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    A boat sailing in Kerala at the time of sunset

    The God’s Own Country, Kerala has some extremely beautiful tourist destinations to hold the attention of global tourists. There are hill-stations, backwaters, commercial cities, hamlets, and much more to explore. Rich culture and heritage of Kerala also attracts nature lovers from all over the world. Once you set foot in the beautiful paradise, all other things seem inconsequential.

    Most of the metro cities pale in comparison of Kerala in terms of beauty. Apt for family vacations, romantic getaways and honeymoon, it has a bounty of beauty and engaging activities. And here are the best places to visit in Kerala, that must be a part of your travel plan.

    1. Alleppey – The backwater hot spot

    Alleppey is top amongst the best places to visit in Kerala

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    Alleppey tops this list of best tourist places in Kerala with pictures. Its backwater trips, houseboat stays, and serene beauty attract a fair number of people to its territory. In fact it is the most popular place to experience Kerala’s backwaters. Lord Curzon’s depiction of Alleppey as the Venice of the East is not a hyperbole. A houseboat vacation is what people look for on their visit to Alleppey. There are expanses of paddy fields, quaint chapels, interesting fishing villages, lakes filled with water lilies which make for some of the best places to see in Kerala.

    The fascination of Keralites with coconut and banana leaves in their food will prove to be a good experiment for you, if you have never had it before. The cobbled pathways and cleaner roads, comparatively will take you on an old-world tour.

    Popular tourist attractions: Alappuzha Beach,Krishnapuram Palace, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Marari Beach, Revi Karunakaran Museum, Marari Beach, Punnamada Lake, Pathiramanal, and Sri Krishna Temple in Ambalappuzha. The Snake Boat Race in Alleppey is another crowd puller.

    Best time to visit: September to mid-May

    Nearest airport: Kochi Airport, which is 53 km away from the city.

    Nearest railway station: Alleppey Railway Station; it is well within the city limits.

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    2. Munnar – Perfect for a romantic honeymoon

    The beautiful tea plantation at Munnar in Kerala

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    A very popular one among hill stations in Kerala, Munnar is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. Once the summer capital for British, the gradient and alignment of hills were particularly designed for tea farming. With about 80,000 miles of tea plantation, an equal measure of aromatic vegetation, misty valleys, and low-flying clouds, Munnar is a hill station that has become one of the best places to visit in Kerala for honeymoon.

    Cute bungalows, cozy homestays and lavish hotels and resorts in Munnar, make it the most romantic destination even among the top places to visit in Kerala. The old world colonial feel has its own charms and it certainly makes for a good selfie drive. Revel in the extraordinary blend of luxury and beauty, at the most amazing honeymoon resorts in Munnar.

    Popular tourist attractions: TATA Tea Museum, Meesapulimala, Blossom Park, Pothamedu ViewPoint, Life of Pi Church, Attukal Waterfalls, Cheeyappara Waterfalls, Top Station, Marayoor Dolmens, Indo Swiss Dairy Farm, Kundala Lake, Lockhart Gap, Mattupetty Dam, Anamudi, and Eravikulam National Park .

    Best time to visit: October to March

    Nearest airport: Kochi Airport, at a mere distance of 143 km from the hill station.

    Nearest railway station: Aluva Railway Station, which is 110 km away from Munnar.

    3. Kumarakom – One of most tranquil places to visit in Kerala

    The stunning backwaters of Kumarakom in Kerala

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    Situated near Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a quiet little hamlet with alluring sceneries, ever pleasant weather and exotic flora and fauna; making it one of the loveliest places to see in Kerala. You get a mix of everything here – backwaters, authentic Kerala food, uber fresh air, warmth of Keralites, and deliciously fresh coconuts. There is a lot to do; choose from boating, cruising, houseboat stay, and fishing.

    Kumarakom holds a special spot in the list of best of Kerala’s sightseeing places. The tempting waterways, decorated lakes, aromatic coconut grooves, fresh paddy fields, thick mangrove forests, delightful authentic food, and unpolluted freshness of the air add to the list. Also, Kumarakom’s houseboat stay offers a lot more solitude and privacy as compared to Alleppey. Even the resorts in Kumarakom are exceptionally serene and mesmerizing.

