The Ultimate Guide to One Week in Kerala
Here is your ultimate 7 Day Kerala Itinerary
Are you looking for a beautiful and exotic place to visit, but you only have little time?
This is the place for you!!! The beautiful State Kerala in the South of India
This is your ultimate itinerary for an unforgettable 7 day vacation in "Gods own country"
There is a lot to see and visit in the state of Kerala. Nevertheless, visiting in a week is possible, so let's get started and see what you could see and do!
1 night Fort Kochi
1 night Kerala Backwaters on a Houseboat from Alappuzha
2 nights Munnar
1 night by the airport COK to visit the Athirappilly Waterfalls and then, depending on your preferences you may also do or switch either of the above for:
Periyar National Park
Cochin International Airport (COK) in Nedumbassery, this is where you are most likely to fly into. From here you can easily start your Kerala adventure.
Fort Kochi, Fort Cochin or Cochin
From 1500 - 1663 Kochi was a Portuguese colony, followed by the Dutch and later by the British colonies. It is the old buildings which most clearly reveal this deep-rooted colonial influence. A leisurely walk through its streets is one of the best ways to discover all that the town has to offer.
One of the things you must do when in Fort Kochi is going to the beach for sunset. You can enjoy a gorgeous scenery. Not only is the sunset beautiful, but there is something incredibly unique about enjoying the sun setting behind the Chinese Fishing Nets that are fixed on the land for fishing.
"Must Do's" while visiting Fort Kochi
- Stroll around town
- Go to the beach for sunset
- Observe the fiserhmen take out the fish using the traditional Chinese Fishing Nets
How long should I stay? Stay one to two nights in Fort Kochi itself to have a nice stroll around the old Portuguese, Dutch and British houses from the colonial periods that line the streets of Fort Kochi. Enjoy a marvelous sunset and a delicious dinner in one of the many (although rather touristy) restaurants.
Whre should I stay? Stay in Fort Kochi itself. From here you can visit everything by foot. As it is quite touristy it is safe, and you have many dining options.
Sunset behind the Chinese Fishing Nets
Gorgeous sunset by the beach
The Kerala Backwaters
The Kerala Backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets, a labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 km of waterways.
Definitely one of the best things while visiting Kerala.
How to tour the Kerala Backwaters
You have three good options to experience the backwaters. You may chose either of them depending on your time, travel priority, budget and your lust for adventure!
Day Tour on the Backwater. Starting point: Fort Kochi
Overnight Backwater Tour on a Houseboat from Allepey (Alappuzha)
Special tourist ferry from Allepey to Kollam
1. Kerala Houseboat Rental
No question the most unique travel experience, and in my opinion one of the “must – do” when in Kerala, is renting a Houseboat for a night. The main house boat rental port is in Alappuzha, also known as Allepey.
Alappuzha is about 60km south of Fort Kochi. This will take you by taxi around 1.40hrs.
At the pier you will find hundreds of different providers and depending on your budget you can find different types of boats. It is basically a hotel room on a boat that will take you through the gorgeous canals.
The easiest way to find your boat is to go online and Google: Allepey (Alappuzha) Houseboat. In India people use What's App and it is quite easy to communicate with Houseboat Rental Agencies on What's App to coordinate a date and price for your boat rental.
To have an idea these are established providers with fair prices: (But you can really just Google and send out some What's App's to find your preferred Houseboat Provider)
Depending on the season a Houseboat including all food for one bedroom, 2 adults should be around 6'000 – 8'000 Rupees.
High season prices will be higher, weekends tend to be more costly as well.
2. Day Tour from Fort Kochi When in Fort Kochi you may also consider going on a day tour of the Kerala Backwaters. In Fort Kochi itself there are lots of travel companies who offer day trips through the Kerala Backwaters. It is definitely worth the experience if you do not have time to rent a houseboat for a night.
Half Day Tour per Person: 700 Rupees
Full Day Tour (including lunch): 1000 Rupees
3. Ferry Service Kerala State Water Transport Department (SWTD) is a governmental department that regulates the inland navigation systems in the Indian state of Kerala and provides inland water transport facilities.
