Premium South India

12 nights from £2210

Premium South India
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Premium South India
Premium South India
Premium South India
Premium South India
Premium South India
Premium South India
Premium South India
Premium South India
Start:Chennai
Finish:Kochi
Duration:12 Nights
Group size:1 - 12
Suitable for: 15-99 years
Accommodation:Hotel (9 nights), Houseboat Feature Stay (1 night), Kochi Feature Stay (2 nights)
Physical rating:Low
Meals:12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

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Overview

Swaying palm trees, rolling emerald hills and tranquil backwaters make up the lush surface of southern India, but dig a little deeper and discover a land of charismatic people, ancient religion and cherished cuisine. This 13-day Premium adventure will take you into the home of a local family, down the French-inspired streets of Puducherry, through the maze of food stalls in Madurai and into the wilderness of the Periyar National Park, all with the passionate guidance of a local leader. .......read more
Highlights
  • Find out what makes Indian cuisine so special during a food tour in Madurai, a home-cooked meal with a local family, a fragrant lunch at a spice plantation and an ayurvedic cooking demonstration and dinner.
  • Discover India’s old-world and new-age religions during tours of ancient temples and a visit to the modern spiritual community of Auroville.
  • Witness a fusion of influences in the stunning former French colony of Puducherry, and see touches of a Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and British past in the exuberantly multicultural Kochi.
  • Experience a thousand shades of green as you tour a scenic tea plantation in Munnar and track footprints in search of wild elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Enjoy accommodation like no other – a beautiful converted houseboat on the Kerala backwaters and a suave heritage hotel in Kochi are your feature stays for this adventure.
Transport
  • Private vehicle , Ferry
Accommodation
  • Hotel (9 nights), Houseboat Feature Stay (1 night), Kochi Feature Stay (2 nights)

Itinerary

Location: Chennai

Welcome to India! Your adventure begins in Chennai, India’s cultural heart and fourth largest city. You will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Meet your fellow travellers and experienced group leader for an important 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive in Chennai with time to spare, you may like to pay a visit to the colourful market stalls of the Georgetown Bazaar. After your meeting, join your leader and group for a welcome dinner at Chennai’s first chain restaurant, serving up an iconic array of south Indian vegetarian dishes like idly, dosa and poori. It’s never hard to find something fantastic to eat in south India, the only challenge is deciding what to order. Luckily your leader is on hand to help you navigate the flavour-filled menu. Included Activities Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer Chennai - Welcome dinner

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Dinner,

Location: Puducherry

This morning you will leave the city behind and drive along the scenic East Coast Road to the fishing town of Mamallapuram, home to sprawling, relaxed beaches. Visit the 8th-century Shore Temple and its mandapams (carved pillars) and watch locals pay their respects to the deity Shiva. Later in the afternoon continue the drive to Puducherry. A French colony until 1954, the old parts of town retain a distinctly European feel. Leafy boulevards are lined with colonial-style houses and trendy boutiques – this place has a certain je ne sais quoi. On arrival, the rest of your evening is free to explore. Puducherry has a varied food scene with traditional Indian and classic French influences. Be sure to ask your leader for some tips on where to grab a fabulous meal.

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Puducherry

Today you will visit the famous Auroville, an experimental township just outside Puducherry dedicated to the concept of human unity. With more than 80 rural settlements and home to over 1500 residents, half of the town’s population are foreign nationals. Auroville is also home to the world’s largest solid crystal, which you can examine, then make a visit to the spiritual community of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Return to Puducherry for a walking tour to see local temples and the charming French Quarter. Stroll past mustard coloured buildings draped with vibrant bougainvillea as your leader shares stories of the revolutionaries, generals and kings who once walked these streets. Stop by the pastel pink Church of Notre Dame, perhaps even more gorgeous than its Parisian counterpart. Evidence of the French colonial period is everywhere – the architecture, sprawling town squares and even in the police uniforms. The evening is free for further explorations. Included Activities Auroville - Experimental township Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour Puducherry - Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Madurai

Today, continue to the city of Madurai, with plenty of chai stops along the way. Arrive in the late afternoon and head out on a short orientation walk to get acquainted with one of India’s oldest cities. Once you’ve got your bearings, join your leader on a trip for the taste buds – a tantalising tour of the city’s Tamil cuisine. Madurai is bursting with street food stalls, family-owned restaurants and plenty of regional delicacies – your leader will show you the dishes that aren’t on the tourist menus. Have a taste of mutton dosa or some fish gravy as your leader regales you with stories of centuries-old recipes and the passionate people who make them. Round off the night with some Jigarthanda; Madurai’s most celebrated dessert is a delicious and refreshing blend of condensed milk, almond gum and ice cream.

