Kerala tailor made holiday, 11 days
Description of Kerala tailor made holiday, 11 days
Avoid the hustle and bustle India experience with this signature Kerala tour, which takes in the region’s beautiful highlights in 11 days. Gain an insight into the culture and wildlife of Kerala, but also enjoy some serious mellow time in between! No wonder this trip is a real favourite with our regular travellers!
Your trip begins in the ancient port city of Cochin, where you spend two nights. The influence of Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese settlers can still be seen here and you can visit synagogues, temples and churches in this fascinating cultural melting pot. You can also see the gravestone of Vasco de Gama, the explorer who discovered the sea route from Europe to India. Back at your hotel, enjoy a relaxing soak in your tub and gaze out of the window, watching for dolphins swimming in the glittering waters beyond.
From here, head to the interior. Periyar National Park is home to tigers, monkeys, antelope and a significant population of elephants. Once here, take an interpretive nature walk with park guides, then enjoy some relaxation, breathing in the scent of tropical flowers and the spices that are hanging in the plantation around your accommodation. Swim in the pool, relax in the shade of the palms, listen out for Macaque monkeys in the trees and spot butterflies.
Then take a scenic drive back to the coast for a stay at a beautiful resort near the emerald-green waters of Lake Vembanad. Here you can relax in your pool-side villa with its own private bathing cove or take a sunset cruise on the lake. You might also enjoy an Ayurvedic massage.
Finally, spend four nights in Varkala. From here, take a drive to Allepey for a day-long houseboat cruise along the canals and waterways of this region. While staying in Varkala you can feast on beautiful Keralan food and stroll the wide beaches. Each morning, watch as the fishermen take their boats out to sea, with the promise of fresh fish for dinner, too! Or simply relax in a hammock amid the coconut palms, dozing to the rhythm of crashing waves.
14 Reviews of Kerala tailor made holiday, 11 days
Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020 by Tania FuadAbsolutely superb (bar Swamimalai); a perfect 50th birthday present Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Feb 2020 by Jason RowleyAll good but Munnar and the Houseboat were particularly good Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Feb 2020 by Fiona ScottThe most memorable part of the holiday was the house boat and talayer tea bungalo Read full review
Reviewed on 31 Jan 2020 by Joanna FindlayWonderful holiday. Trip of a lifetime. Read full review
Reviewed on 28 Jan 2020 by Diana Kendra5 star all the way Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Jan 2020 by Sylvia GilbertFantastic....We stayed at home stays which were owned by local people and the guides were local to the areas we visited. Read full review
Reviewed on 24 Nov 2019 by Charlotte PurkisEvery element was good. It was all memorable. Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Oct 2019 by Donald DunlopThe most memorable part of the holiday was the Farm Stay at Dewalokam and the Houseboat. Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Sep 2019 by Carole SmithWonderful experience. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Feb 2019 by Judy HarpThe whole service from Sanjay and Responsible Travel was excellent from start to finish. Sanjay took on board all we wanted to experience and within 48 hours had put together exactly what we were looking for. Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Nov 2018 by Julie MycroftWe loved Dewalokam and wished we could have stayed longer. It is beautiful and we enjoyed the tour of the farm and the other activities. We loved the idea that everything was home grown. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Oct 2018 by Bronwyn SimmondsWe had been to India before and we thought that Kerala is very different to other parts of India we haver explored. We absolutely loved our holiday and we are now planning a trip to Sri Lanka Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Oct 2018 by Jane MillerAmazing people who went out of their way to make our holiday special. We had a wonderful driver, Mr Jomy, who took special care of us. Every hotel was attentive and welcoming. The crew of our Backwater boat were a great bunch and the wildlife was spectacular! Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Jan 2018 by Lonica VanclayExperiencing the rich variety and beauty of Kerala was the highlight. Read full review
Your tour will include stays at two CGH Earth Hotels (Spice Village and Eighth Bastion) that offer tourism respectful of nature and local ethos, in search for new harmonies. The CGH Earth Hotels adopted the construction methods of the Ooralie tribe of Periyar and the fishermen of Mararikulum and made them their own.
