Cycling tours through India are becoming a popular way of ticking off bucket list destinations while enjoying an active break in one of the world’s most diverse and picturesque countries.
Riding through rural backroads allows for a unique perspective on India: see locals traveling by ox cart or working in the fields as you follow remote dirt tracks resplendent lowland forests to high-altitude mountains or past ancient historical monuments.
Part of the appeal of a cycling tour through India is that you have control over exactly how active your vacation will be. Tours range in duration and challenge; it’s worth checking out the elevation profile of your ride (information that should be available from the tour agency) before committing.
India is your oyster when it comes to selecting a cycle tour; this country is vast, stunning and brimming with a fascinating range of cultures.
There’s also such a huge selection of tour companies to choose from, you’ll not struggle to find a route that allows you to visit the unmissable places of India you’ve always wanted to and some off-the-beaten-path places you didn’t even know existed.
- Choose a tour through romantic Rajasthan, India’s largest state and home to the country’s most iconic monument, the Taj Mahal. Cycle between Delhi and Agra passing through tiny local villages and impressive ancient sites such as the once important Mughal city, Fatehpur Sikri and the Agra Fort before the final highlight of the trip: the Taj Mahal at dawn.
- For a once-in-a-lifetime cycling adventure in India, consider cycling in Kerala, a state that covers the tropical south-western coast of the country. Tea and spice plantations mingle with wildlife reserves and jungle as you ride into the mountains for sublime views across this fascinating landscape.
- For a cycling adventure with some down time, cycle through the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas. Here you can spend a day or two in Rishikesh, a center for yoga and meditation and one of the most important pilgrim sites in the country, before passing through traditional mountainside villages, dramatic forests and ancient temples with epic views of the Himalayas to spur you on.
- Be sure to pick a tour that suits your fitness levels and experience; if this is your first cycling tour, then an itinerary that includes a few rest days for rebooting your energy levels will make sure the trip continues being what it should: a vacation.
- Make sure you do some cycling preparation before you leave. The more fit you are, the more enjoyable – and relaxing – your adventure will be.
- Read up on the vehicle support provided by the agency. It’s an important consideration in case anyone in your party does suffer an injury and wants to sit out a section of the tour.
- If you’re concerned about your fitness levels, consider a tour on electric bikes – you’ll never be out of energy for heading up-hill!
- Think about whether you plan on taking your own bicycle or whether you will rent one for the duration. Although the latter is an easier option as it doesn’t require you to organize international transport for your bike, if you’ll be riding a particularly challenging route over difficult terrain, it might be more sensible to do so on a bicycle with which you’re familiar.