South India by rail holiday

“Our only holiday by train through Kerala and Tamil Nadu, staying at heritage hotels and homestays, tailor made, with private driver for transfers.”


Cochin | Kathakali performance | Two nights on houseboat | Kerala backwaters | Kanyakumari | Madurai | Trichy temples | Tanjore | Pondicherry | Mahabalipuram World Heritage Site | One night on sleeper train | Coonoor

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 to suit your dates and requirements.
Tailor made tour:
All our holidays are tailor made which means we can create a unique holiday for your individual requirements. We offer a range of accommodation from guesthouses and homestays to the more luxurious hotels. Where possible we use properties that are heritage or characterful. Quality and value are the hallmark of our trips. We are licenced to sell flights from the UK.
Our top tip:
Treat yourself to an Ayurvedic treatment or spa on this trip. This is the place for it.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Solos welcome. Same room price as for couples, but rail ticket is individual, so better value for solo travellers than car transfer trips.
Mix of houseboat, heritage hotels and homestays.
Accommodation, all breakfasts, train tickets, full board on last two days, other transfers, local taxes.
Budget 15/day for meals.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

All the long journeys are by train - normal India Rail trains. Train travel is generally accepted as the most environmentally friendly way to travel. Another benefit of train travel is the opportunity to meet local people - ordinary people going about their lives and taking the train to get to weddings, funerals, work, friends, family etc.

The owners of all the accommodation used on this tour have a commitment to environmental issues and as you travel between the properties you will find good practices, eg waste being recycled, low power light bulbs, water being heated by solar panels etc. With small numbers of individuals staying in small properties the impact on the environment is reduced, as waste, lighting etc will be minimal. Many of the accommodation options on this tour are homestays and small guesthouses.

The Impacts of this Trip

The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with more than 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work).

All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks.

We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).


4 Reviews of South India by rail holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 01 Feb 2018 by

Everything went extremely smoothly. The drivers were all very helpful. Our tour operator couldn't have been more helpful. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2017 by

The diversity between the different hotels/resorts/homestays. We were excited over a lot of things, cultural, historical places and the people we met. The mix between interesting places and relaxing places. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Oct 2015 by

We very much enjoyed this holiday, completely met and often exceeded our expectations. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Mar 2015 by

An amazing way to get an insight into the many sides of India. Trains are a brilliant way to see the countryside and talk to Indian people. The tour company was the most helpful travel company I have ever dealt with and I highly recommend using them. Read full review

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