Save up to £150 per person

Kerala Guided Walking Holiday

House boat in backwaters
Duration: 12 nights
Type: Worldwide Multi-Centre
Walking Grade: 1
from £3,599pp £3,449pp with flights

Discover lesser known jewels on a connoisseur’s walking tour as you follow trails in the spice-scented hills and tea estates of Kerala, India. Soak up the rich culture of the royal city of Mysore, go in search of elephants, bison and tiger in the beautiful Nagarhole National Park and relax on a houseboat in the lush backwaters. From traditional crafts on display at the bustling Kozhikode markets to colonial bastions like Fort Kochi, the land of Kerala also provides a tantalising look into the past.

Holiday Highlights

  • Experience nature at its most magnificent in the wildlife haven of Wayanad
  • Discover lush green mountains and spice-scented cardamom hills
  • Enchantingly rich culture at historic Mysore and colonial Kochi
  • Enjoy an evening on board a luxury houseboat in a labyrinth of lakes and lagoons

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks led by a specialist Local Leader
  • 'With flight' holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • Half Board with en-suite accommodation, including 2 nights tented, 1 night houseboat - 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 11 evening meals
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees
  • All transport and tips

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

After your overnight flight, arrive at the garden city of Bangalore. After arriving at your hotel there is an optional walk in Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.

The Paul, Bangalore - Kerala

This 5-star hotel, located in the heart of Bangalore, is the ideal place for us to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation after our flight.


Our journey heads via the 18th century island fortress of Srirangapatna, to the royal city of Mysore. A walking tour of the city provides an excellent introduction to ancient history and to the wonderfully rich culture of Southern India.

Hotel Metropole, Mysore - Kerala

This is a Heritage Hotel, centrally located in Mysore, which was built as a royal residence of the Maharaja of Mysore. The colonial charm and elegance here give us an insight into days gone by. Its stunning architecture, historical charm, spacious rooms and great service, make our stay here memorable. After our day exploring, we've plenty of time to enjoy a drink in the gardens, or take a dip in the pool before dinner.


We have an early morning walking tour of Mysore before we return to the hotel for breakfast; later, we'll visit the spectacular Mysore Palace with a local guide. We drive to the Kabini Reservoir and check into our accommodation; after lunch, we head into the depths of the Nagarhole sanctuary, once the Maharaja’s reserve and home to elephant, bison, antelope, monkey and tiger.

The next day we'll have an early start with a walk through nearby villages. We'll return to our accommodation on foot along the banks of the Kabini River, which offers a great opportunity to spot local wildlife. There is an optional boat safari this afternoon on the reservoir: it's a great spot for bird watching, and there's a good chance of spotting animals who come to the water to drink.

Our final evening also features an evening campfire.

The Bison, Nagarhole - Kerala

This is unlike any camping you've ever done before! All facilities and comforts of hotel accommodation are found here in this peaceful setting. Perfect wildlife watching opportunities present themselves without any searching. Listening to our hosts tell wildlife tales in the evening around the campfire will be one of many highlights of your holiday. 


We head to the magical Kuruva islands on the Kabini River. On arrival, we set off on a guided walk through the picturesque paddy fields near Kuruva. Many of these are owned and tended by the local communities and we'll take this opportunity to meet and interact with them where possible. We continue to walk through a forested landscape, where your guide will help identify the surrounding flora and fauna to enrich your experience. We complete the day with an authentic multi-course Keralan lunch - an ela sadya - in a local's home before we continue to our accommodation.

The following day our walk explores the Banasura foothills, giving us a good introduction to Wayanad, the green paradise of the Western Ghats. Here, we'll walk through rural communities, rainforest and coffee and pepper plantations.

The Windflower Vythiri, Wayanad - Kerala

Perched on a hill station, surrounded by plantations of coffee, tea, pepper and cardamom, The Windflower is a relaxing and tranquil resort. Enjoy a spa treatment or a refreshing dip in the pool. The en-suite rooms feature air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, safe, TV and toiletries with Ayurvedic ingredients.


