Kerala and its tourist places have always been something that makes traveling a heartening experience. Pampered a little extra by the motherland, the state soaks you up with its serenity. And what does it give in return? An ocean full of things to do in Kerala to cherish. When you begin sightseeing in Kerala, you get to know that it has more to offer than just the backwaters and aromatic gardens. Now that the realization has hit you, why not uncover the state on an elephant ride or a jeep safari. Lets begin!
18 Top things to do in Kerala for an Incredible Holiday in 2020!
- Alleppey Backwaters
- Village Tour
- Tree House
- Aromatic Spices Tour in Kerala
- Houseboat Ride in Kumarakom
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
- Kathakali Dance Performances in Kerala
- Periyar National Park
- Ayurvedic Massage
- Elephant Safari
- Traditional Food of Kerala
- Kochi Fort
- Rainy Season Experience
- Tea Gardens of Munnar
- Hill Stations
- Snake Boat Ride
- Wildlife in Kerala
- Mohiniyattam Performances in Kerala
- Vembanad Lake
1. Alleppey Backwaters, a world of its own
There isn’t a better way to start your vacation in Kerala than visiting Alleppey Backwaters. This tourist attraction has always been kind to the travelers who begin with a Kerala houseboat tour and lead ahead. Balmy days in the city often start by taking a religious tour to Ambalapuzha Temple and St. Mary’s Forane Church, most famous in the area. As the day progresses, one can choose to visit the beaches, go for bird watching, shopping, or try the delicacies.
Up for an Ayurvedic massage? The city of backwaters is best known for offering a relaxing experience to travelers. Moreover, the charismatic setting of Alleppey also makes watching sunset a delight. Even going for a night walk and campfire come under the top things to do in Alleppey.
[Suggested Read Top 5 Backwater Destinations in Kerala]
2. Rush to the roots of Kerala with a village tour
Wondering what’s it like to live in the villages? Join the crowd of tourists who love exploring the roots of Kerala. Over the years, village tourism in Kerala has seen a rapid change, a good one indeed. As travelers walk down the villages, they learn more about the lives of the locals and their activities. Pottery, stone cutting, farming, jute making and more.
Where to go?
Kumarakom village has been counted in the list of destinations across the world that one should visit at least once in a lifetime by National Geographic. Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village run by the Kerala government to promote model fishing and bring tourism to the island beach. Cherai, Nilambur, Thodupuzha, Malampuzha, Bekal, Kovalam are some other villages you should plan to visit.
3. Feel the childhood bliss with a treehouse stay
Of all the amazing things to do in Kerala, living in a tree house would be a favorite for many. Remember how as kids we used to make one treehouse for ourselves or maybe just watch one on TV. These cool houses built on treetops are another way to enjoy a vacation in Kerala. The whole concept is eco-friendly in nature and is mostly found in the lush forests of the city. These treehouses are jammed with the basic facilities and amenities in case you were thinking the other way.
Where to go?
Munnar, Wayanad, Athirapally, and Thekkady.
4. Whiff the aromatic spices on a fun day tour
Something that Kerala has been proud in the longest time is definitely its spice cultivation. It feels as if nature loves the presence of this tourist destination and has showered it with the best of spices. Cardamom, exotic vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, are some of the authentic products of the state. Take a tour of the spice plantations of Kerala and feel revived.
Where to go?
Thekkady, Wayanad, and Munnar.
[Check out our Amazing Kerala Spice Tour]
5. Feel the joy of nature on a houseboat ride in Kumarakom
Your mind by now would have dreamed of traveling in a houseboat a 1000 times now, right? Bringing the wait to an end, it’s time for you to dip your mind in the beauty of Kumarakom and get started. The village which is snuggled with the Vembanad Lake is the perfect tourist spot for a houseboat ride. The moment you begin your ride, the marine life and rural setting will bring a warm feeling to your heart. Moreover, travelers can also choose to indulge in other activities that are offered there.
