By all means, Kerala is a surreal destination where you can lose the wanderlust in you and plan a trip to this colorful land. Whether you are an adventure freak, planning for your honeymoon, traveling with family and friends, a leisure seeker, or yearning for a solo backpacking trip to offbeat destinations, you can always plan a Kerala trip and satisfy all your cravings. Kerala, also known as God’s Own Country, has an array of places to visit. So, here we have sorted a list of tourist places that will fill your travelogue with fun, frolic, and excitement.

Look at this list of best places to visit in Kerala and add new pages to your travel diary in 2020.

1. Beaches

Kerala, which is famous for backwaters, and hill stations with tea and coconut trees, is also not short of great beaches as well. Kerala indeed has several spectacular beaches that will take your breath away. Beaches like Kovalam, Varkala, Chowara, Chavakkad, Nattika, Cherai, are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Kerala. Furthermore, tourists can spend their time sunbathing, swimming or simply enjoying the stunning view there.

i) Marari Beach

Located on the Alleppey district, Marari beach is an idyllic location for a vacation with coconut trees lining the white sandy shore on the beach. Here you can also opt for a Day Cruise in Alleppey backwaters of a Cochin holiday tour by staying at this beach. Besides, Marari offers endless miles of empty sands and coconut trees.

ii) Cherai Beach

Situated in Vypin Island north of Fort Kochi, Cherai Beach is a narrow strip of sandy beach which extends for about 10 km on the western side of the island. It is the ideal combination of both the backwaters and the sea. It presents a beautiful view of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets, also known as Cheena Vala well. Furthermore, the nearby shacks provide fresh cuisine that fills you up after a delightful swim.

iii). Kovalam Beach

Source: wikivoyage

One of the finest and cleanest beaches in Kerala, Kovalam beach is a perfect destination for those who are seeking solitude and peace. Just about 37 minutes away from the city of Trivandrum, it is the place where everyone heads to for some serenity. Additionally, Kovalam beach is one of the top shelves of all Kerala beaches for its visual awesomeness and tourist gait. Moreover, the view of coconut trees swaying with wind direction and the crystal clear waters of the sea in Kovalam beach is a memory to cherish.

iv). Varkala Beach

Source: keralatourism

One of the most beautiful beaches with captivating ambience and the heavily crowded place is Varkala beach. Besides, the beach is famous for medicinal and curative properties. People believe that a dip in the holy waters at this beach will prevent our body of impurities and sins as well. That’s why it is also known as ‘Papanasam Beach.’ Furthermore, Varkala also offers excellent accommodation facilities for travellers and also has many Ayurvedic massage centres.

4. Munnar 

Located in Idukki district, Munnar is the most popular hill station in Kerala. This beautiful place is famous for its lush tea plantations and the tea museum. One of the most sought after honeymoon destinations in Kerala, Munnar has sprawling tea plantations, picturesque towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities that make this a famous resort town. 

Munnar also offers excitement for wildlife enthusiasts. The endangered mountain goat, Nilgiri tahr and elephants are common at the Anamudi peak in Munnar. Another popular place in Munnar is Elephant Lake, where visitors can find a herd of tuskers in a natural environment. 

Furthermore, other popular tourist attractions in Munnar include Tata Tea Museum, Kanan Devan Tea Museum, Nyayamakad, Kundala Lake, Eravikulam National Park, Meesapulimala, Mattupetty Dam, Pothamedu View Point, Anamudi Peak, Blossom Park, Devikulam, Chithirapuram, Pallivasal, Kolukkumalai, Rajamala and Top Station, Life of Pi Church, Vattavada, Cheeyapara Waterfalls, Attukal Waterfalls etc.

Best time to visit: Summer: March to May, Winter: September to February.

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5. Kochi 

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Kochi or Cochin is undoubtedly one of the top 3 tourist places to visit in Kerala.  Also known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Kochi has been ranked seventh in Lonely Planet’s list of top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2020. Here one will witness the oldest European churches in India, named Saint Francis Church. 

