Spice, Tea & Backwaters of Kerala
9 Days / 8 Nights
From US$1631

Today Kerala is one of the most popular destinations of South India and highly preferred destination across the globe, quite often referred as ‘God’s own Country’. It’s a perfect destination for adventure, culture and relaxation. With its laid-back beach scene, swaying elephant rides and gentle houseboat cruises along tropical backwaters, you'll soon see why National Geographic Traveller voted Kerala one of its ten Paradise Found. There are many fascinating elements that make Kerala a must see place. In this small tour takes in the most captivating areas, including the ancient harbour city of Cochin, through the beautiful tea gardens and coffee estates of Munnar, to the wildlife reserve of Periyar, the serenity of the backwaters explored by overnight houseboat for a wonderful glimpse into rural village life and concluding your tour after relaxing at the beach resort at Kovalam.

About TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The company with over 28 yrs old experienced team is committed to bringing the best in both quality and value to small group journeys, private car guided tours and tailor-made tours to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Being a leading travel wholesaler we introduce travellers to the amazing culture and offer tours at unbeatable prices and with unparalleled comfort. For your protections TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS is approved Destination Management Company by Ministry of tourism Govt of India and member of IATA, AFTA, ATAC, IATO and PATA to name few. We are proud to say that our team is very experienced with in-depth knowledge of destination. Our reputation is built on providing world class service with real personal touches that make a difference to your holiday. We understand the importance of giving attention to even the smallest of details and care about the countries to which we take you and make sure that we have a positive effect on the environment. Respect for locals and their way of life is an essential part of travelling with TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS.

“You Rely on us and we rely on experience”

Why THO Small Group Journey?

Smaller, Escorted and Inclusive

Our Small Group tours consists maximum of 16 people to ensure perfect combination of intimacy, flexibility and authentic cultural experiences. Our itineraries are artfully crafted, showcasing the essence of a destination by combining famous highlights with hidden jewels. All groups are escorted on achieving minimum 06 people unless specified on the tour by an English speaking Tour Manager assisting you throughout on day to day activities and enlightening you with local knowledge on general specialties, additional sightseeing and souvenir shopping.

Our experienced Local Tour Guides will enhance your experience during sightseeing tour. Travel with like-minded travellers and experience comprehensive inclusions, as well as unsurpassed cultural interpretation provided by experienced tour leaders.

Spice, Tea & Backwaters of Kerala- 09 Days/08 Nights (Small Group Tour)

Day 01: Arrive Cochin

Meet and assistance by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS Tour Executive and transfer to the hotel for two nights stay. (No Meal)


Day 02: Cochin

Today we will set out to explore this port city with rich and interesting past the Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans sailed into this city to trade and their influence is still found in the buildings and lifestyle of the city. In the evening we will take in a Kathakali Performance. (B,L,D)


Day 03: Cochin – Munnar

Today drive to Munnar a hill station at a height of 1525 meters, Munnar offers a breathtaking view of the hills swathed in an impossibly green carpet of tea bushes. Afternoon free to relax or explore the surroundings and stay overnight at Munnar. (B,L,D)


Day 04: Munnar - Thekkady

Today we drive through the Western Ghats to Thekkady, a beautiful area of tea gardens en-route and visit the Tea Museum opened by the Tata Tea group. In the afternoon, visit a spice garden where you will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of the spices are grown. Stay two nights at Thekkady. (B,L,D)


Day 05: Thekkady

We wake up early to experience a boat cruise on the Lake Periyar, which show cases a kaleidoscope of activities that incur around the lake and jungle. Later return to the hotel for breakfast and visit a spice plantation. Stay overnight at Cardamom County. (B,L,D)


Day 06: Thekkady - Alleppey

After an early breakfast enjoy the scenic drive to Alleppey. It is no wonder that Alleppey has been called the Venice of the East. Embark the houseboats which are comfortably furnished with an open lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchenette. Stay overnight on board. (B,L,D)


Day 07 & 08: Alleppey - Kovalam

Disembark after breakfast and travel to the coastal beach resort town of Kovalam. Enjoy and rejuvenate yourself with the goodness of Ayurveda herbal message during your two night stay. (B,L,D)


Day 09: Trivandrum Departure

After leisurely breakfast tour finish by midday with direct transfer to the Trivandrum international airport to board your onward flight home. (B) 

Tour Ends

Deluxe Group Tour Accommodations

All our Group Tours are based on deluxe (4*) accommodation unless mentioned on the tour page, each hotel is carefully selected for its location, comfort, style and ambience providing a true holiday experience. Our accommodations are a mixture of palaces, heritage, Havelies and modern hotels. In most cases we free upgrade the whole group to 5* accommodation in some destinations when tour is fully booked out in advance.