We start with a drive to this morning's walk. As the morning mist rises from the lush forest floor, we begin our plantation walk at the Edom Estates. After our walk through spice plantations, we leave the serenity and greenery of the hills, and begin our journey to the bustling streets of Kozhikode (Calicut). After lunch, we'll visit the ancient boat building yards at Beypore.

Raviz, Calicut - Kerala

This contemporary 5-star hotel sits in the bustling township of Kozhikode. Combining comfort and convenience, it's the perfect base for exploring the city's historic and cultural sites.


We explore the streets and spice markets of Kozhikode this morning before boarding an afternoon train to Alleppey and our accommodation at the Kumarakom Lake Resort.

The following day we have time to enjoy the stunning setting of our resort. If you are an early bird you can attend an open-air yoga session, which runs daily. Mid morning we take a leisurely walk around and through the nearby fishing communities. Afterwards we have time to relax - an ideal opportunity to enjoy an aurveda massage - before another short, leisurely walk in the evening as the sun sets.

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Vembanad Lake - Kerala

Here we're treated again; this time our accommodation is a luxury heritage resort in Kerala. With views overlooking Vembanad lake, you'll not want to leave here. Rooms are airy and air-conditioned, with plenty of space. The beach is only a short stroll across the gardens, which provide the perfect place for spotting butterflies. 


After breakfast we take a short transfer to Alleppey from where we begin a magical cruise through the serene backwaters, a labyrinth of shimmering lagoons and lakes. Our boat is modelled on the traditional Keralan kettuvallum houseboats, once used to ply the backwaters loaded with rice and other staples. This is a great chance to sit back, relax and soak up the sights you'll pass.

Houseboat, Kerala Backwaters - Kerala

These rice boats ruled the backwaters of Kerala, transporting rice and coconuts. There are widely varying standards of houseboat, but ours is a higher standard than many others. You'll enjoy comfortable en-suite rooms, simply on-board rather than in a hotel. This is a unique Keralan experience.


Our final journey today as we travel the short distance to Kochi. We explore charming Fort Kochi on foot with a guided tour discovering its Portuguese, Dutch and British influences. In the evening we take in a traditional Kathakali performance; the perfect finale before our return flight the following day.

The Trident, Kochi - Kerala

Located on Willingdon Island, the hotel is conveniently situated to visit the many famous sites of Kochi. Blending 5-star facilities with classic charm, the hotel is set amidst a picturesque central courtyard and landscaped gardens.


Kerala Itinerary Map

The Windflower Vythiri, Wayanad - Kerala

Perched on a hill station, surrounded by plantations of coffee, tea, pepper and cardamom, The Windflower is a relaxing and tranquil resort. Enjoy a spa treatment or a refreshing dip in the pool. The en-suite rooms feature air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, safe, TV and toiletries with Ayurvedic ingredients.

The Paul, Bangalore - Kerala

This 5-star hotel, located in the heart of Bangalore, is the ideal place for us to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation after our flight.

Hotel Metropole, Mysore - Kerala

This is a Heritage Hotel, centrally located in Mysore, which was built as a royal residence of the Maharaja of Mysore. The colonial charm and elegance here give us an insight into days gone by. Its stunning architecture, historical charm, spacious rooms and great service, make our stay here memorable. After our day exploring, we've plenty of time to enjoy a drink in the gardens, or take a dip in the pool before dinner.

The Bison, Nagarhole - Kerala

This is unlike any camping you've ever done before! All facilities and comforts of hotel accommodation are found here in this peaceful setting. Perfect wildlife watching opportunities present themselves without any searching. Listening to our hosts tell wildlife tales in the evening around the campfire will be one of many highlights of your holiday. 

