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. Alleppey is home to a relaxed and simple way of life where we’ll enjoy time on a traditional houseboat.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the Alleppey Waterways from a traditional houseboat
  • Trek through gorgeous tea plantations and hill stations
  • Experience authentic Indian theatre and martial arts
  • Explore spice gardens and the source of Ayurveda treatments
  • Challenge yourself for a good cause in a beautiful part of India
  • Dates & Prices

    22nd-30th October 2018

    Participant Registration Fee (non-refundable): £350

    Sponsorship Level including flights: £2900

    Special Blind Price including flights: £1500*

    *as a visually impaired traveller if you wish to fundraise for the trek, we would require you to raise the £2900

  • What's Included

    Flights and transfers from the UK (UK prices only)
    7 nights hotel accommodation
    All breakfasts, lunches and dinners in Kerala
    Jeep rides during specified treks
    Kalaripayattu martial art show in Periyar
    Houseboat cruise with lunch in backwaters
    Services of local guides
    Services of a Traveleyes tour manager

  • The Good Cause

    The Chronicle Sunshine Fund provides specialist equipment to children with disabilities in the North East of England. Individuals, groups, registered organisations, special and mainstream schools and hospitals can ask for support to improve the lives of children with disabilities aged from birth up until their 19th birthday.

     

    The Fund receives requests from individuals and organisations to provide items such as trikes, powered wheelchairs, beds, sensory equipment, IT equipment, specialise seating and hydrotherapy systems. This equipment is not supplied or funded by the NHS or Social Services and as it is often costly, families are unable to buy the equipment themselves.

     

    No more than 50% of the fundraised target goes towards the cost of the trip, with all funds raised above this going towards The Chronicle Sunshine Fund.

Charity Challenge Information - Click to expand

“Fundraise for charitable causes whilst embarking on challenges across the world!”

Charity Challenges are where a group of travellers dedicate their own time and effort to raising money for charitable causes. By undertaking a demanding yet unforgettable challenge, you will inspire those around you to dig deep into their pockets to donate money to your challenge and the important charitable cause.

All our charity challenges include sighted participants who have raised money for their chosen charity. These sighted participants will act as sighted guides for their fellow visually impaired travellers. You will have the choice whether you pay the cost of the trip out of your own pocket, or better yet, you may wish to fundraise for the trip at no personal cost to yourself. With this option, No more than 50% of the fundraised target goes towards the cost of the trip, with all funds raised above this going towards a charitable cause!

“Push your own boundaries to help others”

Fundraising is hard and takes time to raise large amounts of money for charities. The challenge itself will be designed to push you to your limits. Charities will not only benefit from the important funds that are raised, but from the publicity that the challenge will create. By choosing this option, you’ll be supported by us throughout the fundraising process, helping you make the most of the fundraising experience.

This isn’t just another holiday, it will be physically exerting and facilities may be basic at times.

Traveleyes Charity Challenges will usually be geared towards an activity, such as cycling from one destination to another, trekking in iconic surroundings or building projects for local communities. We guarantee you’ll form lasting friendships and memories along the way, all whilst making important contributions to charitable causes! Following the challenge and as a reward for all the hard fundraising, each challenge will include a treat at the end!

Day 1: Journey to Kerala in Southern India

Monday 22nd October

Fly to Cochin in South India. We shall arrive early in the morning the next day and transfer to our hotel to rest.

Day 2: Explore Cochin

Tuesday 23rd October

Get set for your exotic journey through Kerala – The Gods Own Country. This green haven situated on India’s Malabar Coast was once a key jewel on the historic Spice Route. You will touch base at Cochin, the coveted land which lured in invaders and traders from far and wide.

In Kerala you will trace a blend of Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese and Arab imprints in the heritage townships. Contemporary Kerala, you’ll find has a heady rhythm. Exotic sunsets cradled in the Arabian Sea horizon, crisp white sand beaches, and a cultural starburst. You will get to form beautiful polaroid frames in your mind of heritage architecture and calming backwater trails.

Following a morning at leisure to relax, we’ll proceed for a short orientation tour of Cochin before visiting the Grenix theatre for a live dance performance on Kerala’s performing arts.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Cochin.

Day 3: Transfer from Kochi to Munnar, Afternoon Short Trek Exploring Munnar

Wednesday 24th October

The route towards Munnar is one of the most scenic drives in southern India. You will climb further up from sea level, towards the countryside dotted with tea plantations. Munnar and the tea plantations are a legacy of the British regime. The original idea was to make the region rich with coffee plantations; when coffee didn’t take root, tea was introduced.

