Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to Self-Plan a 7N/8D Leisure trip to Kerala (India) !

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous
Kerala Backwaters (Pic Credit : Pixabay)

Thinking to self-plan a trip to Kerala ? Not sure where to start?
You have come to the right place.

Note : I am an avid traveler and below is my own research and plan that I executed.

The best advantage of self-planning a trip is you save 30%-50% of the cost that you would end up incurring if you go through a travel agent.

Best time to visit Kerala?

Best time to visit Kerala is December to February, which is also the peak season with the highest prices. It's a good idea to travel either in November or March, when the prices are relatively lower and weather is pleasant as well.

How to reach Kerala?

By Train
There are many trains which you can take for Kochi (Ernakulum Jn) from Mumbai or Bengaluru.
Click Here to see all trains from Mumbai to Kochi.
Click Here to see all trains from Bengaluru to Kochi.

By Bus
There are many buses to Kochi from Bengaluru.
Click Here to see all buses from Bengaluru to Kochi.

By Flights
Kerala has 2 big cities with airports well connected to other parts of India : Kochi and Trivandrum. You can enter Kerala via 1 airport, travel within Kerala and exit via another airport.

You can search flights to Kerala here.

Our Kerala Itinerary

We travelled Kerala for 7 Nights and covered Munnar (Hills), Thekkady/Periyar (National Park), Alleppey / Alappuzha (Backwaters)  and Varkala & Kovalam (Beaches) as under :

Kerala Itinerary

Below are the Cities we visited and hotels we stayed at:

Day 1    :  Arrive at Kochi Airport. Stay at Hotel Fort Queen. Other Hotels
Day 2/3 : Munnar, Stay at Blackberry Hills Retreat & SpaOther Hotels
Day 4    : Thekkady (Periyar National Park). Stay at Carmelia HavenOther Hotels
Day 5    : Alleppey (Alappuzha). Stay at Lakelands Cruise (Houseboat)Other Hotels
Day 6    : Varkala. Stay at  Resort Palm Tree HeritageOther Hotels
Day 7    : Kovalam. Stay at Resort Soma PalmshoreOther Hotels
Day 8    : Depart from Trivandrum Airport

How to travel within Kerala?

By Bus
There are many state buses which ply between the various locations mentioned in the itinerary. However the roads are not that good and there are no luxury volvo buses. Hence it's suggested to hire a cab and travel.

By Car
This is the preferred mode of transport. It's a good idea to take quotes from multiple travel agencies (Google 'Car rental in Kerala'), compare rates and book in advance. Click Here for one of the travel agencies with good feedback.

What to Do/See in Kerala?

Day 1 : Kochi

Kochi Streets/City

Jewish Synagogue
Dutch palace

Day 2 : Munnar

Cheeyappara waterfalls

Day 3 : Munnar

Tea Plantations

Munnar Lake

Day 4 : Thekkady ( Periyar National Park)

Periyar wild life sanctuary and the plantation zone

Day 5 : Alleppey (Alappuzha)

Houseboat in Backwaters

Day 6 : Varkala

Varkala Beach & Cliff

Day 7 : Kovalam

Padmanabhaswami Temple
Veli Tourist Village

Kovalam Beach

What to EAT in Kerala?

Kerala style Fish Curry

Idiyappam with Egg Curry

Kerala breakfast

Kerala Guide

Lonely Planet has a good guide for Kerala. Click Here to buy the same.

I hope, this article will help you to plan and explore Kerala in a relaxed manner!

Enjoy the Paradise!