Since the travel sector is slowly opening up, I decided to finally embark on a long-awaited trip to Kerala that was on my list for quite some time, taking all the safety precautions. If you want to read the post COVID-19 lockdown guidelines for Kerala, check
THIS post out. After traveling in Kerala for about a month, I understand why this place is called “God’s own country”.
If the idea to explore Kerala has been on your mind too, I would highly recommend you to go for it. And to make the planning portion easier for you, here are three different kinds of suggested itineraries to cover most of the must-visit gems in the state that you’ll cherish forever.
Such a beautiful sunset with the view of the Banasura peak in Wayanad!
7 day Kerala backpackers’ itinerary guide
Vagamon – Alleppey – Varkala
Day 1 – Land at Cochin airport. It will take you three hours to reach Vagamon from Cochin. Watch the sunset from Justin’s peak.
Day 2 – Go for a sunrise trek to Ginamala or Moonmala. Roam around the hilly town to enjoy the grandeur of nature. Visit Marmala waterfalls in the afternoon. Also, you may do sunset paragliding if you want to indulge in some adventure.
Day 3 – After an early breakfast, leave for Alleppey. After a three-hour journey, head to the floating bazaar for local food and shopping.
Day 4 – Have breakfast and go for a 3-4 hour Shikara ride with Oscar cruise (personal recommendation). Have lunch at Taste of India. Head back to the city and go to Marari beach to chill. Roam around the beautiful city and yes, don’t miss the food (shappu meen curry, or Kerala Sadhya)!
Day 5 – After breakfast, head towards Varkala. Walk around the cliff beach and enjoy the lit coastal street. Try cafes like Inda cafe or True Thomas.
Day 6 – Try surfing in the morning. Chill by the beach/ hire a scooter and explore the small town of Varkala. Lunch at Babu farm (near the black sand beach) for garlic butter prawns. See the black sand beach, go shopping for junk jewelry, Itra, cork yoga mats etc. Have dinner at God’s own country kitchen.
Day 7 – Have breakfast and head to Thiruvananthapuram airport to depart (1 hour away from Varkala).
I went for some paddle boarding/body surfing in Varkala
14-day Kerala rejuvenation itinerary guide
Athirappilly – Vagamon – Varkala – Alleppey – Kochi
Day 1 – Arrive at Cochin airport, travel to Athirappilly for two hours. Spend the night in Athirappilly.
Day 2 – Go to the falls in the morning for a beautiful view and then after lunch head to Vagamon (4 hours journey). Relax during the night and watch the starry skies.
Day 3 – Go for a sunrise hike to Justin’s point and chill there for a while. Have lunch and head for an offroad experience or a sunrise trek to Moonmala or Ginamala.
Day 4 – Chill in the morning and head to Marmala waterfalls. You can take a tour of the Uluppuni Tunnel. After lunch, go for a paragliding experience and watch the classic Vagamon sunset skies.
Day 5 – Spend the morning walking through Murugan Hill before lunch. After lunch, head to Varkala (4.5 – 5 hours road journey). Visit God’s own country for dinner.
Day 6 – Start your day in Varkala, with a yoga session by the beach, and have breakfast at Inda Cafe. Roam around the Varkala coastline and explore local shops.
Day 7 – Go to Babu farm for breakfast and go to the black sand beach nearby. Next, hire a scooter and cover the insides of the town. Have food at Darjeeling cafe or bait and hook.
Day 8 – Spend your morning on the bright sunny beaches of Varkala. Leave for Alleppey (3-hour journey) after an early lunch. Once you reach Alleppey, go to the floating bazaar or canal bazaar for a local dinner.
Day 9 – Start your day with a light breakfast and taking a walk through the Marari beach. Go for a Shikara ride (lasts 3-4 hours) and go to Taste of India for a local food experience. Head back to the hotel/place of stay and relax by the beach sunsets of Alleppey.
