Sunset on Backwaters, Kerala, India

A Family Friendly Holiday to South India



14 Days

Prices Start from

£3,855pp (ex. flights)

This family-friendly journey to South India is brimming with activities to satisfy even the most adventurous of children. 

A beautiful combination of private river cruising, wildlife safaris and child-friendly, insightful experiences amongst working plantations guarantees a holiday packed with variety. We have been mindful to avoid one-night stays where possible to prevent constant repacking.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Indian Roller, India 1

Raft along on the Kaveri River

Float along a river by raft through bird-filled bamboo forests and past tea gardens.

Bengal Tiger, India 2

View the wildlife of Nagarhole National Park

Go on safari in Nagarhole National Park – home to tigers, leopards and black panther.

Valley View, Coorg, India 3

Go wild in the Western Ghats

Discover nature at it’s best in the lush, tropical hills of the Western Ghats.

Kathakali Tradional Dance Actor, India 4

Watch a Kathakali dance performance

Be enchanted by the traditional Keralan art of Kathakali during your stay in Cochin.

Why we like it

Thinking about visiting India with your family? Not sure where you should start? Look no further than the easy-going, laid-back region of Kerala as having all the ingredients for a fully engaging, educational and immersive experience that will keep all ages happy and fulfilled.

This holiday itinerary suggestion is tailored to suit a family group travelling together. Hotels are hand-picked to make sure that the facilities and location suit your requirements and offer a range of activities.

Guides and naturalists are chosen from a small pool of experts and matched to your age group and interests. Kids can be engaged by young, dynamic Keralans who speak excellent English and know all the coolest shops and hangouts and who can give insight into special interests such as dance, music, art or cooking.

Keralan food is some of the most delicious and diverse in the country with a wide range of fresh fish dishes and non-spicy curries on offer. Many of the hotels offer exceptionally high standards of European cuisine, making sure that all palettes are catered for.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Bangalore - Mysore

  • Day 3


  • Day 4

    Mysore - Coorg

  • Day 5


  • Day 6

    Coorg - Nagarhole National Park

  • Day 7

    Nagarhole National Park

  • Day 8

    Nagarhole National Park - Sultan's Battery

  • Day 9

    Sultan's Battery

  • Day 10

    Sultan's Battery - Calicut - Cochin

  • Day 11


  • Day 12

    Cochin - Kumarakom

  • Day 13


  • Day 14

    Kumarakom - Cochin

Day 1


Banglaore Palace, Bangalore, India

A buzzing metropolis, Bangalore is one of India’s most modern cities, with a growing cafe and foodie culture.

Day 2

Bangalore - Mysore

Nandi's Bull, Mysore, India

Mysore are towns famous for their various temples, palaces, lakes and forts. Mysore is also known as the cultural capital of Karnataka.

Day 3


Day 4

Mysore - Coorg

Valley View, Coorg, India

Coorg is located on the slopes of the Western Ghats. A hilly location, Coorg is famous for its coffee and paddy fields, mild climate and lush surroundings

Day 5


Day 6

Coorg - Nagarhole National Park

Elephant, Nagarhole National Park, India

The park covers parts of the Kabini River making it possible to view wildlife from a boat and by private jeep within the core area.

Day 7

Nagarhole National Park

Day 8

Nagarhole National Park - Sultan's Battery

Day 9

Sultan's Battery

Day 10

Sultan's Battery - Calicut - Cochin

Day 11


Chinese Fishing Nets, Cochin, India

Wander the streets of ram shackled Fort Kochi with its mixing pot of cultures and religions illustrating a fascinating past.

Day 12

Cochin - Kumarakom

Backwaters, Kumarakom, India

Located on the shore of Lake Vembanad, Kerala’s largest lake, is an unhurried backwater with a good share of top end accommodations.

Day 13


Day 14

Kumarakom - Cochin

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More Details

Nandi's Bull, Mysore, India
Mysore, India

Palaces and Markets of Bangalore and Mysore

Arriving into the state of Karnataka, Bangalore and Mysore provide a great introduction to Southern India. Mysore is the cleanest city in India. Small and manageable it punches well above its weight with the magnificent city palace and colourful markets, famous for the flowers on sale. Your guide has been hand-picked to be in tune with the pace and style in which you like to move. Ask them to take you to one of Mysore’s famous sweet stalls where you can try ‘pak’ the pride of the city.

Blue Jay, India
Blue Jay

Walking and Wildlife in the Western Ghats

The lush hills around Coorg are home to South India’s largest population of Tibetan Buddhists as well as plenty of wild elephants. Visit Bylakuppe’s colourful monasteries for a blast of Buddhism before hiking, biking or trying your hand at India’s second-longest zip line.

Coorg is home to coffee plantations. Experience planters’ life first-hand on the “Worker’s Trail”. We can arrange a coracle ride (a local circular fishing craft made from woven reeds) or a rafting adventure on the Kaveri River.

Male Leopard, Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka, India
Nagarhole National Park, India

Southern India Safari in Nagarhole National Park

At Nagarhole National Park wildlife takes centre stage. Southern India’s hidden gem this park should be on everyone’s itinerary. The Asian elephant is majestic and prolific, while the tiger although elusive is seen more often than not. Between safaris, there is plenty to do, with plenty of lodges to choose from offering large swimming pools, mountain bikes to race around on, fully staffed kid’s clubs and nature trails to explore.

