Southern Spice(Twin Room,Start Chennai, End Cochin)
from USD 2215

Contiki Holidays

Tour Code: INSO1910
Vacation Type: In-Depth Explorer
Brochure: Asia Brochure (2020/2021)
Duration: 11 Days
Countries: India

Take a sojourn to where the spices grow and the palm trees slope, under the beam of India's southern sun. We'll prance the streets of the delightfully French Pondicherry, and drift in a bamboo houseboat through the backwaters of Kerala. Temples, tea plantations and a tiger reserve - the phrase “Incredible India” must have been coined in the south.

Southern Spice


10-nights: Plush hotels with twin share rooms will see our tired selves well-rested. One special night will be spent adrift in the arms of a traditional Keralan houseboat, the quintessential South Indian experience.


Prepare your taste buds for a fireworks display of spices, fresh seafood, and tropical fruits, dished up in 15 included meals - 10 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners - and an array of self made food discoveries. We’ll eat off palm leaves, lap up our curries with parotta bread, and sip coconuts moments after they’ve fallen off the tree.


A highly trained Trip Manager who brings your adventure to life, along with Local Guides who make tourist traps a thing of the past. This is your team. Smart, friendly, fun, and integral to everything we do.

Transfer Airport

  • Transfer APT to HTL Chennai Single
  • Optional Transfer APT to HTL Chennai Twin
  • Optional Transfer Cochin Hotel to Airport Single
  • Optional Transfer Cochin Hotel to Airport Twin

Chennai To Pondicherry

Sightseeing tour of Chennai with local guide


  • 'Eat my Cake' visit (coffee + cake included)
  • Visit Auroville township includes lunch at a Solar Kitchen

Kumbakonam To Madurai Via Tanjore

Visit to Brihadeeswarah Temple

Periyar To Kumarakom

  • Wildlife boat Safari along the Periyar River
  • Visit to Connemara Tea factory and Plantation

  • Grand Chennai by GRT Hotel (or similar)
  • The Shenbaga Hotel (or similar)
  • Paradise Resort (or similar)
  • The Regency Madurai by GRT Hotel (or similar)
  • Elephant Route Hotel (or similar)
  • Lakesong Resort Hotel (or similar)
  • Houseboat Special Stay (or similar)
  • Number 18 Hotel (or similar)
Day 1 Arrive Chennai

Welcome people of pilgrimage! A hub of South Indian arts & traditions, Chennai will play the perfect host to our trip’s introduction. Unite with the team for a 6pm pow wow before having a free evening to unwind in our hotel or take to the streets to suss out this city.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Grand Chennai by GRT Hotel (or similar)

Day 2 Chennai To Pondicherry

This morning we’ll peel back the layers of Chennai, seeing Kapaleeswarar Temple and St Thomas’s Church, driving along Marina Beach & walking through the markets by the Chennai Fort. Now starting to feel acclimatised to life in India, we kick on to our second destination.Our journey through Tamil Nadu will see us stopping at Mahabalipuram Shore Temple & the peculiar boulder of Krishna's Butterball. Arriving in ‘Pondy’ we’ll find a delicious fusion of French beauty & Indian soul, and have a free evening to enjoy it how we see fit.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: The Shenbaga Hotel (or similar)

Day 3 Pondicherry

Today you can jump onto an optional Heritage Walking Tour to go deep into Pondicherry’s unique history. You can then devour cake and coffee at ‘Eat My Cake’, a café run by local widows, and visit the progressive experimental township of Auroville. A vegetarian lunch in a solar powered kitchen will warm us up for some zen vibes by the breathtaking gold dome of Matrimandir.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: The Shenbaga Hotel (or similar)

Day 4 Pondicherry To Kumbakonam

Though our affection for charming Pondy will be sky high, our great voyage must continue. Kumbakonam – we’re coming for you.Arriving in Kumbakonam in the bounds of two rivers, we’ll begin uncovering South India’s artisans by visiting a bronze casting & silk weaver’s home. By night you can dress to the inspiration of our Dharasuram temple visit, wearing a Saree or Dhotti to our included dinner.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Paradise Resort (or similar)

Day 5 Kumbakonam To Madurai

Devour a hearty breakfast and throw your worldly possessions back in your bag. A city of mesmerising history is waiting for us, and there’s a locally guided trip to Brihadeeswarah Temple in Tanjore en route.One of the oldest cities in India, Madurai is the pride & soul of Tamil Nadu. Here we’ll see a palace of great pillars, ride a rickshaw, & witness an evening procession at the awe-inspiring Meenakshi Amman Hindu Temple.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: The Regency Madurai by GRT Hotel (or similar)

Day 6 Madurai To Periyar

Another state hop awaits us this morning, as we journey out of Madurai to Kerala, the West coast state that sways by the Arabian Sea.After our cross of the state of Tamil Nadu we’ll arrive in Kerala, ‘the land of coconuts’. We’ll pull up by the elephant & tiger reserve of Periyar National Park where we can explore a spice plantation & watch an ancient style of Martial Arts called KalaripayattuI.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Elephant Route Hotel (or similar)

Day 7 Periyar To Kumarakom

After a wildlife boat safari along the Periyar River, we’ll take a leisurely journey to our next destination. En route we’ll frolic through a tea factory & plantation, enjoying one of Kerala’s proudest exports.Dreamy sighs all round as we arrive in the lake region of Kumarakom. We’ll have a free evening here amidst the fresh country air, trying to contain our excitement for tomorrow’s water adventure.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Lakesong Resort Hotel (or similar)

Day 8 Kumarakom To Kerala Backwaters

Waving goodbye to the agricultural lands of Kumarakom, we’ll trade one quaint setting for another. A day of boating on the beautiful backwaters are waiting on the other side of this bus ride.Arriving in the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, we’ll board a traditional houseboat made of wood, bamboo & palm leaves. Drifting past slow grazing cows, we’ll see Kingfishers darting through the forests & season our sightings with many spicy fish curries.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Houseboat Special Stay (or similar)

Day 9 Kerala Backwaters To Cochin

Shed a few tears & snap your last “local climbing coconut tree” pics. Our boat will be sailing back to the shores so we can poke our way through Cochin.Back on solid ground we’ll soon find ourselves amidst the bustling spice markets and fort lands of Cochin. Here we can eat keralan delicacies, marvel at palaces, and watch the golden sun drop behind the Chinese fishing nets known as Cheena vala.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Number 18 Hotel (or similar)

Day 10 Cochin

It’s our final full day on tour. Wander through saree filled markets, marvel at monuments, eat your body weight in street food, or simply sit in a bookstore or café and watch the chaos and charm of Indian life passing by.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Number 18 Hotel (or similar)

Day 11 End Cochin

Our time on tour will end in the Southern spice lands of Cochin. Having bonded deeply in these spiritual lands, we’ll say heartfelt goodbyes before going our separate ways.

Duration: 1 Day

Departs On Returns On Single OccupancyTwin Room Definite Departure  
Thu, 06 Feb 2020 Sun, 16 Feb 2020 USD 3,014USD 2,215
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Thu, 12 Mar 2020 Sun, 22 Mar 2020 USD 3,014USD 2,215
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