17 DAYS ●
"India - You'd be mad not to go!" - Joanna Lumley
Contrasting vastly from the north, southern India is an intensely tropical and wonderfully laid back region to explore. The emerald jewel in India’s crown, Kerala boasts a rich heritage and mystical backwaters, flanked by rice paddies and coconut groves, and plied by rustic kettuvallam.
Explore the colonial buildings of this wondrous city
Take a ride on the Ooty Toy Train
Discover South India’s extensive wildlife at the Periyar Wildlife Reserve
Take a cruise on the Kerala Backwaters on your private houseboat
Fly overnight to the city of Chennai and transfer to the coastal temple town of Mamallapuram. The rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Take a tour of the fascinating 7th and 8th-century rock carvings including the magnificent Shore Temple and the impressive Varaha Cave.
Return to Chennai, once Madras, the city was developed as a British trading post and so is home to a number of colonial sights. A city tour begins at the 13 kilometre Marina Beach before a stop at Fort St. George, established by the East India Company, and the British built St. Mary’s Church. The final stop is the colourful Shiva Kapaleeswarar Temp
Rise early to catch the Shatabdi Express to the garden city of Bangalore. Take an afternoon city tour to see the Bull Temple, Tipu Sultan’s Palace and Vidhana Soudha.
Head to Mysore, stopping at Srirangapatna Fort en route. Visit the magnificent Maharaja’s Palace and drive up to Chamundi Hill to admire the 12th-century Sri Chamundeshwari Temple and Nandi Bull. Tonight, enjoy a traditional cooking demonstration hosted by a local family.
Journey up into the cool climes of the Western Ghats to the beautiful hill station of Coonoor. Relax and appreciate the peace and natural splendour of this quaint town.
All aboard the miniature, narrow gauge ‘Toy Train’ to Ooty, nicknamed the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’. Upon arrival you’ll visit the botanical gardens and walk up to a small village where you’ll be able to gain insight into the lives of the local people, as well as getting incredible views back over Ooty.
Descending from the highlands there are a plethora of spectacular panoramas to admire as you travel to Coimbatore. Spend the afternoon exploring this cosmopolitan city including an impressive Jain Temple, St. Michael Xavier Church and Athar Jamid, the city’s oldest mosque.
Travel to Munnar, a hill station enveloped by lush tea plantations. In the afternoon visit a tea plantation and the Tata Tea Museum.
Today explore Eravikulam National Park where you will have the opportunity to spot the local wildlife (closed Feb-Apr, an alternative light trek will be available). Continue your journey to Thekkady, home of Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Though designated a Tiger Reserve in 1978, the Periyar Wildlife Reserve is best known for its elephants. Take a walk through the reserve, keeping an eye out for its resident elephant population, as well as wild dogs, barking deer, mouse deer and the elusive Bengal Tiger. Visit a spice village and browse a local market before enjoying a traditional Kalaripayattu (martial art) show this evening.
Travel to the coastal town of Kochi. This evening enjoy an exuberant Kathakali dance performance.
Take a full day tour of Kochi. Start at St Francis Church, the first European church built in India, before a visit to Santa Cruz Basilica, where you can get excellent views of more Chinese fishing nets. Finish by admiring the synagogue in the heart of the Jewish Quarter and a stroll around the nearby markets.
Travel to Kumarakom where you’ll board your houseboat, stopping en route at Kumbalangi, a village created to highlight the lifestyle of fisher-folk in the area. Later board your houseboat a converted rice barge, known as a kettuvallam. Sit back and watch life on the water and the surrounding, untouched wilderness as you cruise unhurriedly along the canals. A delicious dinner of traditional cuisine will be served on board and you’ll spend a comfortable night on the water.
Take breakfast on your boat before disembarking and heading for the beach town of Kovalam. Stop on the way in Kerala's capital Trivandrum to discover the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the Observatory and Sri Chitra Art Gallery.
This morning take a walking tour of the town and visit the lighthouse. The rest of the day is yours to relax, or head to the beach, until a farewell dinner this evening.
Fly to the UK, arriving home the
same or following day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
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A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.
The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste. Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. We have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount is calculated for each tour. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.
To call the UK the international access code is 0044 then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625. Mobile Phones Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost.
Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
The Residency Hotel is a short distance to the city’s corporate and shopping areas. The en-suite rooms feature modern amenities including, TV and and tea/coffee facilities. A breakfast buffet is served daily in the Spice Bar, which also offers lunch and dinner, with guests also having the option to order a la carte from the Chin Chin restaurant....Read more
Situated in a quiet neighbourhood off Richmond Circle in the heart of Bangalore's Central Business District, Adarsh Hamilton Hotel offers luxurious en-suite rooms featuring modern amenities including, TV, tea/coffee facilities and a safety deposit box. Superb facilities include a restaurant, free Wi-Fi and fitness centre.
The Gateway Hotel Conoor is a 5-minute walk from the City Centre. Elegant en-suite rooms at Gateway Conoor come with modern interiors and amenities including a TV and personal safe. This 4-star property features a restaurant, ayurvedic massage centre and air-conditioned rooms with views of the garden. The hotel also boasts a superb restaurant serving delicious international cuisines.
With its convenient location, The Silvertips hotel offers easy access to Munnar’s must-see destinations. The hotel features 60 beautifully appointed en-suite rooms, many of which include a balcony/terrace, complimentary bottled water, TV and a coffee/tea maker. The hotel also offers access to a vast array of services, including free Wi-Fi, a fitness centre and spa.
4* Cardamom County resort is conveniently perched on the gradient of a gently sloping hill facing the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Accommodation includes spacious en-suite rooms featuring modern amenities including a minibar, TV and fitted work desk. The hotel’s onsite restaurant is set by the open pool side, serving superb Indian, Continental and Chinese flavours. ...Read more
Just a 10-minute ferry ride from Fort Cochin, the Casino Hotel combines relaxed Keralan style with modern comforts. There is an outdoor pool, gym, lounge and shop, whilst the restaurants serve Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine and specialise in fresh fish dishes. There is also free Wi-Fi and an Ayurveda massage service. Bedrooms are bright and spacious with typically Keralan aspects and offer air conditioning, safe, minibar, television and en suite bathroom....Read more
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and the UK's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you to Asia soon!
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