Kerala is in South India, referred to as “God’s Own Country” for the undisturbed tropical beauty. It is one of the coastal states that have a rich history, food, literature, traditions, festivals, and a lot more. Kerala is a popular destination for tourists because there are various options on the plate that you can choose from. Whether you want to go to beaches, hiking, spiritual tour, cultural exhibitions, they are perfectly the best spot. Plan a leisure vacation to Kerala and set this vacation on fire. But from the list of numerous places out there, create a “Bucket list,” those destinations that you don’t have to miss. Here are the top 20 Places to Visit in Kerala for the vacation.
1. Kochi – Gateway of Kerala
Kochi is an enchanting place and the home to the oldest trade Centre for Europeans, Dutch, Arabs, British, Chinese, and Portuguese. The influence of the multi-cultural people still retained in the charms of the lifestyle. The architectural sites and historical belongings at Fort Kochi will leave you awestruck. Kochi is known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea because it stretches for almost 15km. The Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are world-renowned.
- Places to Visit in Cochin : Cherai Beach, Vasco Da Gama Church, Mattancherry Palace, Jew Town
- Time to Visit : During October to December
- Special Note : Muziris Biennale, an International exhibition, is held once in two years.
2. Munnar – Enjoy the Gardens and Greenery
Munnar is the famous hill station of Kerala situated on the Western Ghats range in the Idukki district. Known for the tea plantation, dense forests, green valley mountains, and wildlife. It is located at the confluence of three rivers Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundaly. They are beautiful streams making it the best destination for the relaxed trip. Also, they are exceptionally known for the romantic destinations of India, as the climate is par excellence.
- Places to Visit in Munnar : Anamudi Peak, Mattupetty Dam, Pothamedu Viewpoint and KananDevan Tea Museum
- Time to Visit : December to May
- Special Note : Sheer experience by staying overnight at Kolukkumalai camp.
3. Alleppey – Venice of the East
Allepey is in the coastal line of the Arabian Sea situated in the Alappuzha District. The unique place for backwater destinations. You will enjoy the beaches and lagoons over here. There are thrilling boat races and charming bat houses, which will get you all excited. It is the little heaven of Kerala and has numerous water activities. If you are planning a vacation with the family, then they make a great place. The people of any age will enjoy Aleppey.
- Places to Visit : Alappuzha Beach, Ambalapuzha Krishna Temple, St. Mary’s for a Church, International Coir Museum
- Time to Visit : Except for the monsoon between July to October, you can visit Alleppey at any time.
- Special Note : Paddy Land Tours in Kuttanad is the most popular activity followed here.
4. Wayanad – Love the adventure riding up there
Wayanad is the home for bright green mountains that stretches along the Western Ghats. It has excellent forests, lofty peaks, paddy fields, and a landscape of scenic appeal. Many adventure enthusiasts visit Wayanad for the adventurous rides to go up on those bendy climbs. It is one of the biospheres in India, and they are a great place to spot wildlife. Trekking and safari are very common here, and people from all over the world visit here for recreation.
- Places to Visit : Edakkal Caves, Lakkidi, BanasuraSagar Dam, Sentinel Rock Falls
- Time to Visit : It is one of the areas that you can visit throughout the year
- Special Note : You can purchase spices, tea, coffee, bamboo made quality products from here.
5. Kovalam – Rest at the Beach Town
Popularly known as the ‘Hippie Hangout’ of the 70s and its quite a beach place conveniently located for anyone to travel. It is densely populated on the beach, so they may seem less attractive. Still, if you are a party lover and enjoy various concerts and activities, this is one of the happening places here at Kerala. Three great beaches are Hawah, Lighthouse, and Samudra, and it is amazingly maintained even with the crowd. Yoga camps are very popular in this region.
- Places to Visit : Neyyar Dam, Marine Research Museum, Lighthouse beach, Hawa Beach
- Time to Visit : You can visit Kovalam between November to February only when the climate is moderate.
- Special Note : Surfing, Boat rides, Ayurveda Massages, and Yoga camps are prominent activities held here.
6. Kumarakom – Best at its Scenery
Do you want to enjoy the place with some peace and harmony? Wanted to lie back and experience the magnificent scenery? Then dreamy Kumarakom is the right place to go. It offers a scenic view of emerald green backwaters and green surrounding with miles of solitude and peace. It is never crowded and destination for beautiful landmarks. It has one of the mystical backwaters with fascinating nature suitable for the rejuvenation.
