7 Days Kerala Experience at Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters & Beyond, Kumarakom
Day 1 – Picked up at the Trivandrum airport and driven to the retreat. 25 mins drive through the town of Trivandrum.
Check-in at Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra. Lunch will be served at Samsara Cafe. You are at leisure for the evening. The only spoiler will be the spa treatments lined up for this evening. You will be treated to 60 mins Abhyanga Snana, a blissfully rhythmic body massage with warm medicated oils, facilitates circulation and relieves fatigue and body aches. At 6 pm we will entertain you with a performance centered on Carnatic music an Indian classical form of music. An authentic Kerala dinner tweaked to the sensibilities of your palate will follow.
Day 2 – The glorious heritage of Kovalam
Pre-dawn tea will be served at Niraamaya's pristine secluded beach. Watch the spectacular Kovalam sunrise and the play of colours over the majestic Arabian Sea. Visit the local fish market at 6 am with our celebrity Chef. The open-air fish market which is situated at the harbour where the boats come to unload. It has such an atmosphere that you just have to keep your camera going. The view across the harbour looks past the big Old Catholic church right on the beach and 2 distant mosques at the far end. Back at the retreat, your breakfast awaits post which we will take a trip around Kovalam to experience the attractions. We first take you for a look around of Padmanabhaswamy Temple. This ancient temple is the most dominating feature of Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu who is depicted reclining on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake from which the city derives its name. It has been in the news for one of the richest treasure troves ever found. It is now supposed to be even richer than the Vatican. After that, we walk down an amazing bazaar street. This colourful market is Kerala's hidden treasure and a prime shopping destination for the 'daring' buyer only. At the end of the bazaar, we reach Ganapathy temple with a chance to enter. Please note photography is not allowed at this divine place of worship. Today lunch is an amazing Sadhya meal served on a banana leaf in Trivandrum's world famous "shabby chic" restaurant. After lunch, we head on to the Kuthiramalika Palace museum. A classic specimen of Kerala Architecture is situated here. The palace, with its excellent carvings and amazing architectural designs, is by itself a slice of heritage. The museum has a wide range of exhibits representing the erstwhile state of Travancore. Post your return you are at leisure, however, do not miss the sunset over a cocktail at Madira Bar. Dinner of your choice will be served at the retreat.
Day 3 – Backwaters, sun, sand & sea
You start your day with sunrise Yoga on the platform by the cliff overlooking the majestic Arabian Sea for 30 mins. This light workout will be followed by breakfast at Cafe Samsara. A short 20 minutes drive south of Niraamaya retreats, The Poovar estuary so named by the erstwhile king Marthanda Varma of Travancore was the epicenter of Trade in sandalwood, spice, and ivory. We transfer you to a motorboat that cruises through pristine coconut groves on either side of the river leading you up to Golden Sand Beach where you can see where backwater meets the Arabian Sea. Enjoy a special picnic hamper that our chef has prepared and relax in this amazing spot over a glass of chilled wine. On return, the boat will take you through a pristine Mangrove Forest before you transfer back to retreat. Back at the retreat enjoy a classic high tea on your porch while your pre-booked spa therapy awaits - the Niraamaya Signature Spa therapy (60 mins). This deeply relaxing massage is the ideal antidote to ease all stress.
Day 4 - A day of divine wellness at Kovalam
This is a day designed primarily for relaxation and self-discovery. You start your day with sunrise Yoga on the platform by the cliff overlooking the majestic Arabian Sea. This light 30 mins workout will be followed by breakfast at Cafe Samsara. Our objective is to ensure you return home not just rejuvenated but with an empowered inner self. Your wellness program will continue with 30 mins of Shirodhara at Niraamaya Spa. A relaxing therapy with lukewarm medicated oils gently poured in a stream over the forehead. Shirodhara is known for diffusing mental tension and easing headaches, improving sleep and strengthening hair roots. This will be followed by 60 mins of Abhyanga Snana Classic. This is a traditional massage with warm medicated oils administered by two therapists with synchronized movements. This ancient therapy perfected over 5000 years improves blood circulation, relaxation and enhancing energy flow. Lunch will follow post your therapies. Optional retreat walkthrough accompanied by our naturalist. He will introduce you to the flora and fauna at the retreat and also take you through our homegrown organic garden. You will also learn about all the environmental friendly initiatives at Niraamaya. Hi-tea will be organized at the ancient wishing well during your walk around. This evening during Dinner we present a traditional Kerala cultural show.
Day 5 – Depart to Lake Vembanad, Kumarakom
After breakfast at the Cardamom Club, we will drive to Kumarakom (4 hours). Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters & Beyond, one of the most beautiful waterfront resorts in Kumarakom, is a tranquil destination with its enviable location nestled on the banks of Lake Vembanad. Set amidst 8 acres of lush tropical gardens, the retreat houses 27 luxurious villas designed to maximize the glorious views of the lake. Meandering pathways lead to tasteful living spaces that are in complete harmony with nature amidst breezy coconut palms and tropical foliage. Lunch will be served at the Café Samsara. The rest of the day is at leisure, relax at the pool or take a sunset cruise in a small traditional boat which takes you through the canals in and around Kumarakom. A therapeutic Ayurvedic treatment is already pre-booked for your convenience. Follow the pampering with a candlelight dinner at Essence.
Day 6 - Introduction to Kerala's Water world
We invite you to a free session of yoga class. After breakfast we suggest a trip to the Bay Island Driftwood Fossil Museum, it is situated about 1.5kms. from the Retreat. The museum displays a unique collection of superior quality driftwood sculptures of very high artistic value prepared through a rare and innovative modern art form. Bay Island Driftwood The museum is located at the scenic village of Kumarakom. A visitor would find a huge collection of root sculptures of various shapes and designs. Many of these works closely resemble birds, animals, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. Shaping, scraping, polishing, finishing and preserving are done with fierce dedication. Post lunch get the glimpse of the rural life in Kerala. The direct interaction with local culture, traditions and livelihood activities such as coconut palm frond weaving to screw pine making and fishing with the locals to a visit to the local toddy shops, are all exquisite experiences that are enriching for travellers. As part of the responsible Tourism (RT) initiative, they encompass all forms of tourism and seek to minimise negative economic, environmental and social impacts.
Day 7 - Houseboat Cruise (Overnight Stay on the Houseboat)
After your breakfast, you have some time at leisure. Closer to lunchtime you board the luxurious houseboat for a cruise through the many canals and waterways. Feel free and relaxed as your eyes, first lazily and then passionately enjoy the bewitching Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater stretches in Kerala. Passing through rivers and canals, you can enjoy a delicious meal. Dinner and overnight stay at the houseboat.