Journey Through Southern Kerala

At a Glance

COCHIN – MUNNAR – THEKKADY – KUMARAKOM – BACKWATERS – MARARI BEACH

Journey through South Kerala. Like every other region of India, the southern destinations have a distinct and a somewhat classical touch to it. Kerala famously referred to as God’s own country has a treasure to offer. In this tour, you get the flavour of the southern part of the state. It all begins in the old city of Fort Cochin.

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The place has the finest natural harbours. Known for the spice trade in the ancient times, this beautiful cluster of islands retains the colonial touch too. Fort Kochi is a great specimen. You proceed to the picturesque Munnar which casts its spell for the two days that you spend here. A walk in the clouds is promised in this haven of natural beauty. Neat tea plantations and sightseeing points; it has it all.

Different adventure tunes in as you reach Thekkady to explore the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Certainly one the most well-maintained reserves out of the 27 there are in India. It is a paradise for ornithologists and animal lovers. A little bonus is an interesting stroll to the small tribal hamlets nearby. Soon after a hectic jungle time, you can breathe the cool and soothing breeze under the lofty coconut and palm canopies in Kumarakom. Located on the Vembanad Lake this city offers ferry rides boat rides, canoeing and the famous cosy stay in the rice barge or Kettuvellom is waiting too.

The best part of this well-designed tour is that it gradually brings you at a slower pace through the destinations and finally relaxes and rejuvenates you at the peaceful, soft beaches of Mararikulam. Isn’t that a perfect holiday!!

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Starting from £2653.00

International flights & VIP meet at aircraft door included - more Special Value inclusions listed below

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Itinerary

DAY 01 – FLY TO COCHIN

Fly to Cochin via Dubai with Emirates Airlines. Other flights are available, check with us for options.

DAY 02 – ARRIVE COCHIN
 – Le Colonial
Arrive, meet & greet then transfer to your hotel. This is the hotel featured in The Real Marigold Hotel TV series where the celebrities stayed during their retirement experience. Needless to say, the vast majority fell in love with India. Travel documents & vouchers will be given to you on arrival along with a special and useful gift from Mystic India. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your flight. 

DAY 03 – COCHIN (B)
After breakfast, you will take a private guided tour of Cochin, some of the highlights of today will be the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and St Francis Church. Cochin (Kochi) is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural, safe port, which became the principal harbour for Malabar Coast’s spice trade. This evening enjoy a Kathakali dance show

DAY 04 – COCHIN TO MUNNAR (B) – Windermere Estate
After breakfast, you are driven to the tea plantation region of Munnar (04 hrs). Arrive Munnar and check-in at the hotel. Driver at your disposal if you wish to take some local drives. Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India.

DAY 05 – MUNNAR
(B)
After breakfast, you are taken on a private guided tour of Munnar. Visit Christ Church built by the British in 1910, also visit the Tea Plantation Museum, Eravikulam National Park home to the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrious). Later drive out to Mattupetty Lake and Dam. If you like trekking, then we would suggest adding on an extra day in Munnar for a visit to Anamudi peak in Eravikulam an altitude of 2695 m above sea level, which offers some amazing trekking opportunities. The evening is then at leisure.

DAY 06 – MUNNAR TO THEKKADY (B) – Spice Village
After breakfast, morning at leisure until checkout, then continue your journey with a drive to Thekkady, the spice region of Kerala and home to Periyar NP (3 hrs) Arrive Thekkady and check in at the hotel.

DAY 07 – THEKKADY (B)

After breakfast, you will take a morning boat ride on the Lake in Periyar wildlife sanctuary followed by spice planation walk. This afternoon witness Kalarippayattu, the traditional martial art of Kerala. Thekkady is enchanting as the road winds through tranquil countryside, rich plantations & thick jungles.

DAY 08 – THEKKADY TO KUMARAKOM (B)
 – Coconut Lagoon
After breakfast, drive to the backwaters of Kerala to Kumarakom (3.5 hrs).  Arrive Kumarakom and check-in at the hotel. The village of Kumarakom a small village that is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala

DAY 09 – KUMARAKOM (B)

Today is at leisure to relax or pursue independent activities. You may like to visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary located on the banks of Vembanad Lake, where you may see common as well as endangered species of residential and migratory birds. These include Parrots, Siberian Cranes, Egrets, Darters, Herons, Owls, and Waterfowls. You can explore the 14 acres in a canoe which can be arranged from here.

DAY 10 – KUMARAKOM TO HOUSEBOAT (FB) – Private House Boat
After breakfast, this afternoon you will board your own private Rice Barge/houseboat. Cruising through Punnamada Lake, where the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place. Enjoy the panoramic views and the glimpses of the life along the banks, today you will also disembark and visit the 400-year-old Champakulam Church. We have included one night on your houseboat, if you have the time, then please add at least an extra night to this experience, we have taken a 2-night cruise and would love to have stayed even longer, it is so relaxing.

DAY 11 – ALLEPPEY TO MARARIKULAM (B) – Marari Beach Resort
After breakfast, you will disembark meet your driver for the short transfer to Mararikulam beach. The rest of the day will then be at leisure to relax. Mararikulam is a beach village in the district of Alappuzha.

DAY 12 – MARARIKULAM (B)
Your days will be at leisure to relax and explore the on your own.

DAY 13 – MARARIKULAM (B)
Your days will be at leisure to relax and explore the on your own.

