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  • Madhurai - Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery
  • 9 Nights / 10 days

On the footsteps of Rick Stein in Kerala


As part of a series on BBC2, Award winning chef Rick Stein recently embarked on a journey through South India to discover the secret of the perfect Indian curry and to trace the origins of Indian dishes and spices that are popular the world over.

Stein's journey in South India started in the ancient temple town of Madurai where he was captivated by the traditional cooking in the temples. His travels then took him into breathtaking Kerala where he discovered spice plantations, tea clad hills, serene backwaters and the charming Port Town of Cochin. On this gastronomical sojourn, Stein ventured into cardamom and pepper plantations, discovered the many diverse styles of cooking in Kerala and also experienced the real taste of Kerala in the local eating places that offer mouth watering traditional delicacies.

Kerala Travel Centre brings you an exclusive tour that traces the footsteps of Rick Stein and gives you the opportunity to re-create and discover the same magic that captivated the celebrated chef. As you unravel the many culinary marvels of Kerala, you will also discover the region's many delightful highlights. 

Read full itinerary
Average temperature and rainfall





Tour Highlights

  • Stay in a Wildlife Resort
  • Stay in a Backwater Resort
  • Enjoy an Overnight Houseboat Cruise
  • Explore the Vibrant Port Town of Cochin
  • Stay in the Temple Down of Madurai
  • Relax with a Complimentary Ayurveda Massage
Tour Route - Where you'll visit
1 Madhurai
Madurai which is considered to be one of South India's oldest and most historic cities. Early Greek historical documents record Madurai's existence since the 4th century BC. Madurai's rich cultural heritage has passed been down the many centuries making it one of the most prominent temple towns in Tamil Nadu today.
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2 Periyar

Periyar an area known for its undulating hills, spice plantations, and elephant sightings. One of the 27 tiger reserves in India, the Periyar valley in Thekkady is the oldest.

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3 Kumarakom

Kumarakom is home to the backwaters,a splendid area full of canals, lakes and coves. An overnight cruise is the best way to naviage through the breathtaking canals of Kumarakom.

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4 Alleppey

Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. Alappuzha is the sixth largest city in Kerala with an urban population of 177,029.

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5 Cochin

Cochin, or Kochi as it is now called, is divided into Old Cochin (comprising Fort Cochin and Mattanchery) and Ernakulam, which is a bustling metropolis and is considered the commercial capital of Kerala. It is the only district in Kerala where you can experience urban comforts on a par with other major cities in India and also the history of many centuries bygone.

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6 Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery

Cochin International Airport, Cochin (IATA: COK,ICAO, VOCI) is an international airport serving the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. Located at Nedumbassery, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) northeast of the city, Cochin International Airport is the first airport in India developed under a public-private-partnership (PPP) model and was funded by nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 30 countries

It is the busiest and largest airport in the state of  Kerala. As of 2019, the Cochin International Airport caters to 61.8% of the total air passenger movement in Kerala. It is also the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic and eighth busiest overall. In fiscal year 2018-19, the airport handled more than 10.2 million passengers with a total of 71,871 aircraft movements.The airport is a primary base for Air India Express operations which is also headquartered in the city.

The airport operates three passenger terminals and one cargo terminal. With over 150,000 square metres (1,614,587 sq ft) in area, the airport's Terminal 3 is one of the largest terminals in India.On 18 August 2015, Cochin International Airport became the world's first fully solar powered airport with the inauguration of a dedicated solar plant. On 26 July 2018, the airport was selected for the coveted Champion of the Earth award, the highest environmental honor instituted by the United Nations.