Going on the ferry is an excellent option to explore the backwaters on a budget. This is the Kerala State Water Transport Department website with the boat schedules --> Tourist Boat Schedule
Enjoyingng our tour on the Backwaters / Daytrip from Kochi
Incredible Munnar a town surrounded by the most gorgeous Tea Plantations
As far as the eye can see → the emerald – green tea plantations of Munnar.
This was my favorite part about the trip. I had never before seen anything like this. The hills carpened in green – simply breathtaking. No picture can do justice.
Things to do in Munnar
Besides just taking in the beauty of the tea plantations itself you can visit:
Munnar town and Munnar Tea Museum
Visit Top Station – Echo Point
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Eravikulam National Park
stay at Fab Valley Homestay where you can enjoy a stroll in the spice garden, taste delicious home made food and walk down to the beautiful waterfall that is just 5 minutes from the Homestay their website: Fabvalley Homestay
Munnar Town and Munnar Tea Museum
Munnar, a small busy town surrounded by hills dotted with gorgeous tea plantations that were established in the late 19th century. You can learn more about the history of the plantations at Munnar Tea Museum also called Kannan Devan Tea Museum www.keralatourism.org
Entry fee 75 rupees p.P
Munnar is the starting point to many attractions such as:
- Echo Point and Top Station
About 15km from Munnar you'll find Echo Point. It has it's name thanks to its natural echo phenomenon. The place is on the way to Top Station. It is a scenic place which is surrounded by small hills and in the middle lies a lake.
Top Station is located about 35km from Munnar and gives a panoramic view of neighboring state Tamilnadu. It has on of the best of scenic beauty Munnar has to offer.
- Kolukkumalai Tea Plantations
Standing at 7900 Ft (2'100 meters) , Kolukkumalai is the world's highest tea estate. It is without argument one of the world’s most beautiful scenic destinations. Despite the hype around Munnar, a trip to Kolukkumalai tea estate remains off the tourist map.
How to reach Kolukkumalai Tea Estate?
To reach Kolukkumalai you need to hire a jeep "Jeep Safari" from the gate of Suryanelli (about 1.5hours from Munnar by car) from where the 9 kilometers of crazy off-roading will begin. And with off-roading I mean OFF THE ROAD!!
The easiest way to reach Kolukkumalai is driving from Munnar to Suryanelli for about 1.5 hours. From here you must hire a Jeep. No private cars are allowed in the premises of the Suryanelli Tea Estate.
Once in your Jeep the adventure can begin. And let me tell you this ride is not for the weak. The drive is about three hours long and it's all dirt and stones. Twice we told our driver we wanted to walk for a while. For one we wanted to enjoy the incredible scenery, but also we needed a break from the bumpiest ride we've ever experienced.
That being said, it is still worth the trip for anyone who has no back or leg problems.
Care rental Munnar – Suryanelli – Munnar per car: 2500 rupees
Kolukkumalai Jeep Safari per Jeep: 2500 rupees
Entrance Kolukkumalai Tea Factory: 100 ruppees per person
- Eravikulam National Park
As huge wildlife lovers we really wanted to visit Eravikulam, but unfortunately the park was closed during our stay in Munnar.
You can find all the information on their website: eravikulam.org
Pictures of our adventures around Munnar
Munnar the town
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Our Jeep rented from Suryanelli "off road Jeep Safari"
A big thank you to the incredible women that are working every day out in the fields so all of us around the world can drink our nice cup of tee just the way we like it.
The incredible view en route to Kolukkumalai
As I mentioned before, no picture can do justice.
I enjoyed our trip to the Falls tremendously. Athirappilly - the Niagara of India and definitely worth a visit! The top and the bottom of the falls are accessible (with some safety cordons). At the top, you can swim in the river and it's pools and enjoy the view over the falls to the valley below. The bottom is great to experience the force of the falls and get beautiful pictures. The area is pleasant, with plenty of wildlife around --> beware of the monkeys!! Definitely the place to be on a hot summer day to enjoy the cool water cascading down the rock!
Indian Style Swimming lol Women: NO swimsuits allowed!!!! I was already way too "naked" for Indian Standards
Enjoy your wonderful vacation in an incredible place!!!
Because we'd rather B traveling =) !!!
And if you find yourself with some extra time:
For Beach Lovers: Varkala Beach (tripadvisor reviews: www.tripadvisor.com)
For wildlife lovers: Periyar National Park (www.periyarnationalpark.org)