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9 day tour from £1295
Fly with Emirates or similar, with a change en route.
You are met on arrival and transferred to the colonially influenced Fort Cochin region of the city for two nights at the Tower House, a restored colonial bungalow. The afternoon is free to relax; later enjoy a sunset cruise on Cochin harbour.
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 and varied history. Explore the busy streets by foot and wander through the Dutch Palace with its murals of India's mythological epic, The Ramayana. Also visit the church of St Francis, which is India's oldest, and the Chinese fishing nets.
After breakfast pay a visit to the Synagogue and then carry on by car to the cool fresh air of Munnar, which is covered by sprawling tea estates. Stay at either the Bracknell Forest or Deshadan Mountain Resort for the night. The afternoon is free for you to explore this hilly region.
From Munnar head south today through beautiful countryside to the Cardamom Hills which cradle the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Two nights are spent at the simple Wildernest Guest House.
An exciting walk through the forest with local tribal trackers is organised this morning. The afternoon is free, with the option of taking a shared boat ride on Lake Periyar to spot wild elephant.
Drive to Alleppey this morning and stay at the Akkarakalam Memoirs, a restored bungalow in the heart of Kerala's famous backwaters. Life has a pace all of its own here and a sunset cruise is the perfect way to unwind.
After breakfast a short drive brings you to the beaches of Kovalam. Stay at the Travancore Heritage Hotel, a first class resort on a cliff overlooking the beach. The day is spent at leisure.
Return flight from Trivandrum airport via the Middle East.