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Splendours of Kerala Tour

Home Icon 14-day Splendours of Kerala from £2,195pp

Kerala is a tranquil region, boasting an enthralling history, serene backwaters, and opulent green-leaf tea plantations. Blessed with beautiful Arabian Sea coastline and an interior landscape dominated by the hills of the Western Ghats, Kerala is both stunning and captivating.

Our tour begins in colonial-tinged Cochin, where Chinese fishing nets sit alongside European-influenced architecture. Munnar follows with its spectacular location, in the verdant tea plantations of the Western Ghats, and a true highlight of the tour is an overnight stay on a traditional houseboat in Kerala’s tranquil backwaters. With fascinating Meenakshi Temple, a cruise on Lake Vembanad and a relaxing Ayurveda massage all included, the Splendours of Kerala tour will provide you with a real appreciation of southern India.

On our escorted tours to India, we limit the group sizes to a maximum of 24 people per departure. The main benefit of smaller group touring is that it allows us to enjoy several more exclusive and unusual experiences that wouldn’t be possible with a larger group, and to explore further than just the well-known sights of India. As part of a small group, shared experiences will bond us together and enhance the holiday experience.

Our Splendours of Kerala guided tour may also be enjoyed as a Private Tour if desired. If you’re a couple celebrating a special occasion, or a group of friends who like to travel together, Private Touring means you can enjoy the exclusivity and privacy of your own vehicle driven by friendly and knowledgeable local guides, and your own preferred departure date, but with the same carefully curated itinerary and top-quality hotels.

Splendours of Kerala, 14 days from only £2,195 per person

With an overnight stay on a kettuvallam houseboat included, Distant Journeys’ brand new 14-day Splendours of Kerala includes so many highlights and visits all of Southern India’s must-see attractions. Read on to learn more.


  • Day 1: Depart UK
  • Day 2: Cochin, 2 nights
  • Day 3: Cochin
  • Day 4: Thekkady, 2 nights
  • Day 5: Thekkady
  • Day 6: Madurai, 2 nights
  • Day 7: Madurai
  • Day 8: Munnar, 2 nights
  • Day 9: Munnar
  • Day 10: Alleppey, Overnight
  • Day 11: Kumarakom, 2 nights
  • Day 12: Kumarakom
  • Day 13: Depart India
  • Day 14: Arrive UK

Day 1: Depart UK

Depart with Qatar Airways or Air India (depending on departure date) from London Heathrow. Flights from Manchester may be possible, please call for details.


Included meals: In-flight meals and drinks


Day 2: Cochin, 2 nights

All flights will travel via Abu Dhabi. On arrival into Cochin, we transfer to the four star Trident Cochin Hotel for our first two nights in India. This evening, enjoy a welcome drink with our Tour Manager and fellow travellers to learn more of our forthcoming travels.


Included meals: In-flight meals and drinks and dinner


Day 3: Cochin

Cochin, the colourful port city of Kerala, has been drawing travellers to its shores for over 600 years. We journey first to Mattancherry Palace, also known as the ‘Dutch Palace’, to admire its exquisite murals. Continue to enchanting Fort Cochin, where Chinese fishing nets line the shore and whose narrow lanes filled with colonial architecture are a delight to explore. This evening, experience a 2,000 year old traditional Kathakali dance performance.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 4: Thekkady, 2 nights

This morning, we begin our scenic journey to Thekkady, home to the renowned Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy two nights at the wonderful Spice Village, a lovely rustic eco-resort within a spice garden, overlooking the cool highlands of Periyar in Thekkady. This evening, enjoy a performance of Kalaripayattu – the oldest and most ancient form of Indian martial arts.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner included


Day 5: Thekkady

Following breakfast, we explore a spice plantation, where the mystery and history of the Indian tea and spice industry will be revealed. Later, enjoy a tranquil cruise on Periyar Lake (subject to water levels) through the scenic Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where the surrounding forests are thriving with a range of colourful birdlife and wildlife, including elephants and sambars.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 6: Madurai, 2 nights

We leave Periyar behind and journey to Madurai, a lively and ancient city on the Vaigai River, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Home for the next two nights is the Gateway Hotel Pasumalai. Sitting at the top of the Pasumalai Hill and surrounded by 62 acres of spectacular scenic gardens, the hotel enjoys beautiful panoramic views of the famous Meenakshi Temple and Madurai City. This afternoon, we have the opportunity to relax within the grounds of our hotel, or venture into the city to explore. Our Distant Journeys Tour Manager will be on hand with advice on things to do. Following sunset, we experience the unforgettable ‘Going to Bed Ceremony’ at Madurai’s famous Meenakshi Temple.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 7: Madurai

