Continue further into Tamil Nadu, visiting Tanjore, Madurai or Chettinad before flying back to Chennai and then onto the Andaman Islands.
Combining the cultural highlights of Tamil Nadu and the beautiful beaches of the Andaman Islands is one of India’s best-kept secrets. Start in Chennai, formerly known as Madras, before exploring Pondicherry and the superb shore temples of Mahabalipuram. Fly to the Andaman Islands for seven nights of R&R.
This private tour includes your own personal guides and private drivers. At every point, you’ll be met and helped along the way. Any element of it can be tailored and tweaked to your own personal interests and requirements. If you have a longer time to spend in India, some guests like to extend their time in Tamil Nadu, or other places in the country. Needless to say, we only use the best guides and logistical support, to ensure that your overall experience is absolutely second to none.
Begin in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which was the first base of the British East India Company. You will embark on a series of immersive storytelling experiences uncovering hidden side to the city. Many of these are done on foot, allowing you to truly get under-the-skin of the destination. You’ll be guided through the bustling markets, scented with spices, and bursting with life. You begin in Mylapore, a where mythology and folklore intertwine to give you a glimpse of living India. You then turn to the colonial Madras, where you see how British language, bureaucracy, education, and architecture left an indelible mark on Chennai and its inhabitants. There are many superb international hotels in Chennai, and we generally opt for the colonial Taj Connemara.
You will then be driven to Pondicherry, about a four-hour drive to the south and once the capital of the French East India Company. It is everything that you would expect, a fusion of France and India. Will see colonial French buildings, with little boulangeries and cafes with French Indian Fusion food to boot. You will again be led around by private guide on an immersive walking tour, seeing how Pondicherry developed from the 17th century. In Pondicherry, there are a few superb colonial boutique hotels. We favour the Palais De Mahe for its superb location, food, and service and one of the best hotels in Tamil Nadu.
You then turn back north and will stop at the World Heritage site of Mahabalipuram. These impressive shore temples cut it into the coastal rocks. Spend two nights in the pretty Tamil village of Covelong at the Taj Fisherman’s Cove.
Drive north and fly to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman Islands. You’ll be met on arrival and taken to the fast boat to Havelock Island, which takes a few hours. We think seven nights in the Andaman Islands is the perfect amount of time to both relax and explore. Whilst in the Andaman Islands you can set out on nature walks, dive or snorkel, kayak through mangroves, or just relax on some of India’s most beautiful beaches. We’ve split the itinerary between three nights in the hills in a beautiful boutique hotel called Jalakara, and then four nights in the rustic luxury of Barefoot at Havelock. To those who want to opt for a more luxurious option, you can spend the final four nights at the Taj Exotica. Some guests just like to stick to one hotel here, and of course, any variation of this itinerary is possible.
Return by boat to Port Blair, where you will fly back to Chennai and stay near the airport at the Trident. The next day you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after your wonderful tour of Tamil Nadu and the Andaman Islands.
|Day 1-2||Chennai||Vivanta by Taj – Connemara Vivanta by Taj – Connemara|
|Day 3-4||Pondicherry||Palais De Mahe Palais De Mahe|
|Day 5-6||Covelong||Vivanta by Taj – Fisherman’s Cove Vivanta by Taj – Fisherman’s Cove|
|Day 7-9||Havelock Island||Jalakara Jalakara|
|Day 10-13||Havelock Island||Barefoot at Havelock Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andaman Islands|
|Day 14||Chennai||Trident Chennai|
We arrange totally bespoke trips and design an itinerary that is designed around you. You may have seen a suggested itinerary that we can base your plans around, or we can start with a blank sheet and paper and design something from scratch. You can leave a phone number and suggest a time to call you back, and we can also arrange to do this during the evenings or at weekends if you are busy during the daytime. We can also meet up with you in you fancy a coffee and are based in and around London.