The Story

Best time to go: October - April
Best for: First Time Visitor, Cultural & Immersive, Culture & Beach

The great thing about a holiday to Kerala is that the drives aren’t too long (especially when you compare it to say Rajasthan, or even some of those in Sri Lanka). You can pack in quite an eclectic selection of experiences on a two-week holiday to Kerala. The hotels are all charming and boutique, and you have your own private driver and personal guides throughout.

Cochin is one of India’s most interesting cities, with a colourful colonial past. Walk through the old fort area, seeing former Dutch mansions and colonial churches before seeing the bustling spice markets. Move into the hills around Munnar where the views are absolutely stunning with tea plantations drifting off into the distance. Spend a day taking a walk through the tea plantations and visiting a working tea factory. For those who want to stretch your legs a little more, we can offer some longer day treks. If you like your wildlife, you can visit Eravikulam National Park, famed for the endangered Nilgiri Thar.

Drive south and the views along the drive just get better and better as you meander through the Western Ghats. Periyar is a wildlife sanctuary, and just a nice place to make a link between the tea plantations of Munnar and the backwaters you will continue on to. Spend a few days here, and even if you aren’t a wildlife enthusiast, the climate and views are lovely. Move back inland and stop for a few days beside Lake Vembenad where you can experience a superb community experience. Visit a local home where you learn the secrets of the perfect masala blend, before witnessing toddy tapping and walking through pristine paddy fields.

Continue onto Allepey, home to Kerala’s famous backwaters, where you cruise along the palm-fringed canals on a private houseboat, being looked after by a keen team of staff and cook, docking in a remote location at night. You are then just a hop, skip and a jump to Marari where you can spend three nights on the beach to end your holiday to Kerala.

Guide Pricing

Starting At

£1595-£2295
SilverGold
Price per person including all accommodation, private transfers, unique experiences and excluding international flights.

Highlights

  • Perfect itinerary for those on a first-time trip to Kerala, who don’t want to rush too much.
  • Combines Cochin, the tea fields of Munnar, rural Kerala, a houseboat on the backwaters and ending on the beach.
  • Have your own private driver and guides on your holiday to Kerala
  • Stay in lovely boutique hotels throughout
DaysLocationHotel
Day 1-2 Cochin Old Harbour Brunton Boatyard
Day 3-4 Munnar Talayar Valley Bungalow Windermere Estate
Day 5-6 Periyar (Thekkady) Spice Village Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House
Day 7-8 Lake Vembednad Purity Purity
Day 9 Backwaters Houseboat Houseboat
Day 10-12 Marari A Beach Symphony Marari Beach Resort
Day 13 Cochin Airport Fly Home

Suggested Hotels

Day 1-2

Old Harbour

$ $ $ $ $  

The Old Harbour is a stunning boutique heritage hotel located in the heart of Fort Cochin in Kerala, India.

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Day 1-2

Brunton Boatyard

$ $ $ $ $  

Wonderfully located on the Fort Cochin waterfront, Brunton Boatyard is an atmospheric small luxury hotel, steeped in Kerala’s rich colonial heritage.

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Day 3-4

Talayar Valley Bungalow

$ $ $ $ $  

Set in Kerala’s hill country near Munnar, Talayar Bungalow is a charming plantation estate, offering peace, comfort and immersive tea country experiences.

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Day 3-4
Reception Exterior, Windermere Estate, Kerala India

Windermere Estate

$ $ $ $ $  

Windermere Estate is a mountain retreat located above the tea-producing town of Munnar in Kerala providing fantastic views of the valley below.

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Day 5-6
Spice Village, Periyar, Kerala, India

Spice Village

$ $ $ $ $  

Spice Village, in the foothills of Kerala’s Western Ghats, is a charming retreat ideal for relaxing and wildlife safaris in nearby Periyar National Park.

