This 14 day trip offers the perfect taste of southern India with private chauffeur. Stroll its beaches, ride in a houseboat, stay in gracious hotels and enjoy some of the country’s most incredible wildlife!
Book your trip today from just £1,399pp!
If the north of India offers vivid fuchsia and turquoise, its south offers the coolest, most luxuriant greens anywhere. Covering some of the most inspiring and delightful sights of the southern-most states of India, our Southern Explorer tour starts with the atmospheric town of Bangalore. In the Nandi Hills of Karnataka, relish the strong fruity notes of top-quality wines at a beautiful vineyard.
After a spectacular stop at the fort town of Srirangapatnam, drive to Mysore to see another magnificent site, Mysore Palace. Drive through Bandipur National Park in search of tigers before crossing over to Coonoor on board a UNESCO World Heritage train. Unlock Kerala’s rich history by visiting the impressive architecture of Kochi. Take a traditional houseboat along the captivating backwaters to final stop Kovalam and spend an evening under a soul-stirring sunset, in a cruise boat, on the picturesque backwaters of Poovar Island.
Private Chauffeur, and all monument entrance fees
- We take care of International Flights from the UK
- Private Chauffeur driven transfers during excursions
- One-night Stay at JP Select Cosmos w/ Half-Board, Bangalore
- Sample the finest wines with Wine Tasting & Tour in Bangalore
- Two-Night Stay at the Country Inn w/ Deluxe Room & Half-Board, Mysore
- Guided tour of Mysore’s architectural and historical wonders
- Feel the thrill of being up close to wildlife with a 4x4 safari, Bandipur
- Two-Night Stay at the Wildplanet Jungle Resort, Mudumalai
- A stay at Wildplanet Jungle Resort includes Valley View Cabin & Full-Board
- Chug across South India’s plains on a UNESCO mountain train, Ooty
- Two-Night Stay at the Accord Highland w/ Deluxe Room & Half-Board, Ooty
- Learn about the history of tea with tea tasting excursion, Ooty
- Two-Night Stay at the Casino Hotel Kochi w/ Superior Room & Half-Board
- Culinary classes led by a TV Chef & lunch with local family, Kochi
- Discover the dances of the Kathakali & Cultural Show, Kochi
- Overnight on board air-conditioned Deluxe Houseboat w/ Full-Board, Alleppey
- Wined and dined on board w/ all three meals & one bottle of wine
- Services of English speaking local guides as per itinerary
- Three-Night Stay at the Isola w/ Pavilion/Heritage & Half-Board, Kovalam
- Cruise through Poovar Island’s mangroves via one hour boat ride
- Unwind with one complimentary full body massage, Kovalam
- Train travel from Coimbatore – Ernkaulam in air-conditioned car
- Applicable entrance fees for each monuments and parks
- We take care of International Flights from Trivandrum
- Applicable government taxes
Simply the best of the private tours in India
- Stay in some of India's most opulent hotels filled with treasures
- Explore the contrasting sights of thriving town, Bangalore
- Savour the finest local wines at a charming local vineyard
- Unleash your wild side at Bandipur National Park safari
- Drive through scenery lifted straight out of the Lost World
- Visit a tea plantation to learn about the history of the “cuppa”
- Unlock Kochi’s history by embarking on a sightseeing tour
- Get hands on culinary experience in a TV chef’s kitchen
- Delight in a sumptuous lunch with a local Keralan family
- Relish the ambience of the Kathakali & martial arts in Kochi
- Set out in Agatha Christie style on a house boat from Alleppey
- Thunder across India’s peaks on an UNSECO train to Coonoor
- Swing lazily in your hammock in the gentle sea breeze on the beach
- Enjoy an Ayurvedic massage or simply lose yourself in a good book
Fortune Select JP Cosmos is an an upscale, first class hotel in Bengaluru. This hotel places you within a mile (2 km) of popular attractions like Bangalore Palace and Vidhana Soudha and welcomes guests with conveniences like a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a 24-hour fitness center.
Fortune Select JP Cosmos offers cozy soundproofed rooms with parquet floors and facilities like fireplaces, sofa beds, and refrigerators. Guests can also enjoy spa treatments or work out at the fully-equipped gym. The swimming pool is another good relaxation option.
