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Motorcycle road trip India / Southern India - The Big Crossing

Motorcycle road trip India / Southern India

The Big Crossing


From the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, mixing nature and culture, this standout motorbike trip fuses laidback Kerala living with rich Tamil culture.

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Valentin
Francis

Francis, Travel designer

Francis is a biker always venturing out on the road to uncover new routes with as much passion as he has telling stories. He is an enthusiast and knows our itineraries like the back of his hand.

A unique crossing that links two mythical cities: Fort Kochi and Pondicherry. Some 695 miles away from the mainstream routes, this itinerary is a discovery of the riches of Southern India. Aboard your Royal Enfield, savour constant diversity. From Kerala’s tea plantations to the jungle of Tamil Nadu, we’ll reveal our secret roads and boutique hotels. Admire the distinctive architecture of multi-coloured Tamil temples and the palaces of the Chettinad region. This motorcycle trip through Southern India ends with a bang in Chennai!

Useful information
Period January to March
Duration 13 days incl. 9 days' riding
Available extensions
Level Intermediate
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Comfort or Boutique
From €2,890/pilot
€2,290/pillion

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Your Motorcycle Tour in South India 13 stages - 752 miles


south india locals
D1 / Arrive in Kochi

You’re met at Kochi airport and transferred to Fort Kochi. You can check in at the hotel any time after midday.

royal enfield motorcycle
D2 / Kochi - 55 miles

You can spend the day visiting Kochi, which has an eclectic mix of influences: medieval Portugal, Dutch colonial and the British countryside with Malabar’s tropical coast as the backdrop. We get used to our Royal Enfield motorcycles and take a short ride to the seafront. You have a free evening. We recommend going to see a Kathakali show, a traditional performing art.

south india motorcycle trip
D3 / Kochi - Periyar - 112 miles

Our first real biking day! We cross the backwaters, a network of lakes and canals, and then take a windy road up towards Periyar hills surrounded by lush nature. The area is famous for its wildlife, but is especially known for its fantastic spice farms, which produce one of Kerala’s major resources.

bike india
D4 / Periyar - Munnar - 56 miles

In the morning, we visit a spice garden. We then head north and gradually gain altitude on beautiful mountain roads through verdant tea plantations. We arrive in Munnar, one of the highest tea trading centres in the world. We take a walk in the surrounding plantations.

south india road trip
D5 / Munnar - Elephant Valley - 137 miles

We cross over the state border into Tamil Nadu, on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats. Its less humid climate and farmlands present quite a contrast with Kerala’s forests. The superb road then takes us up towards Kodaikanal in the Palani Hills.

south india motorcycle trip
D6 / Elephant Valley - Madurai - 75 miles

The road goes back down to Coimbatore’s vast plains, offering wonderful views. We cruise through coconut groves and wheat fields and arrive in Madurai, one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage sites in India. We visit Meenakshi temple and the bazaar.

south india rider
D7 / Madurai - Chettinad - 62 miles

This leg may be short but makes up for it with beautiful views. We ride through small villages, where inquisitive locals gladly exchange with passing travellers, and wind through the sugar loaf rock formations characteristic of Tamil Nadu.

india children
D8 / Chettinad - 31 miles

We can spend the morning relaxing. In the afternoon, we ride around the surrounding villages to discover a culture unique to India and we visit Thirumayam Fort.

south india temple
D9 / Chettinad - Thanjavur - 87 miles

We leave early and ride through the Chettiar countryside between cotton fields, rice paddies and water basins, where we can spot large migratory birds. Once in Thanjavur, we visit Brihadeshwara temple, which is over 1,000 years old, and stroll through the old town.

biker india
D10 / Thanjavur - South of Pondicherry - 137 miles

Today’s our last day on the bikes! We take a scenic ride to Kumbakonam, where we visit Darasuram temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We continue northeast and arrive at the Bay of Bengal coast. We stop and sleep a few miles south of Pondicherry to avoid the congested roads entering the city. We can enjoy a dip in the sea if we want.

south india ricefield
D11 / Pondicherry

A private vehicle takes us to Pondicherry, where we spend the day exploring the city and its coast. We stay 10 miles north of the city, on the Bay of Bengal coast, and enjoy our ecoresort’s incredible surrounds.

yellow flower
D12 / Pondicherry - Chennai

Today you have the morning to relax or do as you please. After lunch, we head to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, formerly called Madras. On the way, we stop at Mahabalipuram to visit its famous temples carved out of rock. We arrive in Chennai in the late afternoon.

garage enfield
D13 / Chennai

Today, we have lunch in Chennai and you’re transferred to the international airport according to your flight schedule, where our services end.

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Available extensions


houseboat south india
Houseboat Cruise / 2 days

You board a traditional "house-boat" for a cruise through Kerala's jungle. You receive a warm welcome from your crew for a night on board (double cabin with bathroom) and cruise along canals, lagoon and on Lake Vembanad. You disembark at the end of the morning after breakfast onboard.

The riders' opinions

Santosh Rajkumar
The organization of the trip was great

“The organization of the trip was great. Our tour leader ensured that all riders are always together, irrespective of the nationality. It was great fun and adventure mixed. On the whole a great trip.”

Todd
Best trip. Ever.

“Excellent, almost effortless trip. We were looked after well. The route was a wonderful combination of easy riding and modest challenge. The staff was tolerant beyond any reasonable human's capacity. Lodgings both exotic and comfortable. A better trip can not be imagined.”

Paul
Vintage Rides - Simply the Best.

“Having joined two tours in India previously with Vintage Rides I have no hesitation in booking a third and recommending this company as experts in their field to anyone contemplating a guided tour on the sub continent or the far east. Vintage Rides is a French company and as expected many of the riders are French speakers but it is not a barrier. I speak English and have only a little of the French language but I have been welcomed by both the tour leaders and the other riders without any problems at all. Communication is not a problem in the brotherhood off the bikers. The tour leaders know their stuff and take you to places off the well beaten tourist track, always mindful of one's safety. The support team for mechanical issues that can occasionally arise with the robust Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet bikes and for transport of luggage and local knowledge remove any concerns, just sit back and enjoy the ride.”

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Upcoming departures


From February 25th 2019 to March 9th 2019
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