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Destination: India

Duration: 14 Day(s)

Group Size: 10

Pillion Friendly: Yes – this is a great holiday for couples

Terrain: All Tar Riding – Twisty Mountain Roads

Support: Tour leader / First-aider / Mechanic / Support vehicle

Distance: Approx 900km



This outstanding tour covers some of the most scenic, exotic and diverse areas of southern India, from steamy coastal waterworlds 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 back-up that only Blazing Trails delivers, then this is the trip for you.
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As a participant in this tour you will fly to Cochin's international airport to be met by Blazing Trails staff and escorted to your hotel in the Fort area of the old city. Here you will be briefed on the adventure ahead and introduced to 'your' Enfield Bullet, or Himalayan.

The following morning we 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 and a support vehicle with spares at the rear.

The trip includes few longer days in the saddle and takes in some challenging mountain chicanery. These twisty rides will require skill and concentration, so we ask that you have a minimum of two year's riding experience before joining this tour. Once away from the coast, there should be little traffic, but that which we do encounter is likely to be behaving 'erratically' compared to vehicles in The West. The general condition of the roads is, however, good for this part of the world and the riding experience extremely rewarding.

Weather ranges from very warm/hot on the coast, to a cool UK autumn's evening in the hill stations, where we will venture as high as 6500ft above sea level. We would not expect it to rain at the times of year that we run tours in Kerala, but precipitation is possible in the higher reaches of the mountains.

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 characterised by the quality of the riding, the accommodation and the stunning natural settings in which you can enjoy them. We love riding on this tour and are sure you will too.

The 'START DATE' (Day 1) date is the date of arrival at your destination airport. The 'END DATE' is the date on which you fly home.

Please make sure that on booking you select a tour date and bike.


Day 1

Fly from UK

Leave the British winter behind as you leap merrily onto the flight to Cochin.

Day 2

Arrive 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 Enfield 500 Bullet and its eccentricities.

Day 3

Cochin to Munnar

We head inland and up into the cool of the hills, covering some 150km in about five or six hours. The ride is fantastic, with long straights passing through shady tropical forest 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 our destination, Munnar. At nearly 1500m above sea-level, anyone who isn't a walrus may choose to don a fleece.

Day 4

Around 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 town, or just kick back and relax.

Day 5

Munnar to Kodaikanal

Heading down and out of the Nilgiri range, we cross the plains before heading up spectacular switchbacks to the Palani Hills and the religious fervour 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 2100m above Southend, is the geographical high point of the trip. Unless you happen to be half penguin, a fleece is a good idea while taking in the evening views from the heights of our hotel garden.

Day 6

In Kodaikanal

A chance to explore this historically interesting hill station and its surroundings – we'd recommend simply walking around and taking in the vertiginous mountain views and colonial architecture. More 'serious' trekking into virgin forest can also be arranged. The less energetic may prefer a stroll in the botanical gardens, to bob around on the boating lake, or even swing a club on the town's golf course.

Day 7

Kodaikanal to Vandanmedu

More sinuous twisties carry us back to the plains, then up over the Keralan border to descend through lush cardamom plantation and forest to our destination, the tiny village of Vandanmedu. Here, deep in a forested plantation, our luxurious hotel features a swimming pool, so don't forget the cossie.

Day 8

Vandanmedu to Thekkady

hekkady, is near the sanactuary 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 9

In Thekkady

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

Day 10

Thekkady to Alleppey

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

Day 11

Alleppey to Kumarakom

A short hop takes us to Kumarakom, where we will be  boarding one of the famous Keralan barges, our accommodation for the night. Our mobile floating luxury hotels will chug out into the backwaters before mooring for the night. Utter peace and relaxation.

Day 12

Kumarakom to Marari

Heading north, a short ride takes us 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 swimming in the warm waters, with the golden beach stretching the the horizon is a very special experience.

Day 13

Marari Beach to Cochin

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

Day 14

In Cochin 

From your hotel in Fort Cochin, venture out on a full day of exploration 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 the oldest church in India to visit. In 'Jew Town', a bustling trading enclave is a 16th Century synagogue and the Portuguese-built palace, containing beautiful murals, is another fabulous sight worth taking in. Boat cruises around the harbour, decorated with the famous Chinese cantilever fishing nets, may even afford the opportunity to see dolphins close by. 

Day 15

Departure from Cochin

A transfer to the airport for your flight home. Cheerio.


  • 11 Days of Bike Hire
  • Luggage-carrying Support
  • All Internal land Transfers
  • Twelve Nights Accommodation
  • Meals: All breakfasts
  • First Tank of Fuel


  • Other Meals
  • Flights
  • Tolls, Entry Fees, Visas and Excursions
  • Fuel Beyond First Tank

The tours can be booked online, by email, or over the phone on: +44 (0) 7494 050404. To secure a place you will be asked to put down a deposit of £500 and payment can be made by card, cheque, or bank transfer.

