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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.
India is a magical country which welcomes travellers with a chaotic and colourful assault on the senses. Never is this more prominent than during one of the many festivals. Below we have listed the dates for the major festivals in India in 2017. Speak to one of our specialists about incorporating one of these into a tailor-made itinerary.
With millions of passengers on the move every day, travelling on some 71,000 miles of track, India's intricate network of railways are the arteries of the country, connecting its bustling cities with its sleepy villages and everywhere in between. The sprawling rail network reaches the nooks and crannies of India which are otherwise impossible to find. Amongst the country's miles of train tracks are some of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world, most notable of which are its famed toy trains. Whilst perhaps not the most efficient way of getting from A to B, the experience is an absolute must to add to your India itinerary.
Old Harbour Hotel
Cochin, Kerala and the South, India
Best for: Culture History, Family, Honeymoon
An oasis of quiet calm and discreet service located just steps away from Fort Cochin’s famous cantilever fishing nets, The Old Harbour is a small luxury colonial-style hotel that oozes charm and makes a great option for families and couples alike.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Once the premises of an English tea-broking company, the Old Harbour has been re-styled as a beautiful boutique hotel with ten rooms and three suites, each named after streets in old Cochin. Rooms have high ceilings and either face a courtyard or overlook the ancient Chinese fishing nets, and the interiors are an eclectic blend of antique furniture, fabrics and artworks, creating a unique and authentically Keralan feel. Three of the rooms are garden cottages with open-to-the-sky showers, verandas and ponds.
The charming restaurant, 1788, located on a terrace next to the gardens, provides a menu of Indian and international dishes, with an emphasis on extremely fresh food, including organic fruits and vegetables, and seafood specialities such as grilled snapper and roast fish kebabs. A barbecue is also served every evening. If you prefer, you can dine beneath an old mango tree in the garden to the strains of classical Indian musicians and frogs croaking in the lily pond.
After a day spent taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Fort Cochin, whether haggling for spices in the go-downs, taking in the synagogues, churches, mosques and temples of this religious melting pot, or watching a traditional masked kathakali dance, there is nothing finer than being able to relax in this oasis of restfulness. Cool off in the lovely infinity pool, book a rooftop yoga class or Ayurvedic massage, read your favourite book while sipping a sundowner, or simply watch all the comings and goings of the fishermen in the harbour.
When to go
Southern India’s tropical climate means the area isn’t as dry as much of India, though temperatures stay pretty consistent all year round. You can expect a light sprinkling of rain any time of year but the beaches are best visited during the months of November to February with warmer temperatures and minimal rainfall. The hot season between March to June brings high levels of humidity making it best to visit the hill stations which provide relief from the hotter lowlands. Monsoon season begins in July lasting until September, bringing marginally more rain than other times of the year. Once the monsoon subsides in September, the stunning emerald landscape marks an exceptional time for hiking or visiting hill stations.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Watch a Kathakali Performance
Enjoy a classical Indian dance drama which originated in Kerala in the 17th Century. Famous for its elaborate costumes and even more over-the-top characters, it offers a wonderful nights' entertainment along with music and percussion.
Markets of Cochin
A tour of the markets of Ernakulam, the newer and more vibrant of part of Cochin. Explore Broadway, and shop amongst its bustling alleyways and old world charm.
Cooking Demonstration with Nimmy Paul
Nimmy Paul has been teaching people how to cook Keralan cuisine for over 20 years and is renowned for hospitality. This experience allows you to understand Keralan cuisine with her in her home.
Visit to Kumbalangi Village
Visit Kumbalangi Village, a miniature fishing village near Kochi, for a typical Keralan village experience. Explore its natural beauty and observe fishermen using traditional Chinese nets.
Photography tour of Cochin
Explore Cochin with a photographer guide who will take you to the perfect spots to capture the soul of the city on your camera.
Ernakulam walking tour
A tour of the bustling and vibrant Ernakulam, one of Cochin’s newest parts. Enjoy a ferry ride to the district and explore busy narrow market streets and local refreshments.
Kalaripayattu Martial Arts Experience
Enjoy a Kalaripayatttu performance, thought to be one of the oldest martial arts in existence.
Cycling Tour of Different Communities of Cochin
Cochin is a melting pot of different ethnicities, religions and cultures. This cycling tour allows you to visit a variety of communities and learn about their traditions.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Cochin, Backwaters, Marari Beach
Combining Kerala’s rich colonial history with its enchanting backwaters and the sandy shores of Marari Beach, this eight night itinerary is perfect for those wishing to experience this beautiful southern Indian state, but are short on time.
Cochin, Tellicherry, Sultan's Battery and Wayanad, Coorg, Mysore, Hyderabad
A wonderfully varied two week itinerary combining Kerala’s iconic backwaters and forested mountains with Karnataka’s coffee plantations and historic palaces before finishing in one of India’s most extravagant palace hotels.
Mysore, Nagarhole National Park, Sultan's Battery, Tellicherry, Cochin, Munnar, Backwaters
A 16 night trip taking in the highlights of India’s southern states. From the lush greenery of Kerala to the historic palaces of Karnataka, this is perfect for first time visitors to the south looking for a relaxing and culturally rewarding experience.
Chennai, Pondicherry, Tanjore, Chettinad, Madurai, Dinidgul, Thekkady, Backwaters, Cochin
Combining Tamil Nadu’s ancient temples with the rolling hills and stunning backwaters of Kerala, this 15 night itinerary is the perfect introduction to two of south India’s most entrancing states.
Cochin, Munnar, Dindigul, Maudrai, Tanjore, Pondicherry, Chennai, Andaman Islands
A truly tempting two and a half week itinerary that combines the beauty and culture of south India with the pristine sandy beaches of the Andaman Islands.
Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady and Periyar National Park, Backwaters, Marari Beach
Staying in luxurious boutique hotels whilst exploring glistening waterways, lush hill stations and sandy shores, this two week trip is perfect for honeymooners or couples wishing to discover Kerala’s romantic side.
Mysore, Coorg, Neeleshwar, Tellicherry, Sultan's Battery, Cochin
A diverse two week itinerary introducing the highlights of south India’s lesser visited northern Kerala and Karnataka regions, including historic palaces, picturesque hill towns and an entrancing backwater cruise.