Kochi Tours & Holidays
Join us on a holiday to Kochi
A majestic blend of diverse cultures, religions and architecture, Kochi (also known as Cochin) is one of Asia's most unique travel destinations.
Located in India's southern Kerala state, the port city has a long and rich history dating back to 1341, with the remnants of its former influences easily visible on our Kerala, Bangalore and South India tour. A Kochi tour will provide the chance to see an intriguing mix of centuries-old mosques and synagogues, Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers, making for a special locale that is unlike anywhere else in India.
Kochi is perhaps best known for the Chinese fishing nets that line its shores. These stationary nets have been used here for centuries, and have since become synonymous with the city. The best place to see them is in Fort Kochi, a historic coastal area that is also home to sites such as 16th-century Saint Francis Church and 19th-century Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica. Elsewhere, Mattancherry Palace delights visitors with its mix of European and Keralan architecture, as well as its beautifully preserved and intricate murals, while Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the British Commonwealth, offers a fascinating look at the city's Jewish history.
Some of our package holidays to the Taj Mahal also include a visit to nearby Marari beach, a serene and scenic spot perfect for some time spent relaxing on soft white sand.
Things to do in Kochi
Whether you're joining a Kochi day tour or staying for a few days, there are plenty of wonderful and often unique experiences to enjoy in the city. From unwinding in cool and colourful cafes to exploring the city's rich history in its museums and attractions. Lovers of culture will enjoy discovering its flourishing art scene, while the islands of Willingdon and Vypeen provide quiet spots to relax as well as backwater boat trips.
Take a look at the iconic fishing nets
One of the most recognisable images of Kochi, these fishing nets are both architecturally beautiful and culturally important. Introduced by Chinese explorer Zheng He between 1350 and 1450 AD, they have been a staple of Kochi life for hundreds of years.
Explore Hill Palace Museum
As the largest archaeological museum in the state of Kerala, Hill Palace Museum offers a fascinating glimpse of the city's imperial past. Previously the home of the Kochi royal family, the large complex houses a wide variety of paintings, jewellery, sculptures and other historical relics, including a diamond-studded gold crown gifted by Portugal's Vasco da Gama.
Holidays in Kochi provide the chance to spot humpback dolphins, spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and long-beaked common dolphins. The animals are drawn to the area due to the abundance of fish in its waters, and they are regularly seen on boat trips from Munambam Beach and Cherai Beach.
Things to see in Kochi
Given its unique blend of cultural and religious influences, Kochi offers plenty of landmarks, traditions and architecture to explore. From much-photographed sights such as the city's famous fishing nets to the intricate choreography and colourful aesthetics of Kathakali dance performances, there is plenty to discover. Here are some of the best things to see on your Kochi holiday.
Food and drink in Kochi
Of course, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to sample the local cuisine on your holidays in Kochi. As part of the state of Kerala, Kochi is home to an abundance of delicious, and often spicy, dishes, with plenty of vegetarian options available.
Rice and tapioca are grown in abundance here, and are therefore staples in the regional diet. Seafood is also commonly used, with the state's ample coastline and rivers providing a wide variety of fish and shellfish.
In addition to rice and seafood, other ingredients that form the base of Kerala cuisine include red meat, poultry, chillies, and spices such as turmeric and tamarind. Coconut is widely used in milk, grated and oil form to give dishes a sweet accent. The cuisine here is generally healthy, with steam often used to cook ingredients. A great way to sample a variety of plant-based dishes is by opting for a sadya. This banquet, usually eaten at lunch time or during festivals, can consist of up to 28 dishes, all of them vegetarian, served on a banana leaf and eaten with the hands.
Specific dishes to try during your Kochi tour include Malabar fish curry, usually made with sea bass or seer in a creamy coconut and tomato-based sauce, and avial, a mouthwatering mix of vegetables cooked with coconut oil and curry leaves. Appam, a popular traditional breakfast dish in Kerala, is a pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk. When it comes to beverages, the locals in Kerala enjoy unwinding with a mug of beer in the evening or a glass of toddy - a sweet home-made spirit made from coconut sap.