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13 Day Royal Retreats of South India
13 Day Royal Retreats of South India
Spend time exploring what the city of Chennai has to offer before heading off on a tour of the South of India to admire the stunning architecture of the ancient buildings and the natural beauty of the countryside.
Tour highlights
  • Tour the city formerly known as Madras
  • Spend an evening exploring the stunning Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Learn about the life of Ghandi at a museum celebrating his life
  • Cruise on the backwaters around Alleppey to see local life up close
  • See local performances of Indian martial arts and dancing
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Day 1: Arrive Chennai
Arrive in Chennai before being transferred to your hotel ahead of two nights in the city formerly known as Madras, where you will have time at leisure to either relax following your flight or to explore some of the sights.
  • Standard: The Pride, Deluxe Room
  • Superior: The Raintree Annasalai, Deluxe Room
Day 2: Chennai
Spend the day in Chennai, with a tour during the morning that kick-starts with a visit to the first British outpost in India, Fort St. George. Built back in the 1640s, the fort is now used to house part of the local government. As the tour goes on, you’ll get to visit the historical neighbourhood of George Town, San Thome Cathedral and the National Art Gallery. There will then be time at leisure to do as you wish.
  • Standard: The Pride, Deluxe Room (B)
  • Superior: The Raintree Annasalai, Deluxe Room (B)
Day 3: Chennai – Pondicherry
Head away from Chennai and travel towards the coast to an area known as ‘The French Riviera of the East’. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the area, Pondicherry is known for its large number of colonial buildings and its four beaches, with your time in the area including the chance to visit the Aurobindo Ashram spiritual community, and the Church of Sacred Heart Jesus.
  • Standard: The Promenade, Deluxe Room (B)
  • Superior: Le Dupleix, Deluxe Room (B)
Day 4: Pondicherry – Tanjore
Pay a visit to the impressive Chidambaram Temple as you travel from Pondicherry to Tanjore, with time at leisure on arrival to explore a city that was chosen by the government as one that should help to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the country.
  • Standard & Superior: Sangam, Standard Room (B)
Day 5: Tanjore
Take a tour of Tanjore, including a visit to the World Heritage Site that is the Brihadeshwara Temple. Now more than 1000 years old, the temple is one the largest on Indian soil and is famous for its impressive architecture. While in Tanjore, you’ll also visit the Tanjore Palace, which is home to the local Tamil University Museum. The remainder of the day is then yours to spend at leisure.
  • Standard & Superior: Sangam, Standard Room (B)
Day 6: Tanjore – Karaikudi
The next stop on your tour will be Karaikudi, a town which takes its name from the Karai plant found extensively in the surrounding area. Once you’ve arrived in the town, you’ll visit a Sari Weaving Centre and have the chance to browse the local shops before a demonstration on how terracotta tiles are created, patterned and then dried in the sun.
  • Standard: Chettinad Mansion, Deluxe Room (B)>
  • Superior: The Bangala, Standard Room (B)
Day 7: Karaikudi – Madurai
Leave Karaikudi behind as you travel to Madurai on the banks of the River Vaigai. One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, Madurai is home to a number of ancient temples and has become a popular destination with tourists. After an afternoon at leisure to explore some of the sights, the evening will see you visit the lavish Sri Meenakshi Temple to marvel at the stunning architecture and impressive artwork to be found within.
  • Standard: Fortune Pandiyan, Standard Room (B)>
  • Superior: Heritage, Deluxe Room(B)
Day 8: Madurai
A full day in Madurai starts with a morning visit to the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, which was built in the 1630s by the then ruler of Madurai and is famed for the different styles used in its design. You can also pay a visit to the Gandhi Memorial Museum to see a range of artefacts dedicated to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Standard: Fortune Pandiyan, Standard Room (B)>
  • Superior: Heritage, Deluxe Cabin (B)
Day 9: Madurai – Thekkady
Moving on from Madurai, you’ll take a trip to the picturesque Thekkady region, which is famous for its plantations and hill towns and can be found close to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. On arrival, the afternoons is yours at leisure to explore, or to simply relax as your accommodation, before an evening performance of the ancient martial art of Kalaripayatu.
  • Standard: Cardamom County/The Elephant Court - Periyar Cottage/Executive Enclave (B)
  • Superior: Shalimar Spice Garden, Elegant Room (B)
Day 10: Thekkady – Alleppey
Visit a spice plantation to get an insight into how a number of different Indian spices are produced ready for sale in supermarkets before continuing on to the city of Alleppey to join a houseboat trip around the Kerala Backwaters. Including a stay overnight on the water, the trip will allow you to gain an insight into rural Indian life as you cruise past local villages and also get to see the aquatic and birdlife that live in the area.
  • Standard: Houseboat, Premium Room (B,L,D)
  • Superior: Houseboat, Premier Room (B,L,D)
Day 11: Alleppey – Cochin
After departing the houseboat, head towards the commercial capital of Kerala, a bustling port city located on the west coast. The afternoon will be yours at leisure to explore before an evening at a local theatre enjoying a Kathakali classical dance show featuring colourful make-up and costumes that make it a feast on the eyes.
  • Standard: The Avenue Regent - Standard Room (B)
  • Superior: Trident, Superior Room (B)
Day 12: Cochin
Spend the final day of your trip enjoying a sightseeing tour of Cochi, starting with a visit to the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue before the opportunity to marvel at the beauty and rhythm of the famous Chinese fishing nets. The afternoon is then free to spend at leisure.
  • Standard: The Avenue Regent - Standard Room (B)
  • Superior: Trident, Superior Room (B)
Day 13 : Depart Cochin
Breakast at the hotel and transfer to international airport for onward flight.
  • Standard & Superior: (B)
  • 12nights accommodation on twin sharing basis as per hotels mentioned above or similar
  • Accommodation on bed and breakfast basis except the houseboat which is on full board basis
  • All transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours will be by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entrances & ASI fees to all monuments/theatre
  • Boat ride on Lake Periyar in Thekkady
  • Services of local English speaking guide for all excursions and sightseeing tours
  • Tour rep for assistance at hotels, airports and railway station during arrival and departure transfers
  • Currently all applicable government taxes
  • International flights in Tour Only prices

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