Hills and Backwaters of Kerala Tour

Visit the world-famous backwaters of Kerala and have some well-earned down-time on a tropical beach

Hills and Backwaters of Kerala Tour

Hills and Backwaters of Kerala Tour

Welcome to Kerala, a mesmerizing destination that has been ranked by National Geographic Traveller as one of the top 50 must-see places in the world. Nestled in the heart of India, Kerala offers a captivating blend of natural wonders and cultural treasures.

Our journey begins in the enchanting city of Cochin, a former trading port renowned for its timeless beauty. As we wander through the streets, we are greeted by the sight of elegant colonial architecture and the inviting tropical atmosphere. Cochin serves as the perfect introduction to the wonders that lie ahead. Leaving the coastal plains behind, we venture into the refreshing mountain air of Munnar, a picturesque hill station nestled in the Western Ghats. This idyllic retreat is perched high in the mountains, surrounded by vast tea plantations that create a striking carpet of emerald green. In Munnar, we immerse ourselves in the tranquillity of nature and savour the views.

Our trail then takes us across the state border into Tamil Nadu, leading us to the ancient city of Madurai. Here, history comes alive as we explore the magnificent Sri Meenakshi temple, adorned with towering gopura (gatehouse) towers. The intricate craftsmanship and vibrant colours transport us to a bygone era, leaving us awe-inspired. Returning to the hills, we arrive at Periyar, a serene destination offering a unique opportunity to witness the majestic wildlife of Kerala. Embarking on a short day-hike, we tread through lush green forests, keeping our eyes peeled for the incredible sight of wild elephants roaming freely in their natural habitat.

As our journey nears its end, we indulge in relaxation along the captivating coast of Kerala. A mesmerizing cruise through the enchanting backwaters near Alleppey allows us to immerse ourselves in the serene beauty that surrounds us. Finally, we drive south to the pristine white-sand beaches of Kovalam, where we can bask in the warm sun and let the gentle waves lull us into a state of pure bliss.

Kerala truly captivates the soul with its rich tropical landscapes, from palm-fringed beaches to vibrant padi fields, fragrant hills scented with cardamom, and the lush greenery of the Western Ghats. This journey promises a tapestry of unforgettable experiences, where nature and culture intertwine to create a magical adventure in one of the most captivating destinations on Earth.

Day 1 – Arrive Kochi
Arrive at Kochi by international flight. Our representative will welcome you at the airport & will transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Kochi is also known as Cochin - the “Queen of Arabian Sea”, it is one of the finest natural and major harbour city of Kerala and it has a cosmopolitan culture highly influenced by historical trading partners. Rest of the time is free for us to explore the town or relax at the hotel.
Overnight in hotel

Day 2 – Kochi sightseeing
After breakfast we proceed for the sightseeing tour of Kochi. We start with Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace - it was built by the Portuguese and presented to Veera Kerala Varma, Raja of Kochi, in 1555 AD. Visit Jewish Synagogue - the oldest synagogue in all the Commonwealth of Nations and was built by Malabar Yehudan People, or Cochin Jewish community. Then we visit St. Francis Church, it is the oldest European church in India and was built in the beginning of 16th century. Later visit The Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, it is a very popular tourist attraction. These nets are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. After that we return back to hotel and relax.
Overnight in hotel

Day 3 – Munnar
Today we drive to Munnar (4 – 5hrs drive), a beautiful hill station situated in the Western Ghats range of mountains at an altitude of 1600m above sea level. Munnar was once the summer resort of British Government in South India and it is popular for its vast tea plantations. We will reach there in the afternoon and check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day is free for us to relax at the hotel and enjoy the beauty of the Munnar.
Overnight in hotel

Day 4 – Explore Munnar
We walk into the tea plantations area and explore the beauty of the sprawling tea plantations just like a carpet spread over the hills and then we climb to seven Mallai hills. Before reaching to the top point we cross through cardamom and coffee plantations and finally we reach at top. From here we would be blessed with a magnificent view of Chittrapuram Dam, Changulam Lake and Annamudi Peak. After that we return back to our hotel and relax.
Overnight in hotel

Day 5 – Madurai
After breakfast we leave Munnar and start driving towards Madurai (5 – 6hrs drive). Madurai is a major city and the oldest city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu; it is commonly known as temple town of the country. Madurai is located on the bank of River Vaigai. Upon arrival we check-in to the hotel and relax.
Overnight in hotel

Day 6 – Madurai sightseeing
Today we proceed for the sightseeing tour of Madurai. We start with Meenakshi Amman Temple; it is a historic Hindu Temple situated on the bank of River Vaigai. The Temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati known as Meenakshi and her consort, Lord Shiva named here as Sundareswarar It was built between 1623 – 1655AD. After that we head to flower market, it is one of the biggest flower market in the southern India. Madurai flower market is popular for Jasmine, rose and other varieties also; especially Jasmine flower which is exported to the countries like Germany, The United States of America and Italy. Visit to the Nayakar Palace built in the 17th century with the help of Italian architect and is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. Later we return back to our hotel and relax at the hotel.
Overnight in hotel

