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Rural Images of Kerala

15 days from £2590 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.

Route: Kochi – Poochakkal – Puthenkayal – Kanam – Backwaters – Mararikulam – Kochi

Itinerary Highlights

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.

Quintessential Kerala, no visit is complete without an exploration of the picturesque backwaters. Stay aboard a traditional houseboat for an authentic experience.

Also known as Cochin, Kochi has been an important trading port for centuries with resulting Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences in architecture and culture.

Itinerary: Rural Images of Kerala

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
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. 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)

Accommodation in Poochakkal: Olavipe (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Poochakkal: Olavipe (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Puthenkayal: Philipkutty's Farm (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Puthenkayal: Philipkutty's Farm (or similar)

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)

Accommodation in Kanam: Serenity (or similar)

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)

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)

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 your houseboat and travel the short distance to Mararikulam where you will stay for three nights near to Marari Beach. (B)

Accommodation in Mararikulam: Marari Beach Resort

At leisure to relax and enjoy the Marari Beach Resort. (B)

Accommodation in Mararikulam: Marari Beach Resort

This morning leave Mararikulam and return by car 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

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

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
  • 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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