Top 20 Places to Visit in Kerala

Kerala tourism offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and unparalleled hospitality. Visitors are enchanted by the serene backwaters, where houseboats glide gracefully, surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant avian life. The state’s cuisine, renowned for its diverse flavors and aromatic spices, is a culinary journey in itself. Kerala’s traditional art forms, including Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, showcase the deep-rooted cultural heritage, while its historic temples and festivals immerse tourists in a spiritual and festive ambiance. The region’s picturesque landscapes feature pristine beaches, misty hill stations, and dense forests teeming with wildlife.

 

Here is the list of top 20 places to explore in Kerala.

  1. Munnar
  2. Alleppey (Alappuzha)
  3. Kochi (Cochin)
  4. Thekkady
  5. Kumarakom
  6. Kovalam
  7. Wayanad
  8. Varkala
  9. Kozhikode (Calicut)
  10. Kollam
  11. Gavi
  12. Athirapally Falls
  13. Poovar Island
  14. Malappuram
  15. Thrissur
  16. Ponmudi
  17. Kasargod
  18. Idukki
  19. Kottayam
  20. Palakkad

 

 Munnar:

Munnar is a picturesque hill station renowned for its breathtaking landscapes. Visitors are captivated by the lush tea gardens that carpet the hills, the exotic flora and fauna in Eravikulam National Park, and the panoramic views from Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in South India. The serene Mattupetty Dam adds to the charm, making Munnar a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Muddie trails organizes Munnar backpacking trips, you can check it out for more detials

  • Major Attractions: Tea Plantations, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Peak, Mattupetty Dam.
  • Best Time to Visit: September to March (pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Cochin International Airport; Nearest railway station – Aluva.

Check out Muddie Trails Munnar trip and Camping for More details.

Alleppey (Alappuzha):

Alleppey (Alappuzha): Often referred to as the Venice of the East, Alleppey is synonymous with tranquil backwaters and houseboat cruises. Navigating the scenic backwaters offers a glimpse into the authentic Keralite way of life. The town also boasts pristine beaches, including the Alleppey Beach, and the nearby Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and birdwatching.

  • Major Attractions: Backwaters, Houseboat Cruises, Alappuzha Beach, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to February (cool and dry weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Cochin International Airport; Nearest railway station – Alleppey.

Kochi (Cochin):

Kochi, a melting pot of cultures, enthralls visitors with its historic charm and modern allure. The city is adorned with ancient forts like Fort Kochi, Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace), and the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets that silhouette the coastline. The bustling markets, vibrant art scene, and delectable seafood further enhance Kochi’s appeal, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and food lovers.

  • Major Attractions: Fort Kochi, Mattancherry Palace, Chinese Fishing Nets, Marine Drive.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March (pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Cochin International Airport; Kochi has a well-connected railway station.

Thekkady:

Perched on the banks of Periyar River, Thekkady is a gateway to the famous Periyar National Park, home to diverse wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and exotic birds. A boat safari on Periyar Lake offers a chance to witness these animals in their natural habitat. Spice plantations, elephant rides, and traditional Kathakali performances add cultural richness to this wilderness haven.

  • Major Attractions: Periyar National Park, Periyar Lake, Elephant Junction, Kadathanadan Kalari Centre.
  • Best Time to Visit: September to April (ideal for wildlife sightings).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Madurai Airport (Tamil Nadu); Nearest railway station – Kottayam.

Kumarakom:

Located on the scenic Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is renowned for its enchanting backwaters and the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, a haven for migratory birds. The soothing boat rides through the labyrinthine canals, lush paddy fields, and serene lagoons offer a serene escape. Luxury resorts and traditional houseboats provide a delightful stay amidst nature’s splendor.

  • Major Attractions: Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall, Pathiramanal Island.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to February (pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Cochin International Airport; Nearest railway station – Kottayam.

Kovalam:

Kovalam, with its crescent-shaped beaches, beckons beach lovers and wellness enthusiasts alike. The iconic Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach, and Samudra Beach offer golden sands and captivating sunsets. Ayurvedic massages, yoga retreats, and watersports amplify the rejuvenating experience, making Kovalam a quintessential beach destination.

  • Major Attractions: Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach, Samudra Beach, Vellayani Lake.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to February (pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Trivandrum International Airport; Nearest railway station – Trivandrum Central.

