Each of our journeys in India is tailor-made to suit your own interests, preferred style of accommodation, pace of travel and budget. Using a private car and driver, the following is a suggestion of how you could include time in the Kerala Backwaters in a tour of south India.
Days 1-3 Arrive in Cochin. Join fishermen working the Chinese fishing nets, explore the narrow streets of colonial mansions, churches and the synagogue. Hope on a local ferry and enjoy a meal in a local restaurant.
Days 4-6 Drive to Munnar in the Nilgiri Hills. Visit the Tea Museum, take a stroll through the tea plantations and search for the Nilgiri Thar mountain goat in Eravikulum National Park or take a longer trek in Kerala's hills.
Day 7 Ascend through gorgeous hill country and cross the Western Ghats to the plains of Tamil Nadu. In Madurai, join pilgrims and devotees at the wonderfully atmospheric and active Sri Meenakshi Temple, visit the vast markets and Gandhi Museum.
Days 8-9 Return to Kerala. Overnight at Periyar . Visit spice plantations, go bird watching in the jungle, visit farms and shop for locally grown spices in the bazaar.
Day 10 Head to the Backwaters and board your private houseboat. Watch the world go by as you drift along Lake Vembanand on your converted ricebarge, hop off to investigate life along its banks and take a canoe down the narrow canals while your crew keep you cool with refreshing coconut water, and freshly prepared meals traditionally served on a banana leaf.
Days 11-13 After breakfast, disembark your houseboat and spend a final few days on a beach on the Malabar Coast. Return to Cochin for your international flight.
Other south India itinerary ideas you might be interested in:
Posted by: Andrea Hulme