Yes. We enjoy hosting riders from all countries.

Flights are not included in the price of your tour, but we can provide details of where to book an appropriate flight.

For many nationalities, a tourist visa is issued free of charge at your port of entry. It is, however, your responsibility to check current regulations.

You will need a valid certificate of travel insurance.

We own and manage our own fleet of bikes.

If you damage the bike, you will be charged for the damage up to the amount of your excess. On all our bikes, the excess is £1000, so in the event of a mishap you will not be charged more than this amount. If the damage is less than this amount, then you will only be charged for that damage.

If you have damaged the bike near to this total, we may ask you to place a further deposit before continuing.

Yes, you need travel insurance to cover you for the period of the tour. This insurance must cover you to ride the bike you have booked.

We would advise that you change some money on arrival at the airport. ATMs are widespread and an efficient way to get hold of cash. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere.

About 300-£400 should cover food, drink, petrol and sundries.

Yes, unless you pay a supplement. Even then, single rooms may not be available at some stops as the hotels we use are popular, or in some cases small, and we have to book our accommodation some time in advance.

It varies widely (and tour-to-tour), but is always clean and the best we can find in the area for a reasonable price in a suitable setting. We are always in clean, comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Yes, but you may need a travel plug adaptor.

We would recommend only booking a tour with us if you have a licence to ride your tour bike (compulsory) and have at least a year’s recent riding experience. The main criterion, however, is confidence.

Riding anywhere carries with it a degree of risk, as does riding in South Africa. However, with light traffic and good roads, we would suggest that riding in South Africa is no more dangerous than a tour in Europe. For more information on the riding side of things see ‘Riding’ in the ‘About South Africa’ section of this site. If any rider joining us rides in a manner we suspect will endanger themselves, or others, or indeed displays antisocial behaviour, they will receive one warning. If they continue to display a threat to the safety or enjoyment of others on the tour, they will be excluded from the remainder (with no refund given, see terms and conditions).

We will be riding ‘progressively’, at or around the speed limit and according to conditions. Most South African roads outside built-up areas have a 75mph speed limit – fast enough on the twisties. There are fixed cameras and mobile speed traps in towns…

No, you can’t ride independently of the tour group, sorry.

No fitter than you would have to be to tour Europe.

You are limited by most airlines, so check with the carrier. However, we suggest you pack as lightly and in as compact a form as possible. Bring only soft luggage to be carried on a support truck.

Keep it minimal. One set of riding kit for the tour and a few sets of clothes for the evening. There are usually laundry facilities at two-night stops – check your chosen itinerary. Leave some space for shopping you do in SA.

While South Africa has had some pretty bad press in recent years for violent crime, very little of this nature happens in the tourist areas through which we will be travelling. And, as ever, the media tends to sensationalise the bad and ignore the good. Being guided through the ‘right’ areas in a group greatly mitigates the chances of encountering unpleasantness. Petty crime – pick-pocketing and theft – happens, as it does in virtually all tourist destinations with a wide gulf between rich and poor. A few simple precautions, like keeping your wallet/docs in an inside pocket and leaving nothing unattended on the bike, should mean a trouble-free tour. You will be briefed on sensible measures prior to setting off.

If you’re wet, yes. They are provided throughout the tour.

Only some meals (check your tour for details). We prefer that where there are choices you make your own on what and where we eat. You will find South African food of a very high standard and good value.

It seems not, as we can no longer offer this experience…

They are, but not every night. Check the itinerary of your tour – you will be able to get clothes cleaned at two-night stops, so consider this when packing.

Yes. If your riding kit isn’t waterproof, then bring some light waterproofs.

Maybe, maybe not, but if you take part in a safari at Kruger, St Lucia, or Addo Elephant Reserve you will certainly see some interesting wildlife and landscapes.

Not really. There may be a few around, but you won’t be plagued. Bring some repellent. South Africa is pretty much malaria-free, but for advice on anti-malarials, please consult your doctor (take the itinerary with you).

Depends on whether there are any great whites around. We would advise you to ask locally – and then go and get a beer instead.

Consult your GP/travel clinic for immunisation and malaria advice. Bring enough of any prescribed medication you take regularly. A basic first aid kit is useful (plasters, antiseptic cream, bite/sting relief, plus insect repellent).

Gel or air pads add comfort on long days in the saddle, but are not necessary.


Find out more about the bikes available for this tour.

About India

Everything you need to know about motorcycle touring in India

India FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions about touring in India.