Kerala holiday, Malabar Adventure

“Tailor made trip of Kerala’s living culture, from percussion makers to dancers, spice garden to synagogue. Savouring slowly in order to enjoy the intensity of every Keralan flavour.”

Highlights

Cochin | Alleppey backwaters | Beaches of Kannur | Night on secluded backwaters island | Wayanad | River Nila | School of Music and Dance visit

Description of Kerala holiday, Malabar Adventure

Travellers wanting an adventure holiday in India often end up seeing the more 'usual' sides of Kerala. This holiday is different. It takes you on an adventure which is much less ordinary, far more interesting, and which is utterly immersed in the culture of the area.

This is an Indian holiday which gives you a varied and fascinating look at the state of Kerala, including Cochin, the backwaters, the beaches of Kannur and the wildlife and spice gardens of Wayanad. But it also includes privileged insights into the culture and traditions of the local people - artists, musicians, dancers, and other craftsmen.

This is an excellently-priced holiday, especially when you consider the places you'll be staying, including eco-friendly cottages on a backwater island and in Wayanad, 4 nights homestay in heritage houses, and lovely beach cottages.

There are also some fascinating excursions and activities included which help bring the culture of the area alive for you, and give you your chance to really meet the local people.

Highlights

- See the highlights of Cochin
- An overnight cruise on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala.
- Stay on a secluded island in the backwaters.
- Meet the folk artists of the River Nila region.
- Time with students and masters of the classical dance and music school of Kerala.
- Stay on an organic farm in a 400 yr old heritage house.
- A musical trail to learn about the percussion culture of River Nila.
- Afternoon country boat cruise on an little-visited area called Tirur.
- Stay at an ancient heritage property with a sacred grove.
- Visit traditional bathing ghats.
- Spice tour in the Wayanad hills.
- Morning wildlife viewing in either Tholpetty or Muthanda wildlife sanctuaries in Wayanad.
- Visit bamboo nursery and bamboo artists.
- Enjoy three nights on some of the most idyllic beaches in the Malabar region near Kannur.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Bring a notebook for recipes and cooking skills. Homestays are havens of gourmet gorgeousness.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome, but it is an expensive way to do it. As car, driver & rooms are same price for one or two people.
Accomm:
Heritage homestays.
Included:
Accommodation, breakfasts, transport and transfers, driver guide, tours, entrance fees.
Meals:
Breakfasts included. Homestays do dinners, but your driver guide will lead you to favourite eateries.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Kerala holiday, Malabar Adventure

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

At the company location in the UK there are fifteen staff members. Of these, four work from home (no commuting), one who cycles twenty miles a day to & from work, and another cycles ten miles a day (in summer). The new office that was recently built is very energy efficient. It is well-insulated, the roof is shaded by trees which helps with the building not overheating during the summer months and therefore air-conditioning is not a daily requirement, and it has lots of natural light to reduce electric light usage whenever possible.

The company is located on a former farm and the directors grow fruit and vegetables which are shared with the team (apples, pears, blackcurrants, broad beans, lettuce, mint, courgettes, squashes etc!), so we keep our own footprint low. In addition, there are other members of staff that have home grown products that are available to their team members. As a company, we look to buy energy-efficient computers, and believe in recycling, so the latest computers bought have been both energy efficient and re-conditioned.

As part of our commitment to the environment we have a programme to plant trees in Tanzania, Malawi, Peru etc. through the company’s foundation. This was set up to help alleviate poverty, conserve endangered wildlife, and protect earth’s environmental diversity for the benefit of us all. All the projects have a link with tourism in some way, and many benefit the wider world as well as local people, through conserving areas of natural beauty. We don’t just look overseas when considering the environment, even at the office the team planted tress in the fields surrounding the buildings to celebrate the company’s 21st birthday in 2019.

As a company we think about our partners overseas carefully. Whereas it is not always possible for them, due to their locations in remote areas, the company ethos is to use properties around the globe that have a similar ethical stance to ourselves. If they can use local suppliers for their provisions, be it food or furnishings then they do, and all offer a variety of menus including vegetarian and vegan/plant-based options. Our partners support the use of solar/renewable energies, and many are looking at ways of switching their current supplies to more eco-friendly options in order to be more efficient. The use of solar, water and air are options in use or being explored, as well as grey water run offs. Energy efficient appliances and practices, card operated in room lighting, low energy bulbs, and a change in laundry practices, are all in operation, and show just a few of the initiatives used. Our partners also use local staff within their properties. Many live on-site in seasonal properties for example reducing the travel emissions of the company, many come from the local villages and communities surrounding the properties. This includes everyone from house keeping to management and the guides that are from the locale.

Due to the nature of the holidays provided by the company, it is impossible to eliminate all flights but where possible we use the minimum flight hours an itinerary can operate with. The packages we have on offer include rail portions in some areas, which keep emissions low, many walking options and shared transportation.

Environment

This trip also focuses on forest people’s role as care takers of forest, its resources and wildlife and by doing so also assures them a decent livelihood with dignity. Sustainable income through responsible tourism ensures increasing interest amongst local community members, which in turn supports conservation of wildlife and forest resources.

On behalf of every single traveller who visits the region, we plant sapling(s) to promote traveller's forest, which is a community owned eco-restoration project.

For every person that travels with the company, it plants trees through The Travel Forest initiative. Depending on where they plant and the requirement of the specific area, they plant either indigenous trees or a mix of indigenous and non-native species. Planting non-native seedlings may seem counter-intuitive but doing this can often help any remaining indigenous forest from being cut down (e.g. for fuel) as some non-native trees grow much more quickly than indigenous types. They particularly aim to save ancient or older indigenous forest, through offering an alternative option for fuel requirements of local communities. In addition to this benefit, their Travel Forest initiative helps with such things as planting for water-course retention, soil erosion, shade and even food – all depending on what is planted and where. They have planted almost 100,000 trees to date in various degraded locations including the Andean mountains in Peru, northern Tanzania and Malawi. This has always been done in conjunction with the local communities who plant and then tend the seedlings. Trees are far more important to the health of this planet (and us) than many people imagine. This global Travel Forest initiative can and does make a big difference.

Community

This holiday helps in a variety ways, mainly relating to helping back local people in terms of their traditions, cultures and livelihoods. Once practiced in several places in Kerala and especially on the banks of River Nila, featured art forms and rituals are no longer financially viable for people who practice it as there are less and less people who are showing interest in these rituals. This has affected the way of life of these ritualistic performers and they have been looking for other jobs based on daily wages. The Responsible tourism initiative has helped some of the community members to continue their lifestyle and earn from what they know for many generations. The boats we travel in were traditionally used for transporting fine sand and coconut husks to different locations. By hiring these boats we are giving them an alternative source of income.

Pottery and Bell metal workshops gives insight into the resilience of the artisans and how our holidays help them to make supplementary source of income. Promotion of such initatives have created new found interest amongst locals and new orders are regularly received by workers.

The traditional home stays that are part of the holiday accommodations were introduced as part of heritage revival and is providing a source of income for locals to maintain their age-old architectural marvels.

1 Reviews of Kerala holiday, Malabar Adventure

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 19 Nov 2014 by

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


The food and the beds

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


No alcohol on first day of month and every Sunday.
Internal flights have much lower baggage allowance than international flights

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


Perhaps

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


I feel good after it.

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