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Goa & the Deep South Mumbai - Chennai

Trip Overview

A wonderfully laid back trip; the beaches of Northern and Southern Goa combine with those of Vagator further south to allow us time to chill, away from the hustle and bustle of life on the road. Add to this a home stay in the cool mountain air and tea plantations of Wayanad and boating through the backwaters of Kerala, and you get a vision of the nature of this trip.

The route takes in some of India’s most spectacular temples and sites of antiquity, including the vast 7th Century Virupaksha Temple at Hampi and the 8th Century Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram.

No visit to India is complete without visiting its great cities and centres, and this trip has three of the pearls; the frenetic pace and modernity of Mumbai, the smells, spices and gardens of Mysore and the history and heat of Kochi. But to top it all off, you will get the chance to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean, on the southernmost point of India, Kanyakumari (also known as Cape Comorin).

24 DAYS THROUGH India
RATING:
of 32 reviews
PRICE FROM:
Was: $1,715 USD + 580 KITTY USD
Now: $1,458 (USD) + 580 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
24 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Boat, Train
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
ACCOM:
0%
100%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
SMC
DEPOSIT:
$350 USD

Highlights

  Explore chaotic and fascinating Mumbai

  Take an optional Bollywood dance class

  Relax on a fascinating train ride along the coast of Goa

  Enjoy the stunning beaches and lifestyle of northern Goa

  2 nights in beautiful beach huts on the beach of Agond, Old Goa

  Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi

  Explore the amazing Maharaja's Palace of Mysore

  Relax at the community guesthouse in the hills of Wayanad

  Visit to watch the classical Indian dance drama of Kathakali

  Explore Kochi including a local boat trip to Fort Cochin

  Overnight by local boat through the backwaters and villages of Kerala

  3 nights to relax on the beaches of Varkala

  Visit the southern tip of Insda at Cape Comorin - Kanyakumari

  Stay in the French influenced enclave of Pondicherry

  Visit Madurai's Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva

  Visit to the Shore Temples & Pagodas of Mahabalipuram

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

An easy trip, with plenty of 2 or 3 night stays to really get to know the area. No camping on this trip, and the hotels range from small guest houses and hostels to comfortable hotels, with home stays and overnight boat.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Mumbai ( 8th Oct 2019 )

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 your 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.

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.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a guided tour of the backstreets, shops and schools of the Dhavari district, to experience a slice of the real Mumbai

INR 1200
Take a Bollywood dance class in one of Mumbai's premier dance studios
INR 500

Discover the marvellous collection of historical objects and art at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, one of India's premier museums

INR 500

Explore the labyrinth of cave-temples on Elephanta Island near Mumbai, some of the most impressive rock carvings in all of India

INR 750
Day 2 - Mumbai, Overnight Train to Goa ( 9th Oct 2019 )

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.

We will meet in the evening to head to the train station and board our overnight train to Goa - accommodation tonight will be on the train, where there are basic bunk beds with sheets provided.

Please note that the trains are often heavily booked in advance and it may not be possible to confirm tickets for all passengers. In the event that we cannot get a train ticket confirmed we will notify you to make alternative arrangements. This will generally mean you will travel by flight the next day and re meet the group in Goa. 

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Experience a local overnight train from Mumbai to Goa

Included in Kitty
Day 3-4 - Goa ( 10th Oct 2019 to 11th Oct 2019 )

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.

Day 5-6 - Goa, Old Goa ( 12th Oct 2019 to 13th Oct 2019 )

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 on either the stunning beach of Agonda or Palolem, these beaches are the perfect places to sit back and watch the fishing boats landing their catch or sample the delicious local cuisine.

Day 7-8 - Hampi ( 14th Oct 2019 to 15th Oct 2019 )

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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi

Included in Kitty
Day 9-10 - Mysore ( 16th Oct 2019 to 17th Oct 2019 )

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.

Day 11-12 - Wayanad ( 18th Oct 2019 to 19th Oct 2019 )

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. Enroute we will have the opportunity to visit the Eddakkal caves. A steep hike up allows breathtaking views over the local area and an insight into the carvings thought to date back over 3,000 years. 

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

We will have a free day in Wayanad where we have many options available. From hiking up Chembra Peak, visiting local waterfalls and tea plantations, or the chance to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a guesthouse where they have set up rooms for visitors in their homes.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Relax at the Community Guesthouse in the hills of Wayanad

Included in Kitty
See the 7000-year-old Neolithic petroglyphs at the Edakkal caves en route
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a strenuous day-hike up the 2100m Chembra Peak, the highest peak in the Wayanad area

INR 1500

Take a walk through the scenic Wayanad countryside to visit the Meenmutty or Kanthanppara waterfalls

INR 600
Day 13-14 - Kochi ( 20th Oct 2019 to 21st Oct 2019 )

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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Evening visit to watch the classical Indian dance drama of Kathakali

Included in Kitty
Day 15 - Alleppey ( 22nd Oct 2019 )

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. 

