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Tea & Coffee, Chocolate & Spice In South India

A visit to the southernmost state of India - Kerala,combining visits to tea plantations, coffee estates, spice markets, and chocolate making offers a unique experience of the state's rich agricultural heritage. The landscape and culture of South India is so different from North India that it is like going to another country.
This itinerary is designed to let you experience staying in a tree house, a home stay, overnight on a houseboat and in an award winning Dutch themed boutique hotel. This is not an escorted tour. you can travel independently anytime that suits.
The tour starts in Cochin. The day of arrival is just to acclamatise yourself - just chill out in the hotel or stroll to the local markets to feel the vibe of the place. Then head to Munnar for couple of days stay in a tree house. Yes, a real tree house! Visit a tea plantation at 8,000 feet above sea level - the highest in the world. We will also visit a Chocolate factory for a hands-on chocolate making experience.
The next stop is Periyar, famous for its wildlife reserve and spice plantations. After visiting spice plantations and a boat ride on Lake Periyar, we will have a hands-on cooking session of South Indian food at our hotel. Our accommodation here is at a resort, modelled on a tribal village set in a spice garden in the cool highlands of Periyar.
Perhaps the most amazing experience of this itinerary is the next 2 days on a farm by the banks of a small river. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the birdsong and the sustainable, organic produce of the farm. This homestay is the only place in Kerala which offers the true essence of ‘farm to fork’ fresh food. You can also enjoy the informal cooking lessons with the professional chefs.
After the homestay the next adventure is overnight in a houseboat. Cruise the calm backwaters in an air conditioned, luxury houseboat with all meals on board. The final night is back in Cochin, a port since 1341 and also a bustling city with Synagogues, beaches and museums. And one last cooking session and delicious South Indian cuisine before you head home.

Your Culinary Experiences on this Tour

Destination
Highlights
MunnarTea plantations, Chocolate factory, coffee estate
PeriyarSpice plantations
Kodikulamfarm-to-plate, traditional Keralan meal served on a banana leaf, cooking lessons
AlleppeyMeals cooked live on the houseboat
CochinFine dining

Your Accommodation on this Tour

Destination
No of Nights
Hotel
Cochin2 nightsHotel Brunton Boatyard
Munnar2 NightsTree House at Naturezone Jungle resort
Periyar1 NightSpice Village at Thekkady
Kodikulam2 NightDewalokam homestay
Alleppey1 NightAir conditioned houseboat

Includes

  • 8 nights’ accommodation on breakfast basis in above accommodation
  • Dinner at Periyar
  • All meals at Dewalokum homestay
  • All meals on houseboat in Alleppey
  • Dinner at Cochin
  • All culinary experiences as per itinerary
  • Air-Conditioned vehicle for sightseeing and transfers at all locations
  • English speaking guide at all locations
  • All requisite airport transfers with personal assistance
  • Entrance fees to the monuments while sightseeing in Cochin.

Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Tips and any personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Anything which is not mentioned under Inclusions.
Cochin
Munnar
Periyar
Kodikulam
Alleppey

