Kerala luxury holiday, India

“This is very much an insider’s tour of Kerala – experiencing its food, landscapes and wildlife and meeting local people – but with elegant, comfortable accommodation, too.”


Kochi | city tour on foot or bike | optional: Kathakali dance show | Munnar | visit indigenous Muduvan village | tea museum and factory | hiking | Chellar Koil viewpoint | Periyar Nature Reserve | optional: trekking, bamboo rafting, night treks, plantation visits | boat rides | visit to spice garden | Kerala backwaters | Ayurveda massage | optional: market visits, cycling, cooking, bird watching

Description of Kerala luxury holiday, India

Offering an authentic insider experience of this beautiful part of India, this Kerala luxury holiday is about travelling in comfort, too. We have designed this tour so that the journey times between the places you stay are kept short and have selected small, stylish hotels and homestays in quiet, tucked away locations.

The holiday takes in Kochi, Munnar, Periyar Nature Reserve and the Kerala backwaters. In each place, you’ll enjoy unique accommodation. Stay in a luxury plantation house in Periyar, where your host Pirkko will treat you to warm hospitality and great food, in between trekking, visiting spice gardens and boating. Enjoy beautiful cottage accommodation that belongs to a traditional Keralan backwater house, too, owned by a Syrian Christian family, where quiet rooms and wonderful food are offered.

In between relaxing there is lots to see and do. Walk through forests and plantations around the hill station of Munnar, take an overnight cruise on a houseboat, spot wild elephants in Periyar and enjoy excellent homemade food throughout. You can even get involved with cooking it, if you like!

The best time to visit southern India is December and January, but this is also peak season so it’s popular and gets booked up. November is more quiet but there is the risk of a late monsoon shower and some humidity. From February, the heat builds and conditions are hot and humid by late April. The monsoon comes from May to October.

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

This trip can be tailor made at a time to suit you and adapted to suit your budget and requirements
Holiday type

Tailor made holiday

This trip can be tailormade to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more luxurious trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments before relaxing in comfort in some of the best and most characterful local accommodation! Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kerala luxury holiday, India

Rough Guide to India described our tours as “The most original, hands-on and ethical itineraries on the market” – we’re proud of this and like to think that the quote sums up our ethos neatly. When you take a tour with us, around 70% of your money stays in India – supporting the social/environmental work of our partners and the projects they support.

We feel particularly strong that guides should be local, giving you the opportunity to spend time with people local to the country, supporting their livelihoods and assimilating the local culture. All tour partners, tour guides and hosts come from the host country. In most cases, your guide is from the specific village in which you are staying. This may mean that your host has imperfect English – in some cases they are specifically recruited and trained from the local village – but we like to think that the benefits are worthwhile.

An example is the guides at Periyar Reserve. Not long ago most of these guides were poachers. Now, with the security of income offered, they have become the forest protectors.

Likewise, we choose locally owned hotels rather than international chains. Many of our guest houses – such as Philip Kutty’s Farm and Aanavilasam - are extensions of peoples’ homes and farms. In such places the whole family – and many of the villagers - are involved in caring for you.

In terms of transport – you’ll see from the itinerary that we’re keen to cut the driving and encourage guests to stay several days in any one place with a local guide (rather than continuously driving from one place to another), guests will participate in lifestyles that are themselves sustainable – you'll eat locally produced food (often growing in the fields adjacent to you), use local transport, cook dinner with your host, and visit local environmental projects. Our tours are listed in the Ethical Travel Guide, published by Tourism Concern and Rough Guide.

1 Reviews of Kerala luxury holiday, India

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 10 Feb 2006 by

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

The homestays were particularly enjoyable, allowing us some insight into everyday life in a way that can be difficult to experience as a tourist. Our hosts were warm, genuine, entertaining and thoughtful people who put a great deal of effort into ensuring that we got the best from our trip. It felt very sad each time we had to move on! Also, Keralan food is wonderful, though 3 home cooked meals a day can have a serious impact on your waistline (perhaps we should have refused those 3rd helpings…)

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

It’s definitely worth taking the time to travel to the north of Kerala. We saw very few other tourists (none at all for a couple of days) and were welcomed as something of a novelty by the local children! The Theyyam rituals are fascinating and you are likely to be the only non-villagers in attendance.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

There were several examples where we could see direct benefit to the local people (various co-operatives and employment schemes). Some of the accommodation is fairly simple (though comfortable and very clean) and I’m sure we used less power and water when staying there. Much of the food was home grown and we occasionally drank (boiled) well water rather than bottled water, with no ill effects.

4. Any other comments?

This was an excellent trip, exceeding all our expectations. The organisation was absolutely seamless, making the travelling really easy and relaxing. The people that we met really made this holiday for us – there were so many small kindnesses. Complete strangers went out of their way to be hospitable to us, to point out sights or explain things to us and we even received a number of small gifts.

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