[Explore exciting Houseboat Ride in Kumarakom, Kerala]
6. Dare to move your eyes from the elegant Kathakali performance
Your visit to Kerala would be incomplete if you missed out on a Kathakali performance. It is one of the best things to do in Kerala. This classical form of dance has been the pride symbol of the state and one which has been loved worldwide. You might be attracted by the face and body movement and the next thing you know, the costumes are winning your heart. If you are an art connoisseur or a dance lover, then check out the places below. Explore Kathakali Dance in Kerala
Where to go?
Folklore Museum, Kerala Kathakali Centre, Ernakulam Kathakali Club, Kairali Kathakali, Dr. Devan’s Kathakali.
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7. Touchdown the wild side on a jungle safari in Periyar
One of the best places to visit in Kerala, Periyar National Park which is a part of Thekkady is a major tourist attraction in Kerala for spotting tigers and elephants. As soon as you reach the grounds of Periyar, the lush greenery welcomes you. A tour here is best enjoyed on a jeep ride. If you are thinking that you can only enjoy jungle safari here, then you are surely mistaken. Periyar also offers bamboo rafting opportunities to the wanderers.
8. Upgrade your photography skills while bird watching in Kumarakom
Nature lovers are in for a surprise! Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which shares its charm with Vembanad Lake is the tourist spot you have to be in. Why? To fill your mind with the endearing landscapes and wait, your camera with bird photography. Yes, Kumarakom is the exact place to where migratory birds from November to February find their shelter. Even a boat ride will get you some great shots of birds adding colors to the sky.
[Explore the top Bird Sanctuary in Kumarakom, Kerala]
9. Loosen your muscles with an Ayurvedic massage
It won’t be wrong to say that Kerala represents Ayurveda or is it the other way round? No matter what it is, the state has been swarmed by travelers for this art of healing. Ayurveda which has found its origin way back in India is practiced with great joy in Kerala. This system of medicine has been widely used massages that are great relievers. Ayurvedic massages are practiced for wellbeing and growth in a natural way. Check out here Kerala Ayurveda Tour
Where to go?
Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort, Beach and Lake Ayurvedic Resort, Taj Malabar Jiva Spa, Ayurveda Yoga Villa, Kalari Kovilakom, Ideal Ayurvedic Resort.
Suggested Read: 10 Best luxury Spa and Ayurveda Resorts in Kerala
10. Make the large mammal your buddy on a safari in Thekkady
Kerala is known as a state which loves its every part equally. When it comes to its wildlife, the state leaves no stone unturned to take care of the wild beings. Now that you have already enjoyed a jungle safari, it’s time to have an elephant safari. Thekkady offers sessions where you can bathe, click photos and ride the elephants or just spend some time by their side. It’s all up to you!
[Check out Wildlife tour in Kerala]
11. Dig in the fresh and zesty delicacies
Without much thought, I would say that the food in Kerala is absolutely drooling worthy. Hosting a buffet for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foodies, the state can amaze your taste buds. The constant use of homegrown spices mixed with it’s Arabian, French and Malabari influences will make you crave for more.
Although the traditional food of Kerala, Sadhya inclines on the vegetarian side, the non-vegetarian lovers don’t have to be disheartened. The huge variety of seafood offered here includes prawns, crab, oysters, sardines, mussel, tuna, mackerel, and lobsters.
What to try?
Top Vegetarian Dishes of Kerala
Idiyappam with Curry, Erissery, Ela Sadya, Puttu and Kadala Curry, Appam with Ishtu, Parippu Curry.
Top Non-Vegetarian Dishes of Kerala
Kerala Style Prawn Curry, Kerala Style Fish Molee, Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu, Karimeen Pollichathu, Thalassery Biryani.
12. Get awed by Kochi Fort’s mindblowing architecture
Fort Kochi doesn’t really ask a lot from you, just one fine afternoon in its neighborhood, that’s all! As you decide to take up the chance to visit, it won’t actually seem like a fort to you. Although it was a fortified city once. What we see today is a region in Kochi which is known for a couple of attractions settled in its realms.
