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Characterised by winding emerald rivers, exotic wildlife, spice plantations and lush landscapes, the south Indian state of Kerala exudes tranquillity and beauty. Explore the region on this tour discovering the most captivating areas including an overnight boat cruise on the rural backwaters, tea plantations in Munnar and wildlife spotting in Periyar National Park.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Cochin, via Dubai.
On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure before dinner
Start your day with a 45 minute Ayuervedic massage and breakfast at your hotel. This afternoon enjoy a traditional lunch of Sadhya, a delicacy in Kerala served on a banana leaf, before you begin your tour of Cochin, the historic centre of India's spice trade. See the ancient Chinese influence in the impressive fishing nets, still used daily by locals, and take a ride through the village road in a tuk-tuk. You will also see the Mattanchery Dutch Palace and the oldest European church in India, St. Francis before returning to your hotel in Cochin for the evening.
After breakfast disembark and journey to the Athirapally Waterfalls which, falling from a height of 80 feet, are one of the highest in the state. Then head on to Thrissur with its strong cultural, religious and spiritual background and visit historical buildings such as the Vadkumnathan and Paramekkavu Devi Temples. Continue to your hotel in Thrissur where you will spend the next two nights.
Following breakfast, today will be your chance to gain insight into the local culture with 'A Day with the Masters', an introduction to the world of Kerala's traditional performing arts. Learn about traditional Sanskrit theatre, percussion music and the training of each art form, as well as the life of an artist. Retire to your hotel in the evening for dinner and your overnight stay.
The tour will depart Thrissur in the morning and travel to Munnar, known for its expanse of tea plantations, rolling valleys and mountains. Stopping en route for lunch, the rest of the day will be free time where you may choose to hire a bicycle and ride through Munnar's beautiful paths, or simply relax with a good book at your hotel.
Today you will have a tour of Munnar, a nature lover's paradise. Visit Mattupetty Lake, Echo Point, Gundala Lake and Jungle Honey Bee Nest, where over 20 nests occupy a single tree. You will then continue to a tea plantation and Rajamalai National Park, famous for its largest surviving population of Nilgiri Tahr (wild goat). Please note: Rajamala National Park will closed during the breeding period of Nilgiri Thars.
The tour will then journey to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market awaits you.
A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you will have the chance to spot some elephants, or one of the park's 25 Bengal tigers amongst other birds, reptiles and mammals. Board a traditional houseboat which will be your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding Kerala villages and waters. Meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals is truly an amazing experience like no other.
Following breakfast travel to Trivandrum with stop at the Jatayupara Earth Centre. A rock them park with the worlds largest bird sculpture. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to Trivandrum. Enjoy the evening at leisure.
Depart in the morning for a half day city tour. Witness the magnificent Kanakakunnu Palace, one of the last architectural relics of the colonial era, then see the famous Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple, one of the principle places of worship of the deity of Vaishnavism. You will then return to your hotel to enjoy another Ayurvedic massage before your farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, via Dubai, or continue on to your chosen extension.
A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain a tourist visa. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 120 days before your proposed travel date. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa. Alternatively you can visit The Indian Visa Application Centre in London: 142-148 Goswell Road, London, EC1B 7DU. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months before you enter India. Visa requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy prior to departure for the most up to date guidelines regarding visas and passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of €300pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Flights are operated with Emirates, departing London Heathrow via Dubai. Each passenger is entitled to 30KG of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding (Max 10kg - 55cm/38cm/ 20cm) in size. Weight restrictions will be finalized on your final documentation.
IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check - in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip.
