Best of Kerala

This itinerary into “God’s Own Country” opens the serenity of the pristine backwaters, the majesty of the undulating hills, the enchanting forests & Silent Valleys and timeless beauty of the palm fringed beaches of this small terrain

Day 1
ARRIVAL COCHIN

On arrival at Cochin airport, guests will be met by our representative who will provide assistance in transfer to Hotel & Check in. Rest of the time is free to relax.

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as ‘God’s Own Country‘. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.

Day 2
COCHIN

After breakfast at hotel an English speaking guide will report at hotel along with car to proceed for a sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry – Old Cochin area.
Fort Cochin has a small community in itself. Since it is a natural harbor and one of the most important trade centers in south of India, Fort Kochi is one of the most important towns in the state. The Europeans have left a major impact on the culture and traditional heritage of Cochin. One can see a unique blend of European, Dutch and Portugal lifestyle in fort of Cochin. That is because European, Dutch and Portuguese rulers occupied Cochin for many years due to which Cochin has a modern temperament. St. Francis Church, – It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out. Santa Cruz Basilica – The original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and named as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists destroyed the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Later we visit harbor area to witness Chinese fishing nets. Walk through the “Heritage Zone”; the Fort Cochin area, where the Portuguese settled in the 16th century. Visit Jew Street; the area around the Synagogue which is a centre of spice trade and curio shops. The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry. Overnight at Cochin.

Day 3
COCHIN / MUNNAR (130 Kms / 04 Hrs drive approximately)

Morning after breakfast, check out and drive to Munnar –the misty hill station of Kerala (around 4 hrs drive). Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of tea plantations – pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests – aroma of spice scented cool air “Munnar” means three mountain streams (Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala) are joining together here. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty. On arrival at Munnar visit tea factory museum. Later check in to your hotel. Overnight at Munnar.

Day 4
MUNNAR

After breakfast an English speaking guide will report at hotel along with car to proceed for a sightseeing tour of Munnar. Places of interest are tea plantations, Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam, Eco point etc. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Munnar.

Day 5
MUNNAR / THEKKADY

Morning after breakfast,check out and drive to Thekkady (around 3 ½ hrs drive). Thekkady, one of India’s major wildlife sanctuaries, sprawled over an area of 777 sq.kms is rich in varied flora and fauna. It is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations of tea, cardamom, pepper, cloves and cinnamon in the High Ranges and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. On arrival, check in to your hotel. Afternoon proceed for a spice plantation visit. Also enjoy evening boat cruise in Periyar Lake. Wild boar, bison, elephants are the main attraction here. Overnight at Thekkady.

Day 6
THEKKADY / KUMARAKOM (HOUSEBOAT)

Morning after breakfast, check out and drive to Kumarakom (around 3½ hrs drive). By 1200 hrs
board a traditional Kerala houseboat from Kumarakom and cruise along the serene backwaters to Alleppey. During the cruise, the countryside offers a close look into an engaging rustic life. You can see skilled fishermen launching their cockshell boats, large flotillas of ducks waddling down to the water from thatched houses on the banks, women neck-deep in water, with their waist-length hair heaped in a crown, searching for fish with their feet and aimless cattle grazing in lush pastureland, where white lotuses lie here and there in small, low-lying pools. The personal chef on the houseboat will prepare delicious Kerala style cuisine for you on board. Evening, cruise up to sunset and then the houseboat will be anchored for night. Overnight in Houseboat.

Day 7
ALLEPPY / KOVALAM

Morning after a brief cruise and breakfast disembark the houseboat at Pallathuruthy Jetty near
Alleppey and drive to Kovalam (around 4 hrs drive). Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favorite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse like sun-bathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs etc. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. On arrival, check in to your beautiful beach resort. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Kovalam.

Day 8
KOVALAM / TRIVANDRUM DEPARTURE

Morning check out and transfer to Trivandrum airport (around ½ an hrs drive) to board onward flight.