The fabulous Kerala is on every vacation calendar of domestic as well as international tourists due to its amazing points of interests. With its beautiful beaches, dreamy backwaters, pristine hill stations, Kerala promises a perfect family vacation, wildlife tour, beach holiday and even honeymoon. If you are making your holiday travel calendar for 2020, then we suggest that you add the destinations we are sharing right here in our Kerala travel guide blog 2020.
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- 1. For Families
- 2. For Honeymoon
- 3. For Wildlife
- 4. For Nature & Hill Stations
- 5. For Adventures
- 6. For Beach Holiday
Best Family Destinations in Kerala
1. Thiruvananthapuram- Beautiful Beaches and Spiritual Places Await Here
The state capital, Trivandrum is in close proximity to some top tourist destinations of Kerala like Varkala and Kovalam, offering family vacationers a great beach holiday experience! In Trivandrum, the first thing you notice as an architecture lover is its gorgeous architecture which has the influence of British and Dravidian style of architecture. For spiritual people, it is a must to visit one of the richest temples in India, Padmanabhaswamy Temple. In the winter month of November or December, Thiruvananthapuram also becomes the host to International Film Festival of Kerala.
Best time to visit Thiruvananthapuram: November to February
What to see in Thiruvananthapuram?
- Beaches: Kovalam, Varkala, Azhimala, Poovar, Vizhinjam, Shankumugham, and Veli Beach
- Historical and Spiritual Sites: Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Zoo, The Trivandrum Golf Club heritage building, Kuthiramalika Palace, and Kilimanoor palace
- Museums: Kerala Science and Technology Museum, Priyadarsini Planetarium, Napier Museum, Kerala Soil Museum, and Koyikkal Palace Museum
- Nature and Wildlife Sites: Agasthyamala Rain Forests, Kallar, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Braemore, Poovar, Anchuthengu backwaters, Ponmudi hills, Varkala Cliffs and Kappil-Edava lakes.
What to do in Thiruvananthapuram?
- Attend International Film Festival of Kerala (winter)
- Get an Ayurvedic Massage
- Enjoy a Beach Vacation
- Wildlife Sighting at Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Adventure Activities at AMAS Neyyatinkara
- Shopping in Chalai Market
2. Kozhikode- Delectable Malabar Cuisine, Rich Folk Art, and Beaches Invite You Here
Kozhikode, or Calicut, is another among the best places to visit for a long & memorable family vacation in Kerala. Apart from the beaches, Kozhikode attracts travellers with its rich history and delicious Malabar cuisine. For culture buffs, the city is the hotspot for the folk art of Thiryattam.
In fact, in the winter months between January and March, one can also attend the annual Thirayattam Festival, one of the main tourism festivals of Kerala.
Best time to visit Kozhikode: November to February
What to see in Kozhikode?
- Beaches: Kozhikode Beach and Kappad Beach
- Museum & Art Gallery: Krishna Menon Museum & Art Gallery, Pazhassiraja Museum
- Temples: Gotheshwaram Beach Temple, Jain Derasar, Kizhakke Murikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple, Mishkal Masjidh, Narakath Bhagavathy Temple, Shiva Temple, Sri Kandeshwaram Temple, Thali Temple, Thrikaipetta Subramanya Temple
- Nature & Wildlife Sites: Mananchira Pond and Gardens and Sarovaram Biopark
What to do in Kozhikode?
- Attend Thiryattam Festival
- Water Activities
- City Walk
- Climb a Hill Govindapuram
- Yoga & Meditation
3. Kochi- Marvelous Architecture, Rich History, and Relaxing Holiday are All Yours Here
One of the top 10 tourist destinations in Kerala, Kochi is such a vibrant place! This rejuvenating family getaway has some of the best attractions in Kerala that reflect the strong influence of Portuguese, Dutch, and British that once ruled this place on the city’s architecture and culture. While its coast offers a glimpse of Chinese culture through the extensive use of Chinese fishing net.
