Guests are always considered God in India and its divine and extended hospitality can be experienced in a state better known as the God's own country. The home, not only for its natives but tourists as well, Kerala offers the most hospitable experience of coming close to the absorptive, flexible, eclectic and inclusive ethos India is known worldwide for. Far away from the crowded hustle and bustle of the city, these home stays provide first hand experience of simple Kerala lifestyle, culture and flavours to the tourists easily. Add on to this experience is the exploration of natural bounties inclusive of paddy hamlets, misty plantations, backwaters, sun drenched beaches, etc.
DAY 01: COCHIN / KOCHI
Arrive Cochin Airport. Transfer by road to Thani Illam (30 min). This is a 100 year old house colloquially interpreted as the original home of a Kerala Malayali Brahmin family. The hosts of this home stay are Mr. T.S Parameswaran & Mrs. S. Saradammal who provide the hospitality beyond the usual bed and breakfast inns. They will even serve tourists the traditionally rich Kerala Vegetarian Cuisine. (No alcohol / liquors are allowed in Thani Illam). In the afternoon, visit Elephant Kraal (training center) in Kodanad. Return to Thani Illam after excursion for overnight.
DAY 02: COCHIN / KOCHI TOUR
Next morning, begin full day Cochin city tour. Cochin, the natural harbour city is the result of underwater Malabar mud-banks which demarcate the rougher outside sea shore from the calmer waters with the silt accumulation. Vasco-de-Gama's discovery of Spice Route made Cochin on the world map. The tourist map of Cochin City includes a visit to Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, Mosques & Hindu temples, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets in action alongside the Fort Cochin, an unusually extraordinary sight associated with Cochin, Kerala only.
DAY 03: COCHIN / VAGAMON
Drive by Car to Vagamon (3 ½ hrs drive), a pristine hill station of Kerala. Arrive at Vanilla County Estate - a 55 year old bungalow set amidst 150 acres of rubber and other spices gardens. In this accommodation, tourists can relish a variety of Keralan delicacies and other Indian dishes. The ingredients or spices used in the exotic recipes have one important attraction. They are grown and cultivated organically within the grounds of the estate, adding on to the value and nourishment of the meal. Even the fresh filter coffee and tea served are the offerings of the estate's own plantations. The hosts at Vanilla County Plantation Villa during the stay will be Baby and Rani, who as good hosts will be serving guests with the home cooked food and even provide them the guided tour of the estate where they can observe the cultivation process of organic spices, fruit and vegetables. Other attractions inside the farm include swimming in the series of natural pools, trekking, elephant rides and plantation visits. Overnight stay.
DAY 04: VAGAMON
Plan the day ahead to spend some time in the Plantations, Trekking, Farming activities etc.
DAY 05: VAGAMON / ALLEPPEY
Drive to Alleppey (3 ½ hrs drive). Installation at Emerald Isle, a tourist lodge and resort along the backwaters of Kerala. This stay, 10 km away from Alleppey town, provides an exotic retreat experience. Overnight in Emerald Isle.
DAY 06: ALLEPPEY
Tourists can plan the day according to their choice or preference. They can observe traditional paddy harvesting in the Kuttanad region, the rice bowl of Kerala; witness the process of tapping toddy, a local alcoholic drink extracted from coconut trees or take a boating tour through the small village canals and observe the village life passing by the exotic cruise. Return to the tourist lodge.
DAY 07: ALLEPPEY / COCHIN
Drive to Cochin (1 hr) and stay at the beautiful home of Byju and lyma - Gramam, located on the backwaters banks in Kumbalangi village (10 km from Cochin). The house is well connected to the heritage zone of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. The house is tiled and constructed in the archetypal Keralan style. The small garden slopes gently away into the backwaters. The farmland around the house consists of coconuts, areca nuts, and mangoes in abundance. Other than that, the farm tour also displays the cultivated stretch of pepper, pineapple and mangroves, besides various medicinal plants.
But the charm lies in a 200 year old mango tree called "Chandanakaran" locally, which is the biggest tree in the village. The rustic charm of this village ambience is sure to leave an unforgettable memory as you bid adieu to Kochi - the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Later walk around to see the village life and educate yourself on Prawn Fishing and Coir making or take an optional tour of Cochin City.
DAY 08: DEPART COCHIN
Transfer to Cochin international Airport for your flight to onward destination.