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Kerala Tour & Ayurveda Retreat

Duration:
13 days / 12 nights
Destinations:
Cochin, Periyar. Alleppey. Kumarakom, Gokarna
Price Guide:

Prices from £1,600

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Overview

Kerala Tour and Ayurveda Retreat

India has always been known as a top health and wellness destination, with thousands of spa centres around its regions focusing on rejuvenation and relaxation.

For your own treatment experience, book one of our three wellbeing tours and be transported to a pampering haven. Each tour is specifically designed for you and comprises a range of massage treatments and meditation sessions.

Kerala God's Own Country and Spa Wellbeing Escape Tour arrives in Cochin and takes you on a journey around this breathtaking region for the first part of your holiday. Then for the last five days, you'll stay at the luxury wellbeing villa SwaSwara, where you'll be treated to a comprehensive program of wellbeing for both body and mind. This spa's aim is to not only reduce and manage stress but to create a positive change within you. You'll have all the top consultants with you to guide you through this relaxation tour, including the very best doctors, yoga instructors, chefs and massage therapists. Your five days will consist of various mind and body techniques, group and private yoga sessions, meditation, art therapy, therapeutic massages, nature trail walks and interactive cooking classes. During the week you'll be served healthy gourmet cuisine to keep your body strong and your stomach satisfied.

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 Tour and Ayurveda Retreat - 13 Days / 12 Nights

This tour truly encapsulates the beauty of Kerala topped off with a wonderful wellbeing experience in Goa.

Enjoy visits to Kerala's lush spice, rubber and tea plantations and journey through the tropical landscape. You will get to delve into the diverse architecture of Cochin, visit a wildlife sanctuary to catch glimpses of elephants and experience an overnight stay on a traditional houseboat as it drifts across beautiful waterways. And to end the trip 5 relaxed days at a luxury wellbeing and Ayurveda retreat

Code: COC009

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Day 1 - Arrive in Cochin

Upon arrival at Cochin International Airport, you’ll be welcomed by your Authentic India Tours local representatives. You’ll get to know them as you’re transferred to your hotel, located in the city’s historic district, Fort Cochin, where you’ll start your Kerala experience.

The port city of Cochin (also known as Kochi) offers a fascinating mix of cultures and experiences to explore. In the evening, a private boat trip is organised past Cochin’s island shores. As the sun sets, you’ll be able to see the famous cantilevered fishing nets. Watch the fishermen skilfully dip the hammock-like nets into the water, silhouetted against the orange and pink sky.

Accomodation: Brunton Boatyard Hotel
 
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Day 2 - Cochin

Cochin is a melting pot of cultures, religions and nationalities. On this mornings tour you will see this first hand through its architecture, which has Portuguese, Dutch and British influences, as well as Indian.

You will get to see St Francis Church, which is the oldest European church in India, as well as the lavish interior of the 16th-century Jewish Synagogue. Then you can explore the Mattancherry Palace, which is also known as the Dutch Palace due to its colonial influences. It houses colourfully painted murals depicting the ancient Indian epic poem Ramayana. Your guide can tell you all about the story of a prince who tries to save his wife from a demon.

You’ll have the afternoon to spend at your leisure, so you may wish to wander around the heritage quarters. The quaint cobbled streets house a number of interesting antique shops. In the evening you’ll be taken to a traditional Kathakali performance, a Kerala dance famed for its colourful costumes and athletic movements derived from martial arts.

Accomodation: Brunton Boatyard Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 3 - Cochin to Periyar

Today, you will take a scenic route inland to Periyar wildlife sanctuary, and stop to visit rubber and tea plantations en route. In fact, Periyar boasts the perfect natural environment for growing an array of spices including cardamom, cinnamon, pepper and vanilla, as it’s located in the Western Ghats, a kilometre above sea level. At lunchtime there is an opportunity to have an authentic Keralan meal in a beautiful plantation bungalow.

