Incredible India – Kerala and an Ayurveda Retreat

Duration
15 days
goat guide
price
£3175

DATES Fri 17th November 2023
- Sat 2nd December 2023

15 nights

Incredible India is our series of holidays to discover this magical country with our partner Rainbow Journeys founded and owned by Sheetal Thakur. She works with us to offer exclusive and off beat women only tours for us in her home country.This is a Wellness and Walking Tour for women who are in need of a restful retreat in the safe hands of our women guides in India. Ayurveda is one of the oldest known and effective healthcare systems believed to have started in India 5000 years ago. You will have an authentic Ayurveda experience. This is a very special holiday as there will be women joining from Brazil and from our German partner - do get in touch to find out more or book yourself on to reserve a space! To travel to India you need a visa but online visas are available for the UK again and the process is very efficient. You can apply a week before travelling.

SUMMARY

Dates: Friday 17th November to Saturday December 2nd

Arrival: Kochi International  Airport in Kerala Southern India. A group transfer will pick you up from Kochi Airport. Arrive in the morning of Friday 17th November.

Departure: A group transfer to Thiruvanthapuram International Airport, the capital city of Kerala after breakfast. Plan to travel from 14.00.

This is a Wellness and Wellbeing tour to explore Kerala 8 nights/8 days ending with an Ayurveda Retreat for 7 nights/8 days. If you would like to extend your trip we can help.

Guide: Lead English-speaking woman guide from our partner Rainbow Journeys which is led by Sheetal Thakur the women owner and founder of this dynamic company.

Walking Grade: 1 Goat as this trip is a real revival holiday with some small hikes , some cycling , some walking with women in tea plantations and an Ayurveda retreat on a beach. It is for those in need of some nourishing,restful adventure and who would like to connect with women from different countries coming together for this trip.

ACCOMMODATION:  Solo occupancy with own attached bathrooms

Nights  City  Hotel  Room Type 
02 Kochi The Killians Bungalow Standard
02 Munnar Neelakurunji Plantation Cottage
02 Periyar Cardamom County Periyar Room
01 Kumarakom Whispering Palm Garden View
01 Allwppey Houseboat AC Deluxe
07 Ayurveda Village Ayurveda Retreat Standard

 

More information on the Ayurveda village in Kerala that offers authentic ayurveda treatments :  : https://www.ayurvedichealingvillage.com/

Price: The price of £3175 is for solo occupancy. If you would like to share a room the price is £2580 per person.

Included:

  • Accommodation for 15 nights with breakfast
  • Lunches – either packed (2) or at local restaurants(11)
  • Dinners except 2 nights where you are free to explore.
  • Mineral water whilst travelling
  • Entrance fees to monuments, National parks, temples etc. as per the itinerary
  • Local guides throughout the trip
  • Activities including:
  • Visit to fisherman village at Kochi, followed by lunch at the backwaters.
  • Cycle ride (3-4 hrs) with proper gears to the remote islands of Kadamakkudy.
  • Cooking demonstration in a traditional Kerala kitchen followed by a meal with the local family.
  • Hike in Tea Plantation with the workers. Tea factory visit, followed by lunch at Tea plantation bungalow.
  • Visit to Sristhi – an organisation helping differently abled children for the Tea plantation worker families.
  • Day hike in Mathikettan Shola park with packed lunch.
  • Backwater cruise in a houseboat.
  • Kathakali dance performance in Kochi.
  • Meeting a woman entrepreneur for dinner in Kochi.
  • Spice plantation visit at Periyar.
  • Nature hike & bamboo rafting with tribal trackers in Periyar NP.

Also included for the  AYURVEDA RETREAT

MANALTHEERAM AYURVEDA RETREAT, KOVALAM    :   https://manaltheeram.com

  • 02 Rejuvenation Ayurveda massages per day (01 hour each)
  • Consultations with an Ayurveda doctor.
  • Daily Yoga and Meditation (separate session for the group).
  • Cultural programme.
  • Ayurveda cooking demonstration.
  • Ayurveda lecture class.
  • Language interpreters.

