Kerala - A Taste of South India

From $3,499
Duration 10 Days
Departures from Oct 2020 - Mar 2021
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From $3,499
Duration 10 Days
Departures from Oct 2020 - Mar 2021
Tour Overview

Peaceful backwaters, aromatic spices and some of India’s best beaches, this is what you’ll find in Kerala, alongside a lush landscape and incredible wildlife. You’ll spend the night on a houseboat and you may even spot the elusive tiger.

  • Classic Touring
  • Half Board
  • Flight Choices
  • Max Group Size 30

Your Holiday Includes

  • Just You Tour Manager as your host
  • 8 nights in 4 & 5-star hotels
  • 1 night on one of Kerala's famous houseboats cruising the backwaters
  • 21 meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 9 dinners including a welcome dinner & drink & farewell get-together
  • Free scheduled group transfers are available on arrival & departure. Other transport & porterage included

Included Holiday Highlights

  • ​Cochin tour
  • Cooking demonstration & lunch with a local chef
  • Kathakali dance show
  • Spice plantation visit
  • Game viewing by boat
  • Local village tour in Kumarokam
  • Local Flavours - Traditional 'Sadya' dinner

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 Cochin

Make your own way to Cochin where you can meet us for the scheduled group transfers to your hotel. 

On arrival you will be met by a local guide who will transfer you to your hotel for check in. 

After settling in at your hotel, you will be met later this evening by your Just You Tour Manager, where you will get to know your travelling companions over dinner this evening.

Meals included: D

Day 3 Cochin

Today begins with a morning tour of Cochin. We'll head to the centre of Jew Town, a bustling port area and centre of Cochin's spice trade, where we will see the oldest Jewish Synagogue in the commonwealth, dating back to 1568.  Next stop is the Mattancherry Kerala Palace, renamed the Dutch Palace after Cochin was taken from the Portuguese by the Dutch. Admire the splendid murals that adorn some of the rooms, said to be amongst the best in India. We round off our tour with a visit to St Francis Church, where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died and was buried.

At lunchtime we are invited to a cooking demonstration in the home of a well-known local chef and food journalist. Here, you'll learn how to use Kerala's aromatic spices in your own cooking and get to sample the dishes you create.

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. This shared meal will take you on a gastronomic journey through Kerala as you try a tempting selection of dishes from many different regions. Each is served following local customs and come in an order which is said to help digestion. You'll eat from a banana leaf, which points in a certain direction, with rice served on the bottom half, and other items placed in clockwise order. You'll find that your hosts serve dessert mid-way through the meal.  ​

Meals included: B,L,D

Day 4 Cochin - 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 journey past rice paddies, tea and rubber tree plantations and aromatic gardens of coffee, cardamom and pepper plants, while the Western Ghats mountain range provides 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'. ​

Meals included: B,D

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 elusive tiger. ​

Meals included: B,D

Day 6 Thekaddy - 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.​

Meals included: B,L,D

Day 7 Alleppey - 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.​

Meals included: B,L,D

Day 8 Kumarakom - 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.​

Meals included: B,D

Day 9 Kovalam - at Leisure

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.​

Meals included: B,D

Day 10 Kovalam - at Leisure

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. ​

Meals included: B,D

Days 11 - 10 Kovalam - Departure

Your tour comes to an end today. Scheduled group transfers are available to the airport​, please see www.justyou.com/transfers

Please note: Due to the nature of these vacations, other travellers will join or leave the tour at different times.

Meals included: B

Accommodation

Trident Cochin

The 4-star Trident Hotel is situated in Cochin.

Hotel facilities include a restaurant, bar and a swimming pool. Bedrooms have private facilities, safe, hairdryer, tea/coffee-making facilities and a TV.

The Elephant Court

Houseboat

Enjoy an overnight stay with a difference on a Houseboat, modelled on the area’s traditional rice boats.

Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere

The 4-star Vasundhara Premier Hotel is situated by the serene backwaters of Kerala in Vayalar.

Hotel facilities include a restaurant, bar and a spa. Bedrooms have private facilities and air-conditioning.

Travancore Heritage Hotel - Kovalam

The 4-star Travancore Heritage Hotel is situated on a high cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea in Chowara.

Hotel facilities include a restuarant, health club and a swimming pool. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, mini-bar, tea/coffee-making facilities and a TV.