26 February 2017
Any tour of India is something special. The sights, the sounds and the history and the colour make this a destination that bombards the senses and leaves you with so many lasting memories. And on this week long trip to Alleppey and Mararikulam you will have plenty of time to relax on beautiful beaches, experience life on the river travelling and sleeping on a houseboat and watch a number of traditional dance and music performances. This tour is ideal for anyone who has taken one of the traditional tours of this fascinating country before and is looking for something a little different.
On arrival at Cochin airport you will be met by one of our experienced tour representatives who will help you with all the formalities before driving you the 50 miles to Alleppey where you board a boat for your Vrinda cruise. Later help the local fisherman with their catches and in the evening sail across Vembanad Lake to watch a magnificent sunset. After dinner on board there is a special Kathakali dance show. Overnight on your houseboat moored on the lake.
In the morning after breakfast your boat will set sail and head towards south Alleppey. Along the way you will see how people live along these water highways. Later in the day you transfer to a traditional rice boat to navigate through the narrow section of backwater for a couple of hours. Later return to your houseboat and on the way back to Vembanad lake view the picturesque waterways. Back at Vembanad Lake you will be treated to a musical fusion of classical instruments. Overnight in Vrinda Vessel.
In the morning you sail from Vembanad jetty and travel south past Kanjippadam and your boat drops anchor near Chambakulam where you switch to another rice boat for a pre-lunch sightseeing excursion. Visit St. Mary’s Church and Sree Bhagavathy Kshetram, a 100-year old Hindu temple. Here you can also explore Chambakulam snake boat yard and see one of the traditional long snake boats used in races. Later return to your riverboat and sail back to Vembanad Lake and enjoy a “Mohiniattam” recital on board. This classical dance form, distinctive to Kerala, features dancers dressed in beautiful traditional costumes performing with slow, graceful movements and highly emotive expressions.
Today you say farewell to your houseboat and its crew and are driven to Mararikulam, a journey that will take less than an hour. On arrival check into your hotel on Marari Beach, which is a beautiful endless vista of sand and surf. Here you will have an authentic experience of the world of Kerala's traditional fishing villages, and be taken back to an ancient, harmonious way of life. The rest of the day is free for you to go out and explore or relax.
The first of two full days in this paradise destination. The small fishing village of Mararikulam on the stunning Malabar coast is only 10 miles from Alleppey and just over an hour south of Cochin and is the perfect place to relax on the beach at the end of a tour of Kerala or after a journey aboard a traditional house boat. Soak up the sun on the beach today or explore the area and meet the locals.
Another wonderful day in this beach resort that has a lovely moderate tropical climate all the year. Mararikulam is a firm favourite with tourists who visit Kerala, and was rated as one of the world's top five hammock beaches in a National Geographic survey. The area is also a nature lover's paradise and a morning stroll with a naturalist in tow is a fine way to introduce you to the unique ecosystem and explore its myriad charms. You can expect to find 97 species of butterflies, more than 350 types of endemic plants, three varieties of turtles, and even 10 kinds of frogs. As for the birds, there are too many to name.
Make the most of your time in this stunning beach resort this morning before you are picked up and driven to Cochin airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. This fascinating houseboat trip combined with a relaxing stay at the end is a great introduction to southern India and will leave you with lots of happy memories.
Standard fr £1528pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated