• Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Insider's Tips
  • Trip Route
  • Cost

Date: Choose your dates!
Host: Local guides
Cost: Pricing varies, ask us!
Trip Type: Top Picks, Family Experience

This is a two-week itinerary that deep dives into the best of Tamil culture and Kerala landscape. Explore magnificent ancient temples, some UNESCO World Heritage Sites with architectural grandeur and quirky bougainvillea lined cobbled streets of a former French colony. Meet and spend time with members of the local communities, learning about the very distinct Tamil culture, its music and art, and also about spices which attracted the Romans and the Arabs to trade with India. Experience a slice of daily life of Kerala’s backwaters (a maze of lagoons close to the Arabian Sea) and enjoy its food which is a delightful mix of Dutch, Portuguese, British and Jewish influences. Perfect for first timers to south India.

Highlights

  • Explore Mahabalipuram, one of India’s ancient crown jewels
  • Take lessons on Franco-Tamil cuisine in Pondichery
  • Learn about Chettinad inspirational culture and heritage
  • Visit Madurai, a 2500-year-old bustling little temple town
  • Depart for a night walk in the buffer zone of the Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Enjoy a lunch at a spice plantation in Thekkady
  • Take a day cruise on a Kettuvallam, originally these boats were used to ferry rice in the backwaters
  • Discover Fort Cochin, which has a wonderful mix of Dutch, Portuguese, British and Jewish influences

Questions? Please contact one of the Civilized Adventures’ Adventure Travel Specialists at info@civilizedadv.com

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Arrive in Chennai
  • Day 2 - Morning visit Chennai. Post lunch drive to Mahabalipuram
  • Day 3 - Explore Mahabalipuram
  • Day 4 - Drive to Pondicherry. In the afternoon, explore the French quarter on foot
  • Day 5 - Drive to Tanjore
  • Day 6 - Visit Tanjore, before departing for Karaikudi
  • Day 7 - Spend the day listening to the stories of the Chettiyars
  • Day 8 - Drive to Madurai. Visit the Meenakshi Temple at night
  • Day 9 - Drive to Thekaddy. Enjoy a night walk in the buffer zone of the Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Day 10 - Explore Thekkady
  • Day 11 - Drive to the backwaters of Kumarakom. Enjoy a bird watching trip in the evening
  • Day 12 - Interact with local communities
  • Day 13 - Take a day cruise on a Kettuvallam to explore the Backwaters. Later drive to Cochin
  • Day 14 - Explore Fort Cochin
  • Day 15 - Departure

See the detailed itinerary here and contact us if you'd like more information or to book.

Insider’s Tips

  • This itinerary is best done from December till April.
  • It rains a little in Tamil Nadu during the months of October and November and again from June to September. In Kerala, the rainy months last from June to September.
  • The month-long Mahabalipuram Dance Festival, which showcases classical and folk dances from all over India, is held every year in Mahabalipuram during January/February.
  • The International Yoga Festival of Pondicherry is held every year from 4th to the 7th of January.
  • November to February is the best time to watch migratory birds at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary who fly in from the Himalayas and from as far away as Siberia.
  • The quirky Cochin Carnival is held at Fort Cochin on January 01 every year. It was started by the Portuguese in the 16th century as a celebration to welcome the new year.
  • With minor tweaks, this Tamil Nadu – Kerala itinerary can make for a great culinary tour for foodies as well. You will be surprised by the variety and the interesting stories behind each culinary tradition.

Cost

Starting Chennai /Ending Kochi

Due to the great currency fluctuation and variation of pricing based on dates and group sizes, prices for all of our services will be quoted upon request. This policy enables us to provide you with the most competitive and up to date quotes. We invite you to browse our website to select the travel style that meets your needs, our Customs Travel Advisors are only a call/email away ready to provide any assistance in designing your itinerary.