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Day 5-6
Aanavilasam, Kerala, India

Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House

$ $ $ $ $  

The boutique Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House is located in a 7-acre private estate close to Periyar National Park and the town of Thekkady in Kerala, India.

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Day 7-8

Purity

$ $ $ $ $  

Purity is a luxury boutique located on the banks of Lake Vembenad in Kerala, India featuring just 14 rooms.

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Day 7-8

Purity

$ $ $ $ $  

Purity is a luxury boutique located on the banks of Lake Vembenad in Kerala, India featuring just 14 rooms.

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Day 9
Houseboat on Lake Vembenad, India

Houseboat

$ $ $ $ $  

A night on a houseboat in the Kerala backwaters is one of South India’s unmissable experiences, and offer a fabulous glimpse into the rhythms of rural life.

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Day 9
Houseboat on Lake Vembenad, India

Houseboat

$ $ $ $ $  

A night on a houseboat in the Kerala backwaters is one of South India’s unmissable experiences, and offer a fabulous glimpse into the rhythms of rural life.

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Day 10-12
A Beach Symphony, Marari, Kerala, India | Luxury Boutique Hotel

A Beach Symphony

$ $ $ $ $  

With four secluded Kerala fishermen’s cottages set on Marari’s white sands, A Beach Symphony offers luxury boutique style and blissful honeymoon privacy.

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Day 10-12
Marari Beach Resort, Kerala, India

Marari Beach Resort

$ $ $ $ $  

Marari Beach Resort is a delightful eco-friendly hotel set within verdant tropical gardens opening out onto the Indian Ocean in Kerala, India.

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Customise Your Itinerary

We can tweak and change any element of this itinerary and you can depart on any day you want, add nights here and there, and we can fully customise your day-to-day experiences depending on your interests. Here are just a few ideas of many that we can look at and discuss when we come to plan your tailor-made itinerary.

Idea 1

After a visit to Munnar and before Periyar you can visit the town of Madurai which contains the impressive Meeakashi Temple, best seen during the afternoon pooja ceremony

Idea 2

If you want to really live it up, have your beach element in the Maldives which is just an hour's flight from Cochin

Idea 3

Kerala makes for an interesting combination with Sri Lanka, or the interesting state of Tamil Nadu to the east

Idea 4

We heavily suggest adding in two nights at the amazing Dewalokam Homestay between Cochin and Munnar - it takes you off-the-beaten track on your holiday to Kerala, and really adds some spice to the itinerary!

Anne Diamond, Kerala, December 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, we would recommend it to anyone, our driver, greeting guide and tour guides were all terrific. The boat trip on the back waters was a real highlight. We will certainly return if possible and travel further south.

Further Itinerary Suggestions

Kerala and the Maldives

Cochin - Munnar - Backwaters - the Maldives  

Combine the bustling and colourful markets of Cochin, wander through tea plantations and cruise the backwaters of Kerala before kicking back on the turquoise blue lagoons of the Maldives on an ultimate twin-centre holiday.

13 days from £2295 p. p.

Slow Kerala

Cochin - Munnar - Dewalokam - Lake Vembenad - Marari Beach  

Take a leisurely private tour through Kerala, exploring the Cochin, the tea plantations and sleepy villages in the rural heartlands, Lake Vembenad and the backwaters before ending on the beach.

15 days from £1895 p. p.

Southern Trader: a tour of Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Chennai - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Madurai - Rajakkad - Munnar - Backwaters - Cochin  

This classic route takes you from Chennai (Madras) in Tamil Nadu, through the hills and into the Kerala to see the tea estates, backwaters and ending on the beach.

16 days from £2270 p. p.

A journey through Northern Kerala & Karnataka

Mysore - Wyanad - Nagarhole National Park - Coorg - Kasaragod - Bangalore  

Northern Kerala and southern Karnataka are fast becoming the destinations to visit, a blend of history, culture, coffee hills, wildlife and fantastic beaches.

13 days from £2470 p. p.