Southern India is full of lush green tea plantations, scenic mountain railways and a wonderfully diverse range of religious sanctuaries and this fascinating trip allows you to delve deeper into the culture, landscapes and communities that make up this intrinsically beautiful region.
Depart London Heathrow on Emirates overnight flight via Dubai to Bangalore.
Welcome to Bangalore where you’ll be invited to settle in at the Hotel Ramada before taking a tour of the city’s palaces, temples and gardens.
After breakfast, head southwest, to the island fortress and palace of Srirangapatnam where Tipoo Sultan defied the East India Company armies led by the Duke of Wellington. Continue to the sandalwood city of Mysore where for the next 2 nights you’ll be staying at the Mango Suites Hotel. (B)
This morning you’ll have a guided tour of Mysore’s attractive monuments, museums and parks followed by a free afternoon for further sightseeing or just the chance to relax. (B)
Next stop is the hillside town of Ootacamund (Ooty) that can be found hidden away in the stunning Nilgiri Mountain range. Set at 2230m this is the most famous hill station in southern India and the hot season capital of the South. Get comfy at the Holiday Inn before taking a guided tour of Ooty’s luscious tea gardens, dew-drop clear lakes and traditional Toda (tribal) huts. (B)
All aboard the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, one of the oldest in India, for an incredibly scenic trip to the tea plantations of Coonoor. After disembarking, you’ll be whisked away to the sumptuous green slopes of the Palani Hills for 2 nights at the Elephant Valley, an eco farm. (B)
Don’t forget your binoculars or towel today as you’re going on a forest trek that will take you closer to the plants, wildlife and waterfalls of this beautiful region. The Western Ghats are a true global biodiversity hotspot and the farm is on a traditional elephant migration route. (B)
Today you’re off to the city of Madurai which is home to one of the most famous temples in India, the immense Meenakshi complex. As one of the countries biggest pilgrimages sites the temple houses markets, a museum and even a police station. Overnight at the GRT Regency. This evening why not head back to the Meenakshi Temple to witness the atmospheric evening puja ceremony when the shrine of Lord Shiva is carried through the temple and ‘put to bed’ with his wife, the goddess Parvati. (B)
An early start to experience all the colour and vibrancy of Madurai’s flower market before you drive across the Tamil Nadu plains and up into the lush Western Ghats to the Pepper County Homestay and a very special cookery lesson. (B/D)
Take a morning stroll around the local spice plantation and in the afternoon depart cross the hills and drop down through the rubber and tea plantations to the Backwaters areas of Kerala. Your accommodation for the next 2 nights is at the Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort in Alleppey. (B)
Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a day spent cruising on Vembanad Lake. The Kerala Backwaters are a fascinating and beautiful area of Kerala where a network of canals, lakes and rivers combine to form a watery wonderland. Houses are built on narrow strips of land and canals have become the highways. You will probably never have seen to many different shades of green. (B)
Travel to the historic port city of Cochin (Kochi). The atmospheric Fort Cochin area contains many charming colonial buildings, a bustling waterfront and the photogenic Chinese fishing nets. Your last night in India is at the Grand Residencia, located in the heart of Fort Cochin. (B)
Transfer to the airport for the return Emirates flight to London via Dubai arriving at Heathrow this evening.
Tour departs every week on a Saturday based on a minimum of 2 passengers travelling.
Why don't you extend your holiday with 3 nights at leisure staying at the Uday Samudra Beach Resort?
Prices from £215 per person.