Watch as the world slows down in India's relaxed southern state of Kerala. You will experience the warmth and hospitality of the local people whilst staying with them in their own homes, a perfect opportunity to submerge yourself in the Indian way of life. The south-western coastal state of Kerala has a wonderful feel; swaying palms, bright colours, friendly hospitality and a laid back vibe. This 9 day itinerary takes you from the cultured and historical Kochi, inland to the cool plantations and the lazy riverboats to the gentle breeze of the coast where fresh fish is aplenty in the deliciously creamy coconut curries.
We use homestays to give a truly authentic feel to life in the south – make friends with your hosts and learn all about their way of life.
You will be met and transferred from the airport to your accommodation in the Fort Kochi area. You will check-in for 2 nights on a bed & breakfast basis.
This relaxed city is has a wealth of history – as a famous trading port it was the entry point for the Dutch, the Arabs, the Portuguese and the British to name but a few, so the architecture to be found is varied and interesting.
The Fort has a lovely feel to it, quite different to the other big Indian cities. Today you will tour the area, exploring the Chinese fishing nets, a 17th Century Jewish Synagogue, the St Francis Church to name but a few of the sights.
In the evening you have the opportunity to see a dance-drama that is typical to the area; with fantastic colour, music and costume a ‘kathakali’ performance is not to be missed.
Today you will drive into the hills of Kerala, where you’ll be spending two nights in an enchanting Plantation Homestay.
With green hills and tea gardens, the mist embracing exquisite trees, cascading waterfalls and mist clad hilltops, this is a place of astonishing natural beauty.
The homestay is set amidst plantations of vanilla, pepper, coffee and rubber. There is so much to see and do on the plantation that a full day at least is needed to sample the various delights!
You can also trek to nearby scenic spots; your hosts will help you to understand the area and how their daily life runs.
Your driver will today head towards the famous backwaters of the state; where life slows down!
Your accommodation is an old heritage home on Kerala's backwaters, a beautiful old building with a high gabled roof which comes down to low eaves, giving the verandas a cool shade through the day. The house is owned by a very hospitable young host who believes passionately in preserving his family's traditions and their lands.
Mornings here can be spent watching the toddy tappers climbing the tall trees, walks along the paddy fields, rowing through the narrow canals with a country boat. In the afternoon after a wonderful lunch you may feel like a siesta before waking up for a stroll along the river. Embrace the tranquillity and view the customs of the local people!
Today you will head to the picturesque fishing village of Marari.
Your homestay is tucked away behind village houses and thick groves and separated from the beach by a lick of tidal water and sand. Each cottage has its own sit-out enclosed by carved Kerala railing in wood, with the beach located a mere minute's walk away.
Village life is traditional, as you will experience. The men go out fishing to earn a living, and bring home the daily catch. This is an idyllic retreat perfect if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Your hostess is also a popular cookery teacher, so take a class and learn more about cooking some delicious local dishes.
Your final day involves a drive back to Kochi for your onward flight – sadly your Keralan Homestay experience has come to an end but if you’ve got the time and want to explore further please speak to your travel consultant who can help tailor a trip to perfect suit your needs.
The southern state of Kerala is blessed with a pleasant climate throughout the year - although there are distinct seasons to be aware of. The ‘winter’ is November to February, when temperatures aren’t too dissimilar to the rest of the year but it can be slightly cooler in the Highlands. The ‘summer’ is February to May and although temperatures do rise, it won’t be as hot as you’ll find in other parts of the country. The period that you may prefer to avoid follows this; the monsoons can last from June through to November and it will be humid at this time.
This is a tailor-made itinerary and as such can be amended to fit your needs – if you want to spend more (or less) time here, or want to include further stops during your travels in India then just let us know and we can help to create the perfect trip!
This trip includes 8 nights in comfortable accommodation; 6 nights in homestays and 2 nights in a heritage hotel.