making meaningful connections
Spirit Of The South.
Explore the rubber, coffee and banana plantations in highland Kerala.
Stay in the hills of Karnataka overflowing with spice plantations. Experience the life of fisher-folk from a village on shores the Arabian Sea. Explore the rubber, coffee and banana plantations in highland Kerala. Cruise gently from village to village in the backwaters south of Cochin. Experience all this on a holiday of discovery and unique insight, staying as guests of charming village communities. Zig-zag from hills to ocean, to hills, to lagoons. With delicious food and gentle days, lose yourself in the relaxed and timeless charms of southern India.
Itinerary | Day by Day
For this holiday we recommend an outward flight to Mumbai and a return flight from Kochi via Mumbai. Spicejet offer a flight from Kochi to Mumbai.
DAY 1 | Outward Journey
Welcome at Mumbai airport, transfer to guesthouse for a freshen up then onwards to the train station for overnight express to Kumta, 2nd class a/c sleeper berth.
Meet at Kumta station; road transfer to Hulgol (2-3 hours). Relax at the Spice House guesthouse; introduction to the area. Your guide will meet you to plan the days ahead and help you make the most of you stay.
Night 2 - Night 4 | In the Spice Gardens of Karnataka
Spend three nights in the Hulgol Spice House. Your stay will include visits to spice plantations and the auction market in Sirsi. Enjoy guided walks or borrow the guesthouse bicycle for further exploration through the forest. You stay in simple twin rooms in the Spice House with breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner.
Day 5 | On the Karnataka Coast
After breakfast, road transfer to the fishing village of Pavinakurva, nestled amid coconut palms.
Night 5 - Night 7
With three nights in Pavinakurva, you will have time to unwind on the secluded beach, explore the Tarabagli estuary and watch the fisherman land their catch. Stay in simple twin rooms with breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner.
Please note, your stay in Hulgol and Pavinakurva can be done in either order and will be arranged according to availability at the guesthouses. You will be notified of this at the time of booking.
Day 8 - Night 8 | South via the Western Ghats
After a final morning in Pavinakurva, a road transfer takes you to Karwar to catch the overnight train to Kozhikode.
From Kozhikode, a road transfer takes you to Mothakkara, a charming village in the Wayanad region of the Western Ghats.
Night 9 - Night 11
Spend three nights in the village of Mothakkara in Wayanad. Explore the coffee and pepper plantations, enjoy forest walks and get to know your welcoming village hosts.
Following your stay in Wayanad, you return to the coastal town of Kozhikode to catch the day train to Ernakulam, further south along the Kerala coast. You are met from the train and transferred directly to Vayalar, the first backwater village of your three night stay onboard the Goodearth houseboat. The Goodearth is owned and crewed by the village communities that you visit and was built by the village team in Valayar, from local materials. The houseboat has two pretty twin cabins with private facilities. If there are fewer than four in your party, you may wish to upgrade and have exclusive use of the houseboat.
Night 12 - Night 14 | In the Backwaters of Kerala
Spend three nights onboard the Kayal Kettuvallam, stopping at each of the four communites; Vayalar, Chenganda, Perumbalam and Kodamthuruthu. Your mornings and evenings will be spent in the villages, getting to know the communities and discovering the customs and traditions, or exploring deeper into the backwaters in the houseboat’s own canoe. During the hotter, central part of the day the boat progresses gently through the backwaters to the next village. Local villagers prepare the fresh food, which they serve for guests on board.
Day 15 | Fort Cochin
After breakfast, short transfer to Fort Cochin.
Night 15 - Night 16
Two nights in a hotel in Fort Cochin allows you time to explore the exciting port city of Kochi and the wonderful old fort district.
Leisurely walks through leafy forest
A stay in Hulgol offers a wonderful introduction to this part of the Western Ghats, an area of sub-tropical forests, spice plantations, villages, rivers, waterfalls and temples. Discover the magic of spice, wander through aromatic plantations with the cultivators themselves, visit the co-operative market to witness the colourful scene, re-enacted in Sirsi market town for centuries, and learn ancient culinary and medicinal uses. Borrow one of the house cycles or walk along the shady forest paths to the Shalmala river to see the astonishing carvings on rocks in the river, returning through banana and spice gardens.
Sandy, palm-fringed beach
From Pavinakurva, your fishing-village home, wander through the palm-shaded village to the extensive sandy beach, 400 m from the guesthouse, over-looking the mysterious island. Stroll along the beach at sunset. Rise early to see the local in-shore fishermen sort their overnight catch for market. With over 100 species observed, enjoy bird watching around the village, the mangrove swamps and along the coastal strip; see the many useful plants and trees, as well as fish and crab species. Watch the traditional craft of the boat builders, help with the cashew harvest and relax in the afternoon warmth.
Into the hills of Wayanad
Journey into Kerala and the Wayanad region of the Western Ghats to the delightful hillside village of Mothakkara. Explore the rubber, coffee and banana plantations and twining vines of pepper and vanilla in the company of your own guide. Enjoy walks towards Banasura Mountain with views across splendid tea gardens towards the lush hills.
Drift along the Backwaters
In coastal Kerala, enjoy gently cruising on the Goodearth houseboat around the network of peaceful waterways, fringed by coconut palms and secluded villages. Moor each night at a different village, lulled to sleep in you cabin. Guests have universally loved their experiences on the Goodearth, so much more authentic and intimate than a ‘standard’ backwaters experience. Navigate dense, narrow canals and open waterways, while on the banks busy village life takes place. Watch duck herders on a punt, buffalo grazing at the water’s edge, fishermen in dugout canoes, coir weavers and coconut harvesters.
Deep into village life
Spirit Of The South16 Nights
All meals at Khali Estate and in the villages
B&B in Delhi Guest house
Guide and Porter services
HOLIDAY PRICES per person