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Classic South India

13 Days | Embrace the slow life from coast to backwaters

5 out of 5 based on 30 reviews submitted.
EUR 1.668 €
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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
Chennai, India
Kovalam, 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
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
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.

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.


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

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2023 - 31 December 2023

Map of Classic South India including India



12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners


Private vehicle, Ferry


Hotel (10 nights), Resort (2 nights)

  • Complimentary Airport 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.

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


5 out of 5 based on 30 reviews submitted.
While we try our best to display all reviews, removal may be due to the following: privacy concerns, profanity/inappropriate content or it is unrelated to this trip. We welcome honest feedback and will directly respond to negative reviews.

Filter by rating

john · Traveled April 2023
Brilliant trip. South India offers a very different cultural and geographical experience to the north. There isn't just one India to see and a tour of the south confirms this.
Review submitted 19 Apr 2023

Anne · Traveled March 2023
I thoroughly recommend the Intrepid tour of Southern India. We visited some amazing places, including the French quarter in Puducherry, the Chettinad mansions, Periyar National Park and a houseboat in the Kerala backwaters.
Review submitted 23 Apr 2023

John · Traveled March 2023
The Intrepid Classic South India trip is most certainly an excellent way to travel and enjoy this wonderful part of India. It encompasses both the history and iconic religious sites to fantastic landscapes and waterways as well as allowing you to get close to the very friendly and interesting inhabitants. Yo will be sure to both learn much of the fascinating country and be able to immerse yourself both in the vast cities and the wonderfully diverse countryside and coastlines.
Review submitted 26 Mar 2023

Peter · Traveled February 2023
This trip is a perfect introduction to South India which we found much more appealing than the North. Lots of opportunities to get of the tourist trail and meals cooking lessons in private homes were a highlight. All the hotels were of a good standard and the guide was superb.
Review submitted 26 Feb 2023

Carol · Traveled February 2023
I had the BEST experience of Southern India. I learned a lot about the places I visited and really enjoyed it. Nothing was too much trouble for our amazing guide Aathi, who simply made the trip for me. It’s my first trip with Intrepid and it definitely won’t be my last.
Review submitted 23 Feb 2023
Classic South India
EUR 1.668 €