News and Updates

Brexit and how it affects your travel

2018 - for those of you already registered for summer 2018 and beyond please  be aware that the venue may increase their costs to us for next season due to exchange rate changes and if this happens we will, sadly, have to pass the increase on to you. We would expect the increases to be minimal.

Some prices have risen due to exchange rates - sorry!

Updates - flight delays

My flight has been delayed. Can I get compensation?

Check the Citizens advice website for detailed information by following this link

Also read the following

Airlines don't have to pay out for delays caused by snow because weather is classified as an "extraordinary circumstance" – though some airlines may issue a refund at their discretion. For those of you flying to India you are almost certainly on a non EU airline so contact them direct to see exactly what you are entitled to.

According to Which magazine you can challenge your airline if you don't agree there were extraordinary circumstances – for example, if you are told you can't fly due to the snow, but other flights are departing. "Airlines may stretch the definition of extraordinary circumstances further than they should."

Which Magazine  states:-

If the delay is not caused by extraordinary circumstances you will be entitled to compensation under EU rules, but only if you are flying with an airline based in the EU or with a non-EU-based airline flying from an EU airport, and only if the delay is for two hours or more. If you are flying somewhere else or with a non-EU-based airline not flying from the EU you'll have to check that carrier's terms and conditions.

If you are delayed for two hours or more you are entitled to: two free phone calls, faxes or e-mails; free food and drinks; and free hotel accommodation if you need to stay overnight.

If your flight arrives at its destination three hours or more late you will receive compensation of between €250 and €600, depending on how far your flight takes you. So you'll get €250 if your three hour-delayed flight travels 1,500km or less (ie, London to Amsterdam), but €600 if your plane is delayed by four hours or more and travels at least 3,500km (ie, London to Sydney).

My flight has been cancelled. Will I get my money back?

If your flight is cancelled you should be offered either a refund or an alternative flight to your original destination.

For compensation you will have to look to the EU rules again, though if the delay is caused by snow – and thus an extraordinary circumstance – you might not get anything. If you are covered by EU regulations you will be entitled to travel assistance (such as help with rebooking for a later date) as well as meals and accommodation etc. Check the official EU website for more on your rights.

Call to book: 01273 564230

Welcome to Free Spirit Travel, UK's leading provider of yoga holidays

Palm Tree Yoga, Kerala, South India

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  • November to April

    From £775

    Yoga in a quiet bay in Kerala, South India, overlooking the ocean


Please note this area was untouched by the recent Kerala floods

Palm Tree Yoga Centre is magical with its ocean views and its roof-top yoga shala.

It is placed just above the beach in a peaceful bay, yet is only a half hour stroll or a short rickshaw ride from the shops and restaurants of Kovalam.

Accommodation is spread over three houses arranged in a triangle. For large groups we also use a fourth house closer to the beach.

Massages and Ayurvedic treatments can be arranged on-site. Where specific Ayurvedic equipment is required (such as for a herbal steam bath) the treatment will take place at the nearby Ayurvedic Centre.

Sumadra Village  is less than ten minutes walk away and has several cafes, a beauty parlour (pedicure £4) and shops



Food: There is an on-site restaurant. Each day after your morning yoga class a delicious breakfast will be served.

On four evenings each week dinner will be provided. Kerala has great vegetarian cuisine so on other evenings we will explore the many local restaurants

nid%3D1100%7Ctitle%3D%7Cdesc%3D%7Clink%3DnoneKovalam Village: Kovalam Village is two bays away and you can either stroll in along the road or take a tuk tuk. This is a great place to shop, visit restaurants, treatment centres and places to change money.

Massages: Palm Tree has an on-site massage centre.

Swimming: The beach is directly in front of the venue, sunbeds and umbrellas can be hired at a discount. 

The Indian Ocean can be quite vigorous and have a strong under-tow so  there are well trained life guards on all beaches. The Leela beach is 5 minutes walk to the left of the venue and is protected by a reef so there the sea is normally calm and very suitable for swimming (you can also swim in hotel swimming pool at Sumadra Beach for a small daily fee - usually £2 to £3).

