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Highlights of South


The ‘Highlights of South’ tour will showcase the true diversity of South India and will give you an authentic cultural experience.This slow holiday will explore all shades of green of Kerala and also bring in the majestic temples and mansions of Tamil Nadu. With Art forms, cuisine, backwaters, wildlife, beaches, festivals and villages this package will probably be the most complete curation of South India tours

Places:Madurai, Thekkady, Marari, Houseboat, Kochi, Munnar

Duration:13 Days

keral Holiday package

Experience Highlights

  • Experience the architectural marvel of the temple at Madurai and the trader homes of Chettinad
  • Unwind on a deserted beachside, exploring the fishermen villages, festivals and indulging yourself in the cuisine
  • Watch a demo of ancient martial art form Kalaripayattu and performing arts Kathakali by individuals devoted to the tradition
  • Stay on a beautiful eco-friendly houseboat as it traverses through the backwaters
  • Take a ride on a friendly jumbo or even do an elephant shower at Thekkady (optional)

Tour on Map

Day to Day itinerary

  • Day 1 –Day 2

  • Day 3 –Day 4

  • Day 5

  • Day 6

  • Day 7 – Day 8

  • Day 9

  • Day 10– Day 12

  • Day 13

    Departure Kochi



You will be welcomed at Kochi International airport / rail station by our company representative and taken to your hotel.

Spend the day at Kochi, one of the finest natural harbours and the oldest European settlement in India. The cultural mosaic here is shaped by a long history of visitors – Arab, Chinese, British, Jewish, Portuguese and French – making for a remarkable heritage city

A mix of people from all over the world have left their stamp on this fascinating town of Fort Kochi

Stay at one of the finest boutique hotels in Fort Kochi to soak in the colonial ambience. Relax for the night at your hotel.




Your tour really begins today by exploring the heritage sites of Fort Kochi. You can shop around for antiques and spices, learn the history of the land and experience the culture of Kerala through its art form: Kathakali

Do-it- yourself walk: heritage sites of Fort Kochi

You start your walking tour of Fort Kochi at the St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India and explore the imposing Santa Cruz basilica built by the Portuguese. It will be fun to observe the iconic and still-in-use Chinese fishing nets and even try using them yourself. Stroll past the shops along Jew Street shopping for antiques and spices and also visit the Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch Palace. You will notice that the heritage zone of the city is amazingly well preserved

A guided Kathakali experience gives you insights into Kerala’s rich culture

Kathakali: an evening enjoying the performing arts of Kerala

This 17th century art form is a highly stylized classical dance-drama with the confluence of dancing, acting, vocal and instrumental music. Watch the extensive make-up process and then enjoy a story telling in Kerala style in the performance.

Enjoy dinner at one of the amazing seafood restaurants in the city. Relax for the night in your hotel.




Today head to the dramatic Munnar hills, a place that will forever keep you under its spell. In this former hill getaway of the colonial British, soak up the tranquillity and head out to the verdant tea plantations to taste the local brew.


The drive up the hills: beautiful waterfalls and tea gardens along the way

This morning, you will drive up through the hills on the way to Munnar. Stop to take a snap of the amazing vistas and views near Attukad and Cheeyapara waterfalls on your way here. Check-in to your resort and relax for a while.

Watch the rhapsody of the carpeted emerald-green tea plantations unfold at Munnar

Visit the Tea Museum: witness tea processing and explore some colonial artefacts

The afternoon would be a great time to visit the tea museum where you could explore artefacts from the colonial times besides witnessing the tea processing procedure. The evening is free for you to go shopping in Munnar town or spending time in the resort.

