Explore Kerala and the Backwaters

At a Glance

COCHIN – VARAPUZHA – MUNNAR – KODIKULAM – BACKWATERS – MARARIKULAM – COCHIN

Explore Kerala and the Backwaters. To truly discover a destination like Kerala, it is always advisable to pack a little bit of laidback attitude, sense of wonderment and above all a soul nascent enough to soak in the entire journey if not in words at least within. This tour takes in Kerala’s Tea, Spices and Backwaters.

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360 miles along the famous Malabar Coast on one side and scenically separated from the Deccan Plateau from above; Kerala is oozing with natural beauty, wildlife, backwaters probably at any friendly neighbourhood, green bathed valleys, and paddy fields. Rivers list fully crisscrossing the plains and joining the sea silently. So, when one arrives at Cochin a lot awaits to be seen.

The shores of Kerala have been open to a lot of foreign influences for many years. The churches and the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch Palace and the great murals bear testimony to it. Further, ahead the tour takes you to the deeper green landscapes of Munnar where also witness the flora and fauna at the Eravikulam National Park. There are several tea gardens to visit and also the Kannan Devan Hills.

Another exciting highlight of this tour is houseboat cruise called the Kettuvallams in Kerala – a wonderful way to glide over the blue waters of Kerala. The tour then takes you beachside to relax for a few days before heading to Fort Cochin, which was the central hub for the ancient spice trade. Then to the airport to bid you farewell for your homebound journey.

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Starting from £2432.00

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

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Itinerary

COCHIN – VARAPUZHA – MUNNAR – KODIKULAM – BACKWATERS – MARARIKULAM – COCHIN

DAY 01 – DEPART FOR COCHIN
Fly to Cochin today via Dubai. (No direct flights to Cochin you can take alternative flights such as via Doha, Mumbai, etc.. ask staff for details)

DAY 02 – ARRIVE COCHIN – Teak House
Arrive, meet & greet then transfer to a wonderful homestay called Teak House located in Varapuzha near to Cochin. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your flight.

DAY 03 – COCHIN TO MUNNAR (B) – Windermere Estate
Fully relaxed now and ready to begin your journey, drive to Munnar (4 hrs)

On arrive the rest of the day is at leisure to relax at the hotel. Your driver is at your disposal for local explorations. This evening take a walk through their cardamom plantation. The 4 km route takes about 2 hours to cover, and packs more than a few exhilarating moments. 

DAY 04 – MUNNAR (B)
Visit the Eravikulam National Park in the morning, then this afternoon if you would like we can arrange some trekking. Munnar offers a mildly challenging 3-hour trek, through tea-covered slopes, to the peak of the highest mountain in Southern India, the 2,689 meter high Anaimudi, the Elephant’s Head.

Later your can visit Mattupetty Dam, Echo Point, Kundala Dam and Tea Museum.

DAY 05 – MUNNAR TO KODIKULAM (B) – Dewalowkam Farm Homestay
Drive to Kodikulam home of Dewalokam farm homestay (3 Hrs). On arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure to relax.

A stay at Dewalokam is a truly unique way to relax and unwind a peaceful and unspoiled heaven. Enjoy their home grown produce, freshly cooked as you sample gourmet traditional Keralan food.  Join the professional chefs in their state-of-the-art kitchen in an informal learn-to-cook session.

DAY 06 – KODIKULAM (B)
The day at leisure to relax at the hotel or maybe try some of the local activities like bamboo rafting, forest walk, village walk, cycling, visit a local school or just relax and have a swim in the pool or river.

DAY 07 – KODIKULAM TO BACKWATERS (FB) – Private Houseboat
Drive to Kumarakom (3.5 Hrs) and board your private Rice Barge Houseboat.

DAY 08 – BACKWATERS (FB)
All day cruising on your houseboat with stops are various points to get off and explore.

DAY 09 – BACKWATERS TO MARARIKULLAM (B) – A Beach Symphony
After breakfast disembark then drive to Mararikullam Beach (1 Hr)

Check-in at your hotel, then the rest of the day is at leisure to relax beachside.

DAY 10 – MARARIKULUM (B)
Day at leisure to relax beachside

DAY 11 – MARARIKULUM (B)
Day at leisure to relax beachside

DAY 12 – MARARIKULUM (B)
Day at leisure to relax beachside

DAY 13 – MARARIKULUM TO COCHIN (B) – Xandari Harbour
Drive to Cochin (1.5 Hrs), on arrival check-in at your hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure to relax or if you wish you can complete your sightseeing today and relax tomorrow, just let us know your preference.

DAY 14 – COCHIN (B)
Enjoy full day sightseeing visit Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church & Chinese Fishing Nets

Evening enjoy Kathakali dance show

DAY 15 – COCHIN HOMEBOUND (B)
Today India bids you farewell with your transfer to the international airport.

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
  • Teak House homestay for a relaxing few days
  • The rolling hills of Munnar’s tea plantation
  • Visit to Eravikulam National Park in Munnar
  • Dewalokam Homestay & Farm
  • Learn to cook Keralan Food
  • Bamboo rafting if you wish
  • Stay on your own private luxury Rice Barge Houseboat for 2 nights (FB)
  • Relax beachside for a few days
  • A private guided tour of Fort Cochin

This Tour features the following locations

VARAPUZHA: A small residential area located north of Cochin City. Home to one of our favourite homestays Teak House. If it’s peace, tranquillity and total relaxation that you want, Teak House is the place for you. A home-stay beside the beautiful backwaters in a quaint village on the outskirts of Cochin where time stands still and life is laid back and leisurely.

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.

KODIKULAM: Kodikulan the home of Dewalokam an ancestral farm homestay of the Alilakuzhy family an ancient Syrian Christian family of Kerala. We always want our guests to feel relaxed and happy. Our family will be delighted to show you the organic farm and tell you about the unusual trees and plants, many of which have medicinal uses.

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 primary source of transport between the villages of this area that are not accessed by road. From your vantage point onboard, 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 be constantly 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.

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.

What our clients say

Thank you, Sharon, for all the help you gave in the planning of our trip to India. We had such a relaxing time and glad you suggested 2 nights on the Rice Barge, we could have stayed on board longer just watching local life on the backwaters. Now we want to see more of India and the contrast between south and north. We will recommend you to family and friends. All the best

Phillip & Gemma – Essex

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