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Kerala Adventure Group Tour

Duration:
11 days /10 nights
Destinations:
Cochin, Munnar, Madurai, Periyar, Alleppey, Kovalam, Trivandrum
Price Guide:

Prices from £1360 based on hotels shown in the itinerary

The Kerala Adventure small group tour departs from Cochin on the 6th October 2019

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Overview

Have the adventure of a lifetime on this action-packed group tour of Kerala. You'll hike through mountain ranges, visit the Chinese fishing nets and nature trek in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you.

Kerala Adventure Group Tour - 11 Days / 10 Nights

Have an adventure of a lifetime on this action packed group tour of Kerala.

This Kerala holiday which starts in captivating Cochin takes you on wonderful journey to explore beautiful hill stations with tea plantations, amazing ancient temples in Madurai, wild elephants in national parks, the tranquil backwaters in a private houseboat ending with the glorious beaches of Kovalam.

Code: GRCOC002

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Day 1 - Arrive in Cochin

Upon your arrival at Cochin International Airport, you will be met by your Authentic India Tours representative for the transfer to your hotel. This afternoon is at leisure and you may wish to indulge in some retail therapy or gently explore this vibrant city.

A wonderful treat is in store this evening as you witness a traditional Kathakali dance performance – we suggest arriving early if you want to experience the elaborate make-up preparation.

Accommodation: The Fragrant Nature Hotel or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 2 - Cochin

Your first morning will see you heading to the fishing village of Kumbalanghi. Here you will see crab farmers and fishermen practice their craft, before settling in for a home cooked lunch in those beautiful backwaters that Kerala is famous for.

You will then spend the afternoon exploring Fort Cochin and Mattancherry, complete with experiencing the Dutch Palace, the Jewish synagogue and St Francis Church, each superb examples of multicultural old architecture in India.

In the evening you are free to make your own way through the heritage quarter of Cochin and its surroundings. Relish in the freedom that comes with seeing Kerala your own way.

Accommodation: The Fragrant Nature Hotel or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 3 - Cochin to Munnar

The next stop on your Kerala holiday is Munnar, a hill station perched high in the Western Ghats mountain range. It’s cool, refreshing climate made it a popular summer retreat for colonial settlers generations ago. On the drive you will be surrounded by a carpet of greenery – curved hills covered in emerald green tea plantations and sandalwood forests. Aromatic spice plantations gently infuse the air with the scent of cinnamon and cardamom.

That evening, once you are settled into your hotel, you can take a stroll around the plantation, where you can learn about the history, cultivation and processing of various spices, as well as soaking up the incredible biodiversity the area has to offer.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 30 mins and 150 kms

Accommodation: The Tall Trees or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 4 - Munnar

Today you get to explore the verdant landscape of Munnar on a day trek in the Letchmi Hills. After making your way up through tea and spice plantations you will be rewarded by a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside, dominated by the region’s tallest mountain, Anamudi Hill. You can also catch sight of the Idukki Dam, a vast body of water encircled by granite hills.

This is followed by a visit to the tea museum and tea factory, where you’ll gain a fascinating insight into the region’s tea production, from crop picking to flavour adjustment.

Accommodation: The Tall Trees or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 5 - Munnar to Madurai

Today your journey takes you to the exotic city of Madurai, a beautiful town set against the backdrop of the 14 colourful gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple. You will have the chance to marvel at the multi-tiered, technicolour wonder covered in bright carvings of mythical figures. The Dravidian-style temple is a major pilgrimage site, and our guide will help you unravel its mysteries.

In the evening you will visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace and the Sri Meenakshi Amman temple. Upon entering the temple, notice the colourful textile and crafts stalls around the Pudhu Mandapam with diligent tailors at their sewing machines. 

Approximate travel time and distance: 5 hours and 180 kms

Accommodation: Regency by GRT or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 6 - Madurai to Periyar

This morning we head towards Periyar, home to one of India’s best kept wildlife sanctuaries. As meander down winding mountain roads you will be greeted with the sight of undulating emerald tea plantations and misty forests.

