The beautiful land of Kerala offers myriad landscapes and experiences to enchants its visitors. These include the charming hill stations filled with expansive tea and coffee plantations, unending spice gardens and a panoramic view of the mist clad hills. Whether on a family outing or a romantic escapade, the hill stations in Kerala provide ample opportunities for an exciting and unforgettable trip.
So if you plan to visit the state, do take a break from the famed backwaters and beaches for a trip to one of these Kerala hill stations for the fresh mountain air and scenic views. You will not be disappointed.
12 Best Hill Stations In Kerala
While there are so many hill stations lined up in the beautiful land of God’s own country, here’s a list of the best ones that are exclusively picked for you. Read on to know about the top hill stations in Kerala.
- Wayanad – For Mist Clad Mountains
- Munnar – For Thriving Tea Gardens
- Vagamon – A Paradisiacal Hill Station
- Ponmudi – An Enchanting Hill Station
- Silent Valley – A Preserved Beauty
- Idukki – For Natural Beauty
- Thekkady – Rich In Flora And Fauna
- Lakkidi – Explore The Place On Foot
- Peermedu – A Peaceful Getaway
- Malampuzha – For A Beautiful Experience
- Gavi – For Admiring The Serenity
- Athirapally – A Lesser Known Hill Station
1. Wayanad – For Mist Clad Mountains
With its mist clad mountains and mountainous rivers, Wayanad is an idyllic destination for a weekend getaway. The majestic beauty, thick rainforest, dazzling waterfalls and spice plantations provide not just a lot to see but also loads of adventure sports to indulge in. Visit to decide if it is the best hill station in Kerala.
Chembra Peak – Make a race for the top with your family at the tallest peak in the region and catch the breathtaking view at the summit.
Pakshipathalam – Explore the deep caves here which are home to a wide variety of birds, animals and distinctive species of plants.
Soochippara Waterfalls – These relatively unknown falls are a treat for the eyes and provides a chance for rock climbing for the tourists.
Kuruva Island – An ever green forest on the tributaries of River Kabani with rare species of birds, orchids and herbs, this is an ideal picnic spot for a laid back afternoon.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary – Visit the biggest abode of elephants in India with your family for a memorable time. Explore the sanctuary and spot various species of spotted deer, bison, tiger and wild bear. Entry timings are 6 to 9 am and 3 to 6 pm.
Vythiri Village Resort – Camping on the Chembra Peak, this resort offers a tranquil setting along with luxurious villas and tree houses to its guests.
Banasura Hill Resort – Spread across 15 acres of land amidst the lush greens of the Banasura Sagar Island, it is blessed with a natural stream which adds to the beauty of the resort.
How to get there?
Nearest Railhead is Kozhikode railway station (110 km) and airport is Karipur international airport (100 km).
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2. Munnar – For Thriving Tea Gardens
The famed hill station of Munnar is as popular for its romantic locale as for it’s thriving tea gardens. And if you plan well, you can see the valley turn blue during the bloom of Neelakurinji, which flowers only once in twelve years. Valentine’s Day 2020 anyone?
Best time to visit Munnar is October to November and January to May. While there is no end to beautiful spots here, the following are a must-see:
Eravikulam National Park – Hold hands with your loved one staring at Anamudi, the highest peak in south India. And don’t forget to see the rare epiphytic orchids, wild balsams and the famous Nilgiri Tahr. The entry time is 8 am – 4.30 pm. The park is closed from February to March.
TATA Tea Museum – Find how tea gets processed and taste a variety of teas while you are here. The entry time is 9 am – 4 pm. The museum is closed on Monday.
Mattupetty Dam and lake – An idyllic place to enjoy the serenity of nature and possibly spot wild elephants.
Windermere Estate – Set in bungalows that are a throwback to the yesteryears, this place is combination of old world charm and inexplicable natural beauty.
KTDC Tea County – Cosily nestled right in the middle of two hills, Tea County offers mesmerising views with warmth and luxury to its guests.
How to get there?
The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport (119 km) and railhead is Ernakulam Junction (120 km).
3. Vagamon – A Paradisiacal Hill Station
Encircled by a string of thee hills, Vagamon is a place of inexplicable beauty. With a combinations of meadows, forests and hills there is a lot of natural beauty to appreciate in this paradisiacal hill station. Go for a nature trails with your loved one to see untamed buffaloes and elephants bathing in the small waterbodies for a romantic afternoon.