You will be spoilt for choice in terms of dining at this hotel as there are 2 restaurants serving breakfast, lunch and dinner where you will find great menu choices and a nice spot to eat during the day. If you want low-key dining options, you will be pleased to find barbecue grills and 24-hour room service. The on-site spa is the place to be for rest and relaxation, offering facials and Ayurvedic treatments, as well as aromatherapy, massages and massage/treatment rooms.
Ideal for fun and relaxation, Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Mysore is located in the Ilavala Hobli area of Mysore. This family-friendly hotel offers a modern retreat near major attractions such as Brindavan Gardens. Visitors to the hotel can take pleasure in touring the city's top attractions: Rail Museum, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery.
With 130 inviting rooms and 12 spacious suites, the Country Inn & Suites offers hotel rooms offer free WiFi, free wired Internet, and 24-hour room service that help you have a relaxing stay. Guests can choose from 130 rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony.
From free high-speed Internet access to a sparkling outdoor swimming pool, the Country Inn & Suites treats you to amenities and services that help you unwind. Party the night away at 345 – Country Inn & Suites private nightclub or enjoy a good workout at the spacious fitness centre. Guests can also treat themselves a traditional massage. This hotel’s excellent location in Mysore boasts three restaurants and a bar that offer flavorful and diverse cuisine that perfectly suits any meal. The restaurants serves a variety of cuisines ranging from Indian and Chinese to Western and Arabic dishes. You can also experience a memorable evening by dining poolside with a candlelight dinner.
From free high-speed Internet access to a sparkling outdoor swimming pool, the Country Inn & Suites treats you to amenities and services that help you unwind. When you are looking for comfortable and convenient accommodations in Mysore, make Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Mysore your home away from home.
Nestled in the natural beauty of the greens, Wild Planet is a luxury jungle resort located at Devala (The Chirapunji of South India) in the Nilgiris, between Wayanad Hills and Mudhumalai Tiger Resort. It is a unique Indian retreat, set in 100 acres of land hidden inside secluded 3300 sq km of tropical rain forest in the midst of Nilgiri Mountain Range - the meeting point of Eastern and Western Ghats. At Wild Planet, guests take the road less travelled and will find unprecedented solitude, serenity, rest, relaxation and refreshment. Mountains and forest combine to create numerous outback trails, trekking routes and opportunities for other adventure sports & wild life photography.
Accommodation in this resort includes well furnished spacious hill view cottages, lake view villas and jungle wood house. The cottages are atop a hillock in the middle of a tea plantation providing a green blanket on the slopes. The balcony overlooks the surrounding rain forest and the Niligiri mountain range, as far as the eye can see.
Resort offers various activities available for you to enjoy at the resort including outdoor games like Badminton, Basket Ball, Archery and indoor games like Pool, Table Tennis, Carroms, Chess, Darts and other board games. Activities such as open jeep safari in Nigiri Rainforest, fresh water angling can also be arranged. Resort is recommended for family getaway seekers, nature lovers, honeymooners."
Situated amidst the exquisite Blue Mountains, popularly known as Nilgiris, Highland Hotel Ooty is the highest hotel in Southern India and an inspiring destination for leisure, Honeymooners & corporate travelers. Overlooking the beautiful Nilgiris Mountains, the hotel stands tall with all elegance and style. The hotel is situated on a 10 acre landscaped hill slope, overlooking the beautiful valley.
The hotel offers 49 beautifully well-appointed rooms and 4 suites. Situated 2,240 m about the sea level, the room and suite interiors are aesthetically done with classic furnishings. The airy rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars. Some have valley views, while upgraded rooms and suites add separate living areas.
Highland Hotel Ooty Offers a substantial array of cuisines with multi cuisine menu including Oriental, Continental and Indian cuisines. The property also offers a kids' play area, a billiard table and a game room.
The Casino Hotel is not just one of Cochin's landmarks, it's also a fine introduction to the charms of the city, and indeed, of Kerala. Here, you can get an authentic taste of Kerala's colourful life, diverse cultures and eclectic cuisine. The hotel is 6 km from Ernakulam and a 10 minute ferry ride to Fort Cochin and Mattancherry.