    Popular tourist attractions: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Backwaters, Aruvikkuzhi waterfall, Juma Masjid, Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, Vembanad Lake, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Valiyapally, Cheriyapally, Kumarakom Beach, and Pathiramal Island.

    Best time to visit: September to May

    Nearest airport: Kochi Airport is 85 km away from Kumarakom.

    Nearest railway station: Kottayam Railway Station is 16 km away.

    4. Wayanad – The land of heavenly trails

    People trekking at Wayanad – one of the best places to visit in Kerala

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    Wayanad means the land of paddy fields in Malayalam. Wayanad is one of the greenest places to visit in Kerala. Enriched with godly beauty, serene atmosphere and rich culture, Wayanad is a perfect mix of nature and man-made heritage. After all, the place is famous for its richness in cultures, traditions and tribal heritage. Small, unnamed waterfalls, that line the city haphazardly, add to the place’s charm.

    Popular tourist attractions: Besides top 10 tourist places in Wayanad, there are Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Thirunelli Temple, Banasura Hill, Lakkidi View Point, P Kuruvadweep, Puliyarmala Jain Temple, Kabini, Papanashini River and Padinjarathara Dam.

    Best time to visit: October to May; adventure enthusiasts should visit during the monsoon months of July and August to enjoy the perks of trekking and other adventure activities.

    Nearest airport: Karipur International Airport at Calicut is just 95 km away.

    Nearest railway station: Kozhikode Railway Station, which is 72 km away from Wayanad.

    Must Read: 19 Most Amazing Places To Visit In Kerala In December

    5. Thekkady – For the love of wildlife

    A wild elephants’ herd at Thekkady - one of the most popular tourist places in Kerala

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    Thekkady is simply a heaven hidden in thick forests and wild vegetation. You get to see the near extinct species of animals including tigers, sambars, gaurs and lion tailed macaques. Also, there are elephants, lions, deers, bisons, boars, and the Great Indian tigers. Probably, the most favored among the Kerala’s tourist places, Thekkady boasts of abundant beauty and exotic wildlife. Its trekking path from Moozhiyar to Thekkady Gavi is one of the most popular trails in South India. Boating and wildlife observation are two of the favorite pastimes in Thekkady.

    Popular tourist attractions: Besides 9 must visit places in Thekkady, there are Periyar Lake, Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, Elephant Junction, Deepa World Spice and Ayurvedic Garden, Kumily, Ramakkalmedu, Mullaperiyar Dam, Periyar Tiger Trail, Mudra Cultural Centre, Vandiperiyar, Chellarkovil, Murikkady, and Vandanmedu.

    Best time to visit: November to early-May

    Nearest airport: Madurai Airport is just 136 km away.

    Nearest railway station: Kottayam Railway Station is 114 km away.


    Planning your holiday in Kerala but confused about what to do? These Kerala travel stories help you find your best trip ever!

    Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.


    6. Kovalam – For some beach fun

    The lighthouse beach of Kovalam – one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kerala

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    Kovalam beach, one of best beaches in Kerala, is famous for its New Year celebrations, deep strong massages, Ayurvedic treatments, sunbathing fests, and water sports like parasailing. It has a crescent shaped coastline which is always buzzing with activities. People from different countries, cultures, and states come together and add to the beauty of the place.

    Popular tourist attractions: Lighthouse Beach , Hawah Beach, The Lighthouse, Samudra Beach, Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple, Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium, Halcyon Castle, Akkulam Lake, Vizhinjam Fishing Harbor, Kovalam Jama Masjid, Vellayani Lake, Karamana River, Aruvikkara, Rock Cut Caves, and Valiathura Pier.

    Best time to visit: September to May

    Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport is mere 15 km away.

    Nearest railway station: Trivandrum Railway Station is just 14 km away.

    7. Vagamon – Solitude guaranteed!

    The beautiful little hamlet of Vagamon is an offbeat place to visit in Kerala

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    There is an enchanting hill station called Vagamon which is hidden from all the hoopla. Adorned with magical meadows, mystical gardens, beautiful dales, aromatic tea plantations, and misty valleys, Vagamon has surely earned its place among the best places to visit in Kerala. The fresh air and perfectly manicured gardens of Vagamon are a breath of fresh air.

