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Simply South India - for 18 to 29 year olds - 20% discounted tour

Simply South India - for 18 to 29 year olds - 20% discounted tour

Goa, India

From: R 8,332.00
 
  • Prices

    From: R 8,332.00
  • Trip Reference

    #9139
  • Flights

    No Flights Included
  • Duration

    13 Days
  • Valid From

    20th of February 2018 (Tuesday)
  • Valid To

    18th of April 2018 (Wednesday)
  • Need Visa's

    South Africa: Yes
    British: Yes
    European Union: Yes
    American: Yes
Quick Holiday Overview

Ready for an Epic Jaunt from Trivandrum to Goa? 

This 20% OFF special offer is valid between February and April 2018. Book and pay by 28 February 2018 to be part of this Epic Jaunt, designed for travellers aged 18-29 who like to have a good time with others their own age, but don’t want to spend their whole trip crammed into a bus with 40 hungover backpackers.

A rollicking, rip-snorting jaunt through India’s lush interior. Head from Trivandrum up to Varkala for prime beach gallivanting. Take a boat ride through the Kerala Backwaters. Catch a kathakali dance in Kochi. Pig out on curries in Hampi and seafood in Goa. Take a break from the horns, the traffic, the cows and all those people. Beaches, ayurvedic massages, curries and coconut groves await.

About the Holiday

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Trivandrum, India. You’ve got the whole day free to explore the capital city (depending on when you get here of course) before you join up with your crew at a 6pm Welcome Meeting (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until the meeting, hit the streets. If Mahatma Gandhi refers to your hometown as the 'Evergreen city of India', you better make sure you keep it that way. Thankfully, Trivandrum is now considered as one of the ten greenest cities in India. Phew.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Please note that Kerala is officially a dry state, with alcohol sales and consumption limited to bars in 5 star hotels.

Day 2: Varkala

In the morning, head up the coast to the town of Varkala (approximately 2 hours). Once settled into your hotel, use some free time to explore the Keralan coast, which is home to some of India’s most awesome beaches on the Arabian Sea. Soaring cliffs protect Varkala’s sandy bay and, depending on the time of year, dolphins can be spotted from high up on the rocks. The main beach here is Papanasam Beach, which is long and golden with a backdrop of red laterite cliffs from where mineral water springs forth. Chill out here and witness fishermen pulling up their nets from the sea.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Day 3: Varkala

Enjoy a free day in Varkala. This is a great place to sit back and relax, but if you want to get active there are plenty of water activities on offer, such as surfing and windsurfing. Otherwise, kick back on the beach and enjoy some low key time. Even though this is a popular destination for Indian tourists, the beaches are quiet and laid-back. If you have time, perhaps rent a bicycle and ride through fishing villages to Varkala Light House. Your leader will have all the top tips on what to do today.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Day 4: Kerala Backwaters

Today take a local three-hour train along the Keralan coastline to Alleppey (Alappuzha). Alleppey's sleepy, palm-shaded backwaters are Kerala's hidden treasure. Once an important trading port and now famous for its August 'snake boat' races, Alleppey is the starting point for most journeys into the backwaters. An auto rickshaw will take you from the train station to the boat boarding point. Crossing the backwaters, head to an island village to stay in a homestay overnight (approximately 1 hour). Your guide will take you on a walk around the village and introduce you to the local community. This is a great chance to meet and talk with the people who live here. Strolling under palm trees and weaving in between the rice fields that cover the island, learn about their lifestyles. You’ll also take a leisurely pole boat ride around the lake and enjoy the outstanding scenery.

Accommodation: Homestay (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
  • Kerala Backwaters - Village walk

Meals Included

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 5: Kochi

In the morning cross the backwaters by private boat back to Alleppey, which takes around one and a half hours. You’ll then take a local two-hour bus to Kochi, arriving around midday. Spread over several islands, Kochi is a fascinating place full of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences. Here you’ll stay in a lodge in a central location close to most of the sights in Fort Kochi. Once you get here, stretch your legs with an orientation walk around some of the sights of the nearby area, including St Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica and the famous Chinese fishing nets. In the evening, there’s the option to attend a classic Kathakali dance performance at 5pm. This performance takes years of special training and is an amazing slice of Keralan cultural traditions.

Accommodation: Lodge (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Kochi - Fort Kochi walk

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Kochi - Overnight Train

Today, head to the Mattancherry part of Fort Kochi to explore the old Jewish quarter, synagogue (the Jewish community here goes back to 1,000 AD) and Dutch Palace (Kochi Palace) on an orientation walking tour. The tour takes around three hours, with the rest of the day free to do as you wish. Why not join an Urban Adventures day tours, such as Fort Cochin by Bike, Home Cooked Kochi or Kochi Food and Culture Tour. Afterwards, it’s time to get a true Indian experience – an overnight train to Bangalore. Indian trains are like a moving town – watch the colourful landscape fly by and chat with the locals as the chai wallah walks down the aisle singing about his tea.

Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

The sleeper trains along the way are clean and air-conditioned, and are a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blankets provided but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same/mixed gender situation. It's advised to bring your own food on this train.

Day 7: Mysore

You’ll arrive into Bangalore pretty early in the morning, then catch a bus to your hotel in Mysore (approximately 5 hours). Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate; it’s well laid out, with wide streets and many gardens, making it perfect for wandering on foot. It’s also one of the best smelling places in India – it’s a major base for incense makers, so you’ll be surrounded by the aromas of sandalwood, jasmine, rose and musk. A visit to Mysore isn't complete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is a riot of colour, mosaics and mirrors. There’s also the option to visit the Keshava Temple in Somnathpur, a stunning example of Hoysala architecture just an hour out of town.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities

  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace - INR200
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple - INR100

Day 8: Mysore - Overnight Train

Whatever you do, it’s up to you. It’s a free day. There’s loads of time to explore the explore the surrounding countryside, so head out and climb Chamundi Hill – site of the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Durga. No bull – half way up you can’t miss the huge vahana of Lord Shiva that’s carved from a single piece of black granite (it’s a bull). In the evening (approximately 7 pm), board get another sleepover like no other an overnight train from Mysore up to Hampi. This should take around ten hours, arriving early in the morning.

Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Day 9: Hampi

In the morning, arrive into Hampi and cross the river to your guesthouse on a small boat. Hampi is an ancient temple town sitting on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Once you’re settled in, maybe head over to the architectural masterpiece of Vittala Temple. This 16th-century temple is the home of mandapas (pillared pavilions), a pool, a palace and the popular stone chariot, which Hindu mythology says was Lord Vishnu’s pimped out ride. Need some tips? You're leader is the one with all the insider knowledge!

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities

  • Hampi - Vittala Temple - INR500

Day 10: Hampi

Hampi’s a surreal ancient city on a prehistoric-looking landscape of huge boulders. It’s got literally thousands of ruins scattered about, and you could spend forever going from temple to temple in the back of a rickshaw. The town’s famous for it’s part in the Hindu epic story Ramayana, with Shiva and Parvati getting hitched here. Today you can explore the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire and the huge boulders on the outskirts of town. Check the majestic dome and pillars of the Virupaksha temple, the royal quarters, and the Archaeological Museum to get an idea of life here in the 16th century. The essential sunrise or sunset pics can be snapped at Hemakuta Hill or Matanga Hill.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Day 11: Hampi - Overnight train

Hampi is a great place to kick back and relax. Here there’s no better place to chill out that in Virupapuragaddi, which you can get to via boats across the river. It’s called the Hippie side and you can laze about in the backpacker cafes here. If you’re feeling like more walking then you can climb up the steps to the top of Annegudi Hill, which has great views of the surrounding countryside. If you’re not templed-out then there are no doubt still tonnes of hidden structures for you to explore by foot or bike. In the early evening, drive for around three hours by private vehicle to Hubli, where you’ll board an overnight nine-hour train to Goa.

Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Day 12: Goa

Once the train arrives in Goa, head to the hotel and check in. Brimming with Portuguese influences and famous for the sandy beaches lining its coast, Goa is a fascinating region in India's southwest. The day is free to do what you like. Perhaps relax on the beach, sip a cocktail at a local bar or go for a final dinner in the evening with the rest of the travel group.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Day 13: Goa

There are no activities planned for the final day and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time. Goa is a great place to end the trip – if you can, we recommend staying on for a couple of nights to relax and explore.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Wipe the dal from your sleeves and the dhansak from your brow, as you get elbows deep in authentic southern Indian cuisine

  • Cruise along the calm backwaters of Kerala and bunk up with a local family. All you need now is to master the language of Malayalam (jokes)

  • The spirit of Indiana Jones swings through the ruins of Virupaksha Temple in Hampi. You'll feel like you're moving through a movie set during the visit

  • Ready, steady, Goa (soz). There's actually no race element in this golden beach town. Chill your beans on the last leg of this sweet adventure

and is it for you?

  • It’s important to prepare for hot sticky temperatures during the day and cooler climates in the evening. Layers are the best way to tackle this disparity in weather. Please also ensure that you use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • This trip involves some long overnight train journeys, including a ten-hour train to Hampi and a nine-hour train to Goa. While this can be tiresome, entertaining chaiwalas (tea vendors), food vendors and conversations with the locals make this a rewarding experience. For your own security, take a lock for your hand luggage on the sleeper train journey.

  • You will also be travelling by local bus on this trip. While conditions are basic, this is a great way to rub shoulders with the locals while enjoying the passing scenery.

Includes & Excludes
Includes
  • Guesthouse/Lodge (2 nights), Home stay (1 night), Hotel (6 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)
  • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Auto-rickshaw, Boat, Canoe, Private vehicle, Public bus, Sleeper train, Taxi, Train
  • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
  • Kerala Backwaters - Village walk
  • Kochi - Fort Kochi walk

For set departures on 21 February, 21 March & 18 April 2018

Book and pay by 28 February 2018 to qualify for the 20% discount.

Excludes
  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Airport to hotel transfers
  • Meals not itemised
  • Items of a personal nature
Package Conditions:

For set departures on 21 February, 21 March & 18 April 2018

Book and pay by 28 February 2018 to qualify for the 20% discount.

The above package is subject to availability at time of reservation. Price is per person sharing. Prices are subject to change in accordance with currency fluctuations and increased airfares. When making a booking enquiry it is important that you are in possession of the correct documentation to travel i.e. visas, inoculation certificates etc. Please check that all names and surnames are spelt exactly as they appear in the relevant passports. Fares, where indicated, are based on low season rates.

Goa
Goa is actually squeezed between the seas and the lush forested hills. It has beautiful beach strips fringed with coconut palms and ultra fresh seafood.

Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. After this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. In 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Goa. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders.
It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510.

The best way to get around Goa is to hire a vehicle. One can visit the pristine beaches of Goa, or go on a jeep safari at the wildlife parks in Goa. Enjoy touring the forts and monuments of Aguada Beach.

Goa is compared to the city that ever sleeps, because of the kind of lifestyle that Goa has. Going to Goa and not visiting the bars and the nightclubs in Goa would be indeed a waste.
Terms and Conditions

Prices are based on per person sharing.
Due to the volatility in the South African currency and the price of fuel affecting the price of air tickets we cannot ensure the accuracy of the price as mentioned. The price was correct at the time of printing on 02 February 2018.

Terms and Conditions apply.

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