- Places to Visit : Vembanad Lake, Aruvikkuzhi waterfall, Kumarkom Bird Sanctuary, Kakkathruthu
- Time to Visit : You can visit Kumarakom between August to May and mostly avoid Monsoons.
- Special Note : Ethnic handwoven textile form this place is quite an attraction.
7. Varkala – Place to Rejuvenate
The setting of Varkala is striking, that takes your breath away. With amazing long stretch cliffs and viewpoints, they are extended over the Arabian Sea. There is a paved footpath that runs along the length of the cliff with boats, hotels, and guesthouses. They are bordered by the beach shacks, coconut palms, and quaint shops. One can lead to the top of the cliff from there, and the beaches are set closer over here.
- Places to Visit :Varkala Beach, Sivagiri Matt
- Time to Visit : An ideal time to visit would be October to February
- Special Note : Yoga camps, Ayurveda center, and Pilgrimages to find spiritual gurus are quite common here.
8. Thekkady – Inspiration to Admiration
Do you admire nature? Are you a wildlife lover? For those of you, Thekkady is a treat. You will enjoy the scene of wildlife while cruising along the length of the lake. It is the home to Tiger Reserve, and Thekkady especially is a quintessential lap of nature where you can explore and enjoy. Periyar National Park is the most popular national park in South India. It is known for the Wild Elephants, and they offer a 30-minute ride inside the jungle. Safaris carried the boat to watch the sunset is pure bliss.
- Places to Visit : Peermedu, Garvi forest, Mangaldevi Temple
- Time to Visit : You can visit during the Off-Monsoon between Octobers to February
- Special Note : The 120-year-old Suki Dam is a significant attraction at Thekkadi.
9. Poovar Island – Watch where the river meets the sea
How about a stay at an over-water bungalow? You will find them here at Poovar Island. It is just 20 minutes away from the coast of Kovalam. The place is situated at the Neyyar River. You can find this river joining the Arabian Sea, aside from the elongated bar of land in the middle. You may want to have a long trip over a week because most of the places in Kerala are connected via this region. Trivandrum is just 45 minutes away, and people visit other sites surrounded by the island and come back to have a relaxed stay.
- Places to Visit : Vizhinjam, Thiriparappu Falls, Poovar Beach
- Time to Visit : October to February is a great time to visit this island.
- Special Note : The bird watching inside mangrove forest and boat ride to the overwater bungalows are quite famous in this region.
10. Thiruvananthapuram – The capital city for a reason
The main attraction of the state Kerala in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). It is the state capital and had lured many attraction spots. Especially when you visit with the family, this place is a tremendous hit. Padmanbhaswamy Temple was one of the trending sites due to the wealth hidden here. It is one of the wealthiest temples in the world now. Some of these treasures were unearthed, but still, the vault of high doors is closed. You can also find the palace, museum, and galleries, which is the classic heritage of the Trivandrum rulers over here.
- Places to Visit : Napier Museum, Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Shanmugham Beach, Kuthiramalika
- Time to Visit : You can visit these places throughout the year, but summers could be unpredictable.
- Special Note : The palace is one of the Architectural classics, and you need an entire day to learn the details of this place.
11. Athirapally Waterfalls – India’s Niagara
The waterfall is located at Chalakidy district at the banks of Sholayar Range. You will be amazed by the gushing water that is crystal clear, and it is one site to be seen and believed. This Athirapally waterfall is popularly called as “India’s own Niagara” as it is one of the largest and beautiful waterfalls found in India. A majestic waterfall attracted many movie directors – Yah! Remember the scenes from Bahubali?
- Places to Visit : Sholayar Dam, Vazhachal Waterfalls
- Time to Visit : You can visit the waterfall between August to February
- Special Note : Trekking beside the Waterfall Mountains is quite famous; however, you need to go via proper channels.
12. Vagamon – Endless Green Meadows
Vagamon is located at the borders of Idukki and Kottayam. This is a hill station with amusing Meadows and pine-forests. There are three hills: Kurisumala, Murugan, and Thangal that are believed to be representing three different major religions of India. However, apart from the faith, these three hills are majestic valleys and known ad one of the best honeymoon spots in India.
- Places to Visit : Pine Forest, Vagamon Lake, Three mountains of the site
- Time to Visit : Except monsoon, you can visit Vagamon at any time of the year
- Special Note : Paragliding is one of the greatest attractions of this place.
13. Kannur – Enjoy the blend of beaches and art
Kannur is located in the northern part of Kerala and has blended cultural and beach trekking sites. There are secluded beaches, and the food served here is quite famous. The theyyam art is performed as a ritual during the processions and festivals at the temple. You can find drive-in beaches, mountains to trek, and also remains and ruins of the mysterious palaces. It is cradled between Lakshadweep, and the Western Ghats lured with many attractive spots.
