Brunton Boatyard, Fort Kochi, Kerala
Kerala is often referred to as God’s own country and home to some of the most tropical landscapes India has to offer. The Malabar Coast is situated at the southern most tip of South Western India and boasts some of the most beautiful, untouched coastline in the country.
Fort Kochi, the capital and historical centre of Kerala, lies at the heart of the region and tells the story of the passing Portuguese, British and Dutch empires. Take the opportunity to visit the white washed churches, imposing Chinese fishing nets and the famous synagogue in the heart of the Jewish quarter. For a true Keralan moment, why not take in a Kathakali performance, a unique ritualised drama bursting with colour.
Beyond Kochi, the backwaters create a lattice of canals that allow you to take in the breathtaking scenery as you gently drift aboard your very own thatched houseboat. You will witness village life, bowing coconut palms and the odd brightly hued temple peaking forth.
No Kerala itinerary is complete without a visit to the hill stations bursting with spice plantations and rich wildlife, the air is heady and offers breathtaking walks and views. Near the spice plantations of Munnar one can visit Periyar, home to a wild elephant reserve.
The region of Kerala is also known as the home of Ayurveda. Why not end your tour at one of the many spas and yoga beach retreats, which will help you relax and unwind, allowing you to return home rejuvenated and refreshed.
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding which idyllic beach is for you. Travel to the far north for the more remote and secluded resorts of Neeleshwar Hermitage or The Taj Bekal Resort & Spa, or down to the very tip of the state to the lively beach resorts of Kovalam and Varkala, brimming with large luxury resorts, earthy ayurveda retreats and simple little beach shacks. The scenic Marari beach in particular is well worth considering, due to its proximity to Kochi and the houseboat hub of Alleppey.