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Kerala and the Southern Highlights

From $5,080 - 18 Days, Fully Inclusive from selected Australian cities

From the moment you set foot in southern India you will be transported to another time and place. Southern India is very different from the north, providing exceptionally stark contrasts between spices, food, cultures and climate.

This amazing tour commences in the colonial city of Chennai. A journey on the Shatabdi Express train to Bangalore will delight any train enthusiast, as will the Toy Train ride to Ooty, taking you through pine forests, and offering the most breathtaking views. Learn about the timeless cultivation of tea as you visit a tea plantation. Look out for elephants at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady and enjoy the serenity as you cruise the backwaters of Kerala.

This fascinating tour is set to entice even the most widely travelled individual. Your journey will take you to one of the world’s most desirable destinations, a land that will certainly leave a lasting impression.

Tour itinerary

Day 1: Australia To Chennai

Fly with Singapore Airlines to Chennai for a three night stay.

Day 2: Chennai

Enjoy a city tour of Chennai. See Marina each, the second longest beach in the world, visit Fort St. George and St. Mary’s Church. Later this afternoon continue to the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, 'the destroyer'.

Day 3: Chennai – Kanchipuram & Mamallapuram

This morning travel to Kanchipuram and visit the Shreenivas Silk House. Later this afternoon continue to the 7th-century port city of Mamallapuram. Discover the rock cut temples including the Shore Temple, full of recent excavations and artefacts. Afterwards, return to Chennai.

Day 4: Chennai To Bangalore

Rise early this morning and catch the Shatabdi Express train to Bangalore. Tour the city including a visit to the Bull Temple and Vidhana Soudha (Legislature Building).

Day 5: Bangalore To Hassan

Head west to Hassan and visit the Sravanabelagola Temple where you can climb to the top. Later, visit the famous temples of Belur and Halebid.

Day 6: Hassan To Mysore

Travel south to Mysore stopping at Srirangapatnam Fort en-route. Later, visit the Maharaja’s Palace and drive up to Chamundi Hill to see the Sri Chamundeshwari Temple and the Nandi Bull statue.

Day 7: Mysore To Coonoor

Head to the hills and drive to Coonoor. Located at an altitude of 1,850m above sea level, it is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills. The evening is free at your leisure to relax.

Day 8: Coonoor – Ooty

This morning take the Toy Train up to the hill station of Ooty. Visit the botanical gardens and take an optional walk to a local village to gain an insight into the lives of the local people. This afternoon return to Coonoor by coach.

Day 9: Coonoor To Munnar

Continue the descent from the highlands as you travel to Munnar.

Day 10: Munnar To Thekkady

Visit a local tea plantation and the Tata Tea Museum. Later, drive to Thekkady where Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is located.

Day 11: Thekkady – Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

Take an early morning walk through the sanctuary before visiting a local spice village and market. This evening watch a Kalaripayattu performance, a traditional form of martial arts.

Day 12: Thekkady To Nedumudy

Drive to Nedumudy to board your overnight houseboat to Alleppey. The houseboats are converted from traditional rice barges and are known as ‘kettuvallams’. Cruise the backwaters and enjoy traditional Keralan cuisine.

Day 13: Alleppey To Kochi

Disembark your boat in Alleppey this morning and drive to Kochi. Visit a local market, the Kokkothamangalam Church and a coir factory en-route. This evening watch a Kathakali dance performance.

Day 14: Kochi

Tour the sites of Kochi starting with a visit to St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. Visit the Jewish Synagogue, local markets and the unique cantilevered Chinese fishing nets.

Day 15: Kochi To Kovalam

Drive to one of Kovalam's beaches and enjoy the afternoon free at your leisure.

Day 16: Kovalam – Trivandrum

Leave for Trivandrum this morning and visit the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the Zoological Gardens and Museums, the Napier Museum and the Sri Chitra Art Gallery. Later you will visit the Kanakakunnu Palace, the Observatory and Sree Moolamthirunal Shastri Purthi Memorial.

