On this 12 day holiday you will be transported back in time to the spice-trading port of Cochin, with its melting pot of cultural influences, lulled by the serene beauty of Kerala’s backwaters and thrilled by the game-spotting in the jungles of Periyar. The fragrant tea plantations and hill forests of Munnar are sure to enchant as you discover the Spice of Kerala.
About TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS
The company with over 28 yrs old experienced team is committed to bringing the best in both quality and value to small group journeys, private car guided tours and tailor-made tours to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Being a leading travel wholesaler we introduce travellers to the amazing culture and offer tours at unbeatable prices and with unparalleled comfort. For your protections TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS is approved Destination Management Company by Ministry of tourism Govt of India and member of IATA, AFTA, TCF, ATAC, IATO and PATA to name few. We are proud to say that our team is very experienced with in-depth knowledge of destination. Our reputation is built on providing world class service with real personal touches that make a difference to your holiday. We understand the importance of giving attention to even the smallest of details and care about the countries to which we take you and make sure that we have a positive effect on the environment. Respect for locals and their way of life is an essential part of travelling with TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS.
“You Rely on us and we rely on experience”
Spice of Kerala - 12 Days/11 Nights (Private Car Tour)
Day 01: Arrive Cochin
Meet and assistance by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS Tour Executive and transfer to the hotel for two nights stay in Cochin. (No Meals)
Day 02: Cochin
After breakfast proceed on a sightseeing tour of the city where the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. In the evening enjoy the famous dance drama of Kerala, the Kathakali. (B,D)
Day 03: Cochin - Munnar
After breakfast travel to Munnar, a place to enjoy scenic beauty and marvellous waterfalls, high mountains with the low flying clouds passing by. A heaven of peace and tranquillity, Munnar is amazingly beautiful, an idyllic destination. On arrival check in at hotel, rest of the day is free for your own activities. Stay two nights at Munnar. (B,D)
Day 04: Munnar
After a leisurely breakfast proceed on a sightseeing tour of the city which is difficult to describe. Witness tea gardens spread like a green carpet over hundreds of kilometres, lush green hills, very low population and far from pollution. Overnight at Munnar. (B,D)
Day 05: Munnar - Thekkady
After breakfast travel to Thekkady, known for the Periyar wildlife sanctuary. In the afternoon take a walk and boat ride on the lake and watch wildlife. Stay two nights at Thekkady. (B,D)
Day 06: Thekkady
Visit a spice plantation farm growing Cardamom, pepper, coffee and tea. On your way back you could stop at the local market and purchase some fragrant spices. (B,D)
Day 07: Thekkady - Backwater Cruise
Transfer to embark on a private house boat at Alleppey and sail through the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. Witness the lifestyle of the locals and travel teh vast network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals. Enjpy all meals and stay overnight on board. (B,D)
Day 08: Alleppey - Kollam
Disembark after breakfast and travel to Kollam, the cetre of teh country's cashew trading and procesing industry. take an afternoon walk in this beautiful small town surrounded by the lake. Stay two nights at Kollam. (B,D)
Day 09: Kollam
Interact with the locals and experience their day - to day life or relax at the resort offering options of various Ayurvedic treatments. (B,D)
Day 10: Kollam - Kovalam
Travel to Kovalam, a beautiful beach town of Kerala. Day is free to relax and stay two nights in Kovalam. (B,D)
Day 11: Kovalam
Have a leisurely breakfats, enjoy Ayurveda massage and relax at teh beach. (B,D)
Day 12: Trivandrum Departure
After a leisurely breakfast check out and transfer to the airport to board the flight for your onward journey. (B)
Being a seasoned traveller ourselves we have discovered the travelling time is unpredictable sometime you reach a destination so late that you are tired to go out for dinner or search for a proper dinning place around the vicinity of your hotel which may become a chore during your holiday, hence we have removed the hassle by including most of breakfast and dinners in all our brochure tour packages.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation
Do some exploring before the trip begins or add couple of nights after the tour to relax before boarding your flight. We offer competitive rates in all destinations- book in conjunction with your main tour - ask TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS or your travel agent.
Add-On (Short Tour packages)
Make the most of your time away - after all, you have travelled all that way. Our Add-On can be used as short breaks in their own right or as pre/post tour additions. With all arrangements made for you they are the perfect way to discover more of your destinations - ask TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS or your travel agent.
