Travel through 'God's own country' to soak up the flavour of quite a different India. Experience the Portuguese history of Kochi, the verdant hill stations of Munnar, and cruise the tranquil backwaters of Kerala.
Day 1: Kochi (Cochin) Enjoy a traditional welcome before your transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Kochi (B,L) Bicycle ride (or walk) on a heritage tour of Fort Kochi. As you pass the beach, witness the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets before visiting Santa Cruz Cathedral. Stop at Nimmy Paul's residence for an ethnic South Indian cooking class. Drive to Mattancherry Palace and visit the oldest existing Jewish Synagogue. This evening, enjoy a Kathakali dance show.
Commence on your full day sightseeing of Kochi. Begin with a Cycling Tour (approximately 4 kms) or Heritage Fort Kochi aka Old Kochi area. Pedaling through one of the oldest street of Fort Kochi Princes Street. Here you can witness a perfect blend of new and old colonial era, as the street is home to British, Portuguese, and Dutch era architecture visible everywhere from local residences, shops to cafes. Continue cycling thru Old Kochi Beach, and witness here how local fisherman use traditional Chinese Fishing Nets for fishing. Visit inside 1500 built Santa Cruz Basilica and St Francis Church renowned world-over as the oldest European church in India. Ending your cycling tour at Princess Street where you can enjoy leisure time to indulge in local street shopping.
Visiting a local family residence for an ethnic South Indian Cooking Class followed by Lunch. Your cooking class will include tasting, self-preparation and demonstration.
After lunch visit the inside Portuguese Dutch Palace locally called Mattancherry Palace, before heading to the famed Jew Town area to explore one of the worlds oldest existing Jewish Synagogue. In Jew Town you will also visit the Spice Markets where shopkeepers explain you the importance of various spices. These markets are renowned for trading between Europeans and Arabs since the olden times, and today home to traditional spices, oils and classic arts-craft.
Enjoy an entertaining evening of live Kathakali dances of South India.
Day 3: Kochi > Munnar Hill Station (B) Drive up into the hill station at Munnar situated in the Western Ghats range of mountains.
The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 4: Munnar (B) Today visit a local Tea Museum and Tea Plantation Estate. Here local tea pickers will explain the importance of regional tea's grown here. Enjoy the Tea Tasting!
Later enjoy a Nature Soft-Trek inside the Eravikulam National Park famed as the first and most famed national park of Kerala. Amongst other rare flora & fauna here, enjoy sighting Nilgiri Tahr- A world rare species of mountain goats found only here.
Day 5: Munnar > Alleppey (B,L,D) Drive to Alleppey and join your traditional kettuvallam houseboat. Set sail, relax and unwind as you cruise slowly through the narrow canals and backwaters. Waterside sights include paddy fields, villages, temples and churches.
*Day 6: Alleppey > Kovalam (B)** On your return to Alleppey, disembark and transfer back to the capital of Kerala Trivandrum. Before continuing on to the beach side town of Kovalam.
Day 7: Trivandrum (B & Cafe) After breakfast commence on our sightseeing tour of Trivandrum. Visit the 5000Yr old Padmanabhaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu- the preserver and protector of life. Nicknamed the Golden Temple of South India, this temple is the richest Hindu temple in the world. It is estimated over $22bn worth gold and precious stones are kept in its vault. Next visit the inside 1880 British built Napier Museum and Sri Chitra Art Gallery housing over 1100 ancient works from Rajput and Mughal dynasty. Continuing onto a heritage cafe Indian Coffee House built as a brick lighthouse in city centre. Try the local specialty Coffee with snacks! before returning to your hotel.
Day 8: Trivandrum (B) After breakfast check out of your hotel and transfer to the Trivandrum Airport for your return flight.
• Tailor-made journey • 7 nights' accommodation • Transfers by air-conditioned car with driver • English-speaking local guides • Entrance fees • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Booking conditions Accommodation is based on 4 Star or best available in the region. A 4 Star character hotel option is also available, enquire for pricing and more information.
Surcharges may apply over Christmas, New Year and other holidays.
Accommodation is based on 4 Star or best available in the region. A 4 Star character hotel option is also available, enquire for pricing and more information. Surcharges may apply over Christmas, New Year and other holidays.