Classic Kerala Tour
KERALA TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Join other Solo Travellers on this amazing 9 day tour of ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala. Visit the cultural fishing village of Kumbalanghi in Cochin, marvel at the magnificent mountain scenery at the Munnar tea plantation, spice things up at the Thekkady spice plantation, visit Kerala’s largest freshwater lake in Kumarakom, explore the temples of Kollam and Kovalam and finally gaze at the paddy fields as you drift down Kerala’s famous backwaters on a houseboat for the night, feasting on backwater delicacies prepared by your own personal chef… what could be better? This Kerala tour is not to be missed.
Spend a night at the picturesque hill station of Munnar with stunning scenery
Cruise down Kerala’s backwaters on a traditional houseboat
Visit the beautiful Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary
Discover Cochin & watch the country’s best known dance show; Kathakali
Day 1 – Arrive Cochin
When you arrive in Cochin, make your way to the hotel for check-in, which will be from 2pm onwards. Today is an arrival day so there are no planned activities. If you arrive in time, you can join your guide and the rest of the group for dinner to get to know your fellow travellers! Overnight in Cochin.
Day 2 – Cochin
After breakfast at the hotel, you will begin a half-day guided sightseeing tour of Cochin. Highlights will include the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1557, the Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568, and the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, one of the eight basilicas in Kerala. You will also see the iconic Chinese Fishing nets. In the evening, we will visit the Cultural Art Centre to catch Kerala’s best known dance drama, Kathakali, and other Art forms of South India. An interesting make-up application tutorial starts an hour before the show itself. Overnight at Cochin.
Day 3 – Cochin / Munnar
After breakfast we will start our journey to mesmerising Munnar. On the way you will witness some incredible scenery, passing through beautiful areas of stunning tea and spice plantations. We’ll also stop at the Tea Factory & Museum in Lockhart to learn about the history of the tea estates and the various stages of tea processing. We will then check into our hotel which is nestled amongst the areas lush green hills with amazing views, so you can fully relax before dinner in the evening. (Driving Time: approx. 4-hours)
Day 4 – Munnar / Thekkady
This morning you can enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and afterwards we’ll start our day with a beautiful drive down to the green mountains of the Nilgiris. Rubber, coffee and cardamom plantations and tea gardens will follow. In the afternoon, we’ll discover the beautiful flora and fauna of the region, with a 2-hour nature walk in the remote areas of the Periyar National Park. The park provides sanctuary for wildlife such as Tigers, Elephants, Bison, Sambar, and Wild Boar! Overnight in Thekkady. (Driving Time: approx. 3.5 hours)
Day 5 – Thekkady / Alleppy
After breakfast, we’ll check-out from the hotel and proceed to Alleppey, or Alappuzha, the hub of Kerala’s backwaters. In the late afternoon, we will visit the Village Life Experience Program in Kumarakom (Winner of UNWTO ULYSEES Award). The village is well acclaimed for its backwaters, delicious cuisines and greenery. This tourist destination has, over the years, become one of the most-visited in Kerala. Our journey will begin at Kavanatinkara, and after a briefing session, you will be accompanied by a local guide who will explain about the picturesque landscapes and the lush green surroundings of Kumarakom. Afterwards, we’ll return to the hotel and enjoy water front views and a spectacular sunset. Overnight in Alleppy. (Driving Time: approx. 3-hours)
Day 6 – Alleppey
After breakfast you will be transferred to a fully furnished exotic houseboat, which will take you down Kerala’s serene backwaters. Watch and relax as rustic backwater life floats by, whilst treating yourself to a plate of backwater delicacies, prepared for you by your own personal chef. This is one of Kerala’s most stunningly beautiful and relaxing experiences. Overnight on the houseboat.
Day 7 – Alleppey / Kovalam
After breakfast we’ll disembark the boat and proceed to our next destination, Kovalam, an evergreen and remarkably pleasant beach resort. Kovalam has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings in its 17km coastline; the three together form the famous crescent of the Kovalam Beach. In the afternoon, we will proceed for a local sightseeing tour of Trivandrum to explore the best landmarks and attractions of this city. During the tour we’ll visit Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple, one of the richest temples in the world, as well as the Kanakakkunnu Palace and the Kowdiar Palace which are some of the last remaining royal insignia of this city; reminding you of the erstwhile Kingdom of Travancore. Overnight in Kovalam. (Driving Time: approx. 3-hours)
Day 8 – Kovalam
Today will be spent at your leisure in Kovalam. You can use the day to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Maybe have some beach time or book in for a relaxing ayervedic massage. Overnight in Kovalam.
Day 9 – Depart Trivandrum
Today is a departure day so there are no planned activities – you a free to depart anytime.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE KERALA TOUR
- Sharing a twin room in three star hotels with breakfast
- All transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
- English speaking local guides
- All entrance fees to monuments and parks
- All excursions/tours mentioned in itinerary
- All currently applicable taxes
- Up to six weeks before departure, a place can be reserved for the Kerala tour on payment of a deposit of £150.00, after this date it would be the full amount of the trip.
