South Indian Coastal Adventure – A Relaxed Journey from Mumbai to Kerala

South Indian Coastal Adventure – A Relaxed Journey from Mumbai to Kerala 2017-08-01T15:57:52+00:00

Like a giant wedge plunging into the ocean, South India is the subcontinent’s steamy heartland – a lush contrast to the peaks and plains up North.

Starting in Mumbai the gateway to our South Indian adventure, you will find a kaleidoscopic potpourri of colour and chaos, a high-spirited melange of mayhem and masala. This trip is sure to be one to enliven the senses, be it Mumbai’s gastronomic feats, Goa’s sun-drenched sands, Thekaddys national park or Kerala’s lazy backwaters, the South Indian see-saw of shock and awe never lets you forget. Jump in, join us, as we discover more of India! 

Tour Highlights:

  • Discover the thriving metropolis of Mumbai – 2 nights

  • Goan Beach Retreat – 3 days of yoga, massages and cocktails on the beach

  • Houseboat adventure on the Backwaters of Alleppey – cruise along and go with the flow

  • Periyar National Park at Thekkady – see wild elephants and tigers, experience tropical nature

  • Stay with family for two nights on an island and see their culture and traditions in action. Home stays are often the highlight of any cultural experience. 

  • Old city of Cochin, walk the cobblestone streets of jew town and experience the famous spice markets. 

Tour Organiser & Local Leader

20160103_100123

Tammie Day  is the founder of Vibrant Women, a retreat and travel company. Tammie spends her days creating inspirational journeys so you can travel in the security of a small group, whilst enjoying another culture. We like to base our trips around the three F’s, yes! Fun, Food and Friendship 🙂 Tammie’s role is to ensure you feel well taken care of throughout your trip. 

Vikas Kumar is a local guide who comes from Naddi – a small, picturesque village above Dharamsala. He is passionate about the area and the Himalayas and has worked as a trekking guide since leaving school. In that time he has introduced many international visitors to the wonders of the India and the Himalayas. Vikas now leads women’s and mixed groups around the Kerala area as well to other parts of India and beyond.

Accommodation

Accommodation on this trip is varied and exciting, from contemporary style rooms at the Fort Residency in Mumbai, to a tranquil beach oasis filled with palms in Goa, to a houseboat in Appelley and Homestay on an island. We have an overnight train journey and a stay in national park. Each place has been chosen specifically for your comfort and with location in mind. 

Itinerary

Tour Route:
Option 1 – Mumbai-Goa-Kochi-Thekkady-Alleppey-Kochi

14 days, 13 nights

Option 2 – Kochi-Thekkady-Alleppey-Kochi

8 days, 7 nights

DAY 1 – Option 1 Starts Here

Welcome to Mumbai! (or feel free to come a day early and settle in). Your local guide will meet you at the airport today and transfer you to your hotel. 

You May also like to join us beforehand  for our New Years Essence of Sri Lanka Trip! This is one you can bring your male friends and loved ones on to celebrate New years and you can choose to join us in India. If you do your two nights accommodation between trips will be included. Flights from Colombo to Mumbai are approx. $300AUD and take 2.5 hours. Please let us know if you require additional nights accommodation at the beginning or end of the trip we can arrange this for you. 

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is big. It’s full of dreamers and hard-labourers, starlets and gangsters, stray dogs and exotic birds, artists and servants, fisherfolk and crorepatis (millionaires), and lots and lots of people. It has India’s most prolific film industry, some of Asia’s biggest slums (as well as the world’s most expensive home) and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone. Mumbai is India’s financial powerhouse, fashion epicentre and a pulse point of religious tension.

If Mumbai is your introduction to India, prepare yourself. The city isn’t a threatening place but its furious energy, population and punishing pollution make it challenging for visitors. The heart of the city contains some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet but explore a little more and you’ll uncover unique bazaars, hidden temples, hipster enclaves and India’s premier restaurants and nightlife.

Once all participants have arrived by 2pm we will kick start our adventure with a few of the local sights including a visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, (Victoria Terminus), High Court , Mumbai City Museum and the Gateway to India and one of the many ancient bazaars.

Overnight Mumbai

DAY 2

After breakfast, you will meet your local guide and travel together to Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums and the heart of small-scale industry in Mumbai. The tour ends in the early evening with a walking tour around Colaba.

Mumbai is a city of contrasts—from glitzy Marine Drive to the congested slums of Dharavi, the energy and liveliness here is undeniable. There’s plenty to discover in this metropolis, be it the rich colonial history, glamorous Bollywood, or the daily life of the incredibly diverse millions who call Mumbai home.

For those of you who like to get in the mood for place before you travel I would recommend reading “Shantaram” en epic tale (as you will see by the size of the book!) of an escaped New Zealand convict who flees to Bombay and joins the local mafia.

