This trip is the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation through the southern regions of India.
We start in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, and then head for a full exploration of the world-famous beaches of Goa.
Then it’s inland to the historic cities of Hampi and Mysore before heading up into the cool hills of Wayanad for a homestay amongst the tea and coffee plantations.
Back to the coast, you'll explore the lush waterways of Kerala's backwaters by boat and relax on the stunning beaches of Varkala, before rounding Kanyakumari on the southernmost tip of India and arriving at the colourful temples of Madurai.
Finally, travelling through Tamil Nadu state you'll pass through a part of the country many travellers never get to see, with a visit to the former French colony of Pondicherry and the stone carving capital of Mahabalipuram before ending our Indian journey in the bustling city of Chennai.
Border Information: If joining the trip in Mumbai, you will most likely enter India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA code: BOM).
There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel in Mumbai - please look out at the reception for a note from you tour leader with further details about this meeting. Otherwise, today is free to explore the sights and sounds of Mumbai.
In Mumbai we will stay in a good quality hotel.
Today will be a free day to explore the city. This is also an opportunity to take a tour of the Dharavi slum areas of the city.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Mumbai before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Mumbai.
We will start our journey by taking the train along the coast to Goa. We will stay for 2 nights at the relaxed beaches of Vagator in the northern part of Goa. Most travellers are drawn to Vagator for the stunning sunsets, the laid-back atmosphere and the proximity of some other quieter beaches in the area such as Arambol and Anjuna.
In northern Goa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities close to the beach.
Estimated Journey Time (on train) - 11-12 hours.
After our 2 nights on the northern beaches of Goa, we head off in the truck to the southern end of Goa. En route we will stop off at the site of Old Goa to spend some time independently exploring the area's colonial buildings.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
We will stay for 2 nights in beautiful beach huts on the stunning beach of Agonda, which is a perfect place to sit back and watch the fishing boats landing their catch, sample the delicious local cuisine, or visit the nearby beach of Palolem with its many bars and restaurants.
Leaving the beaches of Goa behind us, we set off on a full day drive into the state of Karnataka and to the village of Hampi. The village is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.
On the following day we will have a guided tour of the historical sites around Hampi by rickshaw and on foot.
In Hampi we will stay in a comfortable local guesthouse.
From Hampi we will have another full day drive to the city of Mysore, one of India's most attractive towns.
Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours.
On the following day we will have free time in Mysore to independently explore the city's beautiful gardens, palaces, and the Shri Chamarajendra art gallery.
In Mysore we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Today we travel up into the cool highlands and head to the hill-station of Wayanad, a small settlement surrounded by tea and coffee plantations.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Over the 2 days that we have in Wayanad we will have the chance to hike up Chembra Peak, visit local waterfalls and tea plantations, visit the petroglyphs at the Edakkal Caves, and to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.
Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a homestay, where they have set up rooms for visitors in their homes.
Today we will continue our journey with a full day drive to the coastal city of Kochi.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-10 hours.
On the following day we will take a local boat to Fort Cochin and have free time to explore and visit various sites including the Jewish Quarter, St Francis Church and the iconic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening we will be able to see a performance from the famous Kathakali dancers, India's most spectacular dance drama.
In Kochi we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Leaving the bustle of Kochi behind, today we embark on our included overnight houseboat cruise on the tranquil Keralan backwaters of Alleppey. We will often split into smaller groups to board our traditional 'Kettuvallom' boats which will take us around the scenic rivers and spend the night aboard.
After our fantastic overnight cruise along the Keralan backwaters, we continue our journey with a short drive to the beach resort of Varkala.
Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.
We will have 3 nights here with free time to explore the surrounding areas and relax on the beautiful beaches. Varkala is well known for its beaches, and there are also lots of great local restaurants where you can sample the justifiably-famous Keralan cuisine.
In Varkala we will stay at a beach resort.
Today we will have a morning drive to Kanyakumari (also known as Cape Comorin), the very southern point of India. Here we will have free time to independently explore the Vivekananda Rock and the surrounding sites.
In Kanyakumari we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
This morning we have the option to get up early to watch the sunrise from the southern tip of India with thousands of locals, what can be an incredible experience! From Kanyakumari we then start heading back north again, and drive to the holy city of Madurai. In the afternoon we will have an included visit to the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai.
In Madurai we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Today we head to the French-influenced town of Pondicherry, and will have a free time on arrival in the afternoon.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
We will have 2 nights here with plenty of time to relax and soak up the atmosphere and spend time exploring the town and its beautiful colonial architecture.
In Pondicherry we will stay in a local guesthouse.
Today we have a short drive to the ancient city of Mahabalipuram, once the capital of the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th Century CE. On arrival we will have an included visit to the incredible Shore Temples and other monuments around the town ( time permitted ).
In the afternoon we will finish the short drive to the bustling coastal city of Chennai.
In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 5 - 6 hours.
Border Information: If you are leaving the trip in Chennai, you will most likely exit India from Chennai International Airport (IATA code: MAA).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Chennai. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
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Both Katie and Nick are very good at their jobs and very nice, fun people to be around.Overall Rating
Had a really great time - Gino and Jim were very good trip leaders and ensured that they were always on hand to answer any queries any one had. They also ensured that the group were kept fully informed about the tour.Overall Rating
Your guides made the trip for us.Overall Rating
I just cant say enough great things about the leaders. They made the trip to India totally fabulous!Overall Rating
Cannot say enough about Gino and Jim, they were both great at their jobs, very friendly and welcoming and certainly added to the whole experience, brilliant.Overall Rating
Katie is a fantastic leader.Overall Rating
Katie clearly has lead many trips before and has a wealth of knowledge in Indian culture. I found her an excellent leader full of relevant information.Overall Rating
Nadia and Andy did a great job of handling a large truck safely through such 'challenging' traffic conditions.Overall Rating
Katie and Nick are reliable and super.Overall Rating
As first time customers we found the experience very positive and it helped us negotiate a difficult country to travel in.Overall Rating
The crew both ensured that all trip members had a great time.Overall Rating
Nick and Katie looked after and drove Daisy very well and safely throughout the trip. The Indians we encountered along the way were very curious about Daisy as she's a TATA truck - a great ice-breaker!Overall Rating
'Mumbai to Chennai' is an excellent and thoughtful itinerary - it was a perfect mixture of historic sites, different landscapes, cities, rural areas and quality beach-time. The crew (Katie and Nick) are awesome, a good team and a real asset. I felt very safe with their driving (quite an achievement in India, especially considering they hadn't been in the country for long) and felt well looked after throughout the trip.Overall Rating
Trip Name: Mumbai To Chennai
Duration: 24 Days
From Price: £1,130
Supplier Tour ID: SMC1/157971
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