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India's South - Kerala & Madurai's Temples – Exclusively Solos

11days from
£3,249*per person



Madurai’s ancient temples and Kerala’s striking mountain vistas provide the perfect backdrop for a truly unique solo travel experience.  Discover the rich cultural heritage of India’s tropical south with a journey stretching from the forested uplands and plantations of the Western Ghats to the sprawling cityscapes of Madurai and Kochi, where you’ll experience the Keralan sights on a traditional rickshaw ride. Guided tours of the impressive Meenakshi Temple, an iconic sight amidst Madurai’s skyline and a sacred site for Hindus across the world, and Mattancherry Palace, adorned in spectacular murals, follow promising memorable insights into the vibrant history of the region.    Take in the tropical landscapes and vibrant wildlife of India’s south with a cruise along palm-studded Periyar’s lakes. You’ll also be immersed in the culture with stops in rural fishing villages as you trace Alleppey’s backwaters and observe age-old traditions with thrilling Kathakali and Kalaripayattu performances. Cultural delights, paired with accommodation of a very high standard and a friendly tour manager accompanying you from start to finish, make this an ideal introduction to the country for solo travellers. 


  • Begin your South Indian adventure with an overnight flight to Kochi.
  • Meet your tour manager at the airport before transferring to your local hotel. After checking in, feel free to settle in at your own pace with an afternoon at leisure. Whether you’d prefer to explore Kochi’s bustling city streets or relax by the pool, this is a great opportunity to meet your fellow solo travellers This evening, admire the intricate choreography, glorious costumes and colourful make-up of a traditional Kathakali dance performance before a welcome dinner at the hotel. 
  • The first full day in Kerala will see you take an early breakfast before boarding your coach for a scenic journey eastward to Munnar, a former resort town hidden amongst rolling hills and tea plantations. As you drive into the mountains, be sure to take in the truly impressive sights of the Keralan countryside from its palm-lined roadsides to vibrant green rolling hills – you may even get a glimpse of the region’s free-roaming elephants.  You’ll then be free to spend the evening as you see fit. Why not take a traditional Ayurveda massage or unwind with a spa treatment? This evening, enjoy dinner at the hotel. 
  • Tea lovers rejoice; this will be the day for you! Fuel yourself for the morning with breakfast at your hotel and look back into Munnar’s history of tea production with a guided tour of a local plantation. You’ll be offered a comprehensive insight into the life cycle of one of the UK’s favourite beverages, from the tea tree plantations to its drying, threshing and packaging in a neighbouring factory.   Afterwards, stop in at the Tata Tea Museum, which chronicles the development and popularisation of tea in the local area. Witness the evolution of the tea-making process under the British Raj with a wide range of antique machinery and original photographs telling the tale of such humble crops.  As you come to the end of the afternoon, reconvene at the hotel for an evening under your own steam before dinner with the rest of your tour group.
  • Take breakfast this morning at your hotel and then it’s time for the next leg of your journey to Madurai, home to the world-famous Sri Meenakshi Temple. As you drive through Munnar’s mountainous terrain, take in the city’s skyline, dominated by its magnificent gopurams - or gate towers.  Arriving in Madurai, settle into your new hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. Whether you fancy a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, or perhaps a relaxing drink at the hotel’s bar, you’ll find plenty of ways to re-energise yourself right in the comfort of your hotel.  After dinner, you'll have the opportunity to pay an evening visit to Sri Meenakshi Temple for its extraordinary ‘Going to Bed’ ceremony. Experience authentic Hindu tradition with this celebration of colour, dance and music which sees images of the temple’s patron goddess, Meenakshi (or Parvati), reunited with her consort, Shiva, for the night’s rest. 
  • Today begins in Madurai’s Old City. Take breakfast at the hotel before venturing out for your tour where the ornately carved façade, colonnades, shrines and quartet of towering gopurams of the Meenakshi temple are the breath-taking highlight. Marvel at the continual ceremonies and devotions, take in the bustle of the temple markets and stroll the labyrinth of corridors and walkways. Enjoy a rickshaw ride, a popular mode of transport in India’s busy inner cities, on the way to Madurai’s local market.   After time to browse the city’s market stalls, continue the excursion with a visit to the 17th-century Thirumalai Nayak Mahal. This grand palace, built in dramatic Indo-Saracenic style, served as the seat of the Nayak dynasty’s power for over 200 years and is a true feast for the eyes. Look out for the Mahal’s vibrant stucco-covered walls and its delicate frescos, depicting ancient Hindu history and mythology.  This evening, head back out of the hotel for a culinary walking tour. Join your fellow guests for a walk around the local market and taste some of the best local treats that the city has to offer. Indulge yourself in a celebration of South Indian scents and flavours, sampling the very best signature dishes of Madurai’s local eateries. What’s more, this tour caters to every diet and can be tailored to your needs, meaning you’ll be sure to find something for everyone amongst vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. 
  • This morning, fuel yourself for the day’s travels with breakfast in the hotel. You’ll then take a scenic drive eastwards to Thekkady, bordering the breathtaking Periyar National Park.  Upon arrival, check into your resort hotel and relax as you see fit ahead of your evening entertainment. As the sun sets over Kerala join the other guests for an evening of traditional Indian martial arts performances known as Kalaripayattu.   Afterwards, return to your hotel for dinner and spend the rest of the evening under your own steam.
  • Rise early this morning, if you wish, for an optional hike along the Periyar nature trek accompanied by a local guide. This adventure, deep into the pristine landscapes of the Periyar National Park, offers an unmissable opportunity to witness Kerala’s local wildlife in its untouched natural habitat. From vibrant birdlife and butterflies to the elusive lion-tailed macaque, a walk through Periyar’s stunning wilderness promises a truly rewarding experience for animal and nature lovers alike.  Reconnecting with the rest of your group, you’ll then delve into the mysteries and history of Indian tea and spices with a tour of a local spice plantation. Growing in abundance on Periyar’s sloping landscapes, you’ll witness the intricate processes that bring the world’s most popular spices from farm to table.  You’ll then drive deep into the heart of the Periyar National Park, which is an important sanctuary for a wide variety of native wildlife, for a relaxing afternoon boat ride on the park’s lakes. As you meander through tranquil waters, keep an eye out for the region’s resident Bengal tigers and Indian elephants. You’ll then return to your Thekkady hotel for dinner. 
  • After breakfast, your group will make the short drive to Alleppey with its winding canals and backwaters. Here, you’ll board a traditional, thatch roofed Kettuvallam houseboat for a lazy cruise through a labyrinth of canals and waterways. Sit back and relax as you witness Kerala’s natural world at its untouched best as you glide past coconut groves, rice fields and ancient temples. This landscape of tiny islands is home to fishermen, buffalo farmers and coconut growers.  Enjoy the afternoon’s cruise, with lunch and dinner provided, and settle into your cabin for a night on board. 
  • Wake up in true calm on the Alleppey backwaters and enjoy breakfast with views of the Keralan sunrise.  Make the short journey back to Kochi where you’ll discover the historic city’s most iconic sights with an included guided tour. Witness the exquisite murals of "Dutch" Mattancherry Palace, the ancient Jewish synagogue and Fort Kochi, home to the famous Chinese fishing nets that have become one of India’s most photographed sights. Elsewhere in the city, historic St Francis Church overlooks a village green straight from a genteel English scene.  Check into the hotel this evening for your final night in the Indian south and reminisce on beautiful new memories in the company of your fellow travellers.
  • Your Keralan adventure comes to an end today, and you’ll travel to the airport for your flight back home. 