Overnight Mumbai

DAY 3

After an early breakfast, transfer to Mumbai airport for your late morning/early afternoon flight to Goa. Transfer to Mandrem 1.5 hours. Rest of the day to relax, and explore at your leisure – maybe take an afternoon class at https://www.ashiyana-yoga-goa.com/  

Ashiyana is our home for the next 3 days. Our time to relax after the craziness of Mumbai. In contrast Ashiyana is a sanctuary, a home away from home. It sits amidst abundant tropical flora and fauna on the beautiful and unspoiled Mandrem Beach in the north of Goa. Ashiyana means ‘home’ in Hindi, and our Retreat Village has been designed to help you to feel as comfortable, connected and relaxed as possible, providing you with the opportunity to disconnect from technology and tune into the natural rhythms within. During your stay here you can participate in yoga, meditation and other activities that are being offered during our stay. Do as little or as much as like, but make sure you swim in the ocean at least once and try the divine freshly caught seafood.

During this part of the trip two meals a day are included in your package as well as two optional yoga classes. If you are not a yogi, totally fine you will still enjoy the beautiful surroundings of our accommodation at Mandrem beach. For people not doing any yoga a complimentary 1 hour massage will be gifted to you to have throughout your stay.

Tonight we head to the famous Arpora Saturday night flea markets! 

Overnight Goa

DAY 4 & 5

Over the next 2 days indulge yourself with the practice of yoga – morning and evening, take naps, have spa treatment or engage in other creative activities on offer. Walk the beach, hit the cafes, take in the hippy vibe. 

Overnight Goa

DAY 6

This is your last day to engage with this bohemian capital of India, to shop for trinkets, have an Ayurvedic massage, walk with the cows on the beach, swim in the ocean, make the most of it because we will leave at approximately 5:30pm to catch our overnight train to Kochi – leaving Goa at 19:40. Be rocked to sleep on the train (hopefully!) Sweet Dreams xx

Overnight Train

DAY 7 – Option 2 Starts Here

Those travelling on from Goa will arrival at Ernakulam Train Station at 10:00am, you will be met and transferred to Fort Cochin.

If you are joining the group at Kochi you will be met at the airport by one of our representatives. Spend the afternoon exploring Kochi. There are galleries, cafes, boutiques in addition to beautiful old churches and of course the iconic Chinese fishing nets.

Overnight Kochi

DAY 8

After a leisurely breakfast on our rooftop restaurant we have a full day to explore Jew town, Mattancherry area and the spice warehouses.

When one thinks of the name Jew Town, a small city in India certainly doesn’t come to mind. However the southern Indian port city of Kochi gained this title after the Hindu Raja granted the Jews their own area during the Middle Ages.

Surprisingly, here in India, the Jewish community generally enjoyed and maintained its religious freedom throughout the ages, when Jews across Europe experienced brutal anti-Semitism regularly.

Today, only a handful of Jewish families remain as most have moved to Israel post-1948. The few families who do remain fear that their Jewish community will soon be extinct and centuries of history forgotten. As a result of this fear, tourists are welcomed with open arms and with food on the table in the hope that Kochi shall remain known as “Jew Town.”

The Spice Market also located in Jew Town may have lost much of its earlier glory, it has retained its status as an important centre of spice trade. The exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper, also known as black gold, emanate from the spice warehouses lining the street and fills it. The bustling trade of spices is evidenced in the trucks going to and away from the warehouses, loads being taken in and out using pushcarts, and the sight of workers drying, sorting and packing spices.

And as in the olden days, both Europeans and Arabs still come to Kochi and leave her shores with precious cargo, and you can too!

Tonight we will witness the spectacle that is Kathakali – only to be found in Kochi.

Kathakali evolved from earlier temple art forms in the 17th century, is based on Hinduism and is a highly charged powerful drama that combines devotion, drama, dance, music, costumes and make up to produce one of the most impressive forms of sacred theatre in the world.

Kathakali is ancient and classical in nature and holds centuries of tradition and culture. It is not simply a dance-drama but an act of devotion featuring the universal struggle between good and evil.

Kathakali provides a window into the past and an opportunity to understand the ancient heritage that has been preserved for centuries in the Kathakali plays.

The Hindu epic stories in India were often told through a language the local people could understand – theatre. The stories were passed from one generation to the next as they were performed in the heart of their rural communities.

Overnight Kochi

DAY 9

A spectacular drive today (3 hours) through the Cardamom hills – lined with tea, cocoa, tapioca, bamboo, coconut, banana, and of course cardamom to Thekkady, gateway to Periyar National Park. In the afternoon wander the village with its great array of fabulous shops, or indulge in an Ayurvedic Massage.

Overnight Thekkady

DAY 10

This morning just relax, today is a day at leisure to take a walk through the park in the morning and perhaps a boat trip on the lake in the afternoon. If you feel like taking the 5km trip to Kumily you can visit the Chola handicraft center: here you can Buy Garments and Clothes made of silk, cotton, linen etc.

