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About Kerala Holidays - What is the quickest way to get to paradise? Simple, all you need to do is book one of Thomas Cook’s Kerala Holiday Packages that will take you to God’s own country, where you can have the time of your life. On our (Thomas Cook India) website, you will find a myriad of Kerala Tour Packages for a range of budgets and durations. Right from 3 nights and 4 days to 7 nights and 8 days, every Kerala trip is what you make of it. Also don’t worry about the cost of your Kerala tour, these Kerala holidays, both with and without flights, start at a pocket friendly INR 9 899* to a more premium, splurge worthy INR 79 799* for a personalised, pampered, luxury vacations to Kerala.
Crafted by a team of holiday experts, your Kerala holiday will be made special thanks to Thomas Cook’s unmatched service, both while booking and during your Kerala tour. Every aspect of your Kerala holiday is meticulously planned, right from accommodation in luxurious hotels to scrumptious meals. What’s more? These Kerala tour packages are available from all major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and more.
Also, if you are looking to understand more about Kerala, then visit our Kerala tourism section which covers everything about Kerala like the Things To Do In Kerala, Best Times To Visit Kerala, Places To Visit in Kerala and much more.
Know All About Kerala Destination
Kerala is a state in the south-west of India. It lies on the Malabar coast and is blessed with a 600 km long coastline. Thanks to its narrow shape, you are never far from the coast in Kerala, which makes every Kerala vacation a beach vacation. In addition to the beaches, Kerala is home to many freshwater and saltwater lakes such as Vembanad Lake, Ashtamudi Lake, Mananchira Lake and many others. Oh, did we mention there’s also the Kerala backwaters, running parallel to the Arabian sea, forming a floating network that links different small towns, cities and villages.
Geographically opposite to the coast are the mountains of the Western Ghats, rising to a height of 1520 meters, blanketed with emerald coloured misty tropical forests, with their own unique biodiversity. No wonder, this tropical paradise is referred to as ‘God’s own country’ and while you may not meet God on your Kerala trip, you will certainly marvel at his aesthetic sense after your Kerala holiday is complete.
Whether you’re looking for a Kerala honeymoon packages, a break from work or just want to take time off to travel, Kerala is perfect for all forms of tourism. From lying on the beach, to kayaking through the backwaters, from trekking in the mountains of Munnar and Thekkady to sweating it out in an Ayurvedic spa in Kerala, you can do it all on your bespoke Kerala holiday with Thomas Cook India. Feeling adventurous? There’s plenty of things to do in Kerala that will get your adrenaline pumping. Want to rejuvenate your body mind and soul? Kerala’s famed spas will get you back in top shape in no time. Fancy an epicurean adventure in the heart of spice country? Kerala will leave you with tastes, aromas and textures you won’t easily forget.
Book your Kerala holiday package today or read on to find out more about this idyllic destination.
Best Time to Visit Kerala
Winters are undoubtedly the best time to visit Kerala. The winters here stretch from September to March and while you shouldn’t expect a winter wonderland with low temperatures, you will be glad to know that this time of the year offers respite from the humidity which will make you sweat rivers. Winter time is also the best time to head to the highlands of Kerala where temperatures can fall as low as 10°C, making it ideal for anyone not used to the sweltering heat of the plains.
Alternatively, if you wish to seek Kerala’s famed ayurvedic spa and wellness therapies and treatments, June to August is considered to be the best time as the weather in Kerala is neither too hot nor too humid and this is the time when the monsoons visit Kerala, offering a respite from the summer heat. This is also when the backwaters and lakes are at their best, giving you the opportunity to witness Kerala’s waterways in all their majestic glory.
Summer in Kerala lasts from March to May and can get sweltering, making this a good time to take a beach vacation to Kerala where you can simply laze by the sea sipping a cold beverage.
How to Reach Kerala
You can choose between air travel, rail travel and road travel depending on where you are travelling from and how much time you have on hand. Due to a majority of its population working overseas, Kerala has not one, not two, but four international airports. They are, Kannur International Airport, Kochi International Airport, Trivandrum International Airport and Calicut International Airport. These airports are well connected to domestic and international destinations by almost every major carrier. You can take flights to Kerala from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.
