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Kerala Tea and Spices Tour

IND - Kerala HillsOur Kerala Tea and Spices motorcycle tour is a new motorcycle adventure for 2014, and builds on the success of our longer Mountains, Wildlife and Beaches tour, the very first Kerala motorcycle tour. The emphasis is on packing in as much great riding as we can into the time on tour for those of you with limited time or a tight budget. Our many years of experience riding in Kerala have gone into creating this new shorter tour, without compromising safety and unbeatable value for money, using good quality hotels, current model bikes and of course the luxury of small group sizes.

Kerala lies at the southern tip of India, and offers some very dramatic riding with its truly unspoilt beaches, spectacular mountain rides and stunning landscapes. Unlike the mass tourism of Goa, Kerala offers empty roads, glorious scenery, highly rated hotels and a friendly welcome everywhere.

IND-Kerala Spices 1Our motorbikes:  As well as our new 500 cc Royal Enfield Bullets, we have some ‘traditional’ 350s, modified to improve their touring ability: higher bars and improved grips for comfort, reinforced rear struts to improve handling, chrome mirrors, crash bars, and short silencers. We also have a Rocket sidecar outfit!

Our accommodations:  We use an eclectic range of high end accommodation ranging from boutique and luxury hotels to jungle and rainforest resorts, beautiful beach hideaways to eco lodges, and we are sure that each one will be an enjoyable and unique experience. Electric mosquito machines are provided throughout the tour, and nets are provided in the main areas, the backwaters and Cochin.


  • Our hotels – we use excellent accommodation throughout, no ‘tourist’ hotels for us!
  • The food – even if you don’t think you like Indian food, you will love Keralan cuisine
  • Thattekad Bird Sanctuary and the Periyar River
  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Tea plantations – sometimes as far as the eye can see
  • The unexpected and surprising
  • Mountain switchbacks – the Indian way
  • The Indian Ocean at sunset

Reprint from Motorcycle Sport & Leisure Magazine
(opens a PDF file in a new window - 2MB)


IND-Kerala ElephantsDAY 1 ARRIVE COCHIN. After your overnight flight, we will greet you personally on arrival in Cochin this morning, and transfer you to our beach hotel in Cherai, nestled among acres of palm trees with uninterrupted views across the Indian Ocean into the sunset. Here you can unwind after the long flight and enjoy some R&R by the pool. Then we have an introductory meeting to get to know each other and our bikes, hopefully with time for a short ride. We finish off with our Welcome Dinner and free beers!

DAY 2 CHERAI – THATTEKAD (90 km). After breakfast we’re ready to roll! It’s a relaxing first day’s ride and our first stop is Kodanad. This is a forestry department kraal where orphaned baby elephants are rescued, cared for and trained for a working life. Timing is crucial so we can join in the daily bathing and rub down in the river, so no lie in today! A little known but well kept road leads us to our hotel. This is close to paradise and we spend the evening watching the birds nesting for the night, and the villagers playing and working in the lagoon, with the croak of bullfrogs to complement our conversation. Hornbill Inn.

IND-Kerala 3DAY 3 THATTEKAD – VALPARAI (150 km). It’s a beautiful ride today as we head up tinto the Western Ghats, hrough Sholayar forest and ride through tea plantations to Valparai and our lovely overnight accommodation. Stanmore Garden Bungalow.

DAY 4 VALPARAI – TOP SLIP (100 km). Another amazing day as we ride down into the plains of Tamil Nadu round 40 hairpin bends (all numbered so you can count down to the bottom!). Then we head along a dirt road through the forest  to our overnight resort at Top Slip. Banyan Tree Farm.

DAY 5 TOP SLIP (free day). Top Slip has a range of fun things to do, and is a great place to take a break from riding motorbikes. It offers everything form fishing, wildlife safari, and bird watching to mountain biking, hiking and even cookery classes. Banyan Tree Farmstay.

DAY 6 TOP SLIP – KODAIKANAL (150 km). Back down to the heat of the plains before the temperature drops again as we ascend 2000 m in just 50 km to the hill station of Kodaikanal. If there’s time, you can take the bike around the paths of the summit, explore on foot or horseback, hire a boat on the lake in town, or just enjoy the local cheeses and ice creams - and mushrooms. Elephant Country Resort.

DAY 7 KODAIKANAL – MUNNAR (180 km). There’s some time to explore Kodai before we head down the other side of the hill for a dosa lunch. By now you won’t be surprised that the afternoon’s ride is a climb back up into the hills and the famous tea town of Munnar. Windermere Estates.

