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Highlights of Kerala with Xandari Resorts

Duration:
8 days / 7 nights
Destinations:
Cochin, Periyar, Alleppey, Mararikulam
Price Guide:

Price guide for this 8 day tour:

  • £895 in low season
  • £1125 in high season

based on two people travelling.

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Overview

This 8-day Highlights of Kerala tour is perfect for anyone who is looking for a wonderful Kerala getaway but is limited on time. It is a great introduction to this exotic and tropical land and is packed with visits to the famous Kerala sights. The tour includes the cosmopolitan city of Cochin, Periyar National Park and the spice growing region, the wonderful tranquil backwaters and an overnight stay on a private houseboat. There's also time to relax in a laid-back superior hotel at Marari Beach.

This is a private tour where you have the luxury of your own personal driver and a comfortable air-conditioned car. 

Highlights of Kerala Tour

The tour includes accommodation with the well respected Xandari group of hotels and offers great value for money with lots of included experiences and highlights to make it a truly memorable holiday:

  • Accommodation for 7 nights on double occupancy in 4-star hotels
  • Meal plan: Houseboat on full board; bed and breakfast elsewhere except where shown (see the Itinerary for more information)
  • Private motorboat cruise along the Cochin harbour
  • Kumbalangi village visit and lunch 
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Cochin 
  • Tickets for Kathakali dance show in Cochin 
  • Lunch at plantation bungalow in Kanjirapally 
  • Spice plantation tour in Periyar 
  • Nature trek with tribal trackers in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Boat trip on Lake Periyar 
  • Entrances at national parks, museums and monuments as per the itinerary

 

Highlights of Kerala with Xandari Resorts - 8 Days / 7 Nights

This 8-day Highlights of Kerala tour is perfect for anyone who is looking for a wonderful introduction to this exotic and tropical land, which is packed full of visits to the famous Kerala sights. The tour includes the cosmopolitan city of Cochin, Periyar National Park and the spice growing region, the wonderful tranquil backwaters and an overnight stay on a private houseboat. There is also time to relax in a laid back superior hotel at Marari Beach.

This is a private tour where you have the luxury of your own personal driver and a comfortable air-conditioned car. It includes lots of added extras and accommodation is at the 4-star Xandari group of hotels.

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Day 1 - Arrive in Cochin

You will be met on arrival at Cochin International Airport and transferred by private car to your hotel which will take about 90 minutes.

The afternoon is free for you to relax and enjoy the facilities of the Xandari Harbour hotel or take a stroll in the heritage area of Fort Kochi. In the evening you have an opportunity to enjoy an included motor boat sunset cruise around the harbour where you can take in the views of the city and see the famous Chinese fishing nets.

Accommodation: Xandari Harbour Hotel

 

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Day 2 - Cochin

This morning your tour includes a visit to the Kumbalanghi fishing village where you will experience traditional village activities such as catching fish, crab farming and coir making. This is followed by a home-cooked lunch by the side of the backwaters.

In the afternoon your sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry includes visiting the Chinese fishing nets, the local fish market, St. Francis Church, the Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch Palace. Please be aware that the Jewish Synagogue is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and other Jewish Holidays, and the Dutch Palace is closed on Fridays.

In the evening, a Kathakali dance show has been arranged. This is a traditional dance-drama of Kerala performed in vibrant costumes. We suggest arriving early to watch the dancers apply their bold makeup.

Accommodation: Xandari Harbour Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
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Day 3 - Cochin to Periyar

After breakfast, your journey takes you inland on a scenic route to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, a well-preserved area and home to a wide range of animals and birdlife. Halfway to Periyar, we will stop at the beautiful plantation bungalow, nestled among the rolling plantations of Kanjirappally. This is the perfect place to sample the best of authentic Keralan cooking, as made in traditional Syrian Christian homes.

After lunch, we proceed to Periyar for a spice plantation tour with a plantation expert. He will introduce you to the different spices grown in the area such as pepper, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and coffee.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 148km

Accommodation: Cardamom County Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
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Day 4 - Periyar

This morning, included within your tour is an early morning nature trek in Periyar Tiger Reserve with the tribal trackers, to try and spot a variety of wildlife. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the hotel swimming pool or spa, take part in activities such as saree dressing, visit the elephants or indulge in some retail therapy in the nearby town. 

In the evening a boat ride on Lake Periyar has been arranged with another opportunity to try and see wild elephants, sambar deers, Indian bison, Nilgiri langurs and various species of bird.

Accommodation: Cardamom County Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 5 - Periyar to Alleppey

This morning's drive is a lovely scenic route down the hills visiting tea and rubber plantations en-route. The journey to the backwaters takes about 4 hours. Around lunchtime, you will board your private houseboat for an overnight cruise through the famous Kerala Backwaters. For many people, this is the highlight of their holiday.

Your relaxing cruise will take you through the tranquil Kerala backwaters, gliding across Lake Vembanad, through canals and passing low lying rice fields, churches, temples, schools and village life. Lunch, evening tea and dinner will be served onboard the houseboat by your own exclusive crew. The houseboat anchors at sunset to prevent getting tangled in the fishing nets. Experience a truly magical moment of being rocked gently whilst counting stars before finally going to bed. 

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 - 4 hours, 128 km

Accommodation: Private Houseboat (The air conditioning in your deluxe houseboat will function from 20:00 until 06:00) 
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 6 - Alleppey to Mararikulam

After a leisurely breakfast, you will disembark your houseboat at Alleppey boat jetty. You will be met by your driver and taken to Mararikulam Beach which is about 60 minutes away.