Tour Plan

Day 01 Arrive in Cochin
On arrival at Cochin airport,you will be met by our local representative for transfer to our hotel. After checking in, take a few hours to rest and unwind from the long flight.That evening you can visit a local market or book an Ayurvedic spa at the hotel.
Day 02 Cochin - Munnar
After breakfast, hit the road to Munnar to visit expansive tea estatesand coffee plantations. It is a 4-hour scenic drive through small towns and winding hill roads. Once you reach Munnar, check- in at Naturezone Jungle resort for 2 nights stay in a beautiful, cozy tree house. Later in the afternoon, visit a scenic lookout fora mesmerizing view of the tea, coffee and spice plantations.In the evening you can visit the Tata Tea Museum to know about the history of tea.
Day 03 Munnar
After breakfast, enjoy the scenic beauty of lush tea plantations which are spread across hundreds of kilometers, nestled amidst the green mountains of Munnar. Visit the Kolukkumalai Tea estate, the highest tea estate in the world at 8,000 feet above sea level. Later in the evening visit the Macofa Chocolate factory for an immersive experience into the world of chocolate, showcasing their craft and the journey from bean to bar. Enjoy tasting sessions and chat with the chocolatiers.
Day 04 Munnar - Periyar
After breakfast, check out from the jungle resort and drive to Periyar, known for the wildlife as well as spice plantations in Kerala. It is a 110 km/ 2-hour scenic drive, and on arrival check into your accommodation which is a resort modelled on a tribal village surrounded by spice plantations. Later that day visit the Periyar wildlife sanctuary and enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar. Back at the hotel for a cooking demo and dinner of delicious, authentic South Indian cuisine.
Day 05 Periyar – Kodikulam
After breakfast drive to Kodikulam for 2 days of nature and wellbeing at the Dewalokam homestay on the banks of a tranquil river. It is a great way to relax and unwind in a peaceful and unspoiled self-sustained farm. Enjoy the home grown produce cooked fresh as you sample traditional Kerala food. Join professional chefs in a state-of-the-art kitchen for informal hands-on cooking sessions.
Day 06 Kodikulam
Enjoy the various activities available at the homestay, such as spice farm walks, bamboo rafting and forest walks.Enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of city life and become one with nature. The hosts at this homestay are as passionate about food as the team at Good Food journeys. The concept behind creating this homestay is to retain the world as it was created by God, full of fruits and vegetables, milk and honey all produced organically on the farm without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.The word Dewalokam means “paradise”.
Day 07 Kodikulam - Alleppey
After breakfast at the homestay, drive to Alleppy which is also known as the “Venice of the East”. The backwaters of Kerala are a network of interconnected canals, lakes, and lagoons, offering picturesque views of palm-fringed landscapes, paddy fields, and villages along the banks. The best way to experience the backwaters is on a traditional houseboat crafted from natural materialslike bamboo, coir and wood. On arrival in Alleppey, check in to your air-conditioned houseboat. Enjoy the beauty of sunset and sunrise cruising the backwaters, providing an unforgettable and tranquil night amidst nature.Savor delicious Kerala cuisine prepared by onboard chefs, including fresh seafood, traditional curries, and local specialties cooked in authentic Kerala style.
Day 08 Alleppey - Cochin
After breakfast, disembark and drive to Cochin. It is a1-hour drive, and after check in to your hotelproceed for sightseeing. You can visit local attractions such as the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch Palace and St Francis' Church. In the evening you can see a traditional "Kathakali Dance show", one of the famous dance forms of India where actors tell a story by wearing facemasks and colourful costumes. Dinner tonight is a fine-dining experience at one of the restaurants in your hotel.
Day 09 Departure to NZ or onward destination
After breakfast,depending on your flight schedule, you can witness the iconic Chinese fishing nets in the morning. It is a unique way of fishing, popular in this part of India. After checking out from the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to NZ. Alternatively talk to us about extending your holiday to visit Mumbai or experience the contrast of North India.
schedule
Tour Length 08Nights / 09Days
sun
Best Season Sep - Mar
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    Delhi
    Agra
    Jaipur
    Udaipur
    Delhi
    Delhi
    Agra
    Jaipur
    Udaipur
    Delhi

    Tour Plan

    Day 01 Arrive Delhi (By Flight)

    Upon arrival at Delhi international airport, our company representative will meet & assist you with traditional welcome and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Rest of the day free & easy for own activities. Evening proceed for Dinner at Masala Library Restaurant ( www.masalalibrary.co.in) Masala library by Jiggs Kalra a magnum opus of the Czar of Indian Cuisine & tastemaker. The culinary offerings at Masala Library endevour’s to offer its patrons a never before under taken gastronomic voyage capturing the grandeur of centuries old traditions and the long last essence of one of the oldest known gastronomic tradition in the world. The main focus is to revive the traditional recipes specially KABAB & CURRIES. After dinner return to hotel(Meal Include – Dinner) Overnight at Delhi hotel

    Day 02 Delhi – Full Day Tour with Culinary experiences

    Post breakfast; proceed for a full day guided tour in Delhi starting from Old Delhi visiting drive pass Raj Ghat, visit Jama Maszid, drivepass through Red Fort & Chandni Chowk market and later enjoy an authentic old Delhi street food and taste (if guest like).

    After old Delhi tour; procced for lunch at a famous Old Delhi Indian restaurant called "Chor Bizarre" (www.chorbizarre.com/del) Chor Bizarre is the complete eating out experience, great décor, distinct ambience, wonderous cocktails, superlative food, charming old world service.  Every city in India have its own special ‘Chor Bazar’ which translate as ‘thieves market’. All kind of wares find their way here (with or without the consent of the owners). This brings an inspiration and to celebrate the eclecticism of India.



    Later proceed to visit India Gate, drive pass through Parliament Street & President house and visit Qutab Minar. 

    After sightseeing; In evening, you will take a cooking class session at chef Harpal Singh Sokhi at home with dinner. He is celebrity chef from India. Also known as “Energy Chef of India” is now a “Dancing Chef Of India”.  Hailing from North India, which, like the rest of India is rich in culture and cuisine, Chef Harpal is a music lover and is fluent in English and five Indian languages, namely Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya and Telugu. He graduated from the catering school at Bhubaneshwar, a capital of Orissa. He spent his initial years in learning different international cuisines but later realised that his interest lay in unearthing the authentic regional Indian food.

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Lunch)

    Overnight at Delhi hotel.

    Day 03 Delhi – Agra (By train Gatiman Express at 0810/0950 hrs) Half day Tour

    Early breakfast; check-out from the hotel and transfer to Delhi- Nizamuddin railway station to board the train to Agra; the city of Taj Mahal. 

    Upon arrival at Agra Railway station; Meet & assistance by company representative & transfer to hotel for check-in. After lunch proceed for a half day guided tour in Agra visiting Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Post tour; spend some time in shopping the world’s best Marble products and the famous James & Jewelry.  

