Arrival in Kochi (Cochin)
We welcome you warmly at the Airport of Kochi and drive you to your hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, we will go for a walk along the port to Fort Kochi famous for its 'cheenavala' orChinese fishing nets. Called 'the gateway to Kerala', Kochi (Cochin) has the eclectic atmosphere of cities that have been exposed to many external influences over time. As a merchant city, it has attracted covetousness since time immemorial: the Arabs, Chinese, British, Dutch and Portuguese have left their mark on the history and development of Kochi. It remains today the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is one of the most important port cities on the west coast of India. Overnight in Kochi.
Kochi, an eclectic cultural city
We will begin our tour of the city with the visit of the Church of St. Francis, the oldest church built by Europeans in India (1503) where, for a time, Vasco Da Gama was buried. Then we will go to the Mattancherry Palace built in the Nalukettu style, the traditional architecture of Kerala. In the Jewish town, we will visit the Paradesi synagogue, one of seven synagogues of the 'Yehudan Mappila' or Jewish community of Kochi. The Yehudan Mappilar Jews of Kochi formed a prosperous community in Kerala, controlling most of the spice trade. We will end the day with a Kathakali dance show. Overnight in Kochi.
After breakfast, we drive up to Munnar, one of the most famous mountain resorts of Kerala. Check in at the hotel. In the evening, an Ayurvedic treatment awaits you. Overnight in Munnar.
After a good night, we will leave for a tour of the hills of Munnar and its tea plantations. A rather bumpy ride takes us to the Kolukkumalai tea estate, which is one of the highest tea plantations in the world. When going down, we will visit the oldest tea factory in India. Back to the hotel in the late afternoon. Overnight in Munnar.
From Munnar, we leave for another natural sanctuary where we will be attending a performance of Kalaripayattu, one of the oldest martial arts in the world. We will also visit the vibrant market of Kumily where you can buy fresh spices. Overnight at Thekkady.
Thekkady - Alleppey
We will drive down to the coast to board on a 'Kettuvallom', a traditional Kerala houseboat made of wood and bamboo. we will sail in the lagoons and spend a romantic night. Night aboard a Kettuvallom barge.
Alleppey - Munroe Island
We drive further south and stop for a few days on Munroe Island where Ayurvedic treatments will be provided. Calm and absolute rest. Night in an Ayurvedic center.
Ayurvedic treatments - Munroe Island
Relaxating day punctuated by Ayurvedic treatments and massages. In between care, we will stroll through the lagoons of the island. Night in an Ayurvedic center.
Aryurvedic Care - Munroe Island
Same program than the day before. Relaxation and Ayurvedic massages.
Munroe Island - Kovalam
Totally regenerated, we leave for the last leg of the journey that takes us to Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala via Kovalam. En route, we will stop at Papanasam beach in Verkala where tourist and pilgrims gather. The Janardhanaswamy Temple, more than two thousand years old, dedicated to the god Vishnu, stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach. We will also visit the samadhi of the great reformer and philosopher Sri Narayana Guru who fought to end the caste systems in India. Arrival in the late afternoon in Kovalam. Overnight in Kovalam by the sea.
After breakfast, we will leave for the coloured harbour of Vizhinjam near Kovalam. The Portuguese and Dutch had established their trading there. In the afternoon, we will drive 50 km further south to visit the Padmanabhapuram Palace, a perfect example of Kerala architecture. Padmanabhapuram is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Travancore. Back to Trivandum. Overnight in Trivandrum.
Kovalam - Trivandrum - Kovalam
This day is dedicated to the visit of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of Kerala. In the early morning, we will leave for the beach of Poovar where you can witness the return of the fishermen and the fish auction, a real spectacle in itself. After breakfast, we will go and see the Sri Padmanabhaswam temple (from outside only), then we will visit the Indo-Saracenic-style Napier Museum which houses a rare collection of archaeological and historical artefacts and also contains a art gallery which, exhibits works of the famous Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma and the no less famous Russian painter, Nicholas Roerich. In the afternoon, we will visit the temple of Attukal Bhagavaty dedicated to Goddess Kannaki, an avatar of Parvati. In addition to its rich and colorful Dravidian style architecture, this sanctuary is famous for its annual Attukal Pongala festival where nearly 3 million women gather. Overnight in Trivandrum.
We drop you off at the Trivandrum airport unless you choose to continue the adventure with us! Looking forward to meeting you again.