Famous tourist attractions in Kochi: Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Immanuel, Dutch Cemetery, Vasco House, St. Francis Church, Vasco da Gama Square, Basilica of Santa Cruz, David Hall, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Jew Town, Vypeen Beach, Spice Market, Edappally Museum, Bolgatty Island, Cochin Cultural Centre, Lulu Mall (one of the largest malls in India), Muziris Heritage Project.

Best time to visit: October to February

The magical beauties of this gorgeous state

6. Thekkady 

One of the great forest tourist places in Kerala is Thekkady which is home to wildlife animals like bison, elephants, Nilgiri langurs, deer, and tigers. In addition, Thekkady has lush greenery and calm water which are enough to have a soothing effect on you. 

Thekkady also has Periyar National Park which is a tiger and elephant reserve, where one can go on a jungle jeep safari. Besides, there are also treks along the Tiger Trail, camps, bamboo rafting and midnight safaris organised for those who want more adventure. 

Famous tourist attractions in Thekkady: Periyar National Park, Periyar Tiger Trail, Border Hiking, Bamboo Rafting, Mangaladevi Temple, Gavi Forest, Deepa World Spice, and Ayurvedic Garden, Elephant Junction, Peermedu, Mullaperiyar Dam, Kadathanadan Kalari & Navarasa Kathakali Centre, Pandikuzhi Waterfalls, Vandanmedu Cardamom Hills and Vandiperiyar Spice Plantations.

Best time to visit: Monsoon: June to September, Winter: October to February

7. Kumarakom 

Located near Vembanad Lake, this backwater destination is a place where you want to come back again and again. You can travel along on a houseboat and look at the sunset amidst coconut trees while letting your feet dip in Kumarakom’s calming waters. Here one can stay in one of the luxury backwater resorts in Kumarakom, which is a must to experience its serene vibes. Moreover, Kumarakom has exotic scenery famous for houseboats.

Famous tourist attractions in Kumarakom: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Beach, Vembanad Lake, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Kakkathuruthu, Cheriyapally, Valiyapally, and Juma Masjid.

Best time to visit Kumarakom: August to May

8. Wayanad 

Wayanad is a pleasant hill station, and it is one of those locations in Kerala that you can visit throughout the year. Also known as ‘land of paddy fields’, Wayanad offers you a lush landscape dotted with rice paddy fields, coffee plantations, betel nut trees and bamboo forests.

One can also gaze at the caves with rock and wall carvings belonging to the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages.

Famous tourist attractions in Wayanad:  Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Banasura Sagar Dam, Edakkal Caves, Lakkidi, Kuruva Island, Sentinel Rock Falls, Soochipara Falls, Chembra Peak, Vythiri, Meenmutty Falls, Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Thirunelli Temple, Pakshipathalam, Pookode Lake, Sulthan Bathery and Puliyarmala Jain Temple.

Best time to visit Wayanad: All-year-round

9. Athirapally Waterfalls

Located on the Chalakudy river, Athirapally waterfalls are one of the best places to visit in Kerala for a one day trip. Many movies have also been shot here in the majestic location of Athirapally waterfalls. The captivating Athirapally Falls indeed look like a scene straight out of a fantasy. 

Famous tourist attractions in Athirapally Waterfalls: Athirapally & Vazhachal Waterfalls, Chalakudy River, Charpa Falls, and Sholayar Dam

Best time to visit: October to February

10. Poovar Island 

This little island located between the Arabian Sea and the Neyyar River is an offbeat place which is unmissable during your Kerala trip. The primary fascination of Poovar is – the backwater river, lake and Arabian sea joining together, which, one will not get to see anywhere in Kerala. The golden sands, unique flora and fauna, calm waters, undoubtedly make the place one of the best tourist spots in Kerala.