You can also take a train from any major city to Kerala. The journey is beautiful and will take you through forests and ghats, past rivers and lakes, before getting you to either Ernakulam Town or Ernakulam junction from where you have access to all of Kerala by road.
Getting to Kerala by an overnight bus from major cities is also an option though the journey may take away a considerable amount of time from your Kerala holiday.
Places to Visit in Kerala
Despite being geographically tiny, there’s many thing to do in Kerala ranging from water sports to adventure activities, ayurveda retreats, culinary classes and much more. Here’s a comprehensive list.
The name Munnar quite literally means ‘Three Rivers’ in Malayalam. Munnar is a hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala and is called the ‘Kashmir of South India’.
With a pleasant climate all year around, beautiful lush green tea plantations, quiet roads, gurgling streams and friendly people, is it any wonder that it is such a popular honeymoon destination? Take long meandering walks with your loved one, sit by the streams and get immersed in the quiet stillness of the waters, push your endurance by climbing the slopes or just do what all tourists do – sightsee. Munnar tourism has something for everyone’s likes and no one ever leaves disappointed.
Alleppey or Alappuzha as it’s locally known is akin to the Venice of south India. Say bye bye to cars and bikes as you boat around these serene backwaters feasting on freshly fried karimeen and see what it’s like to live at the water’s edge.
Travel to Alleppey as part of Alleppey Travel Packages to be bewitched with the land. The backwater activities will intoxicate your senses. Alleppey Vacation packages will also cater to your most ardent wish of living in a houseboat. It is the hotbed for all houseboat activities in Kerala. While on your Alleppey Tour, if you schedule your travel plans in the month of August at the time of the famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race, you will thank your lucky stars for granting you audience to such an invigorating and thrilling experience. So pack your bag and head off for a holiday of a lifetime, by opting for one of the Alleppey Holiday Packages.
With a lighthouse at one end and calm inviting waters, Kovalam beach is hands down the best spot in Kerala, by the sea.
Kovalam Beach is one of the most charming beaches of Kerala, that you don't want to miss. It boasts of a serene ambiance, making it the perfect place to spend a laidback evening. There is pleasant weather, calm breeze, warm sand and tall coconut trees, making it look like part of a dream. It is also lined with many Ayurveda parlours and yoga centers that will end your day correctly, with relaxing massages.
Thekkady Spice Plantations
India’s undisputed spice rack, Thekkady is redolent with the aroma of spices like vanilla, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. It is also home to many artisan chocolatiers from whom you can pick up a bar of this ambrosia.
Thekkady is also called Periyar and forms part of the Periyar Wildlife Reserve where you can spot tigers and a host of other wildlife. Take a tour of the vast spice plantations, where if you’re lucky, you can spot a tiger sniffing the same spices you were admiring merely a moment ago. Such is the magic of Munnar, and no Kerala holiday is complete without a jaunt in these hills.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The Kumarakom Sanctuary covers a large area of about 14 acres and is controlled by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. The sanctuary was earlier known as Baker’s Estate as it was originally developed as a rubber plantation by George Alfred Baker.
The beautiful Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located at Kumarakom in Kottayam district in Kerala. The sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake in the enchanting backwaters of Kerala, which is why it is also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary. Kumarakom is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Kerala as it is home to many native as well as migratory birds. A wide range of rare birds make it an alluring place for birdwatchers. The sanctuary sees a lot of tourists all through the year and serves as an amazing place to get close to nature.
Kochi in Kerala is the land that time has forgot. It is a direct throwback to India’s colonial past and is a present day thriving port city and the epicentre of the spice trade in Kerala.
The highlight of your Kerala holiday is definitely a visit to Fort Kochi with its cobblestone streets, charming bed and breakfasts and quaint cafes. The Spice Market in Kochi is the most famous place to shop for spices in Kerala. There is a vast lineup of local stores dealing with a wide variety of spices that you can choose from. This is the place to hunt for bargains on black pepper also called Black Gold and many other spices.
Located about 70 kms from Kochi, and known for its breathtaking views, getting soaked in the mists of Athirapally Falls is a must do on your Kerala holiday.
