Pondicherry: The French Connection
A seaside town with an old world charm is a perfect haven for vacationers. The older part of this town has leafy tree lined boulevards, brightly painted houses, cafes and picturesque cobbled streets. The French influence is widely seen here in the architecture, the food and the people. The town is divided into the east side, which is the French Colony with the beautiful bougainvillea adorning the walls of mustard houses, and the western part of the town is predominantly Tamil. Not France with a touch of the Orient but quite the reverse. The Tamil Quarter of Pondicherry is a place where cultures not only meet, but melt. Soak in the best of both worlds as you explore the French Quarter and Tamil Quarter.
Trip Essence: Culture| Local food| Surfing| Beach trails| Curated stays| Heritage tours
-Boutique B&B stay in the picturesque French Quarter
- Explore the Tamil and French quarter through an interesting heritage walk
- Learn to cruise the waves by taking surfing lessons with an experienced surfer
- Discover the hidden lanes and local stories through a guided cycle tour in the morning
- Go for a food walk exploring the many delights that cafes and restaurants have to offer
-Visit the world famous Auroville and discover your spiritual side
- Catch an evening concert at Café de Flore
-Walk on the beach road, the sea facing promenade with beautiful colonial buildings. No vehicular traffic rule post 6 pm makes it even more inviting.
Day 1: Chennai airport to Pondicherry
Get a pick up from the airport head to Pondicherry which is 150kms from the airport. Four hours on the road will get you there. En route visit Auroville. There’s more to Auroville than just the Matri Mandir. Live and learn in this global city of ideas where its inhabitant’s perfect crafts like handmade paper (Auroville Papers), indigo-dyed clothing (The Colours of Nature), incense manufacture (Encens d'Auroville) and bodycare (Maroma Spa) to energy-efficient solutions. Stay in the charming French Quarter. Pocketed away just behind the seafront is a series of cobbled streets, white-and-mustard buildings in various states of romantic dishevelment, and a slight sense of Gallic glory gone by.
Experience: Visit Auroville| Stay in boutique B&B in the French Quarter|
Day 2: Pondicherry
Start the day with a heritage walk to introduce you to the city. The heritage walk was designed to highlight Pondicherry’s rich architectural heritage. Today, tourists and residents can still enjoy this exploration of the Tamil and French Quarters. Guides were trained, and a brochure with a map of the old city and the various routes was published in English, Tamil, French and Italian. Watch an introductory video on the architectural heritage of Pondicherry.
For the adventure seekers, join a fun surfing class and learn how to ride the waves! An experienced surfer shows you the ropes and you can choose to extend your session for 2-3 days every morning.
In the evening, walk along Beach Road and visit cafés from the Blueberry Curated list of cafes for dinner.
Experience: Heritage walk | Surfing lessons (Add On)
Day 3: Pondicherry
A guided cycle tour is planned on this day which spans from 7am-9am. From the colourful houses of the Muslim area to the Ashram and the French Touch’ of Beach Road, come and discover Pondicherry in early morning, when only Pondicherians are up. Some stops will be organized to relax tired legs and make it possible for everybody to enjoy explanations. Along with a knowledgeable guide, you will hear the kind of stories people don’t find in travel guides!
Later, head out to the Pondicherry Museum to brush up on some of your history. Chill at one of many beautiful cafes around the promenade in the evening.
Experience: Guided cycle tour |Visit to local sites like the Museum and Botanical garden.
Day 4: Pondicherry
For your last night in Pondicherry, go on a walking food trail with the local coordinator as you experience the best that the many cafes and restaurants in Pondicherry have to offer.
Catch an evening concert at Café de Flore, an informal garden restaurant at Alliance Francaise’s Maison Colombani .
Experience: Food trail| Evening concert at Café de Flore (subject to availability)
Note that the cost of food consumed on the food trail will be personally borne by travelers depending on what they choose to eat/drink.
Day 5: Leave for Chennai airport.
Make your way back home, with a bag full of memories.
- Breakfast on all days except Day 1
- To and fro airport transfers ex-Chennai
- Stays on double occupancy basis
- Guided heritage walk
- Guided cycle tour
- Flight charges from place of origin to Chennai and back
- Meals not mentioned
- Entry charges, if any, for museums, local monuments eg. Auroville
- Activities which are Add Ons/optional
- Personal expenses such as tips, laundry, room service, beverages, shopping etc.
- Local transport within Pondicherry including taxis, tuk tuks, boat rides etc.
- Any costs arising from flight delays, change in weather conditions, strikes etc. which are beyond our control have to be borne by travelers.
- What is not mentioned in “Includes”