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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. 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.
The Francis Residence
Best for: Culture History
The Francis Residence offers guests a wonderful and welcoming family-run homestay experience in a residential area just minutes away from the Chinese fishing nets and the buzzing markets of Fort Cochin.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
A vibrant and elegantly designed property, The Francis residence has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. With only six rooms, there is an intimate feel, where guests are guaranteed comfort and first-class hospitality surrounded by the many highlights Fort Cochin has to offer.
The rooms are brightly and tastefully decorated as well as comfortable and well-appointed, acting as the perfect retreat after a day exploring the Fort Cochin area. Dining at the Francis Experience is a particularly special experience, where Mr. Francis and his wife prepare wonderfully flavoursome dishes using recipes passed down through generations. Particular specialities include Mrs. Rosy's Alleppey Prawn Curry, the Malabar Fish Curry and a wonderful Mixed Grill Seafood Platter.
The Francis residence is ideally situated, a hidden gem tucked away, yet within walking distance to the Chinese fishing nets and within easy reach of the Dutch palace and Jewish quarter amongst many other Fort Cochin attractions. The Residence itself is the perfect place to relax, where Mr Francis and his family will endeavour to make sure your stay in Fort Cochin is just how you would like. The Francis family also offer traditional cooking lessons, offering guests a fabulous insight into the preparation and history of delicious Keralan food.
The Francis Residence is the perfect place to stay for those seeking a welcoming family-run homestay experience. It is the perfect retreat, enviably positioned to experience all the wonders of surrounding Fort Cochin.
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, Munnar, Thodupuzha, Backwaters
A diverse ten night itinerary taking you through the highlights of Kerala whilst staying in some of our favourite homestays. Enjoy delicious home cooking and gain an insight into local culture and traditions many never experience.