The 7 Day Kerala Itinerary

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This 7 Day Kerala Road Trip Itinerary is designed keeping the following factors in mind:

  • Fly in and Fly Out from Cochin International Airport
  • Have a vehicle at your disposal
  • Have 8 days in your hand

 

After doing a 7 Day Road Trip to Bhutan back in March, I decided to do a 7 Day Road Trip to Kerala but with my family, and this was roughly what we did, and what I recommend to you as well, as it contains a glimpse of everything you can experience in Kerala – God’s Own Country including admiring the different forms of street art, and cultural heritage in Kochi; visiting the massive tea estates in Munnar;  experiencing the rawness of Nature in Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady and enjoying the quietness and serenity of the Kerala Backwaters.

Having said that, the main priority of this 7 Day Kerala Itinerary is to relax and rejuvenate, as there isn’t much to do in Munnar, Thekkady or Alleppey.

 

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Day 1 – Land in Kochi – Explore Fort Kochi

To make the most out of your Day 1 of your 7 Day Kerala Road Trip, make sure to land in Kochi before mid-day. This way you can check in to a hotel of your liking, preferably in Fort Kochi, and have the rest of the day, post lunch to explore the city of Kochi.

A charming seaside area, Fort Kochi is known for its Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial architecture, and elaborate bamboo Chinese fishing nets which you can see at Fort Kochi Beach.

Fort Kochi is getting popular for its thriving and blooming art and cultural scene, which becomes evident, as you waltz your way around the narrow by lanes, and admire the different street art graffiti’s.

Fort Kochi Street Art & Day Kerala Trip
Street Graffiti in Fort Kochi

One place I’ll definitely recommend is the Kashi Art Café, where you’ll find some rather interesting and unique creations of art.

Enjoy a relaxing hearty meal in one of the many quaint cafes spread out in Fort Kochi, before calling it a night, and gearing up for the next day.



Day 2 – Kochi – Munnar | Munnar Spice Garden Visit

It takes around 4-5 hours from Kochi to Munnar, so ideally you should start by 9 AM, making sure that you reach Munnar by lunch time.

3 hours on the road, and it’s time for the first pit stop – Munnar Spices and Ayurvedic Garden.

Munnar Spice Plantation

The one hour tour across the spice plantation, where the guide briefs about various benefits of different spices and ayurvedic herbs, is quite a learning lesson, which sets a good tone to your 7 Day Kerala Trip.

BTW there’s also a chocolate factory, selling a variety of chocolates, which you can taste and buy as well. However, I’ll rather suggest, you purchase the chocolates from the shops in the city, as they are much cheaper.

Handmade chocolates being sold in Munnar

After the pit stop, continue on your way to Munnar, and reach your hotel, which was Amber Dale Resort and Spa, Munnar in our case.

Post lunch, explore the nearby Pallivassal Tea Estate, and the Attukad Waterfall, at your own pace.


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Day 3 – Munnar Sightseeing | Tea Factory Visit

Like already mentioned, the priority of this 7 Day Kerala Itinerary is relaxation and rejuvenation. And there’s nothing better than, waking up without an alarm, and then enjoying a leisurely breakfast overlooking the picturesque tea estates.

Post lunch, head out to Lockhart tea estate for a tour of the tea factory, and learn more about the different processes involved in the production of Tea.

Munnar Tea Gardens 7 Day Kerala Itinerary
The famous Munnar Tea Gardens

Alternatively, you can head to the Mattupetty Dam and the Mattupetty Tea Estate, and do the tea factory tour there instead.

Thereafter make your way back to your hotel, to enjoy an amazing sunset, and a yummy dinner.

Matupetty Dam 7 Day Kerala Road Trip
Matupetty Dam in Munnar

 



Day 4 – Munnar – Thekkady

Plan your day in such a way, that you enjoy a hearty breakfast at leisure in Munnar, and reach Thekkady – The Gateway to Periyar Tiger Reserve, just in time for lunch in Thekkady.

We managed to reach our resort in Thekkady – Greenwoods Resort Thekkady, just in time for lunch, which was followed by a guided tour around the 6-acre property, where we got to know more about the conscious efforts that, these people have been taking towards sustainability and implementing eco-tourism practices.

