Welcome to Kerala

Known to locals as God’s Own Country, explore the glistening waterways of Kerala, discovering the tranquil side of India’s southernmost state. Kerala literally means coconut land and is famed for vibrant green spice, tea plantations and hill stations. Kerala is a vibrant paradise full of traditions such as ayurveda treatments, spicy food and highly evolved classical dance forms. Once the origin of the historic Spice Route, this region spurred the age of exploration as Europeans sailed the world in search of a way to purchase the exotic products of this green haven, tea and spice.

Kerala may not have the man-made wonders of Rajasthan, but it more than makes up for it with its natural wonders. Our journey along the Malabar Coast begins and ends in Cochin. We will head to the high hinterland where hills are covered in tea, spice and rubber plantations. We’ll discover local villages, martial arts and highly revered elephants in Periyar and Munnar, before decending to the Alleppey Backwaters. Alleppey is home to a relaxed and simple way of life, we’ll enjoy time on a traditional houseboat before concluding with relaxation on a pristine beach in Marari.

Tour Highlights

  • Stay on board a traditional houseboat known as a kettuvallam
  • Experience authentic Indian theatre and martial arts
  • Meet elephants at a village in Periyar
  • Explore spice gardens and the source of Ayurveda treatments
  • Learn how tea goes from plant to cup with a tasting
  • Dates & Prices

    The prices shown below include return flights from a specified UK airport. If you are travelling from outside of the UK, please .

    November 22 - December 4, 2017 (13 days)

    Standard Blind Price: £3099 Contact us for availability

    Discounted Sighted Price: £1799 Contact us for availability

    The prices shown below are for non-UK travellers and do not include return flights and transfers. If you are travelling from within the UK, please .

    Standard Blind Price: 2499 2499 Contact us for availability

    Discounted Sighted Price: 1399 1399 Contact us for availability

    Need flights? Click here

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    An Indian woman in traditional dress picking tea leaves with her hands
  • A large leaf covered in chutneys, cauces and currys alongside poppadoms and rice

    What's Included

    • Flights and transfers from the UK (UK prices only)
    • 3 nights at Holiday Inn in Cochin
    • 2 nights in Mountain Club in Munnar
    • 2 nights in Mountain Courtyard in Periyar
    • 1 night in Eastend Lakesong in Kumarakom
    • 1 night on board a house boat in Alleppey
    • 2 nights in La Plage in Marakiluam
    • All meals
    • Specified excursions
    • Services of local guides
    • Services of a Traveleyes tour manager
  • Excursions

    • Local theatre performance
    • Cochin tour
    • Cooking class
    • Munnar trail walk
    • Tea plantation experience
    • Martial art demonstration
    • Elephant village visit
    • Spice plantation experience
    • Kettuvalluam house boat journey
    • Fish auction visit and homestay breakfast
    The face of an elephant that has been painted with colourful flowers and covered in ribbons

Below is the itinerary for the holiday. Please click each day for more information.

Wednesday 22nd November

Depart the UK and fly to India.

Thursday 23rd November

We’ll arrive early in the morning and transfer to our hotel in Cochin to rest and acclimatise to Indian life.

We’ll rendezvous this evening and proceed to a local theatre, known as a Greenix, which showcases the various performing arts native to Kerala. This traditional dance form originated in Kerala and is notable for its elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and incredible make-up.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Cochin.

Friday 24th November

Set out with wanderlust to explore the sprawling townships of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin. Our day begins with the Hill Palace Museum, a heritage and archaeological museum featuring the royal collection of the Maharaja of Cochin. We’ll continue to the Jewish Quarter, home to town houses and antique boutiques and onto the Spice Market, where business was once done through the value of black pepper, referred as black gold.

Our exploration takes us through the footsteps of the Portuguese, Dutch and British settlements in Fort Cochin. Visit St Francis Church, one of India’s oldest churches before strolling the popular local haunts of Princess Street and Loafers Corner, this popular spot is also home to a row of Chinese fishing nets, one of Kerala’s most iconic sights.

