Cows, large trucks, loud horns, worn out roads, LOTS of people, and lots of smiling faces.

I completed this Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip with no guide, or mechanic support; just myself and my trusty GPS.

At times I feared for my life. At other times I couldn’t keep a smile off my face as I drove over well-paved roads with no traffic through rural India.

I will now recap my journey and explain how I got this done.

How long does it take to Ride From Goa to Hampi on a Motorcycle?

As the title says, my Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip was a relatively easy 3-day ride.

This could may be in 2 days, but the Royal Enfield is a gentle beast, and it’s best not to push her.

I drove between 5-7 hours a day, with a few breaks.

I can recommend two great spots to sleep along the way, one actually a lot better than the other.

By not rushing to get the trip done quickly, the stress level remains low and this, in turn, increases the level of freedom and enjoyment.

Day 1: Arambol Goa to Mollem (Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary) 

I had lived in a beach hut in Goa for the last month. It was strange to leave this little slice of paradise and move on to unexplored territory, but I was getting far too comfortable there and found myself contemplating staying the winter. Thats when you know it’s time to get unstuck and get moving again.

I’m not going to see the world from the inside of a beach hut.

Mollem is a town of nothing, except a fantastic chai shop across from the guesthouse, right before you enter the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, and is a good first stop on a Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip.

Leaving Goa is a bit of a battle. Traffic in Goa is heavy and the roads are narrow. You have to deal with crazy taxi drivers, even crazier tourists on rented bikes, as well as all the other obstacles that come with driving a motorcycle in India.

Leaving Goa

There are a few different ways to leave Goa depending on where you begin. If you are leaving from the north, like I did, it’s an easy ride to Mollem.

I left from Arambol and went through Pernam. this was a fantastic drive and with my GPS and some Miley Cyrus in my ear I cruised through a weaving maze of back roads with little to no traffic. Just a dense forest of incredibly green palm trees.

What to Expect on the drive

During this part of the Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip, the roads are in great condition. The state of Goa has money and it shows.

I left somewhat later in the day and had a great afternoon ride as I made my way further and further from the beach.

I had just spent the last month living on the beach for less than $500 a month. Have a read and see how I did it.

I weaved through the interior of Goa, a state where most travellers only see the shoreline of, past small villages and farmland. The people will smile and wave as you drive past. They yell and shout. I have no idea what they are saying, but they are smiling so I am sure it is nothing but nice.

goa to hampi motorcycle trip

The total travel time from Goa to Mollem is about 5 hours. This is going between 60-80 km/h with a few breaks to let the bike cool down.

There is a wonderful Dabha (small roadside rest stop) on the way right when you get to NH4A that has a thali for RS150, it is fantastic food and they keep refilling the plate.

goa to hampi motorcycle trip

Arrival into Mollem

I made it to Mollem at about 5pm. This would be where I would spend my first night during my Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip.

goa to hampi motorcycle trip

Mollem sits right at the entrance to the wildlife sanctuary. As I pulled into this little village I was on the lookout for somewhere to stay. After Mollem it’s a long drive through nothing but forest so this was the last chance for somewhere to sleep indoors.

When I was driving through I noticed a sign that said “Parvati Guest House”. It was all closed up but I asked around and was told to walk behind the building, where I found a room to stay in for RS900.

Day 2: Mollem to Koppal through Hubli.

This was a big day, and a stressful one. With varying road conditions and a confusing city to ride through, you must have a thick skin to make it without cracking.

There are extremely varied landscapes along this part of the Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip and the scenery was fantastic.

Leaving Mollem

Leaving the guesthouse in Mollem, I approached the entrance gate to the national park.

As I do with all police check points, toll roads, and national park entrances; I just blew right through and didn’t look back. No one ever seems to care.

What to Expect on the Drive

The first 20km or so are fantastic. I drove through a tunnel of tropical trees on a quiet well-paved road. This is the last section of Goa roads before entering the state of Karnataka.

