Best of North Kerala

Description

There is so much to see and do on this action-packed tour of North Kerala which will leave you with so many memories of a wonderful holiday in India. Highlights of the 14 day tour include seeing all the sights in Cochin, stopping at the beautiful waterfalls of Athirappilly, visiting lots of temples, islands and caves enjoying bird watching at Neeleshwaram and staying at an eco-friendly hermitage. Throughout the trip you will be accompanied by an experienced guide who will help bring all the places to life.

Day 1
Arrive Cochin

On arrival at Cochin you will be met at the airport by one of our tour representatives and driven to your hotel in the city. Relax after the journey before being taken on a city tour covering Mattanchery Palace, which was gifted to the king of Cochin by the Portuguese in 1555, and the 500 year old Jewish Synagogue. Then visit the local spices market before being taken to watch a colourful performing art show by Kathakali dancers. Then later in the evening, return to the hotel.

Day 2
Sightseeing of Cochin

After breakfast this morning you are taken on a full-day tour of Cochin. Fort Kochi is situated about 10 miles from Ernakulam and is famous for its Chinese fishing nets, picturesque beaches and the architectural style of its buildings. The European influence here is clearly evident and makes the small town stand apart from others in Kerala and is well worth a visit. Back in Cochin it could be a good time to meet the locals and bargain for souvenirs in the shops and markets.

Day 3
Cochin to Athirappilly

After breakfast this morning say farewell to Cochin and begin the 50 mile drive to Athirappilly. The charm of Athirappilly and Vazhachal waterfalls is hard to described in words. Perched high above the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala’s famed rain forest, these beautiful waterfalls provide a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind. After your visit the rest of the day is free for you to explore Athirappilly, where you stay for the next two nights.

Day 4
Excursion to Guruyavoor

Take a 75 mile day excursion today to Guruyavoor, a famous temple town near Thrissur. One of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres in Kerala, the main attraction in Guruvayoor is the Shree Krishna Temple. Though non-Hindus are not permitted inside this temple, exploring the streets leading to the main building entrances is a fascinating experience. Then get close to the animals at the Punathur Kotta elephant stable, which is home to more than 60 gentle giants. Overnight in Athirappilly.

Day 5
Athirappilly - Wayanad

A five and a half hour drive today when you leave Athirappilly and travel to Sultan Bathery, which is set in the picturesque Western Ghats mountains of Wayanad. Lots of the land here is covered by dense tropical forest with large tracts under paddy and spice cultivation. Wayanad is a hitherto undiscovered location offering breathtaking views and a memorable place to visit. Spend the rest of the day discovering the enchanting rainforest. Overnight in Wayanad.

Day 6
Sightseeing in Wayanad

After breakfast visit the Edakkal Caves, a pre-historic rock shelter formed naturally out of a strange arrangement of three huge boulders with one resting on the other two with its bottom jutting out in between and serving as the roof. Later visit the Wayanad sanctuary where you find animals like sloth bears, sambhar (wild deer), elephants, monkeys, tigers, reptiles, deer, panthers, and many species of rare birds. Here you can also enjoy a rejuvenating full body Ayurveda massage. Overnight in Wayanad.

Day 7
Wayanad

Another day spent in and around Wayanad with lots of options for sightseeing. After breakfast, visit the Kuruva Island, on of a number of uninhabited islands that cluster in the middle of the expansive Kabini River. The island’s preservation and the eco-tourism around it is managed with the help of the local population and the forest department. You are free to explore the islands then spend the rest of the day at leisure. Then enjoy the second night in your hotel at Wayanad.

Day 8
Wayanad to Tellicherry

Today you leave Wayanad for the two hour drive to Thalassery (or Tellicherry as the British christened it during the times of the Raj). This is a vibrant fishing town in the north of Calicut which is famous for the three C's- circus, cricket and cakes. It is known for being the first British settlement in Kerala and needless to say cakes and cricket were both introduced here by the Brits. You spend two nights in this charming town so plenty of time to get to know it.

Day 9
Tellicherry

Today, after eight days of touring, you have a full day to relax and enjoy all that Tellicherry has to offer. One of the most beautiful cities on the Malabar Coast, it is well worth visiting the Thalassery Fort, built by the British in 1706, the pier and the bazaar. But as today is supposed to be a day of rest, you may be tempted just to chill out on Muzhappilangad Beach, which is sheltered by huge black boulders and where the shallow waters are a paradise for swimmers and snorkellers.

Day 10
Tellicherry to Neeleshwaram

Another long drive today when you leave Tellicherry on the 200 mile trip to Neeleshwaram, which is one of the typical villages in Kerala. Closely resembling the huts found in the rural areas, Neeleshwar Hermitage is refreshingly different from the more formal places to stay. The resort faces a beautiful stretch of beach where you can spend the day at leisure. Enjoy a family bicycle ride through the traditional coastal villages where you can see boats and nets being made and repaired. Overnight in Neeleshwaram.

Day 11
Neeleshwaram

The first of two more relaxing beach days at Neeleshwaram staying at the Hermitage. This hidden tropical destination set in a secluded palm grove beside the Arabian Sea in northern Kerela is one of India's finest gems. This luxurious resort breathes tranquility and offers you the essence of authentic India at a place where time seems to stand still. If relaxing on the beach soaking up the sun doesn't appeal, there are lots of tours that can be booked at the Hermitage.

Day 12
Neeleshwaram

Another day in paradise! Relax on the beach or around the Hermitage's infinity pool and try one of the resort's authentic ayurveda massages and spa treatments. Another feature of your stay here is the delicious and varied cuisine combining local and western dishes. Your stay at the Hermitage is special and makes a great end to the tour providing a place to chill out and reflect on all the memorable sights you have seen on your trip around northern Kerala.

Day 13
Neeleshwaram to Calicut

Time to hit the road again today when you say farewell to the luxurious world of the Hernmitage and begin the three and a half hour drive to your final destination, Calicut (Kozhikode). This town was once the erstwhile capital of powerful Zamorins and is steeped in history. Calicut was a significant port for trade and commerce in the early centuries and the quality cotton, ‘Calico’, is believed to have originated here. Today you can enjoy a relaxing full body Ayurveda massage at your resort hotel before spending the evening at leisure. Overnight in Calicut.

Day 14
End of tour

Today your wonderful tour around Kerala comes to an end. Possibly time for some sightseeing or shopping for souvenirs in Calicut before you are picked up and driven to the airport for your onward flight or to begin your journey back home. This 14 day trip is the perfect way to experience one of India's top holiday destinations and is a great combination of relaxing at beach resorts and seeing the sights making it one of the best ways to discover this beautiful region of the country.

Tour details 14 days

Category B fr £1899pp
Category A fr £2067pp
Valid between: 01/10/2017 - 09/12/2017

Tour Highlights

  • Cochin
  • Athirappilly
  • Guruyavoor
  • Wayanad
  • Tellicherry
  • Neeleshwaram
  • Calicut

Included:

  • 13 night accommodation
  • Assistance at the airport arrival in Cochin
  • Sightseeing
  • Entry Fee at the Monuments in Cochin
  • Visit of Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary

Not included:

  • Air tickets and airport taxes
  • Items of personal nature like laundry, phone calls
  • Camera / Video camera fees applicable at monuments

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