Relax for the evening at your resort




Wake up early and catch the sunrise over the hills. Today, set out to explore other attractions in Munnar like Rajamala (national park), the dam and echo point

Trek along the Eravikulam national park: Meet up with friendly NiligiriTahrs

The terrain in the park is high altitude grasslands and features Anamudi, the highest peak (2695m) south of the Himalayas. Get on one of the government operated mini-buses and take a mild trek to amazing vantage points along with lots of endangered NiligiriTahrs

Enjoy speed boating or picnic at the beautiful lake at Mattupetty which is cradled by the plantation hills of munnar

An afternoon covering the Mattupetty dam, photo point and Echo point at Munnar

As the day unfolds take a few snaps at photo point before reaching Mattupetty dam. Spend some time here if you feel like taking a motor boat cruise. If nothing else, scream at the top of your voice at echo point and hear your voice resounding through the hills

Head back to your resort and enjoy your dinner




Today we travel to one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Madurai. After a relaxed breakfast we start our journey to Madurai


Visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace: built as one of the grandest in South India

This is the 17th century palace of TirumalaiNayak who made significant contribution to the city of Madurai and the Meenakshi Temple. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian and Islamic styles. This national monument is famous for its interior work and artistic style. After visiting the palace, check-in to your hotel, have lunch and relax for a couple of hours

A snapshot of the gopurams at the Meenakshi temple, encrusted with a staggering array of gods, goddesses, demons and heroes

An evening at Meenakshi Temple: Architectural marvel of the fish eyed goddess

A fascinating temple complex embellished with gateway towerswith exquisitely multi-coloured images of gods, demons and mythical figures. Enter through the busy eastern entrance (a lot of craft shops here) and move on to see the 1000 pillar hall and the art museum. Also spend time at the massive temple tank and leave the temple through the hall with magnificently painted ceilings

If you are interested in seeing Indian temple rituals, then don’t miss the night ceremony here. An image of lord Shiva is brought on a chariot to his wife Meenashi’s shrine amidst much chanting, drums, horns and gathering of devotees. An absolute must-see!

Relax for the night at your hotel




Enjoy a lovely breakfast at your hotel and by 9 am we begin our journey to Karaikudi/chettinad the land of mansions. This full day excursion to Chettinadu will take you to many of the beautiful traders bungalows, sample the famous cuisine and see handmade tile making


Sample the famous Chettinad cuisine

Arrive at Chettinad and enjoy a Chettinad style lunch in the ambience of your one of the trader mansions. This is where you will hear the fascinating story of the Naatukottaichettiars (a business community), how they built their townships and mansions and also the secrets of their famous cuisine.

The travel experience to the empty palatial homes of Chettinad is packed with grandeur, history and mouth-watering menus

Explore the mansions of Chettinad: Relive the ancient glory

Every village has a few stately mansions built in the late 19th century with material sourced from around the world. Made from Burma teak, Spanish roof tiles, Italian floor tiles & Belgian mirrors there is much to see in the PeriyaVeedu and its surrounding palaces. Explore a couple of them to understand the history of Chettinad

Completely man-made tiles: Discover the art of tile making at Athangudi

The Athangudi design on tiles is of a bygone era but they still grace the floors of most chettiar mansions. You will be surprised by observing tile-making: totally handmade using local soil and natural colour to get geometric patterns.

Return to your hotel at Madurai and relax for the night




Enjoy your breakfast and head to Thekkady, home to one of the best managed wildlife reserves in India. With a 100-year-old artificial lake and its setting in the thickly forested Western Ghats (UNESCO world heritage site), Periyar will not disappoint with a range of activities and wildlife spotting on offer


Check-in to your resort, relax for a while and soak in the tropical garden landscape.

