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We have a selection of guidebooks to some of our most popular countries in Asia. Written by our specialists, they detail destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send this via a PDF to your email.
The Golden Triangle is a great starting point for anyone visiting India for the first time. The journey is made up of three of the most visited cities in north India – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, offering a fantastic combination of history and culture.
Only after stepping foot in India will you realise that Indian cuisine, as you know it, just doesn’t exist. To paint both the delicate and punchy flavours of India with the same broad brushstroke overlooks the smorgasbord of dishes on offer from north to south. Tried and tested recipes balance coriander, cumin and cardamom with almost scientific precision, guaranteeing a culinary experience you will never forget.
Enjoy a sneak peek into daily life in India by staying at a haveli or in a homestay. If only for a few nights, you will be shoehorned into a family, enjoying traditional Indian hospitality, sampling home cooked food and exploring the path less travelled. Staying at one of these unique lodgings will give you an incredible insight into real India, and you will be welcomed with open arms by hosts whose wealth of local knowledge knows no bounds. Coming in all shapes and sizes, from plantation bungalows to historic houses, majestic forts and charming cottages, a short stay in one of these unique properties allows you to immerse yourself in India rather than simply visit it.
Highlights of Kerala
Cochin, Munnar, Madurai, Thekkady and Periyar National Park, Backwaters, Marari
Best for: Highlights, Culture History, Beach
From cosmopolitan cities and temple towns to the enchanting backwaters and mountainous hill stations, this twelve night itinerary introduces you to some of the best sights and experiences Kerala has to offer.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
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Taking you through the finest highlights of this beautiful south Indian state, this twelve night itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors to Kerala. A state known for its laid-back atmosphere and rich culture, this itinerary follows suit, offering both a relaxing and culturally rewarding experience. Starting in the cosmopolitan port city of Cochin, venture up into the rolling hills of the Western Ghats to explore stunning rural scenery and stroll through tea plantations. Then, enjoy another slice of rural life at Paradisa Plantation Retreat after a night in the colourful temple town of Madurai. The itinerary comes to a relaxing end with a night on Kerala’s famed backwaters and a beachside retreat on the golden sands of Marari Beach.
Days 1 - 3 : Cochin, India
Stay at The Eighth Bastion for 2 nights
The trip begins in Cochin, a bustling port city known for its unique blend of Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch and British influences. Upon arrival in Cochin, you will be transferred to The Eighth Bastion, a boutique hotel offering delicious Indian fusion cuisine in a fantastic location. Spend the following day discovering the delights of Cochin with a private guide, including the Mattancherry Palace, St Francis Church, Ernakulam’s bustling markets and the iconic Chinese fishing nets that line the shore. Watching a Kathakali performance is a great way to spend an evening, a classic Indian dance drama known for its elaborate costumes and characters that originated in Cochin.
Days 3 - 5 : Munnar, India
Stay at Windermere Estate for 2 nights
From Cochin, you will be driven approximately four hours to Munnar, a beautiful hill station boasting sprawling tea plantations, verdant valleys and picturesque scenery. The next two nights will be spent at Windermere Estate, an English style plantation retreat nestled amongst some of south India’s most spectacular scenery. Spend the days at Windermere exploring tea and spice plantations, trekking up to the top of a nearby peak, visiting a local tea factory or relaxing amongst Windermere’s gardens and taking in the mountain scenery. Birdlife is plentiful on the estate, however for those particularly interested in birds, a trip to the nearby Thattekad Bird Sanctuary can easily be arranged.
Days 5 - 7 : Madurai, India
Stay at Taj Gateway Pasumalai for 2 nights
On the morning of day five, you will be driven approximately four hours to Madurai, one of South India’s finest temple towns known for the vibrant 17th century Meenakshi Temple. That evening you will be taken to a ‘going to bed’ ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple, an evening ritual carried out by a number of priests that makes for unforgettable viewing. The following day, enjoy a guided early morning walking tour as the town of Madurai awakes, interacting with locals and observing daily life begin. Later that day, explore the highlights of the city with a local specialist guide, including magnificent 16th century Tirumalai Palace. Whilst exploring Madurai, you will be staying at the Taj Gateway Pasumulai, charming hotel that offers panoramic views over Madurai from its hill top position.
Days 7 - 9 : Thekkady and Periyar National Park, India
Stay at Paradisa Plantation Retreat for 2 nights
Escape the bustle of Madurai for another slice of rural Kerala as you are driven approximately five hours to Paradisa Plantation, a secluded hill retreat occupying terraces carved into Kerala’s Cardamom Hills. Your time at Paradisa is free to spend how you wish, perhaps strolling through the surrounding plantations, spotting wildlife in Periyar Tiger Reserve or touring a local tea factory. Alternatively, the swimming pool is a great spot to pause for a while and take in the spectacular valley views.
Day 9 - 10 : Backwaters, India
Stay at Houseboat Lakes and Lagoons for 1 night
From Paradisa Plantation Retreat, you will be driven approximately three hours to the Backwaters, a criss-cross of winding waterways, lakes and lagoons that Kerala is famous for. Board your private houseboat, sit back, and watch life on the banks unfold, passing lush paddy fields and bustling hamlets as the boat gently cruises along the water canals. That evening, enjoy a delicious local Keralan meal on-board your houseboat before retreating to your cabin for a night on the backwaters.
Days 10 - 13 : Marari, India
Stay at Marari Beach Resort for 3 nights
The final stop is the golden shores of Marari Beach, just a 30 minute drive away from the backwaters. Spend the next three nights at Marari Beach Resort, the perfect place to relax for a few days at the end of a busy trip exploring Kerala. Spend the days strolling along the beach, relaxing by the swimming pool, enjoying spa treatments and sampling some delicious fresh fish in the hotel’s restaurant. There are also nature walks, cooking classes, traditional martial arts demonstrations and much more to occupy those wishing to remain a little more active during their stay. On the morning of day thirteen, you will be picked up from Marari Beach resort and driven to Cochin airport in time for your flight home.
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Now call 020 3141 2850 and let’s get designing, adding in your timings, ideas and budget mixed with our expertise to come-up with your dream holiday.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
From $2030 per person
Meals and experiences as per itinerary
Ask our specialists for prices excluding flights from the UK. This price is as a guide only. The actual price is influenced by fluctuations in exchange rate, time of year, travel class of flights and the use of private versus shared excursions. Single supplements are likely to apply.