Tour Highlight

We begin our morning’s sightseeing in the Old City of Madurai, including visits to the ornate facade, colonnades, shrines and towering gateways, known as Gopurams of Meenakshi Temple. We’ll also experience traditional ceremonies, devotions, and the animated markets within the temple. Visit Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahall, a dazzling 17th-century palace erected in 1636 AD by King Tirumala Nayaka. Later, ride rickshaws to the local market of Madurai, and explore the quaint, narrow streets of this fascinating city. This afternoon is reserved for leisure, whether it be furthering your adventures through Madurai or relaxing by the hotel pool.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 8: Munnar, 2 nights

Departing Madurai, we begin our spectacular drive high up into the Western Ghats mountain range. Part of India’s Kerala state, our destination is the small town of Munnar, situated at 5,200ft above sea level and home to South India’s largest tea-growing region. Our accommodation is the unique Tall Trees hotel, situated under 600 tall trees on 66 acres of unspoilt shola forest. The remainder of our day is at leisure to enjoy the stunning and peaceful surroundings of our hotel.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 9: Munnar

This morning, we visit a tea plantation and tea factory to experience the tea making process, including the intriguing process of segregating, drying and threshing. We later visit Tata Tea Museum, displaying machinery and photographic records of the integral part the tea industry has played in this captivating region.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 10: Alleppey, Overnight

Tour Highlight

After breakfast, we say goodbye to Munnar, returning to the lowlands and towards the backwater canals of Kerala. We transfer to Alleppey Jetty for another of our tour’s many incredible highlights. Here we board a traditional, thatch-roofed ‘kettuvallam’ houseboat for a lazy day cruise through a labyrinth of canals, waterways, coconut groves, rice fields, hidden temples and tiny islands. Enjoy the unique experience of a night aboard, enjoying lunch and dinner, and indulging ourselves in the soothing sights of the slowly passing, and distinctly beautiful, Keralan backwaters. This once in a lifetime experience is something you’ll be reminiscing about for many years to come.


Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Day 11: Kumarakom, 2 nights

We wake to the stillness of Kerala’s backwaters and continue to work our way through its labyrinth of canals until we reach Coconut Lagoon, our hotel for the next two nights. We enjoy two nights at Coconut Lagoon, which is perfectly situated on the edge of Vembanad Lake. This afternoon, we have the opportunity to explore our new surroundings as we please. Prior to dinner, enjoy a relaxing cruise in a beautifully restored kettuvallam, sailing to the middle of Lake Vembanad, to watch the sun go down.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 12: Kumarakom

Ayurveda, which means the science of life, originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is one of the world’s oldest holistic medicines. Still a prominent practice in India to this day, today we will experience our own Ayurveda rejuvenation body massage at the hotel. The remainder of our day is free to spend as we please. Perhaps continue your adventure around Kumarakom, or take some time out to enjoy the calm surroundings of our hotel.


Included meals: Breakfast and dinner


Day 13: Depart India

Our day is free until we return to Cochin Airport in the afternoon for our overnight Qatar Airways or Air India flights.


Included meals: Breakfast and in-flight meals and drinks


Day 14: Arrive UK

Flights with Qatar travel via Doha, or direct with Air India and arrive into the United Kingdom this morning.


Included meals: In-flight meals and drinks


Why not combine Kerala with the iconic Golden Triangle?

On certain dates you can combine the Splendours of Kerala with our Golden Triangle & Ranthambore tour, from £3,490 per person. Please call for details.

Splendours of Kerala – Departure dates & prices

To really help you make the most of your time in India we have a maximum group size of 24 passengers, allowing more time to experience this wonderful country. For a small supplement you could experience this tour in your own private group. Please see below for further details.

Please note that our holiday prices are subject to the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class. Air fares have risen steeply in recent weeks, and as a result there may be a flight surcharge to add to the price of your holiday. The correct price will always be confirmed to you before you book, and once you have booked, our Price Promise will guarantee there will be no further increases.


 Departure date Price (pp) Availability
 13 October^ £2,195 HALF FULL
 17 November^* £2,195 HALF FULL
 26 January^* £2,195 HALF FULL
 02 March^* £2,195 AVAILABLE

^ Please note that there will be some variations to the flights and itinerary on these dates – please call for details

Golden Triangle & Ranthambore combination: * These dates can be combined with our Golden Triangle & Ranthambore tour. Prices from £3,390 per person.

Private Touring Supplements

Should you prefer to take the Splendours of Kerala tour as a private tour, please add the relevant supplement below to the main tour price.

 Number of Guests Tour Supplement (pp)
 All Dates
 2 guests £695
 3-4 guests £495
 5-9 guests £295
 10-14 guests £95
 15+ guests No extra charge


Prices: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin or double room.

Single occupancy supplement:
01 September 2021 – 31 August 2022 £645.
01 September 2022 – 31 August 2023 £695.

Deposit: £500 per person if travelling in economy class, £1,500 per person if travelling in business class.