Nepal being adventure destination, choices of accommodation are limited hence best available (4*) hotel are offered which are categorised by Nepal tourism and standard of accommodation may be different than India and Sri Lanka. 

100% Guaranteed Departures

To assist you when booking the airline and taking our great early payment savings, TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS has designated all Group Tours as 100% GUARANTEED departure with specified minimum numbers of 02 or mentioned on the scheduled date, unless circumstances occur beyond our control.

Meals included

Being a seasoned traveller ourselves we have discovered the travelling time is unpredictable sometime you reach a destination so late that you are tired to go out for dinner or search for a proper dinning place around the vicinity of your hotel which may become a chore during your holiday, hence we have removed the hassle by including most of breakfast and dinners in all our brochure tour packages.  

Pre & Post Tour Accommodation

Do some exploring before the trip begins or add couple of nights after the tour to relax before boarding your flight. We offer competitive rates in all destinations- book in conjunction with your main tour - ask TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS or your travel agent.

Add-On (Short Tour packages)

Make the most of your time away - after all, you have travelled all that way.  Our Add-On can be used as short breaks in their own right or as pre/post tour additions.  With all arrangements made for you they are the perfect way to discover more of your destinations - ask TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS or your travel agent.

Group Tour Privately or Tailor-made

If you have group of friends or family or even two of you and like to do this group tour Itinerary as a Private Car or like to tailor-make to suite your requirements. Please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

Plan Your Own Group

The advantage of a true specialist is their knowledge and confidence in assisting anyone who is keen to visit a destination but like to do things differently. Is a special occasion? Do you want to experience a festival, lead a culinary adventure, organise a yoga and wellness group or cycle the off beaten tracks of India or Sri Lanka with people close to you? Or do you find parts of one of our tours appealing but want to alter dates or itineraries to better suit your groups’ needs?

Please contact us with your wish list and our team will be glad to tailor-make your special tour ensuring all possible activities and ideas are incorporated, making a unique group tour.

“The Holidays you dream are the holidays we pack”

What Makes Us Different?

Being your Local Travel wholesaler and one of the True Destination Specialists our team in Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan ensures that every itinerary is well balanced and filled with amazing cultural experiences, breathtaking scenery and historical sites. Most must see and must do’s are included giving you opportunity to witness sights, taste delicious cuisine, visit bazaar for souvenirs, meet and experience life of locals at the same time have some free time to explore town the way you like.

Whichever itinerary you select all are included complete travel and transfer by charted air-conditioned vehicles, local English speaking guide, sightseeing, entrance fee to the monuments and parks, safaris, boat ride, elephant or camel or horse ride, cultural shows at the theatre or hotel, domestic airfare in economy class, train fare in best available air-conditions class and not to mentioned the current govt taxes of the county. For more details of inclusions please refer to the inclusions column of the itinerary.

Prices Guarantees

All prices shown are on per person basis on twin/double and apply when you share room with travel companion. For single traveller we do offer single room and price is available on request.

You don’t need to worry about currency fluctuations. Once we receive your full payment, your land tour price is guaranteed and protected against any increases. 

100% Protected Holiday

We are a member of IATA, ATAC and AFTA which ensure that your holiday is 100% protected.

No Hidden Cost

We love transparency so the prices quoted by THO are almost all inclusive and help the traveller to budget their holidays accurately. All we ask you to do is relax and enjoy your holiday, knowing that all prepaid expenses have been included in your initial tour cost. Please refer to the tour inclusions for more details.

Value for Money

Being a local Travel Wholesaler, our huge buying power help us pass the discounted rates to our clients. We also do FREE hotel upgrade at some destination as a gesture of appreciation to our valuable travellers. Apart from this our local team of experts adds incredible value for your dollar.

Discounts & Rewards:

Please note discount and rewards given below can not be combined with any other promotions. You only can avail any one discount or promotions.

Loyalty Rewarded 5% Off

Many of our clients choose to travel with us time and time again. As a valued client, we offer you a 5% discount off your second and onwards tour package. This offer applies only to the tour cost of your trip and conditions do apply. Speak to us for details when making your booking.

Past Passenger Discount 5% Off

As Loyal Traveller appreciation we are offering a 5% discount off on any new Small Group Journey bookings on land only.

