Kerala Maldives and Dubai
Enjoy a the fascinating backwaters or beaches of Kerala then head off to the fabulous beaches and wonderful ‘no news, no shoes’ atmosphere of the Maldives. Then head off to Dubai for a bit of shopping or exploring or whatever your heart desires. This is a unique itinerary that has some amazing contrasts and combines three famous destinations into one highly recommended holiday.
Itinerary in Brief
- Best of Kerala (escorted tour): 6 Nights
- Maldives: 7 Nights
- Dubai: 3 Nights
This is not really a holiday you see in the brochures but rather one that we have done here at TravelLab because it would be just such a great combo! Note that this itinerary doesn’t operate between May and September.
Fly from Heathrow to Cochin via Dubai.
Arrive in Cochin and transfer to The Trident (three star) or Vivanta by Taj – Malabar (four star) for two nights. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure before taking a fascinating walk through a local market where you’ll have the opportunity to purchase spices and vegetables followed by a cookery demonstration and dinner at a local home.
Next day, a morning city tour includes visits to the Dutch Palace, Jew Town and St Francis Church, as well as a stroll around the historic Fort Cochin harbour area and a stop to view the immense Chinese fishing nets. Join a heritage walk in the afternoon and spend the evening relaxing or taking in an optional traditional Kathakali dance show.
After breakfast you will drive to Periyar (115 miles, approx 6 hours). The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. Here, in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats, you will enjoy the most enchanting experiences with the animals of the wild and the charming mountain people. Periyar is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India.
This afternoon you’ll visit a spice plantation and spice market and later experience Kalaripayttu, an ancient, local martial art. Stay overnight at the three star Elephant Court or four star Spice Village.
This morning enjoy an elephant ride before driving to Alleppey (approx. 88 miles, 4 hours) to board your Keralan houseboat. Known as a ‘kettuvallum’, each thatched-roof boat has been converted from an original cargo boat, complete with two or three bedrooms (you will share with other members of the group), air-conditioning (available 9pm-7am), en suite basin and WC, separate kitchen and sit-out area.
A three-strong crew will cater for all your meals and peacefully glide your boat along the labyrinthine network of lakes and canals that dissect the lush paddy fields, coconut groves and the occasional rustic dwellings. Dinner and overnight on board.
In the morning disembark the houseboat to check in for two nights at the three star Citrus Hotel in Alleppey or the four star Coconut Lagoon in nearby Kumarakom. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. The next day enjoy a relaxing Ayurvedic head massage (included in the tour), try yoga, meditation or one of the other rejuvenating massages (extra cost) or enjoy a number of optional recreational activities on Lake Vembanad.
Early morning transfer to Cochin for your flight to the Maldives via Colombo arriving in the afternoon.
In the afternoon fly from Bangkok to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. If your island has evening speedboat transfers you will be transferred to your island for the next 7 nights.
Today transfer back to the airport for your flight to Dubai where you will stay 3 nights to explore either this fantastic Arabian city. We have a wide selection of city and beach hotels to choose from.
This morning transfer back to the airport for your flight to back to the UK.