Tailor-made Tour 8 days from £2095 per person
Places Visited: Kerala, Cochin, Fort Cochin, Periyar National Park, Kumarakam, Marari Kulam
A relaxed and luxurious tour of Kerala, covering its major attractions; the vibrant port city of Cochin with its Dutch and Portuguese influences and the Jewish settlement at Mattancherry, the palm-fringed backwaters of Kumarakom, the wildlife sanctuary and spice plantations of Periyar, and the inviting Golden sand beach at Marari.
A traditional meal with a local family forms part of the rewarding experience, as does the option of a night on board a Traditional Riceboat.
Fly from the UK on board Emirates via Dubai. or another carrier that suits your travel plans best
On arrival in Cochin you will be met by a Transindus representative and transferred to the beautifully appointed Brunton Boatyard, Heritage in Fort Cochin, at the heart of the Old town overlooking Cochin Harbour for two night. The rest of your day will be at leisure to absorb the atmosphere of the hotel and the harbour. Early evening enjoy a gentle sunset cruise on Cochin's waterways for views of the Marine Drive, Bolghatty Island as well as the landmark Chinese fishing nets. The orange and pink hues at twilight provide a spectacular photo opportunity.
This morning, after breakfast your guide and driver will collect you from your hotel for a private sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin. Having been under the control of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British at various times, the sites of Fort Cochin reflect it's rich and culturally diverse past including the colonial backstreets of the Old Town, the Dutch Palace with its beautiful murals of the Ramayana, the Jewish Synagogue and the church of St Francis, the oldest church in India. In the evening you are invited to a Kathakali performance, a traditional dance drama in which elaborately dressed and made-up dancers reenact the epic tale of the Mahabharata. Your return to the hotel for dinner.
Departing Cochin we drive up into the scenic 'Western Ghats' towards Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, stopping en route at a plantation bungalow for lunch with a local family. Spend the next 2 nights at the Spice Village, Periyar, a first-class ethnic property
Enjoy a leisurely stroll this morning through lush green gardens with aromatic bushes and trees to see how spices are grown, cultivated and processed. This region, often referred to as the Cardamom Hills, abounds in spices like clove, pepper, cardamom and ginger as well as mace, nutmeg and cinnamon. A boat cruise this afternoon on Lake Periyar inside the national park is the best way to spot elephants in the wild. You can also spot a variety of birds, chance upon gaur, a type of bison and if lucky the elusive tiger. (This excursion is operated by the local tourist authority. The boat takes up to 25 persons and is not a private cruise. Life jackets are provided.)
Descending from the 'ghats' we drive to the backwaters of Kumarakom where a boat awaits to transfer us to the first class Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom, which overlooks the tranquil waters. Spend two nights in these relaxed surroundings. There is the option of a spending one of these nights on a rice boat.
Spend the day at leisure. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is nearby, and the resort has excellent Ayurveda facilities and arranges for a variety of activities that include an evening sunset cruise on Vembanad Lake, yoga and cooking classes.
Kumarakom, Marari Kulam
Today take a short transfer to the elegant Marari Beach Resort, Mararikulam for your final night.
Fly back to the UK via with Emirates, via Dubai
Tailor-made Tour 8 days from £2095 per person
✓ International flights from London
✓ 7 nights accommodation in beautiful CGH hotels
✓ All internal transportation and transfers
✓ English-speaking guides
✓ Breakfast daily
✓ Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
Places and Experiences in this tour
For centuries the hub of India’s spice and tea trade, Fort Cochin occupies the northern tip of a peninsula dividing the mouth of the Vembanad Lake from the Arabian Sea. Its low-ri...
Periyar National Park
High in the hills of inland Kerala, the famous Periyar National Park hugs the border with Tamil Nadu. Its focal point is a convoluted reservoir on whose muddy shores herds of elep...
Kumarakom Backwaters and Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom, a tiny village located between the shores of Vembanad Lake the largest of Kerala’s backwaters and a vast 200-square-kilometre lagoon provides an idyllic setting for rel...
Almost the entire length of the Keralan coast is lined by beautiful white-sand beaches and coconut groves. Most still support robust fishing communities, whose wooden boats provid...
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