Day 10 – Learn about the art of Kalaripayattu and go to Cafe Catamaran by the beach for lunch. Canal Bazar in Alleppey is a wonder and you should not miss it. Go there for food and shopping for spices, oils, decor items, etc, and have dinner at the Canal Bazaar with a local street food shop. Try what they suggest (I suggest crab roast or puttu kadala).
Day 11 – Head to Kochi after breakfast (1.5 hours drive). Take a ferry ride in Kochi and then head to Sri Muruga Cafe for a local style early dinner.
Day 12 – Start your morning exploring the Chinese fishing nets of Kochi. For lunch, go to Jew town and visit the Paradesi synagogue or jew synagogue. Must have biryani at Kayees Rahmathullah cafe for lunch and go to fort house restaurant for a beautiful relaxing dinner with a view.
Day 13 – Take a beautiful sunrise walk by Cherai beach in the morning and then have some local breakfast. Head to princess market for shopping and lunch at Qissa Cafe. Explore Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church or spend time by the marine drive.
Day 14 – After breakfast, head to the Cochin airport and depart.
24 Day Ultimate Kerala Itinerary Guide
Kozhikode – Wayanad – Thrissur – Athirappilly – Munnar – Thekkady – Vagamon – Varkala – Alleppey – Kochi
Map of the route to travel in Kerala for 24 days
Day 1 – 3: Kozhikode
Day 1 – Arrive at the Calicut International Airport and introduce yourself to the lively city of
Kozhikode. Have lunch/ dinner at the popular S.M. (sweet meat) street.
Day 2 – Go for a backwater ride in the morning and visit Lions’ Park. Head to the Kozhikode beach in the evening to hang out and enjoy the soothing sunset.
Day 3 – Go to Kappad beach in the morning and then head towards Wayanad (3-hour drive). Day 3 – 6: Wayanad
Day 3 – Arrive in
Wayanad by the evening. Stargazing in Wayanad is one of the most amazing experiences of the little hilly town.
Day 4 – Head to Wayanad tea gardens in the morning. Have lunch at the Clay Hut restaurant. Go to the Banasura dam before 4 p.m. to catch a view of the sunset. Don’t forget to shop for coffee beans and grab a local payasam.
Day 5 – Start your day with a bamboo boating experience in Kuruva island (closes at 4 p.m.). Roam around the tea gardens and hike to the beautiful Chembra Peak.
Day 6 – Rent cycles in the morning and bike along the Nilgiris. Post an early lunch, head towards Athirappilly (a 9-hour drive). Day 6 – 8: Athirappilly
Day 6 – Reach
Athirappilly by the night and relax through the evening.
Day 7 – The main attraction in Athirappilly is the iconic Athirappilly waterfalls. You can also visit the Vazhachal waterfalls.
Day 8 – Have a hearty breakfast and leave early for Munnar (a 4-hour drive).
The mystic Athirappilly falls Day 8 – 10: Munnar
Day 8 – Arrive at
Munnar, a slightly colder town in Kerala. Visit Anayirankal/Mattupetty Dam and Lake.
Day 9 – The tea capital of Kerala, Munnar, has a lot to offer when it comes to splendid vistas. Start your day with visiting the Munnar tea plantation and estate. After lunch, drive to the Top Station and Echo Point for a sunset view.
Day 10 – Just before leaving for Thekkady, drive up to the Anamudi Peak. Start your journey to Thekkady after lunch. (a 3 hour drive) Day 10 – 12: Thekkady
Day 10 – Arrive in
Thekkady, a town that offers many green hikes and treks.
Day 11 – Spend a day in Periyar National Park among the flora and fauna. (I suggest you to check whether the safari is open with the hotel/accommodation you have chosen for your stay.)
Day 12 – Explore spice plantations and don’t forget to visit the Chellarkovil waterfalls. After lunch, leave for Vagamon. (a 2 hour drive) Day 12 – 15: Vagamon
Day 12 – Arrive at
Vagamon and don’t miss the night sky full of stars. I recommend to stay at Zostel Vagamon or Winter Vale Green Stay Resorts.
