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South India Classic

15 days from £1925pp plus international flights.

South India's wildlife, scenery and culture - vibrant and beautiful. This trip is a wonderful introduction.
This trip takes you to the heart of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Starting at the bustling trading port of Cochin, you travel inland to the attractive hill town of Munnar before crossing to the temple towns of Tamil Nadu. 

Continue to Periyar, famous for its herds of wild elephants and spice plantations before returning down towards the coast for a relaxing overnight houseboat cruise. 

And what better way to finish than with a few days relaxing by the beach at Marari Beach Resort. There are plenty of options for exploring the resort's gardens and surrounding areas, or maybe opt for a therapeutic massage and a stroll along the beach. This trip will give you a comprehensive introduction to the very different culture, scenery, wildlife and cuisine of southern India.
Itinerary
Cochin fishing nets, south India

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN COCHIN

Arrive in Cochin (also known as Kochi). You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the historic Fort Cochin district. The rest of the day is at leisure. 
Cochin, south India

DAY 2: TOUR OF COCHIN & DRIVE TO MUNNAR

A tour of Cochin is planned for the morning. Cochin is one of South India's most attractive towns with a rich history. It has been a trading port since at least Roman times, and is still orientated around the bay whose neck is lined with the famous Chinese fishing nets. In the afternoon you will be driven to Munnar (about 3 hours) and will check into your hotel.
Breakfast.
Tea Plantation, Munnar, south India

DAY 3: TEA & RELAXATION AT MUNNAR

This morning you have a guided tour of a tea plantation to get an insight into the growth and production of the world's favourite drink. The rest of the day is free. This is a peaceful place and encourages relaxation. For the more energetic, this is great walking country and the hotel can arrange tours of the cardamom plantations which are rich with flora and fauna.
Breakfast.
Trichy

DAY 4: TO TRICHY

Today you leave Munnar and enjoy the drive to Tamil Nadu and the town of Trichy which will take about 6 to 7 hours. Check in to your hotel on arrival.
Breakfast.
Indian women

DAY 5: MORNING AT THANJAVUR

This morning you have an excursion to Thanjavur. This is a town with a rich cultural heritage and there are fascinating temples and palaces to visit. In the afternoon you return to Trichy and the rest of the day is free.
Breakfast.
On roads of south India

DAY 6: TOUR OF TRICHY & DRIVE TO MADURAI

This morning a guided tour of Trichy has been arranged for you. The town is known for its impressive architecture including many temples and monuments. Continue on to Madurai, a drive of about 2 hours and check in to your hotel on arrival.
Breakfast.
Madurai

DAY 7: MORNING TOUR OF MADURAI

This morning you have a tour of Madurai, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is famous for its temples built by Pandyan and Madurai Nayak kings in the Dravidian style of architecture. It is also one of India's most outstanding Hindu pilgrimage centres. In the afternoon return to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Breakfast.

Elephants in spice plantation near Periyar

DAY 8: TO PERIYAR & AFTERNOON SPICE TOUR

This morning you will be driven from Madurai to Periyar, a journey of about 3 hours. After checking in to your hotel, you will visit a spice plantation. Spices have always been an important part of life in Kerala, used in both cuisine and medicine. Due to its situation in the lower mountains around 1000 metres above sea level, Periyar blessed with numerous types of spices.
Breakfast.
Monkey

DAY 9: SAFARI IN PERIYAR

Today you have a full day trip to Gavi. This is a lovely forest reserve, abundant with wildlife including the tiger, elephants, leopards, bears, Indian gaur, sambar, mouse deer, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri marten and more. It is also rich in bird life. After your nature safari you return to your hotel in Periyar.
Breakfast.
Backwaters

DAY 10: TO KUMARAKOM

After breakfast you will be driven to Kumarakom about 2 hours away. The rest of the day is free. Your hotel is on Vembanad Lake giving you the chance to watch the many communities of fishermen in the shallow waters of the lake. The resort is adjacent to a small backwater fishing village A sizeable area of the resort is a dedicated butterfly garden, attracting a wide variety of species, while a fish sanctuary is home to numerous species of fish and turtles, as well as resident kingfishers.
Breakfast.
Houseboat

DAY 11: TO ALLEPPEY & BOARD THE HOUSEBOAT

Drive to Alleppey where you board your houseboat for an overnight cruise in the Kerala backwaters. Originally used to transport goods from the isolated interior villages to the cities on the coast, the houseboats are still built using traditional materials but now feature modern conveniences such as bathrooms and air-conditioning. The crew to prepares traditional Keralan meals, including local fish and prawns straight out of the backwater.
Breakfast & dinner.
Fishing at Marari beach

DAY 12: DRIVE TO MARARI BEACH RESORT

At the end of the cruise, we will drive you to Marari Beach Resort about 30 minutes away. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore your surroundings. The hotel is set in 36 acres of lawns, lotus ponds and coconut groves. A windbreak of palms runs the length of the property, reducing the sometimes gusty sea winds to a cooling breeze.
Breakfast.
Marari beach

DAY 13: MARARI BEACH RESORT

A free day - relax and enjoy the tranquil setting. There is no need to do more than this, but should you wish, you can take long walks or bicycle rides and it is definitely worth while to take time to stroll down to the village and explore.
Breakfast.
Marari beach resort

DAY 14: MARARI BEACH RESORT

A second free day at Marari Beach Resort. The resort has a full size swimming pool, beach volleyball and tennis for the more active, while Ayurvedic massages and yoga classes enhance relaxation.
Breakfast.
At Marari beach resort

DAY 15: DEPART

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport, where the tour sadly ends.
Breakfast.
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £1925 (ex. international flights)

Includes: Accommodation on a twin share basis; meals as specified; all transfers, sightseeing and excursions in an exclusive chauffeur-driven air-conditioned vehicle; services of an English-speaking guide for sightseeing; entrance fees at sites.

Excludes: International flights; departure taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified; camera fees; items of a personal nature; tips.

Getting there: This tour starts and ends at Cochin airport. International return flights from the UK cost in the region of £550 to £750 per person, depending on season and availability.

Departure dates: This is a private tailor made holiday which we can arrange for you at any time of the year that you like.

places you will see

places you will see

Cochin fishing nets
Cochin
Also known as Kochi, Cochin is one of South India's most attractive towns with a rich history. It has been a trading port since at least Roman times when it was on the main trade route between Europe and China, and is still orientated around the bay whose neck is lined with the famous Chinese fishing nets.
Munnar
Munnar
Munnar is a hill town, located in the Western Ghats of Kerala. It has a refreshingly cool climate, and is an ideal spot for a relaxing break when exploring Southern India.
Madurai Sri Meenkashi Temple
Madurai
Largest and busiest of Tamil Nadu's temple towns, Madurai is famous for the Sri Meenkashi Temple, but there are sveral other important sites here as well.
Periyar National Park
Periyar National Park
High in the Western Ghats close to the border with Tamil Nadu, Periyar National Park is famous for its elephants. Many other species can also be encountered when you explore the park by boat or on foot. 
Backwaters
Backwaters
The Backwaters of Kerala south of Cochin are the ideal place for taking a relaxing houseboat cruise.
Southern India, beaches
Southern India Beaches
South Indian states like Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have amazing coastlines and a good variety of beaches resorts such as Kovalam, Kerala. Long silvery beaches such as Marina Beach and Fisherman's Cove resort in Tamil Nadu; and quiet, more secluded beaches in Karnataka.

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facts and information

Time: GMT +5½ hours

Flight time: Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.

Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.

Visas: Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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