Famous tourist attractions near Poovar Island: Poovar Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Pozhikkara Beach, Hawa Beach, Kovalam Beach, Neyyar Dam and Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thirparappu Falls, and Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium

Best time to visit: October to February

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11. Vagamon

Situated at the Idukki-Kottayam border, Vagamon is an idyllic hill-station dotted with pine-forests and meadows. Vagamon has three hills-Kurisumala, Thangal and Murugan, which represent the Muslim, Hindu, and Christian faiths. Tea plantations, Misty hills, and endless fields indeed build a beautiful canvas for your travelogue.

Famous tourist attractions in Vagamon: Vagamon Lake, Karikadu View Point, Vagamon Meadows, Thangan Hill, Murugan Hill, Pine Forest, Kurisumala, Barren Hills, Mundakayam Ghat, Vagamon Falls, Maramala Waterfalls, Pattumalai Church, Vagamon Orchidarium and Floriculture Project, Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary, Peermade and Kuttikanam Castle

Best time to visit: All-year-round

12. Ashtamudi 

Ashtamudi is one of the beautiful places in Kerala where you can experience nature at its finest. The location is famous for tourism because of the picturesque Ashtamudi Lake and backwaters, coir production, cashew processing, and traditional fishing culture. Furthermore, it is also the best place to relish the intimate experience of backwaters in Kerala.

Notable tourist attractions: Ashtamudi Lake, Ashtamudi Backwaters, Alumkadavu Boat Building Yard, Thevally Palace, and Munroe Island

Best time to visit: October to February

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13. Kannur 

With picturesque beaches and rich heritage, Kannur or Cannanore is one of the best vacationing places in Kerala. The place is indeed blessed with natural beauty. Kannur has one of the rare places to visit in Kerala and that is Asia’s longest drive-in beach, the Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach.

Kannur is also known as the ‘Land of Looms and Lores’ for its handloom industry and vibrant art and culture. Besides, tourists can pick some of the best handloom cotton fabrics from Kannur. 

Notable tourist attractions in Kannur: Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach, St. Angelo’s Fort, Payyambalam Beach, Baby Beach, Thottada Beach, Meenkunnu Beach, Mopila Bay, Dharmadam Island, Arakkal Kettu Museum, Parassinikkadavu and Sundareswara Temple

Best time to visit Kannur: October to February

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14. Guruvayur 

Another tourist spot in Kerala is Guruvayur which is one of the religious places to visit. The place offers you the most famous Shree Krishna Temple, a part of your itinerary. Dedicated to god Guruvayurappan in the avatar of Lord Krishna, the place is popularly referred to as ‘Dwaraka of South India’. Furthermore, local people say that the temple is around 5000 years old, making it one of India’s most ancient temples.

Famous tourist attractions: Guruvayur Temple, Mammiyoor Shiva Temple, Parthasarathy Temple, Mammiyur Mahadevan Temple, Chamundeshwary Temple, Punnathur Kotta Elephant Palace, Guruvayur Elephant Camp Sanctuary, Devaswom Institute of Mural Paintings and Palayur Church

Best time to visit: October to February

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15. Kozhikode/Calicut

Also known as Calicut, Kozhikode is a port city that is well-known for being the place where Vasco Da Gama landed in 1498. Kozhikode has a lot more to offer. Therefore, it is known for its beaches, parks, temples, landmarks, outdoor activities, and is also equally famous for its authentic specialties like Biryanis and Halwas.

Famous tourist attractions in Kozhikode:  Kappad Beach, Kozhikode Beach, Thikkoti Lighthouse, Mavoor Road, Palayam, or Calicut Byepass Road, Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, Sarovaram Bio Park, Beypore Beach, Kozhippara Falls, Thusharagiri Falls, Kadalundi, Mananchira Square, Tali Temple, Thalikkunu Shiva Temple, Lion’s Park, Thiruvachira Sree Krishna Temple, Kalipoyika Backwaters, Peruvannamuzhi Dam and Art Gallery And Krishna Menon Museum 

Best time to visit Kozhikode: October to February

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