MALABARSCAPES
12 days

Trade between India’s Malabar Coast and Roman Empire dates back to 2 BCE. Goods and people moved across land and sea setting up the ancient Spice Route. Pepper, precious stones, ivory and silk were exported from the West coast in return for gold coins, glass, wine and wheat from Rome. Soon Arab traders too learnt the secret of harnessing the monsoon winds to navigate to the Malabar coast. With time the Portuguese, Dutch and the British followed suit, all lured by spices and other tradable commodities.

The tour combines central and North Kerala, with a relaxed beginning at the backwaters. You visit Kochi, a trading port, and Idukki, an area for spice and tea plantations in Central Kerala. Travel north to Tellicherry where old spice markets and a unique cuisine, blending Keralan and Arab influences, bring out Kerala’s multicultural influences. End your holiday at the serene beach resort at Neeleshwaram.

DAY 1 | KOCHI / TO KUMARAKOM

Arrive in Kochi (Cochin) today to be transferred to Kumarakom (65 km/2 hours), where accommodation is held from 12 noon. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

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DAY 2 | KUMARAKOM

Take a private rice boat cruise through the backwaters in the morning, disembarking three hours later at Alleppey for lunch and a tour of the town’s old buildings, markets and canals. Return to Kumarakom for an afternoon at leisure.

DAY 3 | KUMARAKOM/ IDUKKI

In the morning, drive up to Idukki (80 km/2.5 hours), set amidst the cool tea, coffee and spice growing highlands of the Western Ghats. Stay two nights at a private spice plantation.

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DAY 4 | IDUKKI

Today’s activities include visits to an organic tea plantation and a famous Ayurvedic medicine making facility, with time at leisure.

DAY 5 | IDUKKI/ KOCHI

After breakfast, drive down to Kochi (145 km/4 hours). Take a private harbour cruise this afternoon and view a performance of Kalaripayattu, a martial art of Kerala.

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DAY 6 | KOCHI

Full day at Fort Kochi Island visiting St Francis Church and the Tomb of Vasco da Gama, the Indo-Portuguese Museum of Christian Art (closed Thursdays/holidays), the Dutch Palace Museum (closed Fridays/holidays), the Pardesi Synagogue (closed Fridays/Saturdays). Stroll through the old quarter with lanes, homes and antique stores that are a source of immense fascination.

DAY 7 | KOCHI/ CALICUT/TELLICHERRY

Mid-morning flight to Calicut then a drive up north to Tellicherry (97 km/3 hours), pausing at the erstwhile French enclave of Mahe. The small, atmospheric fishing port of Tellicherry reveals its own wonders.

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DAY 8 |TELLICHERRY

Once a spice trading port, among the first posts of the British East India Company, the sights and experiences range from the Tellicherry Cricket Club (1860), the Royal Biscuit Factory (1880), the fish and produce market, the jewellery stores, Kalaripayattu training schools and a late night performance of the spectacular Theyyam dance.

DAY 9| TELLICHERRY/ NEELESHWAR

Morning at leisure. In the afternoon, drive along the northern Malabar coast to the fishing village of Neeleshwar (95 km/2 hours), a haven for quiet relaxation.

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DAY 10 & 11 | NEELESHWAR

Two days at leisure by the beach and at the spa, with optional excursions to the nearby villages and backwaters.

DAY 12 | DEPART NEELESHWAR

Depart Neeleshwar this morning for your onward destination.

ITINERARY ON A MAP
GALLERY OF EXPERIENCES
INCLUSIONS IN THE ITINERARY
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We look forward to welcoming you to slow travel in the Indian subcontinent,

imaginatively and meticulously designed just for you.

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