COMPLETE KERALA

  
visit asia - tours to asiaCode KRL18D

Price £2,695 per person

A home away from home. This captivating tour gives you an authentic experience of Kerela. Staying with local Keralan families in their traditional homes will evoke a new meaning of life as you travel from the bustling fort city of Cochin, through verdant hills and rich spices, rubber and coffee growing country to the pristine beaches of south Kerala.

Cochin- Munnar- Periyar- Kannam- Kumarakom- Emerald Isle (Homestay)-Houseboat- Kovalam

Price includes : Private vehicle for all airport transfers, visits & excursions as per programme, English speaking local guides, admission fees, fullboard houseboat, hotels as specified ( or similar ) with daily breakfast.

Price excludes : International flights*, visa for India ( e-visa obtainable online), other meals, gala dinner at hotels (if applicable), tipping and any service not specified. Single supplement : £1,195.
* To make your holidays even more hassle free, we can purchase international flights on your behalf at competitive prices. Please call us for mor information
visit asia - tours to asia
Day 01: Fly to Cochin

Day 02: Cochin (-/-/-)
Upon arrival at Cochin ( or Kochi ) international airport, meeting with our representative and transfer to your hotel. Around for a long, long time, Kochi played a pivotal role in the development of shipping and trade in the region. Its prime location on the west coast, its fine bay and protected harbour made it popular with seafarers and merchant ships who made frequent stops to stock up on spices, coffee and wood enroute to the rich markets of Europe and West Asia. And so down the ages, Kochi prospered as a busy port city and commercial centre. Overnight at the Malabar House, Kochi.

Day 03: Cochin (B/-/-) visit asia - tours to asia
visit asia - tours to asia After breakfast, half day sightseeing tour of Kochi. We shall begin the tour by visit to Dutch Palace [closed on Friday] also known as Mattancherry Palace. It was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555 AD. It acquired the present name after 1663 when the Dutch carried out extensions and repairs in the palace. At no time did the Portuguese or Dutch stay here. Its interiors are decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins. Then visit the Jewish Synagogue built in 1568 AD. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are of interest here. [closed on Friday & Saturday]. Also visit St. Francis Protestant Church in Fort Kochi, originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD and is believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India. It is here the remains of the inveterate traveller, Vasco-da-Gama were initially buried and 14 years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal. Santa Cruz Baslica Church is also worth visiting. Some beautiful paintings can be seen here. Another attraction here is the Chinese fishing nets that line the sea-front and exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish by local fishermen. Said to have been brought from China by traders of Kubalai Khan's Court, they are used at high tide. In the evening, optional Kathakali Dance performance. Kathakali is the classical dance-drama of Kerala, South India, which dates from the 17th century and is rooted in Hindu mythology. Kathakali is a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. Overnight at the Malabar House.

Day 04: Cochin-Munnar (B/-/-)
After breakfast depart by road to Munnar, in the Idukki district of Kerala is the queen of hill stations thanks to its location at the confluence of three mountain streams namely, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar is about 6,500 feet above sea level along the Western Ghats on the eastern border of Kerala. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Windermere Estate, is where the manicured tea gardens merge with the lush green forests of Western Ghats. Hallmarked for its exclusiveness and high range hospitality, Windermere is a 60 acre Cardamom Plantation. Overnight at the Hotel - Windermere Estate, Munnar.

Day 05: Munnar (B/-/-)
Breakfast at Hotel. Day is at leisure ( vehicle & driver at disposal]. Overnight at Windermere Estate, Munnar.

Day 06: Munnar-Periyar (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Morning is free to take in the beauty of Munnar. After lunch take a scenic drive to Periyar, a part of the Project Tiger scheme and also home to large herds of elephants, bison and deer. Check in at your hotel. Evening take a boat ride in Lake Periyar. One of the most fascinating wildlife Sanctuaries in India, renowned for the herds of elephants and scenic beauty. Overnight at Cottage Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom club.