Since the weather in Kochi gets so much better in the winter season, it gives you another reason to visit the city. If you will plan a trip around December end, you can enjoy witnessing the celebration of two important events in Kerala, Christmas and Cochin Carnival.
Best time to visit Kochi: November to February
What to see in Kochi?
- Islands: Willingdon Island, Bolgatty Island, Vallarpadom Island, Vypin Island
- Historical Sites: Peninsula of Mattencherry and Fort Kochi, Thripunithura
- Tourist Villages: Kumbalangi, Edakochi, Kumbalam, and Perumpadappu
- Beach: Kochi Fort Beach
What to do in Kochi?
- Witness Christmas Celebration (winter)
- Attend Cochin Carnival (winter)
- Heritage Walk of Fort Kochi
- Shop for Spices
- Learn to Cast a Fishing Net
- Witness Kathakali and Kalaripayattu Performances
- Sunset Cruise
4. Thrissur- Enjoy Festivities and Sightseeing on a Family Holiday Here
The culture hub of Kerala, Thrissur remains quite pleasant, weather-wise in the winter season for a family holiday. If you can make it here, plan a trip around October to witness the Feast of Saint Raphael, one of the most important events in Thrissur. Apart from the festival, the winter season is the best time to visit for the sightseeing tour of Thrissur which is dotted with many ancient buildings and temples. One can also visit Thrissur in the month of April or May to witness the famous Thrissur Pooram Festival.
Best time to visit Thrissur: October to March and April/May
What to see in Thrissur?
- Historical Sites and Museums: Appan Thampuran Smarakam, Archeological & Art Museum, Shakthan Thampuran Palace, Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum
- Waterfalls: Athirappilly Falls, Vazhachal Waterfalls
- Beaches: Snehatheeram, Thalikkulam; Chavakad Beach
- Religious Sites: Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours, Valiyalukkal Temple, Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral
- Other Attractions: Thrissur Zoo, Vilangan Kunnu, Kerala Kalamandalam, Peechi Dam, Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary
What to do in Thrissur?
- Attend Feast of Saint Raphael (winter)
- Attend Thrissur Pooram (summer)
5. Ponmudi- Picturesque Vistas and Cool Air are Your Companions Here
Another incredible place in Kerala is the treasured hill destination, Ponmudi is ideal to be visited during winters for its enchanting sunrise, romantic sunset and afternoon of warm sun. This place is a haven for trekkers with many trails around it. Ponmudi is also surrounded by beautiful tea garden and is home to a number of birds. This hills station is an ideal honeymoon destination apart from being an excellent place for family holiday.
Best time to visit Ponmudi: November to March
What to see in Ponmudi?
- Kallar River
- Meenmutty Waterfalls
- Lion Safari & Deer Park
- Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
- Golden Valley
- Agasthiya Biological Park
- Ponmudi Crest
What to do in Ponmudi?
- Nature Walks
6. Guruvayur- Imbibe the Spirituality and Seek the Blessing of Guruvayurappan
Kerala can also be a great place for a spiritual tour, and Guruvayur in Thrissur District is the ideal place to go. Famed for its Hindu pilgrimage site, Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, this religious destination in Kerala is best visited during its 10 days festival in February/March and Guruvayur Ekadashi in November/December.
What to see in Guruvayur?
- Religious Sites: Guruvayur Temple, Mammiyoor Temple, Chowalloor Siva Temple, Palayur Church
- Other Attractions: Elephant Camp Sanctuary, Guruvayur Devaswom Institute Of Mural Painting, Chavakkad Beach
What to do in Guruvayur?