What to see?
Starting from the famous St. Francis Church which is known as the first European church in India, the way follows to the Vasco Da Gama square. The Chinese fishing nets here are 500 years old and still going strong. Moreover, Mattancherry and the Jew town are popular villages here. Where the former is a village holding spice markets and the latter having India’s oldest synagogue. You even get a chance to witness live Kathakali performances.
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13. Grasp the tiny drops of monsoon in your palm
We all deep down love the refreshing aura that monsoon righteously brings with it? I know you do. When in Kerala, expect to be swayed by the beauty and the monsoon twice. Yes, I’m not pulling your leg. The state experiences the rainy season twice, firstly in June and the next from October to November.
What to see?
From the famous ayurvedic treatments, scintillating backwaters, amusing waterfalls, and laid back beaches. Each one of these experiences in Kerala become more fascinating in monsoon. Not to forget that the 10 days long Onam festivities also take place between August and September.
Suggested Read: 10 Spectacular Destinations in India During Monsoon
14. Sniff the balmy tea plantations of Munnar
If you have traveled this far with me on the blog, it won’t be wrong to assume that you love Kerala. Keeping up with the expectations, I bring another great experience nurtured in the lap of the state. A tour of the tea gardens of Munnar. The hill station poses a great climate to escape the heat and stunning views overlooking the valleys. Further, it is one of the most elevated tea plantations across the globe.
What’s the experience like?
Coming to the tour, you get to meet the local tea pickers who carefully handpick the leaves or use devices for the same. The tea leaves are picked every day in kilograms and then sent for the production. You also get a guided tour for the same in a tea factory.
15. Meet your new self amid the reviving hill stations
Something that Kerala is always seen praising is its dynamic hill stations. The kind of relaxing vibe that one gets just by being amid the lush greenery cannot be put into words. Not only one gets to skip the monotony of life but also discover so much about themselves. That being said, hill stations in Kerala are the perfect way to fill yourself with peace where you can also try activities like hiking, trekking, and mountaineering.
Where to go?
Munnar, Thekkady, Vagamon, Ponmudi, Lakkidi, Vythiri, Idukki, Peermedu.
[Suggested Read 10 Most Beautiful Hill Stations in South India for Honeymoon]
16. Feel happiness taking over with a snake boat ride
Are you planning a trip to Kerala during autumn? Well, then you are definitely in for a great time! As the famous snake boat races locally called Vallam Kali takes place during that time. The history of the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race goes back to 400 years when the Kings of Alleppey and the surrounding area used to fight on boats. Leaving behind the wartime, the boat races are now celebrated with great ardor. The Punnamada Lake in all its glory is a house full during the festival of Onam as that’s when the snake boat race is organized.
17. Become friends with the peanut lovers of Kerala
When we shift our focus to the wildlife of Kerala, we get to meet the large friendly mammals, Indian Elephants. If you hold affection for these mammals and want to spend some time with them, then this state is just the right place. When here, not only you get a chance to spot them but also bath them.
Where to go?
Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary, Elephant Junction Thekkady, Tusker Trail in Periyar Tiger Reserve.
18. Grab a seat and adore the Mohiniyattam performers
16th century, yes that’s when this classical form of dance originated in India. Taking its name from Mohini the enchantress form of Goddess Vishnu, who by her feminine powers helps the good win over evil. It is one of the best experiences in Kerala where the performers showcase the gentle and graceful feminine style of dancing. Mohiniyattam is performed by a solo dancer who incorporates dancing and singing in a play form. Further, what’s interesting to see is the beautiful mudras and expressions of the performers.
19. Applaud Mother Nature at Vembanad Lake
Some would say that it takes one trip to fall in love with Kerala, maybe it’s true. The cool breeze following you everywhere, while you step in a houseboat floating over the Vembanad Lake, the longest lake in Kerala, is so dreamlike! Fighting its place on the list of best things to do in Kerala, expect to be met by palm-shaded ways, beautified with the color-changing sky and vibrant birds.
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