based on 11 nights & selected experiences
* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public vacations) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
per person based on 2 people sharing.
Explore fascinating Fort Cochin and see fishermen bringing in the catch at the Chinese fishing nets at dusk
Drive through the lush tea plantations of the western ghats to Munnar
Visit the spice plantations of Thekkady and learn about the ingredients at the heart of one of the world's best loved cuisines
Explore the winding waterways and mangroves of Kerala's backwaters and Lake Vembenad
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.
This classic itinerary allows you to explore all the highlights of Kerala from the bustling fort city of Cochin to the serene backwaters, the breath-taking Cardamom hills and onto the stunning Keralan coast.
Start your trip in Cochin, one of the most interesting towns in southern India. Set on a series of islands and promontories, Cochin's narrow streets, temples and antique shops can be explored for days. Its colonial architecture is an intriguing mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British elements woven together.
From Cochin you will drive for approximately 3-4 hours into Munnar through winding roads to the Western Ghats part of the Kerala Hill Country, situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathani and Kundala. Set amidst plantations of cardamom and tea this is the perfect base for walks and to experience the peace and solitude. Munnar is home to the highest growing tea in the world and offers stunning views.
From Munnar your private chauffeur will drive you south for again approximately 3-4 hours towards Thekkady to visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can see bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, wild elephants and if you are very lucky, Tigers. Here you can cruise through the large artificial lake created by the British in 1895 and stop in at a range of spice plantations which always make for interesting visits.
Next you will drive back towards the coast for approximately four hours in order to reach the starting point for your journey through the backwaters of Kerala. You will spend the next 24 hours experiencing beautiful scenery and a way of life unchanged for centuries as you enjoy exploring this complex network of brackish lagoons, lovely lakes and canals on your own private houseboat.
From the Backwaters you will be transferred by private car to Marari beach which will take just 30 minutes, making it easily accessible and a great place to end your trip. This beach destination has much to offer with its golden sands and small fishing villages to explore and will provide the prefect relaxation destination to spend four nights to unwind and reflect on your beautiful adventure.
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.
Perfect after an afternoon of tea tasting you will enjoy an evening walk with the Windermere’s staff and learn about the importance of this spice in Indian cuisine as well as its health benefits.
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Cochin, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Munnar, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Periyar National Park, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Backwaters, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Marari Beach, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Evening Standard, January 2010
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