There is no doubt Kerala would appeal to all kinds of travelers. Such is the charm and magnetism of this blissful land. With spectacular backwaters of Alleppey, the serene hills of Munnar, the wildlife at Periyar, exotic beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, ancient lively art forms such as Kathakali or Kalaripayettu, the Kerala cuisine and most of all the ever smiling and hospitable people, this blessed land justifies its label the “God’s own country”.
There are many ways you could enjoy Kerala the way you like it. It depends on the type of traveller you are. It is all about the various experiences one craves. Some people go with the usual herd of travellers and prefer to see the normal sightseeing places, some people love to go off beat and see the unknown, some prefer to just relax at a luxury resort and spend their vacation and then there are some who prefer to go deep into the roots of Kerala and learn its culture, its art forms, explore its rural villages and most of all try their local cuisine.
Considering the interests of all types of travellers flying to Kerala, we have come up with varies itineraries to spice up your Kerala holidays the way you would like. Every week we will post the best suitable itinerary for you.
To start with we are sharing a basic Kerala itinerary which covers the highlights of Kerala.
Plan 1: Highlights of Kerala
1 Night in Cochin- 2 Nights in Munnar- 1 Night in Thekkady- 1 Night in Alleppey- 1 Night in Kovalam
Day 1: Arrive at Cochin- drive to Fort Cochin [40 kms]
Arrive at Cochin International Airport. Cochin is the tourist hub of Kerala. For international travellers, more than the Cochin city, the Old Kochi or Fort Cochin would appeal more. It is recommended to do the local sightseeing of Fort Cochin of which the major highlights are the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue and the Fort Kochi Beach. Do some shopping if you wish, at the local markets of Cochin.
Overnight stay Fort Cochin.
Day 2: Cochin to Munnar [140 km, 4.5 hours]
Today morning continue your Kerala journey with a drive to the so called “Princess of hill stations”, Munnar. On the way visit stop at Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls. As you reach Munnar check into your hotel and relax. Afternoon, visit the Tea Museum and the Eravikulam National Park as per the time available. If you are not able to make both the same day, try the left out one the next day.
Overnight stay in Munnar
Day 3: Munnar
Today early morning if you wish, go for a sunrise walk through tea plantations. It is something special at Munnar. After breakfast go for the Munnar sightseeing. You could cover the Top Station, a beautiful location in Munnar Hills recommended by other travellers who have been there. On the way, you stop by the Mattupetty Dam, enjoy boating along the famous Mattupetty Lake with lush green hill surrounding it. Evening if time permits [mostly you can do it], enjoy a Kathakali and Kalaripayettu Show at a local theatre. Both these art forms are indigenous to Kerala and something which you cannot miss. It is a delightful show.
Overnight stay in Munnar
Day 4: Munnar to Thekkady [AKA Periyar] [110 km, 3.5 – 4 hours]
Today morning a 4 hour drive would take you to Periyar. En- route enjoy the stunning views of the Western Ghats lined up at a distance. Head to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary straight away. Home to numerous species of flora and fauna, the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is a paradise for the animal lovers and bird watchers. You have options to opt for a boat ride or possibly a Bamboo Rafting along the Periyar Lake.
Overnight in Periyar [Thekkady].
Day 5: Thekkady to Alleppey [140 km, 4- 5 hour drive]
Today you are heading to the unique and most popular backwater destination in the world, Alleppey. On reaching Alleppey, embark on a houseboat and start your cruise along the scintillating Alleppey backwaters. The houseboat cruise is the best way to enjoy Alleppey. You would glide through narrow canals, pass through paddy fields, witness the local life of Alleppey people and savour the local Kerala style food prepared for you on board by the houseboat crew. We recommend you to just sit back, relax and enjoy the delightful sights of Alleppey.
Overnight stay in the Alleppey houseboat.
Day 6: Alleppey to Kovalam [180 km, 4 to 5 hour drive]
You would return back to the boarding point by 9 am after your breakfast. Disembark from your houseboat and head straight away to the Kovalam Beach. The crescent beaches of Kovalam provide an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Opting for a hedonistic Ayurvedic Massage is definitely not a bad idea. Also try the exquisite Kerala Sea Food offered by a chain of food joints by the side of the Light House Beach. Take a sun bath at the Samudra Beach and last but not he least, do not forget to visit the Hawa Beach, a much more secluded sea side in Kovalam recommended for spending a quality time of your own. Enjoy the beautiful sunset from this part of the world.
Overnight stay at Kovalam
Day 7: Kovalam to Trivandrum Airport [20 km, 20 mins drive]
Today as per your departure schedule you will be transferred to the Trivandrum International Airport. If time permits, possibly if it is an evening flight you got to board, try doing a sightseeing tour of Trivandrum city. Start with the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the richest temple in the whole world. Next up visit the famous Kuthira Malika or the Horse Palace and the Napier Museum.
Catch your flight and leave home with a handful of fresh joyous memories.
So, that’s it.
This is our first recommended plan for a perfect one week tour in Kerala.
We will come up with our next Indian Panorama exclusive itineraries in our upcoming blog posts once every week.