12 Days From £1095
Characterised by winding emerald rivers, exotic wildlife, spice plantations and lush landscapes, the south Indian state of Kerala exudes tranquillity and beauty.
- Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
- Scheduled Flights from the UK.
- All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
- Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
- All airport taxes and security charges.
12 Day Itinerary:
Day 1: UK to Kochi (Cochin)
Depart London on your overnight flight.
Day 2: Kochi
On arrival at Kochi International airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel where you will check in and have dinner. The rest of your evening is at leisure.
Day 3: Kochi
Start your day with a 45 minute Ayuervedic massage and breakfast at your hotel. This afternoon enjoy a traditional lunch of Sadhya, a delicacy in Kerala served on a banana leaf, before you begin your tour of Kochi, the historic centre of India's spice trade. See the ancient Chinese influence in the impressive fishing nets, still used daily by locals, and take a ride through the village road in a tuk-tuk. You will also see the Mattanchery Dutch Palace and the oldest European church in India, St. Francis before returning to your hotel in Kochi for the evening.
Day 4: Kochi to Alleppey
Today you will board a traditional houseboat which will be your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding Kerala villages and waters. Meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals is truly an amazing experience like no other.
Day 5: Alleppey to Thrissur
After breakfast disembark and journey to the Athirapally Waterfalls which, falling from a height of 80 feet, are one of the highest in the state. Then head on to Thrissur with its strong cultural, religious and spiritual background. Visit historical buildings such as the Vadkumnathan and Paramekavu Devi Temples before exploring the Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, where you can watch these magnificent creatures feed and bathe. Continue to your hotel in Thrissur where you will spend the next two nights.
Day 6: Thrissur
Following breakfast, today will be your chance to gain insight into the local culture with 'A Day with the Masters', an introduction to the world of Kerala's traditional performing arts. Learn about traditional Sanskrit theatre, percussion music and the training of each art form, as well as the life of an artist. Retire to your hotel in the evening for dinner and your overnight stay.
Day 7: Thrissur to Munnar
The tour will depart Thrissur in the morning and travel to Munnar, known for its expanse of tea plantations, rolling valleys and mountains. Stopping en route for lunch, the rest of the day will be free time where you may choose to hire a bicycle and ride through Munnar's beautiful paths, or simply relax with a good book at your hotel.
Day 8: Munnar
Today you will have a tour of Munnar, a nature lover's paradise. Visit Mattupetty Lake, Echo Point, Gundala Lake and Jungle Honey Bee Nest, where over 20 nests occupy a single tree. You will then continue to a tea plantation and Rajamalai National Park, famous for its largest surviving population of Nilgiri Tahr (wild goat).
Day 9: Munnar to Thekkady
The tour will then journey to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market awaits you.
Day 10: Thekkady to Trivandrum
A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you will have the chance to spot some elephants, or one of the park's 25 Bengal tigers amongst other birds, reptiles and mammals. From here you will then travel on to Trivandrum, en route enjoy the scenic beauty of Kerala's various villages before arriving at your hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 11: Trivandrum
Depart in the morning for a half day city tour. Witness the magnificent Kanakakunnu Palace, one of the last architectural relics of the colonial era, then see the famous Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple, one of the principle places of worship of the deity of Vaishnavism. You will then return to your hotel to enjoy another Ayurvedic massage before your farewell dinner.
Day 12: Trivandrum to the UK
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
- Breakfast will always be served at your accommodation each morning during the tour.
- Lunch and Dinner, where included, will be served in local restaurants or at your accommodation.
12 days from
£1095 per person
Prices subject to availability & change
A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £72 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
All flights are operated by Air India Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 8kg not exceeding 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm in size.
Health and Vaccinations
We recommend that you consult your local GP for advice on vaccinations and travel health before your departure.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip.
The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!