Cycle the Coast of Kerala Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Destinations:
India
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
MIA
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

Kerala is an excellent place to discover by bike; a true tropical paradise with an idyllic coastline, lush tranquil backwaters, colourful temples and old stone churches. It's not surprising that Kerala is often referred to as 'God's own country'. Offering a gentler experience than the often frenetic north, Kerala is great for a first time bike trip or your first visit to India. From the old spice port of Cochin to the laid-back beach town of Varkala, we gently cycle through beautiful landscapes, fascinating towns and colourful fishing villages, sampling superb south Indian cuisine along the way. A night in a village homestay provides a unique insight into the warm Keralan hospitality, and the backwaters of Kerala are cruised on a traditional houseboat before relaxing on the sweeping beaches of Varkala.

At a Glance

  • 5 nights hotels, 1 night houseboat, 1 night homestay
  • 6 days cycling, including 1 optional ride and a bike tour of Cochin, with full vehicle support
  • Mostly surfaced roads with a few rough sections
  • Group normally 4 to 14, plus leader and driver. Min. age 16 yrs

 

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the old spice town of Cochin
  • Experience warm hospitality in a village homestay
  • Cruise the backwaters on a traditional houseboat
  • Relax on the sandy beaches of Varkala

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is classified 'Road'
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
No. of days cycling: 6, including 1 optional ride and a bike tour of Cochin.
Full vehicle support.
Average daily distance: ranges from 25km/day (15.5 miles) to 60km/day (37.3 miles).
Terrain and route: mostly surfaced roads (which can be rough in some places) including plenty of quiet backroads with low levels of traffic, but this does increase when approaching towns. The support vehicle is available at all times if required. The cycling consists of mostly half-day rides, allowing time to explore the sights and relax at your hotel.

This trip is designed so that you can experience the best parts of Kerala in a short period of time. Kerala shows the softer side of the sub-continent, offering a gentler experience than the often frenetic north. We follow the coast rather than going inland in order to avoid the highlands of Kerala. This itinerary is therefore great for a first time bike trip or your first visit to India, but there is also plenty of interest for those who have completed cycle trips with us previously in India and want to see a different part of the country.

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.

Group

Our Indian team of leaders have proved very popular with their incredible knowledge, passion and hospitality adding greatly to the experience. There is no better way to experience Indian culture than letting an Indian guide show you around their country.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
14

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Cochin
End City:
Varkala

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Cochin.

    Start Cochin. Those on the group flight usually arrive at our hotel in the afternoon. We'll then have our bike fitting and test our bikes. 

    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Explore Cochin by bike and foot.

    Today is a good opportunity to get used to the bikes, exploring the historical town of Cochin (Kochi) by bike and foot. The Portuguese established a base here, followed by the Dutch, who were forced to hand it over to the British in 1841. With a multicultural heritage, it is now the bustling commercial capital of Kerala. Merchants began trading spices such as pepper and cardamom with the Chinese, Arabs and Portuguese more than 600 years ago. Warehouses are still filled with the smell of tea and spices are lime-washed bright green, yellow and blue; rickety old bikes and hand-painted trucks piled high with goods fill the narrow streets and food stalls stand on every corner. Most of the major sights are found in Fort Kochi and Mattencharry. We'll visit St Francis Church, which is close to the hotel. Built by the Portuguese in 1503, it is the burial place of Vasco de Gama and his tomb can be found inside the church. We then make our way to the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry. Constructed by the Portuguese in 1568, it was gifted to the Maharaja of Kochi before the Dutch took it over. Close to the palace is Jew Town and the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 for the Jewish members of Kochi’s trading communities, it is adorned with hand-painted tiles from China and elegant Belgian chandeliers, all donations from wealthy merchants. The area around the synagogue, called Jew Street, is a heritage zone with many antique and handicraft shops and is excellent for shopping. The fish market near the Chinese fishing nets is also worth a visit. Cochin is also the centre for Keralan arts, so this evening we'll enjoy a Kathakali dance performance, a form of religious dance and play unique to Kerala.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
  • Day 3

    Cycle to Muhamma, past old Portuguese villas and through fishing villages.

    Riding out of Fort Cochin, we pass 500 year old Portuguese villas, a striking contrast to the tiny fishermen's huts dotted along the beach road, with their wooden boats pulled up under the palm trees and nets hung out to dry. Many of these fishing villages are Christian. At Arthungal we can rest under the shade of the coconut trees, sip tea and admire the view of the old stone church. Continuing along the coastal road, we make our way towards the backwaters of Muhamma. Kerala is renowned for its backwaters; a network of canals and lakes which we cruise on a traditional rice barge later on in the trip. Tonight we stay in a backwater resort overlooking Vambanad Lake. The veranda and the gardens are excellent spots for relaxing whilst backwater life unfurls before you. Treatments such as Ayurvedic massages are offered here.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 52 km / 32 miles
  • Day 4

    Continue riding along the coast to a backwater village in the region of Alleppey.