DAY 8 MUNNAR (free day). A chance to explore the delights of Munnar and the surrounding area. We can go in search of the Nilgiri Tahr, a rare mountain goat, in the cool of the morning. About half of the total world population of about 2000 animals live in the ranges below the Anamudi Peak (2695 m), the highest in southern India. We can ride the beautiful road down to Marayoor, or to the Mattupetty Dam and up to Top Slip. Or how about a visit the tea museum and take a jeep tour to the highest tea estates in the world? Windermere Estates Hotel.

IND-Kerala 9DAY 9 MUNNAR – KUMILY (100 km). A lovely day’s ride across the Cardamom Hills, with winding roads, villages and plantations scattered among the forests. We’ll stop to admire the Idukki Dam on the by now familiar Periyar River, the largest arch dam in Asia. Then we’ll visit a cardamom plantation, which feels like a shady woodland garden. Greenwoods Manor Hotel.

DAY10 KUMILY – MARARIKULAM (240 km). Our last serious day in the saddle dawns. It’s an early start for a long ride through some truly spectacular scenery. We climb out of Kumily to over 2000 m and enter the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Here the views become more sensational as the road gets worse! This route is largely untrodden - whereas tourists usually see the area by taking the boat on Lake Periyar, we pass through 100 km of the 770 sq. km sanctuary on our bikes. There is an abundance of wildlife, from flora, birds and insects up to bears, leopards, elephants and even tigers, although they usually keep themselves well hidden usually. And no traffic. The riding is slow, and we will often switch off engines to freewheel down narrow lanes and take in the full sounds of the forest. (There is an easier route available too, and if there is any risk of animal attacks we will use this route). Leaving the sanctuary, we’ll stop for chai (tea) and small snacks every hour or so as we descend the Southern Ghats on largely empty, well-surfaced roads past rubber and tree plantations until we near Alleppey. We cross the world-famous backwaters and rice paddies before arriving at our beach hotel. The temperature here is much warmer and you can reward yourself with a swim in the welcoming Indian Ocean.  Abad Turtle Beach.

IND-Kerala 11DAY 11 MARARIKULAM – COCHIN (50 km). Our final ride takes us back to Cochin and a last chance to cement those memories. In the afternoon there’s time for sightseeing and shopping in the old town. The atmosphere here is somehow different, and unlike any other Indian city – more relaxed, more open. Famous churches, cathedrals, synagogues and palaces are all within walking distance, and the sights and smells of the famous market, with its teas, spices, nuts, fabrics, rosewood, Kathakali masks and cigars make this an enjoyable wander. Take an early evening stroll around the fort, with the sun setting against the Chinese nets and giant container ships offering defining images of Cochin. We bring our tour to a close with our Farewell Dinner in Fort Cochin overlooking the harbour – and a refreshing beer is once more on the house! Abad Grand Residentia Hotel.

DAY 12 DEPART COCHIN. We take you back to the airport for your morning flight home, and say our goodbyes - until the next time! Your flight arrives in the UK later today.

Total distance    c. 1000 km

Kerala Tea and Spices Adventure




Sgl rm suppl.

14 - 25 Jan 2018




04 – 15 Mar 2018




13 – 24  Jan 2019




03 – 14 Mar 2019





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IND-Kerala endPrice includes: 10 days Royal Enfield 500 (new, left foot gear change) or 350 Bullet; oil and maintenance/spares; 4WD air-conditioned jeep support vehicle; group leader with medical kit/training; Enfield mechanic; tours/guides listed; airport transfers; all entrance fees to monuments / parks / reserves; 11 nts hotel accommodation; all breakfasts, some dinners; soft drinks /bottled mineral water on tour; road maps/information packets

Price excludes: Flights, travel insurance (both available from H-C Travel); refundable security/damage deposit US$500, to pay locally in cash; visa (c. 90); fuel; alcoholic beverages; laundry service; tips / gratuities.

Houseboat cruise. We can offer you an optional houseboat cruise after your tour – a traditional Keralan boat is a great way to get even more from your mountains and beaches experience! Prices on request

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| Rajasthan Palace Classic Tour | Himalayan High Roads Adventure | Ladakh High Lakes and Passes |
| Kerala Mountains, Wildlife and Beaches Tour | Kerala Tea and Spices Tour |
| India Home Page |