Tailor-Made Holiday

A Family Friendly Holiday to South India

Visit Plantations, Backwaters and Wildlife of the South

14 days

from $3,345pp (excluding flights)

This family friendly journey to South India is brimming with activities to satisfy even the most adventurous of children. A wonderful 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 in avoiding one-night stays where possible to prevent constant repacking.

  • Float lazily along a river by raft through bird-filled bamboo forests and past tea gardens
  • Visit Nagarhole National Park – home to tigers, leopards and  black panther
  • Hike, cycle and zipline the entrancing Western Ghats
  • Meander through the Keralan backwaters on your own converted rice barge

 Arriving into the state of Karnataka, Bangalore and Mysore provide a great introduction to 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. Ask your guide to take you to one of Mysore’s famous sweet stalls where you can try pak the pride of the city. 

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 zipline. 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. 

At Nagarhole National Park wildlife takes centre stage. The Asian elephant is majestic and prolific, while the tiger remains elusive but occasionally seen. Between safaris there is plenty to do at Orange County  – a large pool, mountain bikes, a fully staffed kid's club and nature trails. 

Next up, the chance to sleep in a 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 who are quick to pour a gin & tonic and invite you into their home.

Cochin and the  backwaters

Cochin has for centuries played a huge role in the world’s spice trade evidenced by the mix of British, Dutch and Portuguese colonial architecture in the heart of Fort Kochi. Having explored the city join your young, dynamic guide and cycle out into the small villages surrounding Cochin to see life lived as it has been for generations.

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.

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.

Predominantly a rural holiday, this itinerary includes accommodation that is comfortable and smart, with facilities geared towards family needs. South India is a perfect location for everybody. Allow our India Travel Experts to hone a South India holiday to your own personal interests.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 4515.75 $ 810
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Dubai overnight

Day 2

Fly Dubai to Bangalore

Bangalore is an important IT hub for South India, fondly known as "India's Silicon Valley" home to many international business, science and technology companies. It vies with Bombay as the nations most progressive city.For many visitors Bangalore is primarily the gateway for Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Despite being a progressive modern city, there are still remnants of its past worth visiting. Traditionally named the "Garden City" because of its many parks and gardens, fine colonial houses, Bangalore is still full of green spaces, including the famous Lalbagh Gardens.

Encounter the new face of India by following the crowds that flock to Brigade Road, with an abundance of shopping malls and recognisable chains.

Time at leisure to acclimitise

You will be staying at Taj Bangalore, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Drive from Bangalore to Mysore

A journey of approximately three hours.

An ancient South Indian city with more than 600 glorious years of legacy, Mysore is one of the most flamboyant places in India. Known for its glittery royal heritage, bustling markets, ,monuments and friendly inhabitants, it is also a thriving centre for the production of silk, sandalwood and incense.

Mysore is known for the Palace, which is amongst the grandest of India's royal buildings.The current Maharaja of Mysore still resides in the opulently-decorated city palace. The palace is lit up at night which is quite spectacular. For architecture buffs, Mysore has quite a handful of charming buildings dating from 1805.

You will be staying at Metropole, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

City Tonga Ride
Take a 'tonga' ride (horse and carriage) through city city, followed by a walking tour around the local vegetable and flower markets.

Half Day Sightseeing Tour of Mysore
Visit Mysore Palace, Chamundeshwari Temple and Nandi's Bull (the bull of lord Shiva, 5m high carved out of granite stone) today.

You will be staying at Metropole, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

A Drive from Mysore to Coorg

Driven from Mysore to Coorg. A journey of approximately three and a half hours.

Walking in Coorg
Take a plantation walk with a guide, covering the 300 acre working coffee and spice plantation on foot. Trekking opportunites abound in the adjoining Dubare Reserve Forest. Learn about the birds and listen to the jungle.