The Casino Hotel features regular rooms, spaciously appointed suites and a separate non-smoking wing on the ground floor. Air-conditioned guest rooms are fitted with a personal safe, a minibar and satellite television. Environmentally sensitive practices are the watchword here, as in all the CGH properties.
Many guests love whiling away a relaxed hour or two in the Casino Hotel's sunlit, spacious lounge. This is the heart of the hotel, and usually buzzes with gentle activity like read the local papers (just for curiosity), do a crossword puzzle or just kick back, relax and watch the world go by.
Tharavadu serves Indian, Chinese and continental buffet dishes all day. Seafood specialities can be enjoyed at Fort Cochin restaurant. The Garden Cafe provides grilled food and healthy drinks, while alcoholic beverages can be found at the Vasco da Gama Bar.
The hotel also offers an outdoor pool and in-house Ayurvedic massage services. The Casino Hotel's gym is an expansive space, equipped with a selection of treadmills, weights, cycles, rowers and other equipment. At Casino Hotel you will have experiences that are not just enjoyable, but also environmentally aware and culturally rich.
Spend your day on the traditional Houseboat also know as Kettuvallam.
The Kettuvallam or 'boat with knots' is called so because coir ropes tied in knots hold the entire structure of the boat together. During the entire assembling work of the boat, not a single nail is used. Natural and eco-friendly products like bamboo mat, arecanut trees and coir are used to construct the boats.
Kettuvallam comprise of a separate living room with dining table, a bedroom with bathroom and a sit out area at one corner of the boat.
Guests can enjoy a calm evening right in the middle of the backwaters and watch one of the best sunsets that there could be.
The property is a unique heritage resort cosseted by a coconut grove. Located on the banks of the river Poovar, at the juncture where the tranquil river embraces the roaring Arabian sea! The property is tucked away in the southwestern tip of India in the State of Kerala - the internationally renowned tourist destination (projected as one of the 50 best "must see destinations" in the world by the National Geographic Traveller Magazine)
Isola Di Cocco offers rooms, suites and condominiums, spread over 30 acres studded with palms and lush greenery. Privacy abounds at this upscale resort where you'll enjoy romantic seaside dining, lively open-air bar, attentive staff, large fresh water pool, great backwater rides and lots of relaxation. Laze around our coconut grove or relax in a hammock with books from our well-stocked library.
All rooms are garden facing, air conditioned and built to international standards
Day 1 ARRIVAL BANGALORE
Your journey of a lifetime begins in Bangalore. Arrive at the international airport where you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. There is no better way to start your adventure than with an afternoon guided sightseeing walk around the city. Here you will visit Cubbon Park with its 300 acres of lush gardens, tour the government museum, one of the oldest in India, and visit the gallery.
Once an obscure town, Bangalore is now the hub of India’s booming IT industry and is the nation’s most progressive city. The title “A Tale of Two Cities” is apt as Bangalore bridges together two different worlds. The central district, dating back to the British Raj years, contrasts with the Silicon Valley-esque outskirts of Bangalore. On this journey you will discover a mystifying land sprinkled with the unpredictable gems of India’s legacy.
OVERNIGHT IN BANGALORE
Day 2 BANGALORE - MYSORE
For the ultimate Indian indulgence we have arranged a day of stunning delights with the best of local wines. After breakfast and check-out, your wine tour commences with chauffeured transport in an air-conditioned car to a beautiful wine-producing vineyard situated in Channapatna,a city located 60km south-west of Bangalore. Here you will relish the strong floral and fruity notes of different varieties of wines. Your expert guide will ensure your tour flows effortlessly from start to finish, from pouring the finest wine into your ice-cool glass to surmising the age-old and modern processes of wine.
Next, you will drive to the royal city of Mysore. Your stop along the way is equally spectacular with a visit to the fort town of Srirangapatnam. Located on an island straddling the Cauvery River, Srirangapatam is steeped in bloody history. The seat of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan’s power, this town was the de facto capital of much of southern India during the 18th century. The epic war waged by the British against Tipu Sultan in 1799 ended Srirangapatnam’s glory days. You can still sense the history as you view the massive ramparts, battlements and some of the remaining gates of the fort.