Day 17: Kovalam – Depart Trivandrum

Enjoy the morning free at your leisure. After a late check-out, you will be transferred to Trivandrum airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.

Day 18: Arrive Australia

Arrive home this morning.

kerala beach extension


After saying farewell to your group tour members, you will have the remainder of evening free at your leisure.

Note: If you have chosen the Superior or Deluxe Category, at some time this evening you will be transferred to your hotel to check in. The remainder of the evening is free at your leisure.


Today is free at your leisure to explore the Kovalam beachside, restaurants and coastal souvenir shops or to relax on the beach or by your hotel’s poolside. You may wish to book a traditional Ayurvedic massage, schedule a yoga session or simply relax with a view to the ocean.(B)


After breakfast and check-out, the remainder of the day is free at your leisure before you are met and transferred to Trivandrum Airport for your departure flight. (B)

Tour reviews

Wendy Wu Tours Review:

"I am captivated by India and this was my second trip to this fascinating country. As I stepped out of the airport at Chennai where we were to stay the first couple of days, I put aside my Western values and allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the noise, the smells (aromatic and otherwise!), the madness of the roads and traffic, the vibrant colour and the friendliness and charming personalities of the Indian people wherever we happened to be. I travelled solo (as several others), however the group comprising equally of Australians and Brits were just so encompassing, we became one big family almost instantaneously together with a great escort, polite, helpful to the enth degree, speaking excellent English, even if one of our group did take it upon himself to become the official English translater!

After an early morning start to catch the train to the elegant garden city of Bangalore and spending the night there, we began our bus trip to Kerala in the South taking in the small villages and towns all full of interest, the temples and amazing carved monuments, the cultural sites and visits to local places of work plus of course enjoying the wonderful food, such a choice, and the comforts of our hotels and the fine service they provided. Driving through the beautiful mountains and winding through the tea plantations is quite breathtaking. The nature walks by the river and through the plantations provided welcome breaks throughout the long drives.

Boarding the houseboat at Nedumudy before lunch, the overnight stay (5-6 in each boat together with a crew of 3 to spoil us) felt as if we spent a much longer time on the Kerala Backwaters as it was so relaxing. We moved through the quiet waters observing the villagers getting on with their everyday lives and us, just part of the backwater lazy traffic.

A defining moment for me was at Coonor. We stayed at the Gateway Hotel Church Gate, a tranquil location. Coming out of my individual cottage accommodation into the lush gardens first thing in the morning it was a little chilly, spitting slightly (the only rain we encountered) and misty. I stopped. It was magic. It was India."

Yvonne Shelling, Victoria - February 2012

Price guide

From $5,080 per person

18 Days Fully Inclusive 
Departing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth with Singapore Airlines

From Price Includes Tour cost $4,420, Airline Fuel Surcharge $568 & Tipping $98 (Subject to change with Tipping payable on arrival in India in USD. See Booking Conditions)
From $1,390 Single Hotel Room Option
From $3,380 Land Only (Chennai to Trivandrum) including Tipping

Depart Australia

Return Australia

Twin Share Price AUD

18 Sep  05 Oct $5,080
 02 Oct  19 Oct $5,080
06 Nov 23 Nov $5,080
20 Nov 07 Dec $5,080
05-Feb 22-Feb $5,400
19-Feb 08-Mar $5,400
05-Mar 22-Mar $5,400
12-Mar 29-Mar $5,400
01-Oct 18-Oct $5,530
15-Oct 01-Nov $5,530
05-Nov 22-Nov $5,530
19-Nov 06-Dec $5,530

Important Note: Above prices include Fuel surcharges and tipping of $666 (correct as at Jul 2014 and subject to change). Please note the Tipping amount of USD90 is payable on arrival in India.

Though status is regularly updated, availability above is indicative only, not live and hence does not guarantee that space is available on your selected tour when you or your agent calls Wendy Wu Tours to book.  Booking early is the only way to ensure availability of your selected departure date.

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Why not?

Interested in visiting three of India’s most famous cities? Why not add our Golden Triangle package?

Additional fees and taxes may apply.