South Indian Tea & Spices Homestay Tour

At a Glance

BANGALORE – WAYANAD – COORG – COONOOR – MUNNAR – THEKKADY – KUMARAKOM – COCHIN – MUMBAI

Spice Tourism is an upcoming concept and catching up very fast and there is no other state better than Kerala to embark on a spice tour. As is well-known spices are condiments used for their medicinal and more for their aromatic richness. Spices have been an integral part of the Indian lifestyle and cuisine for ages now. To be more precise, it was one of the main things that attracted the westerners to India – a prized monopoly of several kingdoms.

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This tour takes you through few of the spice destinations like Wayanad, Coorg and Munnar apart from tourist attractions like Bangalore, Kumarakom, Cochin, and Periyar. Your visit to the tea plantations is surely going to be rewarding, as the natural beauty is something that penetrates into a weary soul.

The green expanse all over and the manicured gardens are a delight. One can feel the freshness and the purity in the air. The spice gardens are also a great place for a quiet stroll and indulging in some bird watching and even nature walks. The strong aroma of coffee and cardamom trees is mesmerising. Apart from the national parks or bird sanctuaries, the central idea of discovering this facet of tourism itself is a novel idea in itself.

Few years down the line there would spice museums and spice food courts coming up so that spice tours become a regular feature in a planned holiday too…

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Starting from £2338.00

International flights included - more Special Value inclusions listed below

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ASK A QUESTION

Tel: 0207 931 8273

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Mobile: 07823 777 948

Special Value

  • A gift when you book your tour with us, a DVD film called ‘Mystic India.’
  • International flights included
  • A 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 (B = 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
  • Explore the caves of Wayanad
  • Toy train in Nilgiri Mountain Railways
  • Visit the Eravikulam National Park
  • Kathakali Dance show in Cochin

Our  Tour features the following locations

BANGALORE: Considered to be the cool cousin among India’s top four metros, Bangalore boasts a great foodie, music and café scene and an equally incredible bar and nightclub culture. The city is located close to some of the most beautiful vineyards that India has to offer, and while it lacks historical sites in the true sense, it more than makes up with its infectious buzz, glitzy malls, and cosmopolitan lifestyle. For a change of scenery, simply head over to one of the many museums, gardens, temples and palaces that Bangalore has to offer. There’s some beautiful Victorian-era architecture worth exploring as well!

WAYANAD: This incredibly bio-diverse region is quickly becoming one of the star attractions of Kerala for nature lovers. Considered to be a tiny slice of paradise in god’s own country, Wayanad lies in the midst of the Western Ghats and is one of the few places that has remained unfazed by development and stardom. It hosts some of the country’s oldest tribes and is home to a number of engravings dating back to the Mesolithic Age. The place is brimming with beautiful forests, rice paddies, picturesque hills, aromatic spice plantations and untouched wilderness and is an absolute treat for sore eyes. Some of the star attractions of Wayanad include Pookote Lake, Chembra Peak, Meenmutty Falls and the Edakkal Caves. Spotting animals such as wild elephants, langur, Indian bison, tigers and spotted deer is quite common here.

COORG: Beautiful sandalwood forests, lush teakwood jungles, dreamy hills, spectacular waterfalls and sprawling coffee plantations, Coorg is an absolute delight for photographers. Popularly called the Scotland of India, Coorg is blessed with an old-world charm that makes it the perfect destination to enjoy varied experiences, right from outdoor adventure activities such as white water rafting and trekking to watching elephants in their natural habitat. The locals belong to the Kodava race, believed to be descendants of Alexander the Great’s armies and migrating Persians and becoming a part of major festivals such as Keil Poldu and Cauvery Shakaramana is perhaps the perfect way to discover Indian culture at its eloquent best. Or you could simply spend your time watching exotic birds, enjoying idyllic retreats and enjoying luxe spa treatments.

COONOOR: The serene hill station of Coonoor lies in the arms of the Nilgiri Hills. In fact, Coonoor is located at an altitude of 1800 m. Geographically speaking, Coonoor lies at the head of Hulikal ravine. This picturesque retreat is covered by grassy meadows, tea bushes, a profusion of sunflowers, marigolds, and rhododendrons, all growing wild. Coonoor is essentially a small tea garden town where the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year.

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: Thekkady is enchanting as the road winds through tranquil countryside, rich plantations & thick jungles. The Sanctuary, 60 km from Idukki, 190 km from Cochin and 114 kms away from Kottayam is open throughout the year, but the best season for a visit is from September to March. The sanctuary is centred on the large (24 sq km) artificial lake formed by a dam across the Periyar River. The main attraction is a boat trip over this man-made lake of Thekkady.

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.

COCHIN: 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.

MUMBAI: Mumbai the city of dreams. One of the best and most cosmopolitan cities of Asia. The commercial lifeline of India. Home to Bollywood, the second largest film industry in the world. A place where some of the biggest slums share the area with sprawling metropolises. The epicentre for fashion and Indian wine. A trip to Mumbai is everything you’d expect from a major metropolis, yet so much more. It’s a humbling experience, to say the least. But it’s also fascinating, edgy and exciting. Those colonial-era relics, incredible bazaars, hidden wine cafes and enclaves of peace and serenity really do have a way of putting you at ease.

What our clients say

We have just returned from our tour in India and wanted to thank you and the team for all the arrangements that were made. The hotels, transportation and guides were excellent. I would highly recommend Mystic India to anyone thinking of traveling to India, we could not fault the services provided before and during our tour.

Caroline & Fiona – Brighton

South India Tea & Spices Homestay

South India Tea & Spices Homestay

DAY 01 – FLY TO BANGALORE
Fly to Bangalore with British Airways.

