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Tamil Nadu & Kerala... A Luxury Tailor-made Tour of South India

15 days from £7,920 for 2023 per person

Towering temples, mist shrouded hills and palm fringed beaches are just a few of the incredible sights that await you on this wonderful tailor-made itinerary. The two southernmost states of India are Tamil Nadu and Kerala which are incredibly different to one another and complement each other perfectly.

This comprehensive tour starts near Chennai (formerly Madras) on the shores of the Coromandel Coast. Explore the exciting city of Chennai, as well as Mahabalipuram, a charming town full of ancient archaeological wonders and World Heritage–listed temples and carvings. From here, head to the old French colony of Pondicherry, a peaceful coastal town, brimming with style and classic French idiosyncrasies. Continue through the heart of Dravidian India, visiting some of the subcontinent's most impressive temples, before arriving in Tanjore. Explore all the city has to offer, including the Brihadeeswara Temple, an outstanding example of ancient Chola architecture. End your stay in Tamil Nadu with a night in Madurai where you can visit the incredibly remarkable Meenakshi Temple. 

From Madurai, head to the rolling Cardamom Hills for a night in Munnar, South India's largest tea-growing region and where you will have a chance to pick your own tea. And then to the serene backwaters where you will enjoy the warm hospitality at a traditional Keralan home stay. Cruise through the backwaters in a converted rice barge and see village life that has remained unchanged for decades. Spend a few days by the beach on the Malabar Coast staying on an old coconut plantation, before ending the tour in the ancient city of Cochin which is famed for its spices and ancient trading routes.

This luxury holiday is purely a suggested itinerary; it can be booked as it is or used as a starting point for creating your perfect tailor-made tour of India. If you would like to see similar trips, take a look at our collection of Epic Journeys, Honeymoons and Family Holidays; as well as our favourite Beach and Boating itineraries.

Itinerary details

15 days from £7,920 for 2023 per person

  • Day 1 - Taj Connemara - Chennai
    Arrive in Chennai and transfer to your hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 2 - Taj Connemara - Chennai
    Full day guided sightseeing in Chennai, including a street food tour and a dance tour.
  • Day 3 - Taj Fisherman's Cove - Mahabalipuram
    Morning drive to Mahabalipuram via Kalakshetra Foundation and Dakshina Chitra Museum. Afternoon sightseeing at Mahabalipuram.
  • Day 4 - Palais de Mahe - Pondicherry
    Morning drive to Pondicherry. Afternoon walking tour of the area.
  • Day 5 - Palais de Mahe - Pondicherry
    Spend the day at leisure to explore Pondicherry.
  • Day 6 - Svatma - Tanjore
    Morning drive to Tanjore. Afternoon tour of Brihadeeswara Temple.
  • Day 7 - Svatma - Tanjore
    Morning sightseeing tour to visit the local businesses, temples and mansions. Spend the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hotel's spa.
  • Day 8 - The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai - Madurai
    Morning drive to Madurai. Afternoon sightseeing and evening ceremony at Meenakshi Temple.
  • Day 9 - Windermere Estate - Munnar
    Morning drive to Munnar. Afternoon visit the tea plantation and tea factory.
  • Day 10 - Philipkutty's Farm - Kerala
    Morning drive to the Backwaters. Spend the day at leisure.
  • Day 11 - Philipkutty's Farm - Kerala
    Morning farm visit followed by a day cruise on a traditional riceboat.
  • Day 12 - Marari Beach Resort - Mararikulam
    Morning drive to Marari Beach. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
  • Day 13 - Marari Beach Resort - Mararikulam
    Spend the day at leisure.
  • Day 14 - Brunton Boatyard - Cochin
    Drive to Cochin. Afternoon sightseeing tour or spend the rest of the day at leisure.
  • Day 15 - In transit.
    Morning transfer back to the airport for your onward journey home.
South India Chinese Fishingnets Fort Cochin South India Chinese Fishingnets Fort Cochin
Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 1 Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 1
Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 7 Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 7
SOUTH INDIA - Tamil Nadu (7) SOUTH INDIA - Tamil Nadu (7)
Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 4 Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 4
Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 8 Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 8
Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 2 Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 2
South India Spice Village Kerala India South India Spice Village Kerala India
SOUTH INDIA Kerala Back Waters House Boat SOUTH INDIA Kerala Back Waters House Boat
SOUTH INDIA - Backwaters, Kerala SOUTH INDIA - Backwaters, Kerala
I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson

Client Testimonials

We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India

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