Excursions can be arranged for you: just ask Halin our manager and he will arange transport and the excursions for you.


nid%3D1138%7Ctitle%3D%7Cdesc%3D%7Clink%3DnoneYoga will take place in the shaded rooftop yoga shala where we have space and equipment for 24 yoga students - however most groups are limited to 18 or less.


There are cooling roof fans and bamboo blinds so that we may practice in comfort throughout the season.


We will have magnificent views of the Indian Ocean as we practice. During the evening practice we will see the sunset over the ocean.  


There will be two yoga classes daily, one in the mornimg before breakfast and one in the late afternoon.


We have allowed two days without yoga during the weekend in the middle of your holiday. This is so you may wander further afield to explore India, take longer excursions, or just relax.


Yoga mats, bolsters, blocks and belts are provided. 




Yoga teacher Liz Lark at Palm Tree 2014




nid%3D1000%7Ctitle%3D%7Cdesc%3D%7Clink%3DnoneThis venue is nicely decorated with cool marble floors throughout.

All bedrooms have fitted wardrobes and en-suite facilities with solar heated shower, WC, basin and mirror, ceiling fans and mosquito nets on the windows. 

Housekeeping service cleans the house daily and changes bed linen and towels every 4 days throughout your stay.




Each building has a communal kitchen with a fridge freezer.

There is plenty of crockery, cutlery and cooking pots in case you wish to create snacks.

Teas, coffee, drinking water and biscuits will always be available outside of meal times.




Each building also has a large and airy living room for relaxing with a dining area, sofa and comfy chairs.

Wifi is available



Flights -  Fly to Trivandrum - daily from Heathrow, several airlines including Emirates and Sri Lankan Air. All scheduled flights require changing planes on route.  Emirates also fly from Gatwick.

Transfers - are included in the cost of the holiday, you will be met from your flight and taken to the venue.


Includes - Accommodation, breakfast, eight evening meals on set nights (13 night holiday), yoga and transfers.

Not Included - Flights, insurance, meals other than as specified above.



Visas are required for this holiday, you must purchase your single visit evisa, or your multiple visit regular visa on line, before you leave the UK. 
Please check the web   Alternatively you can use an agency for a small fee



All passengers must have at least 6 months remaining on their passport upon arrival in India.


  Single room Shared room
Nov 18 Nov 28 Hatha Flow & Yin Yoga Louise Gillespie Smith £675 10 nights £525 - 10 nights
Dec 2 Dec 15 Flowing Yoga Kathryn Banks £875 - 13 nights £675 - 13 nights
Dec 16 Dec 21 Extension days  pre xmas £30 sharing  & £40 single per night  bed only    


Jan 1

Iyengar Yoga (Xmas)

Sue Lovell

£975 - 10 nights

£775 - 10 nights

2019       Single Room Shared room
Jan 6 Jan 19 Hatha Yoga Tina Abbey £975 - 13 nights £775  13 nights
Jan 6 Jan 13 Hatha Yoga Tina Abbey £650 - 7 nights £450 - 7 nights
Jan 20 Feb 2 Hatha Yoga Daljit Kaur £975 - 13 nights £775 - 13 nights
Feb 3 Feb 16 Flowing Vinyasa Yoga Liz Lark £975 - 13 nights £775 - 13 nights
Feb 17 Mar 2 Flowing Hatha Yoga Jill Hurley £975 - 13 nights £775 - 13 nights
Mar 3 Mar 16  Dynamic Hatha Yoga & Feldenkrais Daniel Gelblum £975 - 13 nights £775 - 13 nights
Mar 17 Mar 30 Vinyasa Flowing Yoga Clare Gibson £975 - 13 nights £775 - 13 nights
Mar 31 Apl 13 Flowing Yoga & Yin Yoga Bella Somerville £875 - 13 nights £675 - 13 nights
Nov 3 Nov 13 Vinyasa Flow & Yin Yoga Dini Martinez £699 - 10 nights £599 - 10 nights
Nov 17 Nov 30 Flowing Yoga & Deep Relaxation Tracy Mulus £695 - 13 nights £895 13 mights
Dec 1 Dec 14 Yoga - available tba £695 - 13 nights £895 - 13 nights
Dec 20 Jan 2 Hatha Yoga - 13 night XMAS  option Jody Lawrence £1025 - 13 nights £1285 - 13 nights
Dec 20 Dec 30 Hatha Yoga - 10 night XMAS option Jody Lawrence £795 - 10 nights £995 - 10 nights