In the afternoon, you can explore the spice town at your leisure, or immerse yourself into the tribal village setting of your first class Spice Village hotel. In the evening, learn more about the spices grown in the region with a visit to a spice garden.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 - 5 hours, 170 kms

Accommodation: Spice Village
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 4 - Periyar

When you think of Indian wildlife, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary is probably what you imagine. Before breakfast, the more fearless travelers will have the chance to discover the Periyar Tiger Reserve on foot with a local tribal tracker, whose unique expertise in the area will make this trek a wonderfully rewarding experience.

Then, in the late afternoon, we will take a boat ride on Lake Periyar for a chance to see various species of wildlife in their natural habitat without disturbing their way of life. From the comfort of a covered boat you can look out for wild elephants, bisons, sambar deers, nilgir langurs, malabar giant squirrels and a wide variety of birdlife.

Accommodation: Spice Village
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 5 - Periyar to Alleppey

This morning's drive features an enchanting tour of tea and rubber plantations, ending with you boarding your personal houseboat for an overnight cruise, sailing to Vembanad Lake. Built from coconut fibres and bamboo, these houseboats have a timeless appeal that makes them as handsome as they are welcoming.

Simply relax as an expert driver navigates you down the narrow canals of the backwaters and across Vembanad Lake. As you drift along the water you will pass villages where you will be able to catch a glimpse of life on the backwaters and keep an eye out for electric-blue kingfishers, snake birds and herons.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 150 kms

Accommodation: Private Houseboat
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
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Day 6 - Alleppey to Kumarakom

After a leisurely breakfast, disembark from your houseboat at the resort boat jetty and you will be met by your driver and continue on to Kumarakom.

Kumarakom is an oasis of calm, hidden in the Kerala backwaters, a network of canals, lakes and coconut groves. The calm waters, verdant surroundings and abundant wildlife make it the perfect spot to unwind. Relax and appreciate the laid back pace of this beautiful village. 

In the evening enjoy a cruise on Vembanad Lake, where you’ll watch the sun set over the calm waters.

Accommodation: Coconut Lagoon
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 7 - Kumarakom to Gokarna

You can take this day to relax and soak in the tranquility of this beautiful area by taking a gentle stroll along the lakeside, or simply enjoying the facilities of your gorgeous hotel.

Alternatively, you can visit the butterfly garden, go bird watching at Kumarakom bird sanctuary or try your hand at paddle boarding. For those wishing to experience the wonders of an authentic Ayurvedic therapy, this is also a great opportunity.

In the evening a first class carriage awaits for your overnight journey by the Maru Sagar Express from Ernakulam railway station to Gokarna.

Approximate travel time and distance:

Road travel to Ernakulam 90 mins, 60 kms

Train travel from Ernakulam to Gokarna 12 hours, 720 kms

Accommodation: Overnight Stay on Train (First Class Air-Conditioned Coach)
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 8 - 12 Gokarna

You will arrive at Gokarna station in the morning and will be transferred to the wonderful Swaswara resort for your five night stay which will include a comprehensive programme for the wellbeing of body and mind.

This 5 night programme will help you to implement various mind and body techniques - not just to reduce and manage stress but also to create positive change within you. This programme includes consultations with doctors and yoga instructors, therapeutic massages, group and private yoga sessions, meditation, art therapy, nature trails, interactive cooking classes and healthy gourmet cuisine.

Accommodation: Swaswara
Meals included: Full Board
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Day 13 - Gokarna - Goa Departure

Today you will be picked up by your driver and transferred to Goa International Airport to catch your flight home.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours and 30 mins, 160 kms

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Your accommodation on this tour will vary from destination to destination, with CGH Earth Hotels, famous for sustainability and responsible tourism, including the SwaSwara Resort a perfect retreat with epic views over the sea. It also includes an incredible stay on a private house boat.