This afternoon you are free to explore the spice town of Periyar or simply relax by the pool at your hotel. Then, in the evening learn more about the spices grown in this region with a fascinating visit to a local spice garden. For the animal lovers among you, there is an optional elephant ride available.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours and 150 kms

Accommodation: Greenwoods Resort or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 7 - Periyar

If it’s wildlife you’re looking for, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best places to go in South India, not least as it’s a prime habitat for the elephants. For those in search of an adventure, rise early to navigate the Periyar Tiger Reserve on foot with a local tribal tracker, looking out for tiger prints in the soft ground, or a flash of golden fur in the distance.

In the cool of late afternoon there’ll be a boat ride on Lake Periyar. From the comfort of the boat it’s possible to see wildlife in its natural habitat, without disturbing them. Watch herds of wild elephants and bison emerge from the woods bordering the shores to drink and play in the lake. The area is also home to lion-tailed macaques, sloths, malabar giant squirrels and many other animals, as well as being rich in bird life.

Accommodation: Greenwoods Resort or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 8 - Periyar to Allepey

Your morning drive takes you from Periyar to the picturesque village of Alleppey known as ‘Venice of the East’ due to its network of narrow canals. From mountain vistas to paddy fields fringed with coconut palms, there are plenty photo opportunities.

After that it’s time for a once in a lifetime experience – an overnight stay on a luxury houseboat. An on board cook will cater to your every need, serving up Keralan dishes infused with spices, aromatic curry leaves and fresh coconut. Each houseboat is fully crewed so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the views. Keep an eye out for electric-blue kingfishers, snake birds and herons and catch a glimpse of village life on the beautiful backwaters. 

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 150 kms

Accommodation: Deluxe Houseboat
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
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Day 9 - Alleppey to Kovalam

After a leisurely breakfast, disembark from your houseboat at Alleppey Boat Jetty. You will be met by your driver and continue on to Kovalam, the last stop in your Kerala holiday.

Kovalam is one of the most picturesque beaches in Kerala. Walk through a line of coconut groves to discover an expanse of golden sand. Then you can dip your feet in the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea, and listen to the waves lapping against the shore.

For two nights you will stay at the Travancore Heritage, a superior beach-side resort on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 180 kms

Accommodation: Travancore Heritage or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 10 - Kovalam

You’ll spend the last day of your Kerala holiday at Kovalam, where you can while away sun-kissed hours on the beach, interspersed with refreshing dips in the ocean.

The hotel’s Ayurvedic centre offers relaxation therapies and massages to help you completely unwind before the journey home.

There will also be time to indulge in some retail therapy. Visit the town to search the shops for some Indian handicrafts, unique jewellery or colourful clothes. End the day at one of the restaurants overlooking the sea, sampling freshly caught fish.

Accommodation: Travancore Heritage or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 11 - Kovalam - Trivandrum Departure

You will be collected by your driver, who will transfer you to Trivandrum International Airport for your return flight.

Approximate travel time and distance: 30 minutes, 20 kms

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Your accommodation on this Kerala group tour consists of both mountain cottages and traditional Indian hotels. You'll stay in opulent resorts overlooking the Arabian Sea, as well as a private houseboat with your own personal crew.

Fragrant Nature Cochin

Thought of as one of the most sought after hotels in South India, Fragrant Nature is located within the offices of the East India Company, a landmark building in Fort Kochi due to its distinctive facade and clock tower. This boutique style hotel offers modern rooms with harbour views, a gym and Ayurveda treatments whilst the roof top infinity pool delivers majestic views of the surrounding landscape.

