Departure: New Delhi
Duration: 15 Days
Trip Grade: Demanding
There can be no better way to experience India's stunning south west coast than by bicycle. We follow the coast southwards from Goa to Karnataka, taking in some fascinating cultural sights along the way, but most of all some superb beaches. We're never far from the coast for the entire duration of the trip, the deep blue of the Arabian Sea contrasting vividly with the lush greens of the fertile hinterland. The emphasis on this tour is taking things easy in a tropical atmosphere; accordingly the cycling is never too strenuous! There are a few gentle hills, however, and one 100km day.
Day 01: Arrive in Goa
You'll be met at the airport and taken to a comfortable hotel, with the rest of the day free to relax.
Day 02: In Goa
We'll unpack our bikes in the morning and then go for a "shakedown" ride to make sure everything's working, and to get an idea of Indian road conditions. The rest of the day can be spent either lying on a beach or taking in some of the sights of Goa.
Day 03: Drive to Karwar (110km), cycle to Gokarna (50km)
We'll drive the short distance to Karwar in the morning, which means that we'll avoid Goa's more congested roads and be able to start our cycling in the relative calm of Karnataka! The afternoon's ride gets us to Gokarna, a sleepy seaside village with beaches to rival anything you'll have seen in Goa.
Day 04: Gokarna to Honavar (40km)
The short distance of today's ride means that we'll have time to stop off at a local school for lunch, and a chance to meet some of the energetic pupils! The rest of the ride sees us pass through farming country on one side, the roaring ocean on the other.
Day 05: Honavar to Maravante (100km)
The longest ride of the tour, but what a place to end up! Maravante is sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the Sauparnika River, the perfect seaside setting. On our way there we'll have great views of Kodachadri Hill looming up on our inland side.
Day 06: Day in Maravante
A chance to relax after the exertions of yesterday, and to take in the beautiful surroundings. For those with energy to spare, there are numerous water sports on offer here.
Day 07: Maravante to Udipi (45km)
A shortish day back on the bikes brings us to Udipi, and its renowned Krishna Temple. We'll make sure we're there in time to see one of the 14 daily ceremonies, complete with chanting monks and trumpeting elephants! Udipi's cuisine is well known all over India, so dinner should be a treat!
Day 08: Udipi to Mangalore (58km)
We should reach Mangalore by mid-afternoon, giving us time to soak up the laid back atmosphere and to see some of the city's outstanding temples.
Day 09: Mangalore to Kasaragod (47km)
Soon after leaving Mangalore we cross our second state boundary, this time crossing from Karnataka in to Kerala. Kasaragod, a small fishing town, gives us the opportunity to see a performance of ‘Yakshagana', an amazing form of puppetry art unique to this area.
Day 10: Kasaragod to Bekal (19km)
Today's short ride means we'll have most of the day to either relax on Bekhal's beautiful, palm-fringed beach or else to visit massive Bekhal Fort, built in 1660.
Day 11: Bekal to Payyanur (45km)
Another scenic day's ride takes us to Payyanur, slightly further from the beach than we're used to but pleasant none the less!
Day 12: Payyanur to Thalasseri (50km)
Thalasseri is home to a circus school; get there in time and we might even catch a class! Otherwise we can have a look at the spooky 1708 fort, neglected but somehow intact.
Day 13: Thalasseri to Kozhikode (63km)
Our last day on the bikes takes us to colourful Kozhikode, the perfect place to unwind in a comfortable hotel, and to reflect on the last couple of weeks!
Day 14: Flights home
There are daily flights from Kozhikode to Mumbai, and from there the world, bon voyage!