- Attend Guruvayur Ekadashi
- Watch Elephants playing and being fed at Elephant Camp Sanctuary
7. Thalassery- Visit the Land of Many Firsts and Be Awestruck
Dubbed the cultural capital of Malabar, Thalassery is a place with a lot of firsts in various socio-cultural aspects. It is believed to be the first place where cricket in India was played, and the Thalassery Stadium today hosts the Ranji Trophy, so a cricket lover needs to visit it. Apart from this, Thalassery is a great place for anyone with a sweet tooth as the city boasts more than 120 years of experience in bakery products. Thalassery offers an interesting blend of culture and history, and should not be missed when travelling in Kerala.
Best time to visit Thalassery: October to March
What to see in Thalassery?
- Religious Sites: Holy Rosary Church, Nettur Hill Church, Odathil Mosque, Shri Jagannath Temple, Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple, Saidhar Pally Masjid
- Other Attractions: Dharmadam Island, Gundert Bungalow, Overbury’s Folly, Thalassery Fort, Thalassery Pier, Muzhappilangad Beach
What to do in Thalassery?
- Drive on Muzhappilangad Beach
- Buy Bakery Products
Best Honeymoon Destinations in Kerala
8. Munnar- The Picture Perfect Destination for Your Honeymoon
We can all agree that the heart of Kerala is in Munnar; it is one such destination that breathes life and bliss to the state. In fact, a visit here during the winter season is even better if you enjoy the scenic view from the clean narrow roads overlooking the misty hills. The sprawling tea garden, the green rolling mountains and the fresh air all make it a destination you cannot miss in Kerala. If you’re planning a honeymoon in Kerala, then you can certainly choose Munnar.
Best time to visit Munnar: October to May
What to see in Munnar?
- Waterfalls: Atukkad Waterfalls, Lakkam Waterfalls, Naimakkadu Waterfalls, Periyakanel Water Falls
- Wildlife Sites: Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park, Mathikettan National Park, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
- View Points: Pothamedu View Point, Munnar Echo Point, Photo Point, Signal Point, Idly Hill View Point, Lockhart Gap View Point
- Tea Estates/Factory: Lockhart Tea Factory and Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
- Other Attractions: Blossom Park, Chithirapuram, Floriculture Centre, Kundala Lake, Mattupetty Dam, Mattupetty Indo-Swiss Farm, Top Station, Devikulam Sri Ayyappan Temple,Thangaiah Cave, Anayirangal Dam / Boating Center, Tata Tea Museum, Kalvarimount, Christ Church
What to do in Munnar?
- Cycling Tour
- Rock Climbing & Rappelling
9. Kumarakom- Spend Honeymoon Sailing on Pristine Backwaters
Boasting the laid-back and pristine backwaters, Kumarakom is one of the best tourist places for a holiday in Kerala. Seated alongside the Vembanad Lake and lined with high-end resorts often visited by international travelers, this tourist spot is perfect for a luxury vacation and honeymoon. In winter, Kumarakom becomes quite inviting for bird lovers as it turns into a home of thousands of migratory birds.
Best time to visit Kumarakom: November to February
What to see in Kumarakom?
- Bird Watching Site: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
- Village Tour: Aymanam, Kudamaloor, Kallara, Nattakom and Panachikkadu Reservoirs, Thazhathangadi
What to do in Kumarakom?
- Houseboat Stay
- Sailing on Vembanad Lake
- Village Tour
10. Alappuzha (Alleppey)- The Romantic Backwaters and the Warm Hospitality on Your Honeymoon
Alappuzha or Alleppey is all about that beautiful backwaters, palm trees, and houseboats that compel you stay here a bit longer. This is a perfect place for family holiday experience as well as honeymoon. You can plan your visit to Alappuzha in the month of December when the Mullackal Chirap Festival takes place; attending it is one of the best things to do.
Best time to visit Alappuzha: October to February
What to see in Alleppey?
- Beach: Alleppey/Alappuzha Beach
- Hindu Temples: Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Mannarasala Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Haripad Sree Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Thakazhy Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, Mullakkal Temple, Padanilam Parabrahma Temple, Vetticode Sree Nagaraja Seamy Temple
- Churches: St. Andrew’s Basilica, Edathua Church, Alappuzha CSI Christ Church, Champakulam Valia Palli
What to do in Alappuzha?
- Attend Mullackal Chirap Festival
- Houseboat Stay
- Village Tour
- Sailing on the Backwaters
11. Kollam- Backwaters, Beaches, and Beauty, All Here For You
Offering a glimpse of Kerala’s beautiful backwaters, beaches, culture, and history, Kollam is one place you can plan your honeymoon or a romantic backwater holiday. A short distance away from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam is mainly famous for its Ashtamudi Lake, the most visited backwater and lake in Kerala. However, that is not the only attraction in Kollam, you may want to visit this destination for Jatayupara, the place with the giant vulture sculpture along with its waterfalls, coastline and temples.
Best time to visit Kollam: October to March
What to see in Kollam?
- Beaches: Kollam, Thirumullavaram and Thangasseri
- Other Attractions: Ashtamudi Lake, Palaruvi Waterfalls, Jatayupara, Alumkadavu, Munroe Island.
What to do in Kollam?
- Kettuvalam/Houseboat Stay and Ride in Ashtamudi Lake
- Canoeing in Munroe Island
- Paddlesport in Paravur
- ATV Rides and Bike Tour
Best Destinations for Wildlife Lovers in Kerala
12. Thekkady- Sight the Exotic Wildlife and Enjoy Bamboo Rafting
The incredible forested land of Thekkady gives an opportunity to nature lovers to explore the rich flora and fauna of Kerala. Even if you visit Thekkady during winters, you can find verdant forest inviting you to have one of the best wildlife experiences at its very own Periyar National Park, the home to a variety of wild animals. Trying bamboo rafting here is one of the top things to do, are you ready?
Best time to visit Thekkady: All through the year
What to see in Thekkady?
- Wildlife Site: Periyar National Park
- Other Attractions: Chellarkovil, Grampi, Mount, Pandikuzhi, Pattumala, Pullumadu, Mangala Devi Temple, Ramakalmedu, Spring Valley Mountain, Vandanmedu, Wagamon
What to do in Thekkady?
- Wildlife Safari
- Bamboo Rafting
- Nature Walk
- Plantation Tour
Best Hill Station Holiday in Kerala
13. Wayanad- Relish Surreal Vistas in Kerala’s Best Kept Secret
Kerala’s best kept, Wayanad is lovely little holiday getaway that can be visited in summer However, visiting Wayanad during the winter season (November/December) will give you an opportunity to witness one of the auspicious festivals in Kerala called Karthigai, the festival of lights. You can see beautiful earthen lamps lit in every household, and your guess is right, it does resemble the popular festival in India, Diwali. Apart from the festival, Wayanad is an ideal destination for a quiet vacation amidst nature in both summer and winter season.
Best time to visit Wayanad: Throughout the year
What to see in Wayanad?
- Waterfalls: Meenmutty Falls, Chethalayam Falls
- Wildlife Sites: Tholpetty Sanctuary, Wayanad (Muthanga) wildlife sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park
- Temples & Churches: Thirunelli Temple, Jain Temple, Latin Church
- Other Attractions: Banasura Sagar Dam, Chembra Hills, Pookode Lake, Meppadi Hills, Edakkal Caves, Kuruva Islands, Pakshipathalam, Pazhassi Raja Museum, Kutta Forest
What to do in Wayanad?
- Attend Karthigai Festival (winter)
- Strolling in the tea estates
- Wildlife Sighting
- Village Tour
14. Kalpetta- Spend Holiday at the Best Budget Alternative to Munnar
Don’t wish to visit crowded Munnar but an equally beautiful place for your holiday in Kerala? Then Kalpetta in Wayanad District is the answer. Surrounded by coffee plantation and numerous temples, Kalpetta promises beautiful vistas and tranquil atmosphere that are ideal for a good hill station holiday. One can call it a budget alternative of Munnar.
Best time to visit Kalpetta: October to May
What to see in Kalpetta?
- Janamaithry Park
- Puliyarmala Jain Temple
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Madakkimala Village
- Pookode Lake
- Banasura Sagar Dam
- Chembra Peak
- Edakkal Caves
- Soochippara Falls
What to do in Kalpetta?
- Nature Walk
- Wildlife Sighting
- Village Tour
Best Destinations for Adventure Lovers in Kerala
15. Vagamon- A Monsoon Holiday in Kerala Cannot Get Any Better
Vagamon, the top monsoon tourist place of Kerala offers a stay amid peaceful and beautiful nature. Most of the tourist visit this beautiful hill station during the monsoon and winter seasons to take amazing shots of misty hills and to take part in some adventure activities like hiking, paragliding, and rock climbing.
Best time to visit Vagamon: June to September and March to May
What to see in Vagamon?
- Temples and Churches: Sree Arundhathi Vasishta Temple, Sree Subramanya Swami Temple, St Sebastian’s RC Church, St Antony’s Church, Emmanuel CSI Church
- Waterfalls: Marmala Waterfall, Vagamon Lake, Vagamon Fall
- Other Attractions: Vagamon Pine Forest, Thangal Para, Barren Hills, Mundakayam Ghat, Idukki Dam, Kurisumala, Uluppunni Tunnel
What to do in Vagamon?
- Nature Photography
- Nature Walk
- Rock Climbing
16. Nelliyampathy- Explore the Even More Scenic Side of Kerala
For a memorable trip in the winter season, you can visit Nelliyampathy, a place with scenic sights of farmlands, dense forests, misty mountains and offbeat trekking routes. Nelliyampathy is where you can admire the natural beauty and that of different farms of lemon, java, tea, and cardamom and can enjoy family picnics. You can also go for trekking to various hills, if you like your holiday in Nelliyampathy to be little adventurous.
Best time to visit Nelliyampathy: September to February
What to see in Nelliyampathy?
- View Points: Hill Top Viewpoint, Kesavam Para Viewpoint, Ranimedu Estate
- Religious Sites: Manalar Mosque, Trishul Temple, Nellikkunnu Devi Temple, St. John’s CSI Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
- Village Tour: Karady Village, Victoria Village
- Other Attractions: A.V.T. Manalaroo Estate, Karappara Hanging Bridge, Pothundy Dam, Seetharkundu, Mampara, Palagapandi Estate
What to do in Nelliyampathy?
- Nature Photography
17. Nilambur- Witness Old Teak Plantation, Amazing Waterfalls, and Rich Culture
On the bank of Chaliyar River, Nilambur is a great destination for nature lovers, and also a perfect place for getting winter travel experience in Kerala. It enjoys pleasant weather and allows you to relish the pristine nature while enjoying outdoor activities like trekking. Some of the top activities to do in Nilambur include exploring the oldest teak plantations in the world at Conolly’s Plot, enjoying the views of a lush forest, and visiting the two beautiful waterfalls, Mundakadav and Adyanpara. You can also plan a trip to Nilambur in January to witness the popular Nilambur Pattu, an ancient festival of Kalampattu which is marked by ritual powder drawing on floor.
Best time to visit Nilambur: December to February
What to see in Nilambur?
- Waterfalls: Adyanpara Waterfalls, Kozhippara Waterfalls, Mundakadav waterfalls
- Other Attractions: Nedumkayam, Conolly’s Plot, Bio Resources Park, The Teak Museum, Vellari Mala Mountains
What to do in Nilambu?
- Attend Nilambur Pattu
- Visit the Tribal Settlements in Nedumkayam
- Meet the Potters of Aruvanconde Village
Best Destinations for a Beach Vacation in Kerala
18. Kannur- For Your Best Cultural Holiday in Kerala
Known for beautiful beaches at close proximity, Kannur is one of the best visiting places for beach lovers in India. In the winter month of January or February, Kannur hosts its popular Theyyam Dance Festival, thus, along with enjoying an amazing beach vacay, one can relish a cultural heritage tour here.
Best time to visit Kannur: October to March
What to see in Kannur?
- Beaches: Azhikkal estuary and Azhikode beaches, Muzhappilangad Beach, Adi-Kadalayi Beach, Payyambalam Beach.
- Religious Sites: Kalari Vathukkal Temple, Muthappan Temple, Shiva Temple, Shri Maha Vishnu Temple, Sundareshwara Temple, Madayi Mosque
- Other Attractions: Arakkal Palace & Museum, St. Angelo’s Fort, Snake Park, Valapattanam, Science Park
What to do in Kannur?
- Attend Theyyam Dance Festival (winter)
- Ride Local Ferry
- Wildlife Sighting at Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
19. Bekal- Your Getaway for an Amazing Beach Retreat
A small town for that amazing beach retreat, Bekal in Kasargod District is where you go for a laid-back holiday. Bekal is primarily famous for its majestic 17th Century Bekal Fort that sits along the sea. The town is dotted with numerous resorts that cater to the good vacation mood. One can enjoy many watersports in Bekal along with short hikes to nearby hill places for adding some adventure to your vacation.
Best time to visit Bekal: October to March
What to see in Bekal?
- Beaches: Bekal Beach, Kapil Beach, Pallikere Beach
- Forts: Bekal Fort, Chandragiri Fort
- Religious Sites: Ananthapura Lake Temple, Malik Deenar Mosque, Our Lady of Sorrows Church
- Other Attractions: Valiyaparamba Backwaters, Bekal Hole Aqua Park
What to do in Bekal?
- Water Activities
20. Poovar- Get All Your Share of Vitamin Sea
A coastal village, Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram district promises a fabulous destination where you can enjoy the best beach vacation in Kerala. Poovar’s main attraction is the point where the Neyyar River can be seen merging with the Arabian Sea. The place is ideal to laze around and enjoy boat trips with family and friends.
Best time to visit Poovar: October to February
What to see in Poovar?
- Poovar Beach
- Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Neyyar Dam
- Thirparappu Falls
- The Fishing Village
- Arumanoor Koyikkavilakom Sree Bhadrakali Devi Temple
- Vizhinjam International Seaport
What to do in Poovar?
- Witness The Great Elephant Race
- Visit the Kalaripayattu Village
- Crocodile-Watching Expeditions
I am sure you must have found your best places to visit this year. Might I just add a tiny detail that planning a vacation can get pretty hectic, therefore, feel free to give us a call at +91-8744012050, or send us your queries at email@example.com. We will get back to you with the best deals and tour packages that could save your time and money.
Frequently Asked Questions & Important Travel Tips:
Q. How many days are enough for a Kerala holiday?
Minimum 5 days are needed for a vacation in Kerala.
Q. What should be carried for a monsoon holiday in Kerala?
Kerala receives heavy rain, and thus, one should carry clothes that dry quickly. Umbrellas, raincoat, and insect repellents should also be carried when travelling in the monsoon season. A good pair of shoes that are anti-slip should also be carried. For your electronic gears like phone and camera, carry waterproof covers.
Q. What will be the ideal things to buy from Kerala?
In Kerala, you can buy spices, tea and coffee, banana chips, cashew nuts, aroma oils, and handicraft.
Q. Are there vegetarian restaurants in Kerala?
Yes, Kerala has many vegetarian restaurants in almost every city and town. Not only this, vegan food is also available at many places in Kerala.
Q. What to carry in summers for a Kerala trip?
Since Kerala is tropical destination, it is important to carry comfortable cotton clothes, a sunscreen/sunblock, a sun hat, and flip flops during a summer trip to Kerala.
Q. What kind of hotels are available in Kerala?
Kerala is an important tourist destination in India and thus, one can find all kinds of hotels here ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury hotels. Camping facility, homestays, and hostels are also available in Kerala easily.