Backwaters & Sandy Beaches
- Price from:
- 341 GBP /person
- 01273 322044
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Last updated: 02/19/2009
From Cochin, journey through tropical, exotic Kerala, by private car, to Periyar Wildlife Reserve. Float on a houseboat through the back-waters and finish on a lovely, palm-fringed beach near Kovalam.
Cochin (Kochi) - Periyar National ParkThis module begins in quaint Cochin (or Kochi), a charming jumble of Arab, British, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese influences. There is also a Jewish quarter with quirky antique shops and a beautiful synagogue. Hopefully you've already explored this intriguing town, as you're leaving this morning for the Periyar National Park. You'll be collected from your hotel in Cochin or from the airport. The drive will take about 4 hours, giving you plenty of time to admire the emerald tea plantations that will speed past the window. You'll stay in a welcoming and cosy homestay run by a local family in the town of Thekkady, which lies about 4km from the park.
Periyar National ParkEarly this morning, you'll take a boat cruise over Periyar Lake, hopefully spotting a wide variety of animals including deer, otters, bison, monkeys and even honey bears. However, the real spectacle in Periyar is the huge population of wild elephant in the park. These jumbos browse along the shores of the lake, plodding through the fresh grass and often entering the water for a splash as you pass close by. After the cruise, you'll spend the afternoon in the spice gardens, strolling amongst coffee bushes, tea fields and pepper plantations. On your way back to the hotel in Periyar, you'll stop at the local market to taste these spices for yourself.
Periyar National Park - Alleppey - Kerala backwatersToday, you'll set off on the drive to Alleppey, the centre of the backwaters that the locals fondly refer to as the âVenice of the East'. Tonight, you'll sleep aboard a traditional houseboat on the romantic Lake Vattakayal. At about noon, you'll leave the canals of Alleppey and drift into the backwaters on your charming, luxurious houseboat. This is, without doubt, the very best way to enjoy the labyrinth of tiny canals. The waterways are shaded by palms on all sides and everywhere you'll see people working the land. Along the way, you'll stop to visit various villages, hidden temples, churches and even a traditional snake boat. If youâre lucky, you might catch a snake boat race in action, with dozens of brightly clothed rowers. The local people will wave happily to you from the banks as you pass. You'll slowly weave your way through the backwaters, soaking up the sunshine while you feast on delicious Keralan dishes and sip on a cold Kingfisher beerâ¦
Kerala backwaters - Kovalam After a tasty breakfast aboard the houseboat, you'll drift back to land for the drive to Kovalam. This is a long drive (about 6 hours) and you'll pass wonderful scenery along the way. When you arrive in Kovalam, you'll quickly forget the fatigue of travel. This is the best known beach in Kerala and certainly one of the most beautiful. There are plenty of excellent restaurants here, where you'll find a huge range of freshly caught seafood and fish.
You'll stay at lovely Nellikunnu Beach, a couple of beaches along from Kovalam itself. It's very peaceful here and yet only a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride from the centre of Kovalam. The beach at Nellikunnu has a traditional Ayurvedic spa offering massages and other treatments. You'll stay in a cute cottage covered in teak, right on the attractive beach.
KovalamToday your time is completely your own. Swim, sunbathe, or read in your hammock â it is completely up to you. Simply enjoy the easygoing atmosphere of Kovalam Bay. The swimming here is delightful as the water is clear, warm, and gets deeper very gradually. You can also go shopping at the lively stalls on Kovalam Beach, packed with tempting souvenirs. The food here is delicious, so get stuck into some tasty local treats. If you're feeling ultra energetic, you can take an excursion to Kanyakumari, the most southerly point of India. Just let us know if you want to take this excursion, and we'll make the arrangements for you.
Kovalam - End of moduleToday, you'll be transferred to Trivandrum Airport. From here, you can fly to many Indian cities or perhaps to the Maldives for some deluxe sun, sea, and sand. See also our Maldives modules for more information. You are also very welcome to extend your stay in Kovalam. Just add your requirements to the quote request form, and we'll include them in your Travel Plan.
- Inclusions -
- Accommodation with breakfast (on the houseboat all meals), transport and excursions.
- Exclusions -
- All meals other than breakfast, entrance fees.
- Extras -
- This is a private tour based on 2 people sharing (no group tours)and departs on any day of the year.
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