A 10-day adventure trip through ‘God’s own country’
Cultural highlights and spectacular experiences of nature, mountains, backwaters, spice gardens, tea plantations, wildlife, culture & beach
This journey of discovery gives you an unforgettable insight into a land that Indians often call ‘God’s own country’. Enchanting Kerala welcomes you to white beaches, green paddy fields, lush palm groves and a fertile water garden. Active days are interspersed with days of relaxation and leisure. The journey starts at one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in South India and then leads you to the picturesque world of the famous backwaters. It then goes upward into a magnificent mountainous world where, between traditional spice gardens and lush green tea plantations, you will explore various wildlife sanctuaries that are known for their large elephant herds. The open, multicultural atmosphere of the Malabar Coast lets you participate with all your senses in the vitality and versatility of the host country. Enjoy the facets of a rich cultural heritage, the colorful mythological figures of the Kathakali dance theater and a leisurely stroll along Kochi’s beach promenade. An eventful journey which bestows many inspiring impressions.
The proposed itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to your needs in terms of content and schedule. If you’d prefer an extended trip, we can recommend a well-maintained resort in Kerala that offers a stylish natural framework for relaxed days at the beach or rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatment.
Trivandrum – Varkala – Backwaters – Thekkady – Munnar – Cochin
Day 1: Arrival in Trivandrum & transfer to Varkala
With its quiet beach, charming Varkala is the ideal place to arrive peacefully in your host country.
Day 2 & 3: Relaxing on the white sandy beach under red cliffs
You will enjoy these days with hours spent relaxing on the Arabian Sea. The original charm of this beautiful, long sandy beach, with its backdrop of red rocks, is that it is a wonderful place for relaxation. A series of rock-cut stairs lead down to the beach. The spectacular sunset over the Arabian Sea, a highlight of a visit to Varkala, is best enjoyed from the panoramic view up on the cliffs, 30-50 meters above the sea.
Day 4: Transfer to Alappuzha (Alleppey) & House boat trip on the backwaters
Kerala is famous around the world for its numerous waterways; lined by palms, mango trees and rice paddies, they crisscross the region and are known as the ‘backwaters’. They form a vast network of waterways that extends from Kochi in the north to Kollam in the south, crossing an area of about 2000 square kilometers, consisting of 29 lakes and lagoons, 44 rivers and about 1500 canals. The largest lake, with a length of 83 km, is Vembanad Lake, which is connected to the Arabian Sea. The peaceful backwaters, serving as trade and transport routes for the locals for many centuries, are a spectacular destination for tourists. Discovering the picturesque water world on a house boat trip is an unforgettable highlight of a trip to Kerala. The romantic boats, providing all meals and comfortable accommodation for the night, are converted former rice barges. Your backwater trip starts and ends at the Alappuzha (Alleppey) boat jetty.
Day 5 and 6: Transfer to Thekkady – Spice gardens in the land where pepper grows – Hiking in Periyar National Park
In Thekkady, you are in the center of pepper-growing country. The small town is nestled between green tea, coffee and spice plantations in a typical South-Indian hilly landscape. Thekkady is probably the best place for buying Indian spices of the highest quality. On a visit to one of the many spice gardens, the various traditional spices can be directly experienced in nature, under the guidance of a professional. Another attraction is the Periyar National Park, which is among the best-known nature and wildlife sanctuaries in South India. On an early morning hike with local guides or on a boat ride on Periyar Lake, one can – with a bit of luck – spot elephants and a variety of other wild animals. A visit to a Kalaripayattu demonstration is also an impressive experience, providing insight into the traditional martial art of South India.
Day 7 and 8: Transfer to Munnar – Tea museum & hiking in the tea fields
A varied drive through the picturesque countryside of southern India leads to a true paradise for nature lovers. Munnar, the “Queen of Hill Stations”, is surrounded by lush green tea plants at an altitude of 1,524 meters in the Kannan Devan hills of the Western Ghats. In the immediate vicinity is the Anamudi, the highest peak in South India at 2,965 m. The area around Munnar offers breathtaking views of the manicured tea fields that, depending on the weather, will glitter in the mild mountain sunlight or be enveloped in the mystical white of the clouds. A tea of a very special quality matures here, and the air is often permeated by the scent of freshly picked tea leaves. The area captivates, with its white-water streams, vast tea gardens, breathtaking views and rich animal life. A trip to Echo Point and Top Station will go past the scenic highlights of the region. A hike through the tea plantations with a local guide is highly recommended. A visit to the local tea museum reveals the secrets of tea production.
Day 9 and 10: Transfer to Kochi (Cochin) – Cultural diversity on the Malabar coast
The port city of Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is uniquely located between the Arabian Sea and the backwaters. With its rich ethnic and cultural heritage, Kochi’s atmosphere is an unforgettable experience. A variety of attractions offer insights into the rich history of the city, characterized by strong Portuguese and Dutch influences. Particularly interesting is a visit to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, the historical city with its bustling life. Among the attractions for which sufficient time should be reserved are the winding streets with old Dutch houses, Chinese fishing nets at the waterfront, traditional spice markets, the antiquities quarter, the Jewish synagogue, the Mattancherry palace with its exquisite mythological murals and the St. Francis Church, built in 1503, where Vasco da Gama was buried until his remains were transferred to Lisbon in 1539. A special cultural attraction is the spectacular Kathakali dance theater. There are performances every evening.
In the afternoon or evening of day 10, a transfer is made to the airport or the train station to return home or travel onwards.