- Places to Visit : ArakkalKettu Museum, Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach, St. Angelo Fort
- Time to Visit : October to May would be the right time to visit Kannur
- Special Note : Visit during one of those festive seasons to enjoy the Theyyam art.
14. Kozhikode – A culinary town to explore
Yes! You heard that right. Every district in Kerala has a unique variety of food served. But Kozhikode is a town known for the culinary. It is known as the port city where Vasco Da Gama landed. The streets and alleys take back to the history that has a lot to offer. You will find exclusive cuisine of all regions in India and also some of the international countries. Apart from that, there are beaches and temples; however, explore with one purpose ‘Food.’
- Places to Visit : Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, Kozhikode beach, Kappad Beach
- Time to Visit : you can visit the site from October to February
- Special Note : Try different culinary and especially a local guide can guide you better
15. Marari – Perfect beach vacation
Marari is a sleepy fishing village that is the secluded and the most beautiful unspoiled beach of Kerala. The town is just 2km away from Allepey. The stretch of the beaches are undeveloped and so much in blend with nature. You can always see the boats were lined up on the coast. It is the best place to visit for solitude and peace.
- Places to Visit : Marari Beach, Fishing tour
- Time to Visit : Visit from September to May
- Special Note : Try experiencing hut stay near the beaches to enjoy the environment.
16. Ponmudi – The Golden Peak of India
A perfect escape forms the city life. This hill station brings nothing but an adrenaline rush. The peak is adorned by the breathtaking view with fantastic adventurous sports. The wildlife sanctuary over here had more than 233 species of bird, 13 species of amphibians, and 27 species of fishes.
- Places to Visit : Golden Valley, Peppara Wildlife sanctuary
- Time to Visit : Explore Ponmudi during the month from October to February.
- Special Note : Aranumula boat race during the Onam festival is quite famous over here.
17. Nelliyampathy – A destination unexplored
Nelliyampathy is always known as the Poor man’s Ooty. The mountains, climate, and the attractions look similar to oozy and offer green vegetation with miles of coffee. The whole place has plantations as the main attraction, and most commonly, it has cardamom and tea. Reaching this place itself is an adventure as there are many hairpin bends
- Places to Visit : Pothundi Dam, Seethargundu Viewpoint
- Time to Visit : You can visit Nelliyampathy between Octobers to February
- Special Note : The location is ideal for trekking and hiking.
18. Munroe Island – This Quiet Backwater is bliss
Munroe Islan is the cluster of 8 islands, and it is the hidden gem of Kerala. The islands are separated by the water channels and lakes. Fantastic nature, quietly running rivers, and lakes are the best attraction of this Island. It is just27 kms away from Kollam and a perfect place if you want to be away from the noise and chaos. The cruise takes you across these islands, and you can never get enough of it.
- Places to Visit : Sasthamkotta Lake, Thangasseryy lighthouse.
- Time to Visit : Visit during the winter season to enjoy the climate. October to February is a great time to explore.
- Special Note : The handicraft sold on the riverbanks and coastal are one masterpiece.
19. Malamuzha – Attraction of Central Kerala
It is located in the Palakkad district and offers a landscape of exciting attractions. Malampuzha dams showcase brilliant maintenance, and the kids love being here. There are parks, gardens and other games available here. This garden here is built with a broken piece of bangles, tiles, plastic cans, and tins. The aquarium, besides the dam, has a much new variety of fishes. It is constructed in the shape of fish when looked from outside.
- Places to Visit : Malampuzha Garden, Snake Park, MalampuzhaAcquarium.
- Time to Visit : You can visit the entire year, but August to April will have new shows and events.
- Special Note : There are shopping malls as you travel down to the central Palakkad.
20. Thrissur – A cultural Capital
It is the cultural capital of Kerala as it is known for the cultural sites and colorful festivals. There are beautiful lakes, ancient homes, and other heritage sites that are conserved with care. Vadakunnathan temple from Thrissur is one of the UNESCO recognized heritage site.
- Places to Visit : Guruvayur Temple, Vadakunnathan Temple, Zoo, and Museum Punatthur Kotta
- Time to Visit : October to February is the best time to visit Thrissur
- Special Note : Pooram festival is an absolute cultural grandeur experience.
We hope you have understood why Kerala is known as “God’s Own Country.” You have the best destinations in India and can get away with family, friends, or just a solo vacation.