Arrive at Kochi (Cochin), one of the most historical cities in Kerala. You will be met at the airport and taken by private transfer to your hotel. Overnight Gramam Homestay or similar.
Today enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin. You visit sights such as the Dutch Palace, a 17th century Jewish Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, and the St Francis Church, the oldest Protestant church built by the Portuguese in 1510. Vasco da Gama who died in 1524, is buried here. In the evening you will enjoy the enthralling classical dance-drama of Kerala, the Kathakali. Overnight Gramam Homestay or similar.
Today you will make the 2-3 hour journey into the Western Ghats. You will be staying at Vanilla County Heritage Plantation House, an authentic and tranquil homestay, set in a beautiful garden at the foothills of Vagamon. Situated close to the source of the Meenachil river, the plantation is surrounded by lush greenery where one can wander around spice gardens, mountain streams and rubber plantations. Vanilla County promises unpolluted natural beauty, rustic countryside and a slow ambling pace of life.
There is so much to see and do in Vanilla County that one needs at least a full day to sample the various delights. The home itself is a colonial bungalow with sloping roofs and belongs to the very warm couple Rani and Mathew. Rani is a gifted cook and the meals conjured up by her in her immaculate kitchen are a delight both to learn from and finally to feast on! Vanilla County gives you a true peek into the work that goes into a family run plantation.
After breakfast you will be driven to Kumarakom and upon arrival you will check in at your hotel. Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers many leisure options, including a visit to the bird sanctuary. Egrets, darters, herons, teals, waterfowls, cuckoo, wild ducks and the migratory bird, Siberian Stork can all be seen here. You will be staying at the prestigious Lakesong Resort. This eco-friendly nature lovers haven offers finely appointed rooms and villas, based on the traditional Malabar style architecture and all offer stunning lagoon views.
Today you will be transferred the short distance to the Alleppey boat jetty where you will board your kettuvallum (houseboat). Cruising through the backwaters along Kerala's palm-fringed canals is undoubtedly one of the most tranquil and relaxing things you can do in Southern India. The houseboats are very comfortable, and come complete with well furnished air-conditioned bedroom, bathroom, deck, driver, and personal chef. There is a larger open sitting area where you can relax and watch the world go by, sipping from a tender coconut and enjoying the sheer peace of the surroundings.
Transfer from Alleppey to the picturesque fishing village of Mararikulam where you stay in the fabulously stylish beach resort of Abad Turtle. This expansive property is spread across 13 acres of land and adjoins a stunning white sand beach. The 30 beachfront cottages and villas are spacious and well equipped. Guests can relax and unwind with yoga lessons and Ayurveda treatments.
A short drives takes you to Kochi where your tour ends. From here you can connect with international flights home or perhaps extend your tour of India with a tailor made Rajasthan add-on.