Day 13 – Vagamon has hikes and viewpoints that offer some of the best sunrise experiences. Head for an afternoon hike/drive to Marmala Waterfalls, where you can cliff jump into a pool which is 30-40 ft deep. Spend your evening gawking at the beautiful falls among the lush green. You can also go for a sunset paragliding experience.
Day 14 – Start your morning with breakfast and an optional off-roading experience with Zostel Vagamon. Trek up to the Ginamala or Moonmala trek.
Day 15 – Have an early breakfast and say goodbye to Vagamon. Start your journey to Varkala. (a 4.5 hours drive)
The famous hammock of Zostel, Vagamon Day 15 – 18: Varkala
Day 15 – Welcome to
Varkala, the bohemian land of rejuvenation and delicious food. Once you reach Varkala in the evening, spend time by the Cliff beach. Don’t forget to have dinner at God’s Own Country.
Day 16 – Start your morning early and rent out a scooty/bike. Ride through the coastal street of Varkala and enjoy the best of both worlds. I highly recommend going to @inda_cafe and @truethomas.in for wholesome meals, the first one for continental food and the second for Indian/Kerala cuisine. Continue your scooty ride to the Black Sand beach and bask in its serenity.
Day 17 – Two must-have adventures await you in Varkala – surfing through the day and or a sunset backwaters ride at the Kappil beach.
Day 18 – Go to North Cliff beach in the morning and walk along the boardwalk, filled with shops that sell antiques to itras and junk jewellery to hippie clothes. Leave from Varkala post lunch and head to Alleppey. (a 3 hr drive) Day 18- 21: Alleppey
Day 18 – Arrive in
Alleppey by the evening and relax at your accommodation. I stayed in a homestay called Lemon Dew which is right by the beach. You can also opt for a homestay which is next to the backwaters or closer to the boat jetty. Or a nice resort by the backwaters.
Day 19 – Begin your journey in Alleppey with a Shikara ride. (lasts 3-4 hours) You may opt for @oscar_cruise for the same. Don’t forget to take a stop at Taste of India for some delectable local food. Spend your evening in the Canal Bazar or Floating Bazar for shopping and local experiences. Garlic Butter Prawns and Shappu Meen Curry should be dishes on your bucket list.
Day 20 – Visit the serene town of Kumarakom for the bird sanctuary, backwater lakes and the unbeatable sunsets. Alternatively, you can opt for a Houseboat experience in Alleppey. Houseboats are beautiful from the inside, but they only sail through bigger channels of the backwaters, so you miss out on the smaller ones. But having said that, it is still very relaxing and enjoyable to be inside one and sailing in one of Kerala’s largest lakes called Vembanad lake. If you want to opt for an eco-friendly houseboat experience (a boat that runs on solar power as opposed to diesel), find Thara Eco Boat on booking.com or alternately contact @oscar_cruise !
Day 21 – Spend your morning chilling by the Marari beach. Leave for Kochi after lunch and shopping (a 1 hour journey).
Kayaking in the backwaters of Alleppey Day 21 – 24: Kochi
Day 21 – Arrive in Kochi and head to Sri Muruga Cafe for a local style dinner.
Day 22 – Start your day in the Jew Town of Kochi, that adorns the iconic art and culture of the state. Don’t forget to visit Paradesi Synagogue while in Jew Town.
Day 23 – Take a walk to the Cherai Beach in the morning for a beautiful south sunrise. Spend some time by the iconic Chinese fishing nets of Kerala. A biryani meal at Kayees Ramathulla cafe is a must!
Day 24 – Soak in the end of your trip through Kerala because it’s time to head back home!
That’s it – now you have a base to start planning your trip according to your preference of time period. Kerala is undoubtedly a gem of a place that offers unmatched sights, experiences, and memories. If you have any other query related to traveling in Kerala, ask away in the comments section!
Planning to cover places mentioned in this itinerary?