Backwaters and Beaches of Kerala
India, Discovery, 12 days - from £895 (land only) - from €1,075 (land only) - from $1,475 (land only)
- Tropical paradise touring and sightseeing
- From Kochi to the Cardamom Hills
- Wildlife walking and waterway cruising
- Overnight on a houseboat on the Backwaters of Kerala
- A day for relaxation at Varkala Beach
From its Indian Ocean beaches to the highest peaks of the Western Ghats, Kerala is a land of surprises, with a distinctive cultural make-up, near-tropical climate and great south Indian cuisine, that make it perfect for a first visit to India. Our exploration begins in the coastal city of Kochi, home of Kathakali dancing and giant Chinese-style fishing nets. Driving up into the hills, we see elephants being bathed at Kodanad and enjoy the diversity of Keralan landscape, as we progress to the town of Munnar (1700m), our base for market strolling and tea-estate hiking. Heading south along the ranges, we have a spice plantation tour, followed by a short morning's walk in the forest at Periyar - look out for elephants, sambur deer and giant squirrels. An overnight houseboat cruise and a second night at a village resort on the famous ‘backwaters' of Allepey gives us a real insight into this unique environment where the same industries of fishing and coir weaving practiced for centuries, are still the way of life for the island villagers. The holiday ends in true relaxing style at a resort on one of Kerala's finest beaches at Varkala, providing the perfect end to this fantastic South India touring holiday.
Is this holiday for you?
This is principally a touring and sightseeing discovery holiday and as such does not involve any strenuous activity. However, there are some easy walks in the hill country around Munnar and in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and several of the visits to the interesting sights on the tour will involve some element of walking. Accommodation throughout the tour is in comfortable tourist class hotels with one night spent on a houseboat in private cabins and with shared bathroom facilities. This holiday should be accessible to any active person with a sense of adventure.