 Supplement for Pavilion accommodation is £50 per person sharing and £100 single

*Where detailed as available you may come for a shorter amount of time (off peak is April, November early December)

Peak: 10 nights are £730 single / £650 sharing (except Xmas)

Off Peak: 10 nights are £675 single / £525 sharing

Peak: 7 nights are  £650 single/ £450 sharing

Off Peak: 7 nights are  £575 single/ £375 sharing

Please note prices will rise in May 2017 and again in May 2018. . Book early for cheapest prices., we will not increase your holiday price once we have received your deposit


Attended a 10 day yoga retreat here and loved every second. The yoga shala is so pretty - practicing yoga with a view of the sea is so perfect.
The staff are lovely too - I have stayed in many 5* properties that could learn a lot from Halin and his team. They learned our names straight away and our personal preferences. By day 3 I was brought tea at breakfast without asking and everything is done with a Keralan smile.
I would recommend also the Ayurvedic treatments on site if you're looking for a holistic retreat for mind and body.
Thanks you Palm Tree Yoga - I feel new again  

Amy -  November 2018


I have run a yoga retreat at Palm Tree and I cant recommend it enough, Halim & his team are so friendly & helpful, the food is amazing & the Ayurvedic treatments are fantastic. The lady who comes into do beauty treatments is also very good. Such a beautiful place to be on a yoga retreat or even just come for a meal in their restaurant. Thank you!  I will be back.

Louise Gellespie Smith - Nobvember 2018


Hi Jilly/Debbie Just back from our retreat in Kerala. Myself and kitty had an amazing time.
Our rooms initially had no locks, but Joy promptly fixed this for us the next day.
Our rooms with balcony overlooking the beach was beautiful.
The food was truely amazing. The yoga was slow paced but still enjoyable.
 Joy, Barbara, Halin and all the staff were so friendly and helpful, especially organizing tours, trips to the tailors etc..
Kerala is such a special place. We met so many wonderful local people and can't wait to return.
Best wishes
Susan & Kitty. Palm Tree November 2018


Good Afternoon, I wanted to write and let you know what a great experience I had on a recent yoga retreat to Kovalam, Kerala.
The Yoga was superb. Varied on a daily basis covering every type of yoga, including yin, restorative, lots of meditation and some chanting. Brigitte was an excellent teacher making the classes fit every persons level.  We had some novices, right up to other yoga teachers. She was empathetic and sympathetic to everyones needs, and extremely understanding and flexible to the whole group.
The accommodation, although basic , was clean and served us well.  The staff were attentive at both breakfast and dinner.  Food was adequate and delicious. We attended a festival organized by Hallam, the manager which was a lot of fun, and also tried our hand at some Indian dancing.
Thank you for organizing such a great trip
Kind regards
Georgina - Palm Tree January 2018


Hi Jilly, I have just returned from Palm Tree and had a lovely time.  The staff were very attentive and provided an excellent service.  It was lovely meeting all the new and interesting people and Brigitte provided interesting and varied yoga sessions.  It was a wonderful experience and one I would do again.
Thank you
Karen - Palm Tree, January 2018


Dear Jilly, I would like to take this opportunity to compliment Free Spirit on our yoga holiday. It has been a wonderful experience.
Halin is wonderful, the hospitality great. We will be returning to Kerala as a result of this holiday. So thank you all.

