Beautiful beaches, poetic hill stations, pristine backwaters and cobalt blue skies is what Kerala is in a nutshell. Kerala’s languid charm and exotic beauty lures thousands of travellers here each year. A willowy coastal strip that gets its shape by the layered landscape, Kerala is a paradise for both, the travellers and the natives.
Planning a trip to Kerala can be puzzling. Choosing among the various primeval hill stations in Kerala, the beaches and backwater experiences can be tricky. That is why we have put together an ultimate Kerala travel guide for the heady traveller in you.
This guide to plan your Kerala tourism includes all necessary information, popular places to visit, travel tips and lots more. It helps beckon a travel experience unlike any other. Besides sightseeing, your travel plan for Kerala can also include visits to the most sacred and religious places in Kerala. From mountain lovers to culture fans, this travel guide for Kerala helps everyone.
This is a destination that rejuvenates and in a way cleanses one’s body, mind and soul. So if you are planning a trip to Kerala, here is an in-depth guide for tourism in Kerala that will ease your planning stress.
How to Reach Kerala?
• Getting in Kerala by flight: Flight is a convenient option to get to Kerala, owing to the Cochin International Airport and Thiruvananthapuram Airport. Both these airports are well connected with all domestic airlines linked with major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, etc.
• Getting in Kerala by Train: Train journey to Kerala is scenic and exciting. More than 500 trains connect Kerala with different parts of India.
• Getting in Kerala by Road: The National Highway connects Kerala to the other two tier and three tier cities. Private and inter-state government buses, cabs, bikes and self-driving cars are also an option. Hitchhiking is also a popular preference at the beach side.
• Getting in Kerala by Ferry: Since Kochi is a major port and receives all the major international cruises for both tourist and trading purpose, ferry becomes another excellent option to get there.
Best Time to Visit Kerala
• Summer Season in Kerala
Summers in Kerala is hot and humid with sporadic rainfalls. If you are planning for a trip to Kerala between March to May, you can enjoy beach activities and visit the Elephant festivals that are held here in summer.
• Monsoon Season in Kerala
Kerala welcomes monsoon in the month of June and the showers lasts till September. The heavy rains enhances the beauty of the entire state and makes it more enticing.
• Winter Season in Kerala
From October the winter season in Kerala starts and lasts till the month of March. Ideally, these are the best months to plan a trip to Kerala. The weather remains pleasant and is ideal for planning a perfect holiday in Kerala.
Tourist Destinations to Visit in Kerala
Munnar is certain to embrace you with its stunning beauty. It is blessed with fertile lands, rivers and a rich cultural history that is unique to the region. The climate remains cool and pleasant throughout the year.
Munnar has a lot to offer to wandering souls. There are numerous places in Munnar that find top place on any travellers list. Be it the scenic Mattupetty Dam and Lake, the Attukal waterfalls or the Eravikulam national park, you can endlessly explore the imposing beauty of Munnar.
Nestled amongst the undulating hills and the lush forests of Kerala, Thekkady is a place loaded with the gluts of nature. The green pastures, lakes and exotic wildlife spices up the adventure.
Even though it may seem as a laid back destination, the plethora of recreational activities here will keep you in trance for the rest of your stay duration. From trekking to jungle expeditions, nature walks and bamboo rafting and from plantation tours to boating, Thekkady promises a perfect vacation!
If you wish to enjoy a few days of utter bliss and serenity, Alleppey is the place to go to. Be prepared for its thick forests with coconut trees will allure you. Rightfully known as the ‘Venice of the East’, the glorious waves, golden sands and swaying palms makes it appear as though it is a place blessed by gods themselves.
As a part of your Kerala tour planning, opt for the wellness therapies here, which include Ayurvedic spas and massages. If you are the one who loves offbeat locations and natures wonders, this is the place for you.
Another piece of Kerala’s paradise, Kovalam is home to a vast littoral line, fringed with palm and coconut trees. Kovalam is yet another shining jewel in Kerala’s crown. This beautiful beach city has made its existence known on the global tourist map due to its surreal beaches. It is studded with swaying coconut trees, gleaming sand and giant lighthouses.
Indulge in thrilling activities like swimming, surfing and motor boat rides or enjoy a boat cruise with your family or better half to behold the beautiful sights of Kovalam. Expect kayaking, snorkelling, boat excursions and seaside walks to keep things vibrant here.
Kochi has an overabundance of dramatic landscapes and scenic beauty which is extremely compelling. Kochi is by far a wonderful halting destination to unwind in the middle of its plush environment.
