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Discover Southern India and Kerala

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Unforgettable Southern India awaits, a land of serene backwaters, ancient temples and fragrant tea plantations.

16 days From £2,595 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2022 Tour code: GCJ22

About the tour

During this unforgettable tour of Southern India, we visit the cities, temples and tea plantations of the Tamil Nadu region before heading to Kerala. Here we explore the captivating city of Kochi, relaxing on Kerala's beaches and cruising through the backwaters of Vambanad Lake.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Bengaluru

We depart London Heathrow on our overnight flight to Bengaluru, travelling via Dubai.

Day 4 - Ooty

We travel to Ooty by coach, where we stay for two nights. Your afternoon is free to settle in.

Day 7 - Kochi

Following a free morning, we catch the train to the captivating city of Kochi for two nights.

Day 9 - Kerala and its backwaters

We enjoy a guided tour of the Jewish Synagogue this morning, home to an array of treasures including The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, before transferring to Alleppey. Here, we board a houseboat, or kettuvallam, for a scenic cruise through Kerala's naturally idyllic backwaters. Constructed using traditional materials, these incredible boats were once used to shuttle goods, including exotic spices and rice, between Cochin and Kuttanad, and could carry up to 30 tonnes of cargo. We begin at Vembanad Lake, the longest lake in India. As we glide serenely through the bewildering maze of canals and channels, we enjoy lunch on board. We disembark at Kumarakom for an overnight stay.

 

Day 11 - Kerala’s spices

Today's excursion takes us to an aromatic spice plantation, where we enjoy a guided walking tour that helps us uncover the secrets of Southern India's flavoursome spices. This afternoon we head to Lake Periyar, a stunning lake in a large wildlife sanctuary, for a cruise across its peaceful waters

Day 14 - Chennai

We take an internal flight to Chennai for the night, formerly known as Madras and a metropolis within the Bay of Bengal. An important port during the colonial era, Chennai's architecture and culture bear pronounced Portuguese, Dutch, French and British influences, while also being rooted in more local traditions. We explore the San Thome Cathedral Basilica, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, and the Madras War Cemetery on Marina Beach. We also pay a visit to the city's flower market in George Town, soaking up a myriad of colours and fragrances.

Day 15 - Chennai

There's an optional excursion this morning to Mamallapuram, known for its UNESCO-listed temples. Otherwise, enjoy a free day before we transfer to the airport for our flight, via Dubai, to London Heathrow. 

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Taj Coromandel, Chennai

Hotel Taj Coromandel, Chennai

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Vivanta Coimbatore, Coimbatore

Vivanta Coimbatore, Coimbatore

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Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Kochi

Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Kochi

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Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom

Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom

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The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai, Madurai

The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai, Madurai

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Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Mysore, Mysuru

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Mysore, Mysuru

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Fortune Sullivan Court

Fortune Sullivan Court, Ooty

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Spice Village, Thekkady

Spice Village, Thekkady

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Train

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

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Discover Southern India and Kerala

Unforgettable Southern India awaits, a land of serene backwaters, ancient temples and fragrant tea plantations.

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Luke Simpson
Luke
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Helen Laverack
Helen