30 September 2016
Travel Counsellors and TWX would like to take you to discover some of the real India and experience the beauty of Kerala by enjoying a range of carefully panned activities designed to give you a real flavour of local life. As part of the 11-night tour, you can enjoy a performance of Kathakali dancing, an unforgettable nature walk, traditional cooking and coir-making demonstration, plus tea and spice plantation tours.
The best of Kerala (Cochin - Munnar - Periyar - Kumarakom - Backwaters - Marari)
We’d like to take you to discover some of the real India and experience the beauty of Kerala by enjoying a range of carefully planned activities designed to give you a real flavour of local life. As part of the 11-night tour, you can enjoy a performance of Kathakali dancing, an unforgettable nature walk, traditional cooking and coir-making demonstrations, plus tea and spice plantation tours.
• Stay at beautiful, eco-friendly boutique hotels throughout
• Explore Fort Kochi and marvel at the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets
• Watch an evening Kathakali dance show at Cochin
• Walk through a tea plantation – learn the process of tea from “leaves to cup”
• Get to know spices with a walk through a spice plantation
• Take a nature walk through the Periyar National Park
• Cooking demonstration at Spice Village - Thekkady
• Go birdwatching at Kumarakom
• Visit the village and attend Kalaripayattu (martial arts) at Kumarakom
• Cruise through the backwaters – with all meals on-board specially prepared by your chef
• Cycle along the banks of the backwaters
• Visit the backwater villages, interact with the locals and see coir making
• Yoga session at Marari Beach Resort
• Seafood dinner at Marari Beach Resort
• Meals included: 12 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 3 Dinners
Cochin is a vibrant city on India’s south-west coast, in the breathtakingly scenic state of Kerala. Known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” and the gateway to Kerala, Cochin will surprise and delight. As you arrive at Cochin Airport, a Travel Counsellor representative will be on hand to shuttle you back to your hotel. Once you’ve settled in, we’ll gently introduce you to this wonderful region on a tranquil sunset cruise around the waters of this ancient city. It’s a perfect way to acclimatise gently to the hectic pace of Indian life!
In the morning, enjoy a half-day tour of Cochin – explore the charming Fort Cochin, visit the Jewish Synagogue, the 17th Century Dutch Palace and St Francis Church, the initial burial place of explorer Vasco de Gama.
Later, you’ll enjoy a performance of one of the most highly-stylised Indian art forms: the traditional dance drama of Kathakali.
After breakfast, you’ll travel from Cochin to the beautiful hill town of Munnar. Located 6,000 feet up in the mountains of Kerala, Munnar is a paradise for birdwatchers and is home to unique flora and fauna amongst its tea plantations. Check into your own garden cottage within the hotel’s estate and relax in the cool, gently spice-scented air.
You’ll stay in Munnar and you can visit a local tea plantation to gain a fascinating insight into the process of tea growing and making. Relax in the resort throughout the afternoon.
After breakfast, you’ll travel from Munnar to your third stop on the tour: Periyar. This area is famous for its rich wildlife and spice plantations. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the hotel, close to the incredible Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on the forested banks of the Periyar Lake.
This morning, you can explore the Periyar National Park by boat. As you cruise along the sleepy waterways, keep an eye out for the families of elephants, wild boar and sambar deer along the water’s edge.
Later in the day, you can enjoy a sense-tingling visit to a local spice plantation.
After breakfast, you’ll travel from Periyar to Kumarakom. This village is actually a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, which is home to a bird sanctuary and is visited by many different migratory birds, including egrets, waterfowls, wild duck and the Siberian Stork.
Your first night at Kumarakom was at the luxurious Hotel Coconut Lagoon. Tonight, you’ll spend the night on a boutique houseboat, cruising along the backwaters of Kerala – a truly unique way to experience the region.
The cruise will stop for you to visit the ancient Karumadykuttan Buddha statue and the Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna swami temple. You can stop off for a bicycle ride along the banks of the backwaters to visit the villages and see traditional techniques for coir making.
After breakfast on the boat, your driver will take you to the coast and the beautiful fishing community of Mararikulam, one of the best-kept secrets of Kerala. This little fishing village is now home to the Hotel Marari Beach Resort Hotel, where you’ll spend the last three relaxing days of your holiday.
Enjoy the friendly village vibe, relax around the pool and luxuriate in the facilities on this lovely resort – we’ll even treat you to a yoga session on the beach!
Relax at the hotel before heading back to the airport. All of the transfers back to Cochin are taken care of, so you can connect with your homeward flight and reflect on an incredible trip to breathtaking Kerala.
To find out more about our exclusive Travel Counsellors group tour in Kerala or to create your bespoke itinerary, contact your Travel Counsellor.