Cycling in Kerala. Best things to do in Kerala. Best places to visit in Kerala. DIY day tours near Kerala backwaters. Backpacking India

Most of the places listed below to try out cycling in Kerala are a part of this one week Kerala itinerary.


If you find yourself with an extra day or 2, cycling can make for the perfect day trip whether you’re in Alleppey, Varkala, Fort Cochin, or Munroe Island!


Cycling in Alleppey

Cycling in Kerala: Alleppey backwaters. Backpacking Kerala, India


Alleppey to Kainakary

I went to Kainakary by scooter, but on the way there, I was thinking what a great cycling ride it would make.

The first couple of kilometers will have you on the somewhat busy road, but once you make your turn onto more of the “backroads,” it becomes the perfect place for cycling!

You’ll pass by some paddy fields, and then eventually you’ll make your way to the backwaters.

So basically you are cycling to the Alleppey backwaters.

And from there, you can lock up your bike and walk around the backwaters too… just like you can walk around the backwaters during a backwaters canoe village tour!

Cycling in Kerala: Backwaters village tour walk. Backpacking Kerala, India

There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to put your bicycle in the canoe and take it across the water too!

Cycling in Kerala: Backwaters day trip from Alleppey to Kainakary, See Kuttanad ferry. Backpacking Kerala, India

This is actually the area that the See Kuttanad ferry passes through too.

So it can be the perfect day trip from Alleppey to go cycling to Kainakary or Kuttanad.

I got the tip to go to Kainakary from this guesthouse.

The last I knew, they provide bicycles for free too if you stay there.

If you’re looking to go cycling in Alleppey, this is a huge bonus because it’s hard to find bicycle rentals in Alleppey. (I tried very hard to find a place that rents a bike and it was quite the failure.)


Alleppey to Marari Beach

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip from Alleppey to Marari Beach. Backpacking Kerala, India

I had already walked along the beach from Alleppey to Marari Beach, so I was excited to go cycling too! (It’s possible to walk right on the beach nearly the whole way.)

The bike ride to Marari Beach isn’t as scenic as the walk since you have to go on the main road much of the way. But I didn’t find this main road from Alleppey to Marari Beach to be particularly busy.

What can make this ride even more worth it is if you make a detour to the small roads that lead to the beach along the way.

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip from Alleppey to Marari Beach. Backpacking Kerala, India

This way, you’ll come across some small fishing beaches.

You’ll also come across some quieter roads this way too.

This will take you on some residential streets as well.


Cycling in Varkala


Varkala Cliff

I never did bike in Varkala, but I did see someone with a bike on the Varkala cliff!

The cliff definitely isn’t a place you bike with speed because that would just be dangerous.

If you go too fast you might go flying off the cliff.

Cycling in Kerala: Varkala cliff. Backpacking Kerala, India

Just kidding. Kind of.

But more importantly it’s also primarily a walking path so there will be a ton of pedestrians you come across.

Cycling on the cliff would be more of something to do at a very leisurely pace so you can ride a bike and enjoy the amazing coastal views that go with it.


Varkala to Kappil Beach

I did walk from Varkala to Kappil Beach, and this path is along the coast pretty much the whole way. (Scenic views!)

As far as I can remember, it would seem like you can bike most of the way.

There may be some parts that you’ll have to push your bike through the sand (there were some sections like this from Alleppey to Marari Beach), or sections that would generally be better to walk your bike like on the Varkala cliff.

But it should be something you can generally manage!

Consider it an adventure if it’s not a path you can ride the whole way! 😉

Because no matter what, it’ll be a scenic coastal ride!

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip from Varkala cliff to Kappil Beach. Backpacking Kerala, India


Cycling in Cochin

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip in Fort Cochin, Kochi. Backpacking Kerala, India


Fort Cochin to Marine Drive

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip from Fort Cochin to Marine Drive Ernakulam Kochi. Backpacking Kerala, India

I went by bicycle from Fort Cochin to Marine Drive in Ernakulam.

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip from Fort Cochin. Backpacking Kerala, India

I did this on a day that there was a strike in the entire state of Kerala which meant that most shops were closed and the roads were nearly empty.

This meant there were the perfect conditions for cycling on the roads! 😉

Once at Marine Drive, I took a Cochin tourist ferry boat around the waters there. I locked up my bike during the boat ride.

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip from Fort Cochin to Marine Drive Cochin boat ride Kochi. Backpacking Kerala, India


Fort Cochin to Cherai Beach

You can also make it a day trip by going to Cherai Beach.

The way to do it without your bike would be to go by ferry and bus.

When you have a bike, you can still take the same ferry from Fort Cochin, and then once you cross the water, instead of taking a bus the rest of the way to Cherai, you’d go cycling!

I have seen people carry their bicycles onto the public ferries in Cochin. You can confirm with the place you’re staying in Fort Cochin that this is possible.

And once you’re near Cherai Beach, instead of cycling on the road, you can cycle on the water!

They have cycle boats here which means they are human-powered pedaling with your own 2 feet!

Cycling in Kerala: Day trip from Fort Cochin to Cherai Beach boat ride. Backpacking Kerala, India

I rented a bicycle from where I was staying in Fort Cochin.


Cycling around Munroe Island

Cycling in Kerala: Munroe Island backwaters. Backpacking Kerala, India

Munroe island is another backwaters destination and can be seen as an alternative to the Alleppey backwaters.

It’s known for the Munroe island backwaters homestays that you can find a bunch of on the island.

Cycling around Munroe Island usually means riding on quiet roads so it can be a nice experience!


Kerala is great for coastal cycling!

Whether you choose Alleppey, Varkala, Cochin, or Munroe Island for your cycling adventures, there are opportunities for some cycling with scenic coastal views!

Cycling in Kerala: bicycle rental in Alleppey. Backpacking Kerala, India



Best things to do in Kerala backwaters on a budget


The need-to-know India travel tips!
If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.

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If you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!

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Access to India as a foreigner seems to be getting friendlier! There's an e-visa now and this visa fee is far less than it was before. See the current cost of an e-visa by selecting your country. That's a partner website to make the evisa application process less stressful - it's possible to apply on your own too. See about your options on how to get an e-visa for India.

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  Backpacking India travel guide, South India travel blog: Best places to visit in India itinerary - one month, 3 weeks. India travel blog with best places to visit in India Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best places to visit in Kerala itinerary - one week, 7 days, 10 days. Cochin, Alleppey, Varkala, Munnar. Kerala India travel blog with top Kerala tourism destinations. Backpacking Kerala travel guide, India: Best things to do in Kerala backwaters activities - canoe, kayaking. Kerala India travel blog.