Overview 2019

Flight - 1 night

Chennai - 1 night

Mahabalipuram - 2 nights

Pondicherry - 1 night

Tanjore - 1 night

Madurai - 2 nights

Periyar - 1 night

Kumarakom - 1 night

Houseboat - 1 night

Cochin - 2 nights

Overview 2020

Flight - 1 night

Mahabalipuram - 2 nights

Pondicherry - 1 night

Tanjore - 1 night

Madurai - 2 nights

Periyar - 2 nights

Kumarakom - 1 night

Houseboat - 1 night

Cochin - 2 nights

Spendology - Widgets

Splendours of Southern India

Majestic temples, friendly villages, colonial heritage, verdant hills, the Keralan backwaters plus historic Cochin and Madras

Southern India’s history, varied culture, green landscapes and beautiful coastline make any visit a rich and diverse experience.

Start in eastern Chennai, formerly Madras, where the British East India Company started trading and travel across the region of Tamil Nadu, viewing its majestic temples, through hills and tea plantations to the lush Kerala region with its inland waterways and charming Fort Cochin.

The tour is enhanced by the inclusion of some ‘CGH Earth’ hotels, which are harmonious to the local environment with high standards – for example at the Spice Village, Periyar, the fine ‘50-mile’ restaurant only uses ingredients from within 50 miles and the colonial style bar reflects its hill station history, whilst ‘Coconut Lagoon’ is only accessible by boat and the ‘Eighth Bastion’ lies within the Fort Cochin area.

Key Features

Culture & Natural Wonders
Jules Verne Sightseeing 
Improved Itinerary (2020)
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
No Single Supplement
Local Expert Guide 
Guaranteed Departure 
Group Size: 2 – 22

 

Special Events

Canoeing the Backwaters, Indian Dance & Cooking

A canoe ride through the canals of the Keralan backwaters. A cooking demonstration and dinner at the home of a local family, lunch at a plantation house. A Kathakali classical dance performance.

 

Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport via Dubai to Chennai (former Madras).

Day 2 Transfer to the 5-star ITC Grand Chola for an overnight stay. Afternoon Chennai tour including Fort St. George, St. Mary's Church and Marina Beach.

Day 3 Visit the Chennai Government museum, founded by the East India Company, then travel to Mahabalipuram for two nights at the 5-star Radisson Resort Temple Bay. Visit Shore Temple, a World Heritage monument, Arjuna's Penance, five Rathas and Krishna Mandapam. (B)

Day 4 Visit Kanchipuram, a city of 1,000 temples. (B, D)

Day 5 Drive to Pondicherry (3 hrs) for overnight at the 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Palais de Mahe, a boutique hotel in the French Quarter. Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, museum and the Sacred Heart Basilica. (B)

Day 6 Continue south through the Kaveri to the temple of Gangaikondacholapuram (3 hrs). Travel to Tanjore (3 hrs) for overnight at the 4-star Ideal River View Resort. (B, D)

Day 7 Visit Brihadeshwara Temple. Continue to Trichy (Tiruchirpalli), mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century BC. Visit the temple complex of Srirangam and view the Rock Fort. Two nights in Madurai at the 4-star Taj Gateway Hotel. (B, D)

Day 8 Rickshaw to Meenakshi Temple with its towering Gopurams. Visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace and Gandhi Memorial museum. (B)

Day 9 Drive up into the Western Ghats to Periyar (5 hrs) and visit a spice plantation. Overnight at the boutique 4-star 'CGH Earth' Spice Village. Evening Kalaraipayattu performance, a local martial art. (B, D)

Day 10 Early morning nature walk in Periyar National Park. Lunch at a plantation house with a rubber tapping demonstration. Travel to Kumarakom (4 hrs) on Lake Vembanad for overnight at the 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Coconut Lagoon. (B, L)

Day 11 Morning at leisure. Board a Keralan houseboat for an overnight backwaters cruise. Canoe on the smaller canals. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Disembark. Drive to Cochin for two nights at the 4-star boutique ‘CGH Earth’ Hotel Eighth Bastion in Fort Cochin. A walking tour of Fort Cochin includes the Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, St. Francis Church and the Chinese fishing nets. Enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner with a local family. (B, D)

Day 13 Visit the fishing village of Kumbalanghi on the backwaters. Afternoon free. Evening Kathakali classical dance performance. (B, L)

Day 14 Return flight via Dubai, arriving later the same day. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner
 

Notes

Itinerary includes some walking over uneven ground. Temple visits include a walk with shoes off.

