The spice trading port of Cochin (now called Kochi) is the gateway to this beautiful state on the southwest tip of India. Here you will be introduced to the cuisine of southern India, and its relaxed rural way of life. The tea producing hill station at Munnar is a popular stopover on holidays to Kerala, as is Periyar National Park where you can see wild Asian elephants, but tiger sightings here are rare.
Be sure to end with one of our Kerala houseboat holidays on the vast Backwaters. Then relax at a beach resort on the Arabian Sea, such as Kovalam with its warm shallow waters that are ideal for swimming. Throughout Kerala you will have the opportunity to participate in early morning yoga classes, and don’t forget to try out an Ayurvedic spa treatment, for which this region is world-famous.
South India is renowned for the temples of Tamil Nadu state. Chennai, a bustling port on the eastern Coromandel Coast since the 1st century, is the best starting point. Formerly known as Madras, it’s home to one of our most popular curries.
On holidays to Tamil Nadu you will be spoilt for choice, with many World Heritage Sites found in this state, such as the ancient shore temple and caves in the old port of Mahabalipuram and the Great Living Chola Temples at Thanjavur.
Wander through the French Quarter in Pondicherry, one of the last footholds of the retreating French in the 19th century, admire the famous Roman Catholic Church in Velankanni (the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health) and visit some of the museums and art galleries of Trinchy, including the Rock Fort and Sri Jambukeshwara Temple - one of the five major Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu.
Take the train to Coimbatore to visit the hill station of Ooty, in the Nilgiri Hills and don’t overlook Mysore, famous for its many palaces and festivals. On holidays to Tamil Nadu also stop at Srirangapatnam, situated on an island in the Kaveri River and formerly the Summer Palace.
End your Tamil Nadu holiday in the garden city of Bangalore (now known as Bengaluru), the capital of Karnataka state and the Silicon Valley of India, before heading off to the beaches of Kerala to unwind.