Hi, I’m Sally, a member of the Authentic India Tours team.
I took a whistle-stop tour of Kerala in September to visit some of the hotels we offer on our South India tours. I did have some time for sightseeing, so I thought I’d share my experiences.
I loved Cochin. After the initial introduction to the slightly bonkers traffic (think beeping horns and a very confident style of driving!) it was great to catch up on some sleep with a quick nap at The Xandari Harbour in Fort Kochi. In the evening, I thoroughly enjoyed the magical sunset cruise around the harbour to see the silhouetted Chinese fishing nets.
The next day involved watching the fishermen in action, looking round the Dutch Palace, and seeing the fascinating public laundry complex in action. The day concluded watching an amazing Kathakali dance performance – dramatic storytelling with bold makeup and exaggerated facial expressions.
After seeing so many photos of misty mountains, I was really looking forward to visiting Munnar and it didn’t disappoint! Spending a peaceful breakfast on the balcony of the hotel whilst gazing over a sea of trees peeking out through the mist was a highlight of my tour.
Enjoying a morning gliding along the waters of Periyar National Park was pure bliss. From the boat, we could see bison, cormorants, deer and kingfishers. Sadly no elephants! In the afternoon, I enjoyed learning about how various spices are grown on a plantation visit complete with the incredible accompanying aromas. This was the only time during my trip that I got bitten by bugs as I forgot to put on my repellent. Oops!
The Village Life Experience in Kumarakom is not to be missed. It’s inspiring and humbling to meet local villagers along the beautiful backwaters and learn about crafts and produce. I was absolutely terrible at making rope and only slightly better at weaving coconut leaves!
Sally's trip included an adapted version of our Highlights of Kerala with Xandari Hotels tour.