Accommodation: ,Heritage Madurai or similar

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Madurai

Continue your walking exploration of Madurai today. Your leader will guide you through the Tailor's Market, the local bazaars and the Sri Meenakshi Temple. Still in use today, this ancient temple is a maze of lamp-lit corridors leading to shrines where traditional rituals take place. Next is the National Gandhi Museum, dedicated to the life and achievements of the 'Father of the Nation' and the leader of India's fight for independence. Stop by the extravagant Thirumalai Nayak Palace, built in the 17th-century by King Tirumala Nayaka. This evening you’ll have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Tamil culture when you join a local family for a traditional home cooked dinner. Chat with the family about their lives and try some more wonderful dishes such as chettinad chicken, egg paratha and vegetable korma. Included Activities Madurai - Sri Meenakshi 1000 Pillar Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple Madurai - Gandhi Museum Madurai - Leader-led walking tour Madurai - Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace Madurai - Local family visit and home-cooked Tamil dinner

Accommodation: ,Heritage Madurai or similar

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Thekkady

Make your way to the countryside town of Thekkady, driving past pineapple and rubber plantations on the way. Thekkady is the gateway to Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve, perched high in the ranges of the Western Ghats. Stop off at a spice plantation where you’ll speak with a local expert and taste, smell and learn about the brilliant array of spices that colour and flavour India’s famed cuisine. Put your new knowledge to good use as you sit down to a flavoursome lunch made with spices from the plantation. The evening is yours to enjoy in Thekkady. Perhaps wander the shops selling fragrant spices and organic tea, or relax in the palm fringed pool at your resort. Included Activities Thekkady - Expert-guided spice plantation visit and lunch

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,Lunch,

Location: Thekkady, Periyar National Park

This morning, take a guided nature walk in the acclaimed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Your expert guide will help you look for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants and gaur – the world's largest species of buffalo. You are most likely to encounter Bonnet macaques and the Malabar giant squirrel, a species native to India. After an exciting morning of wildlife spotting, the rest of your afternoon is free. You may want to unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage. In the evening, attend an exciting demonstration of kalarippayattu at the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. Originating in Kerala, kalarippayattu is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India. Watching high-energy fighters leap several feet into the air is a truly thrilling sight. Included Activities Periyar - Kalaripayattu (Indian Martial Art) performance Periyar - Guided nature walk

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Munnar

This morning drive north to Munnar, an old British Hill Station cradled in a picturesque valley. At 1525 metres above sea level, there’s likely to be dramatic drop in temperature here, so have your jacket ready! Munnar is one of India’s most important hubs for tea trade, and the rolling emerald hills that surround the town are an unforgettable sight. On arrival, take a tour of the tea plantation, where a resident expert will guide you through the steps of the tea making process. Follow narrow pathways and visit the workers picking the best tea leaves, learn how these leaves are transformed into the world’s most popular beverage, and sample some of the different varieties. There may be an opportunity to visit the tea museum, though opening hours are irregular so this cannot be guaranteed. This evening, relax at your mountain resort. Included Activities Munnar - Tea plantation Munnar - Tea Museum

Accommodation: ,Mountain Club or similar

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Munnar

This morning, take a guided walk around the lush hills of Munnar, often shrouded in ethereal clouds. Be sure to have your camera ready as the beautiful landscape unfolds in front of you. Learn how Munnar’s cool temperatures made the region a favourite summer retreat during the British Colonial era. In the afternoon, journey out to the scenic Mattupetty Dam where you’ll find a beautiful man-made lake and spectacular views of the surrounding valleys. Here you’ll have the chance to take an optional motorboat ride around the lake. After some time to appreciate the stunning scenery, return to Munnar for an evening at leisure. Included Activities Munnar - Mattupetty Dam Munnar - Leader-led town walking tour

Accommodation: ,Mountain Club or similar

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kerala Backwaters

Drive to the backwaters of Kerala this morning and discover Alleppey’s sleepy, palm-shaded waterways. Once a significant trading port, the town is now famed for the long ‘snake boat’ races that take place in August every year. Kerala’s backwaters were once busy with passing kettuvallams; large wooden boats used to transport rice and spices. Today these traditional vessels have been transformed into magnificent houseboats, offering guests the incredible opportunity to explore the lagoons in total comfort, as you will during your feature stay for the evening. Conversions are made using traditional and natural materials – bamboo becomes roofing, coir mats are turned into flooring and beds are carefully crafted from the wood of coconut trees. These floating cottages share the comforts of a first-rate hotel, including western toilets, private bedrooms, a dining area and open deck where you can watch the world go by. Sit back for a truly unforgettable evening floating through the dreamy waters of rural Kerala.

