With golden beaches, breezy hill towns and sleepy backwaters, Kerala is India at its most laid-back.
VIP door to airport transfers
Departs From Manchester. 29th November 2021 for 12 Days . Prices From £2,089 per person
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With golden beaches, breezy hill towns and sleepy backwaters, Kerala is India at its most laid-back. You’ll uncover the best of this south-western state, from its tea and spice plantations to its cultural cities (where you’ll find ancient temples and reminders of the area’s colonial heritage). You’ll also have the chance to spot a little of the local wildlife - as we cruise along Lake Periyar, we’ll keep an eye out for elephants, deer, otters and even tigers along the shoreline.
9 nights in hotels, 1 night cruise and 1 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
International flights. Prices are based on return flights with Emirates from London Heathrow or Gatwick via Dubai. Supplements may apply from other airports
29 meals: 10 breakfasts (days 3-12) 9 lunches (days 3-11) 10 dinners (days 2-11)
VIP door-to-door travel service
Services of a local tour manager
Travel in destination by coach
7 excursions and visits
Tour of Kochi including tuk-tuk ride
Tour of Cochin
Tour of Munnar and its surroundings
Visits to a tea plantation and museum, and spice garden
Boat ride on Lake Periyar
Kathakali dance performance
Day 1 UK - In flight
VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Kochi.
Day 2 Kochi
On arrival in Kochi, you’ll transfer to your hotel before a walking tour, taking you through the town’s nooks to see the historic St Francis Church, the Santa Cruz Basilica and the age-old Chinese fishing nets still in use in the bay. You’ll visit the Synagogue and Dutch Palace, built in traditional Kerala Nalukettu style. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area, with its well-preserved Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before you take a short tuk-tuk ride through the city streets.
Day 3 Kochi - Munnar
You’ll take to the road for a journey through captivating countryside to the verdant slopes of tea country, where you’ll stay in Munnar for three nights. This stunning location begs to be explored during your afternoon at leisure. This evening, you’ll take a walking tour of the small but vibrant local market, with stalls of colourful fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, and vendors selling homemade treats.
Day 4 Munnar
Munnar is a quaint little town that exudes a rare old-world charm, evoking memories of the days of the Raj with its elegant splendour, soothing sunshine and invigorating scent from the tea gardens. You’ll take a sightseeing tour, passing old colonial homes and, after lunch in a local restaurant, visit a tea plantation and tea museum, where you can watch a documentary narrating the interesting history of tea in Munnar. You’ll also visit the beautiful areas of Mattupetty Dam, Echo Point, a natural echo phenomenon; Kundala Lake; Jungle Honey Bee Nest and Rajamalai National Park (subject to being open), the natural habitat of the rare mountain goat.
Day 5 Munnar
Today is free for you to relax or enjoy this scenic region further.
Day 6 Munnar - Periyar
You’ll depart Munnar this morning, swapping views of tea plantations for spice plantations. Sitting a kilometre above sea level, Periyar boasts the perfect natural environment for growing cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, vanilla, ginger and coffee. Through millennia of generations, Periyar has produced much of India’s pepper and became an important part of the 15th century spice trade, when black pepper was equal in worth to its weight in gold. You’ll check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax into your surroundings.
Day 7 Periyar
You’ll proceed to a spice garden to learn about their harvest. Afterwards, you’ll take a boat ride on Lake Periyar for a chance to see various species of wildlife. In the midst of a sanctuary that bears its name, where elephants, tigers and Indian wild dogs roam; deer, boar, otters and a great array of birdlife are more readily spotted on this adventure.
Day 8 Periyar - Alappuzha
This morning you’ll head to Alappuzha and board a beautifully crafted deluxe houseboat for an unforgettable overnight cruise. These elegant crafts were once common along the backwaters of Kerala, used as cargo vessels, poled along by one or two men. They are now restored as extremely eco-friendly houseboats that glide through the 1,500km maze of waterways that link small lakes and lagoons, surrounded with an array of coconut trees and endless paddy fields. Take this opportunity to relax to the sound of nature and gently rippling waters, and to step ashore for short strolls through riverside villages, interacting with the locals. Lunch and dinner will be taken on the boat today.
Day 9 Alappuzha - Kollam
After your magical overnight cruise, you’ll disembark and transfer to Kollam, the ‘dreamland of Kerala’ for a relaxing two-night stay. Your hotel is located on Mala lake, amidst landscaped gardens and coconut groves.
Day 10 Kollam
Your time here is free of plans, so you’re free to spend another relaxing day, as you wish, maybe exploring the old seaport town, which has led the way in the spice trade since medieval times. The remains of Fort Thomas and the British Resident show its historical importance to Europe.
Day 11 Kollam - Kochi
You’ll transfer back to Kochi and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. This evening you’ll watch a traditional Kathakali dance performance, based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Day 12 Kochi - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Visa is not included, please call for details. We regret that it is not possible to take wheelchairs on the houseboat.
Classic Kerala is located in Escorted Tour, India. Accommodation rating is the operators own rating and may not be the official rating. Hotel details correct at 22/09/2020