|Kochi (Fort Cochin)||The Old Harbour ||2 nights|
|Munnar ||Windermere Estate ||2 nights |
|Thekkady||Spice Village||3 nights|
|Kumarakom||Coconut Lagoon||3 nights|
Click on the name of the hotel for details
11 days from £1190
International flights NOT included - see below
Combine tropical backwaters, wildlife viewing at Periyar and the tea plantations of the Western Ghats
Recommended flight from London: Emirates from London Heathrow via Dubai (see below). If you are travelling from a country other than the UK we would be happy to give you guidance on your flight options.
For a detailed day-by-day description, with a summary of what's included, please click on the PDF (above right)
DAY 1 - Arrive Kochi.
DAY 2 – Sightseeing in Fort Cochin. (B)
DAY 3 - By road to Munnar. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 - Munnar. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 – By road to Thekkady. Kalaripayattu dance performance. (B,L,D)
DAY 6 - Thekkady and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. (B,L,D)
DAY 7 - Thekkady and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. (B,L,D)
DAY 8 - By road and boat to Coconut Lagoon. (B,L,D)
DAY 9 - Coconut Lagoon. (B,L,D)
DAY 10 – Coconut Lagoon. (B,L,D) See note below regarding Houseboats.
DAY 11 - Depart (or extend your stay - see below). (B)
PLEASE ASK FOR A QUOTATION
Prices from £1190 (May to August) to around £1650 per person, according to the time of year, excluding international flights. The price we quote you at the time of booking is guaranteed.
HOUSEBOATS ON THE KERALA BACKWATERS - The concept of drifting through the charming backwaters on a kettuvalom was introduced in the late 1990s. In the beginning there were just a handful of these vessels, but such has been the success of this experience there are now almost 3,000 houseboats available for selection. This means that the experience itself has changed dramatically, with noise and overcrowding on the main channels, and we can no longer wholeheartedly recommend an overnight houseboat cruise as we have done in previous years.
We believe it is a more enjoyable experience to stay at a backwaters resort (such as Coconut Lagoon) and to take a private day cruise on a smaller boat, which can negotiate the narrower, less visited backwater channels, where there are few if any houseboats. This enables you to see the everyday canal-side life in comfort and in a more relaxing way, returning to your resort in the late afternoon. Houseboats, in fact, are not allowed to sail after 6 p.m. and must be moored for overnight.
If you still wish to sample life on a houseboat, then World Discovery can certainly organise this for you, either as an additional night, or perhaps replacing the 3rd night at Coconut Lagoon. With so many houseboats now available, naturally, the standard of quality, cleanliness, service, food and spoken English varies enormously. We only use the very best of the houseboats; you will undoubtedly find very much less expensive packages available on the internet but you should be aware that many of the houseboats used are of a very low standard in all the aspects referred to above.
recommend the services of Emirates from London Heathrow via Dubai.
Current timings (subject to possible change) are as follows:
Heathrow/Dubai. Depart at 14.15; arrive Dubai at 00.15 (next day)
Dubai/Kochi. Depart at 03.20; arrive Kochi at 08.55
Kochi/Dubai. Depart at 10.30; arrive Dubai at 12.45
Dubai/Heathrow. Depart at 15.45; arrive Heathrow at 20.15
Emirates also have good connecting services from London Gatwick, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham.
You can book the flights yourself via the Emirates website. Alternatively World Discovery can book the flights for you (we levy a service charge of £25 per person for this service).
EXTEND YOUR STAY
Popular extensions to the 'Discover Kerala' tour include the following:
(Best from September to April). The nearest beach destination to Kochi and the backwaters. Our recommended hotel is the Marari Beach Resort, run by the eco-conscious CGH Earth group. The resort is in an idyllic setting in the midst of 36 acres of mango and coconut palms with direct access to the beach. Please ask for a quote.
(Best from September to April). Further to the south, close to Trivandrum International Airport, Kovalam is Kerala's premier beach destination, with a wide variety of accommodation to suit all budgets. Our favourite luxury hotel is the Surya Samudra Resort, a Relais & Chateaux property located right at the beachfront.
The forests and beaches of Northern Kerala are now being developed for tourism. This is an area of coffee, tea and spice plantations and boasts several National Parks where a good variety of animals can be viewed, especially elephants. We recommend the area of Wayanad (pictured) with its spectacular scenery and rich wildlife.