 

Brunton Boatyard, Cochin

Located in a former Victorian boatyard in the Fort Kochi district, the Brunton Boatyard Hotel overlooks a waterway. What once stood as the site of a boat manufacturing business belonging to Geo Brunton and Sons, the building has been lovingly restored to provide travellers with a glimpse into 19th Century life in Kochi, complete with tall ceilings and traditional low hanging fans. This is a truly beautiful colonial property in a fabulous location.

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Spice Village, Periyar

Occupying a stunning position in the highlands of Thekkady, Spice Village is inspired by the dwellings of the Mannan Tribe. Using local materials rooms have thatched roofs made from elephant grass, perfect for keeping the temperature cool and allowing you to embrace the beauty of the natural surroundings. The Spice Village is a fine example of the Eco hotels on offer in India providing a unique back to nature experience combined with modern facilities.

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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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Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom

The award-winning Coconut Lagoon is located in a charming cove in Kumarakon on the Vembanad Lake, offering a unique and delightful setting. A scenic boat ride from a private jetty to reach Coconut Lagoon will ensure you witness beautiful Kerala scenery and get a wonderful introduction to this captivating resort. No two rooms are the same, they are quirky and inspiring, offering guests an experience like no other.

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SwaSwara, Gokarna

Relax, unwind and listen to your Swara, your inner voice, in the most tranquil of Indian retreats. Surrounded by 26 acres of picturesque landscape and unspoiled beaches this luxury Indian retreat encourages and enables the rejuvenation of mind, body and soul bringing harmony and balance to your life. Recognising how easy it is to ignore our inner voice, which is often drowned out by the chaos of daily life, SwaSwara offers peace and stillness in its surroundings that are the perfect ingredients for truly tuning in to yourself.

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Destinations

Your Kerala and Goa adventure stops along some of the regions most stunning destinations, including the Periyar tiger reserve, the famous Kerala backwaters and the awesome beaches of Gokarana in Goa. 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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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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Kumarakom

Hidden in the backwaters off the South Eastern end of Vembanad Lake in Southern Kerala is the small village of Kumarakom. Calm waters, lush greenery and abundant wildlife ensure that this is the perfect spot for total relaxation. The area offers beautiful quality award winning hotels and is ideally located to enjoy the Kerala backwaters. 

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Gokarna

Gokarna is a dreamy town located on the Arabian coast. It’s a tranquil, less crowded alternative to the neighbouring India beaches of Goa, where you’ll find the nearest airport. It’s also both a laid back hippie hangout and a popular Hindu pilgrimage site. If it's the pick of Indian beaches you want, Gokarna boasts five all connected by a 10km walking path. On Gokarna Beach you’ll find pilgrims taking a dip in the waters before visiting the ancient Mahabaleshwar Temple. However, the quietest and most picturesque are Half Moon Beach and the aptly named Paradise Beach, both accessible by boat from Om Beach.

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Goa

Goa is India’s smallest state, yet it boasts over 100km of coastline. It’s well known for its golden sand beaches fringed with coconut palms, and for its legendary nightlife. But there’s far more to laid back Goa than this. Formerly a Portuguese colony, Goa is an intriguing melting pot of Indian and European cultural influences, which is reflected in its colonial architecture and unique cuisine. Inland you’ll find lush jungle, spice plantations and waterfalls, making Goa a state where you can get in some beach time along with your culture fix.

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Pricing and Inclusions

Please contact us for prices for this Kerala Tour and Luxury Ayurveda Retreat. 

Included with this tour are the following:

  • Meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation for 12 nights on twin sharing basis
  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: Houseboat & Swaswara on full board; bed & breakfast
  • Tickets for Kathakali dance show in Cochin
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Cochin
  • Lunch with family in Kanjirapally
  • Spice plantation visit in Periyar
  • Nature trek and boat ride in Periyar tiger reserve
  • Ernakulam - Gokarna overnight train travel on a first-class air-conditioned coach
  • Entrances at all National parks, Museums and Monuments as per the itinerary
  • 5 nights stay at Swaswara is inclusive of treatments, massages, oils, herbs, yoga, meditation and meals.
  • 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