Asiatic elephants, gaurs and wild boars are commonly spotted in the reserve during boating

Boating the Periyar: A soothing wildlife experience

The evening boat ride through the lake Periyar will give you a chance to spot wildlife by the river side. Arrive at the counter to make the evening ride. Relax for the night at your resort




Today you will have some of the best wildlife experiences on offer in Periyar. Pick up on any of the ecotourism activities in the reserve and spend the day in the wild

Go for an early morning Nature walk or bamboo rafting in the reserve

Dawn is an ideal time to view exotic wildlife with the help of your trained tribal naturalist/ guide in the Periyar tiger reserve (Nature Walk for 3 hours). If you opt for bamboo rafting, it is a dawn to dusk hiking and rafting programme which takes you through the depths of the forests which give you great opportunities to spot wildlife. The team with 4 guides and an armed guard will hitchhike back by evening through the edge of the forest

The community-organised ecotourism experiences in Periyar are a must do for all wildlife lovers out there

Experience Kalaripayattu: One of the oldest fighting systems in existence (optional)

Today evening, we can take you to attend a Kalaripayattu show illustrating the 3000 year old art-form. The practitioners of Kalaripayattu are not only warriors but also self-healers. Besides the swords and daggers the warriors are also trained in a unique weapon called ‘Urumi’ - a lethal flexible sword that can be concealed as a waist belt

Relax for the night at your resort




This morning our travel takes us several hours through scenic landscapes of spice gardens and tea to finally reach the backwater town of Alleppey. The ‘Venice of the East’ as it is called support a vibrant village life along the shorelines with paddy fields and palms


On board a ‘Kettuvallom’: A glimpse of backwater life

After traditional lunch on your private houseboat, the cruise will take you through splendid waterways of narrow canals. You will get opportunities to explore village life and the country side. Afternoons are best spent sunbathing on the deck or lounging in the shade while socialising with your crew. As you drift along, you will be amazed by the life by the waterside and witness a spectacular sunset. Experience night life in an anchored houseboat in the middle of the lake. Overnight stay in the Houseboat

Your trip along narrow canals and stay on a houseboat can be an experience of a lifetime




After saying goodbye to your houseboat crew, you will be taken to your final stop, Marari, one of the best beaches to unwind. This will be a perfect relaxing finish to your complete south Indian holiday. Use this chance to pick up some activities of your choice for the last 3 days of your tours

Experience the fine art of undoing things at the relaxing beaches of marari

At Marari Beach: The shores go through a hundred moods

Spend your first day here exploring the beach side. Marari doesn’t have the trappings of a typical tourist beach in Kerala; it has the slow pace of a traditional Keralan fishing village. The crowds are going to be less making it perfect to unwind.

Relax for the day at your resort.




The next few days are set aside for you to explore marari and pursue activities of your interest. There are quite a few in-house activities like yoga, learning to cook with spices, or ayurveda. The outdoor options include temple tours and village tours among others.

Choose a couple of activities of your interest and enjoy a slow holiday

Enjoy an aimless walk on a near empty beach as you watch the waves change colour or spend time with a naturalist learning about butterflies. A visit to the temples and the Krishnapuram Palace will give you a glimpse into Kerala architecture, mural paintings and weaponry. Learn to cook with spices or pamper yourself with an ayurveda massage

Village colours: Coir making, colourful festivals and more

At Marari Beach: The shores go through a hundred moods

Take a stroll through the village around the resort will be a fascinating experience. You can watch the process of coir making and pick up some coir handicrafts too. There is always a festival on somewhere, just go and immerse yourself in the sound and colour. Even meander the sleepy lanes of your fishing village and try a tipple at one of the local toddy shops.




Today is the last day of your tour. Enjoy a splendid breakfast on your beach and prepare for onward journey

Drop back at Airport/Rail station in the afternoon bidding farewell to god’s own country with memories to last for a life time.

Bon Voyage



3 Star Hotel/resort with neat amenities, hygienic bathrooms & European toilets, Telephone and 24 hours room service


Air Conditioned vehicle with chauffer at your disposal thorough out the tour


Buffet breakfast included at all resorts/ hotel and all meals in the houseboat

Total tour cost

Price on request


Customise this itinerary

We can tailor make the above itinerary to your specifications to work around your preferences, budget, add/remove nights or incorporate any special interests. Just complete an enquiry form to get in touch with our destination experts.explore


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