Southern India 15 day tour

“A two week, tailor made holiday in South India, with one week in Tamil Nadu and the other in Kerala. With plenty of culture, cuisine and coasts thrown into this tropical mix. ”

Description of Southern India 15 day tour

Chennai – Mamallapuram – Pondicherry – Madurai – Periyar – Alleppey Backwaters – Marari – Cochin

This Southern India holiday is a two week trip around both Tamil Nadu and Kerala, starting in Chennai on the Tamil Nadu coast. For the first week, travelling with a local driver guide throughout, you explore the coastal capital of Chennai with its famous long beach and, in coastal contrast, the former French colonial town of Puducherry which has an almost Riviera vibe. From water to worship, your next stops feature some of the country’s most splendid temples. Such as Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, home to the Great Living Chola Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Madurai is also a sacred hub in Tamil Nadu, its most iconic site being Meenakshi Temple, an outstanding example of Vijaynagar architecture.

The next week is in Kerala, with its wonderful mix of landscapes, the most famous being the coastal strip along the Arabian Sea but also the Western Ghat Mountains bedecked with jungle and luscious hill plantations. And then there are the famous Kerala backwaters, where the gateway town to this maze of inland waterways, Alleppey, is also known as Venice of the East. Stay in a houseboat on the backwaters, see the elephant population in Periyar National Park, explore the historic port town of Cochin with its famous spice markets and artisans, and chill out at the beach for a few days too at the fishing village of Marari.

This is a tailor made trip, and so we are very happy to tweak this itinerary below to suit your interests and time frame, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss in more detail. We do endeavour, however, to create an itinerary that benefits the local communities where possible, travelling with an expert local driver guide and also staying at excellent but small, locally owned accommodation throughout.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

Everything is tweak-able, giving you the freedom to build a unique and personal trip for your chosen date. Upgrade your accommodation for all - or just part - of your trip, slow down the pace with few extra nights here and there or add a few more active adventures along the way.
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Southern India 15 day tour

Environment

Responsible Travel plays a huge part in our company's vision and we are promoting this concept to our customers regularly. Before setting off on your trip we will provide you with a Know Before You Go that gives you plenty of tips about the country you are travelling to, with cultural information and phrases to help you get by. We also provide a Responsible Traveller document, which will give you all the useful information on the local customs that you'll need to ensure that there is mutual respect between our customers and locals.

During this trip you will have a wonderful opportunity to spot wildlife in one of the biggest National Parks, Periyar, a perfect place for spotting wild elephants in their natural habitat. To ensure you have minimal environmental impact on the area, we offer a walking track instead of a jeep safari. That way you can fully immerse into the life of the jungle and guided by an experienced naturalist learn a lot more, without disturbing wildlife around you.

Our clients will also enjoy their stay in small locally run guest houses that have been built from natural materials, without interfering with the beautiful nature surrounding them. They are virtually merged with the environment, with small streams running through the gardens and cardamon and coffee plantations starting fat the doorsteps.

Most hotels will also have reminders in place to make sure the guests are being responsible with the electricity and water while staying there. For instance, asking to change the towels when it's needed rather than on a daily basis to save water and energy.

We begin the responsible journey here in Brighton from our office. We do this by providing our team with a healthy locally-sourced daily lunch and recycling food-waste. Our office is virtually paperless, and the paper that we do use comes from the company we recycle through, this will, therefore, create a closed loop.

We actively encourage our travellers to refill water bottles while they are away instead of continuously purchasing more. As a part of supporting documents we provide our clients with before their exciting adventure (all of which are sent via email rather than posted), we include a "How To Be a Responsible Traveller" piece to help our customers leave a minimal trace while enjoying their adventures.

Our local partners in South India encourage the local community and all our customers to avoid using plastic/polythene carry bags. They highlight the efforts taken by the local municipality to keep their towns plastic free.

Community

Throughout the destination, we make sure to support the local communities as much as we can and encourage our customers to dive into the local cultures and take the time to learn them and interact with the locals more. This will really get the customers familiar with their customs.

We make sure to offer smaller-scale authentic accommodation as opposed to chain hotels, and also home-stays where possible so that travellers could have an opportunity to fully immerse into the local culture and experience a warm welcome from their friendly hosts. This really helps out the local community and smaller businesses. During this trip, customers will stay in a few small properties and really get to know their hosts and have a chance to meet like-minded travellers too!

Most of the travel is with a local driver, these are paid a fair wage and enjoy good working conditions with regular breaks between tours. Also, our drivers know the best places to stop for food/drinks/snacks and will stop at small places where the locals will benefit from much-needed income.

We have a local project that we support in each of our destinations and everyone who books our trips is more than welcome to contribute to the charity of the country they are travelling to. In India, this project is Odanadi, a pioneering anti-trafficking organisation based in Mysore, South India, working for the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficked women and children. For the past 20 years, Odanadi has been committed to providing a safe haven for survivors of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, slavery, domestic abuse and destitution. Odanadi currently runs two residential rehabilitation centres in Mysore, housing up to 85 women and young people at any one time.

Our local partners in South India are also on board with our values and make sure their staff are all happy at their job. They also help collecting and recycle waste in the area and sponsor recycling waste bins on their local community.

As well as being a part of other initiatives, our partners support the local elementary schools to improve education and infrastructure, offer stationeries to meet educational needs, arrange social awareness camps & yearly health check-ups. They also help around 20 physically challenged local kids to get to and from school.

2 Reviews of Southern India 15 day tour

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 18 Feb 2018 by

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


There were several memorable parts to our holiday, 24 hours on the boat in the Kerala backwaters, a couple of days in the hills surrounded by beautiful tea fields, a cycle rickshaw tour of a city and two days in a bungalow on the shore of the Arabian Sea to name a few.

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




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


Local drivers, guides and cycle rickshaw drivers were used, giving employment to local people.

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


It was a great holiday.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Sheila,

Thank you so much for your lovely review of your recent trip to Southern India with us. I am thrilled you found your adventure exciting and memorable and that you enjoyed all the meaningful aspects of your trip. From the locally run hotels, to the local guides and driver, we do our best for everyone involved to benefit from our trips and I am so pleased you could feel that too.

Warm regards,
Kate

Reviewed on 15 Apr 2018 by

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


Meeting great people.

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


Check that all plans made by the company are going to be followed through.

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


In some ways. Communication is the key word. Discussions did take place with regard to environmental issues.

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


A great holiday thanks to India and its wonderful people. Very disappointed with the tour operator who made very discreet adjustments to our itinerary which
caused great disappointment at the time.
Tour op to comment on Q4 - review checked 17/04/2018 (publish in 2 weeks on 1st May)

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Germaine,

Thank you ever so much for taking the time to review your travels to India with us - your feedback is highly valued and essential in helping us improve our services and product.

I am ever so sorry to hear that you were left disappointed by some elements of your trip and felt that our communication with you was not clear enough.

Due to the time of year you were travelling, unfortunately one of our first choice hotels was unavailable at the time of booking and so we had arranged for you to stay in our upgrade accommodation on a complimentary basis instead. This should have been made clearer to you at the time and we apologise that it wasn't.

We pride ourselves on our transparency and high standards and it is disappointing to hear that this wasn't the case on this occasion.

It brings me great pleasure to hear that you had a great holiday in India overall though and I agree entirely, the people of the country really do make it!

I'd like to thank you once again for the time you have taken to get back in touch after your travels, as it really is truly appreciated, and we'll be sure to prevent the issues that arose for you from occurring again.

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