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Tall Trees Resort, Munnar

Set over 66 acres of tree plantation, Tall Trees Resort stands majestically among the clouds. Traditional private cottages perched on stilts provide peaceful accommodation leaving you completely immersed in the nature of the untouched Shola Forest. Escape the frenzy of modern life whilst exploring the plantations, gazing at the view and dining at Hill Spice restaurant, where nature is brought in with its long balcony and glass roof. This serene location really is every nature lover’s paradise!

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GRT Regency, Madurai

Reflecting the tradition of its location, GRT Regency offers accommodation that retains the custom of local culture whilst following the latest trends.  The air conditioned rooms are modern and tastefully presented offering all day room service and ensuite facilities. The outdoor pool and fitness centre along with a location with great shopping experiences ensures visitors can enjoy it all. The multi cuisine restaurant means guests can enjoy a delightful combination of upmarket accommodation and fine dining.

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Greenwoods Resort, Periyar

Greenwoods is a superior resort set in six acres of forest where guests can embrace nature whilst relaxing under a canopy of exotic trees. Offering elegant private rooms with balconies, this romantic and beautiful setting is ideal for a South Indian honeymoon! Fresh local cuisine crafted from recipes handed down over generations ensure visitors enjoy a culinary delight. With performances of traditional Kerala art forms and a multitude of activities on offer, there is plenty to enjoy.

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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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Travancore Heritage, Kovalam

The Travancore Heritage is a sea side resort situated in 15 acres of coconut gardens overlooking the Arabian Sea and the widest beach strip in the country. Representing the traditional architecture of Kerala the accommodation on offer, including traditional timber houses and ‘Nalukettus’, endorses living in harmony with nature. A stunning open house restaurant overlooking the swimming pool offering delicious cuisine and ‘ocean grill’ beach side restaurant ensure culinary delights.

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Destinations

Your adventure tour of Kerala begins at Cochin, a port city with a multicultural past, and then on to other vibrant destinations including relaxing beaches and a nature reserve home to incredible Indian wildlife. Below are some of the destinations you'll explore on this tour.

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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Munnar

Standing at a heady 1,532m above sea level, the majestic town of Munnar is sure to captivate even the most sceptical visitor, just as it did the British colonial settlers generations ago when they visited each summer seeking reprieve from the heat of the Keralan valleys below. 

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Madurai

Tamil Nadu’s inland city of Madurai is a treasure trove of personality and unique sights. Evidence of the city’s ancient character can be found in the records of trade links with the Romans dating back to the 4th Century BC. Today it offers some truly remarkable sights including the Thirumalai Nayak Palace and the Meenakshi Temple complex.

Known locally as the city that doesn't sleep it is also a shoppers paradise with bargains galore to be seized.

 

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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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Kovalam

What do you picture when you imagine a Kerala beach? Coconut groves speckling the shoreline, golden sands stretching away from you, azure waves lapping your feet as you stroll along, the sound of fishing boats bobbing in the distance? Well, you’re in luck because Kovalam is all of the above and so much more. 

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Dates, Pricing and Inclusions

The Kerala Adventure small group tour is available from Cochin on the 6th October 2019. The tour price starts from £1360.

The Kerala Adventure operates with a minimum number of 4 and a maximum number of 16 travellers.

Included with this group tour of Kerala are the following:

  • Authentic India Tours meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation for 10 nights on twin sharing basis
  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: houseboat on full board; bed & breakfast elsewhere
  • Sunset cruise by private motorboat along the Cochin harbour
  • Tickets for Kathakali dance show in Cochin
  • English speaking tour escort for the entire tour
  • Guided day trek in Letchmi Hills Munnar
  • Spice plantation tour in Periyar
  • Nature trek with tribal trackers in Periyar tiger reserve
  • Tickets for boating on Lake Periyar
  • Entrances at all national parks, museums and monuments as per the itinerary
  • Mineral water on all days of travel

Price does not include:

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance and visa
  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc
  • Meals other than mentioned in the above meal plan
  • Camera & video fees at national parks, museums & monuments

Prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a twin 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