The Coorg (Kodagu) region serves the fines traditional cuisine and is a major centre for coffee and spice production. Finding itself amid ageless hills, the misty jungle-shrouded mountains create uneven terrain and the cooler climate makes it a fantastic area for trekking, bird watching or lazy ambling. For an authentic Kodagu experience, venture into the plantations. Dubbed as "The Scotland of the India" it is postcard perfect with old world charm.

You will be staying at Orange County, Coorg, Full board

Day 6

Activities at Orange County
During a stay at Orange County activities include: plantation and nature walks, bird watching, coracle rides on the Cauvery river, village visits and a visit to the Bylekuppe Tibetan settlement.

You will be staying at Orange County, Coorg, Full board

Day 7

Drive from Coorg to Nagarhole National Park (Road Journey)

Drive to Kathgodam Railway station to board your train to Delhi - Kathgodam Express (1535/2050hrs)

Nagarhole (pronounced ‘narga holy’) is a beautiful, lush park located in Southern India in the Mysore District of Karnataka. 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. As with other Indian parks, Nagarhole offers two safaris a day, one in the early morning and one in the afternoon. Visitors can choose whether they wish to view the wildlife by shared boat or by jeep (mostly Cantors).

There are a few good places to stay in Nagarhole, perhaps not all are of the same high standard you might find in the Central Indian parks, nevertheless, the lodges are comfortable and their stunning locations on the water’s edge more than makes up for any shortfall.

At around 96 kms (three hours’ drive) west of Mysore, Nagarhole is relatively easy to access and is the best place in Southern India to view large mammals including wild elephant, dhole (Indian wild dog), leopard and the occasional tiger. The birdlife here is pretty special too.

Time at leisure this afternoon

Activities at Orange County
Activities available at Orange County include: an elephant interaction (feed and bathe an elephant), a coracle ride on the river, a tribal village visit, nature walks, spa treatments and game safaris.

You will be staying at Orange County Kabini, Full board

Day 8

Morning and Afternoon Game Drives in Nagarhole National Park
Experience morning and afternoon activities, accompanied by a naturalist from the hotel. The option of Boat Safari or Jeep Safari is available during your time within the park.

On the boat safari you will be taken upstream on the Kabini River. On the banks of the river there are large congregations of Asiatic elephant, and Marsh Crocodile, Otter and water birds.

During the Jeep Safari, the highlight is often the congregation of the elephant, but the elusive tiger is sighted regularly here.

You will be staying at Orange County Kabini, Full board

Day 9

Drive from Nagarhole National Park to Sultan's Battery (Road Journey)

Drive to Kathgodam Railway station to board your train to Delhi - Kathgodam Express (1535/2050hrs)

Time at leisure to explore

Activities at Tranquil
Activities at Tranquil range from exploring the coffee plantation with the owners and learning about coffee production; taking hikes on the numerous routes throughout the estate; birdwatching; visiting the local national park or simply relaxing and unwinding by the beautiful swimming pool.

You will be staying at Tranquil, Full board

Day 10

Zip Liniing and Rafting in the Forests of Wayanad
Well planned activities taking you through the tea estates, forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and caves of Wayanad. Spend the day with a great guide and enjoy the zipline at Vythiri village and the rafting combination on the calm Kabini river. Learn about local life throughout the day.

You will be staying at Tranquil, Full board

Day 11

Drive from Sultan's Battery to Calicut (Road Journey)

Drive to Kathgodam Railway station to board your train to Delhi - Kathgodam Express (1535/2050hrs)

Travel from Calicut to Cochin (Rail Journey)

Drive to Kathgodam Railway station to board your train to Delhi - Kathgodam Express (1535/2050hrs)

Set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, linked by a network of ferries and bridges, the ancient water city of Cochin (Kochi) reflects the eclecticism of Kerala perfectly. With its rich past and bustling present, it has been the business hub of the region for centuries. Cochin is the oldest European settlement in India, with an amazing blend of architectural styles making it a delightful place to stay.

The influence of Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans is evident throughout Cochin and its people, with colonial houses sitting alongside Chinese fishing nets and an ancient synagogue. Cochin is an attractive city with serene back-waters, lagoons overhung with feathery coconut palms and picturesque islands.

