Women only tours, destination India

Culture, adventure and fun

Culture

Adventure

Fun

The Best of South India

The Best of South India

Choose between two tours:

Read below for 17 day trip: The Best of South India

Click here for 20 day trip: India Highlights


This trip offers the best of South India's natural and cultural wealth.

You will experience the region's rich heritage, royal splendour, performance arts and culture, beautiful handicrafts, magnificent tea gardens, exotic spice plantations and beautiful beaches. Enjoy the warm hospitality of welcoming locals in comfortable home stays. You will explore the region's tranquil backwaters and thick jungles to round off your magical experience!

Southern India Tour Highlights

  • Visit historic, culture-rich towns
  • Attend a traditional dance show, buy beautiful local arts and crafts
  • Be amazed and inspired by ancient temples and magnificent palaces
  • Experience life in the slow lane on a backwater boat cruise
  • Fascinating and insightful visit to a tea, coffee and spice plantation
  • Relax on a pristine beaches
  • Discover Indian forest and wildlife on a nature experience
  • Treat yourself to a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage
  • Enjoy comfortable and welcoming homestays
  • Give back: we visit tribal and rural empowerment projects
  • Experience Theyyam - a powerful ritual form of worship

Trip Itinerary

Welcome to India

Day 1 arrival in Cochin, Kerala

Welcome to South India! We will meet you at the airport and transport you to a boutique/heritage hotel in Fort Kochi. Time permitting, you might like to explore the heritage town by foot at your own pace. Meet in the evening for dinner and trip briefing.

Meals - D

Chinese fishing nets

Day 2, Fort Kochi

We take an early morning walk to the Chinese fishing nets to see the fishing activity. After breakfast, we step out for a guided visit of this fascinating heritage town. There will also be time for a spot of shopping so you can buy some gorgeous (reasonably priced) clothes for your stay in India. In the evening, we attend a cultural performance which gives a glimpse of 6-7 different art forms of South India.. You will also be able to see the interesting make-up process of Kathakali before the show.

Meals - B

Alleppey, canoe rides

Day 3, Fort Kochi - Alleppey

After breakfast, we check out and drive 2 hours to the backwaters region in Alleppey and transfer to an island resort! Enjoy traditional meals and various activities like bird-watching, village walk (passing by paddy fields), canoe rides etc.

Meals - B,L,D

Alleppey backwaters on a houseboat

Day 4, Alleppey backwaters on a houseboat

Enjoy a leisurely morning and then transfer to a houseboat around noon. We cruise along the tranquil backwaters observing the village life along the banks. In the afternoon, enjoy a one-hour glide in a wooden canoe through narrow canals. At 5:30pm, the houseboat will be anchored for the night as fishermen lay their nets for the night. Enjoy a magical sunset over the backwaters before being pampered with a delicious dinner by the houseboat staff.

Meals - B,L,D

Alleppey backwaters

Day 5, Alleppey - Aranmula

Early morning is a truly divine experience - the quietness of the backwaters, the sight of the birds starting their day, and the fishermen pulling in their nets makes one feel a remarkable stillness and a deep connection with the place. At 9am, transfer to the boat jetty and drive 2 hours to to a welcoming and comfortable riverside homestay in Aranmula. Learn about Kerala cuisine through a cooking demonstration with the host followed by lunch. In the afternoon, visit artisans engaged in the rare art of making metal mirrors. Gain a deeper insight into both the craft and the lives of the artisans. Next, visit the lovely temple of Aranmula and see a traditional Kerala temple, unique in its form compared to temples in other parts of India.

Meals - B,L,D

Kalari, traditional martial art

Day 6, Aranmula - Thekkady

Enjoy a leisurely morning by the riverside. After breakfast, drive 3 hrs to a BnB near the Periyar Tiger Reserve. In the afternoon, we go for a guided spice plantation tour followed by a "Kalari" (traditional martial art) performance at Kadathanadan Kalari. This is one of the oldest fighting systems in existence and includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods.

Meals - B

Periyar Tiger Reserve

Day 7, Periyar Tiger Reserve (Thekkady)

Explore the thick jungles on a half-day bamboo rafting experience (which is a combination of trek through the jungle and participatory rafting on the lake). These safaris are led by trained guides from displaced tribal communities, many of whom were former poachers now trained in conservation activities. Rest of the day is free for you to explore the town, maybe treat yourself to an Ayurvedic massage (extra cost).

Meals - B

Day 8, Thekkady - Madurai

Have a leisurely morning OR opt to go for an early morning trek in the village. Or treat yourself to an early morning Ayurvedic massage (extra cost)! We check out around noon and drive 3 hours to Madurai to see the amazingly vibrant complex of Meenakshi Temple.

Meals - B

Madurai temple

Day 9, Madurai - overnight train

Full day guided sightseeing of Madurai temple, palace & markets.

Overnight train to Mysore (AC Sleeper Coach).

Meals - B

Mysore, vibrant markets of this royal town

Day 10, Mysore

The train pulls into Mysore at 10am. A taxi will transfer us to a boutique heritage hotel. After check-in and freshening up, we step out to see the awe-inspiring Mysore Palace and the vibrant markets of this royal town.

Meals - B,D

Mysore Palace

Day 11, Mysore

It's your day off! Free day to catch up on shopping/exploring the town on your own.

Meals - B,D

Day 12, Mysore - Wayanad

We check out after breakfast and drive 3 hrs to the hilly region of Wayanad. Check-into an eco-resort set within a coffee plantation! Soak in the tranquil rural landscape.

Meals - B,L,D

Wayanad, plantation tour

Day 13, Wayanad

After an early breakfast, join the charismatic host for an interesting an enriching plantation tour, which also involves walking through paddy fields to a social enterprise that has revived the culture and economy of bamboo in the region. It's also a good place for fair trade souvenir shopping. Opt to spend the afternoon getting to learn how to make some bamboo products or further explore the village.

Meals - B,L,D

Wayanad, bamboo products

Day 14, Wayanad - Kannur

After breakfast, bid adieu to your host and drive 3 hours to a guest house near the pristine Kannur beach. Enjoy a relaxing stay!

Meals - B,L,D

pristine Kannur beach

Day 15, Kannur

Today you can either enjoy the beach or explore the quiet village. During our stay in Kannur we drive over to one of the nearby villages to experience Theyyam - a powerful ritual form of worship.

Meals - B,L,D

Calicut/Kozhikode, a street full of sweets!

Day 16, Kannur - Calicut

Check out after breakfast and drive 3.5 hours to Calicut/Kozhikode - an ancient trading town famous as the landing spot of Vasco da Gama (at Kappad beach, 18 kms from Calicut). Visit a unique community which follows a matriarchal system, with huge joint families. The town is also known for its vibrant local markets, and a street full of sweets!

Meals - B

Day 17, Calicut

Our wonderful trip to South India is over. With a bag full of wonderful souvenirs, gifts and new clothes, and a head full of wonderful images and memories, you board your flight at Calicut International Airport to return home.

Meals - B

Next trip to be advised . . . . .


"I haven't felt this free in 20 years"

Leigh, NZ.


Life is uncertain - eat cake!

"Life is uncertain
- eat cake!"


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