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Central Kerala Food Tour

Escorted Small Group Journey with Joji Jacob
ItineraryReserve

SMALL GROUP JOURNEYS

Coast to Hills Culinary Odyssey

A Delectable Tapestry of Flavours from Central Kerala in 12 Days

12 days from NZ$6,800 (US$4297 /€4020)per person
Pre & Post Tour Extensions Available

Limited to 7 guests | Escorted by Joji Jacob
9th Feb to 20th Feb 2024

Please contact us if you wish to customise this itinerary to suit your travel needs.

Enchanting Western Ghats

Embark on a 12-day epicurean journey that transcends mere taste; it’s a cultural revelation, a voyage through the heart and soul of Central Kerala with Joji Jacob. From the sun-soaked shores of Fort Kochi to the misty heights of Munnar, this extraordinary culinary expedition promises an unforgettable Coast to Hills experience.

Joji, a self-taught cook with a deep love for Indian cuisine, will guide you through four of the most diverse and delicious areas in God’s Own Country. Each area has its own unique culinary and cultural traditions, making this trip an unforgettable adventure.

This comprehensive tour takes you to the most important culinary and cultural destinations in Central Kerala, including:

  • Fort Kochi, a charming town with Portuguese, Jewish, Chinese and Dutch colonial heritage.
  • A relaxed overnight houseboat cruise through Kerala’s backwaters, enjoying Kuttanad cuisine.
  • Marari Beach, a pristine and peaceful stretch of sand and palm trees. You’ll indulge in the coastal cuisine of the fishermen’s community.
  • Munnar, a hill station known for its tea gardens and stunning scenery.

In addition to visiting these amazing places, you will also have the opportunity to:

  • Take cooking classes and learn how to make some of Central Kerala’s most famous dishes.
  • Explore small tea stalls, cafes, homes, restaurants, and local food joints.
  • Visit local markets and learn about this region’s different spices used in Christian cuisine.
  • Attend cultural performances, such as Kathakali dance and Kalari Payatu Martial arts.
  • Visit historical landmarks, such as the Santa Cruz Basilica and the Old Dutch Cemetery.
  • Take part in some optional activities like cycling, yoga, Ayurveda, fishing and short treks in the hills.
  • Visit a tea plantation and learn about the process of making tea.
  • Buy materials directly from artisans at the textile dying and printing centre.
  • Go for a short trek in the hills of Munnar.

During your time in Kerala, you’ll have the chance to discover the unique spices utilised in the four regions, participate in cooking lessons taught by acclaimed chefs, and enjoy cultural performances. Joji, the group leader, will provide valuable insights and anecdotes about Kerala’s rich culinary history and vibrant culture.

This tour is suitable for all levels of experience, from first-time travellers to seasoned foodies. The group size is limited to 7 people, so you can get the most out of your experience.

The tour includes all accommodation, meals as mentioned in the itinerary, all land transportation, and activities. There are no hidden costs, so you can book with confidence.

This is a truly unique and unforgettable way to experience the best of Central Kerala.

Book your tour today and start planning your culinary adventure!

Fort Kochi | Allapuzha House Boat | Marari Beach | Munnar | Kochi

Kerala Central Cuisine Map

Joji Jacob

A foodie, self- taught cook & Tour Director @ ATI Travel NZ

Joji Jacob, a native of this region, is leading this tour. He has spent many years travelling and studying these regions and has acquired a deep knowledge of their cuisine, culture and natural wonders. He will share his enthusiasm and insights throughout this tour, showing you the hidden gems and the best spots to enjoy the local cuisine, scenery and traditions. You will learn a lot from his expertise and experience and have a memorable and enriching tour with him.

ITINERARY

Day 1, - Kochi (Cochin) - Arrival

Namaskara – Greetings from Kochi, the gateway to the God’s own country, Kerala!

Upon arrival at Cochin International Airport, one of our team members will personally welcome you and escort you to your private transportation for a comfortable ride to your accommodation.

Meals:   – | – | –
AccommodationThe Dutch Bungalow, Fort Kochi

Day 2, 3 & 4 – Fort Kochi - A Culinary Kaleidoscope

Kochi, often referred to as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea,” is a captivating city where a medley of influences converges. This coastal gem bears witness to the Portuguese, Dutch, Jewish, and Chinese footprints, each leaving an indelible mark on its culture and cuisine. As you embark on this leg of your journey, be prepared to embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other.

In Kochi, your taste buds will be treated to the exquisite flavours of Syrian Christian cuisine, a culinary tradition renowned for its opulent use of coconut milk, the fragrance of curry leaves, and the bounty of seafood from the Arabian Sea. These ingredients come together harmoniously, creating a symphony of tastes that dance on your palate.

While in Kochi, our exploration extends beyond the culinary realm. You’ll step into the historic precincts of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, where the remnants of the spice trade era stand as a testament to the city’s storied past. The air is thick with nostalgia as you stroll through these charming streets, breathing in the whispers of centuries-old stories.