As soon as I entered Karnataka, the road quality diminished. There were potholes about a foot deep and soon I slowed down to a crawl. This went on for about another 20km or so until I exited the park and got back to the main highway where conditions were slightly improved.

The national park is filled with trees, hills, and sweeping corners and is a pleasure to drive through (besides the last bit of crappy road). After the park I was back in the plains of rural India, and this flat land would continue until I reached the nightmare that is Hubli.

Surviving Hubli

Hubli is a filthy city that acts as an obstacle during the Goa to Hampi motorcycle journey. Up until this point, the roads are straightforward and easy to navigate. Hubli is a whole other animal though.

This is a busy city with all the madness that India has to offer. There is no need for backpacking or travel in Hubli, just pass through and get the hell away.

goa to hampi motorcycle trip

This is where the GPS is a lifesaver. It guided me perfectly though the city. Without it I would have been lost for sure. The main highway enters and exits the city, but you must find your way through like a mouse looking for the cheese at the end of a maze.

Expect this maze is filled up with filth.

I’m very biased towards Hubli after my first experience there.

goa to hampi motorcycle trip

I just used the GPS on my smart phone. I strongly suggest getting a sim card while travelling in India. Have a read through how to get it done.

I drove through Hubli a few years ago with a couple great guys from Finland and a cool Israeli dude. We got extremely lost for hours, and it was a disaster. I was a bit nervous this time but with the GPS it was actually a breeze.

I was able to make a GoPro video of the drive through the city and will upload it soon and link back to it from here. For now, here are a few still shots from the video to give you an idea.

goa to hampi motorcycle trip goa to hampi motorcycle trip goa to hampi motorcycle trip

Arrival into Koppal

After Hubli, it should be smooth sailing to Koppal. Had I left earlier in the day everything would have been great. Through no one’s fault but my own, I left late in the morning, therefore forcing me to drive at night in the dark.

Driving a motorcycle in India at night is the most terrifying experience of my life, and I urge everyone to avoid it at all costs. I won’t go into details here, but have a look at this article I wrote to see for yourself.

The original plan was to drive right through to Hampi, but after an hour or two risking my life driving in the dark I saw a hotel while passing through Koppal and decided to stop. Best decision ever.

I stayed at a place called “B.A. Pawar”. It was RS700 for a basic room. I, of course, chose the executive room for a whopping RS200 more and didn’t want to leave in the morning.

This is the best hotel I have stayed in while travelling in India. It broke up the Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip nicely. The beds were clean and comfy, with a hot water and high-pressure shower, A/C, and cable TV. It was a nice break for a night.

Staying here allowed me to get into Hampi early the next day and made it easier to find accommodation.

Day 3: Koppal to the “other side of the river” in Hampi

Hampi has a river running through it. On one side you will find the main town, the historical sites, the bazaar, and all that comes with this sort of thing.

The “other side of the river” is essentially the backpacker’s ghetto, and where most people stay, backpacker or not. I will expand on this more in a future article.

If coming into Hampi by bus you would get dropped off on the main side and have to take a boat to the other side. On the bike I took a back road, allowing me to arrive on the other side where the accommodation is more plentiful and slightly less expensive.

Leaving Koppal

It was hard to leave that hotel in Koppal and get back on the road and continue my Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip.

After the terrifying night ride the day before, I was still a bit shook. But back on the bike I got, and away I went. I just picked a guesthouse at random on the other side of the river, plugged the address into the GPS, and found out it was going to be less than an hour ride to my destination.

What to Expect on the Drive

When leaving Koppal, it’s just back on to the main Highway. After a few km there is a toll road stop that, of course, I just ignored and drove through. Very shortly after the toll road stop there is a small road on the left.

It was blocked off by the edge of the highway and I had to drive past it and pull a U-turn to get back to it.

This is where the landscape dramatically changes, and you can see the boulders that Hampi is famous for.

Have a look at these photos of the ride to give you a better idea.

goa to hampi motorcycle trip goa to hampi motorcycle trip goa to hampi motorcycle trip

Arrival into Hampi

After driving through the little farming villages, it’s a veer to the right, down a dirt hill and along a dirt road.

