Our family-friendly journey is the perfect introduction to the scenic southwestern corner of India. From picturesque old hill stations and colonial trading ports to wildlife sanctuaries and fascinating Hindu temples, there much to see, appreciate and digest on this varied tour. The tour culminates in backwater cruise on houseboats.
Best time to go
The tour begins at Kochi on the Malabar Coast, with its handsome old colonial buildings harking back to the day when this was the hub of India’s lucrative spice. After an excursion to Kodanad elephant centre, with a chance to enjoy a short elephant ride, we head inland to the green hills for a two-night stay in the lovely old hill station of Munnar. We enjoy a gentle walk through the hills and tea plantations, visiting the picturesque village of Annamudi, before we head across to the city of Madurai. A leading Tamil cultural centre, Madurai is famous for its spectacular temples with their gopurams (towers); none is more famous than Meenakshi, one of the largest temple complexes in the country that we explore on our sightseeing tour.
From Madurai we return westwards to re-enter Kerala. After seeing the spice plantations around Thekkady, we visit Periyar National Park to watch wildlife including elephants and tigers. We descend to the coast for an enjoyable cruise along the picturesque Kerala backwaters before the tour concludes with some downtime on Kovalam’s tropical beaches.
Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places visited, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.
Arrive at Kochi airport and transfer to hotel for check-in. Afternoon visits to Jewish Synagogue and Chinese fishing nets. Watch Kathakali dance show (optional). Overnight Hotel
Kochi – Thattekad via Kodanad (85 km;03 hrs) Drive to Kodanad Elephant Training Center. Optional ride on the elephants in nearby village. Continue to Thattekad bird sanctuary. Overnight Stay at Thattekad or Kothamangalam. Overnight Hotel
Thattekad – Munnar (80 km;03 hrs) In the morning head out to visit Dr. Salim Ali Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. In the afternoon drive to Munnar, the beautiful hill station. Overnight Hotel
Visit Annamudi village Morning visit to Annamudi village and trek to surrounding hills and tea plantations. Optional visit to a tea museum. Afternoon drive back to Munnar. Evening free. Overnight Hotel
Munnar – Madurai (160 km;4 hrs) In the morning drive to Madurai in Tamil Nadu. There is an optional visit to Gandhi Museum. Rest of the day free to relax or explore the town. Overnight Hotel
Sightseeing in Madurai After breakfast visit Sri Meenakshi Temple of Madurai and its bazaars renowned for their silk and cotton wares. Overnight Hotel
Madurai – Thekkady (160 kms;5-6 hrs) Drive to Thekkady and, upon arrival, transfer to Periyar and check into hotel. Afternoon visit to spice garden. Overnight Hotel
Periyar National Park Morning, jungle walk in Periyar National Park. Afternoon optional boat trip on Periyar Lake. Rest of the day free. Overnight Hotel
Thekkady – Alleppey (160 kms;4-5 hrs) In the morning drive to Alleppey for afternoon boat cruise on the famous backwaters. With all meals on board stay overnight on boat. Overnight Houseboat
Alleppey – Mancombu Village Drive to Mancombu village. Upon arrival check into Gaaby World, homestay accommodation for the night. Optional Activities such as canoeing and a village walk can be arranged. Overnight Home-stay
Mancombu Village – Kovalam (160 kms ;04 hrs) In the morning after leaving the houseboat drive to Kovalam. Transfer to hotel and check in. Rest of the day free to relax or enjoy the beach. Overnight Hotel
Free day at the Beach Free day today. Opportunity to do an optional day sightseeing by taxi from Kovalam to Kanyakumari. (to be arranged locally). Overnight Hotel
Day 13 Tour Concludes Get a departure transfer to International Airport at Trivandrum for flights to respective destinations.
Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.
Suitable for families with young children
Highest Point (Max altitude)
Fairly easy 5-6 hours of activity per day. May include some uphill sections, reasonable fitness recommended.
With a dedicated focus on active, experiential tours and exciting new destinations, ACTIVE INDIA specialises in active, outdoor adventures, cultural discovery and wildlife tours across India for families, small groups and independent travellers.
Enjoy complete flexibility in planning and booking your tours with Active India for a truly personalised India holiday that fits your budget and requirements.