Day 16-18 - Varkala ( 23rd Oct 2019 to 25th Oct 2019 )

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 - 5 - 7 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.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Head out for an evening performance of traditional Keralan Kathakali dancing
INR 300
Get a traditional Ayurvedic massage in the Keralan town of Varkala
INR 1200
Day 19 - Kanyakumari ( 26th Oct 2019 )

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.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take the ferry over to Vivekananda Rock and explore the memorial to the Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda
INR 150
Day 20 - Madurai ( 27th Oct 2019 )

This morning we have the option to get up early to watch the sunrise from the southern tip of India with thousands of locals, which 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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit to the historical Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva

Included in Kitty
Day 21-22 - Pondicherry ( 28th Oct 2019 to 29th Oct 2019 )

Today we head to the French-influenced town of Pondicherry, and will have 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.

 

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Sit down and relax with a coffee and a croissant at one of the many French Bakeries in town. 

INR 400
Visit the spiritual community of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, founded in the early 20th century by the famous Bengali freedom fighter and spiritual leader
Free
Day 23 - Chennai, Mahabalipuram ( 30th Oct 2019 )

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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of India's past
Included in Kitty

Visit to the Shore Temples & Pagodas of Mahabalipuram

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the Fort St. George, the site of the East India Company's first trading station in 1640, and the first British fort in India
INR 100
Day 24 - Chennai ( 31st Oct 2019 )

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 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.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of India's past
INR 250

DATES & PRICES

This group overland journey has multiple departures.
Please refine your search by selecting your preferred dates of travel.

I'd like to travel in:

Please note:  For trips in Southern India that occur over Christmas and New Year please allow approximately USD160 extra on the kitty for seasonal increases in accommodation costs.

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Trip Notes
Departing: 8 Oct 2019
Returning: 31 Oct 2019
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,458 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Was $1715.00 - Save $257.25
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 5 Nov 2019
Returning: 28 Nov 2019
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,715 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 26 Nov 2019
Returning: 19 Dec 2019
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,715 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 14 Jan 2020
Returning: 6 Feb 2020
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,730 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 11 Feb 2020
Returning: 5 Mar 2020
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,730 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 3 Mar 2020
Returning: 26 Mar 2020
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,730 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 20 Oct 2020
Returning: 12 Nov 2020
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,730 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 10 Nov 2020
Returning: 3 Dec 2020
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,730 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 1 Dec 2020
Returning: 24 Dec 2020
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,730 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 26 Jan 2021
Returning: 18 Feb 2021
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,760 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 16 Feb 2021
Returning: 11 Mar 2021
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,760 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 2 Mar 2021
Returning: 25 Mar 2021
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,760 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 19 Oct 2021
Returning: 11 Nov 2021
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,800 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 9 Nov 2021
Returning: 2 Dec 2021
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,800 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 30 Nov 2021
Returning: 23 Dec 2021
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,800 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 25 Jan 2022
Returning: 17 Feb 2022
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,800 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 15 Feb 2022
Returning: 10 Mar 2022
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,800 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 1 Mar 2022
Returning: 24 Mar 2022
Duration: 24 days
Route: Mumbai - Chennai
$1,800 USD + $580 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.

REVIEWS FROM OUR PASSENGERS

As on my previous Dragoman trips, being with Dragoman means I don't have to worry about the mundane tasks of getting from Point A to Point B and then trying to figure out where to spend the night when I get there. I can focus on enjoying the overland travel experience, surrounded by like-minded people.
William M
Good itinerary with some excellent inclusions - Hampi and Wayanand in particular.
Robin C
Generally another great trip, the balanceof the trip was good between some chill out time to more frenetic cities and people.
Wendy F
Great variety of cities, people, landscape, history and beaches.
Wendy F
I enjoyed the variety of places seen and also the fact that there was some spare time
Ruth J
Great trip, good itinerary and fantastic crew.
Claire A
Little difficult for people our age particularly on the roads in Kerala.
Abhoy A
It was well organised and executed. I felt that I saw loads and didn’t really have to worry about anything... it was all in hand.
Jonathan S
Lived up to expectations and was well organised
Stewart I
An amazing experience both culturally and socially.
Anthony M
Brilliant trip, mixture of free time and things included in the kitty
Sarah C
As first time dragoman customers we found the experience very positive and it helped us negotiate a difficult country to travel in.
Sylvia S
Both Katie and Nick are very good at their jobs and very nice, fun people to be around.
Madeleine S
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.
Linda T
Your guides made the trip for us.
David E
The crew both ensured that all trip members had a great time.
Linda T
I just cant say enough great things about the leaders. They made the trip to India totally fabulous!
Lisa C
The leaders made the trip truly enjoyable.
David E
All of the guides that we had were great.
Lisa C
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.
Caroline P
The guides varied, but overall were well informed and spoke good English.
Caroline P
Katie is a fantastic leader.
Philippus v
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.
Jasmin F
All the local guides were great, spoke English and well informed.
Jasmin F
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.
Jasmin F
All the local guides were great, spoke English and well informed.
Jasmin F
Nadia and Andy did a great job of handling a large truck safely through such 'challenging' traffic conditions.
Brian L
Excellent.
John P
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!
Madeleine S
'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 to Dragoman. 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.
Madeleine S
The Hampi guide and rickshaw drivers were very good. The guide from Sultan's Battery was very knowledgeable on spices, tea and coffee - all good local knowledge.
Madeleine S
Katie and Nick are reliable and super.
Andreas F