All you have to do is prove that you have travelled on one Small Group Journey with us since 2009 and the discount is yours!

Multi Trip Discount 5% Off

If you have the time why not combines two or more of our tour and save? In any one holiday, we will discount your second and onwards trip by 5%. Tour package must be minimum 10 days or more from our brochure and discount applies on lowest price tour package. Discount does not apply to add-on pre & post accommodation, train journeys, flights and/or any small packages or services.

BIG SAVINGS when travelling with your friends and family

The advantage of a true specialist is their knowledge and confidence in assisting anyone who is keen to visit a destination but like to do things differently. Is a special occasion? Do you want to experience a festival, lead a culinary adventure, organise a yoga and wellness group or cycle the off beaten tracks of India or Sri Lanka with people close to you? Or do you find parts of one of our tours appealing but want to alter dates or itineraries to better suit your groups’ needs?

Please contact us with your wish list and our team will be glad to tailor-make your special tour ensuring all possible activities and ideas are incorporated, making a unique group tour.

(Best suited discount will be offered and any discount can not be combined with any other discount or promotions)

How Early Should I Book?

The earlier is better so that you can save on our promotional offers.

We offer excellent value for our Small Group Tours which tends to be booked out earlier than expected hence reserve your place at least 6 to 7 months prior to departure.

24/7 Helpline and assistance by THO Local Offices

Apart from 24/7 helpline for emergency assistance; our guest relation manager will call you to make sure everything is going smoothly. Our 36 local network and associate office Manager will be there to assist you in every destination.

International Flights

The tour packages are usually “Land Only” and do not include international flights.  We therefore recommend that you contact us or your travel agent to book your flights well in advance of travel, when you can generally gain access to specials and discounted airfares. This will ensure you can travel on the days that suit you and your tour.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our journeys. Speak to us or your travel agent about comprehensive insurance to cover your travel arrangements. This must critically cover medical expenses in case of an emergency.  Note that travel insurance automatically provided with credit cards generally does not provide adequate cover. Its your responsibility to ensure that you have appropriate and comprehensive travel insurance.

Medical Information

Our elderly travellers who are aged 70 years or more, or with a per-existing condition that affects their fitness to travel or any medical dietary requirement, must be advised at the time of booking. We recommend all travellers should visit their Doctor for these aforementioned purposes and/or to confirm that they are physically able to undertake the day-to-day requirements of the tour.

Selecting Your Holiday Type

Most of our journeys are suited to those with normal fitness and mobility levels. To assist you in choosing a journey best for you we have graded our tours;

Easy Paced: These programs are set at a comfortable pace. Walking and climbing of stairs involved is generally in and around major tourist attractions though you may require walking from road till boat jetty while embarking or disembarking boats.

Moderate: These tours are not strenuous but you will require good amount of fitness as they may include days with long periods of walking or soft trekking, climbing of stairs, embarking and disembarking boats and where longer distances may be travelled by uneven roads.

Adventurous: These refer to programs where your physical fitness needs to be on highest level. Trekking, cycling, climbing, walking and more adventurous activities may be included.

Getting Around

Comfort is our first priority. All our coaches are air-conditioned with push back seats. We even offer 30-35 seater coach when only 16 people are in a group, providing everyone a window seats. Our train journeys in air-conditioning sleeper class where bedding is provided by the train attendant and itineraries that include domestic flight to connect destination we use economy class.

Passport & Visas

India: Visa is required for all foreign nationals. 

Apply online for a Pre-Approval at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html .The online application should be submitted a minimum of 4 days in advance and a maximum of 30days of the proposed date of travel. TVOA links may also be found in websites of Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, Incredible India etc.

As of 27 Nov 2014 nationals and passport holder of 34 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Luxem Bourg, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar to name a few,  can avail a Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) facility upon disembarking at international airports Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi and Trivandrum only. You will require to pay fees along with require documentation and is subject to verification and satisfaction of the Immigration. Please contact High Commission of India for updated information.

Sri Lanka: Every tourist visiting Sri Lanka required visa prior to departure. Visa must be obtained atleast 01 months prior to arrival in Sri Lanka by visiting www.eta.gov.lk The Tourist visa is valid for stay within 30 days. Passport must be valid for at least six months before you commence travel to Sri Lanka. Fee will apply.

Nepal: Visa is required for all foreign nationalities and the best way to apply for visa is from the Royal Nepalese diplomatic missions in your home country. Tourist Visa also can be obtained on arrival. Passport must be valid for at least six months before you commence travel in Nepal. Fee will apply.

