Classic South India

Classic South India
Classic South India
Classic South India
Classic South India
Classic South India
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • FAQ
  • Dates
  • Intrepid Travel

Discover a thousand shades of green, indulge in some of the continent’s freshest food and share moments of connection with locals on this 13-day tour. Travel down the scenic East Coast Road into the countryside and across to the west coast before finishing in India’s deep south. Experience the cultures, religions and histories of this region through its small rural towns, fishing villages and the scented spice plantations set in the picturesque Western Ghats mountains. This revelatory trip introduces you to an area less travelled from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Highlights
  • Explore idyllic Pondicherry on a walking tour and discover the colonial French Quarter, colourful multi-tiered temples and the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
  • Take a nature walk in the acclaimed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, looking out for tiger tracks with your local village guides.
  • Discover the diversity and incredible history of Kochi through a tour of its buildings, like India’s oldest functioning synagogue and a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture
  • Witness the dramatic beauty of Kathakali, a captivating storytelling dance that artists must study for over a decade before performing.
  • Cruise into the dreamy backwaters of Kerala and take a guided walk through a village to learn about life for the locals who live along these palm-lined canals.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (10 nights), Resort (2 nights)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
  • Puducherry - Leader-led walking tour
  • Karaikudi - Havelis
  • Karaikudi - Leader-led village walk
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple guided tour
  • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kumarakom - Backwaters boating excursion
  • Kumarakom - Leader-led village walk
  • Kovalam - Leader-led walking tour
Transport
  • Private vehicle , Ferry
Destinations
  • Indian Subcontinent
  • India
Tour Types
  • Active
  • Singles
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
  • Family-Kids
  • Youth
  • Fishing
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking
  • Cultural
  • Religion-Spiritual
  • Ruins-Archaeology
  • History

Location: Chennai

Welcome to Chennai, India. On arrival at the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. Your adventure begins with an important group meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive in Chennai with free time to spare, perhaps take a walk along Marina Beach or check out the Santhome Cathedral. <br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,No Meals,

Location: Mahabalipuram, Puducherry

From Chennai, drive along the scenic East Coast Road to the fishing village of Mamallapuram. Take a guided tour around the town’s laidback beaches and temples, keeping an eye out for the sculptures and carvings dotted around the place. Visit the incredible 8th-century Shore Temple and its mandapams (carved pillars) to pay your respects to the deity Shiva. Continue onto Puducherry (Pondicherry) in the late afternoon where your evening is then free. Today's drive should take around three hours in total.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Puducherry

Explore Puducherry, which was under French rule until 1954, and the European style of the town extends from beautiful colonial architecture right down to the uniforms of the police. Enjoy a walking tour to see local temples, the French Quarter and the spiritual community of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The rest of the day and evening is free.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Karaikudi

Drive to Karaikudi today (approximately 6 hours). Take a walk around the village after checking in and get a taste of village life. Visit some havelis (mansions), whose grandiose architecture will no doubt impress. Be sure to sample some spicy Chettinad cuisine while you're here.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Karaikudi - Havelis</description><br/>-<description>Karaikudi - Leader-led village walk</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Madurai

Continue on to Madurai (approximately 2 hours). Here you will wander through the colourful markets and bazaars, then visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple in the city’s centre. Still in use today, this ancient temple is a maze of lamp-lit corridors leading to shrines where traditional rituals take place. You might also like to explore the National Gandhi Museum (optional), dedicated to the life and achievements of the 'Father of the Nation' and the leader of India's fight for independence. Your evening is then free to spend as you please.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple guided tour</description><br/>-<description>Madurai - Leader-led walking tour</description><br/><br/>Optional Activities:<br/>-<description>Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Madurai

Enjoy a day of free time in Madurai. Perhaps visit the Art Museum to see a superb collection of carvings, check out the Tirumalai Nayak Palace or simply relax over endless cups of chai. 

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Periyar

Drive through rubber and pineapple plantations to Thekkady and explore the Periyar National Park, perched lakeside in the ranges of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary surrounds a picturesque lake, which was formed as result of a dam that was built in 1895. It ambles through the contours of the wooded hills, and is a permanent source of water for local wildlife. This afternoon, take a tour of a local spice plantation. If you have time, perhaps attend a demonstration of Indian martial arts (kalaripayattu) at the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Periyar - Spice plantation visit</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Periyar

In the morning, take a guided nature walk in the acclaimed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (approximately 3 hours). Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal spotting tour, but look out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, or gaur – the world's largest species of buffalo. In the afternoon, unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage or just relax in this scenic setting.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Periyar - Guided nature walk</description><br/><br/>Optional Activities:<br/>-<description>Periyar NP - Ayurvedic Massage</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kochi

In the morning, drive to Kochi, aka Cochin (approximately 7-8 hours). This place is a veritable melting pot of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and British influences. Use your free time to get out on the water by local ferry, or wander down the beach at sunset.

