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To Kerala on the Konkan Railway

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Discover India's spectacular coastal resorts

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2021 Tour code: KRJ21

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Days 1-2 - London and Mumbai

We depart from London Heathrow on our flight to Mumbai, travelling via Abu Dhabi. On arrival on Day 2, we transfer to the ITC Grand Central Hotel for a 2-night stay. This afternoon we begin our explorations with a sightseeing tour, taking in Gandhi's house, Dhobi Ghat, and the UNESCO-listed Victoria Railway Station.

Travel to Mumbai
Day 3 - Exploring Mumbai

We visit the Prince of Wales Museum today, where we enjoy viewing a range of art and artefacts housed in a magnificent 20th-century colonial-style building. This afternoon we take an excursion to the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on Elephanta Island, where 2 cave systems dating back to the 5th century display delicate sculptures of Shiva and Buddha.

Elephanta Caves
Days 4-5 - The Konkan Railway to Goa

Early this morning, we leave Mumbai for the first stage of our journey along the renowned Konkan Railway, a 463-mile route that connects Mumbai to Mangaluru via Goa and the Western Ghats. This coastal line takes us through some of the most scenic backdrops in the country as we travel southwards, sandwiched between landscapes of majestic mountains and plunging waterfalls and the deep blue waters of the Arabian Sea. We arrive in Goa this afternoon where we check into our hotel.

On Day 5, we enjoy a guided tour of Old Goa. As a former Portuguese colony, its architecture has pronounced European influences and it enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. We visit the striking Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Church of St Francis of Assisi. Following lunch at a Goan Portuguese house, we visit Panjim and enjoy a heritage walking tour exploring the local market.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
Days 6-7 - Mangaluru

Following a morning at leisure in Goa, we rejoin the Konkan Railway for the last stretch of our scenic journey to Mangaluru, situated on the Malabar Coast. Here, we spend 2 nights at the Gateway Hotel.

On Day 7, we enjoy a guided tour of Mangaluru, seeing the imposing Sultan Battery Watchtower and Kadri Temple, whose exteriors are adorned by golden statues of Hindu deities. We also visit the St Aloysius Chapel, known for its remarkably intricate interior paintings.

Days 8-9 - By rail to Kochi

We head to the railway station this morning, making our way southwards by train to beautiful Kerala. Our destination is Kochi, a serene coastal city that has been attracting merchants and visitors for over 600 years. We stop en route at Kozhikode (formerly Calicut) for lunch. Our base for 2 nights is the Trident Hotel in Kochi.

We take a guided tour on Day 9, that includes the 16th-century Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch Palace, and the church of St Francis, the oldest European church in India. After lunch we visit the famous Chinese fishing nets, a type of fixed installations used only in Kochi. This evening we are treated to a to a Kathakali dance show, the traditional dance-drama of Kerala.

Days 10-11 - Periyar National Park

Leaving Kochi today, we travel by coach inland to Periyar, making a visit to a local tea plantation along the way. The drive takes us through some of India's most lush scenery before we check into our hotel, the Poetree Sarovar Portico. After settling in, tonight we are treated to a tribal dance performance nearby.

On Day 11, we enjoy a walking tour through an aromatic spice plantation. Later we head into Periyar National Park where we embark on a cruise along Lake Periyar, a watering hole for the exotic local wildlife. Although tiger-spotting opportunities are incredibly rare, various species of birds as well as monkeys, indigenous hogs, and deer can often be seen on the lake shore.

Periyar National Park
Day 12 - Kerala backwaters cruise

Today, we enjoy an unforgettable highlight of any trip to Southern India. After driving to Alleppey, we set out on a cruise across Kerala's peaceful lakes and backwaters aboard our very own private houseboat. As we glide serenely into the bewildering maze of canals and channels, we may see kingfishers perched attentively above the riverbank and egrets swooping, just above the water. Following lunch on board, we visit a traditional village before returning to Alleppey, where we spend the night in Punnamada Resort.

Kerala Backwaters
Days 13-14 - Alleppey and on to Kovalam

This morning we enjoy an insightful walking tour with the 'Preserve Alleppey Society'. This group is dedicated to the preservation of Kerala's idyllic backwaters, as well as the history and architecture of Alleppey town. We then enjoy a traditional Keralan meal for lunch. Later, we travel by coach to Kovalam, a coastal village whose sandy beaches are lined with coconut palm trees. Here we stay for 2 nights at the Travancore Heritage hotel. Day 14 is at leisure in Kovalam and you can spend the day relaxing on the beach.

Day 15 - Return to London

Today, we transfer to Trivandrum airport for our flight back to London Heathrow via Abu Dhabi.

Return to the UK