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TELEPHONE 1800 804 006

Escorted Tours

Kerala Explorer


Route:
  • London
  • Cochin
  • Thrissur
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Alleppey
  • Trivandrum
  • London
Tour Pace:

12 DAYS from €1287pp

Tour Highlights
  • Allepy backwaters cruise
  • City tour of Kochi and Trivandrum
  • Traditional tea plantations in Munnar
  • Hindu temples
  • Periyar Forest wildlife reserve
  • Two 45 minute Ayurvedic massages
  • City tour of Trivandrum

or call us on 1800 804 006

Kerala Explorer

Characterised by winding emerald rivers, exotic wildlife, spice plantations and lush landscapes, the south Indian state of Kerala exudes tranquillity and beauty. Explore the region on this tour discovering the most captivating areas including an overnight boat cruise on the rural backwaters, tea plantations in Munnar and wildlife spotting in Periyar National Park.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Kochi (Cochin)

Depart London on your overnight flight to Kerala.

2
Kochi

On arrival at Kochi International airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel where you will check in and have dinner. The rest of your evening is at leisure.

  • Dinner
3
Kochi

Start your day with a 45 minute Ayuervedic massage and breakfast at your hotel. This afternoon enjoy a traditional lunch of Sadhya, a delicacy in Kerala served on a banana leaf, before you begin your tour of Kochi, the historic centre of India's spice trade. See the ancient Chinese influence in the impressive fishing nets, still used daily by locals, and take a ride through the village road in a tuk-tuk. You will also see the Mattanchery Dutch Palace and the oldest European church in India, St. Francis before returning to your hotel in Kochi for the evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Kochi to Thrissur

After breakfast disembark and journey to the Athirapally Waterfalls. Then head on to Thrissur and visit historical buildings such as the Vadkumnathan and Paramekavu Devi Temples Continue to your hotel in Thrissur where you will spend the next two nights.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Thrissur

Following breakfast, today will be your chance to gain insight into the local culture with 'A Day with the Masters', an introduction to the world of Kerala's traditional performing arts. Learn about traditional Sanskrit theatre, percussion music and the training of each art form, as well as the life of an artist. Retire to your hotel in the evening for dinner and your overnight stay.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Thrissur to Munnar

The tour will depart Thrissur in the morning and travel to Munnar, known for its expanse of tea plantations, rolling valleys and mountains. Stopping en route for lunch, the rest of the day will be free time where you may choose to hire a bicycle and ride through Munnar's beautiful paths, or simply relax with a good book at your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Munnar

Today you will have a tour of Munnar, a nature lover's paradise. Visit Mattupetty Lake, Echo Point, Gundala Lake and Jungle Honey Bee Nest, where over 20 nests occupy a single tree. You will then continue to a tea plantation and Rajamalai National Park, famous for its largest surviving population of Nilgiri Tahr (wild goat). Please note: Rajamala National Park will closed during the breeding period of Nilgiri Thars.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Munnar to Thekkady

Journey to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market awaits you. . Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market awaits you.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Thekkady to Alleppey

A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you will have the chance to spot some elephants, or one of the park's 25 Bengal tigers amongst other birds, reptiles and mammals. Board a traditional houseboat which will be your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding Kerala villages and waters. Meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals is truly an amazing experience like no other.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Alleppey to Trivandrum

Following breakfast travel to Trivandrum with stop at the Jatayupara Earth Centre. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to Trivandrum. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Trivandrum

Depart in the morning for a half day city tour. Witness the magnificent Kanakakunnu Palace, one of the last architectural relics of the colonial era, then see the famous Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple, one of the principle places of worship of the deity of Vaishnavism. You will then return to your hotel to enjoy another Ayurvedic massage before your farewell dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Trivandrum to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. Please note the itinerary on the website is for 2020 departures ONLY, for 2019 departures please download the 2019 dossier and refer to this. The same inclusions apply however it is in a different order.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £134 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30-day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all the information they will require in order to apply for the visa.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of €49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

Flights are operated with Emirates, departing London Heathrow via Dubai. Each passenger is entitled to 30KG of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding (Max 10kg - 55cm/38cm/ 20cm) in size. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check- in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure.
IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip.

