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Known as the ‘Spice Garden of India’, Kerala had a fundamental role in the spice trade. This itinerary includes a tour of the spice plantations of Thekkady, where you’ll learn about the ingredients in traditional Kerala cooking and participate in a cookery class.
Upon arrival at the airport you’ll be escorted by car to your accommodation in the historic Fort Kochi area. The remainder of your day will be spent at leisure.
In the morning, your private guide will take you on a sightseeing tour of Fort Kochi. You’ll visit St Francis Church (the original resting place of Vasco de Gama), Santa Cruz Cathedral, the Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace, and see bustling markets and the Chinese fishing nets.
In the evening, visit the Greenix Theatre to watch a traditional Kathakali dance performance, the dance drama of Kerala.
Kochi – Thekkady
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Thekkady in the Cardamom Hills.
Check into your accommodation and enjoy some leisure time. You may wish to venture into the Periyar Tiger Reserve or take a boat trip on Periyar Lake.
Thekkady – Periyar National Park
Start your day on a walk through the Periyar National Park with a tribal guide while learning about the local flora, fauna and birdlife.
You also have the opportunity to visit a spice plantation, and to learn more about Kerala’s heritage.
Thekkady – Kumarakom
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Thekkady before your transfer to Kumarakom, an emerald peninsula known as the Backwaters thanks to the labyrinth of canals and lakes that meander around the paddy fields. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at your accommodation.
Kumarakom – Vembanad Lake
After breakfast, you’ll embark on a three-night journey on the luxurious Oberoi Vrinda. You sail along the main waterway on Vembanad Lake into the Alleppey canal, where you’ll get the chance to meet local fishermen. The boat will moor for the night on Vembanad Lake, where you can watch the sunset and enjoy the evening’s entertainment.
Vembanad Lake – Backwaters
Today you’ll return to the Alleppey canal, where you’ll transfer to a traditional rice boat to navigate the narrower sections of the backwaters. Along the way, you’ll witness traditional life and stop at Karumadi to visit the half-statue of Lord Buddha.
Return to Vembanad Lake for dinner and an evening performance.
Vembanad Lake – Backwaters
Today, the boat will transport you to Chambakulam, where you’ll hop on another rice boat for an excursion along the smaller backwaters. You’ll visit St Mary’s Church and Sree Bhagavathy Kshetram, a 100-year-old Hindu temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess. You can also explore the Chambakulam snake boat yard.
Return to your mooring spot on Vembanad Lake for dinner.
Vembanad Lake – Mararikulam
After breakfast you’ll sail past Pallathurathy and disembark for your road transfer to Mararikulam, where you’ll check into your next accommodation.
Spend two days enjoying Mararikulam at your leisure.
Set on the shores of the Arabian Sea, the resort is renowned as one of the top Ayurveda and wellness retreats in the world. Relax and rejuvenate in the spa, laze on the beach, enjoy morning yoga sessions, cycle around local villages, and visit nearby temples and bird sanctuaries.
Today will be spent at leisure.
Your Lightfoot Travel Designer can recommend activities that suit your interests prior to departure.
Today you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward journey.
our destination expert
- Enjoy a cultural tour of Fort Kochi, including a visit to St Francis Church
- Observe birds and wildlife on a tour of the Periyar National Park
- Cruise the picturesque backwaters of Kerala on a luxury boat
- Experience daily life in Kerala’s backwaters on a traditional rice boat
- Relax at a wellness retreat on the shores of the Arabian Sea
- When to go:
- Time Zone:
Get in touch with our Lightfoot Travel experts and they will create a bespoke itinerary designed to your exact needs and budget.
We won't take you to the usual tourist traps, instead we'll introduce you to people that show you the true side of a country. With our contacts in each destination, we can arrange for you to meet locals away from the crowds and ensure an authentic experience.
You can rely on our extensive first-hand knowledge and years of experience in the country you’re visiting. We use only the best expert guides, and provide insider tips on the local customs, and everything from vibrant festivals to hidden Himalayan monasteries
Your holiday will be as unique as you are. By getting to know you and what makes you tick, we fuse our wealth of expertise and a deep understanding of our destinations to create unique day by day itineraries that are built around you.