SOUTH INDIA COAST TO COAST: CHENNAI-KOCHI

C2C Route14 Day/1000Km/Fully Supported

Many people have asked us over the years if we could organize a cycle tour in India for those not from an off-road mountain biking background. The tour would have to be a challenge, take in the best of the sights and the scenery and allow time to soak up India’s delights.

For us at Mountain Bike Kerala one route sprung to mind that would provide all that and more; a cycle tour from the Bay of Bengal over the mighty mountains of the Western Ghats to the palm fringed beaches of the Arabian Sea. South India Coast to Coast.

Our South India coast to coast cycle tour takes in the tropical South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. We pedal on idyllic back country roads, stopping overnight at places of special historical and scenic interest giving enough time to take in the temples, tea plantations, backwaters, historic cities and the best of the sights that make Mountain Bike Kerala’s Coast to Coast cycle ride so unique.

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Itinerary

C2C3Day 1: Arrive Chennai. Transfer to Mahabalipuram and the poolside restaurant at our hotel. Unwind, relax then join us on a short walk around Mahabalipuram’s world famous rock carved temples.

Day 2: Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry. 110km. The cycle touring kicks of with a flat ride along the stunning scenic coastal road to the former French colonial colony of Pondicherry. Join the locals on the promenade for an evening stroll before dining in top Indo-French restaurant.

Day 3: Pondicherry-Chidambaram. 82km. More cruisy coastal riding as we continue our journey south to the temple town of Chidambaram. Endless palm fringed paddy fields will provide the backdrop. Take a step back through the ages as we visit the temple complex at sunset and join the pilgrims in an unforgettable ancient ritual.

Day 4: Chidambaram-Thanjavur. 120km. We leave the coast and head inland onto the vast lush Tamil plains. Stunning rural scenery reveals a Tamil heartland almost unchanged over centuries. A big day in the saddle takes us to another South Indian gem; Thanjavur, and its world heritage listed Brihadeshwara Temple.

 Day 5: Thanjavur-Pudukkotai. 58km. A relaxing morning then it’s a short stage ride to Pudukkottia as we head further inland. Bullock carts and cycles are more common than any other vehicles here. Evening gives us time to relax those legs, take in fantastic meal and perhaps knock the tops of a few Kingfishers; Kingfisher beers that is.

Day 6: Pudukkotai-Madurai. 112km. Riding legs required as we ride deeper in to the heart of Tamil Nadu with the lush landscape becoming more arid with rocks and ridges becoming a common sight. Idyllic rural riding brings us to perhaps the most famous of all of Tamil Nadu’s towns, Madurai and the unforgettable riot of colour that are the gopurams of Sri Menakshi temple. Evening guided stroll round the temple complex.

Day 7 Madurai. Rest day. A chance to relax the legs, take in the sights and sounds of theC2C2great temple town or go on one of our guided excursions.

Day 8: Madurai-Thenni. 89km. Landscapes change, the first signs of an undulating road and the mighty mountains of the Western Ghats beckon on this delight of a ride as we make our way to rural backwater district headquarter capital of Thenni. Scenery simply outrageous.


Day 9: Thenni-Munnar. 85km
. Its time to climb. A gentle warm up for 20km then climbing legs start to whirr as we embark upon the near 2000 meter ascent to Bhodimet and the Keralan border. Switch back after switch back give us the elevation to look back over the vast Tamil plain and see what we have ridden. Truly mesmerizing views. As we head into Kerala we ride through tropical jungles and tea estates on what must be one of the most stunning roads anywhere in the world. After the days riding its time perhaps to crack open a few more Kingfishers and revel in the cool night air and relax knowing that tomorrow is a well deserved rest day.

Day 10: Munnar Rest Day. Set amongst the highest tea estates in the world Munnar is simply a magic destination. Relax in the riverside gardens of our hotel retreat, take an afternoon trip in search of elephants at Chinnar national park, visit the tea  museum or take a short hike through the tea estates. It’s your day.

Day 11: Munnar-Kuttikanam 90/130km. We ride the forest road through cardamom and pepper plantations and ancient rain forests on an undulating road. Forests make way for beautiful valleys carpeted by tea before we reach our delightful plantation resort accommodation in Kuttikanam.

Day 12: Kuttikanam-Thaneermukkom 112km. Another cracking day in the saddle with the joys of a big descent down to the lush tropical Kerala plains. Colonial tea bungalows, and churches new and old are testimony to the areas unique strong Christian roots. We reach the plains then ride on undulating roads before reaching the shores of Vembanad lake and our overnight destination of Thaneermukam.

IMG_1139Day 13: Thaneermukam-Marwari Beach. 25km. A delightful short ride to one of Kerala’s hidden secrets; the near deserted tropical paradise beach of Marwari. Dive into the soothingly warm sea for a well deserved bathe. Overnight on Marwari beach or take in the option of a luxury houseboat and overnight cruise on Vembanad Lake.

Day 14: Fort Cochin. Breakfast on the beach or boat then it’s a short transfer or even better a superlative 45km gentle ride into historical Fort Cochin. Join us on an evening guided walk through the wealth of historical buildings and spice bazaars or take the chance to embark upon a bit of shopping.

Day 15: Transfer to Cochin airport and your flight home.

2016/17 Dates (Chennai/Kochi(Cochin) 14 nights

Prices from

2017 November 12th £1245/£1445 FULL

2018 February 18th £1245/£1445 Available

*Double/Single Occupancy

**Enquire now for the houseboat package option.

***Itinerary is subject to change as we discover even more gems to explore. We also adapt the route to give us more downtime or to make it more challenging depending on who is on the trip. Contact us now for details of the latest itinerary for your date.

****If you are a party of 2 or more and are interested in dates outside those shown then please enquire about a tailor-made tour and options for self-guided tours with back-up.