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Detailed Itinerary

Day ONE +-
  • DAY 01: Madurai
Travel to Madurai, which is considered to be one of South India's oldest and most historic cities. Early Greek historical documents record Madurai's existence since the 4th century BC. Madurai's rich cultural heritage has been passed down through the centuries making it one of the most prominent temple towns in Tamil Nadu today. Check into your hotel and spend your afternoon exploring the resort and relaxing. Later in the evening, visit the colourful flower markets and busy bazaars of Madurai; you will be captivated by the smells and sounds of this amazing temple town.
Overnight at the Heritage Madurai with a vehicle at your disposal.
Day TWO +-
  • DAY 02: Madurai
This morning you will visit the famous Meenakshi temple. The 1000-pillared hall depicts beautiful sculptures showcasing stories from ancient Hindu Epics. Besides a tour of the fascinating temple, you will be given a guided tour of the temple's kitchen which prepares delicious temple food for the thousands of devotees who visit every day. Eating at the temple is considered to be auspicious by devotees and the temples' chefs devote a lot of love and attention to preparing a number of delicacies. Watch as delicious sambar curry is mass prepared along with many south Indian snacks including vadas and payasam (a dessert). Spend your evening relaxing.
Overnight at the Heritage Madurai with a vehicle at your disposal.
Day THREE +-
  • DAY 03: Madurai – Periyar (135 km / 3.5 hrs)
In the morning, drive to Periyar, an area known for its undulating hills, spice plantations, and elephant sightings. Check into the Spice Village on arrival. Go on a spice plantation tour, where you will be enticed by the aroma of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and nutmeg and learn how they are grown, harvested and processed before they reach the supermarkets. The pepper grown in Kerala is considered to be amongst the finest in the world. Spend your evening relaxing and exploring the hotel.
Overnight at the Spice Village with a vehicle at your disposal.
Day FOUR +-
  • DAY 04: Periyar
Periyar is known for its wildlife - particularly its elephants. In the morning, enjoy an escorted three-hour jungle trek which offers excellent opportunities to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife including elephants, bison and deer. The trails often pass through evergreen forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. Upon your return, participate in a cooking demonstration at the Spice Village where you can try your hand at making your own variations of Kerala dishes.
Overnight at the Spice Village with a vehicle at your disposal.
Day FIVE +-
  • DAY 05: Periyar – Kumarakom (145 km / 4 hrs)
This morning you will be transferred to the backwater region of Kumarakom where you will take a short boat ride to the Coconut Lagoon backwater resort. Set on a picturesque island in the serene backwaters, the Coconut Lagoon is rated as one of the twenty-five best getaways in the world - and for good reason. Spend your day relaxing and exploring the resort. Amongst other things, the Coconut Lagoon offers Kerala cuisine in its most authentic form and those who want to take home an enriching taste of the land can take a lesson or two from the ever-obliging chefs.
Overnight at the Coconut Lagoon.
Day SIX +-
  • DAY 06: Kumarakom
Spend your day relaxing at the Coconut Lagoon. Enjoy a full-body, rejuvenating Ayurveda massage. Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old medical science – perhaps the oldest, and definitely the most holistic medical systems available anywhere in the world.
Overnight at the Coconut Lagoon.
Day SEVEN +-
  • DAY 07: Kumarakom – Allepey (houseboat)
Embark on your private houseboat and cruise on the backwaters, a vast expanse of placid waters that branch off into countless canals, coves and creeks. A leisurely boat ride along these unique palm-fringed waterways will be one of the most memorable experiences for any traveller to Kerala. Your houseboats, or Kettuvalloms, are converted rice barges with well-appointed bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. Apart from the mesmerising surroundings, it is the life along the coast that makes this a fascinating experience. Canoes with sails still transport people and you will find vegetable sellers, fishermen and other traders bringing household materials door-to-door by small, wooden boats. Your boats are manned by a captain, a personal chef and your housekeeping staff. Needless to say, the local food on the houseboat is something to look forward to. The Karimeen, or Pearlspot, is the most famous fish found in the backwaters. Fish lovers are in for a treat as you will get to witness how your houseboat chef prepares this delicacy and serves it to you as part of a traditional meal. As you cruise along the backwaters, your captain will stop at a local toddy shop where you can sample the local toddy and mingle with the locals.
Overnight on the houseboat with full board.
Day EIGHT +-
  • DAY 08: Allepey to Cochin (65 km / 1.5 hrs)
Drive to Cochin, where you will check into the Brunton Boatyard hotel on arrival. Cochin, or Kochi as it is now called, offers you the best of history and culture anywhere in Kerala. A port town since early centuries, Cochin attracted traders and invaders from the world over. You can see snippets of the different eras and influences in the many attractions in Cochin. Step out of the hotel and you are within walking distance of other attractions like the Chinese fishing nets, said to have been left behind by Chinese traders in the 15th century. In the latter half of the day, you will spend time at the home of Nimmy and Paul, who belong to the traditional Syrian Christian community in Kerala. Nimmy has been a professional cooking instructor for more than 20 years and, in keeping with family traditions, is very passionate about serving great Kerala food. You will get the opportunity to participate in the process and learn how traditional spices are used in the typical Travancore vegetarian food. In the evening, visit the Pai Thattukada, named after the Pai brothers who popularized the concept of Thattus, or small shops, that offer cheaper and quicker alternative to restaurant food. Some of the Thattus serve over 70 varieties of Dosas, or rice pancakes, and your trip to Kerala cannot be complete without sampling the dosas here.
Overnight at the Brunton Boatyard with a vehicle at your disposal.
Day NINE +-
  • DAY 09: Cochin
In the morning, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Cochin. Start by visiting the Mattancherry spice godowns (warehouses) where the open spaces between the godowns are used to dry and pack various spices including coriander, pepper and ginger. In the evening, enjoy an exclusive Kathakali performance at the resort. Kathakali is the traditional dance of Kerala and literally means a story play. It is a highly-dramatic dance form which depicts the moral values of god and man. The characters wear elaborate makeup and heavy ornaments and the performances are very enthralling.
Overnight at the Brunton Boatyard with a vehicle at your disposal.
Day TEN +-
  • DAY 10: Cochin - Departure
Departure transfer to Cochin airport for your return flight with a vehicle provided to take you to the airport.

