Rani's Spice Tours

Our next spice tour is 1st March 2023.

Our Food and Heritage tours are very different from the standard visits to India.

Our guests experience five star hospitality at some of the best, yet sustainable accommodation in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Our tours are perfect for chefs, foodies, people with an interest in food and culture or anyone who would like a gentle, yet exciting introduction to India.

We have designed our food and heritage tours by consulting with local chefs, home cooks, historians as well as individuals who are passionate about food and culture. Rani’s food and heritage tours take you deep into the heartland of South India where you are plunged into the colours, sensations, food and heritage of Kerala and Tamil Nadu with insider access to places most visitors never see.

Enjoy visits to local homes, including 400 year old ancestral homes. Experience local fair trade markets, participate in cooking classes and visits to spice plantations and processing units, accompanied by Rani and her South Indian team. We introduce guests to some of the best food and culinary traditions of the region, including seafood and vegetarian specialties.

South India features some of India’s lesser known but most delicious culinary traditions and we believe that it’s as important, if not more important to celebrate the people behind the food as the food itself. A lot can be learned about people and cultures through the food.

This belief extends into our choice of accommodation. CGH earth hotels offers sustainable travel that supports the places being visited and injects local currency into the pockets of people living there. In this way, our approach to travel and tours helps sustain their ways of life.

Rani's Indian Spice Tour

SAMPLE ITINERARY

On arrival meet & greet at Cochin Airport. Transfer to our charming boutique hotel (1 hour).

Late check-in and a big sleep - Overnight at Brunton Boatyard

Day 2 – Cochin

After a relaxed breakfast, we start our day with Cochin sightseeing coupled with spice hunting. Our guide specialised for this excursion will show the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church, and Chinese fishing nets. After the sightseeing, we visit an Anglo-Indian family to relish their specialty Portuguese food. Rest of the day at leisure. Guests can witness the Kathakali dance in the evening. (This can be arranged locally as an option).

Evening take a guided walk around the old town.

Dinner and overnight at Brunton Boatyard 

Day 3– Cochin

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning cooking class with the Chef at Brunton Boatyard followed by lunch at the Brunton restaurant that serves authentic food coupled with chefs' specialty dishes.

Afternoon explore Fort Cochin and local Dinner. Overnight at Brunton Boatyard

 Day 4 – Cochin - Thekaddy (Periyar) (4.5 hours drive)

After breakfast you will be driven 90 minutes to Kalady – birthplace of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Visit Sri Krishna temple, and neighbouring places of interest.

Later you will be visiting a Brahmin house to experience Kerala Feast – Sadhya.

After lunch we continue our drive towards the hills to reach Thekaddy (Periyar) - set in the green hills of spice plantations and home of the Periyar Wildlife Reserve - a sanctuary for a multitude of wild elephants bears, bison, deer, boar and the great Indian Tiger.

Dinner at our sustainable hotel, Spice Village

https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village/aboutus

Day 5 – Thekaddy

After breakfast we visit the local spice plantation followed by shopping of good quality spices, and a guided stroll around the little town of Kumily.

Afternoon you will visit the Wildlife sanctuary where you will be taken by boat to Lake Palace where a special Lunch will be served. Afternoon back to the Spice Village to relax.

Overnight stay at Spice Village

Day 6 – Thekaddy

After breakfast drive through Tamil Nadu to understand different vegetables of the region, visit a vegetable farm, fair trade market and a Tamil lunch at a vegetable garden exclusively for the group.

Evening back to hotel and after a short break we visit Sudheer’s house to witness a local cooking demonstration followed by dinner.

Overnight stay at Spice Village

Day 7 Thekaddy – Alleppey (4.5 hours drive)

After breakfast you will be driven to the boarding point for the ‘kettuvallam’, thre famous Houseboats of Kerala.

Enjoy a backwater cruise, lazing in this converted houseboat as it meanders through the tranquil network of water canals, dotted with busy hamlets, lush green paddy fields.

Formed by the 40 odd rivers that flow down to the Arabian Sea from the Cardamom Hills, this network of canals, lakes and estuaries comprises one of India’s most enchanting areas - a rural expanse of coconut groves and rice paddies.

Lunch will be served on board.

Later in the afternoon assist the cook for dinner and by evening join the group for dinner.

These converted rice barges or "Kettuvallams" sail along shallow, palm-fringed lakes and narrow canals where coconuts and cashews are loaded onto dugouts. You pass villages built on narrow spits of land, stop to visit local markets, or to see craftsmen engaged in centuries-old boat-making tradition. The boats offer one or two cabins with a small sitting room and a crew of 2 staff and a chef. The food is authentic Kerala cuisine, with ingredients freshly sourced along the way.

Overnight on our exclusive Houseboats.

Day 8 –  Kerala Backwaters

A full day of cruising and exploring, cooking demo and overnight on our exclusive Houseboat.

Day 9 – Alleppey – Mararikulam (1 hr drive)

After breakfast disembark from the Houseboat and drive a short distance to reach the beachside destination of Kerala, Mararikulam. Afternoon the “Interactive Kitchen” experience

Overnight at Marari Beach Resort

Day 10 – Marari Beach

This morning or afternoon you can experience the famous Ayurveda massage.

Lunch time cooking class “Our Chef recommends” paying attention to the daily recommendations of the Resort Chef – trust us, he knows best what you need, particularly if you are a seafood lover. A must try at Marari beach is the freshly caught squid grilled with Masala – a treat from the Gods 😊

A few hours this afternoon to relax and enjoy the location on the Arabian Sea.

Day 10 – Marari Beach  cont…

We spend the day visiting the Marari village where we see fish auctions. In the late afternoon we visit the hotel organic garden to learn about sustainable growing practices and to harvest vegetables for dinner. Then an evening cooking class “Coastal Secrets Revealed” with our Resort chefs who will share their secrets as to what sets their Coastal cuisine apart.

Overnight at Marari Beach Resort

Day 11 – Marari – Cochin Airport (2 hours drive)

FULL DAY MARARI BEACH

 

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Rani's Indian Spice Tour

 

Click here to view details of our October 2020 tour and see below testimonials.