The Coconut Route: 12 N / 13 D - Kerala by Motorcycle
Kochi - Munnar - Kodaikanal - Thekkady - Varkala - Allepey - Kochi
Below is a day-by-day itinerary of the tour. This is how we expect the tour to flow, but as you know adventure happens! Dive in and get excited!
Add-on Day: As suggested by us, if you arrive a couple of nights before the start of the tour and book our add-ons, this day can be used to get over the jet-lag as well as to acclimatize to India, its climate and conditions. Our Add-ons include a “meet & greet” at Cochin International Airport (COK), transfers to hotel and accommodation at 3.5* hotel with breakfasts. Also, we shall be organizing a half-day sightseeing tour of Kochi with an English guide (which shall include a short cruise on the harbor) as well a walk through the historical Fort Kochi area to visit a few points of interest.
At start of the tour in Kochi, you shall meet your guide and ride leader as well as the rest of the crew. Days program will begin with an exhaustive briefing (safety & other aspects) about the tour after which you shall proceed to collect your motorcycles from the rental company. From there, you shall head out north of Kochi city. The ride to the small village of Athirappilly will serve as the perfect familiarization ride to get used to your motorcycle and the conditions. Athirappilly is a tiny hamlet bordering the Sholayar forest famous for Kerala’s largest waterfall (at 80 feet height) on the river Chalakkudy which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats at the entrance to the Sholayar ranges. After the visit to the waterfall, you shall have plenty of time to relax or explore the surroundings.
Today’s ride: Following the rivers path, the ride will take you further east and north, through the hills & Idamalayar reserve forest, through the tea & coffee estates of Valparai (ele. 1100 M), winding down hair-pin bends through the Indira Gandhi Wildlife sanctuary to Pollachi (in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nad) breaking the journey to our next destination in half. This evening you shall get another opportunity to relax at a very nice resort located in serene countryside surrounded by coconut grove and paddy fields.
Checking-out after breakfast, today you ride further east through the back-roads around Pollachi towards the town of Palani. From there, a spectacular ride up another set of winding hair-pin bends through the Palani hills the ride will bring to an altitude of 2133 M and to the picturesque hill town of Kodaikanal.
Modern Kodaikanal was established by American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats in 1845, as a refuge from the high temperatures of the nearby plains. Meaning “The gift of the forest” in the local language (Tamil), Kodaikanal is referred to as the "Princess of Hill stations" and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. The day is yours for relaxing, exploring or sightseeing and Kodaikanal has a lot to offer in that field.
Leaving Kodaikanal, you will be delighted at the opportunity to go down the same winding road towards Palani which you took to get to Kodaikanal. Making an eastwards loop to join the SH 17, you shall be heading back into the state of Kerala. Heading South now, you will be riding through the Annamalai Tiger reserve as well as the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary constantly gaining elevation till you arrive at the other most popular hill town of the region, Munnar. At 1600 M, Munnar offers wonderful views of the lush green surrounding hills covered with tea and spice plantations.
A hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, Munnar is surrounded by rolling hills dotted with tea plantations established in the late 19th century. A rest day here shall give you the opportunity to visit a spice plantation as well as tea gardens (& factory).
Today’s ride offer great variety and excitement. Instead of taking a direct route, you will be taking a few back roads and village roads through the scenic landscape of Kerala. Heading south out of Munnar, you will be cutting across the Idukki district to Vagamon, a scenic town with landscape which is mostly bald-green hilly meadows. From there, more district roads through small Keralan villages will bring you to Thekkady, a village on the edge of the Periyar lake and the national park.
Another spectacular spot for a rest day. Your resort offers unparalleled views of Thekkady’s dazzling sunrises either from the comfort of your room or the viewing deck. We shall also arrange an excursion into the National Park for you (which could be either in the form of a ride in a jeep or a cruise in the Periyar lake). Spread across an area of 300 square miles, Periyar National Park is covered by lush evergreen and deciduous forests serving as home to various animals such as tigers, deer, elephants, sambar, Nilgiri Langurs, etc. If you’re lucky you might spot few of the several wild elephants which roam this area; or if even luckier, one of the 35-40 tigers to whom this sanctuary is home.
