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Tailor Made Kerala Holiday

Duration:
15 days / 14 nights
Destinations:
Cochin, Munnar, Rajakkad, Periyar, Kanam, Alleppey, Kovalam
Price Guide:

Price guide for this 15 day Kerala tour is :

  • £1495 in low season
  • £2130 in high season

based on two people travelling.

 

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Overview

This Kerala holiday offers beautiful landscapes and the chance to discover local life. You will be transported to the heart of Kerala to explore the breathtaking Western Ghats before venturing to the famous Kerala backwaters with a stay on a private houseboat and then onto the wonderful Kovalam bay.

  • Cochin sunset cruise
  • Sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin & Mattancherry
  • Kathakali dance performance, a Kerala classical dance
  • Eravikulam National Park
  • Munnar tea plantation walk and tea museum visit
  • Trek in Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Lake Periyar boat trip to see wildlife including elephants
  • Sunset cruise on Vembanad Lake
  • Time to explore the magical remote Rakjakkad area
  • Get to know Laxmi the elephant or enjoy a cookery class in Kanam
  • Overnight stay on a private houseboat cruising the Kerala backwaters
  • Day of leisure on Kovalam Beach

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

Tailor Made Kerala – 15 Days / 14 Nights

This Kerala tour offers beautiful landscapes and the chance to discover local life. You will be transported to the heart of Kerala to explore the breathtaking Western Ghats before venturing to the famous Kerala backwaters with a stay on a private houseboat and then onto the wonderful Kovalam bay.

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Day 1 - Arrive Cochin

Upon arrival at Cochin International Airport, you will be welcomed by your Authentic India Tours representatives who will transfer you to your hotel, located in the city’s historic district, Fort Cochin.

The port city of Cochin (also known as Kochi) offers a captivating mix of cultures and is a wonderful place to explore.

In the evening, enjoy a boat trip past Cochin’s island shores. As the sun sets, you will see the famous cantilevered fishing nets. It's fascinating to watch the fishermen skilfully dip the hammock-like nets into the water, silhouetted against the orange and pink sky.

Approximate travel time and distance: 90 mins, 45 km

Accommodation: Malabar House
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 2 - 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 today’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.

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: Malabar House
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 3 - Cochin to Munnar

The second destination on your Kerala holiday is Munnar, a hill station perched high in the Western Ghats mountain range. Its 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, nestled in a tea plantation you can take a stroll around the lush and peaceful grounds.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 – 5 hours, 150 km

Accommodation: Talayar Estate Bungalow
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 4 - Munnar

This morning, why not take part in a short guided hike through the tea plantations before visiting the local tea factory. You are sure to gain a new perspective on your morning cuppa here. We also recommend birdwatching and generally wildlife-watching. Even watching the low clouds drift over the vibrant landscape is a majestic experience and this is the perfect location to take it all in.

Accommodation: Talayar Estate Bungalow
Meals included: Breakfast
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5

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Day 5 - Munnar to Rajakkad

After breakfast, you will travel through breathtaking countryside to the unspoilt Rajakkad area, a secluded spot in the region of Dindigul. 

Once you reach the beautiful boutique hotel Rajakkad Estate which is steeped in history, you have free time to relax and explore your sultry and verdant surroundings or to try out a spot of yoga on the polished black oxide platform that looks out over the valley below.

Approximate travel time and distance: 5 hours, 195 km

Accommodation: Rajakkad Estate
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 6 - Rajakkad

Today you can take your time to absorb the beauty of the Rajakkad Estate and its rich history (the traditional wooden palace structure has been dismantled and reassembled in different locations twice!) then explore the surrounding coffee, cardamom, ginger and pepper plantations. 

After a walk among the rich wildlife, why not saunter down to the village with one of the hotel guides. Village life is usually lively and engaging in the cooler late afternoon with general trading and if you are lucky a temple festival. Make sure you don't miss the delicious, locally-sourced dinner though!

Accommodation: Rajakkad Estate
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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7

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Day 7 - Rajakkad 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. 

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 270 km

Accommodation: Shalimar Spice Garden
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 8 - 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, bison, sambar deers, nilgir langurs, malabar giant squirrels and a wide variety of birdlife.

Accommodation: Shalimar Spice Garden
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 9 - Periyar to Kanam

After a leisurely morning, you will be taken to the gorgeous Serenity, a mansion settled in a vast rubber plantation.

Bicycles are available to explore the local villages, as well as guided walks of the estate to see how rubber is produced and other tropical plants are grown. Alternatively this is the perfect spot to unwind and try out some yoga or an ayurvedic treatment.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 120 km

Accommodation: Serenity
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 10 - Kanam

Today you can spend the day with an elephant named Laxmi (including assisting her with bathtime!), cycle around the estate or even opt in for a bullock cart excursion. Of course you also have the option of taking in your surroundings at your own speed.

Don't miss the opportunity to take part in an interactive cooking session or a yoga lesson - and make sure you book a personalised massage!

Accommodation: Serenity
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 11 - Kanam to Alleppey

Today you'll be transported back towards the coast, to Alleppey, at the bottom of Vembanad Lake. Here, you'll experience the backwaters in all their glory and have the opportunity to take a private houseboat cruise as storks swoop overhead.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours, 50 km

Accommodation: Purity
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 12 - Alleppey

Today, you have the opportunity to board a private houseboat for a short trip into the backwaters. This is the way to see the area. Witness fishermen seeking their daily catch alongside children travelling to school by boat. And that's not to mention the diverse wildlife - monkeys, fish, and of course a wide variety of birdlife can all be spotted from your boat. Lunch will even be served onboard.

Another way to explore the area is to rent a canoe or kayak. Or, if you haven't prepared your sea-legs, the flat surroundings are great for cycling and walking through the avenues of leafy shade alongside the water.

