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Scenes of Kerala Group Tour

Duration:
9 days / 8 nights
Destinations:
Cochin, Munnar, Periyar, Alleppey
Price Guide:

Prices from £920 based on hotels shown in the itinerary. This small group tour is available from Cochin:

  • 21st September 2019 from £920
  • 2nd November 2019 from £1175
  • 8th February 2020 from £1175
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Kerala Group Tour Overview

The Scenes of Kerala group tour provides 9 days filled with the historic magnificence of Cochin, the famous tea plantations in Munnar, the natural beauty of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and the wonderful tranquil backwaters. Starting from Cochin, a merchant gateway into the region complete with stunning historic sites and a bustling harbour, the tour takes you through Fort Cochin and Mattancherry providing a vibrant overview of the port city’s multicultural past.

The tour then heads into the mountainous area of Munnar, allowing you to immerse yourself in the town renowned for its tea plantations, before proceeding to Periyar, famous for the local wildlife including elephants. Afterwards, you’ll descend towards the village of Alleppey, located on the picturesque backwaters, where you’ll have a chance to soak in the tranquillity of the area on your own private houseboat.

Scenes of Kerala Group Tour

9 Days / 8 Nights

The Scenes of Kerala tour takes you on a wonderful adventure exploring Kerala visiting the following destinations:

  • 2 nights Cochin
  • 2 nights Munnar
  • 2 nights Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • 1 night Alleppey aboard a Private Houseboat
  • 1 night Alleppey 

Code: GRCOC001

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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 group leader for the transfer to your hotel.

In the evening you can enjoy a sunset cruise past the island shores and see the famous cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, which are still in use today. Watching the fishermen skilfully dip and raise the hammock-like nets into the water as they are silhouetted by the setting sun is especially worthwhile!

Accomodation: Fragrant Nature or similar
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Day 2 - Exploring Cochin

Cochin has been one of the primary gateways to the region for distant merchants and travelers since 1413, and that’s reflected in the city’s rich and diverse architecture.

On this morning’s sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin & Mattancherry, you can explore remnants of Cochin’s multicultural past by visiting St Francis' Church and the local fish market. Later, proceed to Mattancherry to see the Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch palace which houses murals depicting the Ramayana. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the Heritage Quarters.

In the evening, you will witness a traditional Kathakali dance performance – we suggest arriving early if you want to experience the elaborate make-up preparation.

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

The next stop on your Kerala adventure 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 to Munnar you will be surrounded by a carpet of greenery with emerald green tea plantations and sandalwood forests, while the aromatic spice plantations gently infuse the air with the scent of cinnamon and cardamom. 

This evening, once you are settled into your hotel you can take a stroll around the plantation, where you will learn about the history, cultivation and processing of the spice.

 

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

Accommodation: Fragrant Nature Hotel 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 will gain a fascinating insight into the region’s tea production, from crop-picking to flavour adjustment.

Accommodation: Fragrant Nature Hotel or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 5 - Munnar to Periyar

This morning your tour takes you to Periyar, home to one of India’s best-kept wildlife sanctuaries. As you are driven down winding mountain roads you will be greeted with the sight of undulating emerald tea plantations and misty forests.

This afternoon you will have time to explore the spice town of Periyar or 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 also an optional elephant ride.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hrs, 100 kms

Accommodation: Cardamom County Hotel or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 6 - Exploring Periyar

When you think of Indian wildlife, the Periyar Tiger Reserve 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: Cardamom County Hotel or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 7 - Periyar to Alleppey

Your morning drive takes you from Periyar to the picturesque village of Allepey 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 8 - Alleppey

After a leisurely breakfast, disembark from your houseboat at Alleppey Boat Jetty. You will be met by your driver and taken to your backwater resort for an overnight stay.

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 if you are feeling a little more active take a cycle ride or enjoy a paddle boat on the lake. For those wishing to experience the wonders of an authentic Ayurvedic therapy, this is also a great opportunity.

Accommodation: Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 9 - Alleppey - Cochin Departure

Like all good things, your tour in Kerala must come to an end, but you can carry the memories of this unique and unforgettable holiday experience home with you. In good time you will be transferred to Cochin International Airport for your homebound flight.

If you are lucky enough to have more time to spend in Kerala, please enquire about the range of holiday extensions we can offer.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours and 30 mins, 90 kms

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

The accommodation during your Kerala tour consists of delightful boutiques and charming traditional properties, as well as a night on a private houseboat.

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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Fragrant Nature, Munnar

Enveloped in mist covered mountains, Fragrant Nature offers accommodation with impressive panoramic views. All rooms benefit from a fireplace, to keep out the mountain chill, as well as a private terrace or balcony and ensuite facilities. For a unique dining experience guests can enjoy the unrivalled scenery from Glass House, a restaurant specializing in grills and steaks, where the views are endless and even more spectacular under starry skies.

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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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Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere, Kerala Backwater Hotel

Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere, Vayalar, is a beautiful 5-star hotel tucked in the backwaters of Kerala. Indulge in the best of everything at this exotic location with flourishing gardens and a private lake. Well appointed rooms coupled with state-of-the-art amenities makes this hotel a wonderfully comfortable place to stay.

 

 

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Destinations

Kerala is a destination for every traveller, with a mix of contrasting destinations from port cities to quiet villages. You will journey through Kerala's palm-lined beaches as well as explore its mountains full of tea and spice plantations. Below are more of the destinations you will discover 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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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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Dates, Pricing and Inclusions

This small group tour is available from Cochin on the following dates:

  • 21st September 2019 from £920
  • 2nd November 2019 from £1175
  • 8th February 2020 from £1175

Our Scenes of Kerala tour operates with a minimum number of 4 and a maximum number of 16 travellers.

Kerala Group Tour Inclusions:

  • Authentic India Tours meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation for 8 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 Authentic India Tours on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.com