But the adventure doesn’t end there. We’ll hop aboard a local commuter ferry, sailing across the serene waters to Neema’s traditional home. There, you will be fully immersed in the art of local Christian cuisine. Neema, an expert in culinary arts, will generously share her knowledge and heritage, revealing the deep-rooted flavours, traditions, and techniques that have been passed down for generations.

In Kochi, history, culture, and cuisine intertwine seamlessly, creating an experience that is as enriching as it is flavourful. It’s a city that invites you to savour every moment and discover the secrets that have shaped its unique identity. Walking its vibrant streets and tasting its delectable dishes, you’ll understand why Kochi is a place where heritage truly meets the sea.

Optional activities: Join Joji on an early morning walk through the empty streets of Fort Kochi, enjoy the architecture, visit local tea stalls and meet the locals. Cycle through the winding lanes while taking in the aroma of the historic spice market.

Remember to bring empty bags with you when you come here – it’s a shopper’s paradise!

Meals:   B | L(1) | –
AccommodationThe Dutch Bungalow, Fort Kochi

Day 5 – Overnight Houseboat Cruise - The Serene Backwater Symphony

Embark on an enchanting Overnight Houseboat Cruise in Alappuzha, Kerala, often referred to as the “Venice of the East.” Step aboard a traditional Kettuvallam houseboat and set sail through serene backwaters that wind past emerald landscapes of swaying palm trees and endless paddy fields. As you drift along, immerse yourself in the unhurried village life, observing daily routines and age-old traditions.

Savour the distinctive flavours of Kuttanad cuisine, where locally sourced ingredients like duck, fish, tapioca, toddy, and banana take centre stage. As the sun dips below the horizon, your houseboat will anchor for the night, creating a magical setting where starlit waters mirror the sky. Enjoy a delectable onboard meal before drifting into a restful sleep in your cosy cabin.

Wake up to the soothing sounds of nature and witness the sunrise over the backwaters. After a traditional breakfast onboard, disembark for a leisurely stroll along the paddy fields, absorbing the tranquillity and natural beauty that surrounds you. This Overnight Houseboat Cruise offers more than just a journey; it’s an immersive experience into the heart of Kerala’s serene backwaters, leaving you with cherished memories of a timeless escape.

Meals:   B | L | D
Accommodation:  Houseboat

Day 6 & 7 – Marari Beach - Coastal Elegance and Simplicity

Marari Beach is our next destination, a pristine haven nestled between sun-kissed shores and swaying palms. Here, you’ll indulge in the coastal flavours of the local fishing community, a cuisine as diverse as the tides. Besides the culinary wonders, Marari Beach offers moments of tranquil respite by the sea. Optional activities like yoga, Ayurveda, and traditional fishing experiences allow you to connect with the coastal culture.

Meals:   B | L(1) | –
AccommodationAbad Turtle Beach

Day 8, 9 & 10 – Munnar - Savouring Tea Estate Bliss and Culinary Treasures

Nestled amidst the Western Ghats’ misty hills, Munnar is a captivating blend of lush tea plantations, aromatic spice markets, and a rich culinary heritage rooted in Kerala’s traditions.

Munnar’s allure is woven with colonial history. The British played a pivotal role in shaping this hill station, establishing the iconic tea plantations that still grace the landscape. Explore the picturesque tea gardens, witness colonial-era architecture, explore a tea factory and discover the art of tea plucking and processing, followed by a delightful tea-tasting session to savour the nuanced flavours of Munnar tea.

Munnar is not just about tea; it’s a hub of creativity and artisanal craftsmanship. Engage in indigo dyeing and craft-making workshops, where you can create exquisite souvenirs and take home a piece of Munnar’s artistic heritage.

For the adventure-seekers, Munnar offers optional day treks through its misty hills. Explore the serene natural beauty, lush forests, and winding trails, gaining a deeper connection with this enchanting landscape.

Munnar’s misty hills offer a diverse range of flavours, traditions, and natural wonders that are perfect for exploring and creating happy memories.

Meals:   B | L(1) | –
AccommodationFragrant Nature Hotel & Spa

Day 11 – Scenic Drive From Munnar To Kochi

After bidding farewell to the misty hills of Munnar, our journey leads us to the historical gem of Fort Kochi. This scenic drive offers a transition from the lush tea plantations to the coastal charm of Kochi. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate the changing landscapes, from Munnar’s tea-covered hills to the vibrant countryside.

With the evening free, you’re invited to immerse yourself in Fort Kochi’s rich history and vibrant culture. A perfect blend of relaxation, exploration, and culinary delights, setting the stage for your final night in Kerala. Take in the unique atmosphere of this historic town, do some last-minute shopping, and create lasting memories as you get ready for the final part of our amazing culinary adventure.

Meals:   B | L(1) | –
AccommodationThe Dutch Bungalow, Fort Kochi

Day 12 – Kochi Departure!

We have reached the end of our ‘Malabar Coast Culinary Odyssey’. We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed your journey with us. It brings us great joy to know that you have chosen to travel with us and allowed us to introduce you to the serene pleasures of South India.

