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Houseboat backwaters cruise

Keralan Spice Coast

13-day tailor-made journey from £2,060 pp incl. flights


Short description

Discover the best of 'God's own country' on this tailor-made holiday through the beautiful regions of India's southern coast


  • Cruise Kerala's backwaters in a traditional kettuvallam houseboat
  • Marvel at the elaborate costumes and classical drama of a Kathakali performance in Kochi
  • Relax with an Ayurvedic massage beside the welcoming waters of the Arabian Sea

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Kochi
  • 2 Nights Munnar
  • 1 Night Periyar
  • 2 Nights Kumarakom
  • 1 Night Alleppey
  • 3 Nights Kovalam


Recommended for:
History & culture | Honeymoon | Natural world | Spa

Liberal and easygoing, the region is, unsurprisingly, a popular spot with tourists and travellers who come to explore its famous backwaters – a mesmerising network of rivers, canals and lagoons. Rice paddies and coconut groves line the banks, while houseboats cruise the waters. The coast's sandy beaches fill with sun worshippers, while the mountains are carpeted in plantations of tea and spices. This private tour takes in the best of this beautiful region, exploring Kochi, the impressive hill station of Munnar, India’s ’spice village’ Periyar, the backwaters of Kumarakom and the sun-kissed coast of Marari Beach.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

Board your overnight flight from London, arriving in Kochi on day two.

Days 2-3

Kochi, formerly Cochin, lies at the centre of Kerala's coastline and makes a wonderful introduction to the region. A private guide will take you to visit the Jewish Synagogue, the Mattancherry Palace and St Francis Church, all built during the 16th century. Be sure also to take a stroll along the waterfront, where Chinese fishing nets take centre stage, and to watch a performance of traditional Kathakali dance.

Stay: Old Harbour Hotel, Kochi (Superior) or Brunton Boatyard, Kochi (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 4-5

After breakfast drive to Munnar, and check in upon arrival. Munnar is a magnificent hill station in the Western Ghats at about 5,000 feet above sea level. It is one of the best hill stations in Kerala and is a major centre for the area's tea industry. The town was also the British Government's summer resort in the South and it has been a favourite summer resort of the European settlers for centuries. Spend the afternoon at your leisure. The next morning, enjoy a visit to a tea or coffee plantation around Munnar. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure. 

Stay: SpiceTree Munnar, Kerala (Superior) or The Windermere Estate Plantation & Retreat, Kerala (Superior)

Day 6

Transfer to the Spice Village hotel (Superior), in the picturesque Cardamom Hills, or Aanavilasum (Deluxe) – a luxury plantation house on seven acres of private estate just 8 km from Thekkady, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. A cruise within the park offers great opportunities to spot elephants and otters.

Stay: Spice Village, Periyar (Superior) or Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House, Kerala (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 7-8

Much of Kerala's allure is down to its backwaters – a network of rivers, canals and lagoons backed by plantations of tea and spices. Kumarakom sits idly in these backwaters, asleep among paddy fields and coconut groves. Our deluxe option here, Kumarakom Lake Resort, is a particular treat, complete with an Ayurvedic centre and jacuzzi on the banks of Lake Vembanad. Alternatively, Coconut Lagoon is a heritage hotel with authentic architecture and an ecological focus.

Stay: Coconut Lagoon Resort, Kumarakom (Superior) or Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 9

Cruising along the Keralan backwaters on a traditional houseboat is for many an essential Indian experience. Today's leisurely voyage will take you to Alleppey, whose network of criss-crossing canals caused a former Viceroy of India to call it the ‘Venice of the East'.

Stay: House Boat

Meals: B L D

Days 10-12
Kovalam Beach

After enjoying breakfast on board the houseboat, disembark and transfer to Kovalam, where you'll spend your last three nights at your chosen beach hotel. Kovalam is a beach town by the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The area is well known for its golden sanded beaches, with three that are most famous: the Lighthouse Beach, the Hawah Beach and the Samudra Beach. Spend the next few days relaxing on the beach, exploring the stunning coast and Kovalam town or perhaps enjoying an optional Ayurveda treatment at your hotel.

Stay: Niraamaya Surya Samudra, Kovalam (Superior) or The Leela, Kovalam (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 13
Depart India/Arrive UK

Enjoy time to yourself before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

Choose to stay at Marari Beach on days 10-12

A short transfer from the disembarkation point of your houseboat takes you to Marari Beach near the beach village of Mararikulam. Check into either Marari Beach Resort (Superior) or the stunning Carnoustie Wellness Resort & Spa (Deluxe) and spend the next three nights relaxing on the beautiful beach before transferring to Kochi airport on day 13 for your onward flight.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

13-day tailor-made journey from £2,060 incl. flights


Low Season

from £2,060 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £2,945 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights from London to Kochi and from Trivandrum to London
  • 10 nights accommodation in 4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis
  • 1 night accommodation in a Deluxe Keralan houseboat on a full-board basis
  • Private transfers and private touring

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0798 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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