Upon arrival at Cochin International airport, met by our representative and get transferred to your hotel. Cochin (Kochi) is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural safe port which became the principal harbour for Malabar coast’s spice trade. Cochin was on the main trade route between Europe and China. The rulers invited people of various religions to settle here, attracting the Jews and the Christians who built places of worship and their own communities. Overnight Stay.
Today enjoy the city tour, which includes the visit to the following: St. Francis Church: It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out. Jewish Synagogue: The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry. IMP: Synagogue remains closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Timings for the visit: 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs and from 1500 hrs to 1700 hrs. Dutch Palace: The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi was held here. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry. IMP: It remains closed on Fridays. Timings for the visit: 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Chinese Fishing Nets: The Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets. In the evening enthrall yourself with a special presentation of the colorfully costumed Kathakali Dance Drama in a local theatre. Kathakali is a traditional dance form of Kerala and the impressive facial expressions, hand gestures and dance moves will leave one spellbound. Overnight Stay.
After breakfast drive to Munnar. On arrival in Munnar check in at hotel. Munnar is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Kerala. Nature blossoms and thrives in full form in Munnar. Munnar is located at the converging point of three mountain tributaries namely, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Nestled between beautiful hills and lush green valleys is the scenic locale of Munnar. Overnight Stay.
After breakfast, enjoy Tea Plantation Trails with Tea Factory visit & Tea tasting – Walk through the tea plants. Try your hand in tea plucking. Walk up to the tea pluckers and start a conversation. Watch how their scissors move in surgical precision. Look at the world from their perspective. Dissolve into the serenity that surrounds you. Munnar is home to some of the best and renowned tea factories. Go for a tea factory visit and discover how the fresh green tea leaves transform into a zesty brew in your cup. Breath in the invigorating aroma of tea. Fill your bags with fresh tea bought from the source. Be a part of the renowned tea tasting sessions. Try your hand in tea tasting. Take a cup and slurp the liqueur into your mouth. Witness how the taste receptors in your tongue react to the tea. Overnight Stay.
After breakfast, check out from hotel and drive towards Alleppey. Enroute visit the plantation bungalow at Kanjirapally and enjoy delicious Fish Curry Lunch. Later drive towards Alleppey. On arrival embark on the houseboat - Kettuvallam. The houseboats are huge, slow moving, exotic barge used for leisure trips - are the reworked Kettuvallam of olden times. The original Kettuvallam were used to carry tons of rice and spices - a standard kettuvallam can hold up to 30 tons - from Kuttanad to the Kochi port. All meals are included. Overnight Stay.
Disembark houseboat and visit Lion Ladies Club of Alleppey, The Preserve Alleppey Project was started by the Lion Ladies Club of Alleppey in 2000. The realization that there was an urgent need to preserve the character of the town was the motivating factor. It starts with a presentation of the history and unique features of the town and ends at the Society's gallery. It is partly driving and walking through the Gujarati quarter, the canal banks and an old wholesale market with a guide. Later drive to Kumarakom village. The tourist village of Kumarakom lies in the scenic backwater area, on the shore of the pleasant Vembanad lake. Later check in at your hotel. Enjoy a general head or foot massage by the trained therapist Optional activities: Canoeing /Shikara: Your journey begins in a country boat. Proceed over a lake flanked by greens, to the manjira village. Sunset Cruise: There are activities aplenty here at Kumarakom Lake Resort, especially on the lake! , Sunset Cruise in vembanad lake Overnight Stay.
Morning enjoy Yoga session at resort lawn. After breakfast, free time to enjoy the swimming pool and attend lecture on Ayurveda massage. Ayurveda, the wisdom of the sages, the treasure of the ages, finds new meaning and relevance as modernity constantly threatens to crumble the glories of the past. Advocating a way of life that is in complete harmony with nature's ways. Seeking to maintain the perfect balance of body, mind and soul. Approaching each ailment, and each person individually and independently. Reaching deep within. Healing the very being. Optional activities: Enjoy bird watching at Kumarakom bird Sanctuary: it is situated at Kumarakom on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Set in the Kerala Backwaters, the bird sanctuary is a favourite haunt of migratory birds. Village experience: The village is well acclaimed for its backwaters, delicious cuisines and greenery. This tourist destination, over the years, is one of the most-visited in Kerala. Our journey will begin at Kavanatinkara after a briefing session. You will be accompanied by a guide who will familiarize you to the picturesque landscapes and the lush green surroundings of Kumarakom. Toddy Tapping: Proceed across paddy fields to reach the next stopover-a coconut grove. Taste the famed Kerala beverages, toddy, and fresh out of the pot. Watch toddy being nearby, and learn about unique plants and spices. Net Fishing: A skilled fisherman of village, will teach you some tried-and-true fishing tips. Watch in awe as he casts a net and catches a few with ease. Dinner will be served at the hotel. Overnight Stay.
Morning attend Yoga session. Later enjoy breakfast and check out from hotel and drive to Cochin airport and board the flight to Colombo. Upon arrival in Colombo, you will be met and escorted to your hotel in Kalutara. Kalutara, is one of the most scenic places to visit in Sri Lanka if you’re looking for a coastal retreat. It is a popular tourist destination and this sea-side setting has an intriguing history and a lot to offer. On arrival check in to the hotel. In Kalutara your time is your own, to spend in any way you please. Laze by the pool and re-energize later with a beach game. If you’ve got cravings to explore, hop in a kayak to see local river life, shop for handicraft souvenirs or visit a country estate for an elegant day out. Pampering can be a relaxing or invigorating escape at the spa where guests can take time out alone or book a romantic couple’s experience, and let expert therapists work their magic. Overnight Stay.
After breakfast, excursion to Galle. Places to visit: Galle Fort: Galle Fort was established by the Portuguese in the C15th, and was completed by the Dutch 100 years later. The British came in the C18th, and in 1988 it was designated a World Heritage Site. Galle Light house: The Galle Lighthouse, or Pointe de Galle Light as it was also known, was the very first light station to be built in Sri Lanka. Dating back to 1848; the lighthouse was built by the British to ensure the safe arrival of their ships at the Galle harbour. Optional activities: Turtle Hatchery: The "Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery" is a non - profitable organization which is maintained for the survival of Sea Turtles for the next generation. The "Turtle Farm" is situated in Habaraduwa (southern part of Sri Lanka - Galle District) near to the beautiful beach. Whale Watching: Between December and April, take a boat trip to see these amazing creatures just an hour or so off the southern coast. Whilst out spotting Blue Whales or Sperm Whales, you may well see Spinner Dolphins and Bottle Nosed Dolphins. A truly enthralling experience. Overnight Stay.
After breakfast, day is free to exlpore: Tea Trail: Visit nearby Handunugoda Tea Estate, to discover what goes in to making your favourite cuppa! Tour the factory, have a sample tasting and even see their speciality White Tea! Temples: There are literally hundreds of Buddhist temples in the area, the most interesting being Yatagala and Kataluwa. Well worth a visit, especially on Poya (full moon day) Overnight Stay.
After breakfast, drive towards Colombo. On arrival check in at hotel and day is free for leisure. Optional activity: Rejuvenating Treatments: Ayurveda therapies have been conceived with real people in mind and are designed specifically to rejuvenate. The collection of signature massages, scrubs and wraps, which blend Asian techniques with a hint of Ayurveda, or opt for a shiatsu session, a cleansing facial or a herbal compress. Overnight Stay.
DAY 12 : END OF ITINERARY
After breakfast, check out from hotel and assisted departure transfer to Colombo airport to connect flight for onward journey.