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Wildlife Beaches Ayurveda Hillstations Backwaters Houseboats Festivals Temples Spice & Plantations

Classic Tour South Kerala

Kerala offers a myriad of delightful, lesser known experiences which one does not get to enjoy on a regular tour which is packed with standard excursions. At the Kerala Travel Centre we have always been keen to showcase these special, off-the-beaten-track experiences that will make your Kerala holiday a memorable experience like no other.

Duration: 13 Nights & 14 Days
Destination: Cochin-Kothamangalam-Munnar-Periyar-Kumarakom-Marari-Cochin

Day 01 : Arrival Cochin
Arrival Cochin Welcomed by Our representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Cochin. Often referred to as the spice capital of the world, Cochin's spice trade can be traced way back to the time of pharaohsand the pyramids. As you walk the streets of Cochin, you can feel the aroma of these spices wafting in the breeze. Check into your hotel, relax for a while, and as the dusk falls, go on an enchanting sunset cruise to glimpse the city silhouetted against a starlit sky. Overnight at the Koder house. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 02 : Cochin - The Queen of Arabian Sea
Today you can go for a sightseeing tour to explore the many fascinating highlights of Cochin which include - The Jewish Synagogue in what is locally called the Jew Town, St. Francis Church which is the oldest European Church in India, the Santa Cruz Basilica built in 1557 by the Portuguese, the Dutch Palace, the Spice market and the 15th century Chinese fishing nets believed to have been brought by Chinese traders. In the evening, visit an auditorium to watch the famous dance drama of Kerala, the Kathakali. This dance is characterized by some great story telling, amazing costumes and extensive make-up. Overnight at the Koder House.(Vehicle at disposal)

Day 03 : Cochin - Cochin - Kothamangalam
(60kms/1.5hrs)Drive to Kothamangalam and spend the afternoon at leisure in a century old estate bungalow set in over 100 acres of multi crop plantation. Apart from exploring the estate you visit the local bird sanctuary. Participate in cookery demonstrations involving authentic Kerala cuisine.
Overnight at the Estate Bungalow. (Full Board) (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 04 : Kothamangalam - Entrence of High Range
In the morning drive to the Kodanad elephant orphanage where you will have the opportunity to get close to the elephants. Elephant rides will also be possible. Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at the Estate Bungalow. (Full Board) (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 05 : Kothamangalam - Munnar
(90kms/3hrs)Drive to Munnar a hill station which was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British administration in South India. Munnar still retains its colonial charm and is famous for its sprawling tea plantations. Check into your hotel and unwind. Day at leisure. In the evening visit the tea museum.
Overnight at the resort. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 06 : Munnar - Kashmir of South India
Day at leisure. Take a short trip to the Eravikulam National Park or simply walk through the tea estates and enjoy the tranquility it provides. Overnight at the resort. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 07 : Munnar - Periyar
(110kms/4hrs)Drive to Periyar an area known for its undulating hills, spice plantations, and elephant sightings. One of the 27 tiger reserves in India, the Periyar valley in Thekkady is the oldest. Check into your hotel. Go on a spice plantation tour today where you will be enticed by the aroma of spices.
Overnight at the resort. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 08 : Periyar - A Veritable Paradise for all Wildlife Lovers
Today you can visit the bustling fish markets of Tellicherry or visit the ancient fort built by the British. You could also drive to the fascinating Muzhipillangad Beach which is Kerala's only drive -in beach where you can drive along miles of virgin white sands or laze on the beach and be mesmerized by the beauty of the place. In the evening take part in a cookery demonstration by Faiza your hostess, who is renowned for her 'Mopilla' cuisine.
Overnight at the Ayisha Manzil. (Full board)(Vehicle at disposal)

Day 09 :Periyar - Kumarakom
(130kms/3.5hrs)Drive to Kumarakom, the enchanting backwater region of Kerala and check into your resort. The labyrinthine network of rivers, canals, streams and lagoons which form the famed backwaters offer stunning views and is an ideal place to relax. Day at leisure. Overnight at the resort. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 10 : Kumarakom - The Backwater Country
Spend the day at leisure at the resort or you could take up activities like canoeing, water scooter rides, boat rides etc. Enjoy a rejuvenating Ayurveda full-body massage. Overnight at the resort. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 11 : Kumarakom - Houseboat
(By Boat)Embark on your private houseboat from the resort and cruise on the Backwaters, a splendid area full of canals, lakes and coves. Your houseboats or 'Kettuvalloms' are luxurious boats with well appointed bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms. You can sunbathe on the deck or observe the palm fringed landscape from your cabins. Apart from the mesmerizing surroundings it's the life along the river banks that makes this a fascinating experience. Overnight on board. (Full Board) (Vehicle for transfer)

