Treasures of Southern India

Discover a rich tapestry of culture

A signature experience...


The stunning scenery is undoubtedly one of the top reasons to visit south India. Hundreds of tall and slender coconut trees on a row and the lush greenery and the exquisitely carved temples are just so easy on the eyes.


The delicate scent of spices, the sound of temple bells and a rich tapestry of ancient arts and craft all characterise Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This journey reveals these southern charms first-hand. You will travel through hill stations, tropical backwaters and temple-laden towns while staying in some of the region’s very best hotels.

Whats Included?

  • Stay in the heart of the French quarter in Puducherry (Pondicherry)
  • Visit Meenakshi temple for the night ceremony
  • Spend 2 nights relaxing in the Keralan backwaters at the sublime Kumarakom Lake Resort
  • Guided tour of hidden Kochi
  • Stay in 4- & 5-star accommodation
  • Small group size – average 14 people (maximum 20)
  • No single supplement on selected departure dates (limited availability)


Fly from London (regional connections available) to Chennai (Madras) with British Airways. (N)

On arrival transfer to the Taj Connemara for 1 night (early check in available). Time at leisure before an afternoon tour of the city followed by free time at Marina Beach. (B)

Morning walking tour of Mylapore, a town that predates Chennai by 2,000 years. Continue to Puducherry (Pondicherry), visiting the world heritage-listed shore temples at Mahabalipuram en route. Stay 2 nights at the Palais de Mahé located in the heart of the French Quarter. (B)

This morning visit a local rural village, organised by Mohanam Cultural Centre. Watch the villagers involved in traditional crafts such as stone carving, ceramics and terracotta work. Afternoon guided walk through Puducherry, stop by the Aurobindo ashram, stroll to the lively Tamil quarters and experience Hindu faith at the Ganesh temple in the evening. (B)

Witness the daily rituals at Chidambaram Temple and the art of Kalamkari, which uses plant-based dyes to create intricate artwork, before driving through scenic countryside to Kumbakonam for 2 nights at the Mantra Koodam. In the early evening, try your hand at pottery and enjoy an interactive culinary demonstration, led by expert chefs. (B, D)

Sunrise visit to the local market. After breakfast, discover the crafts and culture of Tamil Nadu. Observe master foundrymen produce extraordinarily detailed bronze cast statues and see the process of pattu silk weaving, using wooden handlooms. You will also visit the Darasuram Temple, renowned for its delicate stone sculptures and the Vedic School which dates back 140 years. Afternoon at leisure to explore the countryside on foot. (B, D)

Drive to Chettinad, stopping at Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tanjore en route. Continue to the art gallery and Saraswathi Mahal Library at the Tanjore Palace. Arrive in Chettinad for an overnight stay at Chidambara Vilas. This evening, enjoy a superb culinary experience. (B, L, D)

This morning, explore the village market, stopping for a traditional cup of tea before visiting some of the impressive mansions. Travel to Madurai. Evening visit to the illuminated Meenakshi Temple and Hall of a Thousand Pillars for the night ceremony. Overnight stay at the Heritage Madurai. (B)

Travel to the hill country around Munnar for an overnight stay at Fragrant Nature. After lunch in a tea planter’s bungalow, visit the Suryanelli tea factory to enjoy a guided tour, tea tasting and a gentle stroll through the tea plantation. (B, L, D)

Morning at leisure or visit the Srishti Welfare Centre, which trains disabled children in making some amazing handmade products. Travel to Kumarakom for 2 nights at the Rhythm Kumarakom (Poolside Cottage). Upgrade to a Lakefront Villa with plunge pool from £95 per person for 2 nights. (B, D)

Day at leisure to enjoy the beautiful surrounds or explore village life in the backwaters.* (B, D)

Morning cruise aboard a shikara (wooden boat) through the backwaters before driving to Kochi (Cochin). Visit the Mattancherry Palace and enjoy an evening Kathakali dance performance. Stay 2 nights at Eighth Bastion. (B)

Morning sightseeing tour of Kochi including the Chinese fishing nets and the 16th-century St Francis Church. Explore hidden Kochi including Jew Town and dhobi wallah, a wash-house where a sea of white hotel sheets and clothing are slathered on the washing stones. Afternoon at leisure to further explore the streets and their array of local markets. (B)

Fly home via Mumbai with British Airways. (B)

12 Nights from £2,695pp

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