SPECTACULAR SOUTH INDIA
Kochi – Munnar – Madurai – Periyar – Kumarakom – Mararikulam
11 days / 10 nights
Lush landscapes, tea and spice plantations, sumptuous food, beautiful churches and temples, gentle cruises and long sandy beaches – these are some of South India’s favorite things. For a holiday immersed in relaxation, wellness and pampering, the South of India is a magically different place. A holiday here is a beautiful complement to the ones in the North.
Day 1 Arrive Kochi. This city is a natural harbor and has played host to many dynasties including the French, Portuguese, Dutch and English; has traded with China and the Middle East for centuries and all of them have left an indelible mark on this city. Great for walking, Kochi has a surprise at every corner.
Day 2 This morning enjoy a tour of Kochi including the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Also visit Jew Street, famous for antiques and souvenirs. In the evening watch a Kathakali performance.
Day 3 Drive to the tea plantation town of Munnar. Settled by the British who needed to get away from the oppressive summer heat and humidity, this tranquil little town still has a feel of the Raj. Visit Christ Church and the Tea Museum this afternoon.
Day 4 This morning drive to Madurai, home to the Famous Meenakshi Temple. The day is at leisure with an evening visit to see this beautiful temple and watch the ceremonies.
Day 5 Drive to Periyar, a wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve with a core area of 140 sq. miles. This evergreen forest is home to herds of Asian elephants. Periyar Lake, which sits at the center of this park, is where all the sightseeing is done – by boat. Barking deer, horse deer, Indian bison, Indian wild dog, Malabar giant squirrel, Nilgiri ibex can all be spotted here. Even though the park is said to have tigers no one has really seen any in a long time. This evening visit a spice plantation where you can see how vanilla, black pepper, nutmeg & mace, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon etc. are grown.
Day 6 Breakfast is followed by a cruise safari on Periyar Lake; which is the main watering hole for the animals living in this reserve. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 7 Drive to Alleppey to board your very own houseboat and cruise down the backwaters through the mighty Vembanad Lake. Lunch is served onboard. Check in at your resort on arrival in Kumarakom.
Day 8 The day is at leisure.
Day 9 After a leisurely breakfast check out and drive to Mararikulam, a beach destination on the Arabian Sea. This evening participate in a cooking demonstration with the chef at your hotel.
Day 10 The day is at leisure for you to enjoy the beach and indulge in activities offered by your resort.
Day 11 Depart for Kochi International Airport