India • Kerala • BACKWATERS AND HIGHLANDS Painting holiday
Slide show with 10 images
Colours, canoes, rivers and reflections
Transfer from Cochin airport to our first hotel in The Backwaters region. Cocobay Hotel sits right on the edge of the lagoon and provides a deep sense of calm ~ a wonderful place to relax after a long flight. Settle in and find your feet. By early evening we will be ready to come together for an informal introduction, short tutorial and tips and tricks for making the most of this painting holiday in India.
The Backwaters – four nights
The best way to see The Backwaters is from the water, so we soak it all up on a boat trip along local canals. Houseboats, fishing boats, ferry canoes, women washing clothes and cooking pots, birds and a tangle of tropical plants. We take photographs and make quick sketches on the move – don’t forget to make colour notes. Experiment with small-scale painting on the canal side, focusing on reflections, movement and colour. We have lunch with a local family - a traditional meal served on banana leaves, fingers only! Learn how to include people in your paintings, and how to capture the sunset – be quick, dusk comes very quickly.
Periyar Tiger Reserve - three nights
The five hour drive to Thekkady in Periyar is spectacular as our minibus climbs high into the green hills. After settling in at the luxury Elephant Route Hotel, we take a walk to absorb local life and colour. We head off early next morning to Chellar Kovil region, and a plantation with a high view point. We paint ‘the big picture’ birds eye views, before looking at subjects close up; exotic plants and spices. Paint amidst cardamom, pepper, fenugreek and cinnamon in the spice gardens. As an optional extra, we visit a local school of Keralan cuisine to watch a cooking demonstration before dining on the delicious results!
The Western Ghats - three nights
Next stop: the tea plantations surrounding the hill station of Munnar in The Western Ghats. At 1,500 metres, this vibrant small town is set amidst lush, green tea gardens that contour the landscape. We can walk into Munnar from our hotel, Silvertips. We move around with our sketchbooks capturing varied subjects, a temple, Churchill bridge, Main street and the busy vegetable market - learn the art of quick sketching.
Fort Cochin - three nights
We set off early on the last leg of our adventure, through varied landscapes of mountains, waterfalls, towns and villages and stop at aptly named ‘Cloud 9’ restaurant for lunch with panoramic views. It’s a perfect spot for photographs.
We depart early for Cochin airport.
Note: This is a selection of the many options available on this painting holiday in Kerala, India. Weather conditions, group interests and the tutor will influence the final itinerary.
Where we stay on this painting holiday in Kerala, India
We stay in four different hotels in the four different regions. Not all the hotels are of exactly the same standard and inevitably those at the coast are of a higher standard than those inland. We make great efforts to choose hotels that offer authenticity, quality, service, and proximity to our locations. However, we would ask guests to recognise that these holidays are magical because of the places we visit and occasionally, on such adventures, the accommodation will not come up to the standards of Northern Europe.
Cocobay Hotel, Kumarakom - The Backwaters
Cocobay hotel sits right on the edge of the lagoon. It is accessed only by water and provides a wonderful sense of calm. The rooms are large, the food is good; there is a lovely swimming pool and the staff all very kind. Behind the hotel lies a labyrinth of canals and the exciting village and busy temple of Kumarakom. You can sit on the water's edge in an evening and watch the canoes come home with their catch. I delightful and peaceful start to this painting holiday in Kerala, India
Cardomon County, Periyar
Cardamom County, a Nature retreat is set in beautifully landscaped gardens against the green mountains of the Periyar Forests. The cottages are built on various levels , following the natural contours of the hills within the resort. Each cottage with its spacious bedroom and private verandah is simple and stylish with all mod cons necessary. There is a luxurious swimming pool and spa on site.
The Silvertips Hotel, Western Ghats
The Silvertips Hotel is a harmonious and serene retreat in the Western Ghats, a much sought-after hill station in Kerala.
Nestled in these Hills is a unique, one-of-a-kind, movie-theme based hotel. Silvertips is a sixty room, uniquely designed and conceptualised hotel celebrating the world of pictures, cinemas, movies, its directors and actors. It’s a little bit different, and the perfect place to rest on your painting holiday journey through Kerala.
No. 18 Hotel, Fort Cochin
No. 18 is located in the heart of Fort Cochin, a modern and comfortable hotel with twenty eight rooms over three floors. A stone’s throw away from the winding, cobbled streets of colonial Cochin, famous fishing nets, and nearby white sandy beaches. The hotel offers a library lounge, seafood market, café, Rain Tree restaurant, Wi-Fi, and tea and coffee maker in every room.
Longest transfer time: 4 ½ hours
Dates and prices
8 full days and 3 half-days of painting tuition
Return flights from Heathrow
13 nights full board en suite accommodation in charming, high-quality hotels
All air-conditioned transport
Professional tutor throughout
Full-time services of professional, English-speaking tour manager
Half-day boat trip on the Backwaters
Visit to spice garden
Where we stay
Mostly gently sloping locations within 300 metres of transport. Some steep towns.