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover Kochi’s landmarks with a sightseeing tour of the coastal metropolis and witness the city’s fishnets
  • Cruise along Kerala’s backwater with an overnight stay on a Kettuvallam (traditional South Indian houseboat)
  • Glide along the tranquil waters of Periyar Lake during a wildlife cruise
  • Witness a thrilling Kalaripayattu (traditional South Indian martial arts) performance in Thekkady and an authentic Kathakali dance
  • Experience India’s thriving spice and tea industries with guided tours, from plantations to packaging factories
  • Explore Madurai’s rich history and enjoy a rickshaw ride around some of its most famous highlights
  • Observe the sacred ‘Going to Bed’ ceremony at Meenakshi Temple
  • Unwind in comfort with our specially curated list of hotels and resorts along your South Indian travels

Our Price Includes

  • Eight nights’ half-board hotel accommodation in Kochi (2 nights), Munnar (2), Madurai (2) and Thekkady (2)
  • One night’s full-board accommodation aboard a houseboat in Alleppey
  • Tour of tea plantations and visit to the Tata Tea Museum
  • Guided tour of Madurai’s landmarks, an evening ceremony in Meenakshi Temple and a rickshaw ride
  • Evening food tour of Madurai’s local markets
  • Tour of a Periyar spice plantation
  • Wildlife cruise on Periyar Lake
  • Kathakali and Kalaripayattu performances
  • A sightseeing tour of Kochi
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Return flights to Kochi
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
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Dates and Prices

November 2025
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  • Limited Availability
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Departure Airport:
London Gatwick (LGW)

Number of Passengers:

Price from:£3,249
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Other Information

Passport and Visa Information

British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for 180 days after your return date from India. British citizens and most other European nationals satisfying certain conditions may use the online e-Tourist Visa application process at a cost of $10 (US) per person for entry to India for arrivals in the months of April, May and June or $25 (US) per person for arrivals in other months. Fees are subject to change. Other passport holders must apply for a full visa. Note that all travellers of Pakistani descent, regardless of citizenship, will generally be subject to more detailed processing by the Indian authorities, which can take up to four months from application.

Foreign Office Travel Advice

Visit to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

Hotel Transfer Times

The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.

Alcohol Sales in Kerala

Local laws prohibit some hotels in Kerala from selling alcohol.

Luggage Allowance

You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.

Special Requirements

If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

Disabled Access

The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.

Changes to Your Hotels

Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

Road Conditions

In developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.

Itinerary Changes

Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you'll receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

Holiday code


Holiday provided by Newmarket Holidays

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: fully flexible booking policy, covid-19 cancellation cover insurance as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Newmarket Holidays (ABTOT 5509, ATOL 2325, ABTA V7812), you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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