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Spice Route

Spice Route

In a country of glittering jewels, Kerala is perhaps its most enchanting, a captivating landscape of palm fringed lagoons and intricate canals far removed from the pace of modern life. Explore the tranquil tropical backwaters lined with swaying palms and simple fishing villages, savor the scented spice plantations of Periyar and relax in the charming mountain resort in Munnar, a former British Hill Resort. Finally enjoy your Spa experience in Kovalam. Our Spice Route experience includes an unforgettable overnight journey on a Keralahouseboat which sails on Kerala backwaters and a meal with a local family in Kochi. Vasco Travel is one of the renowned Kerala tour operators in Indiaand actively promotesKerala tourism to the overseas visitors.

Day 2 Kochi

After breakfast at the hotel, we leave for Kochi sightseeing. We visit the St. Francis Churchconsidered the first European Church in India, built in 1562 by St. Francis; this is India’s oldest European-built church. Continue on to Mattancherry Dutch Palace (closed on Friday & Public Holiday), a double-storied palace. The most important feature of Mattancherry Palace is the murals in the bedchambers, which depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata. These murals are some of the most beautiful and extensive, one of the wonders of India. Proceed to the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Saturdays), which was constructed in 1568 and is the oldest in commonwealth.

Day 4 Munnar – Periyar

After breakfast check out from the hotel and depart for Periyar holiday tour. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.

In the afternoon the boat ride on the lake is the usual way of touring the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyarreserve. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat. We return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 6 Alleppey–Kovalam

Disembark from your private houseboat and drive to Kovalamfor two nights stay at Kerala’s most famous beach. Kovalam is an integral part of Kerala Ayurveda tour and an excellent place to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea or perhaps enjoy an Ayurvedic massage and oil bath at the resort’sAyurvediccentre. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. You have the option to relax at the resort or you could pick up the SPA menu to book your Ayurvedic massage treatment. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

8 Days

Route

Start From

Kochi

Ends Here

Kovalam

Highlights

  • Kochi - Explore Kochi from the water including Fort Kochi St Francis Church and Mattancherry Palace
  • Head for the hills of Munnar a place perfect for cultivating tea
  • Drift through the backwaters on a traditional houseboat
  • Relax and unwind at those serene beaches of Kovalam

Best time to Visit

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
June
July
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Not advisable

Days

Day 1 Arrive Kochi

Kochi Skyline

Upon arrival in Kochi (Cochin) on the west coast of India, you are greeted with a traditional Indian welcome at the airport and escorted to the hotel for overnight stay.

 

A major port city of South India, Kochi is situated on the west coast by the Arabian Sea and has evolved as the biggest cosmopolitan city of Kerala. Termed as the ‘Queen of the Arabian’ Kochi has been an important spice and textiles trading centre of South India since 14th century. Ranked as the sixth best tourist destination in India, Kochi serves as the gateway to exotic tourist destinations of Kerala like Munnar, Thekkady and  Kumarakom which can be visited by hiring a cab from Kochi. City of temples and churches and mega malls and shopping complexes, Kochi is diverse in its approach as it offers the best of both worlds to the discerning travelers. Kochi is a favorite shopping destination of Indian women who come here to shop for ethnic textiles and jewelry in the muti-storeyed  shopping complexes where you can spend the entire day going through the wide selection of your choice. Situated south-west of Kochi mainland is Fort Kochi, famous for its historic landmarks which include  Synagogue, Portuguese palace, Dutch homes, European Church and Chinese fishing nets. It is a popular tourist spot frequented by travelers from around the world. 

Day 2 Kochi

Chinese Fishing Nets, Kochi

After breakfast at the hotel, we leave for a guided tour of Kochi city. We visit the St. Francis Church considered the first European Church in India, built in 1562 by St. Francis; this is India’s oldest European-built church. Continue on to Mattancherry Dutch Palace (closed on Friday & Public Holiday), a double-storied palace. The most important feature of Mattancherry Palace is the murals in the bedchambers, which depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata. These murals are some of the most beautiful and extensive, one of the wonders of India. Proceed to the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Saturdays), which was constructed in 1568 and is the oldest in commonwealth.

 

While driving along the coastline, at the Harbour's mouth, one can also view the unique and still-in-use "Chinese Fishing Nets" which were introduced by the Chinese traders in the 14th Century. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Some parts of this nearly 500-year-old Fort are still amazingly well preserved. In the evening witness Kathakali Dance Show, India's most spectacular Dance Drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers are elaborately dressed up with paint and masks, accompanied by drummers and musicians. We reach the theatre early to get a chance to see the dancers getting ready for the show and their faces being painted. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Day 3 Kochi – Munnar

  • 150 km

  • 3 hr

Munnar Tea Plantations

In the morning we leave for Munnar, the summer resort of the erstwhile British in South India. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.

 

In the afternoon we tour the hill station. Munnar offers a breathtaking view of the hills draped in folds of green carpet of tea gardens. Beyond the rolling hills discover the rich tropical forests abounding in exotic flora & fauna. It is here that you will find the Anamudi peak, the highest peak of Western Ghats, in Southern India. Munnar's serene atmosphere, silver streams and pleasant climate welcomes you to have a whiff of the cool mountain breeze.

 

We will visit the sprawling tea estates of Munnar- the right royal resort lazily nestled in the verdant slopes of tea country. 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. A promise of health with its soothing sunshine, salubrious climate and invigorating scent of the air from the tea gardens. We also visit a tea museum. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 4 Munnar – Periyar

  • 165 km

  • 4 hr

Elephant Herd at Periyar National Park

After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Periyar. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.

 

In the afternoon the boat ride on the lake is the usual way of touring the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat. We return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 5 Periyar – Alleppey (Houseboat)

  • 150 km

  • 3 hr

Houseboat, Alleppey

Drive to Alleppey in the morning to embark on the houseboat for an overnight backwater experience. This is a romantic way of seeing one of the most beautiful areas of Kerala. The boat cruise takes you to small islets & you get a glimpse of village life at its innocent best. Watch village girls picking mussels or laundering clothes or pots on the small ponds in front of their house, while men are busy plucking coconuts, dates from the trees. Watch the village folk make the golden fibre called coir from coconut husk and transform it into various coir products.

 

We stop over to drink calm fresh coconut water from the kernel. A ride on the smaller country boats takes you to the narrow canals of the backwaters. Meals are freshly cooked and served on the houseboat. The night is spent on board the houseboat.

Day 6 Alleppey – Kovalam

  • 175 km

  • 4 hr

Ayurvedic massage at Kovalam

Disembark from your private houseboat and drive to Kovalam for two nights stay at Kerala’s most famous beach. Kovalam is an excellent place to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea or perhaps enjoy an Ayurvedic massage and oil bath at the resorts Ayurvedic centre. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. You have the option to relax at the resort or you could pick up the SPA menu to book your Ayurvedic massage treatment. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Day 7 Kovalam

Photo Credit: Fabrice Florin Fishermen at Kovalam

Rest of the day is free to relax at the beach or you can explore the city on your own. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

 

One of the most popular beaches of Kerala, Kovalam is situated 20 km away from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. The serene surroundings of the Kovalam Beach and the light breeze at the sea shore gets you in high spirits as you splash into the sea waves admiring the truly delightful of ambiance of this beautiful seaside of Kerala.

Day 8 Kovalam – Thiruvananthapuram – Journey Home

Check out from the hotel after the breakfast and drive to Thiruvananthapuram International airport to board your onward flight to home.
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