Western Ghats, Tea Estates, Karnataka, India
Munnar, India

Sleep in a tree house at Tranquil, Sultan's Battery

Stay 35ft off the ground in the Treehouse. Not just any old treehouse either – think Home & Gardens interiors with soft furnishings, big comfy beds and home comforts. The views are incredible but the real highlight of your stay will be your hosts, the Dey Family who are quick to pour a gin and tonic and invite you into their home. There is plenty to keep you occupied with walking routes and a beautiful pool to relax by.

Kathakali Tradional Dance Actor, India
Cochin, India

Mesmerising Kathakali Dance Performance

‘Kathakali’, an important genre in Indian classical dance drama is from the south Indian state of Kerala. The story in ‘Kathakali’ is communicated to the audience through excellent footwork and impressive gestures of face and hands complimented with music and vocal performance. Kathakali can be distinguished from other Indian dance forms by the intricate and vivid make-up, unique face masks and the costumes worn by the dancers and also from their style and movements that reflect age-old martial arts prevalent in Kerala. Experience such a performance during your stay in Cochin. We will book your tickets to see a show.

Rice Barge, Kerala, India
Backwaters, India

The Quintessential Keralan Backwater Cruise

The backwaters that snake inland from the Arabian Sea are justifiably one of Kerala’s biggest draws with swaying coconut palms lining the banks of narrow canals, women washing clothes outside brightly coloured houses, children shrieking and waving as you glide past and Brahminy kites wheeling overhead. Despite ever-growing numbers of houseboats plying these waterways, a day spent aboard your own is a wonderful experience. Lunch is a treat (eating in this part of the world is an unbridled joy) with dish after dish appearing to festoon the table. Take your time and enjoy.

Neeleshwar Hermitage, Neeleshwar, Kerala, India
Neeleshwar, India

Hit the Beach

If you have a few more days to spare, we recommend a beach extension to Mararikulam, where fishermen haul the daily catch across wide empty expanses of sand. Marari Beach Resort boasts south India’s largest swimming pool, a spa, and acres of space to let off steam. The seafood here is incredible and if you are feeling creative join the chefs in the kitchen.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Evolve Back, Kabini £££££

  • India
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

On the edge of Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka, Southern India, Evolve Back, Kabini (formerly Orange County) is a picturesque resort set by the beautiful Kabini river. Each of the 30 huts come with a comfortable living room, bedroom and en suite bathroom, private courtyard and either a jacuzzi or plunge pool, all designed with understated elegance and luxury.

View Property

Evolve Back, Coorg £££££

  • India
  • Farmstead and Ranches

Evolve Back, Coorg is set in a lush 300-acre plantation with a superb aroma of coffee and spices, 4000 metres above sea level. Experience Kodava architecture by staying in the Heritage Pool Villas. Enjoy the planter’s life, sit and relax in the reading lounge overlooking paddy fields, dine in wonderful restaurants, swim lengths in the large pool. After a day walking the plantation, book an Ayurvedic Spa treatment.

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Coconut Lagoon £££££

  • India

This traditional-style, eco-friendly hotel promising complete escapism. Individual cottages, called tharawads, are set amongst lawns and gardens amid a network of pools and waterways.

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Marari Beach Resort £££££

  • India
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Sprawled expansively across 25 acres of land, Marari Resort is separated from the sea by a windbreak of stretching palms. There are a mere 52 cottages, so the sense of space here is much more dramatic.

View Property

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A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £3,855 Per person

When to travel

India in January

January is a very popular time to travel to India, due to mild temperatures and very little rainfall. The climate varies across India from snow in the Northern States to the Southern regions experiencing daily sunshine – perfect for an escape to Kerala’s beaches.

India in February

During peak season, February is an ideal month to travel to India, experiencing all regions of the country from Rajasthan in the North to Karnataka in the South.

India in March

Temperatures begin to rise with March typically being the last month of the peak season. A significant month for religious, Hindu festivals, March can become busy in some regions however also a perfect time to travel to experience Indian culture and wildlife.

India in April

With temperatures starting to rise, regions in Northern India start to become more accessible with excellent opportunities to discover hiking trails and the wildlife of these regions. Temperatures can sometimes exceed 40°C, with high levels of humidity in Southern India.

India in May

From May to September, Monsoon rains affect the North and Central states of India with daily rainfall and thunderstorms. During the Monsoon season, it is best to experience high altitude regions and avoid beach resorts.

India in June

Most regions of India will experience the Monsoon season in June alongside high daily temperatures and high levels of humidity. Whilst, not a popular time to travel, experience the mountainous regions as opposed to Central India to experience slightly cooler temperatures at the start of the month.

India in July

At the peak of the Monsoon season, most of the country experiences frequent, heavy rainfall. Whilst travel plans may be interrupted due to the climate, it is a great time to visit India to experience the national parks and the great outdoors.

India in August

As the Monsoon continues, the climate is very similar to that of June and July. Whilst not a suitable time to travel to India’s Southern beaches, other Northern Regions are popular with locals for hiking and outdoor pursuits.

India in September

As the final month of the Monsoon season, rainfall will be less frequent with the occasional sunny spell showcasing the lush, green vegetation that has flourished during the heavy rains.

India in October

As the monsoon rains have finished, humidity levels remain high and the peak travel season begins. During the month of October, there are lots of religious festivals, including Diwali, where some regions may become busier with domestic tourists.

India in November

As one of the best times to visit the country, November brings comfortable temperatures for sightseeing with the monsoon rains dying out from October. As the temperatures drop, however, Northern India and the Himalayas will become less accessible.

India in December

In December, temperatures and climate will be dependant on the region. In the Southern States, India will see a pleasant and mild climate, ideal for sightseeing, whereas, in Northern India and mountainous regions, snow and cold temperatures are likely.

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