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Classic Kerala: culture, tea, wildlife & backwaters

13 days from £3,140pp

What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

Itinerary highlights

  • Marvel at cantilevered Chinese fishing nets.

  • Take a cruise on a traditional rice barge.

  • Walk through tea plantations.

  • Explore a spice plantation.

  • Relax on a palm-fringed beach.

Price includes

Scheduled international flights
In-destination transfers
Activities and excursions as detailed
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  • Cochin
  • Kodikulam
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady & Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Alleppey
  • The Backwaters
  • Mararikulam

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 International outbound flight

International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Cochin.

Day 2 Cochin


On arrival in Cochin Airport, you're met by an Audley representative and introduced to your private driver who will stay with you for the rest of your stay. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure, depending on the arrival time of your flight. Stroll along the waterfront to see fishermen working the Chinese fishing nets, or just relax at your hotel.

Day 3 Cochin


Enjoy a private tour of colonial Cochin today with your local guide. It usually lasts for around half a day and includes St Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. Your guide can tailor the tour to suit your interests. The rest of the day is yours to explore this colonial fort on foot, or enjoy your hotel.

Day 4 Kodikulam

Cochin , Kodikulam

This morning drive for around three hours into rural Kerala to stay at a traditional homestay. The property is warm and welcoming, surrounded by beautiful spice gardens and a wonderful flowing river at the bottom of the garden, where you can even have a swim.

Day 5 Kodikulam


Spend today at your leisure. There are plenty of activities to choose from, just have a chat with Jose and Sinta, your hosts. Enjoy a spice plantation walk, cycling around the nearby village, visit a local school or temple, learn about honey extraction and even try milking a cow.

Day 6 Munnar

Kodikulam , Munnar

This morning head up to the Western Ghats; a three hour drive to the town of Munnar. Look out for some wonderful waterfalls on your way up to the tea country. Relax on arrival and take in the beautiful views, go birdwatching or on a butterfly walk. Your hotel can arrange activities if you wish.

Day 7 Munnar


Spend the morning trekking through the beautiful hills surrounding Munnar. Your private trek is with a local, experienced guide. If you find the trek to be too strenuous then ask your guide to take it at a slower pace and to shorten it if need be.

Day 8


Enjoy the morning at your hotel, either partaking in a local activity, tea tasting or just relaxing with a cup of the local brew. This afternoon, drive the four hour journey to Periyar National Park.

Day 9 Alleppey

Thekkady & Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary , Alleppey

Get up early this morning for a jungle walk with a local ranger in a small group tour with fellow guests from your hotel. As the jungle wakes, you have the opportunity to potentially see black monkeys, sambar deer, giant squirrels and even wild boar. The birdlife is impressive too. Your walk lasts around three hours - don't forget comfy shoes, your camera and insect repellent. After brunch, travel for around three to four hours to the Keralan Backwaters. Board your traditional private rice barge and spend your afternoon and evening relaxing as you float around the waterways.

Day 10 The Backwaters

Alleppey , The Backwaters

Wake up on your houseboat and enjoy breakfast before disembarking. Your driver is on hand to meet you and take you the short distance to the homestay to spend this evening. Your welcoming hosts will encourage you to either explore locally with them, or perhaps partake in a cookery experience.

Day 11 Mararikulam

The Backwaters , Mararikulam

Late morning transfer just along the coast by private driver to the picturesque Marari Beach to spend your final two nights. Take a stroll along the beach or relax under a palm tree with a book.

Day 12 Mararikulam


Full day at leisure. You might like to try an Ayurvedic massage, or hire a bicycle to explore the surrounding quiet lanes.

Day 13 International return flight

Mararikulam , International return flight

Your driver will take you back to Cochin for your onwards flight. The drive takes around 90 minutes so will be arranged depending on your flight time. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Alison, an Audley Travel specialist
Audley Travel specialist Louisa

Contact a specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to India will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Thekkady & Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Backwaters