Western Ghats mountain biking holidays, Southern India

“Take on a tailor made mountain biking itinerary over six days that features the back roads, biodiversity and naturally rugged beauty of southern India's Western Ghats. ”


Thattekkad | Munnar | Pollachi | Valparai | Kochi | Indira Gandhi National Park | Neriamangalam | Western Ghats | Sholayar |

Description of Western Ghats mountain biking holidays, Southern India

This six day mountain bike holiday in southern India is bound to put your pedals through their paces as you aim to conquer the awesome back roads of the Western Ghat mountains.

As you'd hope from a destination for an mtb holiday, southern India provides an incredible backdrop to accompany some fairly rugged terrain with rainforests, agricultural landscapes, plantations and lush green tea gardens conjuring up some superb scenes to enjoy both on and off the saddle.

From high-altitude trails to eco-accommodation, this six day mtb holiday in southern India offers an amazing opportunity to mountain bike off the beaten track with bungalows on tea estates and spice plantations offering VIP lodgings to help you relax and unwind after a stunning day on the trail.

What this mtb holiday features:

Wilderness landscapes packed full of elephants, macaques and giant squirrels.
A fantastically mixed terrain featuring numerous unique ecosystems.
Rainforests and grass plateaus at high-altitude.
Spice and cardamom growing communities and tribal villages.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can also be tailor-made to suit your interests, time schedules and budget requirements.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Besides being the best way to explore the less traveled roads along the Western Ghats, mountain biking lets you meet up with the local communities, the indigenous people and a chance to understand their unique culture and lifestyles. For the muduvans & the kaadar tribes living among the upper reaches of the Western Ghats, income by being the local trackers and guides has helped them to make a decent living . Expeditions like these give an opportunity also to visit them at their villages and interact with them and gives the travelers a chance to appreciate local cultures. Such visits are factored in this cycling tour.

This trip also helps in raising awareness about the unique bio-diversity of the Western Ghats which is one of the 34 bio diversity ‘Hot Spots’ of the earth. There is a heightened threat level of bio-diversity and endemism particularly of the Nilgiri Tahr at Munnar and the Lion Tailed Macaque at Valparai – the last viable surviving areas of these once abundant species. All parks in this region have Eco Development Committees and Forest Protection Teams employed in tourism related work and arranging all wildlife programmes for tourists. So when one enters the park & takes part in safaris or treks in the park, the proceeds of such activities go to the local communities directly and almost in full.

The places you will be staying are small single owner properties, small holdings or eco lodges and approximately 30% of the money you will be spending for staying here goes directly to the local communities by employing them as support staff and guides for tourism related activities like visit to the tribal village, forest walks, tea estate and farm visits. On the first night you stay at Hornbill Camp which is made of locally available materials and constructed exclusively by using locally available expertise in reed leaf thatching. There is very little concrete used, instead tents are used and more importantly only maximum of 2 kva electricity is used in the camp. The water is heated using solar heaters and the kitchen refuse is recycled for use in the spice plantations nearby.

As the traveling is on cycles most of the way, it enables you to take in the surroundings without damaging the environment. We always believe in small groups of maximum 6 persons to reduce impacting on the ‘carrying capacity’ of the region they are passing through, most of which are protected forests. Our strict policy of Leave No Trace helps protect the environment and is an example to the locals by removing all waste from place to place.


2 Reviews of Western Ghats mountain biking holidays, Southern India

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The best part of the trip was probably the climb up on the way to Valparai in Tamil Nadu. Another highlight in Valparai was the scenic view and the very friendly people at the Stanmore Estate. Other highlights included the climb up to Munnar as well as the descent the next day on a misty morning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Try to see the Indian traffic (which varies from road to road) as part of the adventure, while at the same time being attentative. In fact the driving style in India is pretty unique but it is manageable as the speed of (most) vehicles is low which makes it less stressful for cycling. Make sure you drink enough and sugar up your body before the climbs!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Apart from Munnar our route was largely off the beaten track. Therefore I hope that local people benefited. My only suggestion would be to include some homestays and in exchange drop some of the commercial resorts (e.g. coco lagoon and also the disappointing hotel in Fort Cochin which seem to belonged to a chain.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The trip was a very good experience with a lot of nature and also some additional activities (canoeing, getting a blessing in a Hindu temple etc.). The route was challenging but with the secured refreshents from the accompaying car its was manageable. The guide was very helpful and knowledgeable about the local plants and animals. The driver was careful and always courteous.

Reviewed on 26 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We just returned from our customized cycling tour of Kerala India. We have been on a few good cycling tours in Europe but they could not compare to this extraordinary vacation. We were treated like royalty and so respectfully from the minute we were picked up at the airport until we departed. We wanted an active adventure and that's exactly what we had. We were enchanted by Kerala. The people we met while cycling on the roads as well as those we met in
the accomandations were so friendly. The holiday provider staff were
excellent and so informative , knowledgable and helpful. I can't praise them enough. The highlight of the trip was the interesting Indian culture, the beauty of the landscape, the wildlife we saw including exotic birds and butterflies, mongooses, elephants, gaurs, wild dogs, monkeys and more. The riding was perfect for us with 2 days of challenging mountains and the rest mostly undulating roads. We were often able to extend our riding if we wanted. We
also spent one morning kayaking which was a nice change from the cycling. We enjoyed the Indian cuisine and we were vegans and found we had too much to eat. We had cooking lessons and even learned how to put on the sari. We kayaked to a toddy shack and had toddys ( fermented coconut like the local beer) with our guides. We especially enjoyed the accommodations on the home stays and liked the personal spice tours. A real perfect active vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The holiday provider is willing to arrange visits or activities according to your
interests. Ask. We wanted to vary our itinerary and they helped us arrange it by adding kayaking, visits to schools and bird sanctuaries. They are eager to help with whatever you need.
Be prepared that except for the initial day, the ride is on scenic roads with traffic. Through the major cities where the traffic is very congested you are transferred through them so you won't have to deal with it.
Be open to new experiences and challenges as well as curious then you'll be so surprised by what is waiting for you.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Our shopping supported the local economy and individuals. Also we stayed in many eco friendly accommodations.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent! Amazing! Almost perfect. Highly recommended.

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