When I rolled into Hampi, it was not what I expected. Hampi is a straight-up backpackers’ ghetto at first glance.

There is one main road on the other side of the river that all the guesthouses are on. These are more along the lines of basic huts than proper guesthouses, and slightly overpriced.

Just search one after the other to find what you are looking for. They range dramatically in price and I found the basic RS300 rooms not too much different then the “deluxe” RS 1500 rooms. I am paying $6 for a place to sleep, but not much else.

I made my choice and plan to go back to that awesome hotel in Koppal for the last couple nights before I start my next journey south from Hampi to Mysore.

Summery of my Experience on my Goa to Hampi Motorcycle Trip

Every Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip will be different, especially when on a Royal Enfield. These bikes have a mind of their own and like to break down. Use these stops as a guide and hope to follow the same route, but be ready to deviate from the plan.

I had a great experience on this ride. Minus the night driving; everything went smoothly and according to plan.

On the outskirts of Hubli I saw another foreigner on a Royal Enfield, parked on the side of the road. Turns out he was on a Goa to Hampi motorcycle journey as well, and we decided to complete the trip together. It’s always nicer when driving with a buddy.

Motorcycle travel in India is hard work. This route however is fairly simple with good roads and sleeping options. No need to worry on this trip, just enjoy it as I did.

If you enjoyed this summary of how I got from Goa to Hampi on a motorcycle and would like to follow the rest of my journey please subscribe to get all the latest posts directly in your email.

Have you done this journey? Do you have any questions about it? Leave a comment or ask below!

Thinking of doing this trip yourself? Have read about how to buy a Royal Enfield in India and get the journey started!

If you would like to read about more of my travels in India check out;

When I came face to face with a 400 year old man

My return to paradise aka my beach hut in Goa

What Christmas is like in Goa

Thank you for reading about my Goa to Hampi motorcycle trip and happy riding!

8 Responses

    • Alex

      Hi Christine, the photo was taken on my GoPro by my passenger. It was a great trip for sure and is continuing as we speak, or type rather 🙂

  1. steve

    Hi Alex. ..just wondering where you are in Bangalore. I’m heading to Mysore then Ooty on Friday. Would be nice to ride together if you’re along that way. This my second home…especially Ooty (I lived here 4 yrs and now return 4 to 5x a yr for work and riding) I’ll be stopping in bandipur tiger reserve….maybe over night with a friend there. ( normally I do the run straight through). My india number is 07353-332049. I’m back in Bangalore on Tuesday again then I’m going to Hampi Hull and Goa (your reverse route but a 2 day ride for me on business) Hope to hear from you and exchange stories)

    • Alex

      Hi Steve thanks for getting in touch, best is to send me a message on my facebook page or through the contact page on this site then I can reply. Thanks!

  2. Anna

    Thanks for writing this post! It was super useful as we are just contemplating driving our motorbike from Goa to Hampi! Prob best to leave as early as we can and split it into 2 days – we are thinking of stopping near Dandeli just over the border into Karnataka. Shame they don’t have a bypass for Hubli but that’s India for you – we’ve been biking around for a bit now so hopefully we will be able to handle it. Love your blog and enjoy the rest of your trip 🙂
    Anna recently posted…Exploring BuzludzhaMy Profile

    • Alex

      Hi Anna! What I suggest is drive until about 3 or 4pm and start looking for a place. Any half decent sized city will have very nice hotels for around RS1000. Not sure your budget but these are incredible value for the standard.. dont be afraid to look around and make sure to bargain even when they say its fixed.. its never fixed haha..And bring your GPS!!

  3. Nga

    Hi Alex,
    Thanks for your awesome post! I am a female solo traveler and wanted to go to Hampi from Anjuna, Goa. But I have never driven a geared bike before, only scooter!! Would you recommend driving to Hampi with normal scooter? Cheers

    • Alex

      You could for sure. Just stick to the edge of the road an expect 5 days to get there