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Royal Enfield Motorcycle Tour India

This outstanding tour covers some of the most scenic, exotic, and diverse areas of southern India, from steamy coastal water worlds to the cool air and uplifting vistas of Kerala’s mountains. You will be riding through the pristine forests and jungle gorges of Kerala’s many national parks and have the opportunity to spot many of the region’s wild animals along the way. Highlights of this trip also include a night on the backwaters in a luxury houseboat and time to explore the historical trading port of Cochin. The riding on this trip is superb, twisty and generally well surfaced, and the accommodation is of a high standard while retaining a genuine Keralan feel. If you want to experience the best motorcycling destinations that South India has to offer, with the level of backup that only Contes Asia delivers, then this is the trip for you.

Key information

  • Terrain: mostly paved
  • Bike: rental bike (Royal Enfield / Himalaya 350cc)
  • Mileage: 1,472 kilometers / 915 miles
  • Daily rides: 110 - 250 kilometers / 68 - 155 miles
  • Riding gear: not included: helmet, gloves, jacket, and boots
  • Meals: daily breakfast

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Cochin
  • Ride to the Colonial Kodaikanal
  • Tea plantation ride out to Top Station
  • A free full day for Old Cochin cultural tour and sightseeing
  • Visit the Periyar National Park
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

8 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Cochin International Airport
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Accommodation

Your accommodation during this tour will be in a bed and breakfast basis in Cochin, Munnar, Kodaikanal, Vandanmedu, Thekkady, Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Marari Beach in India.

Program

As a participant on this tour, you will fly to Cochin International Airport (COK) to be met by Contes Asia and escorted to your hotel. Here, you will be briefed on the adventure ahead and introduced to "your" 350cc Enfield / Bullet / Himalayan and its eccentricities.

On the following morning, you will leave the heat of the coast and head up into the relative cool of the mountains. Whenever riding, there will be a leader and "outrider" guiding and trouble-spotting. A "sweeper" rider, a support vehicle with spares, and an extensively-equipped medic will travel at the rear.

The trip includes a few long days in the saddle but does take in some challenging mountain chicanery. These twisty rides will require skill and concentration, so Contes Asia asks that you have a minimum of two years of riding experience before joining this tour.

Once away from the coast, there should be little traffic, but that which you do encounter is likely to be behaving "erratically" compared to vehicles in the west. The general condition of the roads is, however, very good for this part of the world and the riding experience extremely rewarding.

The two-night stops on this tour offer the opportunity to have clothes laundered while you get out and explore. So, try not to over-pack, as you will want to leave some space for mementos, spices, and gifts.

This trip is generally characterized by the quality of the riding, the accommodation, and the stunning natural settings in which you can enjoy them. Contes Asia loves riding on this tour and is sure you will too.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cochin

Arrive in the morning (flight time permitting) for a transfer to your hotel in Cochin for lunch. Here, you'll receive a briefing on the trip ahead and be introduced to your 350 / 500 Enfield and its eccentricities.

Day 2: Cochin to Munnar

You head inland and up into the cool of the hills, covering some 150 kilometers in about five or six hours. The ride is fantastic, with long straights passing through shady tropical forests and sweeping bends dipping into verdant valleys. Lofty hairpins then climb ever upwards to reach the stunning emerald tea plantations that tortoise-shell the high Western Ghats around the destination, Munnar. At nearly 1,500 meters above sea level, anyone who isn't a walrus may choose to wear a fleece.

Day 3: Munnar

A day for both rest and exploration. Possible activities include a ride out through the tea plantations and up to Kerala’s highest point. There will still be lots of time to get out and explore the town, or just kick back and relax.

Day 4: Munnar to Kodaikanal

Heading down and out of the Nilgiri range, you cross the plains before heading up spectacular switchbacks to the Palani Hills and the religious fervor in the temple town of Palani itself. This is an all-day ride and among the best in the world. The views will redefine your understanding of the word "beauty." Kodaikanal, at 2,100 meters above Southend, is the geographical high point of the trip. Unless you happen to be a half penguin, a fleece is a good idea while taking in the evening views from the heights of the hotel garden.

Day 5: Rest day in Kodaikanal

A chance to explore this historically interesting hill station and its surroundings, Contes Asia recommends you simply walk around and take in the vertiginous mountain views and colonial architecture. More "serious" trekking in the forest canal can be arranged. The less energetic person may prefer a stroll in the botanical gardens, bobbing around on the boating lake, or even swinging a club on the town’s golf course.