Day 7 – Thekkady and Spice Plantation
This day we start driving to Thekkady (4 – 5hrs drive), leaving the temple town and entering into the hills of Thekkady, popular for the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary - a protected area and also notable as an Elephant reserve and a Tiger reserve. It was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982 and it is set in the high ranges of Southern Western Ghats in Cardamom Hills. We reach there and check-in to the hotel. Afternoon we visit to the Spice Plantation and learn about various spices grown in India.
Overnight in hotel

Day 8 – Periyar National Park (Walk & Boat Safari)
Today we spend the early morning for a jungle walk into the national park. Later after breakfast we have free time for optional activities such as Ayurvedic massage, Kathakali dance show on additional charges. Late afternoon we take a boat safari in Periyar national park at Periyar Lake to see the wild life such as wild elephant, chital and sambar deer, wild boar, and lots of bird species. Evening is free for us to explore on our own.
Overnight in hotel

Day 9 – Alleppey
Drive to Alleppey (3.5 – 4.5hrs drive), a backwater heaven interlocked with lakes and canals. The network of canals is used for inland navigation. A vast stretch of paddy fields make this place as the rice bowl of Kerala. Apart from rice production the coir making and boat building is a thriving industry in this area. Houseboat or a Backwater Cruise along the palm fringed waterways of Alleppey is the most exciting holiday experience. Reach there and board the traditional houseboat and enjoy the backwaters.
Overnight in Houseboat

Day 10 – Kovalam
Morning after breakfast we drive to Kovalam (4.5 – 5.5hrs drive). Kovalam is the beach resort of Kerala and is very popular tourist destination. Kovalam beaches are very popular due to shallow waters and low tidal waves. Kovalam has three beaches which together form the famous crescent of the Kovalam beach - these are Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach and Samudra Beach. The beaches are covered by fertile coconut palms; especially the southernmost part of light house beach is most beautiful. We reach there and check-in to the hotel. Rest of the time is free to relax on the beach.
Overnight in hotel

Day 11 – Full day free at Kovalam
We have a day free to enjoy the idyllic soft sandy beaches, warm clear waters and wide views of the ocean horizon that Kovalam has to offer. An optional excursion to Kanyakumari can be arranged on additional charges.
Overnight in hotel

Day 12 – Departure to Trivandrum airport
Morning we will check out of the hotel and later we will be transferred to the Trivandrum airport to board international flight back to home country.

Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book the Hills and Backwaters of Kerala Tour

Departure Dates
This is a private tour and can be arranged for any departure date between September and March. Contact us for further tour information, including flight options and pre and post tour accommodation.

3 Star* Hotel option from £899 per person (based on two people sharing a twin/double room)
4 Star* Hotel option from £999per person (based on two people sharing a twin/double room)

This tour can also be arranged designed just for you. Get in touch to find out more.

*Indian Star Classification

Included in the Hills and Backwaters of Kerala Tour

  • 11 Nights hotel accommodation on twin share basis at Standard (3*) or Deluxe (4*) category hotel including 10 nights with breakfast at all the hotels and 1 night with all meals during Houseboat stay.
  • English speaking local guide for city tour as per the sightseeing mentioned in the above itinerary.
  • All monument entrances as per the sightseeing mentioned in above itinerary.
  • Nature walk and boat safari on sharing basis at Periyar National Park.
  • Spice plantation visit at Thekkady.
  • Transport by AC vehicle with driver, as per the group size, including fuel and road taxes for the whole trip including journey, sightseeing and arrival / departure transfers as per the itinerary.

Not Included in the Hills and Backwaters of Kerala Tour

  • International travel to the start and end point - contact us for information and flight options.
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any visa requirements
  • Alcoholic Drinks and Drinks not mentioned
  • Any Photography and Video fees;
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips for drivers and guides

India Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry.

Visa and Passport Information
Passport validity - To avoid problems at immigration, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry into India. Your passport must also:

  • be machine-readable
  • have 2 blank pages for your visa

Foreign nationals who arrive at an Indian port holding non-machine-readable passports will be denied entry. Carriers who transport foreign passengers holding non-machine-readable passports may be subject to a fine.

Visas - Apply for the right type of visa for the purpose of your travel. You need a visa to travel to India, unless you are an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder. India has a number of visa categories. Make sure you get the right visa for the purpose and duration of your travel. Penalties for having the wrong visa can include refusal of entry or deportation. This may also include not being allowed to enter India in the future. For latest information on Indian visas and immigration requirements, see the eFRROBureau of Indian Immigration and Ministry of External Affairs websites.

Applying for a visa or e-visa

Find out how to apply for a visa from the Indian Bureau of Immigration. Depending on your requirements you may be able to apply for:

Check your eligibility and any restrictions before you apply and allow plenty of time for your application to be processed. There is more information from the High Commission of India in London.

