The Malabar Coast has been
a meeting place of cultures throughout history. Its lush landscapes were fragrant with the precious spices that brought traders from far and wide, making this coastline rich in both wealth and culture. This tour takes you through the most evocative parts of Malabar, taking inspiration from Hortus Malabaricus (meaning “Garden of Malabar”).
Hortus Malabaricus, with its beautiful illustrations, captured the flora of the Western Ghats. It brought Malabar’s indigenous plant knowledge to the attention of the world. Nearly thirty years in the making, it was published in Amsterdam from 1678 to 1693. K. S. Manilal, the respected Cochin botanist, translated the Latin Hortus into English and Malayalam. Each day on the tour has a botanical theme, which will be discussed briefly before dinner on the previous day.
Travel from Bangalore to Mysore, known for its glittering royal heritage, a city of sandalwood, spices and silk. Continue into the highlands of Ooty and Coonoor and explore the pristine high montane forests of the Blue Mountains, before continuing to the Cardamom Hills to Madurai and the low lying spice plantations of Periyar, with its verdant landscapes and rich birdlife. Continue to Cochin, a melting pot of culture and religion through the ages, and onto the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, where you will cruise the backwaters on a luxury houseboat. Learn about the trade in spices, plants and ideas with expert talks and visits.
Carolyn Fry is an author and journalist specialising in science, conservation, natural history and adventure travel. She has written and contributed to 11 books, covering botanical explorers, the origins of plant-based foods and climate science. Carolyn has won many awards for her work, including the 2016 Garden Media Guild Award for Best Environmental Book for Seeds: Safeguarding our Future.
A former editor of Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, Carolyn has contributed to New Scientist, BBC Wildlife, BBC History, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Independent on Sunday and Kew Magazine, among others. Her work has taken her far and wide; from visiting the world’s most remote post office in Antarctica, to following in the footsteps of Livingstone in Zambia and wandering ancient palm forests in the Seychelles.
She has appeared on two BBC documentaries, to discuss the role of plants as commodities during the British Empire and the resurgence of tropical gardens.
Marari Sands Beach Resort extension
USD $4,043 per person sharing (excluding international flights and transfers)