Unique Experience Intrepid | Classic South India

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.

Theme

Explorer

  • Highlights

    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • Witness the dramatic beauty of Kathakali, a captivating storytelling dance that artists must study for over a decade before performing.
  • What's Included

    Meals

    12 Breakfasts

    Transport

    Private vehicle , Ferry

    Accommodation

    Hotel (10 nights), Resort (2 nights)

    Included Activities

    • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
    • Karaikudi - Havelis
    • Karaikudi - Leader-led village walk
    • Kochi - Dutch Palace
    • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
    • Kochi - Kathakali performance
    • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
    • Kovalam - Leader-led walking tour
    • Kumarakom - Backwaters boating excursion
    • Kumarakom - Leader-led village walk
    • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
    • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple guided tour
    • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
    • Periyar - Guided nature walk
    • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
    • Puducherry - Leader-led walking tour
  • Pricing

      • Start Date
      • End Date
      • Price
      • Availability
      • Start Date:16 Oct 20
      • End Date:28 Oct 20
      • Price:$3,115
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:30 Oct 20
      • End Date:11 Nov 20
      • Price:$3,230
      • Availability:5 spaces
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      • Start Date:26 Nov 20
      • End Date:8 Dec 20
      • Price:$3,165
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:28 Dec 20
      • End Date:9 Jan 21
      • Price:$3,375
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:19 Feb 21
      • End Date:3 Mar 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:29 Mar 21
      • End Date:10 Apr 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:17 Sep 21
      • End Date:29 Sep 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:1 Oct 21
      • End Date:13 Oct 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:15 Oct 21
      • End Date:27 Oct 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:29 Oct 21
      • End Date:10 Nov 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:5 Nov 21
      • End Date:17 Nov 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:12 Nov 21
      • End Date:24 Nov 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:19 Nov 21
      • End Date:1 Dec 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:25 Nov 21
      • End Date:7 Dec 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:17 Dec 21
      • End Date:29 Dec 21
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:20 Dec 21
      • End Date:1 Jan 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:27 Dec 21
      • End Date:8 Jan 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:30 Dec 21
      • End Date:11 Jan 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:10 Jan 22
      • End Date:22 Jan 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:14 Jan 22
      • End Date:26 Jan 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:31 Jan 22
      • End Date:12 Feb 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:11 Feb 22
      • End Date:23 Feb 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:18 Feb 22
      • End Date:2 Mar 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:7 Mar 22
      • End Date:19 Mar 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:18 Mar 22
      • End Date:30 Mar 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:16 Sep 22
      • End Date:28 Sep 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:30 Sep 22
      • End Date:12 Oct 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:14 Oct 22
      • End Date:26 Oct 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:28 Oct 22
      • End Date:9 Nov 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:4 Nov 22
      • End Date:16 Nov 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:11 Nov 22
      • End Date:23 Nov 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:18 Nov 22
      • End Date:30 Nov 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:24 Nov 22
      • End Date:6 Dec 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:16 Dec 22
      • End Date:28 Dec 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:19 Dec 22
      • End Date:31 Dec 22
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
      • Start Date:26 Dec 22
      • End Date:7 Jan 23
      • Price:$2,965
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire
    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    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.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Mamallapuram – 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.

     

    Day - 3

    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.

     

    Day - 4

    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.

     

    Day - 5

    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.

     

    Day - 6

    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. 

     

    Day - 7

    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.

     

    Day - 8

    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.

     

    Day - 9

    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.

     

    Day - 10

    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.

     

    Day - 11

    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.

     

    Day - 12

    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.

     

    Day - 13

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

     

    Classic South India
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 5284