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About your trip
This nine-day guided getaway kicks off in style in the city of Kochi, with a spectacular sunset cruise. The following day, you’ll hit the streets to take in the highlights of colonial Fort Kochi, from Mattancherry Palace to the Santa Cruz Basilica, finishing the day with a Keralan cooking class and dinner. Next, it’s onwards and upwards – literally – into the lush hills that surround the town of Munnar. Here, you’ll spend the next couple of days venturing out to trek through tea plantations, rural villages and tracts of tropical shola forest. From here you’ll be whisked to the backwater city of Kumarakom, where a three-night stay at an Ayurvedic spa retreat should restore those trail-weary limbs. You’ll end this unforgettable adventure with a cruise and Keralan lunch on Kumarakom’s serene backwaters, before departing from Kochi. All of our trips are flightless in destination, with 100% of all carbon emissions offset. It's just part of how we see the world while being good to it.
- Set sail on a sunset cruise in Kochi harbour
- Explore Fort Kochi with a Local Insider
- Spice up your life with a Keralan cooking class
- Trek through tea plantations in the Cardamom Hills
- Pamper yourself at an Ayurvedic spa
- Take a catered cruise in Kumarakom's serene backwaters
After being collected from Kochi airport and transferred to your hotel, you’ll have some time to freshen up and, if you fancy, have a nose around the neighbourhood of Fort Kochi. The colonial heart of the city, this is where the British, the Portuguese and the Dutch first put down roots in India – leaving behind churches, plazas and palaces to explore. Come evening, you’ll meet up with the rest of the group for a sunset cruise in Kochi’s fishing harbour – an evocative ice-breaker.
Today is all about getting a taste of Fort Kochi – both figuratively and literally. You’ll start by meeting up with our Local Insider, who’ll lead you on a history-filled tour of this colonial district, stopping in at sites such as St Francis Church and the Portuguese-built Mattancherry Palace. You’ll have some free time to yourself this afternoon to work up an appetite for the culinary evening ahead – a Keralan cooking class, followed by a dinner of local dishes.
Sit back, relax, and take in the scenery, as you’re driven from Kochi up into the Cardamom-growing highlands that surround the hill station of Munnar – your base for the next three nights. The rest of the day is yours to spend however you like – take a dip in the hotel’s infinity pool, book a yoga session with the onsite practitioner, or chill at the resort’s artisan coffee shop.
Lace up your walking boots: today you’re hitting one of Munnar’s most beautiful hiking routes, the Top Valley trek. But first, you’ll need to get there – via a scenic drive that offers a good chance of spotting wild elephants along the way. The trek itself passes through stretches of aromatic shola forest, a sprawling tea plantation and the picturesque Yellapetty village, where cows roam the streets. You’ll finish with an ascent to Top Station, which rewards with panoramic views of the cloud-blanketed Western Ghats.
Fuel up at breakfast this morning, as you’re back on the mountain trails today – walking the Lakshmi Hills trek. This walk starts at 1,450m (4,757ft) above sea level and then continues to ascend, until you’re walking along a mountain ridge overlooking the crumpled green quilt of fields and forest spread out below you. On a clear day you can see the highest peak in southern India, Anamudi. You’ll pause for a picnic lunch before pushing to the finish through wooded coffee and cardamom plantations.
Today you’ll leave the Cardamom Hills behind for the calm tropical backwaters of Kumarakom. If your legs are a little weary from the last couple of days of walking, you’ll be pleased to know you’ll be spending the next three nights at a hotel that specialises in Ayurvedic spa treatments. Days one and two are set aside for you to rest, recharge and pamper yourself, while on day three you’ll be taken to visit Kumarakom’s Responsible Tourism initiative. Here you’ll have the chance to learn about, get hands-on with, traditional crafts and customs – such as net fishing, coir weaving and coconut palm climbing.
Today’s your last in Kerala, as later this afternoon you’ll be picked up and whisked to the airport. But first, there’s one last treat in store: a morning cruise on Kumarakom’s calm backwaters, where you’ll drift past rural villages and fishermen casting their nets while tucking into a traditional Keralan lunch. We think you’ll agree that it’s a serenely fitting end to this whirlwind adventure.
- Eight nights premium accommodation
- Eight breakfasts
- Two lunches
- One dinner
- Kochi harbour sunset cruise
- Insider-led tour of Fort Kochi
- Keralan cooking class
- Guided Top Valley Trek
- Guided Lakshmi Hills Trek
- Visit to Kumarakom Responsible Tourism initiative
- Kumarakom backwaters cruise with lunch
- Return airport transfers to Cochin International Airport (COK)
- Shared ground transport and Local Insider throughout
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Flights to and from the destination
Fragrant Nature Kochi
In the heart of colonial Fort Kochi, this hotel specialises in unabashed opulence. Rooms are palatial in scale, and regally decked out with period-style furniture – think velvet ottomans and wingback armchairs – heavy drapes, and panelled walls. There’s a vast rooftop infinity pool overlooking Kochi harbour, an Ayurvedic spa and a terrace lounge with an open-air theatre.
Spice Tree Boutique Resort
Staying at this luxurious mountain retreat, nestled among the mountains of Kanan Devan and Bison Valley Hills, is an experience in and of itself. From the artisan coffee shop to the resort’s own library, the infinity pool, spa and onsite yoga practitioner, Spice Tree offers a level of tranquility few hotels can match.
Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters & Beyond
Cabana-like four-poster beds, draped in voile; rattan arm chairs; sliding French doors that open onto sunset-facing balconies: when it comes to elegant, colonial-style luxury, this place is second to none. If the rooms weren’t relaxing enough, the hotel also specialises in Ayurvedic treatments at its spa, while its landscaped gardens are perfect for practising your yoga poses.
The safety and wellbeing of all travellers is our top priority. To help us ensure this, please refer to this checklist:
- Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 18 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- To upgrade to a private room, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
If you cancel 56 days or more before your scheduled departure date, you will receive a 100% refund. Otherwise, the total cost of your trip is:
- 100% payable if you cancel 29 days or less before your departure date.
- 50% payable if you cancel between 30 - 55 days before your departure date.
Please note you can only book this trip in advance up to 14 days before the departure date. After this time the trip may be booked on request.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.