Bhutan: All foreign nationals require visa for Bhutan.

Visa can be arranged by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS. To process this we require clear readable colour copy of passport (page containing passport no and face picture in JPEG or PDF format) and current colour passport photograph and at least 30 days prior to date of entry into Bhutan. Remaining validity of passport should be at least 6 months from the date of exit from Bhutan.

Tourism Council of Bhutan issues visa clearance letter closer to travelling date which we email or fax you or your local travel agent. Travellers are required to produce aforesaid visa clearance copy at the time of check-in for their flights while those entering Bhutan by surface via Phuentsholing or Samdrup Jonkhar, they are required to produce this Visa Clearance letter at the Immigration counter. Actual visa is stamped at passport on arrival in Bhutan.

Visa only service is not offered in Bhutan, you would have to book a service tour package from TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS that includes accommodation, guided tours, transfers etc

Myanmar: Visa is required for all nationalities.

Visa can be arranged by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS. To process this we require international flight details, clear readable colour copy of passport (page containing passport no and face picture in JPEG or PDF format) and current colour passport photograph and at least 30 days prior to date of entry into Myanmar. Remaining validity of passport should be at least 6 months from the date of exit from Myanmar. 

HOW TO BOOK

You can contact our associate travel agent, call our local office, email us or book online. Booking forms must be completed to ensure TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS has on file all the necessary information such as passport details, travel insurance policy details and emergency contacts etc. Travellers over the age of 65 and those with pre existing medical conditions will also be required to provide a medical certificate to certify they are fit to travel.  By booking through travel agent or online means you have read and agreed to the TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS booking conditions. For more detail please click here. 

Team at TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS wishes you a wonderful holiday!!!

 

Day 1: Arrival Cochin

On arrival at the airport meet your tour manager who will assist you to transfer to the hotel for two nights stay in Cochin


Day 2: Cochin 

Early morning, if you wish, you can wake up early to witness the mesmerizing sights of sunrise over the Chinese fishing nets. The beautiful expanse of nets with the backdrop of sun rising is a perfect start to enjoy the scenic beauty of India. After breakfast we will set out to explore this port city with rich and interesting past. The Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans sailed into this city to trade and their influence is still found in the buildings and lifestyle of the city.
We will walk through the Fort area, exploring Jewish Syangogue – which is one of the oldest synagogues amongst all the commonwealth nations, St Francis church, Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace - a 16th century palace. Just opposite to the Mattancherry Palace, visit the spice market, one of the biggest centres of spices in Cochin. Here you can buy some of the authentic spices, smell and see what makes Indian curries so hot and tasty. In the evening we will take you to a Kathakali Performance. Kathakali is a ritualized dance form that is native to Kerala, with elaborate costumes and makeup. (B,L,D)


Day 3: Cochin – Munnar 

Drive from Cochin to Munnar a hill station at a height of 1525 mtrs, Munnar offers a breathtaking view of the hills swathed in an impossibly green carpet of tea bushes. Munnar - the right royal resort lazily nestled in the verdant slopes of tea country, is a quaint little town that exudes a rare old world charm and strangely reminds one of the days of the Raj in its elegant splendour. Beyond the rolling hills discover the rich tropical forests abounding in exotic flora and fauna. Afternoon free to relaxing or explore the surroundings and stay overnight at Munnar. (B,L,D)


Day 4: Munnar - Thekkady 

After breakfast we drive through the Western Ghats to Thekkady, a beautiful area of tea gardens, rubber estates and coffee and pepper plantations, located high in the Cardamom hills. On our way we en-route and visit the Tea Museum opened by the Tata Tea group. The museum puts light on the important fact and figures about the growth of the tea plantations in Munnar. It contains curios, old photographs, machineries and other things which have been used since long time. In the afternoon, visit a spice garden where you will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of the spices are grown. Stay two nights at Thekkady. (B,L,D)


Day 5: Thekkady

We wake up early to experience a boat cruise on the Lake Periyar, which show cases a kaleidoscope of activities that incur around the lake and jungle. Evergreen moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands characterise Periyar. Later return to the hotel for breakfast and visit a spice plantation. Growing cardamom, pepper, coffee, and Vinella etc. walk amidst the palette displaying variant shades of green. It is believed that the spice trade dates back three thousand years in Kerala and many spices find their home here. Stay overnight at Thekkady. (B,L,D)