22 December 2019 includes Christmas and/or New Year’s Eve meal.

Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport via Dubai to Chennai (former Madras).

Day 2 On arrival wash and change facilities. Tour of Chennai visiting the Government Museum, Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church and Marina Beach. Continue to Mahabalipuram for two nights at the 5-star Radisson Resort Temple Bay. (B)

Day 3 Visit Shore Temple, a World Heritage monument, Arjuna’s Penance, Five Rathas and Krishna Mandapam. (B)

Day 4 Drive to Pondicherry (3 hrs) for overnight at the 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Palais de Mahe, a boutique hotel in the French Quarter (‘CGH Earth’ Maison Perumal – 19 Jan). Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, museum and the Sacred Heart Basilica. (B)

Day 5 Continue south through the Kaveri to the temple of Gangaikondacholapuram (3 hrs). Travel to Tanjore (3 hrs) for overnight at the 4-star Ideal River View Resort. (B, D)

Day 6 Visit Brihadeeshwara Temple. Continue to Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century BC. Visit the temple complex of Srirangam and view the Rock Fort. Travel to Madurai (3 hrs).Two nights at the 4-star Taj Gateway Hotel in Madurai. (B, D)

Day 7 Enjoy a rickshaw ride to Meenakshi Temple. Visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace and Gandhi Memorial. (B)

Day 8 Drive up into the Western Ghats to Periyar (5 hrs). Visit a spice plantation. Two nights at the 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Spice Village. Kalaraipayattu performance, a local martial art. (B, D)

Day 9 Morning boat ride in Periyar National Park. Afternoon at leisure. (B, D)

Day 10 Visit a rubber plantation with lunch at a plantation house. Travel to Kumarakom (4 hrs) on Lake Vembanad. Overnight at the 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Coconut Lagoon. (B, L)

Day 11 Board a Keralan houseboat for an overnight backwaters cruise. Canoe through the smaller canals. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Disembark and drive to Cochin for two nights at the 4-star boutique ‘CGH Earth’ Hotel Eighth Bastion in Fort Cochin. A walking tour of Fort Cochin includes the Synagogue, Palace, St. Francis Church and the Chinese fishing nets. Cooking demonstration and dinner with a local family. (B, D)

Day 13 Visit the backwaters fishing village of Kumbalanghi. Afternoon at leisure. Evening Kathakali classical performance. (B, L)

Day 14 Return flight via Dubai. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner
 

Notes

Itinerary includes some walking over uneven ground. Temple visits include a walk with shoes off.

13th December 2020 includes Christmas meal.

We offer a wide variety of pre- and post-tour extensions and recommend Marari Beach at the end of this tour. Click here for more information.
Pre/post tour extra nights and transfers are available.

2019

Sundays
per person in a twin/double room
Emirates from Heathrow or Gatwick

Date Price
September 15 £2195
October 13 £2395
November 3 £2495
December 1 £2395
December 22 £3395

2020

Sundays
per person in a twin/double room
Emirates from Heathrow or Gatwick

Date Price
January 5 £2495
January 19 £2495
February 9 £2545
February 16 £2545
March 1 £2495
March 29 £2445
April 12 £2295
October 18 £2545
November 8 £2595
November 22 £2595
December 6 £2645
December 13 £2795

2021

Sundays
per person in a twin/double room
Emirates from Heathrow or Gatwick

Date Price
January 10 £2695
January 17 £2695
February 7 £2795
February 14 £2795
February 28 £2695
March 7 £2645
March 21 £2645
April 11 £2545
No Single Supplement

(limited dates/availability)

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Limited availability, these dates:
2020: Apr 12, Oct 18, Dec 13
2021: Jan 10 & 17, Mar 7 & 21,
Apr 11

Double for sole use 
2019: £545 (Sep £445)
2020: £545 (Feb/Nov/Dec £595)
2021: £545 (Jan/Mar £625, Feb £675)

Flight Options

London-Chennai/Cochin-London
Emirates from Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow nil
Emirates Business Class from £1895

Extension Options

We offer a wide variety of pre- and post-tour extensions, click here for more information.
Pre/post tour extra nights and transfers are available.

Privately Guided

2 guests - £595 per person
3-4 guests - £295 per person
5-9 guests - £135 per person
10+ guests - No extra charge

Independent Arrival

Save £700
Arrival transfer add £22
Departure transfer add £22

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 12 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 6 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.

Not Included
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

 

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Splendours of Southern India

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