Kerala - Flavours Of Southern India
Famed for its aromatic spices, peaceful backwaters and lush, tropical landscape, Kerala is a mesmerising and enchanting destination. Its capital, Cochin, is your first call, and here you'll enjoy a sightseeing tour, a cookery demonstration with a local chef and a performance of traditional Kathakali dance. You'll then journey past huge tea, coffee and spice plantations to Thekkady, where your base is close to the Periyar Game Reserve. Here, you'll enjoy a morning nature trek and a cruise, in search of a host of thrilling wildlife. In Vayalar there's time for rest and relaxation, with Ayurveda treatments available in your hotel's luxury spa, or why not get out and about in rural Kerala. A wonderful treat comes in the shape of an overnight stay on a houseboat in Alleppey, which is followed by time at leisure in the beautiful beach resort of Kovalam.
See a different side to India as you explore Kerala's fragrant spice plantations and tranquil backwaters.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
- Return flights from Heathrow with Etihad Airlines
- 8 nights half board in 4 and 5-star hotels including 1 night full board in a houseboat, plus 1 night in flight
- 19 meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners
- Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guide
- Overseas transfers and other transportation
- Explore the port city of Cochin
- Cookery demonstration by chef Nimmy Paul plus lunch
- Traditional Kathakali dance performance
- Spice plantation visit
- Cruise through the Periyar Game Reserve
- Overnight houseboat cruise on Kerala's backwaters
- DAY 1 UK/Cochin
- Today you'll depart on your overnight flight to Cochin via Abu Dhabi or other international airport.
- DAY 2 Cochin
- On arrival in Cochin we will transfer you to your hotel for a two-night stay. Cochin is Kerala's cosmopolitan capital, where you'll discover a picturesque harbour and tranquil backwaters.
- DAY 3 Cochin
- You'll get to know Cochin on a tour this morning. Highlights include the Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1557, and St Francis Church, which is the oldest European built church in India. At lunchtime we're invited to a cookery demonstration with Nimmy Paul. Nimmy is a famous local chef and food journalist, and will host the demonstration with her husband in their home. Kerala was once the spice trade centre for India, and Nimmy will show you how to use these aromatic ingredients in your cooking. After the demonstration, we'll enjoy the dishes she has cooked for lunch. Tonight you've a display of Kathakali classical dance to look forward to. It's a traditional art form dating back to the 17th century.
- DAY 4 Thekkady
- After breakfast we are going to drive to Thekkady. Our journey takes us past mountains, vast carpets of tea bushes and gardens of coffee, cardamom and pepper. On arrival we'll head straight to our hotel which is located close to the Periyar Game Reserve. This evening we'll visit a spice plantation, where exotic aromas fill the air.
- DAY 5 Thekkady
Our optional early morning nature trek is a must for wildlife enthusiasts. The forest is a haven for a huge variety of flora and fauna, and a Local Guide will point out interesting sights. Look out for guar bison, sambar deer, otters, macaque monkeys, the Malabar giant squirrel and many species of bird.
This afternoon we'll step aboard a traditional vessel and cruise through the Periyar Game Reserve.
- DAY 6 Vayalar
- After breakfast this morning we'll drive to the small, traditional village of Vayalar. We'll stay here for the next two nights in a hotel with an idyllic pool area and luxurious spa. It's a lovely place to relax, and there are lots of opportunities to get out onto the backwaters and explore this intriguing environment.
- DAY 7 Vayalar
Spend some time at leisure relaxing in this idyllic location. Ayurveda treatments are offered at your hotel and a specialist is on hand to give you an insight into this style of treatment. If you wish, you could head to the spa for a treatment such as an Ayurveda massage. Alternatively, you might prefer to lounge by the pool or explore the lake. It's home to a wide variety of fish, so why not see how many you can spot.
If you want to carry on exploring, we recommend an optional excursion to a village located along the backwaters. Here you'll enjoy a tour and witness the unhurried pace of life in rural Kerala. You'll also watch as the villagers carry out traditional work such as boat building, prawn cultivation, sand mining and basket making. You'll enjoy a lunch of local specialities, served in the traditional way on banana leaves, before returning to your hotel.
- DAY 8 Alleppey
- Your adventure continues with a drive to Alleppey this morning. On arrival we will transfer you to one of Kerala's famous houseboats for an overnight stay. These 80ft long kettuvallams have been converted from rice boats and turned into modern, comfortable vessels. They offer an unforgettable experience in traditional surroundings.
- DAY 9 Kovalam
- Breakfast will be served on board your houseboat and then we will disembark and drive to Kovalam. Located on the coast, there are some lovely beaches here and you're free to soak up the sun this afternoon.
- DAY 10 Kovalam/UK
- After an early breakfast we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK. You will travel via Abu Dhabi or another international airport.
- Trident Cochin
- The 4-star Trident Hotel is situated in Cochin.
Hotel facilities include a restaurant, bar and a swimming pool. Bedrooms have private facilities, safe, hairdryer, tea/coffee-making facilities and a TV.
- Poetree Sarovar Portico
- Sarovar Portico is situated on a mountain at Ottakathalamedu near Thekkady, with a breathtaking views of the Sahyadri Mountains and the Periyar Lake. The eco-resort offers amenities such as: a fitness centre, a telescope deck, a games room and complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere
- The 4-star Vasundhara Premier Hotel is situated by the serene backwaters of Kerala in Vayalar.
Hotel facilities include a restaurant, bar and a spa. Bedrooms have private facilities and air-conditioning.
- House Boat Alleppey
- Your 'kettuvalom' is modelled on the area's traditional rice boats. Your luxuriously furnished houseboat has a dining room, open deck lounge and 2-4 bedrooms. You will have your own bedroom and private bathroom.
- Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa
- Uday Samudra Hotel is located just 15 meters away from the famed beach of Kovalam. The hotel is equipped with Wi-Fi, laundry facilities and tea/coffee-maker. The hotel also has spacious lawns, a harmony of architecture, blue water pools and soaring coconut grove in four tranquil acres by the sea.
- Nature trek in Thekkady
- Village tour and lunch in Vayalar
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