South India holiday, small group

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17 Oct 2016
£ 1480
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24 Oct 2016
£ 1440
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07 Nov 2016
£ 1465
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14 Nov 2016
£ 1555
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21 Nov 2016
£ 1495
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23 Nov 2016
£ 1525
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28 Nov 2016
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04 Dec 2016
£ 1495
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12 Dec 2016
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19 Dec 2016
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21 Dec 2016
£ 1555
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26 Dec 2016
£ 1585
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02 Jan 2017
£ 1480
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09 Jan 2017
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16 Jan 2017
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23 Jan 2017
£ 1540
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30 Jan 2017
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06 Feb 2017
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13 Feb 2017
£ 1540
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20 Feb 2017
£ 1615
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27 Feb 2017
£ 1540
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06 Mar 2017
£ 1540
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13 Mar 2017
£ 1540
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20 Mar 2017
£ 1480
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27 Mar 2017
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03 Apr 2017
£ 1425
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10 Apr 2017
£ 1425
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17 Apr 2017
£ 1425
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04 Sep 2017
£ 1425
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11 Sep 2017
£ 1425
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18 Sep 2017
£ 1425
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25 Sep 2017
£ 1425
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01 Oct 2017
£ 1425
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09 Oct 2017
£ 1425
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16 Oct 2017
£ 1425
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23 Oct 2017
£ 1425
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30 Oct 2017
£ 1425
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06 Nov 2017
£ 1425
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13 Nov 2017
£ 1480
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16 Nov 2017
£ 1480
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20 Nov 2017
£ 1480
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27 Nov 2017
£ 1480
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30 Nov 2017
£ 1480
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11 Dec 2017
£ 1480
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18 Dec 2017
£ 1480
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25 Dec 2017
£ 1540
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28 Dec 2017
£ 1540
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Vouchers
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Holiday type

Small group adventure - Comfort trips

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is one of our Comfort trips, designed for travellers looking for more inclusions in their itinerary, a higher standard of accommodation and more focus on private vehicles over public transport.

Comfort trips are aimed at the adventure traveller who wants to discover the world up close, but with some creature comforts along the way. Dependent on the itinerary, there may still be a night multi-share accommodation (at a homestay for example), but this will be to ensure you don't miss out on a fantastic experience. Camping trips will usually stay in permanent, tented camps or some of the safari options may be lodge based.

You'll stay in predominantly 3 ½ star and above tourist class hotels with private, en suite facilities, although some itineraries will still include the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend a night on an overnight train or camp out somewhere amazing (without the hassle of putting up your own tent!).

You'll find a number of the meals are included (as per your itinerary) and when eating together we'll focus on smaller, often family run restaurants, often eating where the locals eat and ensuring that you are still getting an authentic travel experience.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South India holiday, small group

The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travellers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. You will see this in action during your visit to southern India, your group will support local industry and initiative and help provide employment opportunities for the locals whose services we utilise. Through our policy on employing professional, local leaders to guide our groups, you will also benefit from a greater personal understanding of the history, culture and traditions of India’s beautiful south.

During the course of the trip you will dine throughout in local, traditional restaurants, often eating where the locals eat. Food and supplies will be purchased en route and sourced locally, supporting local growers and farmers, you’ll be encouraged to purchase souvenirs from smaller handicraft markets, supporting local craftsmen, and you’ll also get the opportunity to take part in a traditional Kathakali dance performance and have a rejuvenating ayurvedic massage, encouraging the continued practice of age old cultural skills.

The comfortable hotels and heritage properties that we use throughout this trip are all reflective of the region through which we are travelling. The staff are all recruited from local communities and can give a great insight into the way of life in the region both past and present. We will travel on a combination of private vehicles and local transport, using trains for our longest trips between Pondicherry and Madurai, and between Alleppey and Trivandrum. In addition to be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint low, rail travel in India is a ‘must try’ experience and a marvellous way to see the country slip by.

In fact, when it comes to carbon emissions we operate a carbon neutral policy, offsetting all passenger travel ‘on the ground’ while on tour. On this trip, that equates to 488kgs of carbon offset per person per trip.

Our emphasis on tour is real life experiences from interacting with fellow travellers on the train journeys (with your guide on interpreter duty!), to dining with a local family in Periyar, to exploring the local temples and markets in Chennai. Opportunity for cultural interaction is a one of the reasons many choose this style of travel, and your group leader will be on hand throughout to gently guide the group with social interaction. Much of India is fairly conservative, particularly outside of the major cities and we encourage our travellers to dress modestly and respect the customs and traditions encountered. On this itinerary, we many temples including in Mamallapuram, Madurai and Pondicherry and it’s vital that our group travel with a responsible outlook on cultural interaction, and make use of their leader to guide the way.

India is one of the most exciting, colourful and inspirational countries on Earth, however some areas are not renowned for their cleanliness. We encourage all our travellers not to make this very real problem worse. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route and we encourage all our travellers to use refillable water bottles with purification tablets rather than adding to the problem by purchasing a copious number of plastic bottles of water.

Reviews of South India holiday, small group

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Probably the meenakshi temple visit. I also thought Kerala was beautiful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I would advise other travelers to research the areas being visited because I didn't think there were enough interesting activities offered.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not sure.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


2 stars. Although our tour leader was nice enough, I found her rather disorganized and not particularly communicative regarding the areas we visited (unless we asked direct questions) or the history of the areas /past/present. The local guides command of English was not great and often impossible to understand (except for mr Abraham, who was funny, sincere, and engaged). For instance, I don't remember anything that the guide at Meenakshi said. When I asked about the evening ceremonies ( something a friend who had gone with another company highly recommended ), it was met with disinterest by both the tour guide and the local guide. I was then given 2 incorrect times, and, as a result, I ( and 3 other tourmates I recommended this to) spent 3 exhausting
hours trying to locate either ceremony. Luckily, we did get to see some of the final ceremony at 9:30pm.

This guide I also heard was rude when we did not purchase something from his buddies across the street where we were corralled into for that "great photo" from the roof of their building. That whole hustle is really tacky and lame and I'm surprised your companies still engage in this stuff. At any rate, If the company can't offer an evening guide, at least have information available about this activity.

Other observations: munnar was lovely but that tea farm visit was ridiculous (like a school trip) and visiting a dam? I heard the scenery around there was nice (I
didn't go), but c'mon. I think someone needs to get on the ground in south India again and research either new places or alternate interesting things to do in these areas. Also, we had to leave cochi for alleppey quite early but for what reason? The rooms at Alleppey were unavailable for a couple of hours. Our leader said we left early " because we might see interesting sites along the way and stop." When we asked why we hadn't stopped, she said there " hadn't been anything interesting to stop for."

And then there were the number of crappy restaurants. The big frat style restaurant in cochi was insane. I was ill (awful migraine -my head was on the table the whole night yet the guide never asked if perhaps I needed to go back to the hotel) and we waited about 2 hours for a meal I could not eat. The guide also often did not give us times to meet back up at activities where we dispersed. As a result there was often a lot of milling around unnecessarily waiting to connect with other members, being unable to go back to the bus or along to the next activity because the others may not know where we were. Anyway, south India itself and its people were beautiful and I wish I had had more of a chance to walk around amidst the people and learn more cultural and social facts.

Also, the group members themselves were great. We all got along well and were quite well matched personality wise, for the most part. I think the thing was , almost everyone was very well travelled (I was probably the least well travelled person) and most had some issues with the quality of the experience. Whether they write about their experience remains to be seen.

Read the operator's response here:

We’re sorry to hear you were disappointed with elements for you tour and our customer relations team are in direct communication with you to address the points raised.

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