    Best tourist attractions: Thangal Hill, Murugan Hill, Kurisumala, Vagamon Pine Forest, Barren Hills, The Pattumala Church, Vagamon Lake, Mundakayam Ghat, Vagamon Falls, and Maramala Waterfalls.

    Best time to visit: Early-August to May

    Nearest airport: Kochi International Airport is 94 km away from Vagamon.

    Nearest railway station: Kottayam Railway Station is 15 km away.

    8. Bekal – Nothing less of heaven on earth!

    The stunning Bekal Fort with the background of colorful sunset at Bekal in Kerala

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    Bekal is specially known for its famous Bekal Fort, which is rated amongst the best tourist places in Kerala. Many Indian movies, like Rang De Basanti, are filmed in the fort premises. The sea breeze passing through your hair, the pleasant weather and good company are key ingredients to have good time in Bekal. Owing to exotic beauty and serenity, Bekal is among the top three honeymoon places in South India.

    Popular tourist attractions: Bekal Fort, Ananthapura Temple, Valiyaparamba Backwaters, Bekal Beach, Mallikarjuna Temple, Chandragiri Fort, Kappil Beach, Nileswaram, Bekal Hole Aqua Park, and Pallikere Beach.

    Best time to visit: September to May

    Nearest airport: Bajpe Airport is nearest at 72 km.

    Nearest railway station: Kasaragod Railway Station is just 12 km from Bekal.

    9. Kozhikode – For authentic Malabar cuisine

    Several colorful boats stationed at Kozhikode Lake

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    Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is one of the most active commercial cities in Kerala. The place is famous for its culture, historical sites, educational institutions, and culinary experiences. The architecture of the city has strong influences of the Dutch and the British. It is known for its authentic Malabar food and the exotic spices that make the food so delicious. When in Calicut, don’t miss on delicacies like Dum Biryani, Kallummakkaya, Chatti Pathiri, and Dal Halwa.

    Best tourist attractions: Mananchira, Conolly Canal, Hilite Mall, Kallayi, Tali Temple, Kappad Beach, Kozhikode Beach, Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Sargaalaya, Payyoli Beach, Kozhippara Falls, and Matri Dei Cathedral.

    Best time to visit: September to May

    Nearest airport: Karipur International Airport in Calicut is just 28 km away.

    Nearest railway station: Kozhikode Railway Station is well within the city limits.

    Suggested Read: 40 Places To Visit In India Before You Turn 30

    10. Varkala – One of Kerala’s most scenic seasides

    The happening Varkala beach which is one of the best places to visit in Kerala

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    Varkala is one of the best seaside places in Kerala. The enticing coastline with cliffs on one side and lush greenery on the other attracts thousands of tourists and water-adventure enthusiasts to the beach. It is popular for activities like boat riding, surfing, parasailing, jetting, horse-riding are the life of the beach. The unmatched beauty of the beach is at its prime during sunsets. The hues of colorful rays make for a surreal atmosphere. Add a dash of luxury by choosing from the most exotic beach resorts in Kerala, around Varkala and you are set.

    Varkala is also an important religious place in Hindu culture. Adorned with many Hindu temples, it welcomes many religious travelers and heritage lovers to its seams with open arms. With so much packed in a single city, Varkala is certainly fit to be among the best places to visit in Kerala.

    Popular tourist attractions: Varkala Beach, Janardhan Temple, Sivagiri Muth, Kappil Lake, Papanasam Beach, Janardan Swami Temple, Vishnu Temple, Anjengo Fort, Sarkara Devi Temple, Varkala Tunnel, and Kaduvayil Thangal Dargah.

    Best time to visit: August to mid-May

    Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport is 53 km away.

    Nearest railway station: Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station is well within the city limits.

    11. Kannur – The picture perfect coastal town

    Kannur Fort by the sea

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    Kannur, formerly known as Cannanore is another scenic places to visit in Kerala, popular for weaving industries. Feel the charm of this beautiful colonial town, located at the north eastern coast of Kerala with its sun-kissed beaches bordered by luxuriant cashew plantations, ancient temples, splendid monuments and British and Dutch style buildings.