Private Car Tours
Our private car tour is not about leaving you alone to explore destinations or country; it’s all about giving you to opportunity to choose your own dates and travel at your own pace and leisure in your own private car with a driver. Your itinerary will be private, personalised and flexible which can be chosen from our selections or customised according to your request. Your private local English speaking guide will escort you in each destination during sightseeing tour, and when you want to explore the town on your own; you are absolutely free to do so.
Our Group and Private Car tours have been designed to feature a selection of the destination’s highlights, but they may not meet all of your requirements. At TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS we are proud to offer expert tailor-made services that enable us to put together your perfect holiday. Perhaps you would like to vary the standard of accommodation or modes of transport. On the other hand, you may want to create an entirely individual itinerary that includes destinations and experiences not covered in the featured itineraries. Whatever your needs, we are happy to design a personalised itinerary and quote without obligation.
“The Holidays you dream are the holidays we pack”
What better way to spend quality time with your loved ones than to get away from the daily hectic schedule and escape to a place of sheer relaxation and comfort.
A perfect family holiday is like a Pandora’s Box of excitement, relaxation, fun, good times and wonderful memories that will be cherished for a life time. Let us tailor your every wish for that ideal family time together, a dream come true and an experience that will be passed down from generations.
This itinerary can be customised to create your family holiday.
What Makes Us Different?
Being your Local Travel Wholesaler and one of the True Destination Specialists our team in Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar ensures that every itinerary is well balanced and filled with amazing cultural experiences, breathtaking scenery and historical sites. Most must see and must do’s are included giving you opportunity to witness sights, taste delicious cuisine, visit bazaar for souvenirs, meet and experience life of locals at the same time have some free time to explore town the way you like.
Whichever itinerary you select all are included complete travel and transfer by charted air-conditioned vehicles, local English speaking guide, sightseeing, entrance fee to the monuments and parks, safaris, boat ride, elephant or camel or horse ride, cultural shows at the theatre or hotel, domestic airfare in economy class, train fare in best available air-conditions class and not to mentioned the current govt taxes of the county. For more details of inclusions please refer to the inclusions column of the itinerary.
All prices shown are on per person basis on twin/double and apply when you share room with travel companion. For single traveller we do offer single room and price is available on request.
You don’t need to worry about currency fluctuations. Once we receive your full payment, your land tour price is guaranteed and protected against any increases.
100% Protected Holiday
We are a member of IATA, TCF, ATAC and AFTA which ensure that your holiday is 100% protected.
No Hidden Cost
We love transparency so the prices quoted by THO are almost all inclusive and help the traveller to budget their holidays accurately. All we ask you to do is relax and enjoy your holiday, knowing that all prepaid expenses have been included in your initial tour cost. For more details please refer to the tour inclusions.
Value for Money
Being a local Travel Wholesaler, our huge buying power help us pass the discounted rates to our clients. We also do FREE hotel upgrade at some destination as a gesture of appreciation to our valuable travellers. Apart from this our local team of experts add incredible value for your dollar.
Loyalty Rewarded 5% Off
Many of our clients choose to travel with us time and time again. As a valued client, we offer you a 5% discount off your second and onwards tour package. This offer applies only to the tour cost of your trip and conditions do apply. Speak to us for details when making your booking.
Multi Trip Discount 5% Off
If you have the time why not combine two or more of our tour and save? In any one holiday, we will discount your second and onwards trip by 5%. Tour package must be minimum 10 days or more from our brochure and discount applies on lowest price tour package. Discount does not apply to add-on pre & post accommodation, train journeys, flights and/or any small packages or services.
BIG SAVINGS when travelling with your friends and family
The advantage of a true specialist is their knowledge and confidence in assisting anyone who is not only keen to visit a destination but would also like to do things differently. Is there a special occasion? Do you want to experience a festival, lead a culinary adventure, organise a yoga and wellness group or cycle the off beaten tracks of India or Sri Lanka with people close to you? Or do you find parts of one of our tours appealing but want to alter dates or itineraries to better suit your groups’ needs?
Please contact us with your wish list and our team will be glad to tailor-make your special tour ensuring all possible activities and ideas are incorporated, making a unique group tour.
(Best suited discount will be offered and any discount can not be combined with any other discount or promotions)
24/7 Helpline and assistance by THO Local Offices
Apart from 24/7 helpline for emergency assistance; our guest relation manager will call you to make sure everything is going smoothly. Our 36 local network and associate office Manager will be there to assist you in every destination.