Currency Information

The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. There are restrictions on taking Indian rupees into India. Visitors, including tourists, are not permitted to take any amount of Indian currency into the country. You can take cash or travellers' cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) and/or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPrice
2020 Dates
09 Jan 202020 Jan 2020SOLD OUT
16 Jan 202027 Jan 2020SOLD OUT
23 Jan 202003 Feb 2020€1701.00
30 Jan 202010 Feb 2020€1746.00
06 Feb 202017 Feb 2020€1791.00
13 Feb 202024 Feb 2020€1757.00
20 Feb 202002 Mar 2020SOLD OUT
27 Feb 202009 Mar 2020€1679.00
05 Mar 202016 Mar 2020€1735.00
12 Mar 202023 Mar 2020€1768.00
26 Mar 202009 Apr 2020€1735.00
16 Apr 202027 Apr 2020€1455.00
30 Apr 202011 May 2020€1511.00
07 May 202018 May 2020€1567.00
13 Aug 202027 Aug 2020€1925.00
10 Sep 202021 Sep 2020€1589.00
01 Oct 202012 Oct 2020€1623.00
08 Oct 202019 Oct 2020€1668.00
15 Oct 202026 Oct 2020€1791.00
05 Nov 202016 Nov 2020€1701.00
12 Nov 202023 Nov 2020€1701.00
19 Nov 202030 Nov 2020€1701.00
26 Nov 202007 Dec 2020€1701.00
2021 Dates
07 Jan 202118 Jan 2021€1847.00
14 Jan 202125 Jan 2021€1903.00
21 Jan 202101 Feb 2021€1735.00
28 Jan 202108 Feb 2021€1735.00
04 Feb 202115 Mar 2021€1735.00
11 Feb 202122 Mar 2021€1847.00
18 Feb 202101 Mar 2021€1869.00
25 Feb 202108 Mar 2021€1735.00
04 Mar 202115 Mar 2021€1735.00
11 Mar 202122 Mar 2021€1735.00
18 Mar 202129 Mar 2021€1679.00
25 Mar 202105 Apr 2021€1679.00
01 Apr 202112 Apr 2021€1567.00
22 Apr 202103 May 2021€1455.00
06 May 202106 May 2021€1287.00
13 May 202124 May 2021€1343.00
20 May 202131 May 2021€1455.00
12 Aug 202123 Aug 2021€1925.00
09 Sep 202120 Sep 2021€1589.00
07 Oct 202107 Oct 2021€1679.00
14 Oct 202125 Oct 2021€1679.00
21 Oct 202101 Nov 2021€1869.00
11 Nov 202122 Nov 2021€1735.00
18 Nov 202129 Nov 2021€1735.00
25 Nov 202106 Dec 2021€1735.00
02 Dec 202113 Dec 2021€1735.00
Alcoholic drinks

Please note that Kerala has strict laws regarding the governance of the sale of alcohol in public places including hotels and restaurants. The sale and consumption of alcohol is therefore often restricted in hotels, varying from one establishment to another. However, you may bring your own alcohol with you for private consumption in your room.

Please note the itinerary on the website is for 2019 departures ONLY, for 2020 departures please download the 2020 dossier and refer to this. The same inclusions apply however it is in a different order.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Indian Rupee

Average Flying time

12 - 17 hours

Min/Max temperature

27 °C / 29 °C

Spoken languages

Malayalam, English

When to go

Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Kerala

What to pack
  • Sunscreen and hat in summer
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Warm clothing and thermals in winter
  • Camera and charger
  • An electric plug converter
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
Customer Rating:
10/10
Eileen Dyson
6th Dec 2019

All good hotels

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Richard Ikin
29th Nov 2019

Great choice of hotels - just like colonial country retreats with good service and good, safe food.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
L Saunders
7th Jun 2019

Mohammed our guide was excellent went over and above. The tour was really interesting particularly the tea plantation.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Margaret Holmes
3rd Jun 2019