Greenwoods Resort Thekkady – Surrounded by nature

Post lunch, and a stroll around the property, there’s nothing better than jumping in the pool for some time, and taking an afternoon nap, in one of the many hammocks, hanging around.

Afternoon naps done right

However, keep in mind that if you plan to explore the Periyar Tiger Reserve on the next day, like us, you need to get your tickets for activities like Jungle Patrol, Bamboo Rafting, Border Hiking, Boating and Trekking, from the Ticket counter, which is just a 5 minutes’ drive from Greenwoods Resort Thekkady, and the counter closes around 5 PM in the evening (cross check with the reception). Also, there are a lot of cultural performances such as Kalaripayattu or Kathakalli, which happen in the evening every day, the tickets of which also need to be purchased before 5 PM (the reception will guide you to the ticket office).

The rawness of the nature trails in Periyar Tiger Reserve

Once you are back after purchasing the tickets, you can explore the Thekkady market, which is just at the doorstep of Greenwoods  Resort Thekkady, and purchase various spices, handmade chocolates, and other ayurvedic products.

Have a sumptuous dinner and call it an early night.



Day 5 – Thekkady Nature Trails

This is the day in your 7 Day Kerala Itinerary when you will be exploring the untouched beauty of Periyar Tiger Reserve, and the best way to get the best experience, is to opt for Bamboo Rafting, which basically involves, a one-and-a-half-hour hike through the jungle – an hour-long boat ride – and a hike back to the starting point.

Enjoying the panoramic view of the lake in PTR

The important thing to keep in mind, is to keep yourself hydrated, which PTR takes care off, as they give you a packed lunch, a bottle of water, some juice and fresh fruits in a backpack, making it easy to carry.

Hiking through the forest, with a guide, be assured that you will spot a lot of different species of birds, and if you are lucky, some animals as well.

The untouched beauty of Periyar Tiger Reserve

This whole experience of exploring the untouched beauty of Periyar Tiger Reserve, will take up 6 – 7 hours, and you should be back by 3 – 4 PM, giving you enough time to go back to the hotel, take an afternoon nap, and then head out again to see the cultural performances.

Bamboo rafting Periyar Tiger Reserve Kerala
Views during the Bamboo Rafting session in PTR

As you will be tired, all you should be doing is chilling out once you are back to the resort for dinner, and a leisure stroll across the property, and ensuring that you get proper and well-deserved rest.

Check out this Weekend Guide to Thekkady for more ideas about the different Things To Do in Thekkady.

 



Day 6 – Thekkady – Kumarakom / Lake Vembanad

Its Day 6 of your 7 Day Kerala Itinerary, and you should check out of your hotel in Thekkady, to reach Aleppey/Kumarakom/Lake Vembanad, which will take 3-4 hours by road.

We had planned to stay at Lemon Tree Lake Vembanad, which overlooks the massive Lake Vembanad, and is a hot favorite among both corporate and leisure travelers. We were just in time for lunch, where the chef had prepared an authentic lunch in the local flavors, which was a gastronomic experience like none other.

There are plenty of luxury resorts in Kumarakom and Alleppey, which you can choose from depending on your budget, However, my personal recommendation would be Lemon Tree Lake Vembanad. It was the perfect place for us to be, as there wasn’t much to do, except to relax, enjoy the views, and chill out in the infinity pool overlooking Lake Vembanad.

Doing some Balancing practice at the edge of the infinity pool overlooking Lake Vembanad

 

Day 7 – Alleppey Backwaters Houseboat Experience

And just like that the 7 Day Kerala Road Trip, is at the last stage, but worry not, as there’s something special for the last day, which is – A full day cruise of the backwaters in the houseboat where you get to experience the beauty of nature in God’s Own Country, while enjoying a traditional meal on board, comprising of more than 15 dishes, served on a banana leaf.

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The last day of the 7 Day Kerala Itinerary, couldn’t be much better than this. And did I forget to mention, you can book a spa session in the evening, after enjoying the day cruising along the backwaters. The 60 minutes ayurvedic massage, is just what your body needs, bringing your relaxing weeklong trip in Kerala to an end.