Not included:

  • Personal expenses such as table drinks, room service items, laundry, telephone calls at hotels etc.
  • Any additional expenses caused by or liability for disturbance in trip program due to circumstances, weather conditions, sickness, natural disasters, riots etc.
  • Travel Insurance which is mandatory
  • Tips throughout the trip to local guides, hotel staff, driver etc.
  • Camera Fees.

 

 

DETAILS

Rich in culture and vibrant in colors, Kerala is unlike most places seen before. Graced with tropical beauty, embark on this two week journey of sights, nature and wellness.

Explore ancient monuments and discover architectural delights during a city tour of Kochi, the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. After a day here, you will step outside the city into nature, where you’ll trek in the dense tropical forest of Munnar & spend an afternoon at tea estate. Explore spice plantations and trek in Periyar Jungles. Spend an overnight on a houseboat that drifts through the enchanting emerald backwaters. End the trip with a weeklong Ayurveda retreat on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Kerala is where the art of Ayurveda started, with its equable climate, natural abundance of forests with a wealth of herbs and medicinal plants.

HIGHLIGHTS of the holiday

  • Visit to fisherman village to experience the village life and their various activities.
  • Cycle ride (3-4 hrs) from the city of Kochi to the remote islands of Kadamakkudy. Cycle through remote villages crossing ferries and using narrow village roads. This is a unique experience to explore the secluded Kadamakkudy islands.
  • Cooking demonstration in a traditional Kerala kitchen followed by a meal with the local family.
  • Hike in the Tea plantation to go with the women workers to pluck the tea leaves. Interact with the workers and proceed to the tea processing experience, including Tea factory visit. Guests will have lunch at a Plantation bungalow.
  • Visit Srishti a welfare centre focuses on enhancing the hidden talents of differently abled children.
  • Day hike in Mathikettan Shola park through the Tribal village.
  • A traditional overnight houseboat cruise on the beautiful backwaters of Kerala.
  • Kathakali dance performance in Kochi.
  • Meeting a woman entrepreneur for dinner during the tour.
  • Spice plantation visit.
  • Nature trek & bamboo rafting with tribal trackers in Periyar NP.
  • 07 Nights Ayurveda retreat with massage therapies, Yoga & Meditation.

ITINERARY

DAY 01             ARRIVE KOCHI

Arrive Kochi airport early morning. You will be met on arrival  and transferred to your hotel at Fort Kochi.

Later in the afternoon enjoy a Heritage Walking tour through Fort Kochi.

This 2 hour walking tour gives you a glimpse into Cochin’s rich history and heritage, showcasing the mixed Dutch, Portuguese, British and Jewish influences that make the city unique. During the tour, we will visit the old quarter of Fort Kochi, exploring the quaint streets of this city on foot. We will also visit Fort Kochi’s seaside promenade and get a glimpse of daily life in Kochi. The walk will end with tea/coffee at a café.

In the evening witness Kathakali Dance performance. Accompanied by a gong, drums and cymbals; Kathakali performers combine dance and theatre in a ritualistic portrayal of gods and demons.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 02               KOCHI

In the morning we will take a cycle ride (3 – 4 hours) to remote islands of Kadamakkudy in Kochi. You will be cycling through remote villages, crossing ferries and using narrow village roads. This is a unique experience to explore the secluded Kadamakkudy islands.

Afternoon at leisure and later in the evening meet a woman entrepreneur during your dinner, interact and listen to her story.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 03            KOCHI – MUNNAR                          DRIVE:  145 km / 05 hours

After an early breakfast, you’ll leave Kochi behind and drive through the countryside to reach Kumbalangy Village – a Model Tourism Village,  to experience the fishermen village activities like live fish catching, Crab farming, Coir making etc. On arrival refresh yourself with a tender coconut drink; later visit the Fishing Village. Enjoy a home cooked lunch by the side of the backwaters.

