Begin in Kochi and spend a day exploring the city’s heritage walks before catching a traditional evening Kathakali performance. The next day, go on an excursion to a village along the backwaters near Kochi, have lunch with local villagers, see their farming activities, and take a canoe ride through the waterways. Or, take a local ferry to Broadway Bazaar and wander through the market. Continue to Thekkady where you can stay on a spice plantation, go on the guided Green Walk and/or night patrol at Periyar National Park, visit tribal communities, take a bullock cart ride and see a traditional kalaripayattu martial arts demonstration. Proceed to Kumarakom, spending a night at a hotel or homestay on the bank of Lake Vembanad. Go on an excursion to Manjira village to experience local life, or visit Bay Island Drift Museum to see the unusual collection of driftwood and root sculptures. The next day, take a houseboat along the waterways from Kumarakom to Alleppey.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Kochi, Kumarakom, Periyar National Park
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Explore Kochi

Explore Kochi

Day 1–3 in Kochi

The port city of Kochi (also known as Cochin) is Kerala's biggest conurbation, but is actually made up of a collection of tiny islands and outcrops. Visit Fort Kochi island for Chinese fishing nets and the Jewish Quarter, or head inland for cultural Kathakali performances and delicious Keralan food. This is a great place to begin your Keralan adventure.

Tiger safari in Periyar National Park

Tiger safari in Periyar National Park

Day 4–5 in Periyar National Park

Found near Thekkady in the Western Ghat mountains, Periyar National Park is home to sought after populations of elephants and tigers. Take a bamboo raft trip on Periyar Lake to remote wildlife-watching places, or take a jeep to the top of the Cardamom Hills for views over the park.

Houseboat trip in Kumarakom

Houseboat trip in Kumarakom

Day 6–8 in Kumarakom

Kumarakom is the perfect jumping off place for houseboat tour in Kerala. From here, you can explore the canals and waterways around Lake Vembanad. Kumarakom is also a centre of holistic Ayurvedic treatments and is known for its yoga centres, making it a perfect place to relax from the stresses of your trip.

Don't miss

Sail Kerala's waterways on a houseboat

Sail Kerala's waterways on a houseboat

Explore Kerala's canals and waterways onboard with an authentic houseboat adventure, starting from rural Alleppey.

Where to stay

Superior

Trident Agra

A little island of cleanliness and calm in the middle of the Taj Mahal mayhem. With this chain, you can be sure of excellent service, flawlessly clean rooms and a tickbox list of facilities. Lacking a little character, perhaps, but excellent value for money.

Superior

Rambagh Palace

This jewel in the Taj’s crown offers 78 stunning grand luxury rooms and suites, once the chambers of the Maharaja. The palace retains its splendour with vintage cars, guards on horseback and exquisitely uniformed staff. Mughal gardens and exceptional cuisine.

Deluxe

The Imperial

A unique blend of Victorian, Old Colonial and Art Deco style, the iconic and historic Imperial is seriously good. Beyond the turbaned, mustachioed doormen, elegant interiors are adorned with fine art. Great rooms compiled with delicious understated elegance.

Deluxe

The Lodhi

Super hip, refined, elegant and contemporary, The Lodhi oozes luxury. There’s an art gallery, a library and cigar room, a spectacular sunken pool, a vast gym and health club. The restaurants are truly superb and the rooms simply the best in Delhi.

Deluxe

Oberoi Amarvilas

A view with a room: the whole orientation of the Oberoi Amarvilas is towards the Taj Mahal, which is visible from much of the lobby and bar area. Rooms are exquisitely appointed. Superb pool area is a sunken step well. Two brilliant restaurants.

Deluxe

Rajmahal Palace

A dazzling reincarnation of a former Maharaja’s palace. Bespoke wallpapers, butlers pristine in white, scents of jasmine from the lush gardens, Art Deco pool, monogrammed linen, custom china… 14 suites, all unique but united by creative flair. And fabulous food to boot.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from £1,900pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

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