Drive on to Mysore and check-in to your hotel. Your afternoon exploration of the city of Palaces begins at the temple of Chamundeswari located on top of Chamundi Hills. The temple was named after a deity worshipped for centuries by Mysore Maharajas. Walk up the steps to behold the remarkable tower of the temple and its granite statues including the beautiful 16-foot statue of Nandi, gifted by the Maharaja, Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar in 1659. Also included is a drive to St. Philomena’s Church. Constructed in 1936, it is believed to be one of the oldest churches in India and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
OVERNIGHT IN MYSORE
Day 3 MYSORE
After breakfast, we arrive at Mysore Palace. Discover a royal heirloom in marble as you behold the sight of the sun striking its rays onto the domes that radiate like pink pearls. The palace cannot be left out of southern India’s treasure trail! The finest example of Indo-Saracenic archaeological brilliance, it is one of India’s grandest royal buildings. Entering the Doll’s Pavilion and Elephant Gate you will be transported back to a lavish way of life, where opulent halls are richly decorated with stained-glass ceilings and a golden elephant howdah that stands like an unused TARDIS to the ancient world of the Maharajas of Mysore. Rest of the day is at leisure.
OVERNIGHT IN MYSORE
Day 4 MYSORE – BANDIPUR -MUDUMALAI
After breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Bandipur National Park. Here you will enjoy an afternoon safari of the beautiful forest reserve. Against a backdrop of rivers, lush forests and mountain peaks, there is a feeling of rural tranquility, yet recognised as being India’s biggest biosphere reserve, the park retains much of its efforts towards Eco-conservation.
Covering 880 sq km expanse of wilderness between the Deccan Plateau and Western Ghats, Bandipur National Park was once the Mysore maharajas’ private wildlife reserve. It is now a protected zoo for over 100 species of mammals, including tiger, elephant, leopard and sloth bear. The park also teems with 350 species of bird, so keep your eyes open for delicately hued doves, slender and elegant herons and broad winged eagles.
Hop in your transfer and continue from Mysore to Devala near Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary. Along the way you will enjoy a safari in Bandipur National Park. The park is famous for being the best place in south India to get close to free-ranging elephants. Then you will proceed to the Wild Planet Luxury Jungle Resort in Devala near Mudumalai sanctuary.
OVERNIGHT IN MUDUMALAI
Day 5 MUDUMALAI
After breakfast, today is dedicated to enjoying your own paradise on earth! The eco-lodge is surrounded by a dense rainforest in the Nilgiris, the border of Wayanad hills and Mudumalai tiger reserve. So you can abandon the tourist track with lashings of seclusion, activity and refreshment.
No matter how hard you try it is impossible to be bored here. For the early birds, there is an early morning nature walk and for the energetic there are on-site facilities such as archery, basketball, badminton, swimming pool with kids pool, kayaking, trekking and zip lining. The bonfire before dinner is the perfect ending to a magical day in the spectacular resort. In addition the freshwater angling here is exceptional as are the starry skies above the 100 acre property!
OVERNIGHT IN MUDUMALAI
Day 6 MUDUMALAI – OOTY
After breakfast and hotel check-out continue to Ooty.
Ooty, once known as the “the queen of the hill stations” is one of 65 hill stations set up across India by the British. The town was established in the early 19th century as the summer headquarters of the Madras government and memorably nicked-named “Snooty Ooty”. It lies among sprawling forests, and at 7,000 ft above sea level, it’s refreshingly cool.
OVERNIGHT IN OOTY
Day 7 OOTY
After breakfast, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Ooty. “Udhagamandalam is the "Queen of hill stations" and the capital of Nilgiris district. It is one of the most popular tourist resorts in India. Nilgiris means "Blue Mountains". It is a land of picturesque picnic spots and was once a popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during the colonial days.
Morning visit to Doddabetta peak and visit to the Botanical Garden. In the evening take an optional boat trip across Ooty Lake.