Accommodation: Purity
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 13 - Alleppey to Kovalam

The next stop on your tour is Kovalam, a well-known beach town. But fear not, just because the area is known for its outstanding beaches and laidback atmosphere, doesn't mean you'll be hanging out with everyone else. At Niraamaya Retreat, you will feel perfectly pampered and your every whim will be taken care of. With 22 cottages set upon 25 acres of gardens, this is the perfect spot for some peace and quiet.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 170 km

Accommodation: Niraamaya Retreat Kovalam
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 14 - Kovalam

Between the opportunities for cycle rides, cookery classes, and even high tea on the beach, this estate is keen to cater to your tastes. Some of the most spectacular beaches in Kerala can be found nearby so there's no need to spend all your time in the grounds, if that's not your style.

Make sure you sample the wide selection of traditional spa treatments while you're here, to really sink into the relaxing atmosphere.

Accommodation: Niraamaya Retreat Kovalam
Meals included: Breakfast
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15

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Day 15 - Kovalam - Trivandrum

Today, in good time, you'll be picked up by an Authentic India Tours representative who will transfer you to the nearby Trivandrum International Airport.

Or, if you have a bit more time, why not sign on to one of Niraamaya Retreat's wellness programs to round off your trip? 

Approximate travel time and distance: 45 mins, 20 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

The Malabar House, Cochin

With history dating back to 1775 Malabar House became Fort Cochin’s first boutique hotel in 1996. Offering 17 unique rooms and suites, as well as an acclaimed restaurant and wine lounge, its décor showcases a fine collection of art highlighting the culture of Kerala. Situated in the historical Fort Cochin, near St Francis Church and a short walk to the Chinese fishing nets the location is ideal for sightseeing and shopping.

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Talayar Estate Bungalow, Munnar

Encased by the lush greenery of winding tea plantations, guests of The Talayar Bungalow will experience panoramic views of the unspoilt region and spectacular mountains that surround this stunning location. With peaceful gardens and only a few colonial style rooms on offer, this really is a tranquil spot away from the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist destinations to enjoy.

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Shalimar Spice Garden, Periyar

Nestled in an unspoilt location and bordering the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Shalimar Spice Garden is the ideal choice for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Merging Indian architecture with modern touches, the hotel offers a swimming pool, Ayurveda spa and yoga centre, perfect for embracing the gentler pace of life enjoyed here. The restaurant ‘Falling Leaves’ offers global cuisine with the aim of pleasing all palates.

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Rajakkad Estate, Rajakkad

Offering a sense of peace and tranquillity, Rajakkad Estate sits at the foothills of the Western Ghats. With only 7 en-suite rooms on offer this small 18th Century Keralan style house proudly showcases its rich architectural heritage. Rajakkad is the perfect location for nature lovers where guests can relax and spend their days listening to birdsong in beautiful gardens and open courtyards.

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Serenity, Kanam

Located in the middle of a rubber plantation in Kerala, Serenity is a 1920s converted plantation bungalow which retains its original wood panelling and character. With beautiful views, a peaceful setting and the tang of spice in the air, peace and tranquillity is exactly what is delivered here. A swimming pool, Ayurveda spa and expertly produced traditional Indian cuisine all add to the wonderful experience on offer. There is plenty to do here and it is a wonderful place from which to explore the local area.

Serenity is member of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association.

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Purity, Alleppey

Located on the edge of Lake Vembanad and in close proximity to the beautiful Marari beach and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Purity is a beautiful boutique waterfront resort. With 14 suites and bedrooms, each with a terrace or balcony, lakeside garden, swimming pool, Ayurveda spa and yoga area, guests are certain to enjoy a relaxing and peaceful stay.

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Niraamaya Retreat, Kovalam

Set in a beautiful cliff top location, the Niraamaya Retreat celebrates its stunning setting where guests can enjoy amazing panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. Traditional, restored Keralan cottages make up the private and peaceful accommodation and the award winning Ayurveda Spa, infinity pool and secluded beaches guarantee guests have a choice of ways to enjoy total relaxation.

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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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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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Rajakkad, Western Ghats

The area around Rajakkad in the forests of the Palani Hills near Dindigul in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu offers the perfect spot for nature enthusiasts to explore.  It is an area of tranquility with local villages offering bustling markets made up of pepper, cardamom and coffee traders and temple festivals, situated in a serene and beautiful location in the Western Ghats, the lush green surroundings of rolling hills and coffee plantations are the perfect ingredients for a relaxing visit. With temples and lots of tourist attractions nearby, Rajakkad has plenty to offer.

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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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Kanam, South Kerala

Kanam is a rural location offering peace and serenity. It is located on a small hill where panoramic views over the Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats can be enjoyed. It is an area of rubber and pepper plantations and an ideal place for trekking and walking.

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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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Pricing and Inclusions

The price guide for this 15 day Kerala tour is

  • £1495 in low season (May 2019 - September 2019 inclusive)
  • £2130 in high season (October 2018 - April 2019 inclusive)

Please be aware some hotels operate an additional peak pricing rate during busy times. This is normally from mid-December to mid-January. Please get in touch with your dates and we will be pleased to provide you with an accurate quote.

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 tour are the following:

  • Authentic India Tours meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using air-conditioned Toyota Innova
  • Accommodation for 14 nights on twin sharing basis
  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: Rajakkad Estate on full board; Bed & Breakfast elsewhere
  • Sunset cruise by private motorboat along the Cochin harbour
  • Tickets for Kathakali dance show in Cochin
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Cochin
  • Tea plantation walk and tea factory visit in Munnar
  • Half-day bamboo rafting and trekking experience in Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • 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