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Hillsides lush with the emerald green of tea plantations stretch out before you, touching the blue horizon.

Guided Walking Holidays - Kerala & South India

Hillsides lush with the emerald green of tea plantations stretch out before you, touching the blue horizon. Women, brilliant in jewelcoloured saris, chat happily as they nimbly pluck the leaves, and flash you shy smiles as you wander past. The delicious scent of spices wafts past as they take their lunch, and colourful birds flit around in search of crumbs. Breathe in – you’re in Southern India.

This is a fertile, verdant landscape, watered by the monsoon rains; beautiful coastlines, lakes, inland waterways, green plains and undulating hills are there for you to discover. Nature’s colours seem more vivid in the south; the pace of life is mellow, and the cuisine rich in exotic fruits, vegetables and spices.

Our journey begins in India’s garden city of Bangalore before we travel to the beautiful hill country of the Wayanad, nestled among the Western Ghats. Here, our walks lead us through grasslands and valleys, forests and plantations. At Guruvayur, we’ll see Kerala’s most important shrine.

Taking a breather at Kumarakom, on the eastern shore of Lake Vembanad, we’ll cruise along Kerala’s famous backwaters and Lake Vemband itself, a timeless experience. We can also enjoy a peaceful sunrise walk. From both Munnar, at the centre of Kerala’s tea growing region, and the Raj-era hill station of Kodaikanal, perched on top of the Palani range, our walks in the surrounding hill country offer us unparalleled vistas as we explore tea plantations, shola forests, tranquil villages and waterfalls.

Madurai, one of the oldest cities in south Asia, has the elaborately sculptured Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which we visit before we fly to Chennai for one night and connect with our flight home.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the hill district of Wayanad, a beautiful region of Kerala.
  • Visit the Raj-era hill station of Kodaikanal with breathtaking views.
  • Walk from Munnar, taking in the highest tea plantations in the world.
  • Explore Lake Vembanad and its canals by boat and canoe.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Heathrow to Bangalore returning Chennai to Heathrow (British Airways)
      Airport transfers
      Half board en suite accommodation
      All entrance fees 
      Lunches on walking days 
      All local walking and sightseeing excursions  
      English speaking local guide
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 5/SS

  1. Day 1

    We depart the Uk on our flight to Bangalore.

  2. Day 2

    We arrive Bangalore and go immediately to a local restaurant for breakfast. After a chance to freshen up we continue to the charming city of Mysore. The journey is 185 km and might take 4hrs. After dropping our luggage in the hotel we will have time to enjoy a stroll around the town. We stay in Mysore for 1 night.

  3. Day 3

    After an early breakfast we drive up Chamundi hill 1062m to see the Chamundeshwari temple with a panoramic view of Mysore. We also visit the Maharaja’s palace in Mysore before driving on to Wayanad (160km, 4hrs). Wayanad is a green paradise, nestling among the mountains of the Western Ghats. It forms the border world of the greener part of Kerala. Located 76 km from the sea, this verdant hill station is full of plantations, forests and wildlife. On arrival we will check in at the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

  4. Day 4

    After an early breakfast, we will leave the hotel about 08.00 to drive 2hrs to the foot of Chembra Peak (2,100 m). Situated near the town of Meppady, it is the highest peak in Wayanad. It will take about three hours to reach the summit. We will walk about 6km climbing 400m to the peak. After descending back to the start, we drive back to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

  5. Day 5

    After breakfast we start with a morning’s village walk visiting local farms growing coffee, coconut, ginger and tapioca. We will be introduced to various medicinal plants. We will also have a chance to learn and practice the technique of climbing coconut trees. After a traditional Kerala lunch (included) you have some time to relax. Later in the afternoon we visit a bamboo handicraft making unit and have a chance to walk amongst paddy fields. We finish the day with a quick lesson in making some traditional Keralan snacks and enjoy a cup of local tea. We shall return to the hotel better educated than we left.

  6. Day 6

    After breakfast, we drive 150km to Guruvayur, the journey might take 4hrs. Guruvayur is one of the important pilgrimage centres of South India. On arrival we will visit Punnathoor Kotta - the palace grounds used now to house the elephants belonging to the Guruvayur temple. This facility is also used to train the elephants to serve Lord Krishna as well as to participate in many festivals that occur throughout the year. In the evening you may walk around the temple surroundings. Only Hindus are permitted inside the temple area.

  7. Day 7

    We have breakfast at the hotel and drive 150km to Kumarakom with an en route visit at Kochi. The drive takes about 3hrs. The city, formally named Cochin under colonial rule, is the capital of Kerala. It is formed of a cluster of islands located on the coast of the Arabian Sea and has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. The major attractions include St. Francis Church - the oldest European built church in India,  Chinese fishing nets, introduced by Chinese traders and unique to this part of Kerala and living symbols of a centuries-old Chinese influence on this coast, the Dutch Palace - which was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and renovated by the Dutch in 1663 and the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of Mattancherry which is locally called 'Jew Town'. In the afternoon we continue about 2hrs drive to Kumarakom. On arrival we check in at the hotel with the rest of the day at leisure.

  8. Day 8

    Today we enjoy a motorboat cruise in the backwaters. The motorboat takes you through scenic canals to see the village life around the backwater areas. We can also visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which is home to many migratory birds like the Siberian stork, darter, egret, teal and heron. Many of these birds come here from the Himalayas and Siberia. We will have an afternoon at leisure.