The 7 Day Kerala Road Trip Itinerary
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Cochin International Airport, is merely an hour’s drive from Lemon Tree Lake Vembanad, so you can book your flight accordingly, on the next day, thus bringing an end to a super relaxing 7 Day Kerala Tour.



Where to Stay in Kerala?

Amber Dale Resort and Spa, Munnar

Amberdale Resort and Spa, Munnar

If you are looking for some solitude, exclusivity, and amazing panoramic views of the expansive tea gardens of Munnar, then you should look no further than Amber Dale Resort and Spa in Munnar.

Every room at Amber Dale Resort and Spa, Munnar, opens to the panoramic views of the Munnar Tea Gardens, and waking up to those first rays of sun, or to see the clouds floating around at your window, is a feeling that everyone should experience first-hand.

Sunrise from our window at Amber Dale Resort and Spa Munnar

This business-friendly hotel, boasts of a 24-hour fitness centre, a 24-hour front desk, an in-house restaurant serving authentic and yummy food, and even an Ayurvedic Spa. Amber Dale Resort and Spa, is just 3 Km from the Pallivasal Tea Estate, 2 Km from the Attukad Waterfall, making it close to the attractions, yet a bit away from the chaotic city centre.



Greenwoods Resort, Thekkady

Greenwoods Resort Thekkady

This sprawling property of Greenwoods Resort is spread out over 6 acres, has over 6 different categories of rooms, including Superior Rooms, Premium Suites, Premium Pool Suites, Deluxe Rooms, Honeymoon Villas with Plunge Pool, and the ultra-luxurious Presidential Pool Suite; and provides ample of breakout spaces, and lush greenery, to make anyone reconnect with nature.

As you explore the grounds of Greenwoods Resort Thekkady, you will find that there is a fully functional biogas plant, a waste treatment plant, vermi compost pits, on the property itself, which bears testimony to the approach taken my Greenwoods Resort Thekkady towards sustainable practices.

Apart from abundant greenery everywhere, you will also find a Mini Gym, a well-equipped Business Centre, a Swimming Pool and a Multi Cuisine Restaurant serving delectable food items, at all hours of the day.

 

Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort

Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort

Located in Muhamma, Alleppey, standing on the Western shore of Kumarakom, at the very edge of Vembanad Lake, is Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort, located at a convenient distance (just 1 hour by taxi) from Cochin International Airport.

Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort boasts of 27 rooms and suites that are classified as Superior Room, Superior Lake Front, Superior Pool Deck Lake Front, Junior Lake Front Suite, Superior Lake Front Suite, all having panoramic views of the vast Lake Vembanad and of the Infinity Pool, which is definitely one of the USP.

Overlooking the massive Lake Vembanad, the infinity pool provides for some amazing postcard perfect shots, specially during the sunrise. In our two days of stay at LemonTree Vembanad Lake resort, I found myself in the pool most of the times, either sweating it out, or just looking at the horizon, and enjoying the beauty of Kerala. The poolside area with all the lounge chairs also turned out to be my workstation at some hours of the day #DigitalNomadLifestyle.

My workspace overlooking the infinity pool and Lake Vembanad

Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort also has an in-house Ayurvedic Spa, offering traditional Ayurvedic treatments and massage packages, which ensures that you experience all shades of Kerala during your stay at the resort.

My 7 Day Kerala Itinerary was designed, in such a way, that we could have a memorable Staycation in Kerala – God’s Own Country.



Recommendations to make the most out of your Trip to Kerala

  • The best time to visit Kerala is from Mid May – September, as the weather will be pleasant because of the monsoons.
  • No matter what time of the year you are going, always keep a poncho, and a light jacket – It will be cold in Munnar, as compared  to Thekkady and Alleppey
  • Things to Shop in Kerala to remind you of your Trip to Kerala
        • Handmade Chocolates – they come in a variety of flavours (mango/strawberry/ginger)
        • Ayurvedic herbs and medicines
        • Organic Spices
        • Banana chips
        • Sandalwood Oil
        • Cashew Nuts – In different seasonings
        • Coconut and Coir products
        • Organic Tea from the Tea Factories
        • Kathakali Masks

