An important port in the South-West of India, Cochin (Kochi) is one of the most beautiful on the Malabar Coast where the scent of cardamom mingles with cloves. It was here that Vasco de Gama disembarked over 500 years ago. But how many Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs and Romans dropped anchor before him in the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea? So many nations, at a time when pepper from Malabar was almost as precious as gold, left these shores laden with precious spices. Today, the city, a surprising metropolis with multiple identities, has a rich cultural and natural heritage combining former colonial residences, ancestral fishing methods and charming landscapes in the backwaters.