The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. There are restrictions on taking Indian rupees into India. Visitors, including tourists, are not permitted to take any amount of Indian currency into the country. You can take cash or travellers' cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) and/or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|04 May 2023||15 May 2023||€1567.00|
|11 May 2023||22 May 2023||€1746.00|
|18 May 2023||29 May 2023||€1858.00|
|05 Oct 2023||16 Oct 2023||€1959.00|
|12 Oct 2023||23 Oct 2023||€1903.00|
|19 Oct 2023||30 Oct 2023||€2351.00|
|09 Nov 2023||27 Nov 2023||€1903.00|
|16 Nov 2023||27 Nov 2023||€2015.00|
|23 Nov 2023||04 Dec 2023||€1903.00|
|30 Nov 2023||11 Dec 2023||€1903.00|
|11 Jan 2024||22 Jan 2024||€2127.00|
|18 Jan 2024||29 Jan 2024||€2015.00|
|25 Jan 2024||05 Feb 2024||€2183.00|
|01 Feb 2024||12 Feb 2024||€2127.00|
|15 Feb 2024||26 Feb 2024||€2127.00|
|29 Feb 2024||11 Mar 2024||€2015.00|
|14 Mar 2024||25 Mar 2024||€2015.00|
|28 Mar 2024||08 Apr 2024||€2183.00|
|18 Apr 2024||29 Apr 2024||€1959.00|
|02 May 2024||13 May 2024||€1567.00|
|09 May 2024||20 May 2024||€1679.00|
|16 May 2024||27 May 2024||€1679.00|
|03 Oct 2024||14 Oct 2024||€1847.00|
|10 Oct 2024||21 Oct 2024||€1959.00|
|17 Oct 2024||28 Oct 2024||€1959.00|
|07 Nov 2024||18 Nov 2024||€1959.00|
|14 Nov 2024||25 Nov 2024||€1959.00|
|21 Nov 2024||02 Dec 2024||€1959.00|
|28 Nov 2024||09 Dec 2024||€1959.00|
Please note that Kerala has strict laws regarding the governance of the sale of alcohol in public places including hotels and restaurants. The sale and consumption of alcohol is therefore often restricted in hotels, varying from one establishment to another. However, you may bring your own alcohol with you for private consumption in your room.
12 - 17 hours
27 °C / 29 °C
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
All very good. Taj Green cove excellent
All the hotels we stayed at were of a very good standard.
All of the Hotels were of a high standard but very different. The highlights were the hotels in Munnar and the Beach extension which were both fantastic. The staff at all of the hotels were excellent and we could not have asked for anything more. Food in the hotels was also very good however it would be nice to have the option to upgrade the buffet evening meal for one of the al a carte restaurants where the hotel had one.
Good quality and location of most of the hotels. My least favourite was the Casino Hotel at Cochin due to its location. I am glad most had swimming pools where you could cool off at the end of the day.
Varied but all acceptable.
Houseboat stay was special.
All hotels were excellent and some above and beyond expectations such as the Alleppey boat tour and the Uber suites. The staff at all hotels were excellent and attended to all needs very well.
all of good standard
The hotels were surprisingly good. More like old, colonial India. Each one had its own character and the rooms were well-maintained and large. Even the houseboat accommodation was incredible.
The food was buffet-style and varied. Spicy for the adventurous and European with salad for the more cautious. The hotels have obviously been tried and tested many times because nobody had a problem with Dehli Belly! Stick to the advice given - drink only water from sealed bottles and eat only in those places recommended by your guide.
All good hotels
Great choice of hotels - just like colonial country retreats with good service and good, safe food.
Mohammed our guide was excellent went over and above. The tour was really interesting particularly the tea plantation.
All the hotel rooms were comfortable . some even had a swimming pool.
All hotels were fantastic. Quality of the food really good, rooms clean and staff polite and friendly. All in great locations.
As our flights were changed at the last minute our first hotel was a stop gap, it was basic and thankfully we only stayed for a few hours.
All the hotels were of a good standard so offering a few extras like The Casino who had live music in the evening.
We opted for a beach extension and stayed at The Taj, impressive and luxuriant with service second to none.
Nice hotels along the way and the vivanta at the end was amazing
We were very happy with the hotels we stayed in. All were clean and comfortable with very good food. We had a fabulous holiday and would recommend Mercury as everything was well planned and generous. Our tour guide was amazing, the best we have ever encountered. His English was excellent and he had answers for all our questions. He has a wonderful sense of humour and looked after each person's needs with kindness, tact and thoughtfulness. He went the extra mile to ensure we were happy. Our Driver and Baggage Boy were also charming, always smiling and welcoming and very hard working. The Team of Three really made the holiday extra special!
Hotels were all very good standard. The Rep Mohammed was very knowledgeable and helped with certain members of the group when needed.
Although the coach driver was excellent and road travel in India is definitely something to try, we felt too much time was spent on the coach, appreciate the distance that needs covering, maybe more breaks?
The guide was friendly and took care of us.
Thank you a good experience
All hotels were good, with good food. Our tour guide Mohamed was excellent. very informative and went beyond his call of duty in respect of the other members of our party,
Excellent service, could not ask for more, everything provided. Friendly helpful staff
All hotels stayed at were excellent.