Day 6: Kodaikanal to Vandanmedu

It is a day covering about 175 kilometers in six hours. Yet more sinuous twisties carry you back to the plains, then up over the Keralan border to descend through lush cardamom plantation and forest to your destination, the tiny village of Vandanmedu. Here, deep in a forested plantation, there will be a luxurious hotel that features a swimming pool, so don’t forget the cossie.

Day 7: Vandanmedu to Thekkady

A short but twisty, twisty little minx of a road delivers you to the edge of India’s largest national park, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Your hotel, set in the village of Thekkady, is near the sanctuary entrance and has great views over the forest. Take advantage of the sanctuary’s proximity and an evening boat trip out onto the lake, where it's possible to see a huge variety of Indian wildlife.

Day 8: Rest day in Thekkady

A whole day to get stuck into Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or a bottle of wine. For the former option, there is a huge range of wildlife-based activities; for the latter, there are a number of hotels and eateries. Should you want some activities after dusk, then night treks can be arranged in the park.

Day 9: Thekkady to Alleppey

Heading down out of the mountains and back to the coast, you wind up at a lovely coastal backwater resort near Alleppey.

Day 10: Alleppey to Kumarakom

A short hop takes you to Kumarakom, where you will be boarding one of the famous Keralan barges, your accommodation for the night. The mobile floating luxury hotels will chug out into the backwaters before mooring for the night. It is filled with utter peace and relaxation.

Day 11: Kumarakom to Marari Beach

Heading north, a short ride takes you to the Marari Fisherman’s Village beach resort. The beach here is one of the cleanest, quietest, and least spoiled on the whole coast and you can swim in the warm waters with the golden beach stretching the horizon, which is a very special experience.

Day 12: Marari Beach to Cochin

Another chance for a quick dip in the morning, before a short afternoon ride that takes you back to Cochin, where the remainder of the day can be spent wandering hundreds of bars and restaurants, serving both traditional Keralan fare and international cuisine.

Day 13: Rest Day in Cochin

From your hotel in Fort Cochin, venture out on a full day of exploring this fascinating city, home to the famous Kathakali dance. You won't be short of things to do, especially if you like to shop for antiques, spices, or textiles. There are also museums and marketplaces through which to stroll, plus an impressive fort and an old church in India to visit. The "Jew Town", which is a bustling trading enclave, is a 16th-century synagogue and a Portuguese-built palace, containing beautiful murals and that is another fabulous sight worth taking in. Boat cruises around the harbor, decorated with the famous Chinese cantilever fishing nets, may even afford the opportunity to see dolphins close by.

Day 14: Departure from Cochin

It is a transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Skill level(s) required for this tour: intermediate and advanced

Intermediate

  • can ride for 3-4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Advanced

  • can ride for 5-6 hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Included excursions

  • Old Cochin cultural tour and sightseeing
  • Have an evening boat trip out onto the lake

Location

This tour will start and end in Cochin, India. You will travel to Munnar, Kodaikanal, Vandanmedu, Thekkady, Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Marari Beach.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Boat cruises around the harbor
  • Bob around on the boating lake
  • Night treks in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Stroll around museums and marketplaces in Cochin
  • Stroll in the botanical gardens
  • Swing a club on the town’s golf course
  • Trekking in the forest canal
  • Visit the "Jew Town"

What's included

  • Royal Enfield / Himalaya 350cc rental
  • Mechanical back-up, spares, and repairs
  • Medical and luggage-carrying support
  • First tank of fuel
  • All internal transfers
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Breakfasts

What's not included

  • Travel insurance policy covering the use of motorcycle
  • Motorcycle damage deposit or damage waiver (optional)
  • All lunches and dinners
  • Drinks / beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
  • Vaccinations and personal medication
  • Visa fee for India and travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Laundry
  • Tips
  • Gifts
  • Telephone or fax services
  • Emergency evacuation costs and fines
  • Entry fees and camera fees for museums, forts, temples, and monuments
  • Anything not explicitly mentioned in the “What’s Included” section
  • Bike rental: 1500 INR per day

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Cochin International Airport Airport transfer included: Cochin International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 60% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
14 days / 13 nights
from --
Sunday October 27, 2024
(14 days / 13 nights)

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