DAY 14 – MARARIKULAM TO COCHIN HOMEBOUND OR ONWARDS (B)
Today India bids you farewell with your transfer to the International Terminal

Special Value

  • A gift when you book your tour with us, a DVD film called ‘Mystic India’
  • International flights included
  • Useful gift is given to you on arrival
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Private car & driver for all road transfers
  • Snack Hamper, with juice and water in your private car
  • Mobile phone to use while in India to keep in contact with our local office and your driver
  • Meals as per itinerary (BB = breakfast) (HB = breakfast, lunch or dinner) (FB = breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Private guide for sightseeing in all major cities
  • Entrances to all monument and places of interest included
  • A private guided tour of Fort Cochin
  • The rolling hills of Munnar’s tea plantation
  • Visit Eravikulam National Park in Munnar
  • Boat Ride on the lake in Periyar NP
  • Take a walk in a private spice plantation
  • Stay on your own private luxury Rice Barge Houseboat for 1 night (FB)
  • Relax beachside for a few days

This Tour features the following locations

COCHIN: Kochi, those Chinese fishing nets sitting along the harbour are a sight you simply cannot forget. Popularly called the gateway to God’s own country, Kochi manages to hold out on its own with its picturesque locals, leisurely activities, luxe accommodation and incredible homestays. The city is primarily divided into three major areas, modern-day Ernakulam and the historic districts of Fort Cochin, where all our client stay, then there is Mattancherry. Each area boasts fascinating architecture, spice markets, amazing food and interesting attractions. A beautiful Portuguese Palace, 17th-century Dutch homes, a synagogue and India’s first European Church ensure there is much to see and do in Kochi. The resulting mix presents a fascinating blend of a medieval English village full of Portuguese and Dutch architecture, a testimony to the sentiments that have drawn travellers and traders for more than 600 years to this beautiful port town. The best time to visit Kochi is between the months of October to April.

MUNNAR: Welcome to Munnar. As the largest tea-growing region in South India, this beautiful hill station brings you closer to the fascinating world of Indian tea, but the presence of vast rolling hills, magnificent mountain scenery, gorgeous views and a pleasant culture make sure you’re never far away from the best of nature. Once a summer resort for the British Empire, Munnar now greets travellers with pollution-free air, romantic vistas, adventure activities, rich wildlife and an easy-going atmosphere. One of the key attractions of Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. This is a fantastic place for trekking as the slopes are covered in a stunning shade of blue, thanks to an endemic plant found in this part of the world which blooms once every decade. Other things to see in Munnar include Mattupetty, Power House Waterfalls, Top Station, and Tea Museum.

THEKKADY/PERIYAR NP: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most incredible natural wonders of Kerala (that’s saying something!), blessed with mesmerising beauty and incredible biodiversity. As one of the premier conservation areas for elephants and a tiger reserve, the 350 sq. kms. of Periyar attract travellers from far and wide and treat them to rich evergreen forests and trees growing up to heights of 130 to 140 feet. At the heart of the sanctuary lies the beautiful Periyar Lake where common animal sightings include elephants, wild pigs, barking deer, langur, Nilgiri tahr, sambar, gaur and wild dog. The park stays open round the year, but the best time to visit Periyar is from October to June.

KUMARAKOM: The mere mention of Kumarakom is enough to remind you of those serene backwaters, splendid tours into the heart of nature, incredibly romantic experiences and the very best of Indian culture. Consisting of a bunch of islands surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is dotted with forts, mansions, and palaces, all of which were once used by the kings and queens of India. A one-night cruise of the backwaters is a must, but if you can make it Two you will not be disappointed. We can book your own private houseboat and float past ancient villages, enjoying the blissful scent of spices carried by winds gently ruffling your hair, rejuvenating your senses surrounded by chirping birds, intricate lagoons and endless natural beauty. Other places to see in Kumarakom include the Bay Island Drift Museum, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall, and the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Don’t forget to check out History House, the place where Baker from The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize-winning novel) lived. Standing tall on the banks of Vembanad, it looks even more beautiful in real life.

BACKWATERS:  Standing in your very own houseboat, watching the sun’s shimmering rays engulf a sea of green with their dying breath, waking up to the sound of chirping birds, serenading your loved one under a moon-lit sky and exploring idyllic old-world villages, the backwaters of Kerala are a true treat for the weariest of travellers. This maze of canals and lagoons stretches over 900 kms. That link five large lakes to each other. The waterways have traditionally been used to ferry spice and rice across the country, but are now becoming famous as one of the most romantic attractions that India has to offer.

These extraordinary boats have, for hundreds of years, plied the backwaters weighed down with their cargoes of rice, fruit, coir and other crops.  They have been the main source of transport between the villages of this area that are not accessed by road. From your vantage point on board, cruising the backwaters at your own pace, you will see loin-clothed fishermen delicately balancing on their narrow canoes, women weaving or gossiping on the shore and you will constantly be accompanied by the happy sounds of children either playing in the canals or at the water’s edge.

MARARIKULAM:  Located at a distance of 40 kms. from Kochi, Mararikulam is a hidden gem that attracts travellers with its stunning natural beauty, laid-back lifestyle and ancient traditions. The city is truly a hidden oasis, its beaches the best-kept secrets of modern India. It is also considered to offer the perfect backdrop for an exotic vacation that’s full of historical sights, coir factories, adventure activities, an old-world charm, swaying palms and plenty of sun and sand.

What our clients say

Thank you, for all you did in making Gemma and mines honeymoon the unforgettable experience that it was. We are both so grateful for all the hard word you put in and we have been singing your praises to everyone we meet. You helped us really fall in love with India and we both can’t wait to go back!!. Please pass our thanks onto you team in India who were fantastic as well. Look forward to working with you planning our next adventure.

Stuart & Gemma, Woking, Surrey

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