpacked 'warm' clothes. Also the trip notes advised not to wear lycra and keep shoulders covered although in practice there was no such restriction and most of the party were in lycra shorts and cycle tops. As the support bus is never far away you can keep you cycling stuff (suncream, money, snacks etc) on the bus so just need a pocket for your phone or camera when riding. Don't be afraid to try the different foods on offer. Most of the road surfaces were as good or better than in Norfolk with the exception of one day when it was more of a hard track along the river but nothing to worry about.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was such a good experience we are already looking at what our next cycling trip will be.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    David Waugh

    Coast to Coast - the real India

    I have been to India before with happy memories of Rajasthan in 2015 and looked forward to my trip to southern India. Sadly although I love travel and I am pleased that I went, as always the brochures and glossy pictures on the Exodus website leave out some of the things you will see - The province of Tamil Nadu is generally poor; the cities are overpopulated and crowded. The cities are best described as heaving masses of humanity, the air thick with pollution. The towns and villages lack sanitation, the rivers run thick with waste & rubbish. Cows browse street side piles of aging rubbish in their search of food. Dusty roads choked with constant traffic. The roadsides often choked with shacks that have no running water nor electricity. Kerala, the second half of the trip on the other hand is much cleaner but even so the urban and rural environments still sadden the heart. Two days at Fort Cochin in a hotel surrounded by building sites near a local beach choked with piles of plastic and other waste was two days too long for me. True there were highlights and the landscape ( where there are no people) can be just fantastic. And again the history, religion, and the people are very friendly & so welcoming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at a small village surrounded by paddy fields ; a family group, complete with a new born baby sitting on white plastic chairs outside their home/hut, surrounded completely by strewn piles of rubbish.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Stay in Kerala or pick another trip in another country.

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