A Journey Through Malabar, Northern Kerala

- A Secret Retreats journey -
10 days / 9 nights
from 1,790 USD / person



This journey has been personally designed by Altaf Chapri,
“Kerala’s is one of my favourite places in India. Northern Kerala ( Malabar) is one of the most unspoiled and picturesque areas of Southern India, offering beautiful beaches, backwaters and stunning Spice and Tea Gardens of Nilgiri Hills in Wayanad. I love the Prawn Curry cooked in coconut milk on Lotus houseboat, Kingfish cooked in Banana leaf at the Neeleshwar Hermitage and Masala Dosa and Coffee at the Pepper Trail!”

All our itineraries have generally been constructed on the basis of the rooms that have the most charm or best view, and not necessarily the first prices, nor the most expensive suites.
We can of course adjust according to your request.

This curated journey to the lush rolling hills of Wayanad, through the enchanting tranquil backwaters of northern Kerala and then the palm fringed Malabar Coast of the Arabian Sea has been carefully designed to offer unique and unforgettable experiences of Southern India’s best kept secrets.

The journey begins with a scenic rural ramble along country roads past vibrant green rice paddies, forested hills and plantations of cardamom, ginger, betel nut, rubber, tea and coffee as we climb up into the beautiful unspoilt Wayanad District of the spectacular Western Ghats. Pepper Trail Heritage Plantation Retreat is charming colonial era property set on a working spice and coffee plantation.

The journey continues down to the tranquil and rarely backwaters of north Kerala, for a stay aboard the stylish and elegant ‘Lotus’, India’s premier houseboat. Slow rhythm of local life along the shore while gliding through languid palm-fringed canals and lagoons where longboats laden with coir and cashew drift past and fishermen call from paddle boats to sell their catch Spy egrets wading in the shallows as iridescent kingfishers swoop overhead and turtles raise their heads from the watery depths.

The final destination is the heavenly Neeleshwar Hermitage, set in twelve acres of paradise gardens beside the Arabian Sea. This retreat hotel holistic relaxation, with Ayurveda, yoga and meditation wrapped in the warm and welcoming family atmosphere. Spot dolphins diving in the sea while reclining by the infinity pool and on long beach walks and enjoy a rare chance to visit nearby shrines and witness the sacred trance-dances known as Theyyam. Unique to Malabar with spectacular costumes and vibrant atmosphere this dance is the living heart of local religious life, untouched by outside influence.


Contact the concierge on


Your Journey Day by Day

from 1,790 USD / person for 10 days / 9 nights

based on 2 people traveling together and sharing the same room


Day 1 : Airport – Wayanad (- / - / -)
Transfer (3h30mn) by car from Calicut/ Kannur airport to Pepper Trail, rest of the day at leisure to relax and enjoy the hospitality and lovely pool or take an afternoon stroll. Dinner at leisure
HOTEL: Pepper Trail Plantation
Day 2 & 3 : Pepper Trail Plantation (B/ - / -)
Explore the plantation and surrounding country side by foot and/or bicycle, and enjoy a local boat ride and bird-watching. Relax!
HOTEL: Pepper Trail Plantation
Day 4 : Payannur (B/ L / D)
Transfer to Payannur (4hrs), visit the majestic Payannur Temple and observe the rituals there, before boarding the luxurious Lotus houseboat, for two timeless days cruising through the tranquil backwaters as visitors in a land where time stands still. Lunch and dinner served on board
HOTEL: Lotus Houseboat
Day 5 : Backwaters Cruise (B/ L / D)
Today’s cruise will include visits to local shrines and villages, meeting local people and the abundant monkeys, while the energetic can take cycle-trips through the paddy fields or swim in the gentle rivers.
HOTEL: Lotus Houseboat
Day 6 : Backwaters- Neeleshwar (B/ - / -)
Car transfer (about 10 min), from the pier to Neeleshwar Hermitage, where you can unwind, relax and stretch your legs with long walks on empty beaches, accompanied only by the flocks of gracefully wheeling seabirds.
NB: Whilst at Neeleshwar Hermitage, we will have the rare chance to witness the sacred trance-dances known as Theyyam, with their spectacular costumes and vibrant atmosphere. Unique to Malabar, this is something far removed from the normal tourist folk-display; it is the living heart of local religious life, untouched by outside influence.
HOTEL: Neeleshwar Hermitage (Bungalow)
Days 7, 8 & 9 : Neeleshwar Hermitage (B/ - / -)
A time of many possibilities. You can enjoy Yoga classes with an expert in the beachside yoga-hall; benefit from medicinal massage and other healing treatments in the traditional Ayurvedic clinic; visit the Theyyam ritual dances and local shrines; swim in pool or the Arabian sea; walk on kilometres of uninhabited beach; take a lesson or two in traditional Keralan cooking under the guidance of the hotel’s expert chef. Or you can just enjoy relaxing and doze in a comfy hammock in the dappled shade of the beautiful poolside gardens. This is your holiday, you decide!
HOTEL: Neeleshwar Hermitage (Bungalow)
Day 10 : Departure (B/ - / -)
After breakfast and check out, transfer back to Kannur/ Mangalore or Calicut airport.

Your Accommodation on this Asia Travel Itinerary

A Journey Through Malabar, Northern Kerala

10 days / 9 nights
from 1,790 USD / person

based on 2 people traveling together and sharing the same room


The total price includes:
Accommodation for 9 nights.
All meals as mentioned in the program.
The transfer from Kannur or Calicut upon arrival to Pepper Trail.
The transfer from Neeleswhar to the airport of Mangalore/Kannur or Calicut.
All transfers between properties and boat (Innova car).
English speaking guide for local sight-seeing.
All Taxes.

The total price does no include:
International and Domestic flights to and from of Kerala.
Extra activities and meals not mentioned in the program.
Travel insurance.

This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with Altaf and Discovery Journeys.


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