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kochi

Visit the Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace), which was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese before the Dutch renovated it. Then check out the oldest functioning Jewish synagogue in India, the Paradesi Synagogue. In the evening witness a classic Kathakali performance, a dramatic dance that combines storytelling with physical technique.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour</description><br/>-<description>Kochi - Kathakali performance</description><br/>-<description>Kochi - Jewish Synagogue</description><br/>-<description>Kochi - Dutch Palace</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kerala Backwaters, Kumarakom

Discover sleepy Kumarakom in the backwaters of Kerala. Drive from Kochi to Kumarkon to our resort along the riverside. Take a short backwaters cruise before heading out on a village walk. This is a great chance to meet and talk with the people who live in the backwaters, stroll under palm trees and weave in between the rice fields in this tranquil landscape.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Kumarakom - Backwaters boating excursion</description><br/>-<description>Kumarakom - Leader-led village walk</description>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kovalam

In the morning, drive to Kovalam (approximately 4 hours) via Kerala’s capital, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). Kovalam was once a quiet coastal village known for its export of fresh fish and coconuts, but is now one of India’s more popular beach resorts. Visit the ancient temple of Attukal Bhagavathy in the afternoon. If you have free time, explore the old signalling station of Anchuthengu Fort or the 16th-century Koyikkal Palace. Your evening is then free to do as you wish. Perhaps head out with the group for a farewell meal together tonight.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Kovalam - Leader-led walking tour</description><br/><br/>Optional Activities:<br/>-<description>Kovalam - Anchuthengu Fort</description><br/>-<description>Kovalam - Koyikkal Palace</description>

Accommodation: ,Resort,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kovalam

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast and you’re free to leave the accommodation at any time.

Accommodation: ,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Included
  • Kovalam - Leader-led walking tour
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
  • Puducherry - Leader-led walking tour
  • Karaikudi - Havelis
  • Karaikudi - Leader-led village walk
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple guided tour
  • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kumarakom - Backwaters boating excursion
  • Kumarakom - Leader-led village walk
  • Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour
  • Meals
    -12 breakfasts, 1 dinners
  • Accommodation
    -Hotel (10 nights), Resort (2 nights)
  • Transport
    -Private vehicle, Ferry

Not Included
  • International Travel
    -
  • Tipping and Gratuities
    -

Dates Price Single Availability
10-Jan-2022
12 Nights
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14-Jan-2022
12 Nights
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31-Jan-2022
12 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
11-Feb-2022
12 Nights
Classic South India View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
12 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
07-Mar-2022
12 Nights
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18-Mar-2022
12 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
16-Sep-2022
12 Nights
Classic South India View live deal View live deal
30-Sep-2022
12 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
14-Oct-2022
12 Nights
Classic South India View live deal View live deal
28-Oct-2022
12 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
04-Nov-2022
12 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
12 Nights
Classic South India View live deal View live deal
18-Nov-2022
12 Nights
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24-Nov-2022
12 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
16-Dec-2022
12 Nights
Classic South India View live deal View live deal
19-Dec-2022
12 Nights
Classic South India View live deal View live deal
26-Dec-2022
12 Nights
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Touring with Intrepid Travel

Intrepid was started by two friends from Melbourne, Australia, in 1988 after embarking on a trip through the wilds of Africa in a modified ex-council truck, crammed with friends, supplies, a handful of aviator sunglasses and a case or two of beer. Could this type of travel be something others would be interested in? The answer was a resounding yes and today Intrepid send 100,000 travellers across the globe each year with the help of a staff of 1,000.

After three decades, founders Darrell and Manch, feel they know what travellers want. They get that it’s a big decision to fly across the world to wander the souks of Marrakech or enjoy a dreamy Angkor sunrise. They understand that you’re looking for a balance of inclusions and free time, a mix of classic highlights and local secrets you won’t find on Google. And of course, an authentic real life experience. Their leaders are born and raised in-country and they know their destination better than anyone. So you’ll do more than just see a place, you’ll live it. Small groups, big adventures and responsible travel – that’s Intrepid’s thing. With 1,000 trips in a variety of styles across 100 countries, you’re sure to find something you like.

Intrepid believe the real magic happens well away from the beaten path. It’s the little noodle bars, hidden galleries and backstreet bodegas and real life experiences you won’t find in a search engine. Real life experiences are those moments you know you’re really alive and experiencing something special. While it could be the instant you see one of the world’s great icons for the first time, it is more likely to be the moment you find yourself in the middle of a village square soccer game, being treated to a home-cooked meal by your new local friends or sharing a laugh with your fellow travellers as you try a new mode of transport … camel anyone? These unexpected moments are what travelling with Intrepid is all about, giving you a trip like no other.

Intrepid realises the world is a really big place. And there’s a plethora of different languages to learn, borders to cross and cultures to negotiate. Small group adventure travel makes these things easy and allows you to maximise your precious time off. Instead of worrying about logistics, you can focus all your energy on having the experience of a lifetime. Their tour groups are small enough to feel like you’re exploring a destination independently, but big enough to create a good social vibe. Group size will vary depending on where and how you’re travelling, but the average group size is about 10.

Intrepid’s themed trips encompass all hobbies and interests or could pique an interest in a new hobby you never knew you needed. From foodie explorations across Asia or India, sailing the seas in Thailand or the Caribbean, wildlife encounters in the Serengeti or Antarctica, scenic cycling or walking to Base Camp or through Tibet, and epic expeditions in Burma or Russia, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Intrepid is committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way they provide travellers with real life experiences. These values are ingrained in the culture and daily operations of every Intrepid office and tour. In addition, they hope their travellers also demonstrate the principles of responsible travel - respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Intrepid Travel

12 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:Chennai
Finish:Kovalam
Group size:1 - 12
Suitable for: 15-99 years
Accommodation:Hotel (10 nights), Resort (2 nights)
Physical rating:Low
Meals:12 breakfasts, 1 dinners
Diets:Vegetarians
Tour operated in: English
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