Chinese fishing nets | Kochi | India
FROM: £1,255 pp

PRIVATE TOUR: Combining historic Kochi, the virgin hills of the Western Ghats amongst rubber, pepper and coconut plantations, Alleppey and the lush Keralan Backwaters. In eight sun-filled days feast upon the amazing natural wonders, wildlife, beauty and diversity of stunning Kerala - God’s own country.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Kochi - The beautiful St Francis’ Church, the white washed Dutch Palace, Fort Kochi and the iconic Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront
Kottamangalam - Spice plantation and elephant rescue centre
Thykattusserry - Picturesque rural village
Coastal Alleppey - Gateway to the relaxing palm fringed backwaters
Kerala - Famous tropical backwaters

Included

Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
Touring and excursions as per itinerary
Entrance fees for all included sightseeing
All relevant transfer and transportation in private modern Chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles
6 nights STANDARD properties and 1 night traditional rice-boat. SUPERIOR and DELUXE hotel options are also available upon request. Accommodation rating – See Trip Notes for details
Guided sightseeing in Kochi
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides for all included sight-seeing

Not Included

International flights and visas
Tipping - An entirely personal gesture

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Kochi

Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! Arrive Kochi and transfer to your hotel, about a one hour drive from the airport. Free time to relax.

This evening we enjoy a Kathakali dance performance, the traditional dance-form of Kerala. It is best to arrive early to see make-up being put on by the artists. The most popular and sacred dance-drama of Kerala, Kathakali evolved across the last 400 years. This classical dance requires lengthy and rigorous training to attain complete control of the body and sensitivity to emotion so as to be able to render all its nuances through facial expressions and hand gestures. Themes centre on the two great Indian epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Overnight: Kochi

Day 2

Tour of the Kochi

Kochi. Formerly a princely state, Kochi is also fondly referred to as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea”. This morning we partake in a sightseeing tour of the town. Its beautiful lagoons, lakes and greenery offer a lovely setting for your stay. Long famed in the history books, Kochi (formerly known as Cochin) offered refuge to Jews more than 2,500 years ago. Be on the lookout for the Pardesi Synagogue built in 1568 and street signs indicating Jew Town (Descendants of those Jews remain in the region). Jew Town is home to a number of craft and antique stores.

The Portuguese founded the first European colony in Kochi in the 16th century, and their influence can still be detected. The Dutch quickly followed and eventually, the British. The cosmopolitan mix of cultures makes the city fascinating. See the tombstone marking the original burial place of Vasco da Gama (his remains were later sent to Portugal) at St. Francis Church, and visit some of the city’s other churches, temples and mosques. Two academies teach and give demonstrations of Kalaripayattu, believed to be one of the oldest martial arts and you can see these demonstrations daily.
Overnight: Kochi  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Thykattusserry

Kochi - Thykattusserry. This morning we drive to a small rural village called Thykattusserry, being midway between Kochi and Alleppey. Worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of India's larger towns and cities, this charming village provides a fascinating insight into rural Indian life. The population comprises of people from different communities who live in harmony doing their daily chores like fishing and farming. At the homestay you'll be guaranteed a warm welcome, as you're showered with hospitality by the owners and made to feel like one of the family and in the kitchen you can learn about local cuisine.
Overnight: Thykattusserry (in the Alleppey District)  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Houseboat on the backwaters

Thykattusserry - Backwaters - Kothamangalam. This morning, we board a simply furnished private rice-boat for our journey through the backwaters in and around Alleppey. There are 29 major lakes in the backwater system but this area is being reduced dramatically by land reclamation. Water hyacinth is clogging up a number of canals and a combination of pollution and destructive fishing is responsible for the extinction of mangroves, crocodiles and migratory fish.

Similar to punting in Cambridge, the crew propel the boat through the water using tall bamboo poles! The rice-boat is a simply furnished craft and consists of a thatched covered lounge cum dining area, sleeping accommodation (with mosquito net) and a bathroom with a WC and washbasin. In the evening the boat is lit by hurricane lamps. Thatched awning on both sides of the boat allows the breeze and views to flow in. There is a small service area at the rear of the craft where the cook prepares simple meals using as many fresh provisions as can be plucked, caught or bought in the backwaters. A distance of some 20 kms will be covered, during which time the boat will glide past colourful local villages.

Chugging slowly on rice-boats through the shallow, palm-fringed waters, visitors see a part of Keralan society that revolves around fishing and the processing of coir (coconut fibre), copra (dried coconut meat) and cashews. Families live on impossibly narrow strips of land, somehow managing to raise cows, pigs, chickens and ducks and cultivate small vegetable gardens. Residents paddle rapier thin canoes hewn from trunks of the jackfruit tree across the water to sell groceries and deliver rice hay.
Overnight: Houseboat  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Kothamangalam

Disembarking from the rice-boat at Alleppey, we drive to Kothamangalam and transfer to our plantation homestay (approximately 2 hour drive). Here, we relax, unwind and learn about spices like vanilla, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and more.
Overnight: Kothamangalam  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Free time

A day of relaxation in the cool ambience of the homestay.
Overnight: Kothamangalam  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Optional visit to Bird Sanctuary

Spend your day at leisure or there is an optional tour to Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, one of the best in Asia. More than 80% of birds found in Kerala can be seen here (book locally).
Overnight: Kothamangalam  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Kochi

Kottayam - Kochi. We drive back to Kochi and onward transfer to your hotel or to the airport to meet your onward flight.

If you'd like to extend your stay, we offer a variety of hotels, short stays and add-ons for you to choose from. Please read our best places to visit or best things to see each month for suggested places to visit on your holiday. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please let us know so we can accommodate your request.

For information about visas, top travel tips, best time to travel and much more, browse our travel guide.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are ‘per person’, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the per person price.

Read More
 
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
Kerala Homestay - 8 days
£1255
£755

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Kochi
Ends
Kochi
Departs
Any day of the year
Hotel Rating
Our rating: Standard
Tour Guide
Yes - for all included sightseeing
Meals
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 2
Visiting
Kochi, Alleppey, Kothamangalam
Countries
Kochi Chinese fishing nets - Highlight
kothamangalam highlight
OTG000625Kerala Homestay - 8 daysIndian SubcontinentTailor-made1255 GBPfalse0Indiahttps://www.onthegotours.com/uk/India/Kerala-Homestay-8-dayshttps://drwyjmricaxm7.cloudfront.net/repository/KeralaHomestayitinerary1shortstaysIndia-89101271264993_crop_flip_300_300_f2f2f2_center-center.jpgShort_Stays1255GBP