When Should I go?

Being a coastal state surrounded by the Arabian Sea and because of its proximity to the equator, Kerala has a more or less consistent temperature pattern in the summers and the monsoons alike. The temperature hovers around 29°C throughout the year with varying levels of humidity.
Average temperatures and rainfall
Monsoon Months in Kerala

June and July are monsoon months in Kerala, the showers being heavy at first and then easing off gradually. Whilst these are not the best months for tours, interestingly, this happens to the best time for travellers seeking the therapeutic Ayurveda treatment which is said to be most effective in these months.

Best months for travel to Kerala

The months of October through to March are considered to be the most favourable months to travel to Kerala when the weather is sunny and pleasant. The months of April and May are also favourable for travel but the humidity tends to be comparatively higher. August and September are also good months for travel.

Select a Destination
  • 2nts
Resort Ratting
Select a hotel for more information
Destination Nights Standard Superior Deluxe
Madhurai 2 Heritage Madurai Heritage Madurai Heritage Madurai
Periyar 2 Spice Village Spice Village Spice Village
Kumarakom 2 Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom
Alleppey 1 Xandari River Escape Xandari River Escape Xandari River Escape
Cochin 2 Brunton Boatyard Brunton Boatyard Brunton Boatyard

Heritage Madurai

The Heritage Madurai is a historical hotel which started off as the Madurai Club, that was later converted to a Heritage hotel. While the emphasis lay on building an environment-friendly ‘green’ Resort, the property’s historical value was carefully preserved. Designed in the unique architectural style of the Sri Lankan architect Geoffery Bawa, the Heritage Madurai rings with historic charm that echoes in every hallway and every room. Lounge by the Olympic-sized temple tank pool, or luxuriate in a plunge pool in your own private villa. Dine under a 200 year old banyan tree, serenaded by bird calls while enjoying the perfect meal prepared by your own personal chef, perfectly tempered to your particular taste buds. Take a leisurely ‘historic’ walk through the corridors where every stone has a story to tell.

View this Hotel

Tour Image Gallery

Cuisine Tour 12
  • Cuisine Tour 12
  • Cuisine Tour 2
  • Cuisine Tour 3
  • Cuisine Tour 4
  • Cuisine Tour 7

Image Gallery

Cuisine Tour 12
Cuisine Tour 2
Cuisine Tour 3
Cuisine Tour 4
Cuisine Tour 7

Travel Brochures


With 230 pages our Kerala brochure is the largest of its kind globally and features;
Extensive regional information
20+ itinerary ideas
More than 100 hotels
Maps and images

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Travel Brochures

With 230 pages our Kerala brochure is the largest of its kind globally and features;
Extensive regional information
20+ itinerary ideas
More than 100 hotels
Maps and images

+Read more -Read less


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Every time you book a holiday with us, we donate to a tangible cause at the destination - from our profits. Not only that, at the time of booking a holiday, we give you a choice of projects that we support and you can choose one that's closest to your hearts.

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    Rajeev helped us to provide sponsorship for a child at an orphanage we support for an entire year.

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