From the remote north via a verdant rainforest and the Indian Ocean to the backwaters and up to the Western Ghats, including historic Cochin and Calicut, overnight on a houseboat and a homestay with a local family surrounded by plantations
Flight - 1 night
Calicut - 1 night
Wayanad - 2 nights
Palakkad - 1 night
Cochin - 3 nights
Munnar - 1 night
Periyar - 2 nights
Kumarakom - 2 nights
Houseboat - 1 night
Kovalam - 2 nights
Flight - 1 night
Kerala is naturally blessed as one of the most beautiful areas of India, known as ‘God’s own country’ for its lush vegetation, fertility and scenic splendour. Almost anything grows here, indeed one has the impression that simply dropping a net into the sea or a seed into the land brings automatic reward.
Kerala is a unique area, isolated at the south western tip of India and largely cut off from the rest of India by the forested mountains of the Western Ghats. The influence of first the Portugese in 1498 gave way to the Dutch, then the British and East India Company. Trade was based, primarily, on products such as spices, cashews and tobacco.
The population is one of the most literate of india and follows a mix of religions, mainly Hindu, Muslim and Christian.
Kerala’s scenic beauty is best appreciated from its backwaters which reach deep into areas unapproachable by road. Tableaux of rural life drift by and glimpses of homes, farms, churches, mosques and temples delight the eye.
Cochin, Kerala’s largest city, displays enchanting architecture, heritage and colonial history, also evidenced in Kerala’s current (Trivandrum) and former (Calicut) capitals and the hill stations of Munnar and Periyar high in the Western Ghats.
Discover Kerala’s highlights, with, naturally, time to relax and absorb its scenic beauty on a houseboat, on the lagoon, on the coast and in the mountains. Get to know the local people and their way of life.
Culture & Natural Wonders
Jules Verne Sightseeing
6 Lunches and 5 Dinners
Local Expert Guide
Group Size: 4 – 18
Day 1 Fly overnight from Heathrow to Calicut (now Kozhikode) via Abu Dhabi.
Day 2 Overnight at the 5-star Raviz Resort & Spa Kadavu in Calicut. Visit a market, temple area and Sweetmeat Street market. (D)
Day 3 At Beypore visit an Uru wooden boats workshop. Travel to Wayanad (3 hrs) for two nights at the ‘CGH Earth’ Wayanad Wild. (B)
Day 4 Visit a Shiva temple and take tea in Wayanad. Visit Uravu charity focused on bamboo work and a village walk and local lunch in Thrikkaipetta. Visit the heritage & tribal museum and learn archery. (B, L)
Day 5 Transfer to Planters Retreat, Palakkad (5 hrs) for an overnight family homestay. Welcome drink and a tour of the spices, rubber and cocoa plantations. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Visit a plantation and rice paddy. After lunch with your homestay family, continue to Cochin (4 hrs) for three nights at the 4-star The Fragrant Nature, well-situated on the Fort Cochin peninsula. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Visit Fort Cochin, the Dutch and Mattancherry palaces, Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets and St. Francis’ church. Visit a Brahmin community and Konkini family. (B)
Day 8 Visit a fisherman’s beach and market. Breakfast at a local house. Tuk tuk to the market. Kathakali dance performance. (B)
Day 9 Drive to Munnar (4 hrs). Walk through a tea plantation with picnic lunch. Visit the tea museum and local markets. Overnight at the 4-star Tall Trees. (B, L)
Day 10 Travel to Periyar (3 hrs) for two nights at the 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Spice Village. ‘Kalaripayattu’ martial art performance. (B)
Day 11 Experience the village life and farms of Kumily by foot and jeep. Boat ride in Periyar National Park. (B)
Day 12 Drive to Kumarakom (4 hrs). Visit a rubber factory and Mudackayam ‘Britisher’ Club. Lunch with local historian George Abraham, author of ‘Path to the Hills’ and ‘Gentleman’s Train to Western Ghat’. Visit the churches of Valiya Pally & Cherriapalli. Two nights at ‘CGH Earth’ Coconut Lagoon. (B, L)
Day 13 Relax at this fine hotel, perhaps visit the butterfly garden or book a spa treatment. Evening cultural performance. (B)
Day 14 Morning at leisure. Board a Keralan houseboat for an overnight backwaters cruise. Canoe on the small canals. (B, L, D)
Day 15 Disembark and drive to Kovalam (4 hrs) for two nights at the 4-star Travancore Heritage overlooking the sea. Tour of Trivandrum includes Padmanabha Swami Temple, the Kuthiramalika Palace, the zoological gardens, observatory and Vizhinjam Port. (B)
Day 16 Visit Kanyakumari Devi and Suchindram temples, Gandhi Memorial and Vivekananda Memorial Rock. Farewell dinner. (B, D)
Day 17 Free day and late checkout before early hours return flight to London via Abu Dhabi. (B)
Day 18 Arrive Heathrow.
This is a full itinerary with many visits on foot including some uneven surfaces and inclines.
A 5-star property close to the beach. Restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, tennis, WiFi (chargeable), 93 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, satellite TV and hairdryer.
This 4-star property is set in the heart of the rainforest at one with nature. The restaurant serves food sourced locally and with views of nature. Infinity pool and rooms with fan, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and balcony.
Planters Retreat is a family run property in Palakkad. Accommodation is with a homestay families within a 3km radius of the Planters Retreat main bungalow. Meals are taken with your host family. Rooms with private facilities and tea/coffee making facilities.
A 4-star boutique hotel well-situated on the Fort Cochin peninsula. Restaurants, pool, spa, gym and WiFi (free). 41 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Charming 4-star hotel situated over 66 acres, a 15-minute walk from Mount Carmel Church. Restaurant, terrace, gardens, WiFi (free), 19 cottages with private facilities, satellite TV and coffee maker.
A 4-star property resembling a traditional tribal village. Restaurants, colonial bar, pool, spa and WiFi (free). 52 rooms with private facilities, fan, hairdryer, safe, mini-fridge and tea/coffee making facilities.
A 4-star eco-friendly resort facing Lake Vembanad. Restaurant, bar, pool, fitness centre and WiFi (free). 52 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe and mini-fridge.
Located on the backwaters of Kerela with 1-4 air-conditioned bedrooms with private facilities.
This 5-star sea side resort is set amongst 15 acres of lush green coconut garden on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea. Restaurants, bar, pool, gym, ayurveda centre and WiFi (free). 90 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Time to relax or see even more of India!
No one can cover all of India on one tour, so why not make the most of your time in India by choosing further experiences?
We invite you to customise your tour by adding one or more extensions from our great range shown on the following pages. Relax in a resort or discover more of India with our specialist guides.
Also please consider adding extra nights before the tour if you would like to draw breath after the flight to India or stay on to reflect, relax or explore independently. Extra nights can also be added to most extensions. Please talk to one of our knowledgeable Personal Travel Experts to let us know what you are looking for and they will work out the best way. Sometimes extra transfers, internal flights and nights are recommended or needed, and sometimes two extensions can be combined into a more logical sequence.
per person in a twin/double room
Etihad from Heathrow
per person in a twin/double room
Etihad from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Double for sole use £795
Etihad Business Class from £1795
2 guests - £895 per person
3-4 guests - £345 per person
5-9 guests - £155 per person
10+ guests - No extra charge
Arrival transfer add £24
Departure transfer add £24
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 16 nights' accommodation, breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 5 dinners, itinerary as described, services of local guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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