- Click the book now button and fill in the details and tick the box confirming you accept booking conditions.
- The outstanding balance is due 6 weeks before travel.
- Flights are not included in the cost of this trip and will need to be booked separately. Please do not book flights until we have given the go-ahead. Feel free to ask us if you need any help with booking.
- Please ensure you have checked visa requirements. Get in touch if you are unsure.
- Ensure you have purchased travel insurance, as this is mandatory for all trips.
ESSENTIAL TRIP NOTES
You will need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from date of entry and that you have a couple of blank pages. Please ensure the name on your booking and flight ticket match your passport.
It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure they have the correct visa for travel. Information can be found for British Nationals on the FCO website. British passport holders require a visa to enter India and this can be applied for online before you travel. You will need a reference name and address in India which we will supply you with. If you hold any other nationality passport or originate from another country, please check the relevant embassy website.
You may want to take a copy of your passport and flight confirmations with you – if you lose the originals it is easier to get replacements if you have copies.
FLIGHT TICKETS AND ACCOMMODATION
Please ensure you have proof of return travel tickets and hotel accommodation to hand for arrival as you may need to present details of this.
Travel insurance is mandatory for all trips and you will need to carry a copy of your certificate with you. If you haven’t purchased It already, we have partnered up with Columbus Travel Insurance and you can buy your policy through us.
MONEY & COSTS
The unit of currency in India is the Indian Rupee (INR). You are not permitted to bring Indian Rupees into the country if you are a non-Indian resident and will not being able to exchange before you travel. You can either take cash out of the ATM’s when you arrive, or take GBP, Euros or US Dollars to exchange. Please ensure any notes you bring to exchange are in good condition. Credit Cards are accepted at some restaurants and shops, but it’s a good idea to have some cash. 500 and 1,000 notes are no longer valid, so if anyone tries to give this to you as change, please request different notes.
We recommend budgeting £10 – £15 a day for meals, water, drinks (not including alcohol) etc. however this is just an indicative amount and can vary from local restaurants to more western style, so you may end up spending less or more. Any souvenir shopping you wish to do would be on top of this. You will have a better idea of how much you usually spend when on holiday, so please plan accordingly.
If you feel as though you have received a good service, please reward your local guides and drivers with a tip. We recommend £3 – £4 per person, per day for local guides and £1 – £2 per person, per day for your drivers. Tipping is of course voluntary but gratefully accepted in recognition of good service.
If you would prefer to have your own room on this trip, the additional cost would be £299. Please let us know at the time of booking as it cannot be guaranteed closer to the time.
We will be covering a lot of ground on this trip and there will be a couple of long drives involved, so if you ever feel like you need to take a break or want to get out and stretch your legs, let your guide or driver know so that we can stop. You will be travelling in private air-conditioned buses.
WHAT TO PACK
- Comfortable walking shoes or trainers
- We recommend dressing conservatively in Kerala especially when visiting holy sites. During the cooler season (OCT-FEB) we advise taking some warmer clothes to wear in the evening or early morning. The weather tends to be warmer during the day. The hot season (MAR-MAY) will be very hot so we recommend wearing light loose-fitting clothing. During the monsoon season (JUN-SEP), you will need a light raincoat, although the weather will still be warm.
- Adequate sun protection – hats, sunglasses, sunscreen
- Waterproof jacket
- Insect repellent
- Re-fillable water bottle if it has built in filters
- Camera with spare batteries and memory cards – you’re going to want to take some photos!
- Power bank
- Plug adaptors – these can be viewed via the link: https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/india/
We never recommend taking more luggage than you can personally carry as there might not always be someone on hand to help you. One suitcase ideally that can be wheeled, and a small day pack will be more than enough.
Whilst travelling around, we recommend you don’t bring anything you won’t really need – expensive jewellery and watches are not necessary, you can leave them at home. Be vigilant always and avoid carrying large amounts of money around with you. You could invest in a money belt to go under your clothes to keep cards, money or air tickets in for extra safety.
HEALTH & MEDICAL
You should visit your doctor or travel nurse a minimum of 8 weeks before your departure date to make sure your vaccinations are all up to date. Please check the government website if you need more information.
It is not recommended to drink tap water in Kerala. Although it is clean and safe for locals to drink, what you are used to at home will differ and you could end up with an upset stomach. You should keep hydrated whilst you’re out there, so make sure you always have a bottle of water with you.
If you take medication for anything or think you may need something whilst you are away, it’s better to take it with you from the UK as items may not be as readily available as they are here.
If you are travelling from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever, you will need to take a valid certificate with you to prove you have had the vaccine.
We recommend you read the travel advice for any country you are visiting ahead of your visit. This can be accessed on the FCO website.