Famed for its aromatic spices, peaceful backwaters and lush landscape, Kerala is an enchanting destination. Learn about the art of Kathakali dance, discover Kovalam’s ancient Chinese fishing nets, search for the elusive tiger and relax on the country’s best beaches.
Just You Tour Manager as your host
Return flights from Heathrow with Emirates Airways
Use of an airport lounge in the UK
8 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels and a houseboat plus 1 night in flight
19 meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners
Welcome drink & farewell get-together
Overseas transfers & other transportation
Dedicated Just You representative to greet you at all UK airports
- Day 1 UK to Cochin
- Today you’ll fly to India.
- Day 2 Cochin
- Kerala’s cosmopolitan capital Cochinis known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ thanks to the beauty of its natural harbour. The city is made up of a series of picturesque islands and boasts unique houses built on stilts and tranquil backwaters.
After settling in at your hotel, get to know your travelling companions over dinner this evening.
- Day 3 Cochin
- A day packed with wonderful experiences begins with our morning tour of Cochin. Located right in the centre of Jew Town, a bustling port area and centre of Cochin’s spice trade, the Jewish Synagogue is the oldest in the commonwealth, dating back to 1568. Next stop is the Mattancherry Kerala Palace, renamed the Dutch Palace after the Dutch wrestled Cochin from the hands of the Portuguese. Step inside to admire the splendid murals that adorn some of the rooms, which are said to be amongst the best in India. We round off our tour with a visit to St Francis Church. It is here that Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died and was buried. His remains were shipped to Lisbon some 14 years later, but his gravestone is interesting to view.
At lunchtime we are invited to a cooking demonstration in the home of a well-known local chef and food journalist. Here youll not only learn how to use Keralas aromatic spices in your own cooking but youll get to eat the dishes created. Another speciality of Kerala is Kathakali dance and we’ll learn about this unique art form this evening before enjoying a ‘Sadya’ vegetarian feast with the group.
- Day 4 Thekkady
- A long but rewarding drive is on the cards today as we head to Thekkady. There’s a treat for all the senses as we journeypast rice paddies, tea and rubber tree plantations and aromatic gardens of coffee, cardamom and pepper plants, while the Western Ghats mountain range provide a beautiful backdrop to the surrounding rainforests and backwaters.
As the sun goes down we’ll head to a spice plantation where we’ll enjoy a tour. Superb peppers are grown here on the Malabar Coast and as such are referred to as ‘black gold’.
- Day 5 Thekkady
- We’re heading into Periyar Game Reserve today. A boat trip will give you the chance to look for elephants, bison and deer on the shoreline as well as all manner of exotic plants that, if you’re very lucky, may be hiding the elusivetiger.
- Day 6 Alleppey
- Our drive this morning takes us to Alleppey, where we’ll board one of Kerala’s famous houseboats for an overnight stay with a difference. Your ‘kettuvallom’ modelled on the area’s traditional rice boats offers an unforgettable experience for you and your travelling companions.Head on deck for a cruise through the backwaters to see how the locals live, then enjoy a tranquil evening as our boat anchors in a quiet spot.
- Day 7 Kumarakom
- Breakfast served on our houseboat is a great start to the day. We’ll then take to the road and head to Kumarakom, cutting a route through coconut farms and fragrant spice gardens. A village tour and stop for lunch give us a chance to stretch our legs before arrival at our hotel.
- Day 8 Kovalam
- The final leg of our journey takes us to the Kovalam beach area today a stunning location with magnificent beaches on which to relax and soak up the sun.
- Day 9 Kovalam
- The day is yours to do as you please. Be sure to head to the beach to see the fishermen pulling in the huge Chinese fishing nets for which this area is famous. Join your fellow travellers this evening for a farewell dinner.
- Day 10 UK
- You’ll transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.