Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £2995 per person

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  Places Visited: Cochin, Munnar, Madurai, Periyar, Alleppey. Kumarakon

Suggested itinerary

Day 1
Manchester

Fly from Manchester (Terminal 1) on Emirates Flight EK 18 departure 13:10. Economy Class

Day 2
Dubai - Cochin

Arrive at Dubai (Terminal 3) at 00:25. Fly from Dubai (Terminal 3) on Emirates Flight EK 530 departure 02:45. Arrive at Cochin at 08:05. Economy Class Transfer from Cochin airport to hotel You will be met at Cochin airport and transferred to your hotel (1.5 hours) Stay at The 8th Bastion (Standard Room) for 2 nights Kochi harbour sunset cruise Enjoy a sunset cruise along the harbour to see the activities in the Cochin harbour and the Chinese fishing nets dotting the shore look spectacular as the sun goes down on them. Cooking demonstration with dinner We will begin our culinary experience with a cooking demonstration followed by a dinner. Accommodation: Eight Bastion (First class, Character). Meal Plan: Dinner.

Day 3
Cochin

Half day sightseeing tour of Cochin On this morning’s guided sightseeing tour we will focus on the historical and characterful ‘heart’ of the city, the area of Fort Kochi. Surrounded by a wonderful blend of colonial architecture we will visit the Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue and St Francis Church - the oldest church in India. We will also explore the spice market. Until recently they even had an old fashioned Pepper Exchange. The old spice shops are sadly all gone but it is still interesting to browse around these narrow lanes dotted with ‘antique’ shops. Coastal village excursion In the afternoon, we will visit Kumbalangi - a coastal village on the outskirts of Cochin surrounded by the backwaters and a ring of Chinese fishing nets. Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village project is a unique initiative to transform the tiny island as a model fishing village and a tourism spot. The village is a first of its kind in the country. Here you will get to experience the life in a village. You will visit their crab farm, fish farm, the way they fish, process coconut. Enjoy a traditional dinner served on a banana leaf before returning to the hotel. Accommodation: Eight Bastion (First class, Character). Meal Plan: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4
Cochin- Munnar

Transfer from Cochin to Munnar After breakfast we will drive for 4-5 hours up into the tea hills to Munnar. This scenic drive along the Western Ghats will be through spice plantations, estates of coffee and cocoa before you reach the tea estates of Munnar. Stop en route to enjoy a cooking demonstration Pazhayaveedu followed by lunch. Stay at Mountain Club (Cottage) for 2 nights Remainder of the day is at leisure. Accommodation: Mountain Club (Standard grade, Modern). Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 5
Munnar

Half day sightseeing tour of Munnar Today morning, we will visit the Tea Museum and learn about the history of Munnar. Tata Tea Museum in Munnar showcases and highlights some of the fascinating aspects on the evolution and growth of tea plantations. Some of the unique items on display are the original tea roller and a rail engine wheel of the Kundale Valley Light Railway that shuttled men and material between Munnar and Top. Remainder of the day is at leisure. In the evening, we will have one more cooking demonstration followed by dinner. Accommodation: Mountain Club (Standard grade, Modern). Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6
Munnar - Madurai

Transfer from Munnar to Madurai After breakfast, we will drive to Madurai (4-5 hours). The difference in weather and landscape is noticeable as your leave the hills of Kerala behind and reach plains of Tamilnadu. Stay at GRT Regency (Deluxe Room) for 2 nights The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax by the pool. In the evening, you may visit the Meenakshi temple to witness ‘Putting to Bed Ceremony’. Note that non-Hindus are not allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum. Accommodation: GRT Regency (Standard grade, Modern). Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast.

Day 7
Madurai

Half day sightseeing tour of Madurai Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. The temple complex is in around 45 acres (180,000 m2) and the temple is a massive structure measuring 254 by 237 meters. The temple is surrounded by 12 towers, the tallest of which, the famous Southern tower, rises to over 170 ft (52 m) high. The temple towers with its intricate stucco work are one of the main highlights of the visit to the temple complex. We will have time to explore the temple complex and the bright and bustling markets that surround its base. Later we will visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace built with the help of an an Italian architect and is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. In its heyday, this palace was considered to be one of the wonders of the South India. Afternoon is at leisure. In the evening enjoy a cooking demonstration on Chettinad Cuisine at the hotel. Chettinad is the region popularly called as land of the Nagaraththar or the successful Trading Community of Chettiars. Chettinad cuisine is very aromatic, Spicy and Rich in strength Accommodation: GRT Regency (Standard grade, Modern). Meal Plan: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 8
Madurai - Periyar

Transfer from Madurai to Periyar This morning enjoy a scenic drive crossing the Vaigai plains with paddy & sugarcane fields, to climb up the Western Ghats of Kerala to the plantation & forests of Periyar (4-5 hours) Stay at Cardamom County (Periyar Cottage) for 2 nights Remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the serene surroundings of your hotel. Accommodation: Cardamom County (Standard grade, Character). Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast.

Day 9
Periyar

Morning guided walk in Periyar National Park This morning you will head into the national park with local tribal trackers in search of wildlife. The Periyar National Park is home to Deer, Nilgiri Langur, Gaur (Indian Bison), Elephant, and the Malabar Giant Squirrel. The walk will last for around 3-4 hours and often passes through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. Different nature trails traverse diverse habitats from the trekking routes, generally 4 to 5 km. in length. Visit to a Spice Plantation & Lunch This region is one of the principal spice producing areas in Kerala so you will visit a nearby spice plantation to learn more about how the numerous aromatic and flavoursome spices are grown and used. We will visit the nearby spice plantation for lunch. After lunch, your host will identify and explain various spices which will include vanilla, nutmeg, pepper, turmeric, cloves and cardamom, and also point out some more unusual spices and plants, as well as the many birds that flit around the gardens. Accommodation: Cardamom County (Standard grade, Character). Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 10
Periyar - Alleppey - Kumarakom

Transfer from Periyar to Alleppey After breakfast you will be driven from Periyar to Alleppey in the backwaters down the Western Ghats passing tea & rubber plantations. This scenic drive will take approximately 4-5 hours. We will board a houseboat for a quintessential Kerala experience and enjoy a short cruise on the backwater. The lunch will be served on board the cruise. These boats were traditionally used to transport rice and other produce from the backwaters to markets. These have now been converted to boats for tourists and have modern en-suite facilities. We will cruise to Kumarakom while enjoying the lunch. We will pass through waterways, narrow canals where we can observe the life by waterfront in Kerala. We will disembark from the houseboat at our resort in Kumarakom. Stay at Aveda Resort (Poolside Premium Cottage) for 2 nights Accommodation: Aveda Resort (First class, Modern). Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 11
Kumarakom

The day is at leisure to relax by the backwaters. You can enjoy the Ayurveda treatment offered by the hotel or relax by the pool. Accommodation: Aveda Resort (First class, Modern). Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast.

Day 12
Kumarakom - Cochin - Dubai - Manchester

Transfer from Kumarakom to Cochin airport Early in the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Cochin airport (2 hours) (please note that check-in is 3 hours prior to the departure) Fly from Cochin on Emirates Flight EK 531 departure 09:40. Arrive at Dubai (Terminal 3) at 12:10. Economy Class Fly from Dubai (Terminal 3) on Emirates Flight EK 19 departure 14:40. Arrive at Manchester (Terminal 1) at 18:40. Economy Class

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Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £2995 per person


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