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based on 13 nights inc. flights & selected experiences
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A complete tour of Kerala from north to south with private drivers and guides throughout, to get the most out of this in depth and interesting adventure
See the amazing tea fields of Munnar, the quiet backwaters and the markets of Cochin
See a little of Mysore, a former princely state with many colourful tales to uncover about its eventful past
Experience some of India's best food throughout your trip
Isolated from much of India by the Western Ghats, the climate of Kerala & Karnataka is tropical and as a result of the mountain ranges the area isn’t as dry as much of India. The best time to visit is from January through to April. While there can be the occasional light showers these are just a prelude of the wet weather to come. The weather is generally hot and humid during this early summer. The monsoon season arrives in early June and thus can wash out July and August. September is much more humid as a result of the rainy season, and the fall can be dry but with the humidity this makes it feel quite the warm. There can be a little rain in the night in October and November. The temperatures cool down and the humidity lets up as winter comes in around December, with this season lasting until February when the dry spring returns. Winter can be a pleasant time to visit, especially if you’re looking to head off the beach and explore this Indian land of mystery.
Get under the skin of Kerala with this in-depth itinerary which combines the less visited areas of Karnataka and Northern Kerala, Cochin, the tea country of Munnar and finishing in the backwaters and the golden sands of Marari. This itinerary is brilliant for those that are interested in getting off the beaten track to uncover the true heartbeat of this intriguing region.
Your first stop on the itinerary is Mysore where you’ll spend two nights. The easiest way to access this region is to arrive into Bangalore and drive just under three and a half hours. This drive will give you the opportunity to visit Sriangapatnam, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan and the site of the siege by the then young Wellington in 1799. The markets in Mysore are notorious for their colours, sandlewood and spices, while the Maharajah’s Palace is beautifully furnished with antiques, intricate doors and frescoes. We have included a private guide for your first full day in Mysore to get the most out of your visit here.
Next drive from Mysore into northern Kerala to Sultan’s Battery in the hills of Wayanad. The central plateau gives way to the rolling hills and plantations of the Western Ghats and this area is home to incredible mountain scenery, spice plantations and verdant rice paddy fields. We have not included a guide here, as you may like to the take the time to relax and enjoy some walks with the chance of viewing wild elephants.
From Sultan’s Battery you’ll head to the interesting town of Cochin, which you will reach by a seven-hour drive. It is a long trip but along the way you’ll be treated to the beautiful coastal scenery of Kerala. Cochin has been a bustling trading port for centuries, and still a walk through the shops and markets of Fort Cochin will show that the art is still alive. Portuguese, Dutch and British influences combine to bring a colonial twist to a city that is cosmopolitan and absorbing. Your private guide will be on hand here to bring the intriguing history of this city to life.
You then dip back into the mountains for a stay in Munnar, famous for being home to some of the highest tea estates in the world and offering spectacular views. Again, reachable by car, you’ll have two nights here and one full day to explore a traditional tea factory and take a walk in the countryside all at a lovely leisurely pace.
No trip to Kerala is complete without a visit to the Backwaters, an area that has remained unchanged for centuries. From Munnar you will drive just over four hours to reach the starting point of your one-night adventure, staying on a traditional and private riceboat for gentle exploration along the backwaters. Eat fresh curries whilst you watch the world go by, in this tranquil and enchanting setting.
After your night on the Backwaters, you’ll reach your final destination, with three nights on the beach where you can put your feet up before flying home from Cochin.
Kumarakom is a village based on the edge of Lake Vembanadu. The village is beautifully laid out over a number of different picturesque islands and is a wonderful example of how people live in the backwaters.
A train journey in India can be an exceptionally rewarding experience. You see the life and soul of India in its many stations, as well as fantastic views of India's countryside.
Visit a spice plantation and discover where many of the spices you have in your kitchen at home are grown naturally. This is a lovely experience for couples or families of all ages to enjoy.
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Mysore, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Wayanad, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Cochin, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Munnar, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Backwaters, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Near Periyar National Park, Kerala and Karnataka, India
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