    We continue along the coastal road towards Alleppey, another start point for the backwaters trips. Our ride takes us through Kainakary Village, eventually reaching Chennamkary, a traditional village in the Kuttanad backwater region of Alleppey. We'll spend the evening here in a homestay, arriving in time for lunch. The homestay is spread across a number of houses owned by different families. Rooms are air-conditioned and come with their own bathroom. It's a fantastic opportunity to experience warm Keralan hospitality. We'll enjoy a cooking demonstration in the evening, followed by dinner. 

    Homestay

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 35 km / 22 miles
  • Day 5

    Optional morning bike ride to explore the village; board houseboat in the afternoon.

    A laid-back morning today. You can either relax at the homestay or go on an optional short bike ride to explore the village. At midday, we board our houseboat for a backwater cruise to Trikunnapuzha. These converted rice barges consist of 2-berth cabins with en suite bathrooms, and are equipped with their own cook. We stack our bikes on the side of the boat (we'll be saddle free for the next 19 hours) whilst we watch the world slowly go by. Vessels of all sizes use the network of canals and lakes, with smaller boats ferrying passengers and goods between tiny hamlets perched on narrow spits of land. On one side of the canal we can see vast paddy fields, and on the other side are fishing nets and coconut trees. As the sun begins to set, the boats are moored together and we gather on the deck for sundowners and dinner. 

    Houseboat

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4 miles
  • Day 6

    Disembark houseboat; cliff-top ride to the laid-back beach town of Varkala.

    Breakfast is taken on the houseboat before we disembark. We then enjoy a cliff-top ride to the laid-back beach town of Varkala. We set off along a quiet coastal road to the Valaazhikal ferry crossing, loading the bikes onto a local fishing boat to cross the river estuary to Karunagapally, where we meet our support vehicle and transfer to the beautiful beach town of Varkala. We'll stop for lunch en route. We spend the next two nights at Varkala, staying close to what is considered one of India's best beaches. With coffee bars, shops and yoga schools perched along the red sandstone cliff-top, this town is an excellent place to chill out.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 38 km / 24 miles
  • Day 7

    Short morning ride to the surrounding coastal area; afternoon free to relax and enjoy Varkala.

    After breakfast, we enjoy a small morning ride to explore the surrounding coastal areas. Returning to the hotel by lunch time, there is time to enjoy the beachside location and perhaps try one of the beach shack restaurants, which serve excellent seafood. We recommend trying some of the Tandoori dishes - the clay ovens give a more authentic taste to the breads and curries. Tonight there is the option to enjoy a final group dinner at the hotel's restaurant, which serves a variety of Keralan dishes. 

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 25 km / 15 miles
  • Day 8

    End Varkala.

    Those on the group flight will be transferred to Trivandrum airport for their flight back to London. For Land Only travellers, the trip ends after check-out.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels, houseboat,homestay

5 nights hotels, 1 night houseboat and 1 night homestay (all en suite).

We use tourist-class hotels throughout the trip, all of which have swimming pools, whilst the village homestay brings a different flavour to the itinerary. The homestay is spread across a number of houses owned by different families. Here we experience warm Keralan hospitality, alongside a cooking demonstration and dinner with the hosts. Rooms are air-conditioned and come with a private bathroom. Please note that single rooms can be limited at the homestay.

Houseboats are converted rice barges consisting of 2-berth cabins with ensuite bathrooms. The houseboats are air-conditioned (between 8pm and 6am), come with their own cook and also benefit from a communal/dining area. 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. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from $574.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners included.

Lunches on riding days are usually taken in local roadside cafes, allowing us to sample typical south Indian dishes such as poori (deep fried bread served with curry) and dosa (thin pancake made with fermented rice and lentil batter). South Indian food is very much influenced by its tropical landscape; creamy coconut dishes enlivened with delicate spices, served on a banana leaf. It's also an ideal destination if you are a vegetarian. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap, and there'll be plenty of tea stops so that you can enjoy a cold can, a cup of chai or refreshing coconut water. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$5) but please note that alcohol is difficult to get hold of in Kerala as it is a dry state.

Generally you can eat out very cheaply in India. Where food is not included, you should allow approx. £3-£4 (approx. US$4.80 - US$6.40) for lunch, and £5-£6 (approx. US$8 - US$9.60) for dinner without drinks. This amount may vary according to how much you drink.
Please note that service in restaurants can be quite slow. Drinking water is provided in the support vehicle, where you can fill your bottle from the containers.

Transportation

All your luggage and personal belongings will be carried by the support vehicle, which is a minibus. Transfer sections are done in the minicoach, which is air-conditioned. The support vehicle will follow the riders most of the time, allowing you to cycle as much or as little as you like. However, please note that there is only limited seating capacity in the vehicle, and it is not possible to accommodate the whole group at the same time.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

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. 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. We ask you to note that frequent rain can be expected throughout the tour on November departures. However, this is usually of a short duration and the sun normally comes out fairly quickly afterwards. Please note that swimming in the sea at Varkala is not always possible, depending on recent weather conditions.

