Classic Kerala and the Maldives

Duration 12 days
Ideal time to visit October–April
Price guide
From
  PP
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Kerala is often referred to as God’s Own Country, and is one of India’s most tranquil destinations. This 12-day trip takes you from Fort Cochin to the lush backwaters and rolling tea plantations, and finally to the Maldives for five nights of island bliss, snorkelling through crystal clear waters, relaxing on white sand beaches and enjoying world-class cuisine at your luxury hotel.

Trip highlights

  • See Fort Cochin's Chinese fishing nets are sunset
  • Take a private city tour of Fort Cochin
  • Enjoy an elaborate Kathakali dance performance
  • Cycle through Munnar's tea plantations
  • Cruise through the backwaters of Kerala
  • Five nights in the Maldives

Our bespoke trips include

We design one-of-a-kind journeys incorporating luxury in all its forms. Our bespoke trips include:

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Privately guided tours
  • Private transfers
  • Meticulously selected experiences
  • Expertise and support from your Jacada Concierge
Black and white illustration of two guides pointing to a building in the distance
  • Days 1–3 Fort Cochin
  • Days 3–5 Munnar
  • Days 5–7 The Kerala Backwaters
  • Days 7–12 Maldives
Classic Kerala and the Maldives
Price guide
  PP
  • Days 1–3 Fort Cochin
  • Days 3–5 Munnar
  • Days 5–7 The Kerala Backwaters
  • Days 7–12 Maldives

Itinerary in detail

Every Jacada trip is tailored to your personal preferences and interests. Below you’ll find a sample itinerary to inspire your own custom-designed journey.

Days 1–3

Two nights in charming Fort Cochin

Fort Cochin is renowned for its rich history and cultural diversity. Portuguese, Dutch and British influences can be seen in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions.

Hop on a bike and explore this fascinating town, heading off down side streets and paths less trodden to get an insight into local life – don’t miss the remains of Fort Immanuel and St. Francis church, both built by the Portuguese, or the Dutch cemetery. The Chinese fishing nets that line the waterfront are one of Fort Cochin’s most enduring sights, and best admired at sunset against the backdrop of a fiery Indian sky.

Make it mine

walk

dance

cycle

Walking tour around Cochin’s Heritage Zone

Today, you’ll explore Cochin’s Heritage Zone, where the architecture reflects its diverse foreign rulers. Visit the Portuguese St. Francis Church, where Vasco da Gama was initially buried, and the Santa Cruz Cathedral with its stunning muralled ceiling.

Wander the narrow streets lined with Dutch and British buildings, visit the Dutch Palace and Mattancherry Synagogue, and see the Chinese fishing nets positioned along the shoreline of Fort Cochin.

You’ll also have time to explore the winding streets, antique shops, and spice bazaars for souvenirs.

Kathakali dance performance

Kathakali is a classical dance form popular in Kerala. Its name translates as ‘story play’ and the dances present themes derived from mythology and legend.

Kathakali is well known for its elaborate costumes and heavy make-up and if you arrive early you can see the performers getting ready.

Cycling tour around Fort Cochin and Mattancherry

Explore the areas of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry by bicycle, riding down side streets to get an insight into local life.

You’ll cycle past the Chinese fishing nets, dhobi ghats (open air laundries), temples, churches, mosques and the beach.

Continue past spice warehouses, the air rich with the smell of dried ginger, cardamom and pepper. This area is very diverse and home to a variety of communities, each with their own dress and language.

Days 3–5

Two nights in the green hills of Munnar

Next, you’ll head to Munnar, a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats, known for its expansive tea plantations. This area boasts cool mountain air and a refreshing climate. The landscape is a sea of green, dotted with winding paths through the estates, making it one of India’s most picturesque destinations.

Munnar, situated at the confluence of three rivers, is the heart of Kerala’s tea-growing region. You’ll try your hand at picking tea leaves and brewing your own cup. Besides cycling and exploring, it’s a perfect spot to relax, especially in the early mornings when a thin mist blankets the lower slopes.

Cycle through the plantations and make your own tea

A short drive takes you to the start of your cycle ride, where your guide will be waiting with bikes and gear. You’ll cycle  through rolling hills to Talayar Bungalow, a private tea estate in one of Munnar’s most beautiful areas. After touring the garden and picking tea leaves, you’ll visit the factory to make your own tea. Enjoy lunch in the garden overlooking the valley before cycling back, with the option to return by vehicle if you prefer.

 

 

Days 5–7

Two nights on the Kerala backwaters

With the Western Ghats towering to the east and the Arabian Sea flowing out from the west, Kerala is one of India’s most verdant and beautiful states. Spend two nights on the Kerala backwaters, navigate the emerald waterways on a houseboat, gliding along the network of lakes, rivers and canals and snaking through villages, enjoying the leisurely pace of life on the water.

The backwaters teem with aquatic life and provide an invaluable resource to all who line their banks, these waterways have helped create an impossibly lush pocket of India.

 

Houseboat cruise through Kerala's backwaters

A houseboat cruise is a great way to explore rural India and as you cruise the lakes, rivers and canals in a traditional Keralan houseboat, you’ll pass locals washing, fishing and bathing while enjoying the shade of the lush green surroundings. You’ll transfer to a smaller canoe to explore the very narrow canals.

Days 7–12

Relaxation in the Maldives

Spend five nights relaxing on the picture-perfect islands of the Maldives. While away the hours on the powder soft sand or take to the sparkling waters to discover the wealth of marine life beneath the surface.

Your luxury accommodation is the perfect place to simply switch off and enjoy fine dining and impeccable service, but as soon as you want to take it up a gear and explore, the Maldives are one of the world’s most beautiful destinations in which to do so.

 

“Kerala (India) and the Maldives - Superb Jacada service‌”

We had superb service from all Jacada's team members and local agents and guides. We were delighted with our trip and would recommend them to anyone who wants a memorable experience. For example, Kate, who has travelled extensively to our destinations, listened carefully, quickly understood our wishes and needs, and designed our trip to fit us. She rapidly adapted the…

Published 22nd December 2017 on Trustpilot
Renee & Paul

Why book with Jacada

Personalised design

We’ll plan your trip around your personal interests, tastes and preferences, providing honest advice based on first-hand knowledge.

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Authentic experiences

Our expert guides and brilliant Concierges are hand-picked for their ability to bring your destination to life with care and passion.

Positive Impact

We seek out unforgettable experiences that benefit both local communities and the environment.