Check in at the hotel. Afterwards, visit the tea museum followed by a short practice hike through the tea plantations and a chance to explore Munnar town.

In the evening we’ll regroup for a briefing before retiring for the day.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Munnar.

Day 4: Trek Munnar to Letcmi Hills

Thursday 25th October

This morning we’ll drive to the starting point of the Letchmi Hills trek, where our walk will begin at a height of 1420 metres through tea plantations, we’ll reach the top of the hill where we’ll trek along a ridge through more plantations, forests and grasslands. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in view of Anaimundi, the highest peak in South India amid exotic aromas of coffee and cardamom and the sounds of birds unique to this part of the Western Ghats.

In the late afternoon, transfer back to Munnar for the evening.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Munnar.

Day 5: Trek Munnar to Top Station

Friday 26th October

Today, we will drive about 29 kilometres from Munnar towards Top Station. We will pass through some of Munnar’s highlights – Matupatty Dam, Echo-Point and Kundala Dam. Our trek will start through tea estate villages and will lead to tea plantations, evergreen shola forest, montane forest, grasslands and the ridges of Western Ghats. The route offers spectacular views to the low land of Tamil Nadu, the second highest peak in South India and the highest tea estate in the world called “Kolukkumalai”.

Our trek will start at the height of 1800 metres and the highest point of the trek will be about 2250 metres. Following our trek we shall transfer back to Munnar.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Munnar.

Day 6: Trek Munnar Chokkarmudi & Transfer to Periyar

Saturday 27th October

We take a brief open-top jeep drive through the winding roads to reach the start of our final trek in the Munnar area.

The trek offers a beautiful view of Anaimudi and Idukki Dam. The slopes are lined with tea and spice plantations and traditional villages. We will then trek the path to Chokkarmudi.

We will then move on from Munnar towards Periyar. The region has lush forests and nurtures abundant wildlife. It is home to the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, home to many elephants. Periyar, located in Thekkady is also known as a spice plantation hub.

This evening head to one of the thriving spice plantations in Thekkady. Explore a vast spread of numerous spices, and try to identify them in their raw form.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Periyar.

Day 7: Trek Periyar to Tamil Nadu

Sunday 28th October

After breakfast we’ll board jeeps and drive down to Tamil Nadu. After 8 km’s drive, get down from the jeep and hike through the village area and vegetable farm lands. While walking you will interact with local people and farmers. We will also get a chance to see the authentic local market of Kumily.

This evening, enjoy a showcase of the traditional martial art form of Kerala, performed by trained warriors.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Periyar.

Day 8: Periyar – Kumarakom – Mararikulam. The Houseboat Experience

Monday 29th October

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. These water bodies both connect and divide the villages and farmland situated here. Today, you will head back towards the coast.

This morning you will board a traditional houseboat. Enjoy a unique experience floating through the natural and man-made channels that form the complex backwaters of Kerala. Observe the village life, the scenic paddy fields and let the gentle sway of the water channel lull your senses.

Lunch will be served on board.

In the afternoon, disembark from the houseboat and return to Cochin where we’ll rest in a hotel before our airport transfers around midnight.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 9: Depart India and arrive back home

Tuesday 30th October

Transfer to the airport for return flights home, arriving back the same day.

Trekking Information

Please note a good level of fitness is required for this trip as it is geared towards people who are capable of enjoying walking for up to 25km/7 hours every day. You are required to have an intermediate to advanced level of experience doing such distances. The walks will be in undulating countryside; some walks will involve shorter but steeper technical sections; others will include more gentle, but longer ascents and descents. There are the occasional steep sections, at times series of steps, as well as sections with loose rocks under foot, but there will be no scrambling or climbing.

  • Flight Details

     

    Outbound Information

     

    Departure Airport: Manchester Airport, UK
    Departure Date: 22/10/2018 Departure Time: 8.20am

     

    Arrival Airport: Cochin Airport, India
    Arrival Date: 23/10/2018 Arrival Time: 2.20am

     

     

    Inbound Information

     

    Departure Airport: Cochin Airport, India
    Departure Date: 30/10/2018 Departure Time: 3.35am

     

    Arrival Airport: Manchester Airport, UK
    Arrival Date: 30/10/2018 Arrival Time: 11.55am