Plantation Experiences, Wayanad - Kerala

Located in the lush green hills of Wayanad, your accommodation here is set inside a 4,000 acre working tea estate at approx 3,000 ft above sea level. You'll be surrounded by lush tropical forests and mist-clad hills. Rooms are inside two colonial bungalows. This is an opportunity to experience the greenery of the Ghats away from the towns.

Raviz, Calicut - Kerala

This contemporary 5-star hotel sits in the bustling township of Kozhikode. Combining comfort and convenience, it's the perfect base for exploring the city's historic and cultural sites.

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Vembanad Lake - Kerala

Here we're treated again; this time our accommodation is a luxury heritage resort in Kerala. With views overlooking Vembanad lake, you'll not want to leave here. Rooms are airy and air-conditioned, with plenty of space. The beach is only a short stroll across the gardens, which provide the perfect place for spotting butterflies. 

Houseboat, Kerala Backwaters - Kerala

These rice boats ruled the backwaters of Kerala, transporting rice and coconuts. There are widely varying standards of houseboat, but ours is a higher standard than many others. You'll enjoy comfortable en-suite rooms, simply on-board rather than in a hotel. This is a unique Keralan experience.

The Trident, Kochi - Kerala

Located on Willingdon Island, the hotel is conveniently situated to visit the many famous sites of Kochi. Blending 5-star facilities with classic charm, the hotel is set amidst a picturesque central courtyard and landscaped gardens.

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

As you’ll be carrying your own luggage at airports and between your transport and hotels we recommend you try to keep your luggage to a minimum. These items are a general suggestion of what to pack for an active outdoor and walking holiday; depending on your destination, you may need more of some things and less – or none! – of others. You’ll know best what you prefer to wear when out walking or while taking part in other outdoor activities.

  • Walking boots – (worn in) with good ankle support and spare bootlaces
  • Lightweight waterproof trousers and jacket
  • Comfortable outdoor/ walking clothing e.g. Long trousers and long-sleeved light-coloured shirts with collars to protect from the sun
  • Lightweight fleece
  • Shorts

We recommend wearing walking boots on all our walks, as these provide the best ankle support and grip. Modern ‘approach shoes’ offer appropriate levels of grip and may be worn on some low-level walks, but users should be aware that they offer less ankle support. Lightweight trainers are not recommended for any walks.

Your clothing should ideally be pre-treated with insect repellent and in-built sun protection (available from specialist clothing stores such as Rohan, Cotswold Outdoor).

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes for evenings and sightseeing
  • Sun protection – sunglasses, high factor sunscreen and sun hat
  • Water bottle – at least 2 litre capacity
  • Small/medium rucksack (30 litre) – a bin liner will keep contents dry if it rains
  • Insect repellent
  • Lightweight survival bag
  • Soap and hand sanitizer gel
  • Personal first aid kit including: personal medication, tissues, plasters, blister kit, painkillers, antiseptic wipes, Imodium, rehydration sachets

Essential: Passport (and copies); booking confirmation; insurance cover note; HF Holidays’ registration form.

Please ensure you have access to emergency funds should you need them; carrying a credit card is probably the most convenient method.

Optional: walking (‘approach’) trainers, trekking poles, camera, umbrella, binoculars, swimming costume, and towel.

Please note that your HF Holidays’ leader reserves the right to refuse to take any guest on a walk should they consider that a lack of suitable clothing/footwear may affect safety.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-Member fee: £10 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
19 Jan - 31 Jan 2020 Itinerary £3,599 £3,449 Unavailable
01 Nov - 13 Nov 2020 Itinerary £3,599 £3,449 Save £150 Per Person Book Now
Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
20 Jan - 31 Jan 2020 Itinerary £2,799 £2,649 Unavailable
02 Nov - 13 Nov 2020 Itinerary £2,799 £2,649 Save £150 Per Person Book Now

Important Information

  • Single room supplement: £999
Duration:
12 nights
Type:
Worldwide Multi-Centre
Walking Grade:
1

12 nights from £3,599pp £3,449pp with flights

Save up to £150 per person

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