Red Dot's Explore Kerala itinerary takes you on the classic route through Kerala's diverse landscapes, covering the cultural delights of historic Fort Kochi, a journey on the serene backwaters, the jungles of Periyar, the stunning tea plantations of Munnar and, finally, the sandy beaches of the south-west coast. We will discuss your accommodation choices with you to ensure that your preferences are catered for and, as ever, Red Dot's commitment to tailor-made holidays means we can adjust to any itinerary requests you wish to make.
Experience the culture, scenery, wildlife and food of this region of South India which bears many similarities to Sri Lanka.
- Explore Fort Kochi’s rich cultural heritage
- See the beauty and diverse wildlife of Periyar National Park
- Meander along the backwaters in a traditional houseboat
- Walk Munnar’s mountain peaks and tea-clad hills
- Dine on sumptuous Keralan cuisine
- Relax on the sun-kissed beaches of the south-west
- Accommodation in a shared double / twin room
- Chauffeur-guide and vehicle for the duration of the tour (including leisure days)
- Both airport transfers
- Expert advice and support prior to and during the tour
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Price shown is a starting price and is subject to change, depending on travel dates / the number of people travelling etc.
- Price shown is based on two people sharing a double / twin room
- See our Booking Conditions for more details
Day 1&2 Fort Kochi, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Town
Upon arriving at Kochi International Airport, transfer to Fort Kochi. The Fort area retains an old colonial charm, possessing tree-lined streets, an expansive parade ground and beautiful heritage architecture. Kochi is scattered across a series of islands, and a sunset boat cruise is a wonderful way to see the city as a whole, but most of your time will be spent exploring the tranquil fort. Visit the Mattancherry Palace which was once occupied by the local Verma Kings and is now a museum. Explore the Jewish Town with its narrow cobblestone walkways where wayside shops overflow with antiques, silk shawls and kurtas. The beautiful 16C synagogue with intricate chandeliers and porcelain tiled floors stands in a corner of Jewish Town. Several fine churches are also well worth a visit. At Vasco da Gama square, a narrow promenade parallels the beach where huge Chinese fishing nets are tended by fisherman. We can also arrange cooking demonstrations and dance displays.
Day 3&4 Mannar
It is not far short of five hours to drive from Kochi to the tea-laden hills of Munnar, but lovers of mountain scenery will find the journey into the lush green forests of the Western Ghats thoroughly enjoyable. Explore the hill station of Munnar, once the summer resort of the British during the colonial period: sprawling tea plantations, mountain peaks (Anamudi, at 2,695m is the highest) and gushing waterfalls makes this an inspiring holiday destination. The region is perfect for trekking, mountain climbing, birdwatching, boating, trout fishing, and cycling. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park which is home to the famous Nilgiri Tahr – a rare species of mountain goat – are also worth a visit. Don’t forget to pack a sweater or jacket – Munnar can be chilly, particularly in the winter months when daytime temperatures in the mountains can fall to between 10-15C and even lower at night.
Day 5&6 Cardamom Hills, Periyar National Park
Today you travel to the Cardamom Hills - the spice-growing foothills of the Western Ghats – and the picturesque Periyar National Park. You are likely to see elephant grazing by the lakeside, as well as bison, sambar, wild boar, barking deer and numerous birds. The tigers are wary and are usually heard not seen, especially during the nights as they prowl the jungle for their prey. The forest department have successfully co-opted the support of the indigenous Mannan community who now conserve the reserve in exchange for money from eco-tourism. This lakeside wildlife sanctuary is best explored by boat or on foot with a trekking guide. We can also organise a spice plantation tour and a night trek.
Day 7 Alappuzha
Journey to Alappuzha (Alleppey) to board a traditional Kettuvallum houseboat (reconverted rice barge) at noon for an overnight water journey through Kuttanad country, a land of shimmering waterways, dense tropical greenery and age-old village livelihoods so vividly described in Arundhati Roy’s remarkable novel `The God of Small Things’. Your fully-staffed houseboat will chug slowly through this network of lagoons, lakes, canals and 41 rivers. More than 900 kms of this massive water body can be explored by boat. Watch lush green paddy fields and coconut groves, tranquil waters momentarily disturbed by cormorants and brahmini kites diving down in search of their catch, fisherman tending to their Chinese nets, and villages passing by in canoes filled with coir and vegetables. Take a canoe trip to explore some of the smaller tributaries. At night, once your houseboat is anchored, dine under a starlit sky with the sound of crickets in the background.
Day 8&9 Rice bowl of Kerala
Spend two nights in one of the excellent resorts on the backwaters. This region is known as the rice bowl of Kerala and is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Alappuzha, surrounded by a large network of inter-connecting canals, has a rich history, having been an important trading port for centuries and is famous for its coir industry, manufacturing of boats, and the traditional snake boat races which takes place annually in August and September.
Day 10, 11, 12 & 13 South-west coastal town of Kovalam
Head towards the south-west coastal town of Kovalam and relax for four nights on sun-kissed beaches. There are many day trips you can take from your resort, including a visit to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum),Kerala’s capital city. You might also prefer to sample a quieter stretch of Kerala's coastline further north and we will happily adjust your itinerary to suit. When your beach stay is over, transfer to Trivandrum or Kochi Airport to begin your journey home.