Applicants of Pakistani origin

Applicants of Pakistani origin who hold dual British-Pakistan nationality must apply for an Indian visa on their Pakistani passport. If you have renounced your Pakistani nationality or cancelled your Pakistani passport, you will need to submit documentary proof of this. The processing time for visa applications from applicants of Pakistani origin, people holding dual British-Pakistan nationality, or people holding a National Identity Card for overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), will be substantially longer than other visa applications. More information is available from the High Commission of India in London.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines.

Emergency medical number - Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Air pollution - Severe air pollution is a major hazard to public health, especially during the winter months (October to February). North Indian cities are most affected by extremely high levels of pollution. Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. If you’re pregnant or have a respiratory or heart condition you may wish to consult a medical practitioner before you travel. More information about outdoor air quality is available from TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).

Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever occur all year round. There has been an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever, including in New Delhi.

Altitude sickness - Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of north and northeast India, including mountainous regions in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and West Bengal. Certain southern India states, like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, also contain high altitude regions. More information about altitude sickness is available from TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).

What to bring on the Hills and Backwaters of Kerala Tour


Lightweight, casual, non-synthetic clothing (cotton and natural fibers are best) which appropriately cover the body, when in the company of the local communities. Please understand local customs and religious requirements relating to dress codes. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it needs to be respectful.

The ideal footwear would be walking shoes or boots and sandals.

Luggage while on your tour
Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.

We recommend a sunhat, suncream, a torch, insect repellent and a reusable waterbottle. A power adapter for phones, laptops, etc. 

Local Laws and Custom
There may be serious legal penalties for doing something which may not be illegal in the UK. You should also be aware that in some areas there may be an expectation that people dress more modestly.

Alcohol laws and bans
Laws on alcohol, including buying, drinking and the legal drinking age, vary by state. It is an offence to drink alcohol in public places. In some states, foreign nationals and non-resident Indians can buy 30-day alcohol permits. There is often a ban on the sale of alcohol during major religious festivals, national holidays and elections.

Alcohol is banned in:

  • Bihar
  • Gujarat
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • the region of Lakshadweep
  • Manipur

If you drink or possess alcohol in these states, you could be arrested without bail. Charges can carry a sentence of 5 to 10 years.

Smoking and e-cigarette bans
Smoking is banned in most public places. You should only smoke in designated smoking areas. E-cigarettes and related products are banned. You will be unable to buy e-cigarettes in India or bring them into the country.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences
Do not get involved with any illegal drugs. Drugs are not categorised into Class A, B and C, unlike in the UK. There is a minimum sentence of 6 months for possession of small amounts deemed for personal consumption only. A 10-year sentence for possession of other amounts applies. The judicial process is slow and trials with detention lasting several years are normal.

Using cameras and binoculars in secure areas
Activities involving cameras and binoculars, like photography, bird-watching or plane spotting, may be misunderstood. Be particularly careful near military sites, government buildings, airports and railway stations.

Satellite phones and listening devices
It is illegal to possess and operate satellite phones in India without a licence. British nationals have been arrested for bringing them into the country without prior permission. You can contact the Indian Department of Telecommunication to request a licence. You may also need prior permission from the Indian authorities to bring equipment like listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, powerful cameras or binoculars into India. You can ask the High Commission of India in London for advice.

Customs rules
There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of India. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

In India, the currency is the Rupee. Because the Rupee is non-convertible it cannot be taken out of India, so you cannot get currency before you travel. You can change money at the airport, in banks and large hotels. ATMs are available too, especially in more established resorts. While Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, we recommend you check with your card provider about what fees they charge for transactions abroad. These vary considerably and can add up over the course of your holiday. There may also be limits on how much cash you can withdraw during a 24-hour period, so check you will be able to take out enough to cover your needs.

If you’re visiting India, you can bring cash, travellers’ cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India. You must declare any amount above 5,000 US dollars in notes, or 10,000 US dollars in notes and travellers’ cheques combined.

Weather in India
Being such a vast country there is always a good time to visit one region of India. However, for most people, the best time to visit India is between October and March, when the weather is more likely to be warm, sunny, and dry. During this time, the north offers clear blue skies. However, December and January are much cooler, with potential fog, while the higher Himalaya can be very cold, but with clearer mountain views. Increasing temperatures in April and May can result in excellent value trips, but you can expect high humidity and thunderstorms. Ladakh, located in the far north, is most accessible between June and September, when the rest of the country experiences monsoon season. The best time to visit India’s southern states is from November onward, once the monsoon has ended.

The Indian tourist board has an excellent breakdown of where to go and when - https://www.incredibleindia.org/content/incredible-india-v2/en/travel/about-india/weather.html

Internet Availability
Check with your provider before travel if your current package will cover 3G/4G and mobile data in India. Coverage is relatively good throughout the country and you can easily access the internet from your smartphone. You can also purchase an Indian sim card to that will give you data to check your emails and browse the web or even watch videos. Prices and plans have changed a lot and you can get Airtel internet (3 GB per day) for 30 days for only 600 rupees using 4G network. All the main Indian mobile providers give this service with a few changes in price or capacity. Internet cafes are also still very common.

In India the power sockets used are of type C, type D, and type M.

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