The Great South

India - South India - Tamil Nadu - Your tailor-made trip

24 days - from 2380€

Day 1

"Vanakkam", your driver greets you at the Chennai airport, welcoming you in Tamil. You get to know each other on the way to your hotel in the city of Mahābalipuram . This village, an ancient port of the Pallavas dynasty dating from the 7th century, is famous for the many temples it houses but also for its beautiful beach. Depending on your arrival time, drop your things at your hotel and go for a walk on the beach and enjoy the sea air that invigorates you after your long flight. In the evening, why not let yourself be transported by the spicy dishes of Tamil cuisine? Your South India tour begins now!
Day 2

Road to Mahabalipuram, the ancient Pallava capital. Discover the low relief representing the « Descent of the Ganges », and the magnificent temples, spread in the village and along the coast. Continuation towards Pondicherry. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3

The day is dedicated to the discovery of the city and its different communities and quarters. Enjoy the shady streets and the breeze coming from the sea front in the old French Quarter. The French influence is still visible through the architecture and the checkered town plan. Do not miss a visit to the very animated market and enjoy a drink at a terrace in the evening, enjoying the lively seafront. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4

In the morning, you head to Tanjavur. On the way, you visit Chidambaram and its superb Nataraja temple; you also visit the amazing Gangaikondacholapuram temple. Arrival in Thanjavur and visit of the Brihadishwara temple at sunset. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5

In the morning, visit of Thanjavur palace and its beautiful bronze gallery. You then leave the town towards the West, making your way to Trichy, which happens to be home of two extraordinary temples. Continuation towards Chettinadu. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6

The day is dedicated to the visit of this unique and amazing region, the Chettinad. Land of the Chettiar, landlords, and previously merchants and bankers, this out of the beaten tracks area is best known for its exceptional architecture; visit temples, palaces and mansions designed in a unique South Indian style. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7

You head towards West and reach the Visit this town which is known as the cultural centre of Tamil Nadu and holds an important place in Hinduism. You visit the amazing Meenakshi Temple, the Gandhi Museum and the palace of the Nayak Overnight at hotel.
Day 8

You leave Madurai and Tamil Nadu to reach the border town of Kumily, in Kerala. Discover the little town which is also the heart of the spices trade. It is the ideal place to visit a spice garden, enjoy an elephant ride or see a traditional martial art performance. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9

You leave the hills to reach the plain of Palai, gateway to backwaters. You discover authentic villages living at the rhythm of the water. Enjoy this peaceful environment for walking or enjoy a bicycle ride bike. Watch the sunset over the vast Vembanad Lake. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10

A short drive takes you to the pier of the houseboat. The boat team welcomes and installs you. You sail on the most famous canals of India and admire their amazing and unique ecosystem: plants, birds and fish are numerous here. You are surrounded by water, paddy fields and coconut trees and you discover tiny villages scattered on narrow strips of land. Meals and overnight on board (double cabin with bathroom).
Day 11

You head to Cochin, the economic capital of Kerala. You discover the beautiful Fort Cochin peninsula. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12

Visit of the town. Cochin is an unusual mix of architecture from medieval Portugal, Netherlands, England and South India. Cochin is also a good place to see a Kathakali dances show. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 13

Long day on the road to head to Calicut; on the way, you stop at Guruvayoor and visit the sacred elephant farm. The road goes through some unique landscapes as you pass the coastal plains and paddy fields. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 14

In the morning, drive to Mysore in Karnataka. Discover its beautiful palace, its lively market and admire the incense making process. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 15

In the morning, you go to visit the stunning Somnathpur Temple, one of the gem of the Hoysala architecture. Return to Mysore and visit of the town, a verdant city known for its jasmine and sandalwood as well as for its splendid palaces. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 16

You leave Mysore to head to Hassan, the only town in that area with lodging options. You go 40 km north to visit the exquisite temples of Halebid and Bellur. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 17

While still heading north, we cross the Deccan plateau until we reach Hospet nearby the lost kingdom of Hampi where the ruins seemingly emerge from the mountains. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 18

The day is dedicated to the visit of Hampi, the former capital of the Vijayanagar empire and one of the most fascinating site in the country. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 19

We spend the morning driving to the small town of Badami. In the afternoon, we visit the famous troglodytic temples. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 20

Today, you visit two amazing temples sites before heading to Hubli, a convenient stop on the way to Goa. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 21

You head to your final destination: Goa. Check-in at your hotel and relax on the beach. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 22

Day to relax on the beach. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 23

The day is dedicated to visits; you start with Old Goa, the former capital of the State and headquarters of Portuguese Power. You the visit Panjim, the actual capital with its magnificent traditional Portuguese houses and its white churches. Overnight in hotel.
Day 24

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Bombay. End of our services.

Travel conditions

  • The ground transfers in a private vehicle, with English speaking driver. ***The driver is available up to 8 hours a day and until the sunset at latest.
  • Local SIM card with internet.
  • Shanti Travel Expert assistance 24*7.
  • Accommodation in comfort hotels with breakfast.
  • All meals on board private houseboat.
  • Guided Shanti walk of Pondicherry.
  • Cookng class with lunch in Pondicherry.
  • Lunch at Chettiar Dhaba.
  • Guided tour of Spice Gardens.
  • Guided Boating tour and elephant experience at Periyar.
  • Kathakali Dance show at Cochin.
  • Domestic flight between Hubli/Goa (price might change as per availability).
  • International flights and airport taxes.
  • Entrance fees for temples, monuments and museums mentioned in the program without guide.
  • Repatriation fees, should they be required.
  • Meals (except if mentioned in detailed itinerary).
  • Drinks and personal expenses.
  • Tips.
Garance Travel Expert India - South India - Tamil Nadu
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