VILLAGE INDIA & ISLAND HIDEAWAY

Immersive Cultural Adventure to Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands

Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands

Duration: 14 nights

Price: From £3,100 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, some meals, private transfers, boat transportation, experiences as stated and taxes

The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu remains largely off the tourist trail for now, but its abundance of natural beauty, ancient ruins and fascinating culture mean that won’t be the case for much longer. This luxury holiday combines a tour into the heart of rural Tamil Nadu with a beach break in the beautiful Andaman Islands, and includes stops in buzzing Chennai, the capital of South Indian culture.
Perfect forCombining cultural adventures with beach relaxation.
In the knowAdding a couple of nights in Pondicherry, a charming coastal town with a strong French colonial influence.

Best for

  • Beach
  • Couples
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Eco-tourism

All Exsus holidays are tailor-made

This itinerary is just a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

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Itinerary details

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3 nightsDINDIGUL

Your journey through Tamil Nadu begins in Dindigul, a little-visited area of the state surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. You will spend the first 3 nights of your trip at Rajakkad, a beautiful plantation estate high in the Palni Hills. A walk through the neighbouring coffee plantation is a fascinating experience, allowing you to learn about the entire production process – and taste the end product, of course. The forests surrounding the estate are rich in wildlife, with monkeys, kingfishers and richly diverse plant life all waiting to be spotted on a guided hike; of course, you may prefer to start your journey off with a relaxing few days enjoying the peace and quiet from a hammock in the hotel’s gardens.
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2 nightsTANJORE

The next stop on your adventure is Tanjore, around 3 hours by private car from Dindigul. Tanjore is famous for its religious monuments, with the UNESCO-listed Great Living Chola Temples dating from the 11th-12th centuries. The most prominent of these is the Brihadeeswara Temple, one of the largest temples in India and still standing proud at just a sniff over one thousand years old. You’ll visit this and the other temples with a local academic, allowing you a privileged level of insight into their history. You’ll also visit local artisans and craftsmen to learn about traditions such as Chola bronze casting, Tanjore painting, and handloom weaving. You’ll spend 2 nights at Svatma, a beautiful boutique hotel devoted to helping guests unearth the beauty of Tanjore’s history and culture through excursions and activities.
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2 nightsCHETTINAD

Departing Tanjore after 2 nights, you’ll make the 2-hour journey to Chettinad, a quiet area deep in Tamil Nadu where fading colonial buildings line the streets and life continues at a relaxed pace. Your home for the next 2 nights is Visalam, a beautifully restored colonial mansion with luxurious accommodations. A tour on a traditional bullock cart is a great way to get to know the area, with many temples waiting to be explored. Each morning at the hotel, you can take part in the traditional art form of kolam, where coloured rice powder is cast onto the floor in geometric patterns. Chettinad is particularly renowned for its cuisine, and Visalam’s interactive kitchen is the perfect place to learn how to whip up delicious, intensely aromatic Tamil dishes with a range of guided cookery classes.
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1 nightCHENNAI

The next stop on your journey is Chennai, around 6.5 hours’ drive away up the coast. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is a city rich in heritage, colonial and otherwise. A tour of the city should take in Fort St. George, constructed by the East India Company way back in 1653, which now houses a museum telling the story of Chennai’s history; and the San Thome Cathedral, built by the Portuguese in 1523. Also worth a visit is the Kapaleeshwara Temple, an imposing monument to Lord Shiva covered in ornate, colourful carvings of people and animals. You’ll overnight at Leela Palace, a newly opened property with a beautiful, heritage-style design.
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5 nightsANDAMAN ISLANDS

After a night absorbing the urban buzz of Chennai, it’s time for the beach leg of your journey, as you make the 2-hour flight to the beautiful Andaman Islands. Surrounded by the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, fringed by white sands and covered in lush forest, these beautiful islands remain largely unspoilt and are the perfect place for some beachfront relaxation. You’ll spend 5 nights at Barefoot at Havelock, a gorgeous resort with the ocean on one side and the rainforest on the other. You can dive and snorkel with stingrays and turtles, kayak along the pristine coastline, or simply enjoy relaxing on the sand or in the holistic Oma Spa, where a range of traditional wellness treatments are on offer. Cuisine is traditional and based on fresh ocean and island ingredients, with livestock and poultry home-reared and the freshest seafood brought in every day.
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1 nightCHENNAI

After 5 nights of sun, sea, sand and delicious food on the Andamans, you’ll return to Chennai for one final overnight before you begin your onward journey. Take this opportunity to check out the attractions of Chennai which you may have missed before, such as the Kalakshetra Foundation, where you can check out traditional Tamil art, music and dance forms, or Vivekenanda House, a one-time resting place of the wandering monk of the same name. If you’re having beach withdrawal symptoms after the Andamans, head to Marina Beach, an icon of Chennai and a favourite relaxation spot for its inhabitants. After a final night in Chennai, your journey through Tamil Nadu comes to an end, and you’ll begin your onward journey.
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