Libby & Trevor - Palm Tree January 2017


Just before Christmas I went on my second solo Free Spirit holiday to India. I was supported by The Free Spirit team, no question is left unanswered no matter how silly especially if solo travel is not your norm. Booking flights visas etc Free Spirit Jilly and team are there to support right down to what to pack.
On arrival the hospitality of Halim and his team was exceptional also nothing was too much trouble and your safety is paramount very comforting.
The yoga delivered by Tracy Mulas was exceptional nothing was too much trouble she catered for advanced students, beginners and has extensive knowledge of all different types of yoga, dietary information and general all around experience of life and also is a fun person to be around and a caring individual. Tracy's yoga knowledge of Yin and Yang plus Reiki and relaxation was incorporated into the practice, plus yoga dancing and ohm bath not to be missed.
The group bonded from the beginning and was a fantastic experience.
Carolyn - Palm Tree December 2016


Hi Debbie

So finally, my feedback from the Kerala trip with Susannah…
What a special place Palm Tree is! Situated in such a gorgeous and peaceful location, I loved it from the minute I arrived and felt instantly at home. Nothing was too much trouble for Halin and his fantastic team and his local knowledge was very helpful for those of us new to the area. He is clearly very passionate about what he does and wants to ensure all his guests have an enjoyable time. He joined us for dinner a couple of times which was nice and again, just added to the sense of feeling welcome. The trips were well-organised and offered plenty of variety and the driver's were pleasant and drove safely.
I was especially impressed with all the staff remembering our names and greeting us each day. They were a pleasure to talk to and were always helpful and polite. Special thanks to Binu and Suneel, our waiters. We had such a laugh with them and they were always on hand to assist with the biggest smiles.
I am already missing the beautiful people, the food, the sunsets and of course the yoga shala where I spent many happy hours looking out across the palm tree-framed ocean.
I will definitely be recommending Palm Tree to others. In fact, I am currently training to be a yoga teacher and hope one day to return with my own group! Please pass on my thanks and gratitude to Halin.
Best wishes
Emma - Palm Tree January 2016

Dear Free-spirit Team,
Following my 2 week holiday to South India with Beverley Fox back in November last year, I just wanted to leave a few words about my experience.
This was my first time in India and I can confidently say, won't be my last. The venue itself was ideally suited for our needs. Amazing yoga studio with panoramic views. The beach, just a stones throw away, provided an omnipresent soothing soundtrack throughout  the yoga sessions each day.
Beverly was a fantastic teacher who's classes were always fun, varied and creative. I enjoyed the variety of Vinyasa, Kundalini and Yin Yoga (perfect for the evening classes). She brought a catalogue of yoga inspired music which always seemed to compliment the mood / energy levels perfectly. We had an intimate sized group which allowed for ample time to work on posture adjustments and realignment.
The staff, managed by Halim,at the nearby Curry Leaf Restaurant were always on hand to ensure our time was an enjoyable one. Food was amazing. Music nights were always good fun, many of them impromptu!  
I could go on........excursions, massages, beautiful sunsets etc. I've been to a few Free-spirit holidays and this has to rank up there with the best.
Many thanks
Simon  - Palm Tree Dec 2015

I just wanted to give some feedback for the Yoga retreat I was on with Beverly Fox 29/11-12/12.
I had a really wonderful time. The rooftop yoga with the sound of the sea was so therapeutic. Beverly is a fantastic, passionate teacher, she really helped me improve significantly. It opened my eyes to some different forms of yoga that I've never tried before.  Halim and all the staff were incredibly helpful, rooms were clean, food was wonderful. I made some great friends and felt very welcomed by everyone.  I hope to get the opportunity to go again very soon!

Joanne - Palm Tree Dec 2015


Jilly and Debbie
Have just returned from a wonderful yoga holiday with Lisa.  I loved India.. the beautiful people, the landscape, the food...
But I particularly wanted to tell you how excellent Halin and his team were.  We were treated so well.  Halin runs a very smooth operation at Palm Tree but he also smoothed our paths considerably at Sumadra Beach and in Kovallum with transport, restaurant bookings.
Good wishes

