It has a fascinating mix of influences, from the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Chinese who came to trade spices and ivory, to the Dutch, Portuguese and British – all of whom have left their mark: the Chinese fishing nets in Cochin, the Dutch forts and palaces throughout the region, the tea plantations and the cricket pitches of the Raj occupation.
In addition to the long shoreline, there are tranquil backwaters, flanked by beautiful hill country where the slopes are blanketed with tea plantations and the cooling breezes provide respite in the searing summer months. In amongst the plantations and paddy fields, there are numerous historic and cultural monuments. The Keralan people, with their distinctive Malayalam language, are among the most charming and independent in India, famed for their delicious fish curries and a history of independent thinking. With its rolling hills of the Western Ghats, wildlife sanctuaries, spice plantations and tranquil backwaters, Kerala deserves its title ‘God’s Own Country’.
A Kerala vacation has so much more to offer than beaches, backwaters and massages. Our tailor made India holidays take in lovely small, owner-managed properties overflowing with warm hospitality and wonderful local cuisine; superbly guided individual birding and wildlife trips well off the beaten track, where you can camp out in the middle of elephant and tiger safari country; beautiful and remote plantation bungalows stylishly and imaginatively converted to accommodate our discerning clients.