Rural Images of Kerala
15 days from £2980 per person
This tropical state is, for many, the essence of south India. A land of swaying palms and rustic wooden villages, famous trading cities and the idyllic backwaters, this is a relaxed itinerary exploring the rural heart of Kerala. Begin your journey in two homestays, the first at Olavipe, a century old Keralan mansion on the banks of the backwaters, and the second charming Philipkutty's Farm. From here continue to the 1920s plantation bungalow of Serenity, relax by the sea, then board your own private houseboat before ending in the historic and colourful spice-market town of Kochi.
Philipkutty’s Farm is a very special experience. Staying with the family at their farm in the backwaters, you can learn about local food and crops from the experts.
What could be more enticing than slowly cruising through the Keralan Backwaters on your private houseboat. A skilled crew provides for your comfort and culinary needs.
Also known as Cochin, Kochi has been an important spice trading port for centuries with resulting Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences in architecture and culture.
Day 1 Depart the UK
Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Day 2 Arrive Kochi
Kochi to Poochakkal – 25kms
Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Kochi. Once in Kochi you will be met and taken by road to the small backwaters village of Poochakkal for a two night stay at Olavipe. The family home of the Parayil Tharakans, a well-known Syrian Christian family of Kerala, Olavipe is a century-old traditional Keralan style mansion set near the banks of the backwaters amid lush tropical greenery Alternatively, head further south to the small village of Muhamma and stay at Vembanad House for bird watching, cycling and cookery classes. (L/D)
Day 3 Poochakkal
At leisure to relax and enjoy the serene and peaceful surroundings of Olavipe. There is plenty to see and do here from learning some traditional Keralan recipes from the family cook to visiting the neighbouring village and taking a small country boat to explore the many winding canals. (B/L/D).
Day 4 Poochakkal to Puthenkayal - 15kms
After breakfast leave Poochakkal and continue the short distance to Puthenkayal. This charming, tiny village is best reached by boat and once there stay for two nights at Philipkutty's Farm, a delightful traditional style Malayali cottage on the waterfront. Comfortable and spotlessly clean, a small veranda surrounds the cottage and provides the perfect place to sit and watch river life. (B/L/D).
Day 5 Puthenkayal
Set in an idyllic location, today you will be at leisure to enjoy Philipkutty's Farm and nearby village. To this day the owners of Philipkutty's continue to farm their reclaimed land for coconut, banana, cocoa, nutmeg and pepper offering a unique insight into everyday life on the Keralan backwaters. (B/L/D).
Day 6 Puthenkayal to Kanam - 60kms
This morning leave Puthenkayal 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).
Day 7 Kanam
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.
Day 8 Kanam to Backwaters - 55kms
Drive back towards 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)
Day 9 Backwaters
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)
Day 10 Backwaters to Mararikulam – 15kms
After breakfast leave your houseboat and travel the short distance to Mararikulam where you will stay for three nights at the Marari Villas or Xandari Pearl. Alternatively upgrade to the Marari Beach Resort which is set in twenty-five acres of coconut groves and has grounds leading down to the beach. (B)
Day 11 Mararikulam
Day 12 Mararikulam
At leisure to relax and enjoy the Marari Beach Resort. (B)
Day 13 Mararikulam to Kochi – 75kms
This morning leave Mararikulam and return by car to Kochi for a two night stay at the Arches Hotel. Alternatively upgrade to the Malabar House or Brunton Boatyard Hotel. 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)
Day 14 Kochi
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)
Day 15 Kochi to the UK
Today transfer back to Kochi 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
- International flights from the UK
- 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 price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request
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