Overnight Thekkady

DAY 11

Depart after an early breakfast to Alleppey (4 hours) to meet your houseboat on the backwaters. Made in the traditional rice barge or Kettuvalam style and nicely fitted out, each boat has one or several bedrooms, a dining room, open lounge and deck. A captain and cook are on hand to look after your every need. Spend the afternoon drifting along coconut lined canals, past small villages that laze on the myriad islands along the backwaters.

Overnight Houseboat

DAY 12

After breakfast, you will be dropped at your homestay, where your charming hosts will look after you. At Green Palm Homes, you will stay with a family and share the experiences of local life in the community. Established in 1987, our home stay receives guests looking for that unique experience in the picturesque backwaters. Our idyllic setting is on an island where we are surrounded by rivers and rice fields. We are a family managed business and ensure a personalised service. Here you can get to know the local traditions and learn about the culture. Enjoy a canoe ride and stop off in our local pub! Learn to cook, or simply ride a bike and tour at your own speed around the island. Our activities involve the local community and promote Eco Tourism.

Overnight Chennamkary (Alleppey)

DAY 13

The homestay is situated on a car-free island and the only way to get around is on foot, cycle or boat. Do all three or just chill in a hammock watching life pass by at a snail’s pace.

Overnight Chennamkary (Alleppey)

DAY 14

Depart at leisure for our drive back to Kochi (2 hours) and your transfer to Cochin airport for your onward flight.

We hope you have had a fabulous trip with us, Namaste.


You May also like to join us beforehand  for our New Years Essence of Sri Lanka Trip! If you choose to join us your two nights accommodation between trips will be included. Flights from Colombo to Mumbai are approx . $300AUD and take 2.5 hours.

Click the image below for more details

On this tour we have decided to give you two options to choose from a 7 night package and a 13 night package.

Starting points will be either Mumbai or Kochi, both trips conclude in Kochi. 

Tour Dates Package 1: 10 – 23 January 2019

Tour Route:
Option 1 – Mumbai, Goa, Kochi -Thekkady-Alleppey-Kochi

14 days, 13 nights

Tour Dates Package 2: 16 – 23 January 2019

Option 2 – Kochi -Thekkady-Alleppey-Kochi

8 days, 7 nights

Package 1 Inclusions

  • 9 nights’ accommodation with breakfast

  • 2 night accommodation in home stay

  • 1 night in houseboat

  • 1 night on train Goa to Cochin – 2nd A/c berth

  • Optional 2 yoga classes and 2 meals per day in Goa, trip to night markets

  • Airfare for Mumbai to Goa

  • Private taxi for all transfers and sightseeing as per above itinerary.

  • Day tours of Mumbai and Kochi, option of attending Kathakali dance show in Kochi

  • Visit to national park Thekaddy

Package 2 Inclusions

  • 4 nights’ accommodation with breakfast

  • 2 night accommodation in home stay

  • 1 night in houseboat

  • Private taxi for all transfers and sightseeing as per above itinerary.

  • Day tours of Kochi, option of attending Kathakali dance show

  • Visit to national park Thekaddy

  • Accompanied throughout tour by English speaking guide for all our sightseeing needs.

Exclusions

  • Airfares to India

  • Visas to India

  • Lunch and Dinner

  • Extra activities and transport not stipulated in the itinerary

  • Entrance fees not mentioned as incuded in the itieneray

  • Personal expenditure such as drinks, laundry service and souvenirs

  • Tipping

  • Compulsory insurance of any kind

Prices in $AUD

7 Nights Twinshare (Package 2) – $2250

7 Nights Single Room (Package 2) – $2750

13 Nights Twinshare (Package 1) – $3500

13 Nights Single Room (Package 1) – $4000

Deposit

A $500AUD non-refundable deposit is required within two weeks of booking. The remainder to  be paid 2 months prior to the start of the trip. Or you may commence a payment plan. Payment plans incur a $50AUD administration fee. 

Cancellation Policy

This inspirational journey has a $500AUD non-refundable cancellation fee. This  is why travel insurance is compulsory. 

  • More than 60 days before departure: Deposit

  • 60 to 45 days before departure: deposit plus 20% of the cost

  • Less than 45 days before departure- 80% of all monies paid

No refund will be given for unused or cancelled services once travel has commenced.

Visit the Payments Page here

IMPORTANT 

  • Kindly note that check in time to all hotels will be at 1400hrs and check out is at 1200 noon.

  • All above hotel rates are subjected to revision as and when government taxes are revised, when respective hotel managements revise rates or due to any currency fluctuations experienced at a given time.

Weather and Climate

November is the start of the dry season in Kerala, India, when the volume of rainfall is much less than the previous months.

During this time of year, temperatures can reach an average afternoon high temperature of 31°C, one degree more than the five previous months, so make sure you pack plenty of light, airy clothing. The evenings cool down to an average low of around 23°C, ideal for a moonlit stroll on the beach. This average low is actually one degree fewer than the previous five months.