Day 12 : Houseboat - Marari
(20kms/0.5hrs)Disembark in the morning and drive to the picturesque fishermen's village of Mararikulam where you will check into your resort. Tucked away inside quiet and lush coconut groves the resorts are set by the pristine white sand beaches of the Marari and offer you unparalleled quiet in astoundingly beautiful settings. Day at leisure in the beach resort. Overnight at the resort. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 13 : Marari - The Endless Stretch of Golden Sand
(130kms/3.5hrs)Drive to Kumarakom, the enchanting backwater region of Kerala and check into your resort. The labyrinthine network of rivers, canals, streams and lagoons which form the famed backwaters offer stunning views and is an ideal place to relax. Day at leisure. Overnight at the resort. (Vehicle at disposal)

Day 14 : Marari - Cochin - Departure
(75kms/2hrs)Departure transfer to Cochin for return flight. (Vehicle for transfer)

Special Experiences....

Cochin

Stroll down the beach in Fort Cochin to see the 15th century Chinese fishing nets. Whilst they are not as frequently used as before, you can see a demonstration of how the fishermen use these gigantic nets. It is also possible to take part in this experience along with the fishermen.

The bustling fish markets adjacent to the fishing nets also make for an interesting visit.

The sunset cruise in Cochin along the harbour is also a great experience where you pass other ships and boats of all sizes and can see the Cochin skyline and the Cochin shipyard which is more than 200 years old.

Fort Cochin has a number of seafood restaurants ranging from the high end 'History' restaurant at the Brunton Boatyard to the all vegetarian 'Roti Dal' restaurant where you can try the mouth watering fish food.

Enjoy an enthralling Kathakali dance performance while you are in Cochin. Watching the dancers put on make up before the show is also quite a fascinating experience.

Your sightseeing excursion in Cochin includes several fascinating highlights including the Jewish synagogue, Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church, the Santa Cruz Basilica and others. Apart from this, you could also try exploring the streets with their many shops both in Fort Cochin and in the bustling Ernakulam part of Cochin. Cochin is great for shopping especially for jewellery and garments. (Our drivers should be able to point you to select shops that do not hassle customers). If you are a cigar aficionado don't miss the 100 year old R.Baliga & Sons who stocks cigars of all types.

If Henna and bangles are of interest to you, you can pay a visit to a small, yet vibrant shop selling bangles and other ornaments in Cochin.

Munnar

In the tea plantations of Munnar, you can go on a tea factory visit or hire bikes to cycle along the winding roads in the lush hills.

You could visit the 'Kurunji' store in Munnar which is managed by the Tata Tea officer's wives Association. (Tata Tea is the company that manages all the tea plantations in Munnar). The store offers some excellent homemade chocolates, Indian pickles and hand woven fabrics to take back home as souvenirs.

The CSI Church in Munnar has burial tombs of British Planters from the times of the Raj and makes for an interesting visit. Try the Kolukkamali Tea which is tea that is grown at the highest altitude in Munnar and can be bought only in a few select shops in the Munnar town.

Periyar

In Periyar, we would strongly suggest the spice plantation visits and also the jungle trek.

The Gavi sanctuary is worth a visit if you are staying for more than two nights in Periyar. Gavi is a one hour drive away from Periyar and is a great place for elephant sightings.

Periyar has a few forest inspection bungalows. Those who are really adventurous can try these bungalows which are right inside the forest reserve.

There are a large number of shops near the wildlife sanctuary selling handicrafts and other items. The handicraft shops are worth looking at as they make for excellent souvenirs. Please ensure you speak with your driver to point you to the appropriate shops.

Houseboat Cruise

During a houseboat cruise, ask your captain to anchor the boat by one of the villages, where you could take a village walk along the backwaters which is an exciting way to get up and close with life along the backwaters.

You could also go for canoe rides in the backwaters. Canoes can travel through narrower canals which houseboats cannot navigate. There is a boat building yard in a place called Champakkulam by the backwaters which makes the long banana boats used for Kerala's snake boat races.

Mararikulam

While in Mararikulam, you can hire bikes and go cycling along the coastal roads. You could take a tuk tuk into the Allepey town and visit its bustling bazaars. The fishermen's village has a boat landing area where one can see the fresh catch being brought in. You can also participate in the fish auctions that are held here by the local fishermen.

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