Wayanad:

Wayanad-Sunset

¬†Wayanad: Wayanad, a land of misty mountains and sprawling spice plantations, is a nature lover’s paradise. Edakkal Caves, an ancient archaeological site, and Chembra Peak, the highest point in Wayanad, offer trekking adventures. Banasura Sagar Dam, Soochipara Waterfalls, and wildlife sanctuaries like Tholpetty and Muthanga add to the region’s allure, making it an ideal destination for eco-tourism and outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Major Attractions: Chembra Peak, Edakkal Caves, Banasura Sagar Dam, Soochipara Waterfalls.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to May (comfortable climate).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Calicut International Airport; Nearest railway station – Kozhikode.

Check out Muddie Trails Wayanad 2 Days Backpacking trip for more details.

Varkala:

Varkala, perched atop stunning red cliffs overlooking the Arabian Sea, is a tranquil beach destination with a spiritual ambiance. The pristine Varkala Beach, flanked by cliffs and mineral springs, offers a unique seaside experience. The ancient Janardanaswamy Temple and the Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the philosopher-social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, enhance the town’s spiritual aura, attracting both beachgoers and pilgrims.

  • Major Attractions: Varkala Beach, Janardanaswamy Temple, Sivagiri Mutt, Varkala Tunnel.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March (pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Trivandrum International Airport; Nearest railway station – Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station.

Kozhikode (Calicut):

Steeped in history, Kozhikode entices travelers with its sandy beaches, historical sites, and delectable Malabar cuisine. The charm of Kappad Beach, where Vasco da Gama set foot in 1498, mingles with the flavors of traditional sweets like Kozhikodan Halwa and the aroma of fresh spices in local markets. The Thusharagiri Waterfalls and serene Beypore Beach complete the delightful Kozhikode experience.

  • Major Attractions: Kappad Beach, Beypore Beach, Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Pazhassiraja Museum.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March (pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Calicut International Airport; Well-connected railway station.

Kollam:

¬†Kollam, located on the scenic Ashtamudi Lake, is a tranquil backwater destination offering a serene escape. Houseboat cruises through the labyrinthine waterways, visits to the historic Thangassery Beach and the majestic Palaruvi Waterfalls, and exploring the charm of Kollam Beach showcase the town’s natural beauty. The soothing Ayurvedic treatments and traditional boat races during festivals add cultural richness to this coastal gem.

  • Major Attractions: Ashtamudi Lake, Thangassery Beach, Palaruvi Waterfalls, Kollam Beach.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February (pleasant climate).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Trivandrum International Airport; Nearest railway station – Kollam Junction.

Gavi:

Tucked away in the Western Ghats, Gavi is a serene eco-tourism destination surrounded by lush forests and wildlife. The pristine Gavi Forest is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering trekking trails, bird watching, and jeep safaris. The Sabarimala Temple pilgrimage route passes through Gavi, adding to its spiritual significance. The tranquil environment and abundant greenery make Gavi a perfect retreat for those seeking solitude amidst nature.

  • Major Attractions: Gavi Forest, Sabarimala Temple, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Gavi Dam.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to February (cool and pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Trivandrum International Airport; Nearest railway station – Kottayam.

Athirapally Falls:

Known as the ‘Niagara of India,’ Athirapally Falls is a majestic cascade located amidst dense forests. The sight of water plunging from a great height amidst lush greenery is awe-inspiring. Nearby attractions like Vazhachal Waterfalls and Thumboormuzhi Dam enhance the scenic beauty of the region, making it a paradise for nature photographers and adventure seekers.

  • Major Attractions: Athirapally Waterfalls, Vazhachal Waterfalls, Charpa Falls, Thumboormuzhi Dam.
  • Best Time to Visit: September to February (post-monsoon season for the best water flow).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Kochi International Airport; Nearest railway station – Chalakudy.

Poovar Island:

Poovar, a secluded island located at the southern tip of Kerala, is a tranquil destination where the Neyyar River meets the Arabian Sea. The golden sands of Poovar Beach, the backwaters, and the estuaries create a unique coastal experience. Poovar Island Resort offers luxurious stays on floating cottages, allowing visitors to enjoy the serenity of the backwaters and the sea in one place.

  • Major Attractions: Poovar Beach, Poovar Backwaters, Poovar Island Resort, Kovalam Beach.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February (pleasant climate).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Trivandrum International Airport; Nearest railway station – Neyyattinkara.

Malappuram:

With its historical significance and natural beauty, Malappuram is a district rich in cultural heritage. Kottakkunnu, a hillock adorned with gardens and ancient temples, offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Nilambur Teak Museum showcases Kerala’s forestry history, while the nearby Keralamkundu Waterfalls and Padinharekara Beach add natural allure to the region.