Day 07: Periyar (B/-/-)
Morning free. In the afternoon visit plantations of tea, cardamom and pepper. Overnight stay.

Day 08: Periyar- Kannam (B/-/-)
After breakfast drive to Kanam. Serenity at Kanam estate is a secluded private villa hotel surrounded by rubber estates and tropical spice gardens. Thoroughly designed, yet retaining the heritage ambience, this dream come true 1920s estate bungalow blends into an unspoiled rural setting. Serenity features 6 rooms: 2 on the ground floor and 4 on the 1st floor. All are furbished with our eclectic mix of design, period furniture and art work. All have verandahs and furnished sit outs. Check in at this hotel. Overnight at the Serenity Villa Hotel. visit asia - tours to asia

Day 09: Kanam (B/-/-)
After breakfast spend the day with Lakshmi - the elephant ( optional ). Take her to the river, wash her, feed her and be her Mahout for the day. Overnight at the Serenity, Kanam.

Day 10: Kannam - Kumarakom (B/-/-)
Morning car transfer to Kumarakom, Kerala’s heartland of lagoons, palm fringed lakes and paddy fields, inter-linked with hundreds of winding canals, and with the typical low slung country boats that carry everything from people to fish, rice and coconuts to the milkman and newspaper boy, local politicians and priests to wedding parties. On arrival, you will check-in at Kumarakom Lake Resort. Afternoon at leisure to relax.

Day 11: Kumarakom (B/-/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at Hotel. Day is at leisure to pursue independent activities [No transportation]. Overnight at Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kumarakom.

Day 12: Kumarakom - Emerald Isle (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Emerald Isle. On arrival, check in at your homestay for a true home stay experience. Be part of the family and experience Kerala in a very personal way. Enjoy home cooked meals with the hosts around the family dining table. Overnight at the Emerald Isle Homestay.

Day 13: Emerald Isle (B/L/D)
After breakfast at leisure to relax or pursue independent activities. Overnight at the Emerald Isle.

Day 14: Emerald Isle-Alleppey to embark houseboat (B/L/D) visit asia - tours to asia
After breakfast, car transfer to Alleppey jetty to embark your houseboat for an overnight stay. Kettuvallams, the stitched boats provide the best way to experience colourful backwaters of Kerala. The wood commonly used to make Kettuvallams is 'Anhili', which is found in abundance in central Travancore area. Large planks are tied together using hand made coir ropes and beaten coconut fibres. This gives the Kettuvallams enough strength to withstand heavy waves in the sea. Kettuvallams are built entirely without the use of nails. It requires great skill and adroitness to construct these giant boats by tying huge planks of jack wood together. The boats are applied with fish oil and cashew nut oil and left to cure for days. With careful maintenance, they last for generations. These house boats are available in all sizes and shapes, and comprise one or two bedrooms with attached bathrooms, one living room, kitchenette, an open lounge, deck and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide. The houseboats are generally powered by a small outboard engine, allowing one to cruise along the backwaters. A sojourn in Kettuvallam, the House boat of Kerala, offers a panoramic view of one of the most picturesque aspects of the God's Own Country. You will cruise through the palm-fringed backwaters, throughout a night in waxing moonlights. All meals will be served on board the house-boat. The lullaby of the waves and the dazzling delights of the moonlit night will be experienced by spending a night aboard the Kettuvallam. Overnight in Houseboat [one bedroom a/c houseboat] .

Day 15: Alleppey-Kovalam (B/-/-)
After breakfast, head southwards to Kovalam. On arrival check in at the Leela Kempenski, Kovalam.

Day 16+17: Kovalam (B/-/-)
Day at leisure to enjoy the beach (no transportation). Overnight at the Leela Kempenski, Kovalam.

Day 18: Kovalam-Trivandrum-London (B/-/-)
Breakfast at Hotel. In due time car transfer to Trivandrum airport for flight home.