12 days from £1,899 per person
With golden beaches, breezy hill towns and sleepy backwaters, Kerala is India at its most laid-back. We’ll uncover the best of this south-western state, from its tea and spice plantations to its cultural cities (where you’ll find ancient temples and reminders of the area’s colonial heritage). You’ll also have the chance to spot a little of the local wildlife - as we cruise along Lake Periyar, we’ll keep an eye out for elephants, deer, otters and even tigers along the shoreline.
Your holiday includes:
7 excursions and visits
- Tour of Kochi including tuk-tuk ride
- Tour of Cochin
- Tour of Munnar and its surroundings
- Visits to a tea plantation and museum, and spice garden
- Boat ride on Lake Periyar
- Houseboat cruise
- Kathakali dance performance
- 9 nights in hotels, 1 night cruise and 1 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International flights. Prices are based on return flights with Emirates from London Heathrow or Gatwick via Dubai. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 29 meals: 10 breakfasts (days 3-12) 9 lunches (days 3-11) 10 dinners (days 2-11)
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Local Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
Day 1 UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Kochi.
On arrival in Kochi, we transfer to the Casino Hotel (4-star) to spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Casino Hotel, Kochi (4-star)
This morning we take a walk to experience the historic city of Kochi. This region was landlocked until a major flood created the estuary in AD 1341, making one of the world’s finest natural harbours and attracting seafaring traders from around the world. The walk will take you through the town’s nooks to see the historic St Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica, reminders of the Portuguese settlers who turned this into the first European township in India, and watch the age-old Chinese fishing nets still in use in the bay. Visit the Synagogue and Dutch Palace, built in traditional Kerala Nalukettu style, with temples dedicated to the royal deity Pazhayannur Bhagavati, Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area. Some parts of this nearly 500-year-old fort are still amazingly well preserved, with an abundance of historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before we take a short tuk-tuk ride through the city streets. This evening we witness a Kathakali dance performance, India's most spectacular dance drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers are elaborately made up with paint and masks, accompanied with drummers and musicians.
Kochi - Munnar
After breakfast we take to the road for a journey through captivating countryside to the verdant slopes of tea country where, in Munnar, we check in to Chandy’s Windy Woods (4-star) or Fragrant Nature (4-star). Our stunning location begs to be explored during your afternoon at leisure. This evening, we take a walking tour of the small but vibrant local market, with stalls of colourful fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, and vendors selling homemade treats.
Chandy’s Windy Woods (4-star) or Fragrant Nature (4-star), Munnar
Munnar is a quaint little town that exudes a rare old-world charm, evoking memories of the days of the Raj with its elegant splendour, soothing sunshine and invigorating scent from the tea gardens. We take a sightseeing tour, passing old colonial homes and, after lunch in a local restaurant, visit a tea plantation and tea museum, where you can watch a documentary narrating the interesting history of tea in Munnar. We also visit the beautiful areas of Mattupetty Dam, Echo Point, a natural echo phenomenon; Kundala Lake; Jungle Honey Bee Nest and Rajamalai National Park (subject to being open), the natural habitat of the rare mountain goat.
Today is free for you to relax or enjoy this scenic region further.
Munnar - Periyar
We depart Munnar this morning, swapping views of tea plantations for spice plantations. Sitting a kilometre above sea level, Periyar boasts the perfect natural environment for growing cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, vanilla, ginger and coffee. Through millennia of generations, Periyar has produced much of India’s pepper and became an important part of the 15th century spice trade, when black pepper was equal in worth to its weight in gold. We check in to our hotel, the Poetree Sarovar Portico (4-star). The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax into your surroundings.
Poetree Sarovar Portico, Periyar (4-star)
Following breakfast we will proceed to a spice garden to learn about their harvest. Afterwards, we take a boat ride on Lake Periyar for a chance to see various species of wildlife. In the midst of a sanctuary that bears its name, where elephants, tigers and Indian wild dogs roam; deer, boar, otters and a great array of birdlife are more readily spotted on this adventure.
Day 9 - Periyar - Alappuzha
This morning we head to Alappuzha and board a beautifully crafted deluxe houseboat (3.5-star) for an unforgettable overnight cruise. These elegant crafts were once common along the backwaters of Kerala, used as cargo vessels, poled along by one or two men. They are now restored as extremely eco-friendly houseboats that glide through the 1,500km maze of waterways that link small lakes and lagoons, surrounded with an array of coconut trees and endless paddy fields. Take this opportunity to relax to the sound of nature and gently rippling waters, and to step ashore for short strolls through riverside villages, interacting with the locals. Lunch and dinner will be taken on the boat today.
Deluxe houseboat (3.5-star)
Alappuzha - Kollam
After our magical overnight cruise, we’ll disembark and transfer to Kollam for a relaxing two-night conclusion to our Kerala experience. Our hotel, the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort, Kollam (4-star), is located on Mala lake, amidst landscaped gardens and coconut groves.
Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort, Kollam (4-star)
Our time here is free of plans, so you are free to spend another relaxing day, as you wish.
Day 12 Thiruvananthapuram - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.