  • Major Attractions: Kottakkunnu, Nilambur Teak Museum, Keralamkundu Waterfalls, Padinharekara Beach.
  • Best Time to Visit: September to March (mild and pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Calicut International Airport; Nearest railway station – Angadipuram.

Thrissur:

Known as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is famous for its grand festivals, art, and heritage. The Vadakkunnathan Temple, a classic example of Kerala temple architecture, stands at the heart of the city. Thrissur Zoo, housing a variety of fauna, and the majestic Athirapally Waterfalls are popular attractions. The city’s vibrant cultural scene and the annual Thrissur Pooram festival, one of the largest and most spectacular temple festivals in Kerala, make it a must-visit destination.

  • Major Attractions: Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur Zoo, Athirapally Waterfalls, Archaeological Museum.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March (cool and dry weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Kochi International Airport; Well-connected railway station.

Ponmudi:

Ponmudi, meaning ‘Golden Crown’ in Malayalam, is a hill station renowned for its mist-covered hills, tea gardens, and picturesque landscapes. The Ponmudi Hill, a trekker’s delight, offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. The Golden Valley, Meenmutty Falls, and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary provide opportunities for nature walks and wildlife encounters. The pleasant climate makes Ponmudi a favored destination for travelers seeking a peaceful hill retreat.

  • Major Attractions: Ponmudi Hill Station, Golden Valley, Meenmutty Falls, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to March (pleasant weather for trekking and sightseeing).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Trivandrum International Airport; Nearest railway station – Trivandrum Central.

Kasargod:

Kasargod boasts of historical forts, serene beaches, and cultural richness. Bekal Fort, a 300-year-old structure overlooking the Arabian Sea, is a prime attraction. The Chandragiri Fort and Ananthapura Lake Temple are other historical landmarks. Bekal Beach and the nearby natural beauty of the region make Kasargod a tranquil coastal destination.

  • Major Attractions: Bekal Fort, Chandragiri Fort, Bekal Beach, Ananthapura Lake Temple.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March (comfortable climate).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Mangalore International Airport; Nearest railway station – Kasargod.

Idukki: 

Idukki, with its rolling hills, dense forests, and wildlife sanctuaries, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The Idukki Dam, Asia’s first arch dam, is a marvel of engineering and a major tourist attraction. Ramakkalmedu, a hill station with vast green meadows, offers panoramic views of Tamil Nadu. Vagamon, another serene hill station, is dotted with pine forests and waterfalls, making it an ideal retreat for nature lovers.

  • Major Attractions: Idukki Dam, Ramakkalmedu, Vagamon, Eravikulam National Park.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to February (cool and dry weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Cochin International Airport; Nearest railway station – Kottayam.

Kottayam: 

Situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, Kottayam is known for its backwater charm and religious heritage. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, home to migratory and local bird species, is a haven for birdwatchers. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, an ancient Hindu temple with exquisite wood carvings, and Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, renowned for its architecture and festivals, add to the town’s cultural appeal.

  • Major Attractions: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, Vembanad Lake, Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple.
  • Best Time to Visit: September to February (pleasant weather).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Cochin International Airport; Well-connected railway station.

Palakkad:


Palakkad, often called the ‘Granary of Kerala,’ is a land of valleys, mountains, and rivers. Palakkad Fort, a well-preserved historical fort, stands as a testament to the region’s past. Malampuzha Dam, an irrigation dam surrounded by gardens and amusement parks, is a popular picnic spot. The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, a tiger reserve and biodiversity hotspot, showcases Kerala’s rich wildlife. Dhoni Waterfalls, surrounded by lush forests, offers a refreshing escape for nature lovers and trekkers.

  • Major Attractions: Palakkad Fort, Malampuzha Dam, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Dhoni Waterfalls.
  • Best Time to Visit: November to March (pleasant climate).
  • How to Reach: Nearest airport – Coimbatore International Airport (Tamil Nadu); Nearest railway station – Palakkad Junction.

Kerala Tour Packages

Author - Shirky

Shirky is a passionate traveler, He keeps exploring the world and sharing his experiences through captivating storytelling. Through his leadership, Muddie Trails has become an advocate for responsible travel, leaving a positive impact on both the environment and the local communities.

Kerala Tour Packages

Shirky is a passionate traveler, He keeps exploring the world and sharing his experiences through captivating storytelling. Through his leadership, Muddie Trails has become an advocate for responsible travel, leaving a positive impact on both the environment and the local communities.

Proceed Booking