Best time to visit Vagamon is in summer from March to May. It provides a mix of both exciting and relaxed tourist spots to visit on your trip:
Kurisumala Dairy Farm – Managed by Kurisumala monks this farm has the ambience of an idyllic country-side untouched by city life.
Thangal Para – Climb atop this hill to see the unique rock formations at the top and also walk through an ancient cave for some old fashioned thrills.
Mundakayam Ghat – Visit for not just a beautiful and serene sunset but also for thrilling adventure sports like paragliding.
Vagamon Hide Out & Ayurveda Spa – Surrounded by sparkling streams, lakes, tea gardens and cardamom plantations, this resort combines eco-friendly ambience with an ethnic spa.
Spice Garden Farm resort – Provides a relaxed and natural atmosphere to its guests with facilities like in-house Safari.
How to get there?
The closest airport is Cochin International (120 Kms) and nearest railway station is Kottayam (64 Kms).
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4. Ponmudi – An Enchanting Hill Station
Ponmudi is one of the enchanting hill stations near Trivandrum with narrow winding pathways which offers picturesque views to those who travel by road. With a beautiful array of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and small rivulets, it is sight best enjoyed sitting next to your loved one.
Best time to visit Ponmudi is from January to March. Some of the places to visit here are:
Golden Valley – Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of River Kallar here followed by leisurely picnic with your partner.
Meenmutty waterfalls – If you are up for some exercise then make a trek from Kallar, through dense forests to see these beautiful waterfalls. The Forest Department provides a guide for tourists to reach the falls.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary – Visit the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary which accommodates a variety of wild animals like Asian elephants, sambar, lion-tailed macaques, Malabar grey hornbills. The entry time is 8 am – 4 pm.
Golden Peak – Golden Peak provides a harmonious blend of the wooden and granite cottages with the mist-laden hills, giving the guests a unique experience.
How to get there?
Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (67 km) and railway station is Thiruvananthapuram (61 km).
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5. Silent Valley – A Preserved Beauty
For an atypical holiday experience that you will remember for years, visit the Silent Valley. Unlike many of the commercial hill stations, much of the natural charm here is still well preserved today and it is also home to a number of rare species and the Kurumbar Tribes. The best time to visit Silent Valley is December to April.
Silent Valley National Park is one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet with some flora and fauna which are found nowhere else in the world. Visit to get an opportunity to see over 34 species of mammals amongst which are the rare lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel and hairy-winged bat. Entry into the valley is allowed only from 8 am to 2 pm. Special permission is required to enter which can be obtained on the spot at the Forest Department office at Mukkali. You can rent a Jeep from Mukkali to the Valley for Rs 650.
Vision Nature Resorts – Located on the foothills of the National Park, it offers a comfortable stay combined with activities like bird watching, tribal village walk, plantation visit and fishing.
Silent Valley Treetop Resort – Situated in the tranquility of nature it offers a Ayurvedic centre for rejuvenating treatments to its guests.
How to get there?
The nearest railway station is Palakkad (69 km) and airport is Coimbatore International Airport (91 km).
6. Idukki – For Natural Beauty
Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala and offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, spice plantations, mountain treks, and elephant rides among others. There are very few hill stations near Kochi and Idukki happens to be the closest one.
Best time to visit Idukki is from October to February. Travel to some of these places for an exciting time in this hilly paradise:
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary – Visit this sanctuary, home to elephants, bison, sambar deer, jungle cats and various species of snakes including cobra, viper and kraits. The entry time is 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Kalliyanathandu – Indulge in some mountain climbing here, while experiencing a panoramic view of the forests.
Idukki Arch Dam – Click photographs at the world’s second great arch dam.
Green Berg Resort – Surrounded by acres of untouched natural beauty, the ethnic cottages at Green Berg offer an exceptional living experience with modern comforts.
How to get there?
Nearest railway station is Kottayam (114 km) and airport is Madurai (140 km).
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7. Thekkady – Rich In Flora And Fauna
Prepare to explore the wild side of Kerala at Thekkady. Uniquely rich and varied in its flora and fauna, this exotic hill station provides much to experience.
