Secrets of South India – Tamil Nadu and colourful Kerala

This small-group, 16 day tour explores two very different regions: Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Whether honing your drawing skills, learning from scratch or simply content to... Read more

£3965 pp
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01 Feb - 16 Feb 2024

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Kerala and Tamil Nadu
ASIA / India

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Absorb colour and culture; relax and paint in traditional villages, spice plantations, temples and the tranquil backwaters of Kerala

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Maxine Relton

Take a sketching journey through the authentic heartland of undiscovered India...

This small-group, 16 day tour explores two very different regions: Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Whether honing your drawing skills, learning from scratch or simply content to drink it all in with or without a camera, you’ll see inspiring and memorable scenes on every side with artist and experienced India traveller Maxine Relton.

Beginners and non-sketchers are equally welcome.  Learn the exciting art of vivid, rapid sketching! Maxine will encourage you to see with an artist’s eye, to respond to the wonder of ever-changing surroundings, offering plenty of support and guidance, sharing her skills and techniques.

Both regions offer warm hospitality, lush-green landscape set against the Western Ghats Mountains, the best of South Indian cookery, fine temples with unique, undocumented treasures and above all, memorable experiences which will stir your heart and give you a fresh perspective on your own life.

Tamil Nadu is one of the planet’s last classical civilisations, with sacred rituals, ancient literature, songs and dance, traditional customs and crafts that owe nothing to the modern world and a language that is believed to pre-date Sanskrit. Here in the rural villages, we visit local communities whose way of life has changed little over the centuries.

You will have the opportunity to spend time in rarely visited traditional Tamil villages and temples, sketching and engaging with local people.

Wander through scented spice plantations, visit one of India’s greatest and most ancient temples in Thanjavur, relax with an Ayurvedic massage and explore tranquil Kerala backwaters by rice barge (private houseboat) on a 2-day river cruise.

There are fascinating cycle rides (all downhill or on the flat!) to experience, as well as a private cooking lesson, visits to a lively fish auction and street markets, plus a bullock cart ride to a pomegranate farm and much more besides.

Your tour will contribute towards the vital work of SCAD (Social Change and Development), a local charity that hosts part of our stay.  Maxine has a longstanding relationship with SCAD and the precious time that you have there is both eye-opening and heart-warming.

This tour is ideal for artists and photographers, non-sketchers are very welcome.  All our well-chosen and varied locations are brimming with life, colour and activity which the whole group can enjoy. The emphasis will be on the art of quick sketching to capture the rich variety around us but if any non-sketchers would like to spend time on their own, Maxine will be happy to discuss alternative activities!


Day 1 KovalamSettle in and relax after our journey
Day 2-5 TirunelveliSketching beaches, buildingsGuests of SCAD (Social Change and Development)
Day 6-7 MaduraiSketching in the sacred temple city of Madurai
Day 8-10 ThekkadyInspiring explorations in the Spice Hills
Day 11-12 AlleppeyTransfer to Alleppey for 2-day cruise of the Kerala Backwaters on a private houseboat
Day 13 MararikulamSketching by the sea on one of National Geographic's top 5 "Hammock Beaches"
Day 14-15 CochinTransfer to Fort Cochin for 2 nights at a family homestay in the old town
Day 16Depart Cochin
Ask for full itinerary
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Price per person from £3965, excluding flights

Single Supplement £828


We are happy to arrange your flights for you but offer you the option of sourcing them yourself.

The joining point for this tour is Trivandrum Airport (TRV).  Group flights are with British Airways from London Heathrow.

Please liaise with us for flight timings; we aim to have the group all travelling on the same flights.  If arriving at a different time from the group, there will be an additional charge for separate airport transfers.


All accommodation, all meals, art tuition, guiding & hosting, excursions & internal transport by private mini-bus, entrance fees as stated on the itinerary, group airport transfers, group gratuities & service taxes, and a charitable donation to SCAD


Flights, alcoholic drinks & items of a personal nature & personal gratuities, travel insurance, optional activities, art materials, visa.

Enquire now on 01394 382235 or [email protected]

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