Day 1: Arrival at Trivandrum Airport
Warm greetings from MJ Tours & Travel crew at Trivandrum airport! Trivandrum is the capital of "God's own country" - Kerala. We will start this exciting tour in Kovalam where we will stay for a night in a nice hotel. Trivandrum, also known as 'Thiruvananthapuram', has many attractive destinations such as beautiful beaches, zoos, museums and temples. Thiruvanathapuram which means,'The City of Lord Ananta,' received this name from the deity of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is located in the centre of the city.
Day 2: Kovalam
Kovalam is famous for sandy beaches. Kovalam is a beach town located in Trivandrum, Kerala. In Kerala there are plenty of beaches with panoramic views and stunning scenery, but Kovalam Lighthouse Beach will be topping the list. We will spend our second morning on the beach which is very clean and is well maintained, it is also ideal for those who wish to sunbathe. There is a variety of boat-rides available on Lighthouse beach which are also exciting. If you prefer peace and quiet there are two more beaches which we can head towards if you wish to see a little more of Kerala. The beautiful Hawah and Samudra beaches are adjacent to each other and they are preferred by the tourists who want peaceful holidays and to sunbathe in peace with no hassle. Water sports on these two beaches are highly recommended. At sunrise they are especially enjoyable.
Day 3: Trivandrum
We will not go through strenuous sightseeing instead we will go around for a 2 hour visit to one of the most popular temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu has 108 incarnations and for each there is a temple. 'Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple' located in Trivandrum is one of the 108 temples and is considered to be the richest temple in the world. The entry to this particular temple is restricted to only those who profess the Hindu faith. Devotees have to strictly follow the dress code, which means the men have to remove their shirts and they have to be wearing dhoties. Remember Hinduism is the world's oldest religion. The chants of the Brahmin priests go back thousands of years! The Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is a short drive away, not so far. At this Zoo, you are able to see animals such as; Tigers, Lions, Crocodiles, Bears and Monkeys etc. After lunch a relaxing break: we will provide a Kerala Ayurvedic massage which sooths body and mind. We stay in Kovalam in our pleasant hotel for one more night.
Day 4: Varkala
Now we travel to the famous Varkala beach which is known for the Cliff views. Varkala is 50 km far from Trivandrum and it's the only destination in Southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. You can see numerous water Sports and Ayurvedic centres with Spa facilities available on this cliff. Varkala is also famous for its incredible 2000 year old 'Janardana Swamy Temple'. Vaishnavism is one the major branches of Hinduism. It is focused on the veneration of Supreme Lord Vishnu. Varkala is also known as the place in the south where cremations are performed. Dakshin Kashi in Malayalam, the equivalent of Banaras in the North. The temple is located close to the Papanasam Beach which is considered to have holy water that washes sins away. There is a wonderful Ayurvedic centre here too. The science of Ayurveda goes back to the early centuries of the Common Era. Let us move around Janardana Swamy Temple enjoying the sights and then spend some quiet time on the beach with the amazing cliff views watching the sunset. In the evening as a special treat you can enjoy some genuine Indian hospitality as we are invited by a local family for dinner. We will then stay in Varkala for a night in a quiet hotel.
Day 5: Varkala
It's a day that we don't do much but relax on the Varkala beach. We will get involved in activities like water sports and water skiing. In the evening time for some spiritual invigoration: we will visit a famous Ashram known as Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the philosopher and social reformer Sri Narayana Guru. His tomb is located in the ashram and the Sivagiri Mutt is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill. The Guru had his own concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God' and was responsible for eradicating many superstitions associated with Hinduism. We will slowly get back to the hotel for a further nights stay.
Day 6: Alleppey
We travel to Alleppey! Kerala has many beautiful destinations but Alleppey offers a very unique backwater and houseboat experience. Alleppey is considered to be the oldest planned town in this region and it is a town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoons. It was described as the 'Venice of the East' by Lord Curzon. Alleppey is reachable in two hours from Varkala and once arrived we will move onto a beautiful houseboat for an exciting and unforgettable experience. We will cruise on the Vembanad lake which is the longest lake in India and has some of the most amazing scenery around that must be seen by the naked eye. We will sleep on the water tonight in the houseboat.
Day 7: Alleppey
Get ready for another rejuvenating experience where we will stay in a Home stay at Alleppey. Alleppey is also very popular for it's home stay and here we will get an opportunity to move around with the local people. Some more local hospitality! We will have our lunch in a Kerala house and they will serve home made food. After lunch we will head toward the Alleppey Beach and relax there. We will slowly drive around the carnival on Alleppey beach, you are welcomed to go for a camel ride here on the beach. There will be many activities where you can see thousands of local people participating in them, great atmosphere and a good time to take photos of true India. Alleppey Beach Carnival starts on 24th December and ends on 31st of January every year.