OVERNIGHT IN OOTY
Day 8 OOTY-KOCHI
After breakfast, climb aboard the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (0915-1030HRS), one of the three tracks listed as a UNESECO World Heritage Sites in India, and ascend uphill towards Coonoor. The railway was built by the British in 1908, and was initially operated by the Madras Railway, and still relies on its fleet of steam trains. Sit back in the shelter of the “toy” train, where every seat has its own picture window, so you catch jaw-dropping views as the train snails at a speed of about 60km per hour through sweeping tea estates, into the clouds and then weaves in and out of the many mountain tunnels. Your guide and driver will greet you at Coonoor railway station and accompany you for a sightseeing tour.
OVERNIGHT IN OOTY
Day 9 KOCHI
Unlock Kochi’s history by embarking on a guided tour that will take you into the heart of this magnificent city. Here you will visit the gigantic Chinese fishing nets, “cheenavalas”, dating from 1350 and still in use today. You will also visit the wonderful St. Francis’ Church, considered to be India’s oldest church, built by Portuguese Franciscan Friars in 1503. Vasco da Gama was buried here before being taken to Lisbon. Relax in the shade as you drive to the Jewish Synagogue, built over 400 years ago and discover the impressive architecture and beautiful murals of Dutch Palace. Later, enjoy a cooking demonstration of Southern Indian cuisine from a local TV personality, followed by lunch.
OVERNIGHT IN KOCHI
Day 10 KOCHI –ALLEPPEY
Your journey continues by crossing the captivating backwaters by air conditioned houseboat. After breakfast, depart for Alleppey. Set out in style on an enchanting one night cruise. While lounging in these floating villas, you will feel like invaders of the backwaters, with the vibrant sights of Kerala skimming by. Look out for the huge Chinese fishing nets, paddy fields, and locals making coir products, rustic buildings, ancient temples and dense coconut trees. Three meals will be served on board.
OVERNIGHT ON THE HOUSEBOAT
Day 11 ALLEPPEY-KOVALAM
After breakfast, check out from the houseboat and drive to your hotel in Kovalam. Kovalam is often tipped as the ‘paradise’ of South India, with its coconut trees and sweeping beaches, reflecting the meaning of its name –a grove of coconut trees. There is a rocky promontory that has formed a fantastic bay of pristine water perfect for a dip. The beaches are divided by rocks, creating its famous crescent shape.
OVERNIGHT IN KOVALAM
Day 12 KOVALAM
Spend a morning at leisure either sunbathing on the golden beaches or withdrawing to the nearby beach cafes. Try surfing or head to Samudra Beach, which is a secluded cove, where your only company is a fisherman casting his net. Adrenaline junkies can opt for a thrilling ride on a catamaran.
Later board a traditional sunset boat and spend the afternoon cruising through the mangroves of Poovar Island. Relax and enjoy the passing landscapes, spotting the golden beach of Poovar Island, floating restaurants and then continue to the canals and backwaters.
OVERNIGHT IN KOVALAM
Day 13 KOVALAM
After breakfast, enjoy a relaxing full day at leisure. End your holiday on this wonderful paradise by treating yourself to a complimentary Ayurvedic Massage and steam bath. Please book your slot.
OVERNIGHT IN KOVALAM
Day 14 KOVALAM – TRIVANDRUM – UK
After breakfast, it is time to head home via transfer to Trivandrum airport to board your international flight back home. We end our services at Trivandrum airport.
END OF TOUR
- You will need to arrange a Visa prior to travel - Please ask your consultant for details of the application process.
- Our endeavor will always be to confirm the hotels listed in the package chosen, however in rarest of cases where we are not able to confirm certain hotel(s), like for like alternatives will be provided.
- We recommend that you buy a travel Insurance as any costs incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc. are not included and will be passenger’s responsibility.
- The package is non-refundable for any inclusion items not used/taken
- Renegotiated with the supplier and Board Basis has been changed to Half Board as on 09 Sep 2016.
Exclusions & Terms
- Any additional meals not mentioned in the package
- Room service charges, Telephone calls, laundry charges, tips of personal nature
- And anything not specifically mentioned in the package inclusions section
- Meals will generally be buffet meals unless otherwise stated to you on the confirmation.
- Accommodation will be on twin sharing Basis unless otherwise stated