    In night enjoy the dinner at Bellevue Restaurant in hotel Amar Vilas (www.oberoihotels.com/amarvilas) Bellevue offers an unforgettable dining experience. It is well known that Mughal Emperors were patrons of lavish foods. At here chef tried to capture Mughal’s passion for international flavours. You will find Italian Classics reinvented with an Asian twist that reflects the gout de terrior ot the spirit and nature of the South and South East Asian Regions.

     (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner)

    Overnight at Agra hotel

    Day 04 Agra- Jaipur (245 kms/ 04-05 hrs drive)

    Post breakfast; drive to Jaipur; the capital city of Rajasthan State and known as the “Pink City. Upon arrival Jaipur; check-in to the hotel and relax. 

    In Evening procced to visit Chokhi Dhani Village; Chokhi Dhani is a popular and remarkable attraction of Jaipur. It is an ethnic village resort offering you all type of entertainment options including dance, music, food and accommodations in royal styles. We can enjoy the activities at Chokhi Dhani include magic shows, puppet shows, Rajasthani dance, Rajasthani folk music, future tellers, acrobatics on a bamboo and luck predicting parrots. There are also interesting activities and adventures that will keep you completely engaged, like camel ride, elephant ride and horse ride and boating. Later take the Rajasthani dinner at the most sumptuous at Royal Rajasthani dining hall where we can enjoy delicious Rajasthani cuisines with cultural performances by bhopa and bhopan (Rajasthani songs & Music) 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner)

    Remark: After visit Chokhi Dhani village; if guest not like Rajasthani food than we can arrange the dinner on finest restaurant in Jaipur (Restaurant Peshawar in hotel ITC Rajputana – On direct payment basis/ similar )   

    Overnight at Jaipur Hotel

    Day 05 Jaipur – Full day tour

    Post breakfast; leave for an excursion to Amber Fort. Enjoy the Elephant ride to ascend the Amber fort. After visiting Amber fort, visit to a traditional Rajasthani Handicraft & handloom factory to see the craftsmen performing.

    Afternoon enjoy the lunch at a famous Jaipur restaurant Swapna Bhawan in Hotel Raj Palace (www.rajpalace.com) Formal receptions remained the local activity of country life during the British period. Hence the Thakur Sahib made Swapna Mahal imitating the great houses of the British and French nability. This hall is completely titled out with European furniture, Chandliers, Mirrors and Crockery Collection. The Food is serve in Royal Thali (is a big plate made of silver , gold or other metal). 

    Later procced visit to City Palace and Jantar Mantar observatory. Before returning your hotel; a short stop in front Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) for photo shoot. 

    After relaxing; In evening, we will proceed for dinner at Restaurant Rajput Room in hotel Taj Ram Bagh Palace; Here first we will explore Ram Bagh Palace and later enjoy the dinner. They special prepared the Rajasthani Thali and serve. 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast)

    Overnight at Jaipur hotel

    Day 06 Jaipur - Udaipur (By Flight)

    Early breakfast; on time transfer to Jaipur airport to board the flight to Udaipur; city of lakes. Upon arrived Udaipur; meet & assistance by company representative and transfer to hotel for check-in / or Proceed direct half day guided sightseeing tour of Udaipur. (Check-in time is 02 PM- Subject to early check-in facility if room are available) 

    visiting City Palace, an intriguing collection of buildings built in the year 1725. Also visit Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of Maids of Honour) and Jagdish Temple; the Indo-Aryan Temple and visit Old city of Udaipur.

    Later in evening procced for a cooking class demo on Rajasthani cuisine at chef home and enjoy the dinner with variety of foods which is prepared by chef.

    Chef : Mr. Vimal Dhar 

    One of India’s most renowned Young Chef, CHEF VIMAL DHAR is a highly experienced Chef with a passion for perfecting culinary specialties. With an impressive list of achievements to his credit, this astute and result oriented professional has been featured among INDIA’S TOP CHEF in the book MY LAST SUPPER by Melanie Dunea. The soft-spoken Chef Vimal Dhar also holds the distinction of having been featured in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA magazine by Mr. Stan Sessor and in the DISCOVERY CHANNEL by Anthony Bourdain. Also featured on TRAVEL & LIVING CHANNEL.

     

    CHEF VIMAL DHAR is featured among 50 Chefs handpicked globally by celebrity photographer Melanie Dunea for her latest coffee table book MY LAST SUPPER. For this book, the Dunea travelled the world to short list (based on surveys and extensive research) the 50 best names in the culinary world and interviewed each one of them herself.

     (Meal Include – Breakfast)  

    Overnight at Udaipur hotel

    Day 07 Udaipur – Delhi (By flight 9W-823at 1300/1410 hrs)

    Post breakfast; On time transfer to Udaipur airport to board the flight to New Delhi. Upon arrival, New Delhi airport; meet & assistance by company representative and transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the time is free for leisure and relax. In evening proceed for dinner at Indian Accent Restaurant. After dinner return to hotel 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner) 

    Overnight at Udaipur hotel 

    Day 08 Delhi (By flight) & Departure

    Post breakfast; On time transfer to Delhi International airport to board the flight to onward journey. 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast)

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