At the southern tip of India lies the oblong state of Kerala, aptly referred to as “God’s Own Country” for its miles of golden sandy beaches dotted with coastal villages, verdant landscapes of the Western Ghats, fragrant spice, tea and coffee plantations and its own vibrant culture.Our Essence of Kerala tour commences with sightseeing in the historic Fort Cochin and Jew Town to see influences left by the Chinese, English, Dutch and Portuguese settlers. Enjoy sweeping views whilst journeying through the beautiful countryside towards Periyar National Park. Enjoy a nature walk and visit a spice plantation. Travel onward to the myriad of complex waterways that make up the backwaters of Kerala for an overnight stay on a traditional rice boat. A couple of days on the beach at Kovalam beckon, where the golden sands invite you to relax and swim before returning home.
Day 1 Cochin
Greeted on arrival in Cochin and escorted to the Killians Boutique Hotel or similar for two nights.
Day 2 Cochin
Spend the morning taking in the sights of historic Fort Cochin. Explore the colonial streets and St Francis, the oldest church in India. Visit the Dutch Palace, with its murals of the Ramayana. In the evening take a sunset cruise on the harbour, a signature Kerala experience, for views of the landmark Chinese fishing nets, which provide a spectacular photo opportunity at dusk.
Day 3 Cochin, Periyar National Park
Drive along meandering roads through lush, green countryside ascending into the ‘Western Ghats’ at Periyar (5 hours). Enjoy lunch at a rubber plantation. Stay at the Cardamom County Resort or similar for two nights. In the evening attend a Kathakali performance, a traditional dance drama in which the dancers wear elaborate costumes and make-up to enact the story of the Mahabarat epic.
Day 4 Periyar National Park
This morning take a walk in Periyar Nature Reserve with tribal trackers, in search of wildlife. In the afternoon visit a spice plantation which offers an interesting insight into how various spices such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are grown, cultivated and processed.
Day 5 Periyar National Park, Alleppey
Drive down through the hills and plantations towards the backwaters to board a rice boat for an overnight cruise through Lake Vembanad and the backwaters. This is a region that not only shelters unique animal and bird life, but also lush paddy fields. This is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.
Day 6 Alleppey, Kovalam
Drive to the southern coastal town and the inviting beaches at Kovalam. Stay at the local styled Travancore Heritage or similar for two nights.
Day 7 Kovalam
Day at leisure.
Day 8 Kovalam, Trivandrum
Travel to Trivandrum airport for your onward flight.
Visit our website for departure & prices.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust