What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners & welcome drinks<br />
    7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners & welcome drinks
  • 6 nights based on sharing twin rooms, including award-winning hotels with pools & spas, 1 night’s camping<br />
    6 nights based on sharing twin rooms, including award-winning hotels with pools & spas, 1 night’s camping
  • All activities, from kayaking to yoga classes, included. Flash Pack guide & driver<br />
    All activities, from kayaking to yoga classes, included. Flash Pack guide & driver
  • Max 14 Flashpackers<br />
    Max 14 Flashpackers
  • Private minibus & airport pick-up anytime on Day 1<br />
    Private minibus & airport pick-up anytime on Day 1

Spend two days unwinding in one of India’s finest coastal havens, with a statement pool, open-air bathrooms and acres of powdery white beach. Join a day-long kayaking adventure across the Keralan backwaters to explore local life amid sunny mangroves and hidden canals. Stay at an award-winning hotel on Vembanad Lake, and boat across the pink-tinged waters at sunset. Hike through the tea hills and shola forest of mellow Munnar, following an off-radar trail through the highlands. Camp out in the rugged wilderness of the Western Ghats and climb above the cloud forest for sensational valley views. Cycle through the sleepy villages outside Kochi, and feast on delicious Keralan cuisine. Recharge with yoga and meditation classes, and healing Ayurvedic spas


Time marches to a different beat in the beguiling coastal state of Kerala. From the warm breeze of the Arabian Sea to the gentle put-put of backwater barges, life here unfolds to a deliciously slow and mellow pulse. For newbies, Kerala provides a calmer route into the chaotic beauty of India. And for everyone else, it’s just a great place to down tools and unwind. So, whether you’re an India rookie or simply crave headspace, join us in the ambient balm of the tropical Malabar coast. Our week-long escape here is a lesson in the art of slow living, stretching from the Western Ghats (the Scotland of India) to Alleppey (the Venice of the East), as we feast upon soup for the soul. In part, this is literal banquet: Kerala’s cuisine is world-famous, and a riot of ginger, coconut and tamarind-infused flavours will delight veggies and seafood-lovers alike. As we dig into spicy curries and delicious dhosas, we’ll also seek out figurative solace in moody cloud forest and shimmering lagoons. Escape the crowds as we hike off-radar through the shola forests and grasslands of Munnar, keeping an eye out for Nilgiri tahrs and lion-tailed macaques. Leave city life behind as we camp out high above the tea plains and climb to Top Station for spectacular views over the Kundala Valley. Break free from the hordes on a day-long kayaking trip through the Keralan backwaters, to see women in colourful saris go about their lives on winding canals fringed by mangroves and fishing farms. Throw your deadlines to the wind, as we cycle through sleepy lowland villages outside Kochi, the ocean spooling out before us. And give your stressed-out soul a massage with a two-day stay at Marari Beach, a picture-perfect coastal hideaway with acres of glistening white beach and hammocks swaying in the palm fronds. This is the escape for you if you delight in award-winning hotels with gorgeous pools and open-air bathrooms where you can bathe beneath the starlight. It’s got your name on if you want to slow things down with yoga classes and healing Ayurvedic spas. It will sate you if you hanker for a thousand shades of green in dream-like hills and seek sanctuary on a sunset boat ride across the golden Vembanad Lake. For friendly locals, fiery food and fabulous hotels, come bathe in Kerala’s therapeutic salve. The Big Chill starts right here.


The Flash Pack promise

Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), hand-pick stylish hotels and match you with like-minded people.

  • Spend two days at Marari Beach, one of India’s finest coastal hideaways, with a statement pool, open-air bathrooms and acres of powdery white sand
  • Kayak the Keralan backwaters on a day-long adventure to see local life unfold on hidden canals and mangroves
  • Get off-radar with a hike through the tea hills and grasslands of mellow Munnar
  • Camp overnight in the Western Ghats and climb above the cloud forest for sensational valley views
  • Stay at an award-winning Keralan villa built onto Vembanad Lake, and boat across the pink-tinged waters at sunset
  • Cycle through the sleepy villages around Kochi, framed by swaying palms and the Arabian Sea coast
  • Feast on delicious Keralan cuisine, from spicy coconut curries to seafood stews and a host of veggie dishes
  • Get your zen on with yoga and meditation sessions, and healing Ayurvedic spas



Take a private transfer from Kochi airport to your boutique hotel in the heart of Fort Kochi. Check out the rooftop pool before meeting your group at dusk for a wander around the old town’s charming alleyways and harbour. Pause for welcome drinks at a waterfront estate and savour your first taste of world-famous Keralan cuisine with a three-course dinner in one of Kochi’s best-loved restaurants


Flashpackers, welcome to Kerala! India’s green and serene coastal state is a gorgeous gateway in to this country of a thousand contrasts. Whatever time you arrive in Kochi, a private transfer awaits to whisk you off to your boutique hotel in Fort Kochi, the city’s beguiling island quarter. Settle in to this majestic, colonial-style retreat – the one-time home of the East India company – and check the rooftop pool before we meet in the early evening for a wander around the colourful tree-lined lanes. With its eclectic mix of rich colonial history, ancient mosques and hipster cafés, Fort Kochi is a delight to discover. Wander past fishermen casting giant Chinese nets out to the Arabian Sea down by the harbour front, or stroll through art galleries and contemporary boutiques that crowd the narrow alleyways. There’s a friendly, artistic vibe here that we can wallow in as we pause for a few sundowner drinks before heading over to a nearby restaurant. Kerala is prized for its unique cuisine, with ingredients such as coconut milk, ginger and tamarind creating an intoxicating fusion of flavours. Spicy seafood curries are a must-try, but veggies will be well-catered for too, with dishes such as appam (rice flour pancakes) crispy dhosa (lentil and rice crêpes) and creamy pumpkin curry found on every street corner. Get to know your fellow Flashpackers and guide as you tuck into your first, unforgettable taste of Keralan food in the restaurant wreathed by palm trees. With soothing rattan décor and a soft sea breeze coming off the terrace, you’ll soon wind down to life, Kerala-style…

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The rooftop infinity pool is ready and waiting

See the fishermen in action at Fort Kochi harbour

Hit up the pool

Explore the colourful streets

Feast on local Keralan flavours

Try a seafood curry

Made from fish fresh from the harbour


Cycle around the countryside of Kochi, passing sleepy villages and lush green lowlands by the Arabian Sea. Travel south on a five-hour road trip into the Western Ghats, with spectacular valley views. Check into your hotel in Munnar, in the heart of South India’s rolling tea region


We’ll begin with morning with an optional hour-long bike ride in the countryside around Kochi. The first 10 minutes of the route in Fort Kochi will be fairly hectic but before you know it, we’ll be out in the rolling green lowlands. With the Arabian ocean to your right and sleepy villages unfolding on your left, this is chilled-out Kerala at its finest. Peddle past shimmering wetlands fringed by coconut palms and farmers out on the fields, with nothing but the sound of lapping waves or the occasional cry of a heron on the horizon. Bike rides aren’t for everyone, however, so if you prefer to lounge by the hotel’s pool (it’s turquoise and oh-so welcoming) or pop by the spa, the choice is yours. Next, we’ll fuel up on breakfast and a chance to try puttu and kadala curry, Kerala’s sunrise staple made from steamed rice cakes, shallots and grated coconut. Nearly all meals in Kerala come in the form of a buffet, so you can mix ‘n’ match across a dizzying range of dishes like a kid in the proverbial sweetshop. Eating done, we’ll load up our playlists for a five-hour drive south to the former colonial hill station of Munnar. This is India, remember, so a road trip is never short of entertainment: keep your eyes peeled to see life – in all its colourful chaos – unfold on the bustling kerbs. Heading up into the Western Ghats mountain range, you’ll notice the air cool as some of the most spectacular scenery in the country unfolds before you. Perched at 1,600 metres, mellow Munnar is home to South India’s largest tea-producing region and an amphitheatre of picturesque emerald hills. Expect a vast canvas of terraced plantations that stretches out below atmospheric puffs of cloud forest and mountains veiled by mist. Your hotel for the night takes prime position in this tapestry, with front-row views of the verdant hills and Western Ghat peaks. Dust off from your journey with a dip in the hotel pool shrouded by alpine greenery or grab a warming brew from the nearby chai hut. If you have time before sundown, we recommend taking a mosey around the nearby nature trails for a taste of the treasures ahead.

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Cycle into the Kochi countryside

Navigate through the palm-lined streets

Go off the beaten path beyond Fort Kohi

Cycling beneath swaying palm trees

And get a glimpse of local life

Try a kadala curry for breakfast

Then head south to the tea plantations of Munnar

Take in the sunset over the Western Ghats


Drive to nearby Yellapatty and begin a five-hour walk up through the grasslands and shola forest around Munnar. Escape the crowds in this unsung area of wilderness, with mist-clad hills and teeming wildlife. Stop for an al fresco lunch and camp overnight at Central Station, watching the sun go down in the remote and rugged terrain


We’ll rise and shine early this morning and drive 45 minutes to Yellapatty to begin our mountain walk to Central Station. This five-hour trek takes us right off the tourist trail, on a unique and quiet route that is only really known by insiders. It’s mostly uphill but if you’re moderately fit, you’ll easily be able to handle it (see here for more on Flash Pack fitness levels). Above all, this is an opportunity to shrug off the city stress and recharge in a land of undulating hills. Follow your guide as they show you all their favourite viewpoints on a tranquil pathway that meanders up across shola forest, grasslands and a tapestry of tea gardens. As you climb up through the winding slopes of the Western Ghats, bathe yourself in a thousand shades of green and embrace your new hillside sanctuary. We’re about a million miles off India’s frenetic cities here and yet – in one of the world’s top hot spots for biodiversity – this is a land that still teems with life. Keep watch for wildlife amid the mass of stunted evergreens, from Nilgiri tahrs and lion-tailed macaques to blooming orchids and exotic species of butterfly. Now and again, you’ll see sunlight cut through the low-lying clouds, casting sparkling rays over the lush valley contours. The ever-present blanket of mist is also an evocative sight, lending drama to the ribboned mountain landscape. Somewhere along the way, we’ll stop for a picnic lunch – think freshly baked chapati and dal-stuffed idli (steamed lentil rice cakes) – before reaching our camping base for the night at Central Station. Bedding will be provided in one-man tents, with shared toilets and communal showers. This isn’t about bells and whistles; it’s just pure camping, in rugged and remote terrain. Gather round for a hot camp-side dinner and share a beer or two as you watch the sun go down over the Western Ghats, in this unsung yet beautiful region.

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mental health career break

Bed down for the night on the cliffs of Munnar

Trek for 5 hours to reach your camp

Meet local tea workers along the way

See the harvesting in action

Hike through the emerald valley

mental health

And take in the layered hills that roll on for miles

It's a pretty steep climb

But the views are more than worth it

Have your camera at the ready

Then settle in for a blazing sunset at your camp

Important notes

Fly into and out of: Cochin International Airport (COK)

Alcohol is limited in Kerala: it’s only widely available in some hotels, so this trip will suit you if you fancy cutting down on booze a little

Most nationalities will need visa to enter India: check with your country’s embassy for more information

Driving hours quoted will vary according to road conditions

If any of the hotels are sold out or closed, alternative accommodation of a similar standard will be provided

If you’re nervous about cycling, the bike ride on Day 2 might not be for you – we recommend relaxing by the rooftop pool instead.

All included meals will be served in a buffet format, so you can pick and choose between a wide range of dishes and experience the diversity of Keralan cuisine first-hand

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