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9 day tour from £1495
group (no more than 16 people) or private tour
Fly from London to Cochin with Emirates via Dubai.
On arrival in Cochin we transfer to the first class boutique Malabar House Hotel, located in historic Fort Cochin . This evening we will take a sunset cruise on the harbour, passing the Chinese Fishing Nets.
We spend this morning taking in the sights of Fort Cochin, having been under the control of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, Fort Cochin has a rich history.
We will explore the colonial streets and take in the Dutch Palace with its murals of the Ramayana, the Jewish Synagogue and the church of St Francis, the oldest church in India. This evening attend a Kathakali performance, the traditional dance drama in which the dancers wear elaborate costumes and make up.
Leaving the coast we head up in to the hills to the tea growing area of Munnar. Here we stay at either the Windermere Estate or the Ambady Estate.
We have the chance to visit the Erivakulam Sanctuary where the rare Nilgiri Tahr can be spotted.
The tea estates also offer some fine walks.
Continuing to traverse the 'Western Ghats' we arrive at Periyar; visit a spice plantation giving us the chance to learn about the various spices grown in the area.
This afternoon we take a boat trip on Lake Periyar with the chance to see wild elephants.
Our overnight stay is at the Shalimar Spice Garden.
Periyar, riceboat (or a backwaters resort)
Driving back down through the hills and plantations we head for the backwaters. Here we board private riceboats to cruise through Lake Vembanad and the backwater canals; an ideal way to relax whilst watching village life pass by.
We spend the night on the riceboats, although for those who would prefer a 'land-based' overnight option there is the opportunity to disembark in the evening and stay at 'Purity', a small boutique hotel on the backwaters.
We drive to Kovalam, a village on an inviting beach where we stay at the luxurious Leela Beach Resort, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Today is at leisure for you to relax on the beach or at the resort.
Our return flight to London is from nearby Trivandrum with a short stop in Dubai.