The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the tropical setting of the Xandari Pearl resort.

Approximate travel time and distance: 25 minutes, 14 km

Accommodation: Xandari Pearl Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 7 - Mararikulam

Today is a free day to do as you please and to enjoy your last full day in Kerala.

The Xandari Pearl offers a host of activities such as village tours or cooking and craft demonstrations. Alternatively, you can enjoy the spa and swimming pool facilities, take a walk along the beach, relax in a hammock or visit the near sites or towns for some last-minute souvenir shopping.

Accommodation: Xandari Pearl Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 8 - Mararikulam to Cochin Departure

Your driver will pick you up and transfer you to Cochin International Airport in plenty of time for your return flight. 

This is a tailor-made tour so if you wish to extend your stay at the Xandari Pearl or if you would like to visit another destination please speak to your Authentic India Tours travel specialist.

Approximate travel time and distance: 1.5 hours, 71 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

The tour includes accommodation with the well respected Xandari group of hotels.

Xandari Harbour, Cochin

The Xandari Harbour hotel enjoys a prime location overlooking the Cochin waterways and very close to all the attractions of Fort Kochi. The old warehouses which make up this hotel give it a wonderful local character. The rooms are lovely and spacious and feature all the modern facilities (apart from a TV) that a discerning traveller requires.

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Cardamom County, Periyar

Bordering the Periyar Tiger Reserve and boasting glorious views and scents of the surrounding spice plantations, Cardamom County is located in the mountains of the Periyar Forests. The beautifully presented cottages each have a private verandah or balcony and are built on different levels following the natural curves of the land. With a restaurant set in an open air terrace, gym, swimming pool and spa facilities, Cardamom County offers a truly relaxing break. It is also conveniently located close to the local town.

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Kerala Houseboat

Described as the 'Venice of the East', Allepey is a dreamland of interlinking canals and rivers and what better way to explore the exquisite Kerala backwaters than on a Houseboat? Offering an enchanting experience the houseboats are constructed from local and natural materials including bamboo, ropes and coconut fibre and are up to 120 feet long. With an onboard crew to cater to your needs you can sit back, relax and enjoy the cruise.

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Xandari Pearl, Mararikulam

The Xandari pearl hotel is a beautiful eco-friendly hotel located on Marari beach spread out over 18 acres. The laid back comfort, relaxed atmosphere, gorgeous locally grown food and excellent levels of service makes the Xandari pearl hotel an amazing place to recharge the batteries and truly relax.

 

 

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Destinations

Cochin (Kochi)

Cochin, also known as Kochi, is a port city located on an extensive network of waterways in the state of Cochin. It has been one of the primary gateways to the region for distant merchants and travellers since 1341. Cochin is a great place to start your Kerala holiday offering beautiful hotels, wonderful culture and architecture, friendly people and the opportunity for some retail therapy.

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Periyar National Park (Thekkady)

If you've ever dreamed of seeing elephants roaming free, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers you the chance of experiencing these beautiful animals in the wild from the comfort of a covered boat or car tour, without disturbing their way of life.

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Kerala Backwaters

Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, Alleppey is the gateway to the  Kerala backwaters, an intricate network of lakes and waterways. Here you’ll find thousands of houseboats, converted rice barges with distinctive curved roofs. Float along the backwaters on one of these luxury boats, gazing out onto the lime green paddy fields, coconut palms and tranquil villages that line the water’s edge. Watch the sun set on the water and fall asleep lulled by the gentle rocking motion of the boat.

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Mararikulam Beach

This village is known for the authentic and quiet Mararikulam beach lined by coconut trees. It’s aptly nicknamed the ‘secret beach’ and is a favorite of the Keralan beaches on offer among locals. Mararikulam also boasts the stunning Sree Mahadeva Temple, one of the oldest temples in India, and the only temple where the deities Shiva and Parvati sit facing each other.

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Pricing and Inclusions

The price guide for this 8-day Highlights of Kerala with Xandari Resorts is

  • £895 in low season (1st May 2020 - 30th September 2020), £365 Single Room Supplement
  • £1125 in high season (15th October 2019 - 30th April 2020), £595 Single Room Supplement

This tour is not available from 20th Dec 2019 - 10th Jan 2020

Prices vary depending on the number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season. Reductions are normally available for groups of three or more.

This is a private tour and can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements.

Included with this holiday are the following:

  • Meet and greet assistance on arrival
  • Driver and comfortable air-conditioned car throughout
  • Accommodation for 7 nights on double occupancy.
  • Meal plan: Houseboat on full board; bed and breakfast elsewhere plus some lunches
  • Private motorboat sunset cruise along the Cochin harbour 
  • Kumbalangi village visit with lunch included 
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Cochin 
  • Tickets for Kathakali dance show in Cochin 
  • Lunch at a plantation bungalow in Kanjirapally 
  • Spice plantation tour in Periyar 
  • Nature trek with tribal trackers in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Boat trip on Lake Periyar 
  • A wonderful range of free activities at the hotels
  • Entrances at national parks, museums and monuments as per the itinerary

The price does not include:

  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc.
  • Meals other than mentioned in the above meal plan.
  • Camera and video fees at national parks, museums and monuments.
  • International/domestic flight tickets.
  • Visa charges if applicable.
  • Travel insurance.

Prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a double room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication may be subject to change, based on your date of travel and local market fluctuations. You will be informed of any price differences prior to booking.

For a quote based on your dates of travel, any alternative accommodation or changes to this itinerary, please call us on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.com