All the hotel rooms were comfortable . some even had a swimming pool.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Chris Wise
17th May 2019

All hotels were fantastic. Quality of the food really good, rooms clean and staff polite and friendly. All in great locations.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Sally Turner
28th Mar 2019

As our flights were changed at the last minute our first hotel was a stop gap, it was basic and thankfully we only stayed for a few hours.
All the hotels were of a good standard so offering a few extras like The Casino who had live music in the evening.
We opted for a beach extension and stayed at The Taj, impressive and luxuriant with service second to none.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Michael Paterson
23rd Feb 2019

Nice hotels along the way and the vivanta at the end was amazing

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Anthony And Sally Trembath
22nd Feb 2019

We were very happy with the hotels we stayed in. All were clean and comfortable with very good food. We had a fabulous holiday and would recommend Mercury as everything was well planned and generous. Our tour guide was amazing, the best we have ever encountered. His English was excellent and he had answers for all our questions. He has a wonderful sense of humour and looked after each person's needs with kindness, tact and thoughtfulness. He went the extra mile to ensure we were happy. Our Driver and Baggage Boy were also charming, always smiling and welcoming and very hard working. The Team of Three really made the holiday extra special!

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Tracy Highland
13th Feb 2019

Hotels were all very good standard. The Rep Mohammed was very knowledgeable and helped with certain members of the group when needed.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Deanna Parsons
12th Feb 2019

Although the coach driver was excellent and road travel in India is definitely something to try, we felt too much time was spent on the coach, appreciate the distance that needs covering, maybe more breaks?
The guide was friendly and took care of us.
Thank you a good experience

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Jennie Tomlinson
4th Dec 2018

All hotels were good, with good food. Our tour guide Mohamed was excellent. very informative and went beyond his call of duty in respect of the other members of our party,

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Ramesh Ramnarine
1st Dec 2018

Excellent service, could not ask for more, everything provided. Friendly helpful staff

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Pauline Virgo
28th Nov 2018

All hotels stayed at were excellent.
Le Meridien beautiful hotel in fabulous grounds. Houseboat was a relaxing experience. River Retreat very different kind of hotel, beautiful gardens. Tea County was a real adventure to stay in. Uday suites like staying in a tropical garden. Our guide Muhammad went over and above what was expected. He made sure we were comfortable in all situations. He was the most amazing guide I have experienced, knowledgeable, a sense of humour, very caring, helpful, nothing too much trouble for him. His team in Kerala is an asset to Mercury Holidays.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Jacqueline Humphries
28th Nov 2018

All hotels which were used throughout this tour were excellent with good facilities, good food and good locations with easy access to sightseeing. The group who shared our tour gelled very quickly which enhanced our enjoyment. However I understand that one person was not happy and constantly complained, in my opinion everything was provided for this person but they still found fault! The tour guide Mohammed is one of the best guides I have been with on Mercury Tours - he was friendly, professional, knowledgeable and went the extra mile to ensure that our holiday was enjoyable - he is an asset to your Kerala Tour programme.

  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Julia Duggleby
24th Nov 2018

Hotels generally of a good standard, clean and comfortable. Staff wonderful in every hotel.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Lynne Turner
23rd Nov 2018

The Taj Green Cove was exceptional in all respects and far exceeded expectations on all levels.
As stated the service provided by Jayresee was excellent - very comfortable air-conditioned transport, driver dealt with exceptional road conditions which were still being repaired following flooding.
Tour reps were extremely good and always ensured the whole party were comfortable and wanted for nothing. A credit to the company.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Mark Stanley
20th Nov 2018

All hotels were good value for money

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Sydney Short
24th Oct 2018

All accommodation was of a high standard. Roomy bedrooms, king size beds, hot water, everything a traveller could require.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Geoffrey Crocker
23rd May 2018

Good standard in all hotels. Clean and staff were attentive, food good. Could have done with more Air conditioning to sit in rather than just our room. The restaurants were very hot.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Karen Bell
18th May 2018

All the hotels were clean and staff very helpful

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Nigel Hammersley
22nd Jan 2018

I will not fly with Jet Airways again. I would be willing to pay the extra and fly with a "better" airline in future.