DAY 02 – ARRIVE BANGALORE
Arrive, VIP meet at aircraft door, assistant through immigration control, then meet & greet at departures door then transfer to your hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your flight.

DAY 03 – BANGALORE TO WAYANAD (B)
Drive to Wayanad (5.5-6 Hrs) on arrival check-in at your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax.
DAY 04 – WAYANAD (B)
You will take a private guided tour of Wayanad, visiting the Edakkal Caves.

Edakkal caves in the Ambukuthi Hills in north Kerala, considered to be one of the earliest centres of human habitation. 

DAY 05 – WAYANAD TO COORG (B)
You will drive to Coorg (5hrs). Arrive Coorg and rest of the day will be at leisure.

DAY 06 – COORG (B)
After breakfast, you will visit a coffee plantation and local spice markets.

Rest of the day will be at leisure to explore on own with the driver at your disposal

DAY 07 – COORG TO COONOOR (B)
After breakfast, you will drive to Coonoor (7 hrs).

Arrive Coonoor and rest of the day will at leisure and to appreciate the serenity of the place.

The serene hill station of Coonoor lies in the arms of the Nilgiri Hills. In fact, Coonoor is located at an altitude of 1800 m. geographically speaking, Coonoor lies at the head of Hulikal ravine.

DAY 08 – COONOOR (B)
After breakfast, you will enjoy the Toy train ride up to Ooty. On arrival in Ooty, you will visit the Botanical Gardens established in 1848.

Also, See the Ooty Lake, where boating is a popular pastime and the Doddabatta Peak which at 2623 m is the highest in the Nilgiri hills. Later this afternoon after sightseeing you will drive back down to Coonoor.

DAY 09 – COONOOR TO MUNNAR (B)
After breakfast, you will drive to Munnar (6.5 hrs.).

Arrive Munnar and rest of the day will be at leisure.

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.

Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town.

DAY 10 – MUNNAR (B)
Take a private guided tour of Munnar. Visit the Eravikulam National Park and Tea Museum

If you like trekking then one can trek up to the foot of Anamudi, the highest peak in South India, is located in the 

DAY 11 – MUNNAR TO THEKKADY (B)
After breakfast, you will drive to Thekkady (3.5 hrs) Arrive Thekkady and check in at the hotel.

DAY 12 – THEKKADY (B)
Enjoy a visit to a spice plantation. In the afternoon, you will have a guided walk in the park.

DAY 13 – THEKKADY TO KUMARAKOM (B)
Drive to Kumarakom (3.5 hrs). Arrive Kumarakom and check in at the Farm.

Rest of the day will be at leisure for independent activities.

DAY 14 – KUMARAKOM (B)
After breakfast, you will be at leisure for independent activities. Optional Extra: You can opt for bird watching tour, farm visit and visit local temples.

If you have the time, add on an extra day or two so you can experience 1 or 2 nights on the backwaters on your own private houseboat. Ask us to add this experience on to your tour.

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.

DAY 15 – KUMARAKOM TO COCHIN (B)
You will drive to Cochin (2 hrs). Arrive Cochin and check in at the Bungalow.

Rest of the day will be at leisure for independent activities.

If you would like to spend the day on the backwaters on a houseboat including lunch, let us know. We would highly recommend adding in a few extra days and take a 1 or 2-night stay on the backwaters which enable you to travel deeper into the backwater canals. Ask staff for details.

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.

DAY 16 – COCHIN (B)
You will take a private guided tour of Cochin visiting Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St Francis Church.

Evening Kathakali Dance Show

DAY 17 – COCHIN TO MUMBAI (B)
Fly to Mumbai. Transfer to your hotel, then afternoon sightseeing of the city, depending on how much you want to see here is a list of the major sites.

The Gateway of India, Dhobi Ghat open air laundry, Victoria Terminus train station, Colaba Market, Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach, The Regal Circle, Bombay University, The Oval Maidan cricket ground, Mani Bhavan the focal point of Gandhi’s political activities in Mumbai, The Town Hall, The Municipal Building.

Add on an extra day in Mumbai to see more of what the city has to offer

We can also arrange a walking tour of the slums, Dharavi made famous in the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, or you may like to see how the famous dabbawalas deliver up to 200,000 lunch boxes each day. Or a trip out to see how Bollywood operates and watch some live filming

DAY 18 – MUMBAI HOMEBOUND OR ONWARDS (B)
Today India bids you farewell with your transfer to the international terminal.

South India Tea & Spices Homestay

South India Tea & Spices Homestay

Hotels

Our from price based on the following hotels twin/double share. Single supplement, triple share reductions or for alternative hotels, contact us to discuss your requirements further. We can design a tour just for you, based on your style and budget.


South India Tea & Spices Homestay

South India Tea & Spices Homestay

Extensions

Here are some examples of extensions you can add to this tour. For other ideas and to discuss your requirements contact us. We can design an itinerary for you, based on your dates, duration, style, and budget.


Add a beach stay at the end of your tour – Marari Villas. This collection of four serviced villas offers a home from home on a secluded beach mid-way up the Keralan coast. 

Add a beach stay at the end of your tour – at Marari Beach Resort. Modeled on the fishermen’s dwellings of Mararikulam, your accommodations are a fine balance between traditional form and modern function. 

Add a beach stay at the end of your tour – stay at Beach Symphony. A beach boutique stay with timeless typical Keralan cottages with large verandas and your own private relax garden.

Why not spend an extra few days on your House Boat. These extraordinary boats have, for hundreds of years, plied the backwaters weighed down with their cargoes of rice, fruit, coir and other crops.

South India Tea & Spices Homestay

South India Tea & Spices Homestay

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