From 29/01/2022 to 15/01/2023
EXPLORE KochiVISIT Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kumily Spice Garden and St Francis Church in KochiCRUISE the Kerala Backwaters on a houseboatCONNECT WITH LOCALS Visit and have lunch with a local family in their home in Kochi and gain a fascinating insight into their lifestyle.
(Day 5)DIVE INTO CULTURE See an Indian martial arts performance.
(Day 2) Discover rural life on a walking tour with a local market visit.
(Day 3) See the unique Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi.
(Day 5)LOCAL SPECIALIST in Periyar.
5 breakfasts1 lunch5 dinners (including Connect with Locals)Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeingDaily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening mealsLuxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trustedOptional Experiences and free timeAll porterage and restaurant gratuitiesMust-see sightseeing and surprise extrasAn expert Travel Director and separate DriverAll hotel tips, charges and local taxesAirport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holidayHandcrafted Highlights.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Dip more than your toes in the bountiful backwaters of Kerala, 'God's own country'. This slice of southern India is a lush garden filled with spices, brilliant colours and the enchanting sounds of nature. Relax on the tranquil shores of the Arabian Sea, let the freshest seafood melt in your mouth and sink into a more straightforward way of life - one where nature sets the pace for the day. But first, on arrival at Kochi Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel. Later, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception with local appetisers.
Day 2 - Your love affair with Kerala's lush landscapes begins today. Head to Periyar, named after Kerala's longest river which winds its way deep through the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. Choose to spend the afternoon either relaxing at your stunning resort hotel or soaking up the sounds of nature during an optional immersive Nature Walk with an expert 'Local Specialist'. This evening look forward to an exhilarating 'Dive Into Culture' Kalarippayattu performance. Watch as trained Kalari warriors show off this most ancient of martial arts, jumping and somersaulting in the ultimate coordination between mind and body. This is followed by dinner at your hotel.
Day 3 - The intoxicating scents of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves will linger long after today's encounter with Kerala's famous spices. Your first stop today is a visit to Kumily Spice Garden. Here you'll learn how the locals grow and share an astounding variety of flavourful spices, ranging from pepper and ginger to vanilla and cardamom, the queen of spices. Gain insights into the entire process of spice cultivation at close quarters and discover how Kerala's spice trade with the world has shaped its culture and heritage to this day. There's more to experience as you head to Kumarakom, a tranquil village set on the peaceful banks of Lake Vembanad, the largest lake in Kerala. Embark on a walking tour and 'Dive Into Culture' as you admire the vibrant day-to-day of village life in the regional market and on its lively streets.
Day 4 - Kerala's intrinsic relationship with water takes centre stage today. Enjoy a leisurely start to the day or choose to take part in an optional yoga session before boarding a traditional houseboat for a cruise surrounded by Kerala's iconic backwaters. Take a deep breath and enjoy the slow, sultry pace of life fringing the narrow canals as you wind your way to Alleppey. Watch villagers wave to each other from their wooden Shikaras (traditional boats), see how life unfolds along the palm-fringed shoreline. Even your ride for the day is rooted in history. These houseboats, known locally as Kettuvalloms, were formerly old barges used to ferry rice and spices. Upon arriving in Alleppey, you'll disembark and return to Kumarakom for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day 5 - Remnants of Kerala's colourful centuries-old trading history are best explored in the old port city of Kochi. It was here that Chinese, Arab and European merchants would come to buy the fragrant spices that found their way to tables all over the world. In turn, they left their mark on Kochi's architecture, cuisine and traditions. Colonial bungalows, Catholic churches, mosques and a European fort dot the cityscape of what was once known as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea'. Enjoy some free time for lunch and then embark on a city tour to see this multi-cultural centre first-hand, including views of the Mattancherry Dutch Palace and St Francis Church, built by Portuguese traders. Visit the Fort Kochi area and see the traditional cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, unique to this part of Kerala. Admire how these fixed land installations made on bamboo scaffolding are artfully lowered into the sea to catch the seafood for which Kochi is so famous. This evening, 'Connect With Locals' and enjoy a cooking demonstration with a local family followed by a delicious 'Be My Guest' Farewell Dinner.
Day 6 - Your epic encounter with Kerala's culture and natural wonders has sadly come to an end, but your memories will last a lifetime. Say farewell to your travel companions and take an airport transfer for your onward flight.
- Prices quoted valid for sale until 28 October 2021 unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
- Price is per person and subject to availability. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
- Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
- Local payments, "trip kittys" or food funds may apply and may be payable direct to the supplier on arrival or to your travel agent prior to your departure. Where applicable, these payments are included in the total price quoted.
- Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
- Additional conditions and travel restrictions may apply. Please enquire for further details.
- Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies and government charges current at time of publication.
- Additional levies, government charges and other applicable fees may apply and are beyond our control.
- Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.
- Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.
- Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or Bpay.
- These prices are a guide to the best price. Prices are correct as at 23 October 2021 and are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases. Please enquire for further details.
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