Accommodation: ,Pickadaley Houseboat (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals: ,Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner,

Location: Kochi

Enjoy a peaceful morning at the Kerala waters before driving to Kochi in the afternoon. Cochin, as it was formerly known, is spread over several islands and is a melting pot of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and British influences. Join your leader on an orientation walk to learn how these influences manifest in the city’s architecture, restaurants and daily life. In the afternoon, take some time out to enjoy the city – perhaps head to lively Princess street and kick back with a cup of coffee. Tonight you’ll have the special opportunity to watch a Kathakali dance performance. Kathakali is a classical Indian dance with roots in Kerala, combining symbolic storytelling with physical technique. It is one of the most vibrant and extraordinary theatre forms in the world and proficiency requires incredible commitment and rigorous training. Your feature stay accommodation for the evening is at the sophisticated Dutch Bungalow. This heritage hotel has been standing proud since 1668 and retains the traditional charm of days gone by. Enjoy stylish rooms circling a serene pool and an excellent in-house restaurant. Included Activities Kochi - Kathakali performance

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kochi

Today you will explore the antique shops and spice bazaars of Kochi – your leader will show you how to haggle with the best of them. Visit the delightful Fort Kochi area and stop by the famous Chinese fishing nets – perhaps Kochi’s most photographed sight. Make a visit to the Mattancherry Palace, built in the 16th-century by the Portuguese and later claimed by the Dutch. Continue to the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest existing Jewish synagogue in India. In the early evening you will meet with an ayurvedic doctor, a practitioner who uses ancient holistic techniques to promote a balance of body and mind, resulting in overall health and wellbeing. Learn all about Satvik Bhojan, the ayurvedic diet, and take part in a cooking demonstration followed by dinner using the methods and recipes discussed. Included Activities Kochi - Jewish Synagogue Kochi - Ferry to Mattancherry Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour Kochi - Dutch Palace Kochi - Ayurveda-inspired dinner Kochi - Converstation with an expert on Satvik Bhojan (Ayurvedic food)

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Kochi

Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Additional nights in Kochi and an airport transfer to Cochin International airport can be booked in advance.

Accommodation: ,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

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What's Included

Included
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Auroville - Experimental township
  • Chennai - Welcome dinner
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi 1000 Pillar
  • Puducherry - Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour
  • Madurai - Leader-led street food tour
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum
  • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Madurai - Local family visit and home-cooked Tamil dinner
  • Madurai - Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace
  • Periyar - Kalaripayattu (Indian Martial Art) performance
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Munnar - Tea plantation
  • Thekkady - Expert-guided spice plantation visit and lunch
  • Munnar - Mattupetty Dam
  • Munnar - Tea Museum
  • Munnar - Leader-led town walking tour
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
  • Kochi - Ferry to Mattancherry
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Kochi - Converstation with an expert on Satvik Bhojan (Ayurvedic food)
  • Kochi - Ayurveda-inspired dinner
  • Meals
    12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Accommodation
    Hotel (9 nights), Houseboat Feature Stay (1 night), Kochi Feature Stay (2 nights)
  • Transport
    Private vehicle, Ferry

Not Included
  • Tipping and Gratuities
  • International Travel

FAQ

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Members can search 100s of trip operators on this site and then book directly with the touroperator on their site. Once notified of the booking, TourHound issues the CashBack.

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Dates

Dates Price Single Availability
30-Jan-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
13-Feb-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
20-Feb-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
06-Mar-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
20-Mar-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
25-Sep-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
16-Oct-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
30-Oct-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
06-Nov-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
13-Nov-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
20-Nov-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
27-Nov-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
18-Dec-2022
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
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15-Jan-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
29-Jan-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
12-Feb-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
19-Feb-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
05-Mar-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
19-Mar-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
24-Sep-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
15-Oct-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
29-Oct-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
05-Nov-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
12-Nov-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
19-Nov-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
26-Nov-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
17-Dec-2023
12 Nights
Premium South India View live deal

Claim back up to £350 on any trip booked in the next 45 days.

Members can search 100s of trip operators on this site and then book directly with the touroperator on their site. Once notified of the booking, TourHound issues the CashBack.

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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.

Claim back up to £350 on any trip booked in the next 45 days.

Members can search 100s of trip operators on this site and then book directly with the touroperator on their site. Once notified of the booking, TourHound issues the CashBack.

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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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View live deal Up to 25% off last minute Asia trips
Start:Chennai
Finish:Kochi
Duration:12 Nights
Group size:1 - 12
Suitable for: 15-99 years
Accommodation:Hotel (9 nights), Houseboat Feature Stay (1 night), Kochi Feature Stay (2 nights)
Physical rating:Low
Meals:12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
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