It's always fun to ride on one of the local ferries and visit the wonderful spice markets. Cochin also stages performances of Kathakali, a classical Keralan art.

You will be staying at Brunton Boatyard, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Walking Tour of Cochin
Walking through the narrow roads of the area today referred to as the Heritage Zone, you will see various architectural styles reflecting the many cultures that lived here. Dutch houses stand next to spacious porticoed British plantation style homes. Further down are two churches built by the Portuguese, while standing guard over the harbor are the Chinese Fishing nets. In the narrow alleys of the old city you will come across interesting art galleries exhibiting local talent, small cafes and book shops and boutiques. Just before sunset the fishing boats pull in and there are auctions along the waterfront as the excess is sold to local vendors, the rest being supplied to the hotels.

Dinner at Mariama's
This evening visit a local lady, Mariama, and her family, who will demonstrate a few traditional recipes. Afterwards experience dinner with the whole family.

Evening Harbour Cruise
During this sunset cruise on Cochin harbour admire the seaside views of the Fort Cochin, Bolgatty Island, Willingdon Island, the shipyard and the impressive Chinese fishing nets. Though no food and drinks are available on board, you are welcome to bring your own snacks.

You will be staying at Brunton Boatyard, Bed & Breakfast

Day 13

Drive from Cochin to Kumarakom (Road Journey)

Drive to Kathgodam Railway station to board your train to Delhi - Kathgodam Express (1535/2050hrs)

Located on the shore of Lake Vembanad, Kerala's largest lake, is an unhurried backwater with a good share of top end accommodations. In the vicinity is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, a five-hectare site of a former rubber plantation now home to domestic and migratory birds. A couple of days spent land based on Lake Vembanad is relaxing, with spa facilities, extensive grounds and attractive swimming and dining options. Sunset cruises, rice barges and village walks can be arranged from your chosen hotel.

En route take a cycle tour through the local villages

Activities at Coconut Lagoon
Coconut Lagoon has a great choice of in house activities at this child friendly resort. Traditonal games are available including table tennis and badminton. Local culture can be explored during the cooking, dancing and dress demonstrations. Pay a visit to the Butterfly garden, learn how to play the Keralan drums, or simply splash around in the swimming pools. Babysitting is available upon request for a few golden hours of time without the children.

You will be staying at Coconut Lagoon, Bed & Breakfast

Day 14

Traditional Houseboat Cruise
Cruise the palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala on board a private Kettuvallam, a traditional thatched houseboat typical to Kerala. Board your boat and cruise along the backwaters, travelling down canals dotted with houses, paddy fields and temples. Lunch, Indian tea and snacks are served on board.

You will be staying at Coconut Lagoon, Bed & Breakfast

Day 15

Fly Cochin to Dubai

Fly Dubai to London

This holiday can be extended to include a beach stay in Marari or combine South India with Maldives


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Brunton Boatyard

Brunton Boatyard

Brunton Boatyard is an elegant colonial-style hotel with distinguished décor, a fantastic outdoor pool and an excellent selection of restaurants....

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Evolve Back,Coorg

Evolve Back,Coorg

Evolve Back, Coorg is set in a lush 300-acre plantation with a superb aroma of coffee and spices, 4000 metres above sea level....

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Coconut Lagoon

Coconut Lagoon

This traditional-style, eco-friendly hotel promising complete escapism....

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Evolve Back, Kabini

Evolve Back, Kabini

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....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of India

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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Kate Hitchen, Travel Expert

"Kate was calm and bent over backwards to accommodate my jitters about going to Kashmir in the light of tighter FCO guidelines just a few days before our departure. She was absolutely correct in advising against what I thought we should do. Several times during the holiday we said that, 'Kate was dead right about that!'."

"We asked for a rather particular kind of Indian holiday. You delivered it in full. Highlights? Honestly, each day was a highlight in itself. "

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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