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Escorted Tours

Kerala Explorer


Route:
  • London
  • Kochi (Cochin)
  • Allepy
  • Thrissur
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Trivandrum
  • London
Tour Pace:

12 DAYS from £1149pp

Tour Highlights
  • Allepy backwaters cruise
  • City tour of Kochi and Trivandrum
  • Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary
  • Traditional tea plantations in Munnar
  • Hindu temples
  • Periyar Forest wildlife reserve
  • Two 45 minute Ayurvedic massages
  • City tour of Trivandrum

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Kerala Explorer

Save £300 per couple

Characterised by winding emerald rivers, exotic wildlife, spice plantations and lush landscapes, the south Indian state of Kerala exudes tranquillity and beauty.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Kochi (Cochin)

Depart London on your overnight flight to Kerala, via Mumbai.

2
Kochi

On arrival at Kochi International airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel where you will check in and have dinner. The rest of your evening is at leisure.

  • Dinner
3
Kochi

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 Kochi, 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 Kochi for the evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Kochi to Alleppey

Today you will 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Alleppey to Thrissur

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. Visit historical buildings such as the Vadkumnathan and Paramekavu Devi Temples before exploring the Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, where you can watch these magnificent creatures feed and bathe. Continue to your hotel in Thrissur where you will spend the next two nights.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Thrissur

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Thrissur to Munnar

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Munnar

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).

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Munnar to Thekkady

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Thekkady to Trivandrum

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. From here you will then travel on to Trivandrum, en route enjoy the scenic beauty of Kerala's various villages before arriving at your hotel for your overnight stay.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Trivandrum

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Trivandrum to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. 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 cost of the visa is approximately £114 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30-day single entry stay from the date of arrival. 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.

Insurance

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.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp 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.

Flight Information

All flights are operated by Air India Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 8kg not exceeding 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm in size.

Health and Vaccinations

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.

Physical Accessibility

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.

Group Size

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.

Tour Guide

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.

Currency Information

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.

Personal Expenses

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!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPriceBook Now
2018 Dates
18 Oct 201829 Oct 2018£1499SOLD OUT
25 Oct 201805 Nov 2018£1449SOLD OUT
08 Nov 201819 Nov 2018£1429SOLD OUT
15 Nov 201826 Nov 2018£1469SOLD OUT
22 Nov 201803 Dec 2018£1479pp
£1329pp
SOLD OUT
06 Dec 201817 Dec 2018£1579pp
£1429pp
Save £150 - Quote TOUR150Please call to book
0800 781 4893
2019 Dates
03 Jan 201914 Jan 2019£1549Book Now
10 Jan 201921 Jan 2019£1519Book Now
17 Jan 201928 Jan 2019£1499Book Now
24 Jan 201904 Feb 2019£1549Book Now
31 Jan 201911 Feb 2019£1529Book Now
07 Feb 201918 Feb 2019£1519Book Now
14 Feb 201925 Feb 2019£1479Book Now
21 Feb 201904 Mar 2019£1459SOLD OUT
28 Feb 201911 Mar 2019£1499Book Now
07 Mar 201918 Mar 2019£1529Book Now
14 Mar 201925 Mar 2019£1559Book Now
21 Mar 201901 Apr 2019£1569Book Now
28 Mar 201908 Apr 2019£1559Book Now
04 Apr 201915 Apr 2019£1529Book Now
02 May 201913 May 2019£1329Book Now
16 May 201927 May 2019£1149Book Now
03 Oct 201914 Oct 2019£1439Book Now
10 Oct 201921 Oct 2019£1479Book Now
17 Oct 201928 Oct 2019£1499Book Now
07 Nov 201918 Nov 2019£1449Book Now
14 Nov 201925 Nov 2019£1479Book Now
21 Nov 201902 Dec 2019£1479Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Alcoholic drinks

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.

06/12/18 departure:

Please note that for this departure date, in Thekaddy you will be staying at Abad Green Forest due to a conference taking place at the original hotel. Please refer to your final ticketing documentation for further details.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Indian Rupee

Average Flying time

12 - 17 hours

Min/Max temperature

27 °C / 29 °C

Spoken languages

Malayalam, English

When to go

Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Kerala

What to pack
  • Sunscreen and hat in summer
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Warm clothing and thermals in winter
  • Camera and charger
  • An electric plug converter
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
Customer Rating:
10/10
Geoffrey Crocker
23rd May 2018

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.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Karen Bell
18th May 2018

All the hotels were clean and staff very helpful

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Nigel Hammersley
22nd Jan 2018

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.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Christine Green
21st Dec 2017

I liked all the hotels used

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
/10
Pravin Tailor
10th Dec 2017

most hotels were 4 star and provide
excellent service for the guests
1 or 2 hotels had no hot water don't know which
ones.

Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Ian Davidson
3rd Nov 2017

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

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Hilary Fagan
20th Oct 2017

All hotels were very good especially Isola de cocco

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Julie Faldo
4th Mar 2017

Had the best time ever. Loved every bit of it. Staff exceptional.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Jackie Templeman
4th Mar 2017

hotels were all great

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Keith Douglass
14th Dec 2016

The tour was very good and the guide and driver were excellent.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Nita Sproston
21st Oct 2016

All the hotels on the tour were very good. Our driver was very good and our guide was also good

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Jill Brown
18th Oct 2016

We enjoyed all of the trip, especially enjoyed the houseboat.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Carolyn Dale
29th Mar 2016

The staff at all the hotels were very friendly and well looked after. The rooms were clean & spacious

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Julie Henson
8th Mar 2016

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.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Michael Jocelyn
12th Feb 2016

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.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Christine Pretty
11th Dec 2015

Very good standard. Rooms clean, no problems.
We appreciated having tea-making facilities.
Good range of local food in all hotels.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Gailyn Groves
10th Nov 2015

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.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Janet Karamath
27th Feb 2015

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

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Tour Map
Kerala Explorer Route Map
Tour Dossiers
Extensions
  • Kerala
    Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay

    3 nights from £249pp

    View
  • India
    Ayurvedic Treatment

    3 nights from £259pp

    View
  • India
    Indian Cookery Class

    3 nights from £469pp

    View
Here to help

Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay
Tour Route
  • London
  • Kochi (Cochin)
  • Allepy
  • Thrissur
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Trivandrum
  • Beach Stay
  • London

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.

3 nights
from £249pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Ayurvedic Treatment
Tour Route
  • London
  • Kochi (Cochin)
  • Allepy
  • Thrissur
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Trivandrum
  • Ayurvedic Resort
  • London

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.

3 nights
from £259pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Indian Cookery Class
Tour Route
  • London
  • Kochi (Cochin)
  • Allepy
  • Thrissur
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Trivandrum
  • Kovalam
  • London

Extend your stay with this 3 night cookery package with Dr. Lekshmi Nair, one of the most popular celebrity chefs in Kerala. Whether you're an expert in the kitchen or a complete beginner, this course is designed to give you the skills and confidence to create great tasting, authentic dishes time and time again. Over 3 days you'll enjoy unlocking the secrets to combining spices, learn about typical South Indian Cuisine, perfect essential cooking techniques with the opportunity to make your own delicious dishes.

This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.

3 nights
from £469pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension

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