Location: Kerala, India
- 12 nights full board, en suite, in charming, high-quality hotels·
- One night stay in a traditional Houseboat·
- Air conditioned vehicles throughout the tour·
- Full-time support of our local tour manager·
- Singing sessions designed for all ages and abilities.
- Meetings with local singing groups·
- Half-day cruise in the Kumarakom backwaters.
- Kerala Arts/Cultural performances.
- Local sightseeing tours.
- Visits to tea and coir producers.
- Longest transfer 5 hours.
Day 1 – 4 | KUMARAKOM
Our first hotel sits right on the edge of the lagoon and provides a deep sense of calm, perfect to unwind after a long flight.
Settle in and find your feet; relax by the pool, enjoy the beautiful surroundings or treat yourself to an Ayurveda massage. By early evening we will be ready to meet, sing and dine together to celebrate the start of our holiday in Kerala.
The best way to see the Backwaters is from the water, so we’ll take it all in on a three hour boat cruise along local canals (look out for houseboats, ferry canoes, women cooking and washing clothes, colourful birds and tangles of tropical plants!) followed by a traditional Keralan Lunch in banana leaves and our first proper singing session of the holiday.
Kumarakom is great to explore on foot, laced with pretty canals and set against the backdrop of paddy fields. We’ll have the chance to sing and swap songs with a local singing group. Our last afternoon will be spent singing and cruising on a traditional houseboat before spending one special night on the water.
Day 5 – 7 | PERIYAR
We’ll visit the white sand beach at Alleppey and local coir factory before heading to our next destination, Periyar. Enjoy the breathtaking views as our minibus climbs high into the rolling green hills.
Take a stroll through the colourful evening market in the local village before watching a thrilling display of Kerala Martial Arts – The Kalaripayattu show.
The morning brings a visit to a spice plantation, with the option of taking an elephant ride, followed by a traditional Keralan cooking demonstration and dining on the delicious results! An afternoon of singing and relaxing back at the hotel is followed by our evening’s entertainment – a Keralan dance show traditional to the region.
Our final day in Periyar begins with more singing followed by free time; pick up some souvenirs, go trekking in the famous wildlife sanctuary or enjoy a relaxing massage. After lunch an optional jeep safari in neighbouring Tamil Nadu taking in the spectacular scenery, waterfalls and farms.
Day 8 – 10 | MUNNAR
Munnar is a nature lover’s paradise. At 1,500 metres, this picturesque hill station is set amidst rolling hills and surrounded by thirty lush green tea estates, among the highest in the world.
Just a short walk from our hotel is the vibrant town with its temples, Churchill Bridge, Main Street and busy local vegetable market.
Our first morning in Munnar is an opportunity to really explore the beauty of this place. We’ll take in the tea plantations, Mattupetty Dam, and hear our voices resounding at Echo Point. The afternoon brings a singing session with another local group, a chance to share songs from our different cultures.
The final morning we’ll visit the Tea Museum to learn about different tea- making methods and Munnar’s importance as a major centre of Kerala’s tea industry. We can also visit Eravikulam National Park, the home of the Nilgiri Tahr as well as countless more mammals, birds, butterflies and other wildlife before returning to the hotel for more singing and free time.
Day 11 – 14 | COCHIN
The palm green city of Kochi (Cochin) has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. The many wonderful buildings remind us of its rich colonial past.
Upon arrival, there’s time to relax or start exploring before being treated to a performance of Kathakali dance.
The next day we’ll take in the sights, including the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Chinese Fishing Nets and St Francis Church with its lovely acoustic, where we hope to sing to a local audience.
The following morning we’ll take a boat ride to the pretty island of Vyppin with its fishing harbour and famous pilgrim site, before heading back for lunch at Kochi’s most popular restaurant. The afternoon is your own to spend as you wish.
On our last night we’ll sing all the songs we’ve learnt together and enjoy a special farewell dinner.