Spice village in Thekkady for example is a work of nature as much as it is a lofty expression of the imagination. The resort was conceived as a village and its building was approached in the way you would a village - with local materials, native artisans, mountain spirit and traditional wisdom in its creation. Though traditional in its conception, this is a ‘village’ that offers you all the comforts of a city minus the noise, pollution and other urban ills that you can do without. Their interaction with the ecology of these hills is symbiotic, influenced by the native people of these parts who have lived in harmony with their surroundings for generations. They taught them about self-sustaining systems and also steward their organic gardens that put fresh vegetables, fruits and spices on your tables every day.
CGH removed around 12,000 plastic bottles of packaged water from their waste stream each year. These have been substituted with glass bottles filled with RO treated drinking water for the rooms and restaurant. Likewise, the in-room toiletries are kept in earthenware containers, further reducing the need to rely on plastic.
Kerala has taken a deeper interest in increasing locally produced food and organic foods in the last years. The state is now meeting over 70% of its demand for vegetables on its own compared with just 20% a few years ago. Large tracts of land are now being converted for organic cultivation. Initiatives by government agencies, social organisations and farmers are all participating in what is becoming an organic farming revolution in Kerala, that will not only benefit the environment but also your health.
The greenest state of India offers shelter to some of the best and rarest plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species. Naturally there are many wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala that have been developed to look after and preserve the wide variety of birds and animals.
During your stay in Kumarakom you will visit the Vembanad Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Asia located in Kottayam. Kottayam is a vast network of several rivers and canals that drains water into the large expanse of the Vembanad Lake. The lake supports the large variety of flora and fauna, from mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves to white lillies. You can also visit the famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the eastern bank of the Vembanad Lake.
Kumarakom, the clump of small islands on the Vembanad Lake, has launched a Responsible Tourism model, linking the local community to the hospitality industry and has won the national award for the best rural tourism project. Kerala Tourism’s “Responsible Tourism” model at Kumarakom also got the biggest international recognition when it was conferred the top United Nations Award, UNWTO Ulysses Award, for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance.
We believe that there are a thousand small ways to give back more than we take from the earth. We are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours and actively promote that our guides educate local families that they visit with you to do the same.
PeopleThe CGH resorts we select for you endeavor to employ people from local community, be it the naturalist who guides you through the wilderness or the therapist who rejuvenates your mind and body. CGH instituted community based programmes that helped rehabilitate poachers and smugglers. Local tribes were taught organic farming techniques, which helped them to prosper and preserve their way of life. CGH Earth have adopted the local culture and way of life as a form of respect for the local heritage and traditional modes of living. They set up market mechanisms such us purchasing produce from the local community only.
In Kochi, our experienced local guide will take you on a very special tour in Fort Cochin, providing you with rare and researched inisights about culture, heritage and spiritual history of the the city and its diverse buildings. We will take you for example to the oldest synagogue in all the Commonwealth of Nations, the Paradesi Synagogue, built in 1568. It is run by the last and only Jewish woman in India.
We will take you to the local fishermen suspended on Chinese fishing nets, introduced by Chinese explorers. It is a very unique and unusal method of fishing operated from the shore. Set up on bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms lowering them into the sea, they look like hammocks and are counter-weighed by large stones tied to ropes.
You also have the possibilitiy to witness a very special and sacred Kathakali dance, performed by the local dancers, which tells stories from the ancient Hindu epic – Ramayana and Mahabharata, and maybe a Kalari spectacle, demonstrating parts of the origin of Martial Arts.
On your boat ride or house boat visit on the serene lake Vembanad, you might be able to celebrate Onam (August-September), the most ancient Hindu festival, with a spectacular water regatta - the snake boat races. It is indeed amazing to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full throated singing. All boats used for the races are home-made out of indigenous materials.
If you do want to shop, then we will take you to local collectives where local women of that very region craft there products and help keep the money earned in that very community.