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Kerala with kids


  • Itinerary:
    Cochin - Thattekad - Alleppey - Backwaters - Kovalam
  • Duration:
    12 days / 11 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    from £ 1,349.- per adult (excluding flights)
  • From £ 1069, - per child (up to 11 years)
Our slow-paced, family trip to Kerala offers the perfect mix of exciting activities for all of the family and plenty of time to relax. Travel from the colonial city of Cochin to the palm-fringed beaches of Kovalam, via the forest and the Keralan backwaters. You’ll explore on foot, by kayak and rickshaw; sleep aboard a traditional rice barge and in a comfortable tent in the forest.

The best time of year to visit Kerala is between November and April, making this the ideal trip for a family Christmas holiday.
Family in Kerala
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Day 1 – Arrival in Cochin

Cochin (or Kochi) is a colourful coastal town with Portuguese and Dutch influences. It’s a melting pot of cultures and religions, and still an important seaport for trade in gold, textiles, fish and spices. The spice market here is one of the best in Kerala. Down by the water, you can see the legendary Chinese fishing nets in action. You’ll be warmly welcomed into a colonial style, boutique hotel in the historic Fort Kochi district, that benefits from a swimming pool. Settle in, unpack and spend the rest of the day relaxing.

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Day 2 – Tuk tuk tour and sunset cruise

Today, we will arrange a guided tuk-tuk tour as a fun introduction to Cochin. As you buzz through the lanes, your knowledgeable guide will share tales of the city’s rich history, cultural heritage, and architectural wonders. You’ll see a mix of colonial influences and modern developments as you pass by iconic landmarks such as the Mattancherry Palace, Paradesi Synagogue, and the bustling spice markets. In the evening make your way to Marine Drive around 5pm where you step aboard a traditional wooden boat. Then as the sun sets enjoy a leisurely 1.5 hour cruise along the tranquil backwaters of Cochin.

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Day 3 – Drive to Thattekad & sleep in the forest

It’s a short two hour drive this morning, away from the coast to Thattekad. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: the first ever bird sanctuary in Kerala and one of the richest bird habitats in India. You’ll stay in a comfortable tent which has been designed to blend into the forest. Each tent has air conditioning, a private bathroom, hot running water, comfortable beds and a balcony. Take it easy for the rest of the day and soak up the sights and sounds of your natural surroundings.



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Day 4 – Activities: kayaking and bird watching

This morning you’ll head out on a bird watching tour with an experienced guide. The forest is home to a rich diversity of colourful bird life including many endemic species, and rarer species such as the distinctive looking Sri Lankan Frogmouth. In the afternoon explore the bio-diversity from the water as you step into a kayak for a paddle along the Periyar River. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife in the forests that line the river bank. You can also kayak to some of the upstream villages to get a first hand glimpse of local life.

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Day 5 – Free time to enjoy further activities

Continue your exploration of this pristine natural environment. If you’re feeling active, pop on your walking shoes and explore the area by foot, or take one of the bicycles and peddle along the forest trails.

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Do you have more time…?

If you have more than 12 days to spare for your family holiday, you might want to take a detour here and add two nights in nearby Periyar National Park. This large protected park is home to several species of deer, Indian bison, wild boar, langur monkeys and an abundance of birds and reptiles. But it’s best known for its wild elephants. We can arrange bamboo rafting and jungle trekking in the national park, and you may just spot a wild elephant. Ask your Travel Specialist for more details.

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Day 6 – Homestay on the Keralan backwaters

Today you will drive to Alleppey (approx 3 hour drive) where you’ll be staying in a comfortable homestay. This family-owned and operated property is set in nine acres of secluded gardens and lush green paddy fields, leading down to the famous backwaters. It’s a wonderfully peaceful, friendly and welcoming place to spend a few days, and offers a real insight into life on the Keralan backwaters. Whilst here you can take it easy, enjoying the relaxed pace of life and variety of activities offered. Breakfast is included in your stay, but it’s also possible to enjoy lunch and dinner in the open-air dining area. You’ll be served traditional Keralan cuisine created from locally sourced ingredients including spices grown in the property’s extensive gardens.

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Day 7 – Backwater activities

Today is free to do as you please, doze in a hammock or relax with a book as your kids play in the gardens. If you’re feeling active, the homestay offers complimentary bike hire, so you can explore the area by bicycle. For a small cost you can learn how to prepare traditional Keralan dishes at a cooking demo, or try your hand at fishing in the river just in front of the property. There are plenty of activities to keep your kids entertained so you can sneak off for an hour and treat yourself to an Ayurvedic massage!

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Day 8 – Sleep aboard a traditional rice barge

This morning, it’s a short drive back to Alleppey where you’ll board a traditional Keralan houseboat and set sail into the backwaters. The labyrinth of tiny canals is fringed by palms on all sides and along the way you’ll pass villages, hidden temples, churches and other traditional houseboats. Tonight you’ll sleep aboard your boat, moored on the banks of the scenic Lake Vattakayal. We will arrange a boat to suit the size of your family.

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Day 9 – Train to Kovalam. Beach time!

Today you will disembark the houseboat and catch the train from Alleppey to Kovalam. The journey takes around 3 hours. It’s an eye-opening and fun experience (especially for kids) and a great opportunity to get to know the locals! You’ll be met at Kovalam train station and transferred to a family friendly resort with a pool, set amidst coconut gardens. The hotel is perfectly located overlooking the sea with easy access to a sandy beach. Kovalam is one of the most popular beach resorts in Kerala and is quite developed so we have picked quieter beaches nearby. There are lots of little restaurants and shops in Kovalam itself, so plenty of choice to try the fresh catch of the day and other local dishes.


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Days 10 & 11 – Family R&R

The next few days are all about taking it easy and enjoying some family time. Cool off with a dip in the sea, play games on the beach, or swing in a hammock with a good book, whilst your kids play in the pool – it’s completely up to you. If you’re feeling active, you can take an excursion to Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India.

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Day 12 – Time to leave

Today your beach break draws to a close and you’ll be transferred to the airport in time for your homebound flight. If three nights on the beach is not quite enough relaxation time, just let your Travel Specialist know and they can extend your Kovalam hotel stay.

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Kerala with kids