Day 6: Thekkady - Alleppey 

After an early breakfast enjoy the scenic drive to Alleppey dotted with traditional Kerala houses and bordered by rolling hills on either side. Arrive at these beautiful palm fringed network of canals to board the “Kettuvallam”, traditional rice boats now converted into deluxe accommodation. It is no wonder that Alleppey has been called the Venice of the East. The land is lush with coconut palms and green rice fields. The houseboats are comfortably furnished with an open lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchenette. Every boat is manned by a crew of 3, usually a cook, a butler and a captain. Enjoy afternoon relaxing in the lounging as we drift along, it is amazing to observe how life is lived on the water. Overnight at the Houseboat. (B,L,D)


Day 7 & 8: Alleppey - Kovalam

Disembark after breakfast and travel to the coastal beach resort town of Kovalam. Enjoy and rejuvenate yourself with the goodness of Ayurveda herbal message during your two night stay. (B,L,D)


Day 9: Trivandrum Departure

After leisurely breakfast tour finish by midday with direct transfer to the Trivandrum international airport to board your onward flight home. (B)


 

 

STARTS

 

ENDS

 

 

 

Twin Price 

($US)

 

Solo Price
($US)

 

STATUS

 

 2016 

   13 Jan    21 Jan        $1631     $2439   C  
   10 Feb    18 Feb        $1631    $2439   C  
   16 Mar    24 Mar        $1631    $2439   C  
   06 Apr    14 Apr        $1631    $2439   C  
   27 Apr    05 May        $1631    $2439   C  
   08 Jun    16 Jun        $1631    $2439   C  
   16 Sep    24 Sep        $1631    $2439   C
 
   12 Oct    20 Oct         $1749    $2623   C  
   09 Nov    17 Nov        $1749    $2623   C  
   07 Dec    15 Dec        $1749    $2623   C  

  2017

   11 Jan    19 Jan        $1749    $2623    R  
   08 Feb    16 Feb        $1749    $2623    A  
   08 Mar    16 Mar        $1749    $2623    A  
 

 29 Mar

   06 Apr        $1749    $2623    A  
   19 Apr    27 May        $1749    $2623    A  
 

 10 May

   18 May        $1749    $2623    A  
   07 Jun    15 Jun        $1749    $2623    A  
 


For departure dates please contact TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS or ask your travel agent.        

 
  A = Available   R = Reserved   C = Closed  

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The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands consisting of about 293 islands is situated in the Bay of Bengal. The topography of the islands is hilly & they abound in evergreen forests. The white sandy beaches have a back drop of luxuriant greenery & in the clear blue waters of the lagoons enclosed by coral reefs......Read More»

Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights
Flavours of India
From US$81
Flavours of India - Cooking Class

Learn authentic Indian Cooking in an Indian family home. Have you wondered why cooking from recipes book does not taste the same......Read More»

Duration: 4-5 Hours
Ayurveda Beaches
From US$790
Ayurveda & Beaches

Ayurveda is synonymous with Kerala. It is an ancient system of healing which is very popular in this state. Originated in India around 5000 years ago, Ayurveda occupies a prized place in Kerala. The state is blessed with rich flora consisting of rare herbs and natural oils. Rejuvenate your body, mind and soul...Read More»

Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights
Single
Twin
Spice Tea Backwaters of Kerala Map
Play
Small Group Journey

Starts: Cochin

Ends: Trivandrum

Grade: Easy Paced

Guaranteed Departure: minimum 02 pax

What's Included?

Deluxe hotel accommodation with private facility

Travel by chartered air-conditioned vehicle

Group assistance and transfers

Sightseeing as specified

Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

THO Tour Manager (minimum 06 people)

Local English speaking tour guide

Entry fee/Monument charges 

Spice Plantation visit

Overnight backwaters cruise

01 standard Ayurveda oil massage

Tea Museum in Munnar

A Bottle of water while travelling

All current applicable taxes

What's Excluded?

International Airfares

Any meals other than specified, drinks, laundry, mineral water, telephone calls, postage

Camera and Video entry charges at Monuments/Forts etc

Train or domestic airfares excluding those mentioned in includes column

Optional tour and meals unless otherwise mentioned in the includes column

Visa & passport fees

Travel insurance of any kind

Tipping, extra baggage charges

Early check in or late checkout

Fact File

Overland travel by Chartered Coach with driver 

Jewish synagogue is closed on Friday and Saturday. 

Itinerary can be customised to suit your requirements 

Order sightseeing may vary according to local conditions 

Hotel check-in/out 1200 hours 

Currency: Indian Rupee (INR) 

Electricity: Current is 220V, 50Hz 

Time Zone: 5.5 hours ahead GMT