Later drive to Munnar, a picturesque hill station covered with unending expanses of tea plantations. Enjoy the hilly drive through tranquil countryside.

Arrive and check into your hotel and relax.

 DAY 04            MUNNAR

After an early breakfast you’ll drive for an hour to Mathikettan Shola for a hike into the rain forest, visiting the tribal village and to experience nature at its best. There are chances to spot endemic and migratory birds, languors and giant squirrels. Snacks and refreshments will be provided during the hike.

Later in the afternoon you’ll visit Srishti – a welfare centre focuses on enhancing the hidden talents of differently abled children, most of whom are from the families of local tea pluckers of Munnar.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 05            MUNNAR – THEKKADY                 DRIVE: 110 km / 03-04 hrs

After an early breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to a nearby tea plantation to spend few hours with Tea picker ladies. We spend time picking tea leaves with the ladies, while interacting with them to understand their day to day life.

During the trail, you will also visit one of the tea factories to understand the process of tea making followed by tea tasting session.

Lunch will be served at the Tea Bungalow and later drive to Thekkady and check in at the hotel.

DAY 06            THEKKADY

After an early breakfast, explore Periyar wildlife sanctuary on a range hiking and bamboo rafting through some of the richest forest tracks of Periyar Tiger Reserve.

The forests are rich in bird life and arboreal animals like giant squirrel and Nilgiri langur. While rafting, one gets a panoramic view of forest-clad hills reflected on the lake. Animals like elephant, gaur and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake.

You will be accompanied by an armed guard and forest guides through the hike.  Tea, snacks and packed lunch will be served during the hike.

Return to your hotel after a tiring yet satisfying day in the forest.

DAY 07            THEKKADY – KUMARAKOM                            DRIVE: 140 km

Morning after breakfast, enjoy a short walk to nearby spice plantation to learn more about the spices grown in this region.

Check out and drive to Kumarakom , enroute visit a rubber plantation followed by cooking session and lunch with a local family.

Arrive and check into your hotel located on the banks of Vembanadu Lake and relax or enjoy a sunset cruise using country boat (Optional)

DAY 08            KUMARAKOM – ALLEPPEY                                              DRIVE: 45 km / 01 hr

 Morning at leisure.

Afternoon you board a houseboat on the Backwaters. These waterways are the principal means of communication and trade for scores of homes and villages. Along the banks, at jetties and ferry stops, there’s often a wonderful array of produce ready for market – sacks of cashews are piled high next to coconuts.

Your houseboat is a converted kettuvallam (rice barge) constructed in a traditional way from anjali (jackfruit) wood. ‘Kettu’ means knot and ‘vallom’ means boat. These giant 80-foot long crafts have been adapted to provide simple but comfortable accommodation. Each boat has air conditioning, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew, usually comprising two oarsmen and a cook. Traditional lanterns are used as lights.

Overnight stay in Houseboats.

DAY 09            ALLEPPEY – KOVALAM                          DRIVE: 160 km/04 hr

After breakfast, disembark from the houseboat and drive to Kovalam to your Ayurveda retreat for the next 07 nights. Check into your hotel located on the shores of Arabian Sea.

Day 10 to 16 Ayurveda Retreat 26/11 to 02/12 

During the retreat you will be given 02 Ayurveda massages per day. Yoga & meditation will be offered separately for the group, every day.

 Day 16  – After the retreat on day 16th, you will be given a departure transfer to Thiruvanthapuram international airport.

Please note: Guests should arrive at KOCHI international airport & depart from THIRUVANTHAPURAM international airport.

CALL 01784 664063 – EMAIL CONTACTUS@WALKINGWOMEN.COM

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Incredible India – Kerala and an Ayurveda Retreat
DATES Fri 17th November 2023
- Sat 2nd December 2023






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