Kerala is home to a maze of lazy backwaters that empty into the Arabian Sea; a land of vast spice plantations and cool-climate hill stations nestled in the Western Ghats. Adventures in this lush southern state can see you sipping tea in a family-run estate one day and drifting the canals on a houseboat the next. Come to sample Ayurvedic treatments at wellness retreats, pick your way through fields of fragrant spices and tour the relics of European rule in port cities.
It’s the gentle, palm-lined backwaters that Kerala is most famous for, usually accessed by the gateway city of Alleppey. Here, fishermen cast Chinese nets and visitors board kettuvaloms – local rice and spice barges – to traverse the peaceful waterways, passing cricket-playing kids on the banks and smiling women washing clothes in the shallows. Nearby Kovalam and Mararikulam offer alternative bases from which to explore, with waterfront resorts and sleepy village homestays.
Spiral upwards next to the Cardamom hills, where the small town of Thekkady sits among fertile soils that yield heady spices featured in Kerala’s famed cuisine. Elsewhere in the Western Ghats, the earth is grooved with lime-green tea bushes and historic plantations which you can visit from the hill station of Munnar. Your journey will often end, just as the waters from Kerala’s canals do, at the Arabian Sea, where the colonial pearls of European architecture abound in Kochi and lavish seaside hotels await.
To explore Kerala’s various landscapes, talk to our India gurus about arranging everything from houseboat stays and spice farm tours to oceanside getaways and tea plantation trips.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in India. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember.
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