The tour packages are usually “Land Only” and do not include international flights. We therefore recommend that you contact us or your travel agent to book your flights well in advance of travel, when you can generally gain access to specials and discounted airfares. This will ensure you can travel on the days that suit you and your tour.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our journeys. Speak to us or your travel agent about comprehensive insurance to cover your travel arrangements. This must critically cover medical expenses in case of an emergency. Note that travel insurance automatically provided with credit cards generally does not provide adequate cover. Its your responsibility to ensure that you have appropriate and comprehensive travel insurance.
Our elderly travellers who are aged 70 years or more, or with a per-existing condition that affects their fitness to travel or any medical dietary requirement, must be advised at the time of booking. We recommend all travellers should visit their Doctor for these aforementioned purposes and/or to confirm that they are physically able to undertake the day-to-day requirements of the tour.
Type of Accommodation
As there is so much to see and do in India during the day therefore everyone deserves a good night sleep. We choose quality accommodation according to the category you are travelling in, based on providing a place of rest that offers not only comfort but also an authentic experience rather than staying in a hotel that could by anywhere in the world. Every hotel might be different according to location, amenities and services. While selecting hotel we consider great location, private bathroom facilities and air-conditioning to name few.
Comfort: 3 star hotels offering basic and clean private facilities.
Deluxe: 4 Star hotels, Palaces and Heritage properties offering above average to very good facilities.
Luxury: 5 star hotels, Palace and Heritage properties offering full range of facilities and exceptional services with unique feature.
The cities which do not have more choice of hotels, the best suitable category of hotel is provided.
It is also possible to take a combination of comfort, deluxe and luxury accommodation in one itinerary.
Nepal being adventure destination, choices of accommodation are limited hence basic 3* or best available hotel in the itinerary except at some location where 4* and 5* hotel options are offered.
In Bhutan itinerary basis 3* hotel accommodation is used unless requested.
Selecting Your Holiday Type
Most of our journeys are suited to those with normal fitness and mobility levels. To assist you in choosing a journey best for you we have graded our tours;
Easy Paced: These programs are set at a comfortable pace. Walking and climbing of stairs involved is generally in and around major tourist attractions though you may require walking from road till boat jetty while embarking or disembarking boats.
Moderate: These tours are not strenuous but you will require good amount of fitness as they may include days with long periods of walking or soft trekking, climbing of stairs, embarking and disembarking boats and where longer distances may be travelled by uneven roads.
Adventurous: These refer to programs where your physical fitness needs to be on highest level. Trekking, cycling, climbing, walking and more adventurous activities may be included.
Travelling In India
The key to travelling in India is patience! Distances can sometimes be vast, roads are often congested and rustic and time is not necessarily of the essence. With many different options of travel, each will bring with it a different perspective of this fascination country.
Our Small Group and Independent tours use a variety of transport options to get you from city to city. From Private car, deluxe charter coaches, to domestic airline and air-conditioned trains, you’ll be taken from hotel to hotel in comfort.
India has one of the largest rail networks in the world with over 60,000 kms of tract and 7,000 stations. Travelling by train in India can be an experience in itself and a wonderful way to get in touch with the locals.
Passport & Visas
India: Visa is required for all foreign nationals.
Apply online for a Pre-Approval at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html .The online application should be submitted a minimum of 4 days in advance and a maximum of 30days of the proposed date of travel. TVOA links may also be found in websites of Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, Incredible India etc.
As of 27 Nov 2014 nationals and passport holder of 34 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Luxem Bourg, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar to name a few, can avail a Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) facility upon disembarking at international airports Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi and Trivandrum only. You will require to pay fees along with require documentation and is subject to verification and satisfaction of the Immigration. Please contact High Commission of India for updated information.
Sri Lanka: Every tourist visiting Sri Lanka required visa prior to departure. Visa must be obtained atleast 01 months prior to arrival in Sri Lanka by visiting www.eta.gov.lk The Tourist visa is valid for stay within 30 days. Passport must be valid for at least six months before you commence travel to Sri Lanka. Fee will apply.
Nepal: Visa is required for all foreign nationalities and the best way to apply for visa is from the Royal Nepalese diplomatic missions in your home country. Tourist Visa also can be obtained on arrival. Passport must be valid for at least six months before you commence travel in Nepal. Fee will apply.
