Kerala offers a gentle introduction to India, the scenery is lush due to the abundance of water and the climate is tropical. The people enjoy good levels of education and Kerala is one of the most prosperous states in India. The local food is a delicious mixture of vegetarian dishes and local fish curry cooked in coconut milk, cookery lessons, ayurvedic massage and yoga are available at several places. Making Kerala the perfect place for a first visit to India.
This tour offers a comprehensive introduction to Kerala’s glorious scenery : a journey of discovery from the majestic Western Ghat mountains to the still backwaters, finishing in the historic city of Fort Cochin, now a heritage zone with many interesting historical sites such as St Francis Church built in 1503 by the Portuguese and the old spice warehouses.
Ascending to Munnar one of the highest growing tea areas in the world located close to Rajmalia National park, here trekking can be arranged locally to enjoy the stunning scenery and bird life. Descending from the cool of the Western Ghats to the countryside to stay on a river close to Konni elephant camp. Then to the backwaters, a network of canals and lagoons flowing into Lake Vembanad, India’s longest lake, the area is home to many species of birdlife. The tour ends in Cochin, historic spice capital, harbour and Kerala’s main trading port.
The accommodation on this tour is in home stays allowing you to stay at small properties run by local people, providing an authentic Keralan experience of hospitality and cuisine.
Arrive Cochin airport, transfer to Dewalokam home stay Full Board 2 nights at Dewalokam Farm Thodupuzha. A fully sustainable organic farm set on the banks of the river Kannadipuzha, this delightful home stay offers a chance to explore the lovely surrounding countryside, walks in the tropical forests to a nearby waterfall, bamboo rafting on the river, or enjoy the beautiful spice gardens and nearby organic farm. Josh and his family are wonderful hosts. Freshly cooked vegetarian food, Ayurvedic treatments and swimming pool. About 1hr 30 minutes from Cochin airport.
Relaxing at Dewalokam Home Stay.
Transfer to Munnar, Windermere estate Bed and Breakfast 2 nights. Munnar is the highest tea growing area in Southern India. A visit to a local tea factory and museum is included. Windermere is located on a working Cardamon estate with outstanding views and lovely walks around the estate, ideal for bird watching. Close to Munnar town. The accommodation is in cottages arranged around the grounds. Or stay at Talayar Bungalow on a tea estate, about 30 minutes from the town.
Transfer to Thekkady, a scenic four-hour drive across the Ghats with distant views across to Tamil Nadu. Pepper county is a small home stay located in a quiet location just outside the town with distant views, many spices grow in the gardens. Mr and Mrs Cyriac are delightful hosts. A soft trek is arranged in Periyar park with a guide early morning, this will allow you to experience the local flora and fauna.
Descend the Ghats to the countryside, about four hours drive. Stay at Malakkarethu homestay near Aranmula overlooking the river, this property overlooks the course of the famous snake boat race that takes place in September.
Also nearby is the Konni elephant camp, here you can ride an elephant through the spice plantation, and give the elephants their daily bath in the river. 2 nights standard room with breakfast
Transfer to Nelpura homestay on the backwaters near Alleppey. This delightful heritage home stay is run by Mr Chakho and his family. From here boat trips can be taken up the canal and onto Lake Vembanad, bicycles are available to explore and fishing can be enjoyed from the property. A very tranquil place to savour Keralan country life. 2 nights standard room Full board
Transfer to Cochin, to stay on Fort Cochin island, home to many heritage buildings, the famous Chinese fishing nets and the centre of the ancient spice trade. Also excellent local shops and restaurants. Stay at Secret Garden, located in a very central location, but tucked away down a quiet street, this heritage property has a charming garden and pool. A half day sightseeing tour of Cochin with a guide is included. 2 Nights
Transfer to Cochin airport, end of tour.
This tour can easily be extended for a few days on the beach. Please enquire for current price.