Located at the entrance of the Sholayar Hill Ranges, the Athirapally Falls are really lovely. Flowing out on the River Chalakudy, these breathtaking waterfalls cascade down from a massive height of 80 feet, with water gushing through different parallel streams forming a magnificent view. These falls are often regarded as the 'Niagara Falls if India.'
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Take your trip to Munnar one step ahead by visiting the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
This is one of the most significant wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. It is not only an Elephant and Tiger Reserve but also a home to rare and endangered flora and fauna. This vast forest reserve is inhabited by the sambar, bison, wild boar, elephant, langur and tiger. You can take a jeep safari through the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and get a glimpse of some of the rarest species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and butterflies that roam the jungle freely.
Food in Kerala
Thanks to the bustling spice trade and culinary influences by Arabs, Dutch and many other cultures, the cuisine of Kerala is unique, complex and tasty. Here’s some food you must try on your Kerala tour. Food here is more than idlis and dosas, though filter coffee is drunk in large quantities.
Due to its many water sources, the supply of fish in Kerala is abundant. You can feast on fish, shellfish and crustaceans of many kinds, either fried or in a spicy curry with a side of rice. Special mention must be made of karimeen or Pearl Spot, a species of fish found in the backwaters and brackish estuaries. Eating spicy, crispy fried karimeen, with it’s soft, sweet succulent flesh on a houseboat with a glass of fresh toddy on the side is sure to send you into a culinary trance on your Kerala holiday.
Kerala is a carnivore's delight. There’s chicken, duck, goat, pork and more. Having a vast Syrian Catholic and Muslim population means there’s always meat on the table in Kerala. Must tries include duck curry and the famous Malabar Biryani, which is a must try on your Kerala vacation.
Sadhya, is a traditional meal served on a banana leaf, which is primarily vegetarian. The sheer variety of dishes is mind boggling and you will be constantly serving more while you sit down to eat. This is a hallmark of Kerala’s hospitality. Highlights of these meals include, kadla curry, paysam, papads and mountains of fluffy rice.
Things to Do In Kerala
While the run of the mill sightseeing included in most Kerala tour packages will introduce you to the most popular places in Kerala, you can add a few experiences to your Kerala holiday package, maximizing i’s value. Here’s a few activities you can partake in to see a different side of Kerala.
Get an ayurvedic massage
Soothe and relax your body, mind, and soul with Ayurvedic massages from the experts. Different treatments like Abhangam, Ilakkizhi, Podikkizhi, Panchakarma, Udvarthanam, Mavarakkizhi, Ksheeradhara, Thakradhara, and Pizhichil provide you relief from almost any kind of ailments. This is the perfect way to start and end your Kerala vacation.
Catch a Kathakali performance
Visit the Kathakali Theatre in Fort Kochi to watch a Kathakali performance. This age-old traditional form of dance is a beauty in itself. The dancers are adorned with elaborate costumes and makeup paired with graceful body movements, that is a treat to watch. You can spend a laid-back evening in Kochi watching a Kathakali performance.
Feel The Thrill of a Snake Boat Race
The Nehru Trophy Boat Tri Race is a popular ‘Vallam Kali’ or water sport held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, Kerala. Teams of men and women row slender canoes called Snake Boats at breakneck speed in an effort to win the coveted prize. Watch from the sidelines, or get on one of these boats to participate, if you’re physically fit enough. This will get your blood flowing on your Kerala holiday.
Chill On a Houseboat
Alleppey is also the place to rent a houseboat and live away from land for a bit. Float along the backwaters at a languid pace as you watch the world go by. With an onboard kitchen and chef, you can fish for your supper and have it prepared on the boat itself. There’s also larger, two-storied houseboats, so you can turn one leg of your Kerala holiday into a boat party.
Pick you own tea in Munnar
Munnar has vast tea gardens where you can pick your own tea leaves under the morning sun in Munnar’s pleasant climate. This is a fun activity for families with kids and is a must do on your Kerala holiday.
Bathe With Elephants at Kodanad
Visit Kodanad Elephant Training Centre in Ernakulam district and spend some time with these gentle giants. Watch them go about their day in their natural habitat, feed them tasty treats and the most fun part is bathing them in a nearby river and watching them spray each other and you with water from their trunks. This is one of the cutest things to do on your Kerala holiday.
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