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The Best Guide to Exploring God's Own Country - Kerala Backwaters

Exploring the Backwaters of Gods Own Country Kerala

Become part of a life that flows gracefully down the backwaters of Kerala in Southern India with a luxury backwater tour. Travel through some of the largest and most beautiful backwaters of Asia, including Alleppey, which is often hailed as the “Venice of the East” for its beauty. This is the perfect detox vacation to do for a relaxing getaway– close to Mother Nature, in deluxe houseboats, at pristine beaches. The description for Kerala– “God’s Own Country”, is apt and that should be enough to convince yourself to visit this paradise at least once in your lifetime. 

Best Commute Options to Get Around in the Towns

Hire a Taxi!

To get the best out of your stay duration in Kerala, the best way to commute around is via a private taxi. We recommend hiring one through a good travel agency, or through your hotel. On an average it takes 25 mins to cover 10 kms of distance by road in the cities.

Although cheaper and visibly more in number than taxis, auto rickshaws can be frantic for those not used to it. It will give you the local Indian experience and can get you around the city pretty well. Having said that, you could consider hiring an auto rickshaw driver for a full day tour. But since they’re easily found outside any monument or popular place you visit, you might want to hire one every time you leave a sight.

Food & Restaurants in Kerala

Fine Dining Experiences in Kerala

1. Kochi Kitchen, Kochi
2. Mynt, Trivandrum
3. Keraleeyam, Kollam

World Cuisines in Kerala

1. Roastown Global, Kochi
2. O’ Cafe, Trivandrum
3. Bayroute Bistro, Alleppey

Bakeries & Coffee Shops in Kerala

1. Ann’s Bakery, Kochi
2. Baker’s Arch, Trivandrum
3. Borma, Alleppey

Local Food Experiences in Kerala

Indulge in fluffy Kerala-style parottas (layered flatbreads) with chicken curry or vegetable stew. The crispy vada and soft idlis make for a tasty morning treat. For those with a sweet tooth, relish the divine payasam made with rice, milk, and jaggery or the unniyappam, tiny hoppers with a drizzle of coconut milk and sugar. Your Kerala food trail is incomplete without biting into fresh, tender coconuts too!

TRIVANDRUM

The capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum is adorned with architectural gems that give us a peek into its storied past. The iconic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, a revered Hindu shrine, along with the Napier Museum, Kuthiramalika Palace, and the Kanakakunnu Palace are significant sights from the royal history of the region. From spicy seafood delicacies to traditional vegetarian fare, Trivandrum’s culinary scene is no less exciting either.

TRIVANDRUM kerala

Best Places to Stay

Luxury/5 Star Picks

  1. The Leela Kovalam
  2. Taj Green Cove
  3. Vivanta Trivandrum

Luxury Boutique Hotels

  1. Hycinth Hotel
  2. Gokulam Grand Turtle on the Beach
  3. The South Park

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Hotel Venkateswara
  2. Hotel Highland
  3. Hotel Silver Sand

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Trivandrum

The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, of course, tops the list and it is best visited early in the morning. This large, historic temple has got the beauty of exquisite sculpting. Next, visit the Napier Museum, a colonial-era architectural gem with a collection of artifacts and rare manuscripts. Adjacent to the Napier Museum lies the Shri Chitra Art Gallery, showcasing an extensive collection of Indian paintings, including works by Raja Ravi Varma and renowned artists from across the country. For a relaxing time, head to the Vizhinjam Lighthouse for panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the cityscape. Also explore the magnificent Kuthiramalika Palace Museum and Kanakakunnu Palace before continuing to Kovalam Beach for a short refreshing getaway. 

How to commute to Kollam?

The best way to commute to Kollam is by hiring a private taxi. It takes about 2 hours to reach Kollam by road, which is about 72 kilometers away from Trivandrum. This distance can be covered by a bus too. 

KOLLAM

Situated along the serene shores of the Arabian Sea, Kollam is renowned as the “Cashew Capital of the World.” A visit to the local cashew processing units will give you an insight into the region’s thriving cashew industry. Also known for its vibrant backwaters, the town is home to the Ashtamudi Kayal, one of the largest backwaters in Asia.

backwaters retreat Kollam Kerala

Best Places to Stay

Luxury/5 Star Picks

  1. The Leela Ashtamudi
  2. Club Mahindra Resort
  3. The Quilon Beach Hotel

Luxury Boutique Hotels

  1. Ashtamudi Villas
  2. Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort
  3. Hotel All Season

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Regant Lake Palace Hotel
  2. All Season’s D’Fort Ayurvedic Resort
  3. Vijaya Palace

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Kollam

The best experience in Kollam is a leisurely cruise along the enchanting Ashtamudi Kayal, one of Kerala’s largest and most scenic backwaters. You can check into a houseboat for a luxurious overnight stay or book a day cruise for about 12 hours. Besides the backwaters retreat, Kollam has a bunch of temples & forts to explore. Visit the Mahadeva Temple, an ancient Hindu shrine & the St. Thomas Fort to get the best of them. Take a relaxing break at the Kollam beach if you like the sea.

How to commute to Alleppey?

The best way to commute to Alleppey is by hiring a private taxi. It takes about 2-2.5 hours to reach Alleppey by road, which is 87 kms from Kollam. This distance can be covered by a bus too.

ALLEPPEY

Situated along the Malabar Coast of Kerala, Alappuzha has been hailed as the “Venice of the East” by George Curzon. This enchanting town has an intricate network of canals, the age-old traditions of houseboat living, and the gentle rhythm of coastal life. The famed annual Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race is held here, in Alleppey’s backwaters. Majestic snake boats, each manned by a team of rowers, race with fervor in this thrilling event.

Alleppey Beach Kerala

Best Places to Stay

Luxury Picks

  1. Sterling Lake Palace
  2. Blanket Hotel & Spa
  3. Ramada by Wyndham Alleppey

Luxury Boutique Hotels

  1. Lake Canopy Alleppey
  2. Marari Beach Resort
  3. Uday Backwater Resort

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Camelot Hotel
  2. Arcadia Regency
  3. Trium Resorts

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Alleppey

Alleppey is home to the longest lake of India– the Vembanad Lake. Visit here for boating or fishing experiences. Board a traditional houseboat for a leisurely cruise through the famed backwaters. Feel the golden sands beneath your feet at Alleppey Beach and then climb to the top of the Alappuzha Lighthouse for panoramic views of the town and the Arabian Sea. For the cultural side of the town, visit the Sree Krishnaswamy Temple & the Revi Karunakaran Memorial Museum. 

How to commute to Kochi?

The best way to commute from Alleppey to Kochi is by hiring a private taxi. It takes about 1-1.5 hours to reach Alleppey by road, covering 53 kms. This distance can be covered by a bus too.

KOCHI

On the southwest coast of Kerala, Kochi is an active port city with bustling maritime activities and beautiful backwaters for short cruises. It has it all– vibrant bazaars with the famous spice markets and historic places including Fort Kochi. Skyscrapers, high-end hotels, and state-of-the-art infrastructure have found their place in this historic town too. But Kochi is more than just sights when it comes alive for cultural events and artistic expressions, during the many festivals it hosts, including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Best Places to Stay

Luxury/5 Star Picks

  1. Taj Malabar
  2. Radisson Blu
  3. Grand Hyatt

Luxury Boutique Hotels

  1. Ramada by Wyndham
  2. Trident Hotel
  3. Brunton Boatyard

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Hotel Orfila Inn
  2. Hotel Pearl Palace
  3. Flora Airport Hotel

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Kochi

Start your Kochi adventure by watching the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets in action along the shoreline. Then check out the beautiful Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica and the historic Dutch Cemetery. Take a break at nearby Fort Kochi Beach before heading to the stunning Mattancherry Palace, also called the Dutch Palace, to admire its vibrant murals. Visit the grand Thripunithura Palace, which is a magnificent palace offering a glimpse into the royal past of Cochin’s ruling family. The Church of Saint Francis, one of India’s oldest European churches, is another must-visit. And don’t miss the lively Cochin Spice Market. 

Do’s & Don’ts

  • Dress modestly and carry sunscreen/hats when going on boat cruises or visiting temples.
  • Don’t ignore instructions from boat crew and guides for your own safety.
  • Take a sunset cruise through the serene backwaters for stunning views.

Best Time for the Kerala Backwaters Tour

The best months to do the Cultural Rajasthan tour are October to February. During these months, the weather remains moderate & pleasant.

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