Janet November 2015


WOW what a fabulous holiday we had. I am still on a high  I describe our retreat as one of the most beautiful experiences of my life so far, cocooned in a little retreat of Love Positivity and Kindness J
It was so lovely to meet you all!!  I tell everyone I meet about your fabulous Yoga Holidays Gilly and of course the Legend that is Mr Sye !!
I have wonderful photos of you all on my phone and uploaded to Facebook not sure how to e mail them though I will find out !!
Just want to share this beautiful moment … on returning from India I went to my mums to give my nieces and step daughter their gifts, Ruby looks beautiful in her Sari !! They wanted to know all about India and what we did, I told them about the circle of love, where you all hold hands and send the person on your right all the love in the world !!! AMAZING !!!   The energy was beautiful… a little circle of innocent, eager little people wishing with all of their heart to  send all  of the love in the world to each other… I don't think I have ever felt anything so powerful. I am going to use this within my work,  it's such a simple yet beautiful thing to do ! Thank you David !
I hope this finds you all well and happy I send with it All my love

Kristy XXX  Feb 2015

it seems a distant far memory now the heat of india,and those intense vibrant temple festivals  what a great experience..
Kathry Feb 2015

"It was one of the most exciting places I have ever visited. It was a great balance between learning yoga and experiencing some of India. The location is superb. The beach is beautiful as well as being a real working beach. One of my favourite mornings was watching the fishermen bring in the nets, singing and cooperating as a whole group together.
The staff were fantastic, right from the top down. Halen is a great Manager. He was so quietly efficient, gentle and kind. He organised the various trips we wanted as well as organising us to go to see a temple celebration which was so different from any carnival I have ever seen. It was so full of colour, music, elephants and performers. It is something I will remember for life.
The food provided was superb, exactly what I wanted. They were so obliging that when we asked for Dosers for breakfast they provided several days of tasty new Indian breakfasts. The staff went well beyond the call of duty.
I would recommend it highly to my friends."

Alison Feb 2015


Hi Jilly So I am back from Kovalam and I loved it!!!! I am back for two weeks now but it is still not easy to reconnect to London.
I enjoyed my stay in Kovalam, nice location, great great yoga and fabulous food, yes, you were right, it was a real feast every day! people were really nice and it was a pleasure to spend time chatting around the big table at breakfast or dinner... The Curry Leaf staff was amazingly nice, Halin too, very good manager... friendly and relaxed 'atmosphere'.
I would like to book for the February 2016 retreat with Liz...
hope you are well all the best
Michèle Feb 2015


Just wanted to stay thank you for a great holiday in Palm Tree with liz lark.  I have been going to India on yoga holidays for the last 9 years and this venue, their food and staff were really excellent.  The view from the yoga shala was stunning.  Halin and his team were great, nothing was too much trouble. Sue Feb 2015


Thanks Jilly, yes I had a wonderful time. The yoga shala must have one of the best views of any yoga studio in the world, plus there's the sound of the ocean, the feel of the breeze and the smell of incense - wonderful. It's a great location . Sasha  Feb 2015


Good Morning Jilly,
We all had an amazing holiday in Kerala so thank you for sorting out the apartment and all the arrangements.  Sara, Art and myself are  still missing the yoga, sea and energy we found in India on this visit, very special indeed! Lesley Feb 2015


Hi Jilly,
Just back from a fabulous time in Kerala. It was probably one of my best retreats so far, the group were really wonderful, everyone gelled so well and that inspired my teachings so much. We had the most amazing memorable time and left on such a magical high   Brigitte Rooney (yoga teacher)  Jan 2015


Hi Jilly & Debbie
Had the most AMAZING time and all the students are raving, raving, raving.

Caroline Wickham (yoga teacher) Dec 2014


Yes I love the centre I love the staff I love the position I love how welcome we were all made to feel and would recommend it to anyone .... Its a veritable Shangrila on the Indian Ocean !!! Pure Bliss can't wait to return next year the place ROCKS !!!! David Sye (yoga teacher) April 2014


Hi Jilly,
I hope you are well. Some quick feedback from kovalum. Everything is going well. It's a beautiful and inspiring place. The yoga studio is fab. The bolsters are in gorgeous silk! The staff are all friendly and helpful - Halin in particular really knows his stuff and is very reliable. The food in the restaurant is wonderful and generous portions. We are getting in lots of yoga, massages, swims in the sea and absorbing keralan culture. Sarah Jan 2014