Best time to visit Thekkady is from September to May. Some of the places to visit here are:
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary – Home to many elephants, it is one of the prime attractions in Thekkady. Be sure to indulge in bamboo rafting, nature walk and the Tiger trail while you are here. The entry time is from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Vandanmedu – Make sure to take an excursion through the wide spread of cardamom plantations here for an intoxicating experience.
Kumily – Go for a shopping spree in this town, nestled between the cardamom hills and popular for its spice trade.
Murikkady – With a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations, this makes for an ideal picnic spot in Thekkady.
Peppervine Hotel – With an emphasis on contemporary architecture, this chic hotel offers view of the nearby Periyar tiger reserves and the spice plantations.
Coffee Routes – Exclusively zoned for nature reserves, this pristine property contains a fascinating variety of trees, flowering and medicinal plants providing an authentic experience to its guests.
How to get there?
The nearest railway station is Kottayam Railway Station (68 km) and airport is Madurai (140 km).
8. Lakkidi – Explore The Place On Foot
Being small in size is one of the advantages of Lakkidi in Kerala. Also known as one of the most famous hill stations in Kerala, it is said that you can explore the entire place on foot and witness the captivating sceneries with your loved ones. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?
Best time to visit Lakkidi is during the winter season as there is minimal humidity and a pleasant weather. Here’s a list of places you can visit in this hill station:
Pookode Lake – This freshwater lake is close to Lakkidi and also known for its charming backdrop amongst the tourists visiting this place.
Vellarimala – This famous mountain range is closely located to the hill station falling within Wayanad district.
Upavan Resort and Spa, Wayanad – A breezy 3-star hotel with stylish rooms, restaurant and an ayurvedic spa to treat your soul.
The Wayanad Gate – This relaxing 3-star hotel has contemporary styled rooms with a rooftop pool to revive your senses after a tiring day of exploration around the town.
How to get there?
Kozhikode is the nearest train station which is around 95 Kms away from this hill station in Kerala.
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9. Peermade – A Peaceful Getaway
This small yet humble hill station in Kerala sits peacefully amid the glorious lush sceneries all around. You have ample of options to explore here, such as Thrissanku Hills, Grampi and Peeru hills. This place is named after the famous Sufi Saint Peer Mohammed and adds more to the charm of Kerala.
Best time to visit Peermade is during the summer season when the average temperature ranges from 15 to 5 degree celsius. Here are a few places that you can visit in this hill station.
Our Lady of Good Health Church – This Roman Catholic church in Kerala is renowned for being served by the Congregation of the Missionary Brothers of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Valanjamkanam Waterfalls – Even though this waterfall is a tiny one, it serves as a good halt to admire the scenic view while sipping a cup of tea at the tea shops here.
Thrisangu Haven Resort – This relaxing 3-star hotel offers mesmerizing views of the valleys around with a comfortable stay falling within your budget.
Misty Mountain Plantation Resort – As the name itself suggests, this resort is known for the splendid mountain views and has an in-house restaurant with comfortable rooms and attached balconies.
How to get there?
With approximately 75 Kms distance, Kottayam Railway Station is the nearest railhead to this hill station and Cochin International Airport is the closest airport from this place.
10. Malampuzha – For A Beautiful Experience
They say there is something in store for everyone in Malampuzha, which is why you cannot miss out on one of the best hill stations in Kerala. Explore the rock gardens or spot the various species of fishes at the fish-shaped aquarium here or simply visit the amusement parks for fun-packed holiday with your folks.
Best time to visit Malampuzha is from the months of August to April. Check out the list of places that you can visit in this hill station:
Siruvani Waterfalls – Located approximately 36 Km towards the west of Western Ghats, these waterfalls are a stunning sight to behold and the reservoir here was created in order to fulfill water needs of Coimbatore.
Fantasy Park – An exciting holiday experience can be added to your vacay with a visit to this amusement park which has many roller coaster rides along with a food court and planetarium abode.
KTDC Garden House – A laid back holiday can be best enjoyed at this hotel which has basic amenities and offers budget accommodation with mountain views and an in-house restaurant.
Hotel Tripenta – A 3-star hotel catering to a pleasant stay, providing all the basic amenities, this place can be your perfect stop at this hill station.
How to get there?
Palakkad railway station is closest to this hill station with approximately 7 Kms of distance.
