14 DAYS ●
Travel through gloriously laid-back South India on a classic journey of wildlife, temples and magnificent coastline, soaking up incredible culture along the way.
Take a walk through the reserve and keep your eyes peels for elephants!
Take a rickshaw ride through the charming boutiques and bakeries of the French Quarter
Explore the gateway to Southern India
Cruise the backwaters of Kerala in style on a converted rice barge
Our Classic South India itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to the city of Chennai, the gateway to Southern India, for an overnight stay.
Start the day soaking up the history of Fort St George, founded by the British in 1644, before journeying to the coastal town of Mamallapuram to view the fascinating 7th and 8th century rock carvings. Continue on to Pondicherry.
Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram; founded in 1926, this vibrant community has almost 1,200 members. Then you'll have time to browse the delights of the Pondicherry Museum. Later, take a rickshaw ride through the charming boutiques and bakeries of the French Quarter and enjoy some free time to explore.
Depart Pondicherry by road for Thanjavur, stopping en route at Kumbakonam for a traditional South Indian lunch. Thanjavur, once called Tanjore, was the capital of the Chola empire and if full of reminders of its great past, one of which you will explore - the Brahadeeswara Temple, a magnificent example of Tamil architecture.
Travel to the bustling city of Trichy and visit Siririangam to gaze on one of southern India's most illustrious temples. Continue to the temple town of Madurai.
One of India's oldest cities, Madurai's most celebrated sight is the magnificent Meenakshi Amman Temple, which you'll visit this morning. Continue to admire the Italinate influence at Tirumala Nayakar Palace, built in 1636. This evening, witness an atmospheric Aarti ceremony.
Travel to Munnar, a hill station enveloped by lush tea plantations. In the afternoon, visit a tea plantation and the Tata Tea Museum.
Today take a walk in Eravikulam National Park where you will have the opportunity to spot local wildlife (closed Feb-Apr, an alternative walk will be available). Continue your journey to Thekkady, home of Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Though designated a tiger reserve in 1978. the Periyar National Park is best known for its elephants. Talk a walk through the reserve, keeping an eye out for its resident elephant population, as well as wild dogs, barking deer, mouse deer and the elusive Bengal tiger. Visit a spice village and local market before enjoying a traditional Kalaripayattu (marital art) show this evening.
Travel to Kumarakom where you'll board your houseboat, a converted rice barge, known as a Kettuvallam. Sit back and watch life on the water and the surrounding, untouched wilderness as you cruise unhurriedly along the canals. A delicious dinner of tradtional cuisine will be served on board and you'll spend a comfortable night on the water.
After breakfast on the boat, disembark at Pallathuruthy and head for Kochi via Kumbalangi, a village created to highlight the lifestyle of the fisher-folk in the area. This evening gives you the chance to enjoy an exuberant Kathakali dance performance.
Your tour of Kochi starts at St Francis Church, the first European church built in India, before a visit to Santa Cruz Basilica for excellent views of the Chinese fishing nets. Finish by admiring the synagogue in the heart of the Jewish Quarter and stroll the nearby markets.
Enjoy a morning at your leisure. Later you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Wendy Wu Tours inspects all hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service, which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family-run guesthouse in a smaller town. Hotels are also chosen for ease of navigation around tourist sights. View Hotels Here
Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to India. Travellers should arrange visas well in advance of departure. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your visa in the price of your tour. We handle the entire application process – all you need to do is complete the paperwork and send your passport to us eight weeks prior to departure. We are always on hand to help you with any queries you may have while completing the application form.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +61 2 9224 8888. Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288. You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave Australia. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is not commonplace in Australia. In Asia however, it is anticipated that a tip be given to reward good service. With that in mind, we have a tipping system for our group tours. Each passenger ‘tips’ a set amount to the National Escort at the start of the tour or on arrival in each country. They then distribute this as appropriate. Tipping is appreciated for Private and Tailor-Made travel. In your final documents, we include guidelines for tipping when travelling independently.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual. Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. A myth about India is that the food is of poor quality and always spicy. This is definitely not the case! In addition, a great deal of Indian cuisine is vegetarian. Drinks are at your own expense. Beer is widely available. Bottled drinking water and soft drinks are widely available – you should only have ice, juices, or lassies from a trusted source that uses boiled or bottled water.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and Australia's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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