Classic South India

13 Days | Embrace the slow life from coast to backwaters

4.9 out of 5 based on 29 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
AUD $2,813
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Discover a thousand shades of green, indulge in some of the continent’s freshest food, and share moments of connection with locals on this 13-day tour. Travel down the scenic East Coast Road into the countryside and across to the west coast before finishing in India’s deep south. Experience the cultures, religions, and histories of this region through its small rural towns, fishing villages, and the scented spice plantations set in the picturesque Western Ghats mountains. This revelatory trip introduces you to an area less travelled from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Trip overview

Map of Classic South India including India
Start
Chennai, India
Finish
Kovalam, India
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
India
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Comfort
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
HHKS
This trip generates 44.32 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Take a nature walk in the acclaimed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, looking out for tiger tracks with your local village guides.
  • Explore Puducherry and discover its colonial French Quarter and colourful multi-tiered temples, and cruise along the dreamy palm-lined waterways of the Kerala backwaters.
  • See behind the scenes of local cuisine during a home-cooked meal in Periyar, an insightful ayurvedic cooking demonstration in Kochi and lovingly made Keralan favourites at a restaurant that provides training and employment to local women.
  • Discover the diversity and incredible history of Kochi through a tour of its buildings, like India’s oldest functioning synagogue and a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture.
  • Witness the dramatic beauty of Kathakali, a captivating storytelling dance that artists must study for over a decade before performing.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management.

Is this trip right for you?
  • We’ll be visiting multiple temples during the trip and during these visits, you must wear clothing that covers the arms, legs, and shoulders.
  • Southern India can get very hot during the summer so remember to drink lots of water and use sun protection. Wearing light, loose layers is one of the best ways to tackle the heat.
  • As we'll be walking through varying terrain in national parks and villages, a basic level of fitness and comfortable walking shoes are essential. Leech socks will be provided for the Periyar nature walk.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2024 to 31 March 2024.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 April 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of Classic South India including India

Inclusions

Meals

12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Ferry

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights), Resort (2 nights)

Activities
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
  • Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour
  • Karaikudi - Havelis
  • Karaikudi - Leader-led village walk
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple guided tour
  • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Periyar - Home-cooked meal
  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Ferry to Mattancherry
  • Kochi - Ayurvedic cooking demonstration with lunch
  • Kumarakom - Backwaters boating excursion
  • Kovalam - Leader-led walking tour
Add on activities
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free
  • Periyar NP - Ayurvedic Massage - INR700
  • Kovalam - Anchuthengu Fort - INR50
  • Kovalam - Koyikkal Palace - INR50

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

3. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport. Fees may apply for adding or amending details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 29 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Lynda · Traveled January 2024
A window into Southern India. It’s a huge country so you can only ever take bite-sized pieces which this trip enables you to do with the excellent guidance of a knowledgeable tour leader. See the main sights plus a unique opportunity to meet families in their homes and places of work. Cultural feast for all the senses.
Review submitted 08 Feb 2024

Ron · Traveled January 2024
My first Intrepid trip to India was in 2008. I am now 76, and thought I was too old for Intrepid. I was proven wrong I was made very welcome and certainly was able to participate in all activities and felt totally invigorated by the experience
Review submitted 08 Feb 2024

Rosemary · Traveled January 2024
The Classic South India tour is an interesting and varied introduction to this region. From teeming city to quiet rural area, there is something for everyone. The accommodation ranges from urban hotel to peaceful retreat. Delicious food, plenty of colour and a friendly welcome everywhere.
Review submitted 07 Feb 2024

Kate · Traveled January 2024
This is a fabulous trip. It has the right balance of getting out in India and experiencing it, and then coming back to the air conditioning and a nice pool after a long day of site seeing. The coach was comfortable and tour guide wonderful! I would really recommend it!!!
Review submitted 24 Jan 2024

Smail · Traveled January 2024
We fell in love with India all over again. Intrepid’s Classic South India Tour was the perfect way to explore Tamil Nadu & Kerala.
Review submitted 26 Jan 2024
Classic South India
From
AUD $2,813