Tailor-Made Itineraries | Essential Kerala | If Only

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Essential Kerala

12 NIGHTS FROM £2,309 per person

Enjoy a slower pace of life in lush Kerala where European heritage sits side by side with quiet fishing villages. Explore tea and spice plantations, hike in a wildlife sanctuary, cruise the palm fringed backwaters, home to thousands of birds, and relax on the golden beaches of the Arabian Sea.


place DAY 1 - Kochi


Arrive into Kochi, gateway to beautiful Kerala neatly set on a cluster of islands and a peninsula. Once known as Cochin, the city is a fascinating blend of cultures with Portuguese, Dutch, English, Jewish and Chinese influences. Today is at leisure to relax after your flight and acclimatise to your surroundings.

place DAYS 2 - 3 - Kochi


Begin your second morning with a guided tour of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. You’ll explore the Dutch Palace in the traditional Keralan style of architecture, with its stunning murals of Ramayana scenes, before continuing to the 16th century Paradesi Synagogue. Visit the spice market area now dotted with antique shops, and India’s oldest church, St Francis. In the evening of day 2, attend the Kerala Kaleidoscope, a uniquely choreographed repertoire of live classical dance and music in a heritage theatre. You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy some really local experiences with a tour using a mix of bus, tuk-tuk and ferry and which includes exploring the Broadway Market in Ernakulum, coffee at an employee owned and run coffee house and ferry ride from Ernakulum back to Fort Cochin.

place DAYS 4 - 5 - Munnar


Travel four hours into the cooler climes and crisp air of Munnar, south India’s largest tea growing region. Picture-book towns and winding lanes give way to sprawling plantations of tea, coffee, and spices, dense forests and wildlife sanctuaries. You’ll visit a tea plantation to learn about the growing and processing of different types of tea, explore the Tata Tea Museum with its portrayals of this historic industry, and meet some of the workers involved in tea production and chat about their lives and culture.

place DAYS 6 - 7 - Thekkady


Continue with a drive to the charming town of Thekkady, known for its spices, hill views and elephants. You’ll be able to tour one of the spice plantations and gain an insight into how they are grown, harvested and processed. You’ll also enjoy a guided trek in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, an area of 300 square miles, and home to a significant elephant population. In the evening, witness a skillful demonstration of Kalaripayattu martial artists.

place DAYS 8 - 9 - Kumarakom


Head to the lush backwaters of Kottayam in Kerala’s heartland where lagoons, lakes and paddy fields are laced with hundreds of winding canals. Visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the banks of Vembanad Lake, a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal, as well as native kingfishers and golden-backed woodpeckers. You’ll have free time to enjoy the butterfly garden, sunset boating, and Ayurvedic treatment centre at your waters-edge heritage resort.

place DAYS 10 - 13 - Mararikulam


A converted rice barge will collect you directly from your resort for a cruise on the expansive waterways with lunch served onboard. Once you disembark, there’s a short drive to Mararikulam and your beach side resort where you’ll enjoy a three-night stay to explore the quiet fishing village or relax on golden sands. Time is at leisure, but options include fishing, cycling, Ayurvedic treatments, or wandering the resort’s own natural ponds and vegetable gardens. On your final day, transfer back to Kochi for your onward flight.


12 NIGHTS FROM £2,309 per person

Price includes international economy flights, terms & conditions apply.

0141 955 4000