Four travel routes for Kerala
Kerala is a popular travel destination one can easily spend a week to 10 days in. We always recommend ending your trip in Kerala, which is utterly stunning in its breath-taking beauty. Relax on stunning beaches, take part in local festivals, and explore the hidden gems of this tropical state. This guide will help you plan the perfect travel routes for Kerala.
Route 1: Essence of Kerala (7-8 days): Fort Cochin-Munnar-Thekkady-Alleppey/Kumarakoam
This is the most preferred of the travel routes for Kerala as you get to experience a wide variety of what the area has to offer. The area is rich with European heritage combined with local Indian delights, particularly in Fort Cochin. You must visit the vast green tea plantations of Munnar, go hiking along the dense forest of Thekkady, and relax and enjoy the sunset on a canoe along the backwaters in Alleppey or Kumarkoam.
On average, it will take you 3.5 hour drive between towns, without traffic. If you would prefer a slower pace, choose between Munnar and Thekkady and spend a day more in each town.
Scenic mountains of Munnar
Here is a list of suggested things to do in these regions.
Route 2: Beaches of Kerala (10-12 days): Marari, Varkala and Kovalam
For a relaxing stay plan a trip to Kerala and have the perfect end to a holiday: unwinding on a beach! Start in Fort Cochin, then travel to Munnar (or Thekkady), followed by Alleppey, and finish on a relaxing beach. Marari is the closest beach to Alleppey (approximately a 45-minute drive). Compared to Varkala and Kovalam beaches, Marari has an untouched splendour. There are only a couple of luxury boutique properties so planning in advance is important, especially if travelling during the holiday season.
You can take a train to Varkala from Alleppey. Varkala and Kovalam are famous for their Ayurveda resorts that offer traditional Hindu healing treatments that help balance the bodily systems by working on breathing exercises and using herbal remedies. Many spend more than a week or two at these resorts for various ayurvedic and rejuvenation sessions.
Route 3: Offbeat Allure: Wayanad, Kannur, Athirapilly
Plan a trip to Kerala to visit offbeat alluring areas unlike any others. Visit Wayanad, Kannur and Athirapilly if you are interested in the lesser known gems of Kerala. They lie on the northern-most end of Kerala.
The tropical setting of Wayanad is a perfect getaway, especially for honeymooners. Stay at the peaceful Vythiri Resort and wake up to the sound of the gushing waters and splendid views outside your villa.
Kannur is a much less explored town, known as ‘The Land of Looms and Lore’ because of its high-quality production and export of handloom fabrics. Explore the natural beaches, backwaters, hill stations, and historical monuments it has to offer.
If starting your trip in Mumbai or Delhi, fly into Calicut and drive to Wayanad or Kannur. From either of these towns, you can take a train to Fort Cochin.
Athirapilly is a 1.5 hour drive from Cochin. Take a day trip or spend a night visiting the Athirapilly Falls, ‘the Niagara of India’, and be mesmerized by the breathtaking sites. The area is home to a host of wild animals and birds.
Kavvayi-Backwaters_Kannur : Credit-nahel-abdul
Route 4: Kerala during Festivals
One way to plan an exciting travel route for Kerala is to focus on what festivals are taking place. Kerala has a number of temples and elephant festivals, Thrissur Pooram being the grandest of them all. There are celebrations between April and May each year in Thrissur (about 80km from Cochin). This is a seven day affair.
Onam is another important festival that celebrates the harvest between August and September. The procession in Trivandrum is a visual delight. There are as many as 3000 artists, 75 floats and 68 art forms on display.
Theyyam is a folk art celebrated in Kannur. It is a ritualistic, ancient form of worship still celebrated with the same fervour. The festival is held from October to May each year. The riot of colours, the music, dance and devotion is worth witnessing.
If wish to plan your trip in Kerala around a particular festival, stay at a homestay with a local family instead of a hotel. You get to experience the fun firsthand and be part of all the festivities.
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