Having explored our local surroundings, we’ll take part in a traditional cooking class, learning about the aromatic spices and infusions that create local dishes.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Cochin.

Saturday 25th November

Journey on one of the most scenic drives in Southern India towards Munnar. Climbing in altitude, the road takes us through the tea plantation countyisde. Munnar and the tea plantations are a legacy of the British Raj, initial attempts to cultivate coffee here did not take root so extensive production of tea was introduced with some shrubs being over a century old.

Upon arrival, we’ll check into our new hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. The tranquil hotel is set amid beautiful tea plantations offering the perfect opportunity to relax.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Munnar.

Sunday 26th November

This morning we’ll set out for a walk exploring local trails in the countryside.

Following lunch, head out to the Munnar Tea Museum for a soothing tea tasting session. Whilst here, we’ll also visit a local plantation to experience the intricacies that go into the production of the perfect cup of tea!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Munnar.

Monday 27th November

Bidding adieu to scenic Munnar, set out with a brief journey in an open top jeep through the region’s winding roads. We then continue towards Periyar, a region of lush forests and abundant wildlife, including many elephant families.

Periyar is in the Thekkady region that’s famed for spice production, so we shall head to a plantation and explore the numerous crops grown here. Following this, witness the traditional martial art form of Kerala performed by local warriors.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Periyar.

Tuesday 28th November

Visit an elephant village today. In Kerala, at temple festivals elephants are in great demand and reflect the prosperity of the village. Whilst visiting the elephants we’ll enjoy getting to know these magnificent animals and the dedicated mahouts who train the elephants for temple rituals.

In the afternoon, we’ll explore the spice market of Kumily, before taking a boat ride in the protected forest reserve of Periyar as the sun begins to set.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Periyar.

Wednesday 29th November

Kerala is cushioned on one side by the great Arabian Sea and on the other side by peaceful backwater channels. Kerala’s backwaters are a unique trail of lakes, lagoons, rivers and canals that snake around low barrier islands and sleepy villages, these water bodies both connect and divide the villages and farmland situated here.

Today, you will head back towards the coast. You’ll settle for the night at the banks of one of these exotic backwater trails in Kumarakom.

En route to Kumarakom, we’ll explore a rubber plantation and observe the traditional method of collecting sap, which is the raw material for rubber processing.

Upon arrival at the backwaters we’ll check into our resort that sits on the water’s edge.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Kumarakom.

Thursday 30th November

The morning will be free to relax by the backwaters before we embark on our traditional houseboats, known locally as Kettuvallams. Once used to carry rice and spices from the paddy fields, house boats are now refurbished into luxurious accommodation that glide through these palm-fringed backwaters.

Whilst floating through the complex of backwaters we’ll witness village life – locals live off the produce of the fresh water, which provides mussels, fish and irrigation. This dreamy experience is truly unique and one of India’s most popular activities.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight on board a houseboat.

Friday 1st December

Waking up in our delightful houseboats on the water, we’ll continue our relaxation as we transfer to one of the best stretches of beach in Kerala, Marari. Following our adventures around Kerala, a bit of rest and recuperation on a beach will be justly deserved. On Marari Beach you’ll find your very own slice of paradise with swaying palm trees, hammocks, white sand and a warm sea.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Marari.

Saturday 2nd December

This morning will be an early start as we take to the coastal highway towards a quaint township known as Manakkodam. On the way we will visit the early market fish auction where the night’s fresh haul is sold in a frenzy of action to the highest bidder. Following this we’ll enjoy breakfast in a local homestay with a warm and welcoming family.

Following some time to explore the village we’ll return to Marari to enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Marari.

Sunday 3rd December

Enjoy the morning at leisure relaxing on the beach before we head back to Cochin this afternoon for our final night’s stay.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Cochin.

Monday 4th December

Transfer to the airport for our return flight home.

Breakfast included.