Embark on this inspiring southern Indian tour visting the ancient city of Cochin, the tranquil region of Munnar and the splendid backwaters of Alleppey.
This 8 day tour highlights the best of Kerala allowing travellers to experience the culture, religion and history of this region. The tour provides opportunity to visit ancient fishing villages, scented spice plantations and quirky colonial towns. No visit to Kerala is complete without an opportunity to sleep aboard a traditional rice barges, whilst floating through the palm-fringed canals of the Keralan backwater.
- Take a glimpse into the historical past of Cochin, visiting oldest European Church in India (St. Francis Church), Pardesi synagogue constructed in 1567 and the ancient Chinese fishing nets
- Stay amidst picture-book hills and sprawling tea plantations of Munnar
- Cruise through canals of the Keralan backwaters on board a traditional rice barge
Day 01 – COCHIN
Your driver will be waiting for you at Kochi International Airport and will take you to your hotel in Cochin. Set within the tropical Malabar Coast, Cochin or Kochi includes a natural harbour surrounded by a collection of islands interconnected by backwaters and lagoons.
Historically significant as a major centre of commerce, Cochin has drawn in Arab, Chinese and European traders and explorers for over 600 years. Cochin’s rich historical past resonates throughout the city with many sites still reflecting those influences.
After a relaxing afternoon recovering from your long journey, your driver is at your disposal for short sightseeing tour of Cochin. Being the first day, the Cochin Sunset Harbour Cruise is perfect way to spend first evening. The cruise typically lasts 1.5 hours and provides spectacular views of the Chinese fishing nets, Marine Drive, and Bolgatty Island.
(40 Kms/ 1 Hr drive)
Day 02 – COCHIN
Today, your driver will take your for a thrilling private guided tour of of Cochin. These include:
– Visit to the Pardesi synagogue, constructed in 1567 by Spanish-speaking Jews, is located in the old quarter, known as ‘Jew town’.
– Visit to the Dutch Palace (‘Mattancherry Palace’), built by the Portuguese in 1555 using traditional Kerala style architecture
– The Saint Francis Church, built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India
– A walk down Fort Kochi, granted by Rajah of Kochi in 1503 to the Portuguese, is lined with some of India’s oldest colonial buildings.
– Witness the iconic Chinese fishing in Fort Cochin, erected between 1350 and 1450 when the Chinese came to the region and still widely used.
Day 03 – MUNNAR
In the morning, after breakfast, we embark on the scenic drive to Munnar, a hill station, located 1,600 m above sea level. Enroute we visit Cheyyappara Waterfalls. Munnar traces some of its recent history to the British Raj, where the elite would spend their summer months during the colonial days. Dotted with picture-book hills, forested hill stations, sprawling tea plantations, Mummar is a haven for peace, relaxation and tranquillity.
Today we spend some time enjoying the lush greenery and depending on its erratic schedule we may also sneak in one of Munnar’s places of interest. Else there is also day 2!
(150 Kms/ 5 Hr drive)
Day 04 – MUNNAR
Munnar has lots to see and it’s really up to you how much you want to cover, your driver is at your disposal to take you to the various spots:
– Eravikulam National Park – offers great trekking and walking routes as well as being home to rare species of butterflies and the famous endangered inhabitant, the Nilgiri Tahr.
– Tata Tea Museum – with the view of showcasing Munnars legacy and the origin and evolution of Munnars tea plantations,
– Mattupetty – offers pleasurable boat rides on the beautiful lake, which itself is surround by graceful hills and landscape.
– or simply walk through the enchanting tea estates and enjoy the tranquillity it provides.
Day 05 – ALLEPPEY
Today we drive to Alleppey with the aim of boarding the ‘Kettuvallam’ (traditional Kerala houseboat) by noon. Traditionally used as grain barges (for the transportation of rice harvested in the fields alongside the backwaters), the boats have been upgraded to luxury floating cottages with the comfort you would expect in a modern hotel.
The journey starts with you boarding your private houseboat just before lunch. Freshly prepared Kerala cuisine cooked on board by chefs are part of the Kerala house boat experience. Meals (including lunch, dinner and breakfast) are freshly prepared using finest spices, ingredients and freshly caught fish. Once on board, you will spend the afternoon meandering slowly and peacefully through the numerous palm fringed canals and open paddy fields. Later, you will take a canoe excursion, gliding you though some of the smaller backwater canals where you will get a glimpse and charm of everyday life, from people fishing to families washing and working on the banks. As the sun sets, you will again enjoy a freshly cooked dinner before retiring to an air conditioned cabin.
(180 Kms/ 5.5 Hr drive)
Day 06 – KUMARAKOM
We drive to the Village of Kumarakom, set on the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake. The area is made up of cluster of picturesque little islands that form part of the Kuttanad region. Covered with lush green vegetation and being on the footsteps of the gorgeous Kerala backwaters, the stop over at Kumarakom is an ideal place to relax.
Day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel
(35 Kms/ 1 Hr drive)
Day 07 – KUMARAKOM
The day is spent at leisure. For those with a little more energy, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is worth an optional visit. Covering 14 acres, the area is a favorite haunt for a number of species of local bird species such as the kingfisher as well as migratory birds such as the Siberian Stork. Other optional activities such as Sunset cruise or Village Tour experience can be arranged.
Overnight at the hotel
Day 08 – COCHIN
Departure Transfer to Cochin Airport for onward journey.
(80 Kms/ 2 Hr drive)
- Accommodation at above mentioned Hotels/Resorts
- Breakfast at all hotels
- Transportation using A/C Vehicle
- Accommodation with all meals in the House Bat -Luxury A/c
- Arrival assistance
- Service of an English speaking driver
- Parking, Toll, All Taxes
- 2 Bottles of packed drinking water daily
- International flights
- Departure transfers
- Departure and airport taxes
- All other meals
- All optional tours or activities during free time
- Transfers outside of the tour program
- Travel insurance
- Tips and items of a personal nature
- Cochin – Sunset Cruise
- Cochin -Kathakali Dance Show
- Kumarakom – Bird Sanctuary
- Munnar – Tea Museum Visit
- Munnar – Eravikulam National Park