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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DAY 15: DEPART
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport, where the tour sadly ends.