Kerala is separated from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu by the magnificent forested hills of the Western Ghats, a bright green mountainous region with a great deal of scenic appeal. This meandering journey is designed for those with a love of nature and a thirst for discovery as it leads you to some of the more unexplored areas of southern India. During the trip you will enjoy homestays and traditional meals, eco-lodges, and a houseboat on Kerala's backwater.
Day 1 - Kochi
Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Kochi (or Cochin) is set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas and has one of the best natural harbours in the world. Free afternoon to explore Fort Cochin on foot.
Day 2 - Kozhikode
Drive up the coast to Kozhikode. The history of European involvement in India began here with the arrival of Vasco De Gama in 1498. An important port for the trade of spices, Kozhikode is now a modern prosperous city.
Day 3 - Kozhikode
The day begins very simply at your homestay. Wake up to the sound of chirping birds at your window, go in for a session of Yoga. Besides trips to the nearby Kappad beach (where Vasco Da Gama landed in 1498, your homestay also organises trips to the handloom centre, the coconut bazaar and to the Kalaris nearby.
Day 4 - Meppadi
Tucked away in the Wayanad district of Kerala, is the quaint little hill station of Meppadi. Luxuriant plantations of coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber, stretch as far as the eye can see.
Day 5 - Meppadi
Meppadi is an unexplored area with acres of verdant vegetation, gurgling streams, mist covered mountains and colourful birds. Fast-flowing rivers cut across the undulating panorama and lend a picture-postcard look to the whole region.
Day 6 - Mudumalai
Drive to Mudumalai. In the afternoon take a jeep safari to explore the jungle reserves at Mudumulai, an ideal elephant habitat with thick forests of teak and eucalyptus, and dense groves of bamboo.
Day 7 - Coonoor
From Mudumalai, you drive up the hills to Ooty, established as a hill resort by the British in the 19th century. It has a lingering touch of the Raj in the English cottages, clubs, boarding schools and churches.
Day 8 - Coonoor
Situated 1,858 metres above sea level, Coonoor is at a slightly lower altitude than nearby Ooty but with a similar `British' feel. There are plenty of opportunities for walks in the unspoilt areas of the Nilgiri Hills.
Day 9 - Kodaikanal
You drive via Coimbatore to Kodaikanal, a journey that affords breathtaking views of the hills and valleys. You stay for two nights at Elephant Valley, located in the Palni hills of the Western Ghats, an area which is one of the 25 Biodiversity hotspots of the planet.
Day 10 - Kodaikanal
Elephant Valley is a 100 acre nature reserve and organic farm which welcomes ecologically minded tourists. The resort is run by a team of individuals from different corners of the planet who share the aim of living in harmony with nature.
Day 11 - Dindigul
Your next stop is Cardamom House in Dindigul. Cardamom House is owned and managed by a retired British Physician. Here the atmosphere is completely informal and the daily activities of the house are tailored to accommodate the personal programs of the guests.
Day 12 - Dindigul
Use Cardamom House as a base for visiting the nearby city of Madurai. Full of colourful bazaars, street tailors, throngs of pilgrims and joyful religious processions, Madurai is a bustling city and the famous Meenakshi temple attracts thousands of visitors from outside each day.
Day 13 - Thekkady
A short drive takes you to the Periyar Wildlife Reserve near Thekkady where you'll take an afternoon jungle walk. There are plenty of elephants, sambhar, wild pig, flying squirrel and over 260 species of bird life.
Day 14 - Allapuzha
Drive to a village on Kerala's backwaters.Time can be spent watching the toddy tappers climbing the tall trees, walking among the paddy fields or along the river banks, or rowing through the narrow canals in a country boat.
Day 15 - Kochi
Tour ends. Transfer to Kochi airport for your onward flight.