Kerala, India’s southern state is a haven of relaxation set amidst some of the most beauty scenery in the world. It is listed as one of the top 100 places to visit before you die. This trip brings together all the elements that make Kerala a wonderful experience for the mind, body and spirit. From cruising the Backwaters of Kerala aboard a converted rice barge with a chef to prepare a special Keralan lunch, to observing India’s wildlife at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and having time to relax and enjoy an Ayurvedic massage, this trip will invigorate and relax you at the same time.
Day 1 - Cochin
Arrive in the state capital by international flight. Meet and greet on arrival & transfer by private car to the hotel in Fort Cochin (room held from previous night). Day at leisure to enjoy the hotel facilities. Evening sunset cruise in the Harbour Bay of Cochin. After cruise return to hotel. Overnight in Cochin.
Day 2 - Cochin
After breakfast enjoy a sightseeing (walking) tour of Fort Cochin, visiting the famous Chinese Fishing nets, the St. Francis Church (Vasco da Gama was buried in the church in 1524), and the quaint lanes of Old Fort Cochin with their art galleries and cafes. Thereafter, drive to Mattancherry and walk through the lanes of the old Jewish quarters, visiting the synagogue, the Dutch Palace and the interesting spice markets and antique shops.
In the evening enjoy a cultural dance performance of Kathakali at a local theater. Overnight in Cochin.
Day 3 - Cochin to Thekaddy/Periyar
After breakfast, drive up to the hill-town of Thekkady; home to the spice plantations of Kerala (about 4 hrs. drive).
Periyar (Thekaddy) - Sprawling across 777 sq. kms. of the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats, it is home to one of the largest wildlife reserves in India. Alive with exotic flora and vibrant wildlife, it is the perfect getaway tucked away among hills. Afternoon at leisure. Cooking demonstration with Keralan spices and dinner free. Overnight in Periyar.
Day 4 - Periyar
After breakfast, drive to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Boat Cruise on Periyar Lake of the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary to see its abundant wild life including elephants, asiatic deer and black buck. Guided jungle trek through the beautiful forest.
Visit the spice plantations (pepper, coffee, cardamom, vanilla, tea and ginger). Visit a factory to see coffee, tea, cardamom processing and opportunity to buy tea and local spices. Afternoon: optional elephant ride and thereafter enjoy an exciting martial arts show at a local centre. Dinner free. Overnight in Periyar.
Day 5 - Periyar to Kumarakom
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom - a sleepy picturesque village on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy your backwater resort on the banks of Kerala's largest lake. Overnight in Kumarakom.
Day 6 - Kumarakom House Boat
After breakfast, morning at leisure. At 12 noon board a private air-conditioned houseboat (Kettuvallam) with a bedreoom and kitchen for a day cruise. Enjoy a journey through the backwaters and small lakes, relaxing in the tranquility of Kerala's beautiful scenery. As you pass through the backwaters, you will experience the way of life and activity of the local people. Lunch will be cooked using freshly bought produce from the local markets and will be served on board. At 1600 hrs disembark houseboat and return back to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Kumarakom.
Day 7 - Kumarakom to Kottayam
After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Philip Kutty's Farm, Kottayam. Enjoy meeting a local family and partaking in a cooking demonstration of traditional Kerala cuisine followed by lunch. Rest of afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Kottayam.
Day 8 to Day 10 - Mararikulam
After breakfast, drive to Mararikulam (20 kms.) - one of the picturesque fishing villages that dot the lovely coastline of Kerala. Your resort is set in a coconut palm grove leading to endless miles of fabulous soft sandy beach. Days at leisure to enjoy the beach, ayurvedic massages, and surrounding fishing villages.
Kerala is famous for Ayurveda or 'the Science of Life' and you can learn and enjoy rejuvenation therapies. Three nights in Mararikulum.
Day 11 - Mararikulam to Cochin
Drive to Cochin. Depart for your international flight.
From 1st April to 30th September 2017 for Land Arrangements.
- Heritage/Boutique Hotels: from Euro 1500 per person on sharing
From 1st October 2017 to 31st March 2018 for Land Arrangements.
- Heritage/Boutique Hotels: from Euro 2100 per person on sharing
The above prices include:
- Hotel accommodation on B&B basis with twin sharing
- Transport by private car and chauffeur with complimentary supply of bottled water
- English speaking local guides at each city
- Entrance fees to monuments
- Cultural performance - Kathakali and Martial Arts
- Day cruise on the backwaters
- Kerala cuisine cooking class with local chefs
- Meet and greet services of our local representatives
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Lunches and dinners (unless specified otherwise in the itinerary)
International Airfare: from Euro 750 per person (subject to availability at time of travel)