£1199pp – India: private Kerala tour inc flights & meals
Voyage through India's deep south & end up on the golden palm-fringed beaches of Poovar
Take a 10-night private trip through the sleepy backwaters of southern India and see patchwork paddy fields, explore spice-scented markets, and go tiger and elephant spotting at a wildlife reserve. For £1199-per-person, this chauffeured tour includes flights, meals, and is £315 less than similar land-only packages we've seen elsewhere.
- Return flights
- Private transfers in an air-conditioned car
- The services of an English-speaking guide throughout
- Two nights at Casino Hotel by CGH Earth, Kochi, in a Superior Room
- Two nights at Swiss County** in Munnar, in a Regalia Room
- A tour of a Keralan tea and spice plantation
- Two nights at Coffee Routes Resort in Thekkady, in a Coffee Bunglow
- An excursion to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, including a sightseeing bamboo raft trip and snack
- A traditional cultural show featuring Kathakala dance and Kalaripayattu martial arts
- An overnight stay on an air-conditioned houseboat in Alleppey, with all meals and a bottle of wine
- Three nights at Isola Di Cocco, Poovar, in a Heritage room
- A 1-hour full-body Ayurvedic massage
- All entry fees and camera charges
- Daily breakfast and dinner
Depart from London (Gatwick or Heathrow) on:
- 1, 6, 12, 22, 29 October
- 2, 16, 19, 25 November
- 2 December
- 5, 9, 20, 24, 27 January
- 4, 19 February
- 8, 13, 18 March
- 22 April
- 13 May
- 10 June
Additional departures from September, 2017-June, 2018 are available from £1269 per person.
Fly from Manchester from £1299 per person, or from Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin, Glasgow or Newcastle from £1349 per person.
The tour starts in Kochi, one the oldest ports in India and known for its blend of Chinese, European and Indian cultures. It's also the base for the BBC's "The Real Marigold Hotel" series -- filmed in southern India, it has brought the destination to many people's attention.
Crumbling spice warehouses line its narrow streets, spider-like Chinese fishing nets loom over the shoreline and bustling markets boast curiosities from centuries past. You'll be taken on a guided tour of the city in an air-conditioned vehicle, then have a traditional Keralan cooking lesson from a local TV personality.
On day three, you'll drive to Munnar, the largest tea-growing region in southern India. You'll call in at a traditional tea plantation, cloaked in low-hanging clouds in the foothills of the Western Ghats, where you'll have a free tea-tasting session before departing for the town centre for two nights' stay.
You'll then continue to Thekkady, India's largest wildlife sanctuary, where you'll spend two nights with a local family in a homestay. This leg includes a wildlife-spotting boat cruise in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, as well as traditional Indian dance and martial arts performances.
Next, you'll have two days aboard a traditional houseboat to discover the region's glistening backwaters. Locally called a kettuvallam and held together entirely by coconut ropes, these vessels give a real insight into Keralan life.
The trip finishes with a 3-night stay in Poovar, a fishing village with pristine beaches. The Isola Di Cocco is a quiet resort set in a coconut grove on the banks of the river, which is protected by a golden sand bar from the Arabian Sea. There's a shuttle service by boat to the beach throughout the day, as well as an outdoor pool with lagoon views, a spa and a restaurant.
A 10-night holiday for solo travellers, with shared transportation and private accommodation, is available for £1199 per person.
Transfers & baggage
Private chauffeured transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle are included throughout. There is a checked-baggage allowance of 25kg per person.
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