Bhutan: All foreign nationals require visa for Bhutan.
Visa can be arranged by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS. To process this we require clear readable colour copy of passport (page containing passport no and face picture in JPEG or PDF format) and current colour passport photograph and at least 30 days prior to date of entry into Bhutan. Remaining validity of passport should be at least 6 months from the date of exit from Bhutan.
Tourism Council of Bhutan issues visa clearance letter closer to travelling date which we email or fax you or your local travel agent. Travellers are required to produce aforesaid visa clearance copy at the time of check-in for their flights while those entering Bhutan by surface via Phuentsholing or Samdrup Jonkhar, they are required to produce this Visa Clearance letter at the Immigration counter. Actual visa is stamped at passport on arrival in Bhutan.
Visa only service is not offered in Bhutan, you would have to book a service tour package from TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS that includes accommodation, guided tours, transfers etc
Myanmar: Visa is required for all nationalities.
Visa can be arranged by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS. To process this we require international flight details, clear readable colour copy of passport (page containing passport no and face picture in JPEG or PDF format) and current colour passport photograph and at least 30 days prior to date of entry into Myanmar. Remaining validity of passport should be at least 6 months from the date of exit from Myanmar.
HOW TO BOOK
You can contact our associate travel agent, call our local office, email us or book online. Booking forms must be completed to ensure TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS has on file all the necessary information such as passport details, travel insurance policy details and emergency contacts etc. Travelers over the age of 65 and those with pre-existing medical conditions will also be required to provide a medical certificate to certify they are fit to travel. By booking through travel agent or online means you have read and agreed to the TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS booking conditions. For more detail please click here.
Team at TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS wishes you a wonderful holiday!!!
Day 1: Arrival Cochin
On arrival at the airport meet your tour manager who will assist you to transfer to the hotel for two nights stay in Cochin. (No Meals)
Day 2: Cochin
Early morning, if you wish, you can wake up early to witness the mesmerizing sights of sunrise over the Chinese fishing nets. The beautiful expanse of nets with the backdrop of sun rising is a perfect start to enjoy the scenic beauty of India. After breakfast we will set out to explore this port city with rich and interesting past. The Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans sailed into this city to trade and their influence is still found in the buildings and lifestyle of the city.
We will walk through the Fort area, exploring Jewish Syangogue – which is one of the oldest synagogues amongst all the commonwealth nations, St Francis church, Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace - a 16th century palace. Just opposite to the Mattancherry Palace, visit the spice market, one of the biggest centres of spices in Cochin. Here you can buy some of the authentic spices, smell and see what makes Indian curries so hot and tasty. In the evening we will take you to a Kathakali Performance. Kathakali is a ritualized dance form that is native to Kerala, with elaborate costumes and makeup. (B,D)
Day 3: Cochin – Munnar
Drive from Cochin to Munnar a hill station at a height of 1525 mtrs, Munnar offers a breathtaking view of the hills swathed in an impossibly green carpet of tea bushes. Munnar - the right royal resort lazily nestled in the verdant slopes of tea country, is a quaint little town that exudes a rare old world charm and strangely reminds one of the days of the Raj in its elegant splendour. Beyond the rolling hills discover the rich tropical forests abounding in exotic flora and fauna. Afternoon free to relaxing or explore the surroundings and stay overnight at Munnar. (B,D)
Day 04: Munnar
After a leisurely breakfast proceed on a sightseeing tour of the city which is difficult to describe. Witness tea gardens spread like a green carpet over hundreds of kilometres, lush green hills, very low population and far from pollution. The place is encircled by wooded hills of the Annamalai Ranges, with the towering bulk of Anamudi, which is peninsular India’s highest peak at about 2695m. Sprawling tea plantations, picture books towns, winding lanes, exotic flora and fauna in the forests and grasslands, make Munnar a pleasant hill station. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight at Munnar. (B,D)
Day 05: Munnar - Thekkady
After breakfast we drive through the Western Ghats to Thekkady, a beautiful area of tea gardens, rubber estates and coffee and pepper plantations, located high in the Cardamom hills. On our way we en-route and visit the Tea Museum opened by the Tata Tea group. The museum puts light on the important fact and figures about the growth of the tea plantations in Munnar. It contains curios, old photographs, machineries and other things which have been used since long time. In the afternoon, visit a spice garden where you will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of the spices are grown. Stay two nights at Thekkady. (B,D)