This is not merely a culinary expedition but a soul-stirring encounter with Kerala’s multifaceted flavours and culture, leaving indelible imprints of wonder and enchantment. Join us on this extraordinary odyssey, and let Kerala’s rich tapestry of experiences captivate your senses and spirit.

We offer an inclusive airport transfer service to Kochi International Airport for those returning home today. We eagerly await your return for another exhilarating ATI Travel experience. Namaskaram!

TOUR EXTENSION
Our team would love to assist guests who have opted to continue their tour to a beach or hill station by accompanying them to their next destination. We offer two tour extension options:
Pre-tour Extention 1 – (4N/5D) Hill Station, Western Ghats & Tribal experience (Malabar Coast Culinary Odyssey from NZ$2675)
Tour Extention 2 – (6N/7D) Heritage train journey, hills, tribes and village experience

If you haven’t yet booked your tour extension, kindly get in touch with us for more details.

Meals:   B | – | –

Group Organiser Discount Available

A group organiser (4-10) can avail up to $2000 discount on a twin share package price. Please contact us for further details.

INCLUDED

  • Airport meet and greet with private transfers
  • Private air-conditioned coach
  • Handpicked boutique accommodations
  • Private cooking classes
  • Meals as per trip note
  • English-speaking local guides
  • All entrance fees, tips & gratuity
  • Guaranteed departure with just six guests

EXCLUDED

  • Airfares
  • Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Tests & other medical expenses
  • Personal expenses

REQUEST DETAILED ITINERARY

Call Joji on +64 (0) 21 505 713

WhatsApp Joji on +64 21 505 713

Why should you join our escorted Culinary Journeys?

* A small-group (max 7) tour means better access to your guide for questions
* Discover authentic local cuisine
* Learn about the eclectic cuisine while getting to know the locals
* Learn the stories behind each item you try, meet local artists
* Learn about the local lifestyle, markets, temples, and architecture
* Street food walks
* Expand your knowledge of Indian cuisine on this exciting food tour
* No need to worry about stopping to pay at each venue, as food tastings are included
* Explore a variety of eateries, including Chef’s homes, restaurants, cafes and local joints
* Real hands-on experience
* Shop for fresh ingredients at the local markets
* Master the spice secrets behind dishes
* Prepare and eat four separate dishes in an authentic home kitchen
* Take home various chef’s original recipes
* Factory tour
* Family style lunch
* Wine tour – Discover the local wine
* This tour is perfect for foodies visiting India for the first time
* Sit back and relax in a private air-conditioned vehicle

An ideal trip for:

Solo Traveler, Group of Friends, Couples

If you want a rich and truly authentic experience of the region(s) being visited in a slow and well-paced manner as part of a small group of like-minded people who appreciate the personal care and attention provided to them, then this is the trip for you. 

Safe Travels with ATI

Since 2013, ATI Travel NZ has been unsurpassed at delivering expertly managed small group and tailor-made boutique travel experiences.
We are uniquely qualified to ensure your well-being when travelling with us.

Our local partner offices work tirelessly with us behind the scenes

Our local suppliers and partners know our health & safety requirements, and our requirement to comply with all local regulations.

We follow the health and safety protocols required for your journey

All protocols involving physical distancing, vaccinations, masking, testing and other safety practices are communicated both before and during your journey. These protocols are carried out according to the latest local regulations and service provider requirements.

We facilitate in-country COVID-19 testing and provide round-the-clock support for any health-related matters

ATI’s network of local offices has the contacts and knowledge to support you throughout your journey, from coordinating COVID-19 testing (for travelling between countries and returning home) to answering any questions you have during your journey. Our local partners are experienced in handling any situation and have the contacts and knowledge to support guests 24/7.

ATI Travel will constantly monitor its safe travel plans to comply with global health and safety protocols

In the event that the tour director has to isolate, the tour will continue with the tour director remotely managing the tour in conjunction with the local team members.

If any of the guests have to isolate, all arrangements will be made to find accommodation and their medical support. This is not included in the package costs and must be covered by the individual’s travel insurance.

The guest can join the tour after the required isolation and clearance if the tour is still active. In the event that the tour has been completed, the guest will be supported to make their return passage home.

We Got You Covered

Something for everyone

Whether you are a first-timer or experienced traveller, our tours meet the expectations, needs and interests of each individual on the tour. Our guests continuously tell us that it surpasses all their expectations.

Active Tour

This tour is suitable for guests who do not mind travelling that extra mile in search of those unique experiences. If you are interested in culture, cuisine, architecture, people interaction and textiles, you will love this tour.  

boutique accommodation

Boutique accommodation, handpicked by us, for you to rest and rejuvenate in beautiful settings such as palaces, homestay, mansions, farm stay, business hotels and glamping is part of the travel experience we curate for you.

Travel in comfort

We provide airport to airport service, for your comfort and safety. Your private vehicle and the English speaking driver will accompany you throughout the journey. Check out the feedback we have received from our guests.

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