Boasting palm-fringed beaches along nearly 600km of Arabian Sea shoreline, Kerala is best known for its intricate network of waterways, green-sloped mountains and peaceful retreats.
Feel the warmth of the Indian sunshine on your skin with Kerala tours, and dive headfirst into everything this wonderful destination has to offer.
For many travellers journeying South, Kerala is top of the list thanks to its layered landscapes and intriguing attractions. From its glittering backwaters and the rolling hills of the Western Ghats where spice and tea plantations are nestled, to the protected wildlife reserves and historic Kochi Fort, Kerala holidays offer adventures that you’ll never forget.
Southern India is home to a vibrant culture and dreamy landscape that is dramatically different from the North of the subcontinent. In luxuriant contrast to the dramatic peaks and plateaus of the Himalayas, the South offers lush green slopes and marshy waterways amid groves of balmy forests, just waiting to be explored; not to mention the stunning Western Ghats which boast some of the most astounding biological diversity on the planet.
Kerala is characterised by its gorgeous verdant landscapes and labyrinth of waterways affording some of the most stunning views you will ever look upon. For those seeking a more metropolitan experience, the state’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, and other major cities Kozhikode and Cochin (Kochi), offer museums, temples, shopping opportunities, and other cultural sites well worth the visit.
It’s a challenge knowing where to begin when it comes to reeling off the endless attractions that combine to make Kerala one of the most desirable places to visit in the world. Besides elegant and luxurious houseboats, a famous network of canals that weave among tropical flora and fauna, stunning cuisine, world-renowned ayurvedic treatments and wildlife, Kerala has a wealth of other attractions that appeal to travellers from all walks of life.
Kerala has a rich culture and heritage just waiting to be discovered. With enchanting traditions and vibrant rituals such as Kathakali, temple festivals, breathtaking snake-boat races and heart-warming wildlife sanctuaries, even the smallest villages come to life with the unique energy of the subcontinent. Satisfy your wanderlust with Kerala tours and get to experience India like you’ve never seen it before.
If you’re looking to relax and unwind in a place that seems to be a world away from the rest of fast-paced India, Kerala is the perfect destination for you. Gaze out across the Arabic Sea and take in the
myriad sights, smells and sounds of India’s plunging south coast and all the scenic and cultural treasures there are to be unearthed.
If you want to venture south and experience a unique destination from beginning to end, Kerala holidays offer exactly that. Whether you’re interested in exploring the rich history of its ancient ruin sites and evocative cities, you’re the outdoorsy type looking to immerse yourself in stunning landscapes, or you’re on a culinary quest to discover the most vibrant dishes South India has to offer, Kerala truly has something for everyone.
The southernmost tip of India is a jewel in the subcontinent’s crown, and is a place you’ll never get tired of visiting. Read on for more on what to do when you’re in Kerala.
Kerala is regarded by many as the heartland of the subcontinent, and there are almost limitless attractions and things to do as a traveller - so much so that you’ll probably want to book several Kerala holidays to experience everything the destination has to offer!
Exploring the waterways is reason enough to visit Kerala; these unique canals wind their way amongst some of the most stunning scenery in the world, and they provide essential travel routes for Kerala natives. Cruise along the vast network of waterways between coconut and cashew trees, weaving between Chinese fishing nets by kayak, canoe or riverboat. A popular waterway cruise is between Kollam and Alleppey, where you can enjoy a tranquil tour of village waterside life and spot wildlife along the way.
Kerala is home to some astounding flora and fauna, which visitors can enjoy to the fullest at Thekkady Safari, where elephants wander the emerald-green slopes, Periyar Tiger Reserve, which covers over 300 square kilometres over the beautiful Cardamom Hills and contains grasslands, forests and numerous rare and protected species of wildlife.
Eravikulam National Park is situated in the "Spice Garden of Kerala", the gorgeous Idukki district. Visitors can feast their eyes on the dramatic landscape of mountains and grasslands, and spot native wildlife including tigers, leopards, porcupines, golden jackals, jungle cats, sambar deer, and, seasonally, elephants.
Take a cultural trip to Fort Kochi, which is located in the charming coastal area of Kochi, and boasts elegant architecture, inviting eateries and plenty of quirky shops where you can pick up handmade keepsakes, plus plenty of comfortable homesteads where you can unwind and enjoy the sea breeze.
Vembanad Lake is the longest lake in the whole of India, and is therefore worth committing some visiting time to. Travellers can enjoy houseboat cruises, bird-watching and lakeside restaurants with stunning views of palm trees reflected in the azure waters.
Kerala has a wealth of gorgeous unspoiled beaches to explore - two of the most memorable are Varkala beach, nestled at the foot of a palm-topped cliff and surrounded by charming beach shacks, and the serene Cherai Beach, located on Vypeen Island and only reachable by boat. White sands and crystal-clear waters await you!
For the more adventurous travellers out there, another highlight of Kerala holidays is the opportunity to visit Chembra, one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats mountain range. Keen hikers can take part in various treks and adventures up this 2 kilometre-high climb and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views including the famous heart-shaped lake en route.
Travel around Kerala is aided by the waterways, which not only provide a quiet aquatic alternative to roads, but also grant unrestricted access to the most remote and untouched corners of Kerala.
For many of us, the best way to get the most out of travelling and experience other cultures is through the food and drink we taste along the way. To really begin to understand Kerala, you must immerse yourself in the tastes and smells of its cuisine, whether that means tasting a fresh seafood dish in a coastal town eatery, or sipping a cup of tea brewed from the locally grown leaves.
Known as ‘The Land of Spices’, Kerala’s reputation for deliciously spiced food precedes it; with more than 5,000 years of history in trading spices, and a heavy influence from both traditional Syrian Christian and Muslim cuisine, a world of intense fragrance, fiery heat and cooling palette cleansers awaits you!
Due to its historical diversity, Kerala cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavours and cooking styles from around the globe, and includes both meat-based and vegetarian dishes. Ingredients you can expect to see a lot of in the region’s dishes include chillis, turmeric, coconut, tamarind and mango.
Popular Kerala dishes include Kedala curry, delicately spiced with Kerala’s special garam masala and served for breakfast with Puttu (rice with coconut shavings). Another staple in Kerala is Ishtu, a fermented stew made from rice flour and coconut and traditional served with Appam, a crispy rice pancake. Parippu Curry is another classic dish that you’ll find all over Kerala - this dish is essentially a lentil dal flavoured with the perfect balance of indulgent ghee, chillies and spices.
Kerala’s balmy climate makes it the perfect place to grow tropical fruit - enjoy lip-smacking giant jackfruit (Plavu), perfectly ripe Kerala bananas (Ethakka) and juicy mangos (Mavu), either in a simple
fruit salad or blended into a smoothie or cocktail - on the subject of which, you can easily buy alcohol at shops and restaurants throughout Kerala.
Kerala holidays are guaranteed to fill you with food memories that will last a lifetime; the South Indian cuisine is a vibrant extravaganza of fragrant spices, fresh produce and uniquely balanced dishes that capture the eclectic culture of the continent, and may well inspire you in your own cooking when you return home.
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