This fortnight tour of South India starts on the shores of Mahabalipuram and ends on the shores of Kerala meandering through small and big temple towns of Tamil Nadu, rustic villages, Tea gardens and the heritage town of Cochin. The hotels included are a beautiful mix of chic boutique, heritage bungalows and small character properties that exude local charm. While on this tour you will experience a bullock-cart ride through the historic by-lanes of Chettinadu with palatial mansions, visit world heritage monuments at the Shore Temple & Brihadishwara temple. The French settlement of Pondicherry and visit to the Jew town in fort Cochin is another highlight of this tour.

Day 1 Chennai-Mahabalipuram

You will be met upon arrival at Chennai airport and driven to Mahabalipuram (1 hour 30 mins). Stay at the Ideal Beach Resort , a mid-range hotel with a good beach-front. Remainder of the day at leisure.If keen on sightseeing, you could visit Fort St George and the markets of Chennai.

Day 2 Mahabalipuram

Morning enjoy a guided tour of the Shore temples. This is an architectural marvel that has the five rathas or chariots carved out of a single piece of Granite. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 3 Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry

Morning drive to Pondicherry(2 hours). stay at the Le Dupleix for the night.This is a centrally located,small boutique hotel with a bar and restaurant in the courtyard. Afternoon at leisure to explore the French settlement, you can walk or drive by the Promenade and visit Aurovile; the global village where among thousnds of people almost two-thirds are non-Indians.

Day 4 Pondicherry-Kumbakonam

Drive to Kumbakonam(4 hours), en-route you can visit the Shiva temple at Gangaikondacholapuram. Stay at Mantra for the night, this is a concept Resort in the village of Veppathur that recreates the feel of living in a Tamil village. The food served here is strictly vegetarian and Beer is the only alcoholic beverage that can be made available. Afternoon you could explore the village, visit the 12th century Airavateshwara temple and the weaving unit next to it.

Day 5 Kumbakonam-Chettinadu

Morning visit the Brihadishwara temple , a world heritage site this great living Chola temple that has walls adorned with inscriptions that speak of the conquests of the King rajaraja Chola. You could also visit the Nayak palace that is converted into a Museum that houses bronze scuplptors and paintings. Drive on to Karaikudi village one of the nice villages in the Chettinadu region. Stay at the Visalam for 2 nights. This is a restored heritage mansion in Kanadukathan village with 15 roomds,a central courtyard & pool. food is served in the garden, patio or terrace.

Day 6 Chettinadu

Morning enjoy a bullock-cart ride through the by-lanes of the village. This is a leisurely activity and allows you to watch closely the daily life of the locals as you pass houses and markets. Remainder of the day at leisure to explore on own. This region is famous for its colorful floor tiles and fiery cuisine.

Day 7 Chettinadu-Madurai

Morning drive to Madurai (2 hours). Stay at the Heritage for the night. This historical property which was once the Madurai club has been lovingly restored by the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa. Enjoy a guided tour in the afternoon. This includes a visit to the Meenakshi temple; the temple complex is spread over 45 acres with 12 ornate towers of which the Southern tower rises to a height of 170 feet. The flower stalls and markets around the complex are interesting to browse through. The 17th century Nayak palace is a good example of Dravidian, Islamic & European and fusion of architecture.

Day 8 Madurai-Munnar

A 3-4 hours drive to the high ranges of Munnar. Stay at the Windermere Estate, a character property spread over beautiful grounds,in the midst of acres of Cardamom Estate. you could go for the conducted walk that they offer in the afternoon. You could also visit the Tea Museum and the market in Munnar town.

Day 9 Munnar-Cochin

A picturesque 4 hours drive through small farms of Pineapple, Tapioca and rubber Estates to Cochin. Stay for 2 nights at the Malabar house Residency. This is a heritage boutique property in the heart of the heritage zone of Fort Cochin, very close to all the sights. The hotel has a small pool, wine lounge and very popular fusion restaurant. Evening enjoy a sunset cruise by the harbor. This is a relaxing private cruise where you get to see the fishing activities by the harbor market and pass by small islands, ends with the sun going down in the backdrop of the Chinese fishing nets.

Day 10 Cochin

Morning enjoy a guided tour of Fort Cochin and Mattencherry. This will include a visit to the 16th century St Francis church tha used to hosue the remains of the Portuguese explorer, Vasco Da Gama. This will be followed by visiting the Chinese fishing nets. The dutch Palace with its ornate paintings and collections, The Jewish synagogue . The synagogue built in 1568 still retains some of the gold crowns,glass-railed pulpit, Belgian lamps and chinese hand-painted tiles. Evening visit a cultural center to witness Kathakali;the pantomime dance form of Kerala

Day 11 Cochin-Alleppey-Mararikulam

Late morning drive to the backwaters of Alleppey (1 hour). At mid-day board a traditional Riceboat to enjoy a day cruise. This 4 hours cruise allows you to soak in the village life by the Backwaters and enjoy authentic Kerala cuisine prepared by the crew. Disembark after Tea and drive to Mararikulam(20 minutes). Stay at the Marari Beach Resort for 3 nights. This is a luxury Resort by the Beach, it offers modern accommodation in independent villas, some of which come with private pool. The Resort has a huge pool, fine dining restaurant, Bar and Ayurvedic centre.

Day 12 Mararikulam

At leisure

Day 13 Mararikulam

At leisure

Day 14 Mararikulam-Cochin

Morning transfer to Cochin airport (2 hours) to board your onward flight.