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South India: from Western Ghats to Coast

13 days from $4,415pp

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Audley Travel Specialist Niall

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Tour highlights

  • See one of India's most astonishing palaces at Mysore.

  • Spot elephants and tigers in the wild at Nagarhole National Park.

  • Take the Blue Mountain Railway through the Nilgiri Hills from Ooty.

  • Enjoy tranquil Cochin and its colonial heritage.

  • Explore life in the Backwaters.

  • Relax for a few days on the beach.

Price includes

  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodations

Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • Arriving into Bangalore Airport, meet your Audley representative. You will then be introduced to your driver who will transfer you to your accommodation, a short drive away.

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  • Today you leave Bangalore and head onwards to the charismatic city of Mysore which is a three hour drive away. This is one southern city which resembles many aspects of a northern city with lively markets and spiritual influences, as well as a rich empire history. You might like to visit the city palace this evening to see the illuminations, a nightly show with more than 100,000 bulbs. It attracts many Indian holidaymakers as well as international visitors, making it a lovely, festival atmosphere.

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  • Enjoy a private tour of historic Mysore today with a local guide. See the City Palace and markets before visiting the Forts of Sri Rangapatnam as well as the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.

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  • As you leave the city today you will head into the rural land surrounding Nagarhole National Park, one of Karnataka's best wildlife getaways. After lunch you will be taken for your afternoon jeep safari.

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  • Head out early this morning for a morning game drive. You may be fortunate enough to see a Leopard, Elephants or even a Tiger. This afternoon you will have a game drive on board the boat; this gives you a chance to see the animals as they come to drink during the afternoon heat.

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  • Leave the parkland today to ascend into the Western Ghats to reach the colonial hill station of Ooty. The drive takes you through rubber, tea, cardamom and coffee plantations accompanied by some spectacular views. Today's drive takes you toward the tea growing country of the Nilgiri Hills and its colonial heritage as a summer retreat during the Raj era. You will be joined by your guide to explore the local area. You may wish to visit Ooty lake, take a walk through the tea plantations or visit one of the stunning botanical gardens.

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  • Today travel to the town of Mettupalayam on the Nilgiri Blue Mountain Railway. A diesel train will firstly take you to Coonor where you'll connect to a steam engine — it's then a dramatic descent from tea plantations to the subtropical jungle below. You have a guide on hand to make sure your journey runs smoothly. On arrival at your final station, your driver will be there to meet you and drive to your hotel to relax. The train times can vary but the overall journey tends to last about four hours.

  • This morning you have time free to relax at your hotel. You might like to take a cooking lesson or a tour of the hotel's spice garden. This afternoon drive to the station by private transfer to catch the afternoon train to Cochin. The three hour route passes right along the Malabar coast, finishing near Cochin's imposing fort. Meet your driver on arrival at the station before being driven to your hotel.

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  • Today explore Cochin on a private tour with a local guide. This is an attractive city which is spread over a number of interlinked islands, making it particularly picturesque. Highlights of Cochin include the Jewish Synagogue, St Francis Church and Santa Cruz Basilica. Finish your tour by taking a walk to see the iconic Chinese fishing nets and hopefully see some in action. In the evening you may like to see a cultural performance or traditional Keralan Katakali dance.

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  • This morning you will take a short drive of approximately two hours to Alleppey, where you will board a traditional rice barge and cruise along the tranquil Backwater canals overnight. This evening you can enjoy an authentic dinner on-board, cooked by your private chef.

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  • Disembark your houseboat this morning after breakfast to be met by your driver. Drive the short one hour drive to Marari Beach for a few days' relaxation to end your trip.

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  • This morning you may like to take an early morning stroll along the beach to see the fisherman returning to the shore with their catch. Today is free to simply relax or enjoy the facilities of your hotel. You might like to take a yoga class or try a traditional Ayurvedic massage in the spa.

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  • Today you will be driven by private transfer the three hour drive to Cochin Airport to catch your onwards flight. 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.

When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
July is one of the best times to visit
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Nagarhole National Park
The Backwaters
Audley Travel Specialist Niall

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