After a few days in the hills it’s time to head down to the coast. Yes, today you ride down the Western ghats all the way to the coast of the Arabian sea, to the small beach resort destination of Varkala.
Situated on top of a cliff adjacent to the small beach, Varkala is a popular beach destination for tourists. The setting of Varkala beach is striking enough to take your breath away, with a long winding stretch of cliff that extends over the Arabian Sea. A paved footpath runs along the length of the cliff, bordered by coconut palms, quaint shops, beach shacks, hotels, and guest houses. Nestled at the bottom of the cliff is a long stretch of sparkling beach and steps lead down from the cliff top. A day here will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beach, walk along the cliff path and shop for souvenirs or relax at your resort and indulge in some “ayurveda” spa treatments Kerala is famous for.
Heading northwards now, today’s ride takes you through the low-lying regions of Kerala, through the numerous paddy fields and coconut groves to the historic town of Alappuzha. The name refers to the network of waterways and backwaters that Alappuzha and surrounding areas are famous for. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the "Venice of the East" by Lord Curzon (Viceroy of British India, from 1899 to 1905). Your resort for 2 nights is on the banks of the huge Vembanad lake (at the heart of Kerala’s backwater tourism).
Alappuzha (sometimes still referred to as Alleppey) has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is the houseboat cruise. The houseboats you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact a reworked version of the Kettuvallams of olden times. Kettuvallam is a Malayalam word, ‘Kettu’, refers to dwelling structures and ‘Vallom’ means boat. In the olden days, kettuvallam or boat with thatched roof that covers over wooden hulls was used to carry tons of rice and spices. Today, you will be taking an afternoon cruise in such a houseboat, designed to cater to tourists requirements. Lunch will be served on the boat as it meanders through the scenic backwaters at a slow pace.
Heading north from Alappuzha, the last ride of the tour will bring you back to Kochi. After returning the bikes to the rental place you will return to the hotel in Kochi, which shall be the end of the tour. You may choose to fly back home the same evening or spend another night (add-on) at Kochi and leave next day.
- 12 nights Twin share accommodation with Breakfasts & Dinners
- Royal Enfield Bullet 500 EFI rental motorcycle including fuel
- Transportation for Local Sight-seeing (to selected locations)
- Experienced motorcycle mechanics
- English-speaking Ride leader & support crew
- Support vehicles with driver (for luggage, gear & occasional passengers)
- Airport transfers (if you purchase our Kochi add-on accommodation)
- Transfers to/from Airports/Railway stations
- Travel Insurance covering use of motorcycle (500 cc)
- Motorcycle damage deposit or damage waiver (optional)
- All Lunches, All drinks / beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
- Vaccinations and personal medication
- Visa fee for India
- Travel/ Holiday insurance
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, tips, gifts, telephone or fax services, emergency evacuation costs, fines Entry fees and camera fees for museums, forts, temples, monuments and other such places Anything not explicitly mentioned in the “What’s Included” section
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Also take a look at the itineraries of our other tours in the region -
Tours start and end in Kochi (Coastal tropical weather is warm & humid). Daytime temperatures on the tours will be in the high twenties (touching thirties). However, the temperature can plunge in the late night/early mornings at the hill stations (below 15°C). Thunderstorms are possible so it is advised to bring water-proofs. Please note: On all our tours the space on the support vehicles is limited. Hence, we request that you limit your baggage to 25 KG.
- Driver’s license*
- International Driving Permit
- Travel insurance**
- Protective Riding Gloves
- Riding boots
- Riding jacket & pants
- Rain suit
- Riding goggles
- Eye drops
- Insect repellent
- Sunglasses & Hat
- Ear Plugs