Weather Information

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. 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. We ask you to note that frequent rain can be expected throughout the tour on November departures. However, this is usually of a short duration and the sun normally comes out fairly quickly afterwards. Please note that swimming in the sea at Varkala is not always possible, depending on recent weather conditions.

Weather Charts

Cochin, India

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 9 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Emirates (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting Cochin and ending in Verkala

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Cochin in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.
Accommodation check‐in times are normally from around 12 noon.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Cochin
Location end:
Varkala

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Cycling helmet (compulsory on this trip) 

Loose overshorts

High factor sun-cream
Sunglasses
Lip salve
Cotton trousers
Swimwear and towel
Mosquito repellent
Favourite energy snacks
Sandals/flip flops
A water bottle - this should be a standard size to fit into a normal water bottle cage on the bike

Please note:

As of November 2019 the Indian government has announced a ban on e-cigarettes and related products.  You will be unable to buy e-cigarettes in India or bring them into the country. Please ensure you do not pack these in your luggage.

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Optional Equipment

A first aid kit is carried on each trip, but we recommend that you bring your own painkillers, rehydration sachets, plasters and a blister treatment kit.

Equipment Hire

Local Bike Details: Montra Blues 1.2 hybrid bikes. 

Discount for bringing your own bike: £90.

A quality local hire bike is now included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.

2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.

3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment

4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Please be aware that you will be passing through some remote villages where the locals are unaccustomed to seeing people in tight lycra - we recommend you wear baggy shorts or loose 'over shorts' so as not to cause offence.

Reading List

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, 1995
Nine Lives by William Dalrymple, 2009
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, 1981
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, 2008
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, 2003
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, 1997
A concise History of India by Francis Watson (Thames & Hudson, 1974)

Practical Information

Passport

India

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.

Visa

India

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. For UK residents full details of the visa process can be found here. Other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies.

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the northeast, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

When you reach immigration, you are required to pick up an immigration form. If you have an e-visa, ensure you stand in the correct queue - please follow the signs to the e-visa booth (in Delhi this is at the back of the immigration hall). You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth - please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready (these details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions).

 

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

India

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.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The Travel Health Pro website recommends to have a rabies vaccination on this trip, as cycling is considered a higher risk activity.

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

India's Timezone:
Asia/Kolkata IST (GMT +05:30)

Electricity

India's Electricity:

230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz.

Money

India's Currency

The national currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 85 to the UK£ and 65 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

It is illegal to import or export rupees. Do not accept torn or (very) dirty Indian banknotes from banks or in change as they will almost certainly not be accepted as legal tender in India. Please ask for low denomination notes of 100 and 500 Rupees as the new 2000 Rupee notes can be difficult to use out of Delhi. You can change money back from Rupees into Pounds or Dollars at Delhi airport (before going through security), but you must produce an exchange receipt showing that you changed money in India.

ATM Availability

ATM machines are now widely available (Visa and MasterCard are best) but you should not rely on these 100% of the time, so please take some cash with you as well to change at the airport. Please inform your bank before departure that you are travelling to India and carry the relevant telephone number with you in case they put a block on your card.

You can usually pay with cards in bigger shops, restaurants and hotels all over India.

Well-known brands of travellers cheques can be exchanged but this can take time and banks are not always open when you need them. Cash (Sterling/US Dollars/Euros) is easier to change.

You will need about £70-£100/$88-125 for meals not included, which will allow you to eat well. You should also allow money to cover souvenirs. Shopping opportunities throughout this tour are endless - even if you are generally not a keen shopper we have found that most people succumb to some of the wide variety of handicrafts on offer. Many sites now charge a small fee for camera use.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need about £70-£100/$88-125 for meals not included, which will allow you to eat well. You should also allow money to cover souvenirs. Shopping opportunities throughout this tour are endless - even if you are generally not a keen shopper we have found that most people succumb to some of the wide variety of handicrafts on offer. Many sites now charge a small fee for camera use.

Tipping

Tipping is very much part of the culture in India and is usually expected. Tipping can often be an awkward affair, especially when in an unfamiliar country where you are not sure when or how much to tip. As such, your tour leader will offer to arrange and look after a group tipping kitty which will be used for water, cold drinks, tea breaks, snacks and to tip hotel staff (porters, bellboys and security), restaurant staff and local sightseeing guides. Your leader will suggest how much to contribute, depending on group size, but it is usually in the region of 2500 INR (approx. £30 or US$38) per person. At any time during the trip your leader will be happy to show you an account of how the kitty is being distributed.

Please note that the kitty does not include tips for the mechanic, bus driver and tour leader used throughout your trip and is at your own discretion.

If you wish to show your appreciation a tip of around £2-£3 (US$3-4.50) per person per day for the tour leader would be appreciated.

By definition, gratuities are not something that can be included in the tour price.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.