Our journey continues
The Best of Kerala
A gentle meander through the magic of Malabar.
This curated journey begins in the ancient coastal city of Kochi, which since the days of the Roman empire has been the main spice-exporting port of India’s productive western seaboard. The historical Fort Cochin, with its relaxed atmosphere, colonial architecture, Chinese fishing nets, and substantial Christian churches, together with the spice warehouses, antique shops, and ancient synagogue of nearby Jew Town, provide a marvellous introduction to Kerala’s cosmopolitan history and varied character.
Then follows a comfortable and well-catered train journey to Calicut, another port of charm historically important for its export of cotton ‘calico’ and now visited for its beach, various religious architecture, and the bustling SM Road shopping center, long famed for its delicious cakes and pastries. From here we drive inland, up through the lush rolling hills of Wayanad, spread with tea, coffee, and spice plantations, before eventually descending into Malabar, the northern part of Kerala that, with its tranquil backwaters and unspoilt palm-fringed coast fronting the Arabian Sea, is Southern India’s best kept secret.
In keeping with ABChapri’s adventurous spirit, this journey offers an unrivalled opportunity to experience Kerala off the beaten track. In taking you through relatively unvisited parts of the state, it will provide you a connection with the local people, their vibrant culture, and the beautiful landscapes they inhabit. The key to it all is variety: from romantic exploration of the area’s hidden backwaters in a traditional but stylish houseboat to hallowed temples and simple folk shrines, from holistic Ayurvedic rejuvenation treatments to elegant traditional wooden architecture, from the classical art of Kathakali dance to the extraordinary spirit-channelling performance of the Theyyam ritual.
And to round off the trip of a lifetime, what better way could there be to digest all these variegated impressions and experiences than to end your journey with a few days of total relaxation at the superlative Neeleshwar Hermitage? Here in Malabar’s most stylish beachside retreat, set in twelve acres of paradise garden overlooking kilometers of unspoilt beach, you will experience the unobtrusive service, delicious cuisine, and serene atmosphere that have won the property numerous awards.
Ideal time to visit: Mid-September to May.
Day 1: Arrive Kochi, assistance and transfer to Fort Kochi for 3 nights.
Day 2/3: Explore Kochi with a guided walk through the fort Kochi area to enjoy the historical sights. Visit nearby Jew Town.
Day 4: Early morning 7 am Transfer to the Railway station for an 8.20 am departure by Vande Bharat express to Calicut. Arrive at 11 am and transfer to hotel for one night. Afternoon enjoy guided tour of city.
Day 5: After breakfast a journey of 3 hrs through the spectacular Western Ghats, with their tea plantation and coffee estates, up to Wayanad for 3 nights.
Day 6: Relax and enjoy walks through the forest and tea/coffee estate.
Day 7: A day of local sightseeing and walking tours with guide.
Day 8: Transfer to Payannur (c. 5 hrs), and board the Lotus Houseboat for overnight.
Day 9: After breakfast, cycle (c. 30 mins) or car transfer (c. 10 mins) to the heavenly Neeleshwar Hermitage.
Day 10/11/12: A day of rest and relaxation to enjoy yoga lessons, massage, Ayurvedic treatments, or long walks on the deserted beach. Or you can just laze by the infinity pool with a book and soak up the sun..
Day 13: Today after breakfast, a guided walking tour through the village, visit the spellbinding Theyyam Ritual dances, and enjoy a break in a local tea shop.
Day 14: Transfer to nearby Kasaragod railway station to catch the 14.30 hrs train back down Kochi, arriving at 19.05 hrs to transfer to the International Airport or airport hotel.
Day 15: Fly back home.
Small, charming, and sustainable properties that source locally and provide employment to local people.
Local guides at each location, who give valuable insight into their culture and heritage.
All transfers and sightseeing utilise Toyota Innovas with a safe local driver. All vehicles are well maintained, meet the current emission norms, and are quiet and clean.
For more details Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 09910025022.
Nearest Airport: Kannur, (flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bangalore) then a 90 min transfer to the hotel in one of our cars.
Nearest Railway Station: Nileshwar, 6kms from the hotel.
From Bangalore: Distance by road is 360 kms, a 7/ 8 hour drive (including stops) through the breathtaking scenery of the Western Ghats, surrounded by gentle hillside slopes with tea and coffee gardens, spice plantations and virgin forests.