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Beautiful Kerala

16 days from £3790 per person

Kerala is rightly one of India's most popular destinations. A region of staggering scenic beauty encompassing jungle and beach, tea hills and historic towns, this journey encapsulates the best of Kerala using small and unique hotels. Commencing in the coffee plantation retreat of Tranquil, travel through the hills to Ooty before taking the Nilgiri Mountain Railway down to Mettupalayam. After two days exploring Kochi, cruise the Keralan backwaters followed by a three night stay at delightful Serenity. End the journey beside the sea in Mullur, close to India's famed beach resort of Kovalam.

Route: Kozhikode – Sultans Battery – Ooty – Coimbatore – Kochi – Keralan Backwaters – Kanam – Mullur – Trivandrum

Itinerary Highlights

Situated around 930 metres above the coast, Sultans Battery has pleasant weather year round, a relaxed atmosphere, great views and a climate suited to growing coffee and spices.

The hill station of Ooty was settled by the British and retains much of its charm. A highlight is a ride on the historic Nilgiri Mountain Railway – a spectacular journey with stunning views.

Serenity is set between the hills and the coast, surrounded by rubber estates and spice gardens. Relax at the pool or spend the day with Lakshmi, the hotel’s elephant.

Itinerary: Beautiful Kerala

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Kozhikode. Once in Kozhikode you will be met and driven to Sultan's Battery, a small town in the Western Ghats and the centre of a region which produces some of India's finest coffee, cardamom and vanilla. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Sultan's Battery: Amaryllis (or similar)

Upgrade option: Tranquil (or similar)

Over the next two days enjoy Amaryllis and the surrounding local area. Swim in the beautiful pool or relax with a good book. The bird-watching here is excellent and so far 127 different species have been recorded including hoopoe, drongo, hornbill, kingfisher and the magnificent crested serpent hawk. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Sultan's Battery: Amaryllis (or similar)

Upgrade option: Tranquil (or similar)

After breakfast leave Sultan's Battery and continue to the hill station of Ooty. The capital of the Nilgiri ‘Blue Mountain’ district, Ooty boasts a temperate climate that once enticed the British to escape the summer heat of plains. Here they whiled away their time with endless socialising, bridge parties and Tiffin, which gave the town the catchy nickname of ‘Snooty Ooty’. Stay overnight at the historic Savoy Hotel which first opened as a hotel in 1841 and has hosted many famous and royal visitors. (B/D)

Accommodation in Ooty: Savoy Hotel (or similar)

This morning enjoy the town and visit the well-maintained botanical gardens which have over 1,000 varieties of plants, shrubs and trees. Later transfer to Ooty Railway Station to catch the Nilgiri Mountain Railway train to Mettupalayam. Here you will be met and taken to Coimbatore for an overnight stay. Travelling a distance of 26 miles, this spectacular journey encounters 16 tunnels and crosses 250 bridges. One of the steepest lines in Asia, the views and scenery are breathtaking. (B)

Accommodation in Coimbatore: Vivanta by Taj – Surya (or similar)

After breakfast leave Coimbatore for the drive to Kochi. Founded by Vasco-da-Gama in 1502, Kochi quickly developed into a principle port and the centre of the spice trade on the Malabar Coast. A picturesque town of tumble-down buildings, vibrant bougainvillea and a languid palm-fringed harbour, Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers have all influenced this charming city. (B)

Accommodation in Kochi: Eighth Bastion (or similar)

Upgrade option: Malabar House

Alternative upgrade option: Brunton Boatyard Hotel

Today explore Fort Kochi with your guide. Starting on foot, begin the day at the church of St Francis, the oldest European church in India, then walk to the town's waterfront—site of the iconic Chinese fishing nets and the many fish stalls that sell the catch. Later visit Mattancherry Palace, which was built by the Portuguese in 1557 as a gift to the Raja of Kochi, and the town's fine synagogue. The area here is also known for its many antique and curio shops. End the day with a sunset cruise around the bustling harbour. (B)

Accommodation in Kochi: Eighth Bastion (or similar)

Upgrade option: Malabar House

Alternative upgrade option: Brunton Boatyard Hotel

Drive south along the coast to Alleppey and the Keralan backwaters to join a private Houseboat for a two night cruise. Authentic and comfortable, all meals are cooked on board and the boat is staffed with a captain, a deck hand and a cook. Spend the remainder of day cruising the beautiful and peaceful backwaters. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: private Houseboat

At leisure. The backwaters consist of a network of lakes, coconut shaded canals and estuaries—tiled and thatched cottages bright with hibiscus dot the embankments and the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets hang over the water's edge. Witness local life with children swimming and playing in the water, women attending to their daily chores and men fishing from their canoes. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: private Houseboat

After breakfast leave the houseboat and drive to Kanam for a two night stay at Serenity, a delightful 1920s plantation bungalow and a wonderfully peaceful place to spend a couple of days. Surrounded by rubber plantations, Serenity is located between the tea hills and the backwaters. There are six beautiful bedrooms, a lovely swimming pool and it is also possible to spend the day with Lakshmi, the hotel's elephant, including bathtime with her at the end of the day! (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Kanam: Serenity (or similar)

Today you will be at leisure to relax and enjoy the surrounding countryside with your car and driver. Aside from spending the day with Lakshmi, it is also possible to undertake walks through many of the surrounding plantations, visit a neighbouring tropical garden or take a leisurely bicycle ride. Alternatively, simply relax by the swimming pool. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Kanam: Serenity (or similar)

This morning leave Kanam and travel south by road to Mullur, a coastal town close to Kovalam. Stay for three nights at the Niraamaya – Surya Samudra, one of Kerala's finest small beach hotels. Set on a small cliff overlooking an expanse of beach, the traditional style cottage rooms all face the sea, are furnished with traditional artefacts and have spacious open-air bathrooms. (B)

Accommodation in Mullur: Niraamaya Retreat Surya Samudra (or similar)

At leisure. Facilities at the hotel include a stunning cliff-top swimming pool which is built into the rock face and an excellent spa. The delightful sea-facing restaurant serves an array of delicious local and international dishes and fresh seafood is plentiful. (B)

Accommodation in Mullur: Niraamaya Retreat Surya Samudra (or similar)

Today transfer to Trivandrum Airport to catch the Emirates flight to Dubai. On your arrival connect onto the onwards Emirates flight to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car with English speaking driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

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Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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