Le Meridien beautiful hotel in fabulous grounds. Houseboat was a relaxing experience. River Retreat very different kind of hotel, beautiful gardens. Tea County was a real adventure to stay in. Uday suites like staying in a tropical garden. Our guide Muhammad went over and above what was expected. He made sure we were comfortable in all situations. He was the most amazing guide I have experienced, knowledgeable, a sense of humour, very caring, helpful, nothing too much trouble for him. His team in Kerala is an asset to Mercury Holidays.
All hotels which were used throughout this tour were excellent with good facilities, good food and good locations with easy access to sightseeing. The group who shared our tour gelled very quickly which enhanced our enjoyment. However I understand that one person was not happy and constantly complained, in my opinion everything was provided for this person but they still found fault! The tour guide Mohammed is one of the best guides I have been with on Mercury Tours - he was friendly, professional, knowledgeable and went the extra mile to ensure that our holiday was enjoyable - he is an asset to your Kerala Tour programme.
Hotels generally of a good standard, clean and comfortable. Staff wonderful in every hotel.
The Taj Green Cove was exceptional in all respects and far exceeded expectations on all levels.
As stated the service provided by Jayresee was excellent - very comfortable air-conditioned transport, driver dealt with exceptional road conditions which were still being repaired following flooding.
Tour reps were extremely good and always ensured the whole party were comfortable and wanted for nothing. A credit to the company.
All hotels were good value for money
All accommodation was of a high standard. Roomy bedrooms, king size beds, hot water, everything a traveller could require.
Good standard in all hotels. Clean and staff were attentive, food good. Could have done with more Air conditioning to sit in rather than just our room. The restaurants were very hot.
All the hotels were clean and staff very helpful
I will not fly with Jet Airways again. I would be willing to pay the extra and fly with a "better" airline in future.
Please Mercury Holidays, remove the Elephant Sanctuary visit from the itinerary. The conditions that the animals are kept in is a disgrace and the elephants were showing serious signs of distress. A number of our group left the visit early as we were so disgusted at the conditions.
I liked all the hotels used
most hotels were 4 star and provide
excellent service for the guests
1 or 2 hotels had no hot water don't know which
All the hotels were good, clean comfortable with friendly staff and good food.I feel they they represented excellent value for money. The tour extension hotel (Vivanta by Taj at Green Cove) was outstanding in all respects
All hotels were very good especially Isola de cocco
Had the best time ever. Loved every bit of it. Staff exceptional.
hotels were all great
The tour was very good and the guide and driver were excellent.
All the hotels on the tour were very good. Our driver was very good and our guide was also good
We enjoyed all of the trip, especially enjoyed the houseboat.
The staff at all the hotels were very friendly and well looked after. The rooms were clean & spacious
All the hotels were excellent.
The Aranya Nivas Hotel in the Periyar
Wildlife Sanctuary did not have air conditioning so we were very hot but every other hotel had a/c so we were fine.
We felt a little isolated at the Cochin hotel as we could not walk out to anywhere useful.
We loved Fort Cochin which had loads of restaurants and interest .. a better place to have been placed.
All were excellent, perhaps a couple could have had better shower facilities in the rooms (no hot water) but all very comfortable and staff were excellent.
Very good standard. Rooms clean, no problems.
We appreciated having tea-making facilities.
Good range of local food in all hotels.
Quality of hotels was excellent with usual issues of plumbing and electricity.
The pace of the tour was just right. I was never over tired.
The guide Raj was more than excellent, he went over and above anything that could be expected.
All hotels were of high standard. No problems.
Beach stay hotel was the best --- Isola de cocco the high standard of this hotel is not evident in its reviews... a great shame
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With incredible beaches of powdery white sand and an azure sea which is crystal clear and warm, an extension to Dubai and the Emirates is the perfect place to relax and soak in the Arabian sun. Famed for its luxury shopping and ultra modern architecture, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for you to experience. Choose a hotel from our handpicked options or speak to our reservations team about our entire range of hotels available.
Extend your tour with a relaxing beach stay in the Indian State of Kerala. Relax in the popular resort of Kovalam, known locally as the paradise of the south, amongst the coconut groves for which the town is famous.
With a personalised consultation and treatment schedule, experience the widely recognised benefits of Ayurveda, the oldest and most complete healing system in the world.
This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.