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With marvellous coconut groves, ornate temples and an abundance of spice plantations, enjoy a culture-drenched holiday as you soak up the sights and colours of Kerala. From a boat ride along Periyar Lake and a Kettuvallam houseboat cruise to the Tata Tea Museum in Munnar and a traditional dance performance at Kathakali, our itinerary is jam-packed to ensure that you see the best of this wonderful destination.
Depart for India.
Upon arrival in Kochi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel where you will stay for two nights. The rest of the day is at leisure in Kochi. This evening a welcome dinner will be included at your hotel.
Today we will visit some of the highlights of this captivating port, taking in its myriad of styles and influences. View the remarkable cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, explore the 16th-century Portuguese built Mattancherry Palace and Church of St. Francis, and discover the oldest living Jewish synagogue in the world. Enjoy a walk through Fort Kochi, a region that still retains its old world charm with European style quarters.
Later, visit the Kathakali dance studio for a traditional dance performance. The striking feature of this dance form is the elaborate face make-up and costumes.
After breakfast, we enjoy a scenic drive through the lush green countryside and sprawling tea plantations to Munnar, where we stay for two nights.
Situated in the Western Ghats Mountain range in India's Kerala state, Munnar is a picturesque hill station distinguished by its sprawling tea gardens and rolling hills. The region's elevation and climate contribute to its unique lush green landscape, making it one of the most sought-after destinations in southern India. The climate fosters expansive tea plantations, including the Tata Tea Museum. Dedicated to the tea making process of segregating, drying, threshing and aroma packing, the tea plantation and factory has photographs and machineries, which chronicle the journey of tea in the area.
After breakfast we make the journey to the ancient city of Madurai, home to the historic Sri Meenakshi Temple. This evening you have the option to attend the famous 'Going to Bed Ceremony', a truly extraordinary experience. Every evening, the deity Lord Shiva, represented by the processional image, is ritually taken to the bedchamber of his consort, Goddess Meenakshi, and serenaded with religious hymns and music.
Our optional excursions are a great addition to enhance your holiday experience and are highly recommended.
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The optional excursions will be available to book during your tour.
Prices are per person and are subject to change. Payment will be in Euros (cash payments only).
Located on the banks of the River Vaigal, Madurai is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The ornate facade, colonnades, shrines and towering gopurams (monumental gateways) of the Meenakshi Temple are the highlight of this old city. There is a continual round of ceremonies and devotions, and lively markets take place within the temple enclosure. Madurai is also home to the 17th-century palace Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, representing art in the Indo-Saracenic style.
Today we make our way through the green forests of Periyar in the Thekkady region, where we stay for two nights.
For centuries, Kerala has grown and imported spices around the world. This morning you will have an oppotunity to gain a first-hand experience of the cultivation, growth and processing of these spices as we explore the Spice Plantation. This afternoon, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on Periyar lake (weather and water levels permitting).
Today we drive to Alleppey where we board a 'Kettuvallam' thatch roofed houseboat for an overnight stay. The Kettuvallam houseboats are traditional vessels that once transported rice and spices across the labyrinthine waterways of Kerala. Now, from the Alleppey Jetty, the boats take passengers along these same waterways and canals, gently cruising between the region's coconut groves, rice fields, hidden temples and tiny islands. Lunch and dinner today will be served on the houseboat.
Following breakfast onboard the houseboat, we travel to Kochi for an overnight stay.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Single Room Supplement from £499.00 (12 days).
You will stay for one or two nights at each of the following hotels, or similar:
Hostel Casino in Kochin, Amber Dale in Munnar, Fortune Pandiyan in Madurai, Elephant Court in Periyar, Lakes and Lagoon in Alleppy.
All hotels are of 4-star superior Indian standard.
Please Note: Due to demand, we may use other hotels of a similar standard. Your exact hotel details will be provided with your travel documents.
Amber Dale is a luxurious nature retreat set in the highlands of Munnar. The hotel’s pristine location provides a sense of tranquillity with an expanse of mountains, sweeping meadows and meandering green hills in the immediate surroundings. The hotel has a restaurant serving a selection of cuisines, as well as The Ayurveda & Spa with steam room, sauna and jacuzzi. This hotel offers a double guestroom with a beautiful view.
Lakes & Lagoons have a fleet of 25 luxury houseboats. Known as Kettuvalloms (rice boats), they are country boats that were used in the early days for the transport of goods from isolated villages to the towns. Each houseboat has three crew members – a chef, driver and a cabin assistant. They cruise from Alleppey on the backwaters of Kerala, one of nature’s greatest treasures. Each boat has an outdoor seating area and comes with a kitchen serving local specialities with traditional Kerala flavour. Traditional lanterns are used as lights.
All of our coaches are modern and comfortable, and you can be assured of a high level of service and reliability from our expert-trained coach crews, who will be on hand to assist and escort you along the way.