This is among the most visited tourist places in Kerala and will leave you awestruck with its beaches, the backwaters and the hill stations. Visit the Kochi fort, Mattancherry Palace and Kerala Folklore Museum for an insight on art and culture of this South Indian state. Also, you can visit the Kundale Lake; it is Asia’s first Arch dam. This place has an impressive view of the imposing landscapes and rich forests. The boating experience here is beyond words.
Varkala is the only place in Kerala where you can find cliffs adjacent to the Arabian Sea. This makes room for various spas and waterspouts. The Papanasam beach is considered to be sacred and is also one of the must see places in Kerala. It is believed to have sin-cleansing properties. Another sightseeing place is the hill-top catacomb of Sree Narayana Guru, which is one of the top attractions of Kerala.
This place is amongst the top tourist destinations in Kerala. It is where Vasco Da Gama along with 170 other men first put their foot in India. The small town is an amalgamation of verdant jungles, sun-kissed beaches and a rich historical legacy.
CSI Church, the Commonwealth Spinning Wheel and Pattalam mosque are some of the popular tourist attractions in Kozhikode which should be witnessed on a trip to Kerala. Do not forget to visit the prehistoric port and a 15, 000-year-old shipping yard too.
Jaw dropping beaches await you at Thiruvananthapuram. As a part of your trip planning for Kerala, you must include seeing beaches, indulging in water sports, taking blessings of divine shrines and peeping into the past at the historical museums in Trivandrum.
See the Napier Museum, Sree Chithra Art Gallery, Akkulam Lake, Science and Technology Museum for their historical significance and architectural splendour.
The secluded and pristine Marari Beach offers a variety of water sports activities like skiing, surfing, parasailing, etc. Tourists can also enjoy delectable seafood at the beachside shacks and resorts, which are renowned for their use of spices.
The tourists can also opt for a couple of fascinating day trip around the area. You can visit the traditional coir-making units, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and the Kerala Backwater canals.
Thrissur is popularly known as the cultural capital of Kerala. It has been the vista of a number of events of historic and cultural importance. Thrissur tourism offers plentiful attractions to the globetrotters to make their holiday in Kerala pleasant and memorable.
Visit the culture centres like the Sahitya Academy, the Kerala Kalamandalam, and the Sangeetha Nataka Academy. Besides the archaeological and art museum, Guruvayur Temple and the Vadakkunnathan Temple are also popular tourist places.
Experiences Not to Miss in Kerala
• Stay in a houseboat
Your stay in Kerala is incomplete without the houseboat stay experience. At least for a day or two, cruise over the emerald backwaters and behold postcard-perfect sights with coconut trees lined all along the houseboats.
• Elephant bathing
Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary near Kochi is a major tourist attraction in Kerala. Some exciting activities like bathing the elephants, feeding the elephant, elephant safari and watching baby elephants play await you here. This is a one of its kind experience that only a state like Kerala can offer.
• Take a spice tour
Take a tour of the spice plantations in Thekkady, Munnar or Wayanad. Taste some authentic cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and the exotic vanilla. Moreover, learn about tea-processing, taste different teas and explore the farms on a nature walk.
• Ayurveda treatments
Ayurveda remedies dot the landscape of Kerala. Various Ayurveda centres offers numerous forms of natural cure and rejuvenation. Get an Ayurveda massage and take a break from stress with the experts when in Kerala. The experience is nothing short of blissfulness.
Sailing over the majestic Kerala Mountains and enjoying a bird’s eye view of the opulent green plantations is an enthralling experience. You do not have to be a professional at it. With some courage, you can behold the tranquillity and calmness that this serene destination.
Travel Tips for Kerala Tour
• If you happen to take Kerala tour during summers, make certain to carry all the necessary items like sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and a sipper.
• A first aid kit is absolutely essential. Tropical infections are a major headache and can be easily caught from sand fly bites, scratching mosquito or any open cut or wound. Besides, the topography changes from place to place which may cause distress.
• Pack light cotton clothing, sun dress, sarongs, light shorts or pants, quick drying towels, light shirts and other such beach wear as Kerala tourism includes visits to a lot of beaches.
• While many resorts provide their in house guests with hand torches, there may be a good chance that other resorts do not. Carrying a flashlight is advisable, especially post sunset to avoid stepping on creepy crawlies.
• Taking pictures or filming inside temples, churches and other religious establishments is not permitted. Check for signs put up at such places before filming.
• Travelling with too much cash is not wise. ATM’s are situated almost at every corner and are easily accessible. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at all food joints.
• Keep a map handy since network coverage in hilly areas may be low.
We have compiled and provided you with every little piece of information in this holiday guide for Kerala that can help in making your trip to Kerala an unforgettable affair. If you want any further information for your next vacation to Kerala, get in touch with Kerala Holidays and we will be happy to help you out with your Kerala tour planning.