Palm Trees On The Kerala Backwaters

Introduction to South India

15 nights from £3,170 pp (excl. international flights)

Mysore  – Nagarhole  – Cochin  – Sultan Battery  – Backwaters


A colourful road trip through cities, jungles, mountains, spice plantations, backwaters & beaches

A drive across India from Bangalore to Kerala can include a multitude of experiences. In just a couple of weeks you can wander through exquisite royal palaces, spot tigers and elephants in the jungle, explore spice plantations, feast on the regional cuisine of Kerala, sleep in a houseboat on the backwaters, take a local train, and wind down on the beach. All this and there’s still plenty of time to relax on your holiday, with some beautiful drives in between stops to take in the tropical scenery.

Remember, this is just a suggested itinerary - your own holiday can be tailored to your preference of budget, duration, locations and experiences.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Take to the skies

Take the overnight flight from London Heathrow, or selected other UK airports, to Bangalore in South India.

Day 2: Welcome to India

Bangalore  Palace

Bangalore Palace

On arrival in Bangalore you will be met and transferred to your hotel - your driver will be with you for your whole holiday. Put your feet up and get ready for the adventure ahead.

Day 3: Mysore – City of Palaces

Palace At  Mysore

Another palace, at Mysore

You will be picked up from your hotel this morning, and before driving to Mysore, have a quick look around Bangalore to see Tipu Sultan’s Palace and the Botanical Gardens. It’s then a 3-hour drive to Mysore, stopping on the way at the island fortress of Srirangapatna.

Day 4: Mysore – City of Palaces

Mysore  Palace

Mysore Palace

There’s a lot to see in Mysore. You can head out with your guide to explore the myriad treasures of Mysore Palace, wander Brindavan Gardens, stop at the medieval temple at Somnathpur, and take in the views from the top of Chamundi Hill.

Day 5: Nagarhole National Park

Wild Elephants Strolling At  Nagarhole

Wild elephants strolling around Nagarhole

Today it’s a 2-hour drive to Nagarhole National Park, and once you have checked in you can set off for a game drive in the park, binoculars at the ready for 250 bird species, gaur, elephants, sambar, chittal and possibly the odd tiger.

Day 6: Nagarhole National Park

Kaav  Nagarhole  National  Park

Accommodation in Nagarhole

A second jeep safari inside the park and spend the rest of the day relaxing or explore the nearby tribal villages.

Day 7: Sultan Battery

Tranquil  Resort  Treehouse

Stay in a treehouse at Tranquil Resort

Travel 3 hours to Sultan Battery in the green mountains of Kerala, where a warm family welcome awaits you at a 400-acre coffee and spice plantation. Enjoy the pool or pamper yourself with an Ayurvedic massage at Tranquil Resort. There are lots of good walking routes around the plantation, or you can head out to visit nearby caves, lakes and temples.

Day 8: Sultan Battery

Tranquil  Resort  Candle  Lit  Dinner On The  Tree  Deck

Dinner at Tranquil Resort

Relax and enjoy life on the plantation.

Day 9: Tellicherry, northern Kerala

Ayesha  Manzil

Ayesha Manzil

Leave the mountains today and drive down to the coast of northern Kerala (about 3-4 hours) to check into the homestay of Ayisha Manzil in a lovely old-fashioned colonial style mansion. Your hostess Ms. Faiza Moosa is an expert on the local mopillah cuisine so get ready for a culinary treat.

Day 10: Tellicherry, northern Kerala

Have a cooking lesson at the hotel, relax or head out to the area – pop down to the beach, the spice and fish markets, and watch the closing ritual at the Muthappan temple.

Day 11: Cochin


Fort Cochin

Time to experience Indian rail travel today as you board the Netravati Express to Cochin (at either 08:00 or 14:10). On arrival in Cochin you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. Relax and explore Cochin, and in the evening you'll be taken to see a performance of the local dance, the Kathakali, if you wish .

Day 12: Cochin

Chinese Fishing Nets  Cochin

Chinese fishing nets in Cochin

Enjoy a private guided tour of Cochin and explore this fascinating historical seaside town with its European churches, Jewish synagogues, Indian palaces and Chinese fishing nets. This has been a cosmopolitan place for thousands of years.

Day 13: Houseboat on the Backwaters of Kerala

Cruise The  Backwaters

Cruise the backwaters

Drive a short distance to board your houseboat and spend the day cruising around the waterways and lagoons of Kerala’s backwaters. The houseboat is also your accommodation for the night so relax and enjoy.

Day 14: Marari Beach

Marari  Beach

Chill on Marari Beach

Hopping off your houseboat, it’s a short drive to spend the last few days of your holiday winding down on Marari Beach, one of the best beaches in Kerala, with a good variety of accommodation.

Day 15: Marari Beach

Marari  Beach  Swimming  Pool

Pool at Marari Beach Resort

Enjoy the beach, take a dip in the sea, work on your tan, sip a fresh coconut and finish that book.

Day 16: Fly home

It’s a 2-hour drive from your hotel to the solar-powered Cochin International Airport for your flight home.

Duration: 15 nights

Location: Kerala and South India, India

Price: £3170pp

Our 'Introduction to South India' itinerary includes accommodation, daily breakfast (also lunch and dinner while at Nagarhole, Sultan Battery & Tellicherry), transfers & drives in chauffeur-driven AC vehicle, and sightseeing as indicated. Excludes international flights.

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