1. Wandering the colonial streets of Fort Cochin
  2. Sampling tea in Munnar surrounded by mountains
  3. Floating along Kerala’s backwaters in a houseboat
  4. Watching out for kingfishers beside Lake Vembanad
  5. Discovering southern Kerala’s beaches from Kovalam

Day 1: Arrive in Fort Cochin

Arrive in Kochi (Cochin) before proceeding to historic Fort Cochin – a peninsula town famous for its Portuguese architecture, Dutch cemetery and Chinese fishing nets. Enjoy a traditional Kathakali drama and dance performance on the first evening. Overnight at Poovath Heritage.

Day 2: Fort Cochin

Wander Fort Cochin’s picturesque streets and its surroundings, namely St Francis, the oldest European church in India; the colonial-style Mattancherry Palace and the 16th-century Paradesi Synagogue. Finish the day with a harbour cruise. Overnight at Poovath Heritage.

Day 3: Fort Cochin to Munnar

Head to the hills by making a beeline east for Munnar, Kerala’s tea-growing capital. Spend part of the afternoon walking through a Western Ghats tea plantation before sampling the freshest and tastiest of Keralan brews. Overnight at Ambady Estate.

Day 4: Munnar to Alappuzha

Descend back towards the coast in the direction of Alappuzha (Alleppey); gateway to Kerala’s famous backwaters. Board a private houseboat, or kettuvallam, before spending a day and night on the water, watching out for turtles and kingfishers. Overnight on a River Escapes houseboat.

Day 5: Alappuzha to Kumarakom

Located the other side of Lake Vembanad, Kumarakom – with its 14-acre bird sanctuary and waterside setting – is among South India’s most relaxing destinations. On arrival, the rest of the day is spent at leisure. Overnight at Lake Palace Resort.

Day 6: Kumarakom to Kovalam

Travel down the coast before stopping short of Kerala’s southern tip at Kovalam – a pretty resort town set around the iconic Lighthouse Beach. After checking in to your hotel, the rest of the day is spent at leisure. Overnight at Thapovan Heritage.

Day 7: Kovalam

Today is kept free for independent activities. A lazy day on Lighthouse Beach – perhaps climbing its red-and-white-striped Vizhinjam Lighthouse – or Hawa Beach may be in order, or a visit to Samudra Beach a couple of kilometres up the coast. Overnight at Thapovan Heritage.

Day 8: Kovalam

The last full day in Kerala is again kept at leisure. Either relax in front of the Arabian Sea or head out on a day trip, perhaps to Kanyakumari in neighbouring Tamil Nadu – India’s southernmost point and an important pilgrimage site. Overnight at Thapovan Heritage.

Day 9: Kovalam to Thiruvananthapuram

Transfer to Trivandrum International Airport for your international return flight home.

Activities to consider

  • Crab catching in Kumbalanghi, a few kilometres south of Kochi
  • Learning how to cook Syrian-Christian Keralan cuisine
  • Discovering how to operate Chinese fishing nets near Kochi
  • Embarking on a walking tour of Alappuzha courtesy of the Preserve Alleppey Society

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