Day 8: Mararikulam
Now for a quiet day away from the hussle and bustle! Let us get ready for another interesting day and leave to Mararikulam. It's a famous for the beaches and Marari Beach is the most important one. Marari Beach is very quiet and clean. We will not miss the Sunset and the Sunrise here, which will be a treat to watch. In Kerala, although there are quite a few beaches, Marari Beach is a good choice for spending some quiet time alone in peace and is less crowded than other beaches. We will spend our whole day on this beach and a stay a night in Mararikulam in another pleasant hotel.
Day 9: Munnar
We had had enough heat for a few days and it's time to move Munnar which is a hill station. It is 165 km from Mararikulam and we will reach in 4 hours.(The hill stations were designated by the Raj as places where the British could retire from their postings to for the hot season. They generally have a cooler climate). Before could reach the hotel we will visit Tata Tea Museum that will explain about the process of Tea making and we will also get the taste of a tea here. In the evening we will do a one hour tea plantation tour and going through the tea plantations will be a beautiful scenic experience.
Day 10: Munnar area
Rise and Shine! Early rising and head towards Devikulam for a Trekking experience which is located 1800 meter above sea level. Mattupetty Dam is another important destination that is suitable for boating and the view from the backwaters is stunning. When we arrive Mattupetty Dam it will be hot, so feel free to get wet in Attukal waterfalls near by and enjoy cooling down.
Day 11: Cherai beach
We will make journey towards Vypin Island which is 140 km from Munnar. Unlike the other journeys this will be scenic drive. Vypin island is one of the group islands located near Kochi. It's about 27 km long connected to mainland by bridges and can access by ferries. We check in to a very nice hotel and head towards the Cherai beach. It's a very nice beach with a serene view and amazingly a calm one in Kerala. In the evening, we will go for a nice boat ride into the Arabian Sea. We will spend the rest of the day on the beach and move to hotel for a another pleasant nights stay.
Day 12: Cherai beach
We would not move around much on this particular day and spend a whole day on the beach. We will walk around and meet some local people to get to know more about Kerala. We will be received at a nice beach facing restaurant for dinner. We will stay in Cherai for one more night.
Day 13: Fort Kochi
We are not in a hurry, can get up late and travel to Fort Kochi which is just 45 minutes away. Have a relaxed walk around Fort Kochi Beach and possibly see some huge ships moving in and around the Fort. Then we will move towards the Chinese Fishing Nets. It was earlier thought that the nets might have been introduced by Chinese explorer Zheng, but recent research shows that these were introduced by Portuguese Casado from Macau. St Francis Church in Fort Kochi originally built in 1503 is the oldest European Church in India. Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his 3rd visit to India and his body was originally buried in this church but after 14 years his remains were removed and sent to Lisbon. Da Gama was the first explorer from the west to successfully reach India after many vessels were shipwrecked and thousands died. After lunch we can visit the Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue. Please note that the Jewish Synagogue will be closed between 12.00 hours to 15.00 hours. The Dutch Palace was built and gifted by the Portuguese as a present to the Raja of Cochin around 1555. It is showing beautiful Hindu Temple art, portraits and exhibits of Rajas in Kochi. The Paradesi Jewish Synagogue is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. It was constructed in 1568. There are said to be seven synagogues earlier but this is the only one that remains in use. Paradesi means refugees or immigrates. We go back our nice hotel for a further nights stay.
Day 14: Kochi area
It's the last day so we will spend our time in a more relaxed manner. We will go around Kochi and buy souvenirs for friends and relatives. In the evening we will participate in the Kathakali dance that will start from 5:30 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. This show will include make up session and the performance (one hour of each). Kathakali translates literally as 'story play' and was introduced during the 17th century. It portrays stories derived from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.(The two classical Hindu epics; thousands of years old). We will have our dinner at a heritage hotel and make this evening a special one. We will sleep in Fort Kochi for one more night.
Day 15: Transfer to Cochin Airport
Wake up, have breakfast and get ready to travel to Cochin Airport. We at MJ Tours and Travel hope you enjoyed your trip with us and are left with many happy memories from your trip to South India.
From 990 per person based on 8 people
- Accommodation in 2 or 3-star hotels with breakfast included and twin-share rooms
- AC taxi with English-speaking driver
Package does not include:
- The Flight tickets
- Any international airfare and airport tax
- Visa Charges
- Lunch and Dinner unless stated otherwise
- Any personal, medical and evacuation insurance
- Drinks and personal expenses
Depending on your arrival and departure time you may have to pay for the additional nights stay.