Flight upgrades: Etihad Airways upgrade to Business Class flights from £2,195 per person return.

Private touring: Guests choosing a private tour may select their own departure date. Please note, alternative airlines may be considered or further supplements may apply in certain periods when international flight prices are higher.

Visa information: An e-Tourist visa is required for travel to India. For more information on applying for your visa and the associated costs, please refer to our FAQ’s page.

Important information: Prices are subject to availability but the correct price will always be confirmed before you book. For full terms and conditions see our terms and conditions page.

So much included

At Distant Journeys, we offer a leisurely tour of Kerala that represents exceptional value for money. Your scheduled international flights, overseas transfers, expertly chosen hotels, experienced local tour managers and knowledgeable guides and many amazing excursions are all included. Great food is always a feature of India tours, and we make it easy for you by including breakfast and dinner every day, plus lunch during our wonderful stay on board a houseboat. Knowing that so much is taken care of in the price of your tour means you can relax and truly enjoy every minute.

Flights with leading scheduled airlines

  • Return economy class flights with Qatar Airways or Air India (depending on departure date) from London Heathrow. Flights from Manchester Airport may be possible, please call for details
  • All airport charges, security charges and any applicable fuel surcharges
  • UK Air Passenger Duty

Carefully selected hotels

  • First class and deluxe hotels in great locations
  • All hotel porterage
  • Applicable hotel taxes

Many meals worth £383 per person

  • 11 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 11 dinners

Unforgettable experiences

  • Sightseeing tours in Cochin and Madurai
  • Boat ride on Periyar Lake
  • ‘Going to Bed Ceremony’ at Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
  • Discover the tea-making process in Munnar
  • Explore the Keralan backwaters on board a kettuvallam houseboat
  • A relaxing sunset cruise on Lake Vembanad
  • Rejuvenate with an Ayurveda body massage

On the ground

  • Services of an experienced local Tour Manager
  • All overseas transfers
  • Modern, air-conditioned coaches throughout

100% confidence

  • Your holiday is covered by our Price Promise
  • Your holiday is fully ATOL protected
  • Your holiday is covered by our Covid Guarantee

Trident Hotel, Cochin

Blending modern facilities with classic style, the Trident Hotel’s bedrooms are set around a picturesque central courtyard and landscaped gardens. Rooms are well-appointed with luxury, contemporary comforts and furnished with local artefacts, and the large picture windows ensure that natural… Find out more >
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Spice Village Hotel, Thekkady

A truly unique place to stay, the Spice Village Periyar is a tribal village set in a real spice garden, in the town of Thekkady on the edge of the spectacular Periyar National Park. One of our stops on our… Find out more >
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The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai, Madurai

On top of Pasumalai Hill, just outside the historic city of Madurai, sits the Gateway Hotel Pasumalai. Originally the home of a British 19th-century textiles magnate, this colonial residence’s whitewashed period buildings are set in 62 acres of lush, landscaped… Find out more >
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The Tall Trees, Munnar

A hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, Munnar is surrounded by rolling hills dotted with tea plantations amid the sweeping valleys and misty mountains of the Western Ghats. The Tall Trees is a haven of tranquillity… Find out more >
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Houseboat, Alleppey

A kettuvallam is a traditional houseboat widely used throughout Kerala. With their distinctive thatched roofs and wooden hulls, these houseboats are a familiar sight on the rustic Keralan backwaters, a network of tranquil canals and lagoons. While the houseboats are… Find out more >
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Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom

Set amongst coconut groves and backwater canals, experience the real Kerala at the Coconut Lagoon resort in Kumarakom. Overlooking the Vembanad lake, one of the largest lakes in India, even approaching Coconut Lagoon is impressive, as it can only be… Find out more >
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Customer reviews  feefo logo

Our India touring holidays are new itineraries, with the first departure not being until November 2021. As soon as our returning customers are contacted by the independent reviews company Feefo, we will update this page with their reviews. In the meantime, why not take a look at the reviews for our other tours? We’re sure you will be impressed by the excellent reviews they kindly give us.


Splendours of Kerala Tour
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Award-Winning Holidays

Distant Journeys has won 10 awards in the last five years, at the British Travel Awards, and we have been awarded Feefo’s highest Platinum Trusted Rating for customer satisfaction.

Guaranteed Price Promise

Know you are paying the best price for your holiday with our Price Promise. We never offer last minute discounts and we guarantee the earlier you book the better the offer you’ll receive.

100% Financial Protection

Book in the confidence your money is 100% safe. All Distant Journeys holidays are fully bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 10913) or ABTOT (number 5427).

Our Covid Guarantee

For your peace of mind, if Distant Journeys is unable to operate your tour due to Covid-19, you will be given the choice of changing your tour or you may choose to receive a full refund.


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