Day 06: Thekkady
We wake up early to experience a boat cruise on the Lake Periyar, which show cases a kaleidoscope of activities that incur around the lake and jungle. Evergreen moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands characterise Periyar. Later proceed to view the rare species of plantations, animals and visit a spice plantation growing cardamom, pepper, coffee, and tea estate. Walk amidst the palette displaying variant shades of green, neatly arranged into terrace farms, the symmetry broken only by the sudden appearance of a gurgling stream. It is believed that the spice trade dates back three thousand years in Kerala and many spices find their home here. The slanting slopes caress a variety of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and curry leaves. On the way back you could stop at the local market and purchase some fragrant spices. Dinner and overnight at Periyar. (B,D)
Day 07: Thekkady – Alleppey
After breakfast travel to Alleppey, on arrival embark on the houseboat; while sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals, panoramic sights one can never forget. Flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remain an enduring picture reflecting the charm of this beautiful land. Enjoy fishing and sunset when heading towards Kumarakom. All meals and overnight on the houseboat. (B,L,D)
Day 08: Alleppey - Kollam
After breakfast travel to Kollam, also known as Quilon, that is the centre of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry. The Malayalam Era is based on the founding of Kollam in the 9th century and being one of the oldest ports of the Malabar Coast, it was an important centre of trade during the ancient times and was frequented by Phoenicians, Persians, Romans, Arabs and Chinese, with also famous travellers like Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta, who have acclaimed the historical importance of Kollam as a commercial town. The industrial centre is well known for its titanium, mineral sands and china clay and is also the birth place of the legendary art form of ‘Ramanattam Kathakali’. The historical importance of the place also stems from the fact that the township was designed and built by Syrians, an instance of foreign influence on Kerala. On arrival check into the hotel with rest of the day free to explore and enjoy this beautiful small town. Dinner and overnight at Kollam. (B,D)
Day 09: Kollam
After breakfast visit this small village, this is an opportunity to interact with locals and experience their day to day life. Kollam is blessed with all unique features; sea, lake, mountains, plains, streams, rivers, backwaters, forest, vast green fields and tropical crop of every variety. The sight of white egrets dipping into the clear waters of the Ashtamudi Lake on a moonlit night is simply stunning. At the many temples, mosques, churches of this town, one can meet people eager to share their stories and monuments. Rest of the day is free to enjoy the backwater recreation club. Dinner and overnight at Kollam. (B,D)
Day 10: Kollam - Kovalam
After breakfast travel to Kovalam a site enriched with rich greenery of palm fingered bays in secluded coconut groves and laced with golden sands. The boundless blue waters of the Arabian sea and miles of white sands washed away by the surf at the feet of the strong palms and the rocky promontories, makes this beach a paradise. Stay for two nights in Kovalam. (B,D)
Day 11: Kovalam
Have a leisuerly breakfast, enjoy basis Ayurveda massage and relax at teh beach. (B,D)
Day 12: Trivandrum departure
After a leisurely breakfast check out and transfer to the airport to board the flight for your onward journey. (B)
2014 - 2015
Make this your Family Tour - Child under 5 years old stays free.
|A = Available R = Reserved C = Closed||
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Grade: Easy Paced
Accommodation with private facilities
Travel by private air-conditioned car with driver
Local English-speaking guide
Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Private Backwater cruise
Kathakali Dance show
Boat ride at Cochin
Spice Plantation Visit
Wildlife safari at Periyar
Entry fee/Monument charges
Assistance and Transfers
All current taxes
Any international or domestic airfares
Train fares other than specified in the what's included section
Airport taxes, visa & passport fees
Extra baggage charges
Early check in or late check out
Meals other than specified in the what's included section
Tips & gratuities
Travel & medical insurance
Camera & video permits
Expenses incurred due to flight / train cancellation or delay
Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, postage etc
Any optional excursion or tour
Entry charges at monuments/forts etc
Any other expense not mentioned in the what's included section
Country Visited: India (Capital: New Delhi)
Overland travel by private air-conditioned car with driver
Itinerary can be customised to suit your requirements
Order sightseeing may vary according to local conditions
Normal Hotel check-in/out 1200 hours
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
Electricity: Current is 220V, 50Hz -Type C (European 2-pin), Type D (Old British 3-pin),
Time Zone: GMT +5.5 hours
Ask for pre and post accommodation