11. Gavi – For Admiring The Serenity
Another spot for admiring the true serenity that lies in the land of Kerala is this hill station of Gavi, located in Pathanamthitta District. With so many activities on board like boating, trekking, wildlife exploration, bird watching, camping, staying in the tree house accommodations and forest safaris, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this paradise!
Best time to visit Gavi is from the month of September till February. Take a look at these best places you ought to visit in and around this hill station:
Periyar National Park – Soothing blue lakes flowing through the lush green forest patches at the bottom of the majestic mountains are home to many wild species that await you here.
Neer Veezhcha WaterFalls – Located in Gavi, these waterfalls are famous for their captivating beautiful sight.
KFDC Gavi Hotel – Providing basic amenities and a comfortable accommodation, this hotel is a budget-friendly place to stay near Gavi.
Sterling Thekkady Resorts and Hotels – The comfort of a countryside resort along with a wellness spa and international cuisines being served in the in-house restaurant are the main features of this hotel.
How to get there?
Kottayam railway station is the closest railway station to Gavi with approximately 125 Km distance and you can hire a cab to reach Gavi from there. The nearest airport is Nedumbassery airport (160 Km).
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12. Athirapally – A Lesser Known Hill Station
One of the lesser known hill stations of kerala is Athirapally. Besides being featured in many films like Guru, Roza and Dil Se, the mere sight of the waterfalls of Athirapally is so charming that it is being compared to Niagara Falls by many people. Located in Thrissur district of Kerala, this hill station has many scenic landscapes on board and is a perfect spot for photography.
Best time to visit Athirapally is from September to January as the monsoon season can provide a bit difficult in climbing the falls. Here’s a list of places you can visit in this hill station:
Athirappilly Falls – Famous waterfalls that start from the upper corners of Western Ghats providing a stunning view to all the travelers and photographers.
Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary – Having abundant wildlife species of flora and fauna, this sanctuary is located alongside Western Ghats in Kerala.
Rainforest – Located amidst lush greenery and soothing landscapes, this hotel has open-air dining facilities along with an infinity pool and beautiful gardens.
Athirappilly Green Trees Resorts – With an outdoor swimming pool which is accessible seasonally and a beautiful view of the lake from your room, this hotel is nothing less than perfect for your holiday.
How to get there?
Chalakuddy is the closest stop to this hill station and connects to major districts like Thrissur, Palakkad and Kochi. You can hire a public vehicle or get a private one from here till Athirapally. Nearest airport is Cochin airport (40 Km).
A trip to the lush green state of Kerala is a must on every traveller’s to-do list. Truly there is no other place where you see the bounty of nature in such a spectacular manner as here which makes it such a popular travel destination. And as is with every place, there is always more to explore. Share stories from your trips to Kerala, tell us your experiences visiting the hilly terrain of this magnificent place. We are waiting!
Frequently Asked Questions About Hill Stations In Kerala
A. No, Alleppey (Alappuzha) is not a hill station. A highlight of this city in Kerala is its network of backwater lagoon because of which it is also known as ‘Venice of the East’.
A. There are approximately more than 60 hill stations in India.
A. Lakkidi in Kerala and Lambasingi in Andhra Pradesh are amongst the coldest places in South India.
A. Alappuzha is one of the most beautiful districts in Kerala.
A. Yes, Kerala is a safe and beautiful destination to plan one’s holiday.
A. Cochin International airport, is the nearest airport at a distance of 110 km.
A. It usually takes a minimum of 5-7 days to visit top destinations in different districts of Kerala. One can start the trip from Kochi then visit Munnar, Thekkady, Alleppey and wrap it up by staying at Trivandrum
A. Kerala can be visited throughout the year, however, it is best to explore the expanse of the state in winter from October to February.
A. Kochi, Alleppey, Kovalam, Kumarakom, Trivandrum, Athirapally Falls are some of the best places to visit in Kerala apart from the hill stations.
A. Kerala is one of the most literate states in the country and also one of the safest. The people here are very warm and welcoming and the state is very safe for one and all.
A. Munnar, situated on the conflux of three rivers is the highest hill station in the state situated at 1600 m above sea-level.
A. The place is named as one of the ten paradises of the world due to its ecotourism initiatives and beautiful backwaters making the state one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
A. The capital city of Kerala is one of the best hotspots in the country for tourist destinations like Padmanabhaswamy temple and Kovalam beach.
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