Summary of the 7 Day Kerala Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Land in Kochi – Explore Fort Kochi

Day 2 – Kochi – Munnar | Munnar Spice Garden Visit

Day 3 – Munnar Sightseeing | Tea Factory Visit

Day 4 – Munnar – Thekkady

Day 5 – Thekkady Nature Trails | Experiencing the untouched beauty of Periyar Tiger Reserve

Day 6 – Thekkady – Alleppey / Kumarakom / Lake Vembanad

Day 7 – Alleppey Backwaters Houseboat Experience

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Comments

  1. Shaz

    Hi Arnav,

    I really enjoyed and felt every bit of your 7-day road trip to Kerala. You’re a real traveling lover. And you know a lot about how make the travel plan excited. So, I would like to get some suggestions from you.

    I’ve planned a bike trip across Kerala at the end of September for 10days. My route will be almost the whole of Kerala.

    Day 1: Bangalore to Mangalore- stay and see the place

    Day2: Mangalore to Bekal to Kozhikode – stay in Kozhikode

    Day 3: Kozhikode to Kochi- stay in Kochi

    Day 4: Kochi to Alleppey- stay in Alleppey for 2days

    Day 6: Alleppey to Varkala to Munnar – stay there for 2days.

    Day 8: Munnar to pallakad- stay in pallakad

    Day 9: Palakkad to Bangalore

    Now please suggest should I add or remove destinations from this list to make the all 10 days journey worthwhile.

    I was thinking:

    * Should I include Varkala or not!!!

    * The best possible route to Bangalore from Palakkad or Munnar as Palakkad is just an option, not a necessary place to visit.

    * I still have a day or two left in case I drop out Palakkad. Which place I can visit?

  2. minakshi Sharma

    Amazing itinerary!!! It looks like you have covered almost every place. I just loved it and I am planning my trip really soon. Hoping to see this beauty really soon.

  3. Amar Singh

    This really does come at a great time. I’m looking to visit this part of India on my annual visit in December. I remember visiting fort kochi when I was really little and would love to visit it again. For kochi is where i start my trip and even though I don’t have 8 days will try and get as much as I can in the4 days I’m there. A trip to must is something I want to achieve as well let’s see how much I can cover. Thanks for the details and a great post.

  4. Jane Dempster-Smith

    This is such a perfect 7 day itinerary. We followed the exact same route a few years ago. The scenery is stunning, the chocolates are yummy and the relaxation on the backwaters just perfect. We loved spending time at the side of the road at the tea plantations, we even managed to chat to some of the lovely ladies. Thanks for bringing back great memories of our time in Kerala.

    1. Danni L

      7 days in Kerala sounds like a dream! Needless to say I’d be spending a lot of time in the infinity pool at Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort – how very cool. My interest was also piqued by the thought of the tour of the tea factory at Mattupetty Tea Estate – awesome way to see how what we drink is grown

  5. Shreya Saha

    I am also interested in a road trip to Kerala and my itinerary plan is very similar to yours. I am just adding a few days to spend in the southern Kerala beaches before leaving the state. I really liked your plan as it covers most of the important places of the central part and a bit of southern part of the state. However, I would like to know if you suggest any other must-visit places from the southern part of the state?

  6. Lisa

    You had me at relax and rejuvenate!! I’ve always said that if I ever visit India, I’d like to see this region of Kerala first. This is a detailed and well written itinerary and you’ve given me plenty of useful ideas for if I ever get to go. I wouldn’t say no to those handmade chocolates, and that nature trail in Munnar is incredible!

  7. Amanda

    Once you mentioned the art at Fort Kochi, I realized I might need more days for this trip… it sounds (and looks) like an incredible place to admire street art! Then again with the Periyar Tiger Reserve. I seriously need to explore these areas. I mean, bamboo rafting?! How cool! This really is an awesome 7 day itinerary. Great post!

  8. Rachelle

    I do love a good road trip! I love the ideas of stopping at the spice garden and the tea factory, which I believe is essential when exploring a new region. The houseboat experience at the end of the trip is a great way to cap off an amazing adventure. That gastronomic adventure on banana leaves sounds delish!

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