Kerala is where Indian life slows down, with lagoons, coconut groves, exotic spice plantations and wildlife in abundance, not to mention some of the best food in the country. For £1699 per person for solo travellers, you can now experience this unspoilt corner of India on your own private tour. We've seen similar packages for up to £350 more, and that's for group tours with shared transfers.
Depart on 7, 14, 21, 28 September; 5, 12, 19, 26 October; 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 November; 7, 14 December; 4, 11, 18, 25 January; 1, 8, 15, 22 February; 1, 8, 15, 22, 28 March, 2015.
Travel on the same dates from Manchester for £90 more per person, or from Glasgow for £150 more per person.
The trip starts in Kochi, on the west coast of India. Known for its blend of cultures, the seaside town is home to Chinese fishing nets that stretch out across the water, a Jewish synagogue and the Portuguese Mattancherry Palace -- the included excursions take in all three. This leg also includes a free cooking lesson with a local TV personality.
Next, you'll be driven to Munnar along winding roads and through spice gardens, with a stop at a tea plantation and museum, including a free tasting session, plus a chance to ride an elephant. Continue on to Thekkady, India's largest wildlife sanctuary, for a 2-night stay plus a wildlife-spotting boat cruise in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Then it's a 2-day punt on a houseboat along the backwaters of Kerala, overhung by coconut trees and lush vegetation. Locally called a kettuvallam and held together entirely by knots, these houseboats give a real insight into Keralan life.
The trip finishes with a 3-night stay in Kovalam, a fishing village with pristine beaches and many Ayurvedic (alternative medicine) retreats. Here, you'll get a free Ayurvedic full-body massage.
Transfers & baggage
The deal includes 20kg checked luggage and all transfers by private chauffeured car.
The same deal is £1199 per person based on two sharing.