South India tour, Trivandrum to Goa

“Spend a couple of relaxing weeks as part of a small group travelling inland and along the coast from Trivandrum to Kerala to Mysore to Goa in southern India.”

Highlights

Trivandrum | Varkala | Kerala Backwaters Homestay | Kochi | Periyar National Park | Madurai | Mysore | Hampi | Goa |

Description of South India tour, Trivandrum to Goa

A south India tour lets you unleash the exotic and embrace the extraordinary as you make the journey from Trivandrum to Goa by way of boats, trains and public transport.

Thereís just something about this region that invites travellers to lay back and relax with scenic backwaters, mesmeric markets and wondrous religious symbolism that will have you meditating and smiling the further you search for the spirit of the south.

The chance to travel by local transport on this south India tour invites a unique insight into the lives of rural farmers and weather-worn fishermen, with numerous delicious dishes to try en-route to help you succumb to the tantalising tastes and smells that will no doubt stay in the mind for a lifetime.

Unwind in coconut groves, find your favourite fruit lassi and explore amazing temples and ancient ruins all the way from the tip of Trivandrum to the hammocks of Goa.

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.

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22 Nov 2019
£875
£744
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29 Nov 2019
£850
£722
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06 Dec 2019
£850
£722
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30 Dec 2020
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is one of our Basix trips, designed specifically for budget travellers who still want the security of group travel without lots of added inclusions. These trips don't have many included activities and meals are rarely included in the price, giving you the opportunity to search out local restaurants and sample regional specialities to your heart's content. The amount of free time in these itineraries means that the Basix trips often appeal to younger travellers looking to explore independently and tailor the trip to your own interests. You often won't spend too many days in any one place and you'll pack lots of different locations into your holiday.

As you might expect, accommodation on a Basix trip will be fairly basic! We'll stay in 1-2 star accommodation, often including homestays and there may be nights where the group stays somewhere multi-share / in a dormitory-style. Most accommodation however will be twin share; with solo travellers automatically roomed with a fellow group member of the same sex, this means that there are no single supplements on Basix trips.

On camping trips you will be expected to help out around the camp; putting up and taking down your own tent, helping with meals and other camp duties. We often find the nights where we are without a few creature comforts are those that are most amazing; wild bush camping in Serengeti anyone?! We'll use local transport where ever possible which is a great way of seeing the country and meeting locals as we travel.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

South India tour, Trivandrum to Goa

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.

Environment

As a global tour operator, we take our role in tourism very seriously and endeavour to practise sustainable tourism in all our operations. These are not just words on a page; they are ingrained in everything we do, every tour we operate and all operations inside the office. We are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. All our tours help to benefit local people, support conservation and the protection of wildlife and we feel this is the only way to run a tour.

This tour will take you on an exciting cultural adventure through ancient temples, striking architectures, diverse wildlife and colourful markets and there is the unique opportunity to spend time getting to know and making friends with local people.

In Asia, the dress code is conservative and we encourage all travellers to read the trip notes that we supply them with before departing. We recommend loose, lightweight fitting clothing to respect the culture and not offend.

In all our tours, we try to include as much local transport and accommodation as possible as it gives travellers a real insight into local life and takes more unnecessary, private transport off the roads. We use ricksaws, local buses and spend three nights aboard overnight sleeper trains on this tour. The trains are often highlights of the trip because it gives not only travellers but locals alike, unique experiences of other cultures.

In Kerala, we spend the night with a local family in a small island village. Before bedding down for the night, we take a tour, led by a local guide, of Keralaís Backwaters and this is a great chance to meet and talk with the people who live here and observe the different facets of local life.
Recruitment of our ground team comes from the local community. This not only gives a fantastic insight into the country and a snap shot of day to day life, but it also puts imperative financial resources and support back into the local community, creating jobs, supporting local businesses and keeping families together, rather than heading to cities in search of work.

India is one of the most exciting, colourful and inspirational countries on Earth, however some areas are not renowned for their cleanliness. We encourage all our travellers not to make this very real problem worse. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route and we encourage all our travellers to use refillable water bottles with purification tablets rather than adding to the problem by purchasing a copious number of plastic bottles of water.

As a company, our responsibilities donít stop when our tours end. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 10 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002, from health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and in environmental and wildlife protection. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.

Projects supported in India are the Asha Ka Jharna (AKJ) project which provides services to disabled children and adults. They run three special schools, currently assisting around 160 children, and an old-age home for the short-stay of elderly people. AJK also provides vocational training, participates in diagnostic camps and distributes aids and appliances to physically disabled people. Secondly, the Deepalaya project is focused on building a better future for India's street children. They have assisted more than 44,000 underprivileged children through the provision of food and board, health care, meaningful education and vocational training, counselling and career guidance, understanding, friendship, warmth and solace. Finally the GOONJ project channels vital resources to rural India through the distribution of used items such as clothes and household goods. Their school-to-school program of channelling resources like uniforms, shoes, stationery, lunch boxes etc from urban schools to rural schools will benefit more than 35,000 children in its first phase.

2 Reviews of South India tour, Trivandrum to Goa

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 28 Nov 2018 by

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


There were so many exciting and memorable parts in my holiday, I couldn't possibly choose! However, I will never forget the wonderful Hindu temples with their amazing carvings, the gentle and friendly Indian people, the exhausting but exhilerating overnight train journeys, the fun and 'fellowship' experienced with other group members, our inspirational and supportive guide Bhagi (he was the "kingpin" of the trip, keeping it all together!), the delicious food, especially when eating off banana leaves, and the overall thrill of travelling through new territory and the wonderment that unfolds each day.

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


My tips: some ATMs don't always work (not sure why!) so make sure you have enough cash. Being on the move most days means carrying your bags on and off trains, buses or trains, which can be tiring. I suggest taking only what you need. I took too many clothes then realised that most hotels can do laundry within 24 hours (or less), so clothes can be washed, at a low price too. Ironing didn't always happen, but never mind. The biggest tip, however, is to keep a sense of humour!

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


I feel our holiday will hopefully have shown local people that tourists/travellers from other countries can be polite and friendly, and interested in their culture. I'm not sure how this trip will have reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation...? There is lots of rubbish in India, with a great lack of re-cycling and rubbish bins and subsequent refuse collection. One can only hope that this will change one day. There was a big use of plastic bottles containing water, and we usually had to purchase water so were compelled to buy them. Some hotels could refill our own water bottles, but certainly not all of them. There was really no way this could be avoided.

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


South India Revealed was a basic trip, and not surprisingly a couple of the hotels were definately very basic. This was rather a shock, particularly at the beginning of the trip! However, we just got used to it, and made the best of the circumstances. Everything considered, the cost of the trip, and everything that was included, was exceptionally good value. The places we visited were fascinating, and varied. Consequently, we experienced the geographical and cultural diversity of South India. Our guide was wonderful! I would rate this holiday as excellent, and give it 5 stars.

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2018 by

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


Difficult to choose just one, it was all memorable, but I particularly enjoyed the homestay in the backwaters of Kerala. Wonderful host family and a beautiful and relaxing setting. And Hampi has to be one of the most interesting places in India.

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


It is not as basic as it sounds. All but two of the hotels were quite luxurious. Having all the travel arrangements done for you makes it stress free. We had a very good guide and the group had loads of positive energy. A great experience for all ages.

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


Yes, it benefited local people and supported conservation but I can't be sure that we made much difference to the environment.

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


It was all that I expected and more.

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