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Classic Kerala tour: culture, tea, wildlife & backwaters

13 days from £3,140pp

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Tour 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
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

What our clients say about us

James, an Audley Travel specialist

Contact an India 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.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Cochin
 
Munnar
 
Thekkady & Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
 
The Backwaters
 
Mararikulam
 

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