  9. Day 9

    Today we experience the peaceful village life of Kumarakom. We begin in a country boat from Aattamangalam Church. Two locals will row us through Kannadi Chal, a picturesque canal. We will stop on the way to enjoy a visit to Kandan Kavu to enjoy the biodiversity of the area. We have a chance to learn local skills like broomstick making using coconut leaves, screw pine weaving, bow and arrow fishing, net fishing and weaving coconut leaves. We return to the hotel by boat and enjoy some free time.

  10. Day 10

    After breakfast at the resort we drive 150km to Munnar. This will take around 4hrs. Munnar is a beautiful hill station on the Western Ghats at about 1600m above sea level. There are lakes, reservoirs, forests and several tea estates here. The Tata Tea (Indian biggest selling brand) estate and factory is in Munnar. We also visit a wildlife sanctuary in the Rajamala area. Look out for Nilgiri Thar, a very rare breed of mountain goat. After check in at the hotel we are at leisure for the rest of the day.

  11. Day 11

    After an early breakfast, we will be picked up to go for a trek in the Lakshmi Hills. We plan to reach our starting point by 0815 hrs. After a short briefing we will start trekking through tea gardens, shola forests, hills & valleys etc. Packed refreshments & bottled water will be provided en-route. Our local guide will explain what we are seeing on the way. We plan to reach the end of trek just after midday and drive back to the resort. We will walk about 13km with 500m of ascent. On returning to the hotel we have the option to visit the local Tea Museum.

  12. Day 12

    This morning we  drive about 2hrs from Munnar to Yellapatty to walk through the local hills.  We start from Yellapatty with our local guide and trek through the tea gardens and shola forests (rain forest) which will lead you to a cliff (2245 m) overlooking the deep valleys, beautiful mountains and peaks around.  From here you can see the world’s highest tea plantation, Kolukkumalai (2170m) and Meesapulimalai (2640m), the 2nd highest peak in south India.  It is a long trek today; we plan to cover 10km and climb 300m at a slow pace. The trek might take about 6 hrs.

  13. Day 13

    After breakfast at the hotel we drive 170km to Kodaikanal leaving the state of Kerala. The drive will take 7hrs including stops. Kodaikanal is set in an area of granite cliffs, forested valleys, lakes, waterfalls and grassy hills. At 2,000m above sea level, the town is centred around the man-made, star shaped Kodaikanal Lake, bordered by evergreen forest. On arrival we check in at the hotel with the rest of the day at leisure. 

  14. Day 14

    After breakfast we drive to Perumalmalai for a trek to Perumal Peak. Located at an altitude of 2,440m, Perumal Peak is the highest of Perumalai Hills, 18 km from Kodaikanal. It offers captivating views of the surrounding Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Hills. The trek begins at the foot of the peak near Perumalmalai village. The walk is about 7 km one way and takes about 5 hours. We climb 280m to reach the peak.

  15. Day 15

    We have breakfast at the hotel and drive 2hrs to Kavunji. From here our trekking route passes through a Sheep Research Centre and then winds uphill to the top of Kukkal hill. The terrain includes grassland and shola forest, with stretches of swampy ground. Above Kookal you can see the caves formally inhabited by ancient tribes. The trekking duration is about 4 hrs and covers 12km over the ground. We climb about 650m from the start of the trek to the summit. Later we drive back to the hotel with the rest of the day at leisure.

  16. Day 16

    After an early breakfast at the resort we drive 3hrs to Madurai. Over 2500 years old, Madurai is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu. It is an important cultural and commercial centre. It was once the seat of Tamil learning and still the place where the Tamil language is spoken in its purest form. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus. We have an orientation tour including the Sree Meenakshi temple. Mid-afternoon we transfer to Madurai Airport to catch our flight to Chennai. On arrival in Chennai we will be met by our local guide to transfer to the hotel in the city.  Dinner tonight is at the hotel.

  17. Day 17

    We have an early departure from the hotel for our flight from Chennai for London Heathrow, arriving into London on the same day.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Bangalore returning Chennai to Heathrow (British Airways)
  • Arrival transfer by road c.50mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights; Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • Visa is required

Trip Map

See where this holiday travels to.

The map will be available soon...

Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hotel Abad Copper Castle

Another example of the type of property we stay in on this holiday is the Abad Copper Castle in the hill top resort of Munnar, which was once a summer retreat during Raj-era times. The hotel is situated approx. 1600m above sea level, admits sprawling tea plantations with picturesque mountains, valleys and stream views. You will find a restaurant on site, a spa with steam room and extensive lush gardens. All rooms are en suite with wifi, balcony, TV and minibar.


Hotel Whispering Palms

We expect to stay at the Whispering Palms resort, set beautifully on the shores of Lake Vebanadu and the heart of the Kerala backwaters. This luxurious resort really is a place to switch off and relax. Delicious Keralan and European cuisine is served in the restaurant and every morning a good buffet breakfast is available. Enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool with views out over the lake and the setting sun. We stay in chalets with landscaped gardens or private terraces, that include air conditioning, en-suite facilities, tea and coffee making facilities, a daily newspaper(on request), desk, hair dryer(on request), internet access and TV. Ayurveda is an Indian tradition, and the hotel embraces the culture with its Ayurveda centre, offering massages and reflexology (may be chargeable). Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout.

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