    Popular tourist attractions: Ezhimala Beach, Fort St. Angelos, Tellicherry Fort and Rajarajeshwara Temple

    Best time to visit: October to March to enjoy a cool climate.

    Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Kannur Main

    12. Kasargod – A coastal paradise in Kerala

    Kasargod

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    Located close to Bekal, tucked between Western Ghats on one side and azure Arabian Sea on the other, Kasargod is an entrancing beauty of ‘God’s own country.’ Featuring rolling hills, plush coconut plantations, soothing sea breeze, and host of heritage temples, it attracts peace-loving travelers but and considered as one of the most photogenic places in Kerala.

    Popular tourist attractions: Bekal Fort, Madhur Temple, Thonikadavu and Ananthapura Lake Temple, Malom Wildlife Sanctuary and Ranipuram

    Best time to visit: June to November and January to February. Avoid summer months as they are warm and humid.

    Nearest airport: Mangalore International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Kasargod has its own railhead

    Must Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Kerala In August To Experience The Best Of Nature!

    13. Kizhunna Beach – For complete solace and serenity

    Kizhunna beach

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    Listed as one of the secluded beaches in Kerala, Kizhunna Beach is beautiful, less crowded and pristine. Adorned by reddish and black cliffs and bordered by lush green palm plantations, Kizhunna Beach is the ideal place to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. People visit this scenic beach during weekends and indulge in sunbathing, beach strolls, and swimming.

    Popular tourist attractions: Ezhara Beach- regarded as twin beach of Kizhunna, Arakkal Museum, Munambam, Mappila Bay, Kannur town, Sea View Park and Dharmadam Island.

    Best time to visit: Round the year, except June to August.

    Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Kannur

    14. Idukki – The true gem of Kerala

    Idukki

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    If relaxation and rejuvenation is your priority, plan a trip to Idukki. Nestled amidst verdant hills and luxurious forests, Idukki allures ardent travellers, nature enthusiasts, and photography buffs with its stunning natural aura and attractions. Surrounded by aromatic tea and spice plantations, Idukki is undeniably one of the best places in Kerala perfect for treks, nature walks, and bird watching.

    Popular tourist attractions: Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary or Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, Thommankuthu Falls, Ramakkal, Kalvari Mount, Idukki Arch Dam, Cheeyappara Waterfalls and Kalvari Mount

    Best time to visit: June to August and November to January

    Nearest airport: Kochi

    Nearest railway station: Theni- 60 kms from Idukki.

    15. Munroe Island – For an exciting canal cruise in through Kerala backwaters

    Munroe Island

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    Perched at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and River Kallada, 27 kms from Kollam, Munroe Island is popular for canal cruise in Kerala. Named after Colonel Munroe, this place showcases scenic rural landscape of Kerala with thatched houses, coconut plantations, narrow canals, lagoons and mangrove forests. Counted as one of the best places to visit in Kerala, Munroe Island is also famous for Kallada Boat Race held in September every year.

    The canal cruise of Munroe Island is run by District Tourism Promotion Council. The voyage operates twice a day, morning at 9:00 AM and afternoon at 2 PM. Charges per person for the cruise is INR 500.

    Popular tourist attractions: Thangassery Light House, Kollam Beach and Thirumullavaram Beach
    Best time to visit: Throughout the year, except monsoon.

    Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Munroe Island Railway Station

    16. Kavvayi Backwaters (island) – The stunning backwater landscape

    Kavvayi Backwaters

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    To enjoy the real charm of Kerala backwater, Kavvayi Backwaters island should be on your list. Counted as third largest backwater in the state and one of the most scenic places to see in Kerala, Kavvayi Backwaters island is formed at the confluence of River Kavvayi and its tributaries Kuppithodu, Konkol and Kuniyan. One can cruise in houseboats in and around the islands on Kavvayi Backwaters, locally known as Kavvayi Kayal.

    Popular tourist attractions: Holy Snakes forest located in Edayilakadu Island

    Best time to visit: October to March, for soothing weather.

    Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Payyanur

    Must Read: Best Of Shopping In Kerala: What To Buy & Where

    17. Kuttanad – Rice bowl of Kerala

    Kuttanad

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    Located in Alappuzha region, Kuttanad is one of the best places in Kerala to see and experience rural landscape with charming villages, backwater, rivers and agricultural lands. Moreover, Kuttanad is the perfect place to see the globally famous traditional Heritage Agricultural System of Kerala with farmland bordered by canals and inland waterways.

    Popular tourist attractions: Punnamada Lake and Pampa River

    Best time to visit: October to March months are extremely pleasant.

    Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Alappuzha

    18. Thrissur – Experience rich cultural heritage and pomp

    Thrissur

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    Thrissur boasts of its rich cultural extravaganza along with scenic splendour like picturesque waterfalls and beaches. Famous for Thrissur Pooram and Onam celebrations, this small quaint town of Kerala is fittingly acknowledged as the ‘cultural capital of Kerala.

    Popular tourist attractions: Snehatheeram Beach, Vazhachal Waterfalls, Vadakkunnathan Temple, Paramekavu Bhagavathy Temple and Athirappilly Waterfalls

    Best time to visit: October to March is best time to visit Thrissur. One can also visit during April and May to experience the grandeur of Thrissur Pooram festival.

    Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Trichur has its own railway station and well connected with Trivandrum, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi.

    19. Palakkad – A nature’s delight

    Palakkad

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    Just like a beautiful picture postcard, Palakkad features most awesome weather, picturesque mountains, sparkling lakes, beautiful dams, lush green forests and majestic temples and forts. With vast sprawling paddy estates and tea plantations, Palakkad, one of the most scenic places in Kerala is aptly known as the ‘granary of Kerala’.

    Popular tourist attractions: Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad Fort, Malampuzha Garden and Dam, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Jain Temple and Seethargundu viewpoint

    Best time to visit: November to March months are extremely pleasant here.

    Nearest airport: Coimbatore Airport

    Nearest railway station: Own railway stations; Palakkad Junction and Palakkad Town Railway

    20. Malappuram – A renowned Hindu-Vedic learning and Islamic philosophy centre

    Malappuram

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    One of the most offbeat yet best places to see in Kerala is Malappuram. Locally translated as ‘land atop hills’ this place is famous for expansive teak plantations and houses many heritage temples, mosques and historic monuments.

    Popular tourist attractions: Nilambur Teak Museum, Kottakkunnu and Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathy Temple

    Best time to visit: July to September to enjoy the beauty of rains. November to February to get away from the scorching heat of cities.

    Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport

    Nearest railway station: Angadippuram- 16 kms from Malappuram is the closest railway station.

    21. Poovar – The tropical stay paradise

    Poovar, Kerala

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    Located in Trivandrum District of Kerala, Poovar is famed for its scenic beach. The beach is also dotted with classy resorts that make it one of the ideal places to visit in Kerala if you’re in search for a lovely tropical staycation.

    Popular tourist attractions: Aazhimala Siva Temple, Poovar Beach, Arjuna Backwaters  

    Best time to visit: October to February

    Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport is located just 30 km away.

    Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Railway Station is located 27 km away from Poovar

    22. Ponmudi – The Golden Peak

    Ponmudi

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    If you’re a mountain-child and wish to lose yourself amidst lush mist-laden hills, then Ponmudi is the place for you. This is one of the best places to visit in Kerala also for the hikers and trekkers, since there is so much to explore! With many narrow winding roads, the landscape of Poovar looks surreal. The tea gardens spanning all around add charm to its beauty.

    Popular tourist attractions: Meenmutty Falls, Mankayam Waterfalls, and Ponmudi Rock  

    Best time to visit: All around the year
    Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport is 67 km away from Ponmudi
    Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station is located about 55 km away

    23. Guruvayur – A spiritual spot

    Guruvayur Temple

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    One of Kerala’s most spiritual places, Guruvayur is located in Thrissur District. Being a small town, this is one of the lesser known tourist places to visit in Kerala, and thus a perfect spot to get to know local culture of the state.

    Popular tourist attractions: Guruvayur Sree Vishnu Temple, Mammiyoor Temple, and St. Thomas Church
    Best time to visit: October to March
    Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport is located 87 km away
    Nearest railway station: Guruvayur has its own railway station

    Are you ready to roll in the beauty of Kerala, now? Please share.


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