When to Travel

Nov to Feb/March are the months when the temperature is at its most pleasant.  In the pre-monsoon build up during May and June, it can get particularly hot.


The end of May to September is the monsoon season, when wet conditions bring a welcome respite from the temperatures of the previous two months. Torrential downpours followed by sunny spells are a feature of this time of year.

Key Info

For more information contact us on +44 (0) 7414 00 66 03paul@greigsmithtravels.com

Greig Smith Travels Ltd. Registered Company Number 7786310.

Travel Trust Association No: U9657

32 Drake Road, Chafford Hundred, Essex, RM16 6PS. UK

© Greig Smith Travels Ltd 2011

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Classic Kerala - Tailor made tour

This classic tour allows you to travel through this lush tropical land at a leisurely pace, seeing some of the very best natural and cultural sights that this state has to offer. All the while staying in a carefully chosen range of properties (our personal favourites). This tour is great for families and those wanting a relaxing break.

Highlights

  1. Stay in a homestay and learn about authentic Keralan cuisine.

  2. Explore the tranquil backwaters by houseboat.

  3. Visit the Hill Station of Munnar, stroll through tea plantations and visit a tea factory.

  4. Wander through the ancient city of Cochin.

  5. Stay in a delightful eco lodge nestled in the backwaters.

  6. Relax in style at the end of your trip in a 5 star hotel overlooking the Malabar Coast.

DEPART FOR COCHIN. OVERNIGHT FLIGHT


DAY 01.


On arrival at Cochin Airport, meet and transfer to hotel for 02 nights' stay. Cochin, the 'Queen of Arabian Sea' has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The ancient churches, palaces and synagogue in this city are sought after by archaeologists and historians. Evening, go for motorboat cruise to watch the sunset and the Chinese fishing nets.


Overnight stay at Bruntons Boatyard.

Meals (B)


DAY 02.


After breakfast, go for half-day sightseeing tour of Cochin covering the Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays), which was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and was presented to the Raja of Cochin as a gesture of goodwill. The Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) was originally constructed in 1568, but was destroyed by Portuguese in 1662. This was rebuilt two years later when the Dutch took over Cochin.


The St. Francis Church, said to be India's oldest European-built church was constructed in 1503. Having died in Cochin in 1524, Vasco da Gama was buried here for 14 years before his remains were taken to Lisbon. Afternoon at leisure. Evening, drive to the Cultural Centre where you can enjoy the Kathakali dance show.

Overnight stay at Brunton’s Boatyard

Meals (B)


DAY 03.

After breakfast you will be met and transferred to  a private cardamom estate just 20 minutes from the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary. If you would like, Daisy, through her cookery lessons, will introduce you to local Keralan cooking, with a special focus on vegetables, the use of coconut in food and the preparation of Sadya, a Keralan festive meal.  With its close proximity to Thattekkad, you may also wish to do a little bird watching during your stay.


Overnight stay at Jo & Daisy’s Homestay

Meals (B,L,D)

DAY 04. DRIVE TO MUNNAR


DAY 05. You will be taken on a private sightseeing tour of Munnar.


The Eravikulam National Park in Munnar is known for Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered species. Once the summer resort of the British, Munnar is most famous for its tea and nearly 55,000 acres of land are covered with tea plantations. Morning, drive to the Munnar hills to visit Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam, the scattered villages and later, the tea factory. A visit to old Munnar and the local market will be interesting.


Overnight stay at Windermere Resort


Meals (B)


DAY 06. TRANSFER TO KUMARAKOM.


Overnight at Coconut Lagoon.


Meals (B)


DAYS 07 & 08 - At Leisure


Overnight at Coconut Lagoon.


Meals (B)


DAY 09. BOARD HOUSEBOAT


Today you will board your houseboat and leisurely cruise through the backwaters of Kerala. The Backwaters of Kerala consist of an intricately woven network of canals, streams and rivers.  This lush green area provides a haven for many species of birds and fish.  The local population has adapted to a waterborne existence with the Backwaters providing their highway and recreation as well as their livelihood. 

Meals (B, L, D)


Overnight on Houseboat


DAY10 . ALIGHT FROM HOUSEBOAT & TRANSFER TO KOVALAM.


Overnight at the Leela.


Meals (B)


DAYS 11 & 12. At Leisure, free to enjoy the facilities of this stunning 5 star hotel or simply relax on the beach.


Overnights at the Leela.


Meals (B)


DAY 13. TRANSFER TO AIRPORT FOR FLIGHT HOME.



Price is subject to change & availability


Tour Includes:

  1. All transfers as per itinerary

  2. All sightseeing as per itinerary with an English speaking guide.

  3. Excursions as mentioned

  4. Transportation in private A/C vehicle

  5. English speaking guide

  6. Meals as mentioned (B =Breakfast, L = Lunch & D = Dinner - excludes drinks)

  7. Public liability insurance

  8. All taxes

  9. Accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis throughout the tour unless stated otherwise.



Tour Excludes:

  1. All International flights & Visa fees.

  2. Meals, unless mentioned differently

  3. Optional tours & activities mentioned in the itinerary.

  4. Beverages and personal expenses

  5. Other excursions and entrance fees

  6. Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident of illness)



ACCOMMODATION.

Should you wish to change any of the accommodation used in this tour, just ask and we will be happy to recommend  suitable alternatives to suit your preferences.


Entry requirements

All UK passport holders and most other nationalities require a visa for India which is obtainable in advance from your nearest embassy. Typically 6 month multiple entry visas are usually sufficient. No vaccinations are mandatory for entry, however it is advisable to a be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitus A and to take malaria prophylactics. Above all, it is essential to consult your GP about your individual requirements as soon as possible before traveling. In addition, the following website “National Travel Health Network and Centre” is useful in preparing for your trip: http://www.nathnac.org/ds/map_world.aspx


Flights

For Kerala, we recommend scheduled Emirates flights, because this airline offers an excellent all-round service, including departures from Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.


The only disadvantage of Emirates’ flights to India is a 31⁄2-hour transit time in Dubai on the outbound flight, and a 2-hour transit time on the return flight (these transit times are less if you are traveling from Heathrow).


 

Courtesy of Conan Dumeril