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Splendours of Kerala Tour

Home Icon 14-day Splendours of Kerala from £2,645pp £2,445pp

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. There is also an opportunity to extend your time in Kerala with a delightful 3-night Kerala Beach Stay.

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.

SAVE £200 per person on all India tours departing from September 2025 when you book by 30th November 2024.

Day 1

Depart UK

Depart with Etihad Airways from London Heathrow. Flights from Manchester may also be available, but may involve a longer connection in Abu Dhabi. 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, drinks and dinner

Day 3


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

Day 5


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. After early dinner, we experience the unforgettable ‘Going to Bed Ceremony’ at Madurai’s famous Meenakshi Temple.

Included meals:

Breakfast and dinner

Day 7


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


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 enjoy our breakfast onboard before we disembark and continue our journey to Coconut Lagoon, our hotel for the next two nights. 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


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 Etihad Airways flights

Included meals:

Breakfast included

Keralan Beach Stay?
Why not spend a few more days relaxing in Kerala by extending your Splendours of Kerala holiday with our 3-night Keralan Beach Stay?


Day 14

Arrive UK

Our flights travel via Abu Dhabi, and arrive into the United Kingdom this morning

Included meals:

In-flight meals and drinks

Departure dates & prices

SAVE £200 per person on all India tours departing from September 2025 when you book by 30th November 2024.

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 click here to see the applicable supplements.

Departure date Price (pp) Availability Offer
13 September£2,5953 ROOMS
11 October£2,7954 ROOMS
22 November£2,795JUST LAUNCHED
24 January£2,7951 ROOM
31 January£2,7955 ROOMS
07 February£2,7951 ROOM
14 February£2,795JUST LAUNCHED
07 March£2,795AVAILABLE
04 April£2,5953 ROOMS
11 April£2,595JUST LAUNCHED
12 September£2,645 £2,445JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
10 October£2,845 £2,645JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
14 November£2,845 £2,645JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
23 January£2,845 £2,645JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
06 February£2,845 £2,645JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
06 March£2,845 £2,645JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
03 April£2,655 £2,455JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person

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

Single occupancy supplement
September 2024: £645. October 2024 – March 2025: £795. April 2025 – September 2025: £645. October 2025 – November 2025: £795.

£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 from £2,895 per person return.

Visa information
A 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
Our holiday prices are subject to fuel surcharges and the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class. 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. For full terms and conditions see our terms and conditions page.

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.

Guests choosing a private tour may select their own departure date.

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

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

Please note, alternative airlines may be considered or further supplements may apply in certain periods when international flight prices are higher.

All of our India escorted tours are also available as a private tour.

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.

Small group touring

  • Maximum only 24 passengers

Flights with leading scheduled airlines

  • Return economy class flights
  • Fly with Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi from London Heathrow. Flights from Manchester may be possible
  • 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 £385 per person

  • Daily breakfast
  • One lunch
  • Dinner each evening

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

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 >
  • Star-Rating-5
  •   Official rating
  • Star-Rating-4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

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 >
  • Star-Rating-4
  •   Official rating
  • Star-Rating-3-5
  •   Distant Journeys rating

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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  •   Official rating
  • Image of 5 Stars
  •   Distant Journeys rating

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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  •   Official rating
  • Star-Rating-3-5
  •   Distant Journeys rating

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 >

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 >
  • Star-Rating-4
  •   Official rating
  • Image of 4 stars
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Holiday Extensions

To make the most of your time in Kerala, why not extend your stay after the Splendours of Kerala tour, with our relaxing Kerala Beach extension?

Marari Beach Kerala

Kerala Beach Stay - Splendours of Kerala

3 nights from £495pp

Enjoy a three-night holiday extension in the blissful tranquility of Kerala. This serene region is located on India’s tropical Malabar coast, famed for its calm waters and palm-lined golden sands. It’s the perfect place to sit back, relax and reflect…

Find out more >

Special Offer

SAVE £200 per person on all India tours departing from September 2025 when you book by 30th November 2024.

Customer reviews  feefo logo

The following customer reviews for the Splendours of Kerala tour have been independently verified by Feefo, who are a leading independent reviews company. We’re sure you will be impressed with the service our guests receive and the great reviews they kindly give us!

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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).


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