Please Mercury Holidays, remove the Elephant Sanctuary visit from the itinerary. The conditions that the animals are kept in is a disgrace and the elephants were showing serious signs of distress. A number of our group left the visit early as we were so disgusted at the conditions.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Christine Green
21st Dec 2017

I liked all the hotels used

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
/10
Pravin Tailor
10th Dec 2017

most hotels were 4 star and provide
excellent service for the guests
1 or 2 hotels had no hot water don't know which
ones.

Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Ian Davidson
3rd Nov 2017

All the hotels were good, clean comfortable with friendly staff and good food.I feel they they represented excellent value for money. The tour extension hotel (Vivanta by Taj at Green Cove) was outstanding in all respects

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Hilary Fagan
20th Oct 2017

All hotels were very good especially Isola de cocco

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Julie Faldo
4th Mar 2017

Had the best time ever. Loved every bit of it. Staff exceptional.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Jackie Templeman
4th Mar 2017

hotels were all great

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Keith Douglass
14th Dec 2016

The tour was very good and the guide and driver were excellent.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Nita Sproston
21st Oct 2016

All the hotels on the tour were very good. Our driver was very good and our guide was also good

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Jill Brown
18th Oct 2016

We enjoyed all of the trip, especially enjoyed the houseboat.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Carolyn Dale
29th Mar 2016

The staff at all the hotels were very friendly and well looked after. The rooms were clean & spacious

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Julie Henson
8th Mar 2016

All the hotels were excellent.
The Aranya Nivas Hotel in the Periyar
Wildlife Sanctuary did not have air conditioning so we were very hot but every other hotel had a/c so we were fine.
We felt a little isolated at the Cochin hotel as we could not walk out to anywhere useful.
We loved Fort Cochin which had loads of restaurants and interest .. a better place to have been placed.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Michael Jocelyn
12th Feb 2016

All were excellent, perhaps a couple could have had better shower facilities in the rooms (no hot water) but all very comfortable and staff were excellent.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Christine Pretty
11th Dec 2015

Very good standard. Rooms clean, no problems.
We appreciated having tea-making facilities.
Good range of local food in all hotels.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Gailyn Groves
10th Nov 2015

Quality of hotels was excellent with usual issues of plumbing and electricity.

The pace of the tour was just right. I was never over tired.

The guide Raj was more than excellent, he went over and above anything that could be expected.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Janet Karamath
27th Feb 2015

All hotels were of high standard. No problems.
Beach stay hotel was the best --- Isola de cocco the high standard of this hotel is not evident in its reviews... a great shame

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Tour Map
Kerala Explorer Route Map
Extensions
  • Kerala
    Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay

    3 nights from €133pp

    View
  • Dubai
    Dubai Extension

    2 nights from €156pp

    View
  • India
    Ayurvedic Treatment

    3 nights from €212pp

    View
Here to help

Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay
Tour Route
  • London
  • Kochi (Cochin)
  • Allepy
  • Thrissur
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Trivandrum
  • Beach Stay
  • London

Extend your tour with a relaxing beach stay in the Indian State of Kerala. Relax in the popular resort of Kovalam, known locally as the paradise of the south, amongst the coconut groves for which the town is famous.

3 nights
from €133pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Dubai Extension
Tour Route

With incredible beaches of powdery white sand and an azure sea which is crystal clear and warm, an extension to Dubai and the Emirates is the perfect place to relax and soak in the Arabian sun. Famed for its luxury shopping and ultra modern architecture, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for you to experience. Choose a hotel from our handpicked options or speak to our reservations team about our entire range of hotels available.

2 nights
from €156pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Ayurvedic Treatment
Tour Route
  • London
  • Kochi (Cochin)
  • Allepy
  • Thrissur
  • Munnar
  • Thekkady
  • Trivandrum
  • Ayurvedic Resort
  • London

With a personalised consultation and treatment schedule, experience the widely recognised benefits of Ayurveda, the oldest and most complete healing system in the world.

This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.

3 nights
from €212pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension