Top 10 Places to Visit in Kerala in 2023

Welcome to "God's Own Country," where lush green landscapes, pristine backwaters, rich cultural heritage, and exquisite cuisine come together to create a mesmerizing travel experience. Kerala, in 2023, continues to be a top destination for travelers seeking a unique blend of nature and culture. In this travel guide, we'll explore the top places to visit in Kerala to make your trip an unforgettable one.

Kerala

1. Munnar - The Tea Gardens Paradise

Best Time to Visit: September to March

Munnar, nestled in the verdant Western Ghats, is renowned for its picturesque tea gardens, misty hills, and cool climate. Stroll through the emerald tea plantations, visit the Tea Museum to delve into the history of tea cultivation, and take a memorable walk in the lush Anamudi Shola National Park, where you'll encounter diverse flora and fauna. Don't miss the opportunity to witness a stunning sunrise at the Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr.

Experience these in Munnar:

  • Explore Tea Plantations: Take a guided tour through the lush tea gardens.

  • Visit the Tea Museum: Learn about the history of tea cultivation in the region.

  • Hike in Anamudi Shola National Park: Enjoy the beautiful landscapes and diverse flora and fauna.

  • Witness Sunrise at Eravikulam National Park: A breathtaking experience.

Munnar

2. Alleppey - The Venice of the East

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Alleppey, aptly referred to as the "Venice of the East," is famous for its intricate network of backwaters. Your visit to Kerala wouldn't be complete without a houseboat cruise along the serene backwaters, where you can witness life unfolding on the waterways, spot colorful birds, and savor delicious Kerala cuisine prepared by skilled chefs on board. Beyond the backwaters, explore the sun-kissed Alleppey Beach and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.

Experience these in Allepey:

  • Houseboat Cruise: Explore the serene backwaters and observe local life.

  • Alleppey Beach: Relax on the sandy shores and enjoy water activities.

  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Birdwatching in a picturesque setting.

Allepey

3. Kochi - The Queen of the Arabian Sea

Best Time to Visit: October to February

Kochi, a historical port city, stands as a testament to the diverse influences that have shaped Kerala over centuries. Explore the Mattancherry Palace, a stunning example of Kerala's traditional architecture, Fort Kochi with its charming colonial-era buildings, Chinese Fishing Nets that silhouette against the setting sun, and the St. Francis Church, which holds historical significance as the final resting place of Vasco da Gama. The city is also known for its vibrant art scene, making it a hub for contemporary and traditional art forms that you can experience in galleries and performances throughout the year.

Experience these in Kochi:

  • Visit Mattancherry Palace: Admire Kerala's traditional architecture.

  • Explore Fort Kochi: Stroll amidst colonial-era buildings and Chinese Fishing Nets.

  • St. Francis Church: Discover historical significance.

  • Art Galleries: Experience the vibrant art scene.

Kochi

4. Thekkady - Wildlife and Spice

Best Time to Visit: October to February

Thekkady, located on the periphery of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, beckons nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Embark on a jungle safari to spot elusive wildlife, including tigers, elephants, and a myriad of bird species. Besides wildlife, explore the fragrant spice plantations and learn about the cultivation of cardamom, pepper, vanilla, and other aromatic spices that contribute to Kerala's culinary richness.

Experience these in Thekkady:

  • Jungle Safari: Spot wildlife in Periyar Tiger Reserve.

  • Spice Plantation Tour: Learn about cardamom, pepper, and other spices.

  • Boating on Periyar Lake: Enjoy the tranquil waters and scenic surroundings.

Thekkady

5. Wayanad - The Green Paradise

Best Time to Visit: October to May

Wayanad, a hilly district in the Western Ghats, offers a refreshing escape into nature. Explore the mystical Edakkal Caves, which hold ancient petroglyphs, go trekking in Chembra Peak to witness a heart-shaped lake, and visit the Banasura Sagar Dam, India's largest earth dam. Don't forget to interact with the indigenous tribal communities to learn about their unique way of life and culture, adding a deeper layer to your Wayanad experience.

Experience these in Wayanad:

  • Edakkal Caves: Explore ancient petroglyphs.

  • Trekking in Chembra Peak: Hike to the heart-shaped lake.

  • Banasura Sagar Dam: Visit India's largest earth dam.

  • Interact with Indigenous Tribes: Learn about their unique culture.

Wayanad

6. Varkala - The Cliffside Haven

Best Time to Visit: November to March

Varkala, perched atop stunning cliffs overlooking the Arabian Sea, is a tranquil coastal destination with a spiritual aura. The Varkala Beach, nestled below the towering cliffs, offers both relaxation and water sports. Explore the Janardanaswamy Temple, a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site, and the Sivagiri Mutt, a center of spiritual learning. Additionally, don't miss the rejuvenating experience of bathing in the natural spring at Papanasam Beach, believed to cleanse one's sins.

Experience these in Varkala:

  • Varkala Beach: Relax and indulge in water sports.

  • Janardanaswamy Temple: Explore a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site.

  • Sivagiri Mutt: Immerse in spiritual learning.

  • Papanasam Beach: Bathe in the natural spring to cleanse sins.

Varkala

7. Kovalam - Beach Bliss

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Kovalam is renowned for its pristine beaches, with Lighthouse Beach, Hawa Beach, and Samudra Beach offering ideal settings for sunbathing and water sports. Beyond the beaches, immerse yourself in the world of Ayurveda with traditional massages and spa treatments. The local cuisine here is a treat for food lovers, with fresh seafood and coconut-based dishes being the highlights of Kovalam's culinary scene.

Experience these in Kovalam:

  • Lighthouse Beach: Sunbathe, swim, and partake in water sports.

  • Ayurvedic Massages: Experience traditional wellness treatments.

  • Sample Local Cuisine: Savor fresh seafood and coconut-based dishes.

Kovalam

8. Thrissur - The Cultural Capital

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Thrissur, often referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala, boasts a rich heritage. Explore the Vadakkunnathan Temple, an architectural marvel, the majestic Athirappilly Waterfalls, and the Kerala Kalamandalam, a renowned center for Indian performing arts, where you can witness traditional dance and music performances. If your visit coincides with April or May, don't miss the grand spectacle of Thrissur Pooram, one of the most famous temple festivals in Kerala.

Experience these in Thrissur:

  • Vadakkunnathan Temple: Marvel at an architectural marvel.

  • Athirappilly Waterfalls: Witness the majestic falls.

  • Kerala Kalamandalam: Enjoy traditional Indian performing arts.

  • Thrissur Pooram: Experience a grand temple festival.

Thrissur

9. Poovar - Serene Backwater Escape

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Poovar, a tranquil backwater destination near Thiruvananthapuram, offers a peaceful escape. Cruise along the Neyyar River, where it meets the Arabian Sea, and explore the estuary surrounded by lush greenery. Poovar Island, accessible only by boat, features a pristine golden sand beach, making it a paradise for nature lovers. Witnessing the convergence of river, sea, and estuary here is a magical experience.

Experience these in Poovar:

  • Neyyar River Cruise: Explore the estuary where river meets sea.

  • Poovar Island: Relax on the golden sand beach.

  • Backwater Houseboat: Enjoy tranquility and natural beauty.

Poovar

10. Kannur - The Land of Looms and Lores

Best Time to Visit: October to February

Kannur, in the northern part of Kerala, is known for its pristine beaches, handloom weaving traditions, and historic forts. Spend your days at Muzhappilangad Beach, known for its long stretch of drivable sands, and explore St. Angelo Fort, a testament to Kannur's colonial history. Additionally, immerse yourself in the unique Theyyam ritual art form, an integral part of Kannur's culture that combines dance, music, and elaborate costumes.

Experience these in Kannur:

  • Muzhappilangad Beach: Drive on one of the longest driveable beaches.

  • St. Angelo Fort: Discover a historic coastal fort.

  • Experience Theyyam Ritual: Witness a unique and colorful art form.

Kannur

Kerala, with its diverse attractions, promises a memorable journey in 2023. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural enrichment, this enchanting state has it all. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience the beauty and charm of Kerala, where nature and tradition intertwine harmoniously.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kerala

Which are the Airports in Kerala?

There are 3 major airports in Kerala

Cochin International Airport Limited (IATA: COK): Situated in Nedumbassery

Trivandrum International Airport (IATA: TRV): Located in Vallakkadavu

Calicut International Airport (IATA: CCJ): Positioned in Karipur

Is it safe to travel alone in Kerala?

Yes it is safe to travel alone in Kerala. Kerala is a highly recommended destination for solo female travelers due to the welcoming and non-judgmental nature of its people. While Kerala is considered one of the safest destinations in India for solo travelers, it's essential to be well-prepared to handle any unexpected situations.

Which language is spoken in Kerala? 

English and Malayalam are commonly spoken languages in Kerala, with Malayalam being the official language. Additionally, you'll find other languages and dialects spoken across Kerala, including Tamil, Hindi, and Kannada.

Is sightseeing possible during the night at any of the destinations in Kerala?

Sightseeing is not possible after 18:00 anywhere in Kerala.

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