Kerala is a land abundantly gifted with nature’s best. This southern state on India’s western coast has something for everyone: great beaches, gorgeous hills, graceful lagoons, or awe-inspiring art and culture. Now, you only have five days in hand to spend in ‘God’s Own Country,’ this is the perfect journey to get you started on your dream vacation.

Day 1: Kochi, the heart of Kerala

When you arrive at Cochin Airport or Railway Station, take a break and start your tour by seeing Cochin Harbour, which leads to the Arabian Sea’s entryway. When you arrive at Fort Cochin, take a sightseeing tour that includes stops to the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, and the St. Francis Church are, among other places.

You can also begin by learning everything about Kerala by visiting one of the state’s museums, such as the Kerala Museum, Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum, Hill Palace Museum, and Indo-Portuguese Museum. Continue to Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, where you may visit the Mattancherry Palace, the Paradesi Synagogue, Jew Town’s historical curios and relics, and the Spice Bazaar, which is scented with spices that have been traded around the world for generations. Spend the evening by the Chinese Fishing Nets watching the sunset.

Day 2: Munnar, the charming hill station of Kerala

Picture from Munnar, Kerala
Munnar Tea Plantations

Munnar, the green hills and tea plantations area, is a must-see. Take a 5:00 a.m. bus from Kochi’s Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus terminal to Munnar, which arrives at around 9:30 a.m. The best part of bus travel is that you can enjoy the beauty of Kerala on your way to the hills.

Visit the Tea Museum to discover everything there is to know about tea leaf harvesting and processing. Then it’s on to the tea plantations that surround the area. Visit Eravikulam National Park to see the Nilgiri Tahr, which is native to the area. Also, don’t forget to buy a variety of teas and authentic spices and honey. If you want to stay for the night, get the best resort in Munnar and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding hills and villages far below.

Day 3: Alappuzha, the Venice of the east

Travel to Alappuzha’s backwaters, for which you must reserve a houseboat in advance. Take the 6:00 a.m. bus from Munnar to Alappuzha, which arrives by 1:00 p.m., or drive down, which takes around five hours. Take a ride on your houseboat through the beautiful lagoons.

The houseboat journey through the ‘Venice of the East’ will take you through the sights and sounds of regular village life. Enjoy lip-smacking dishes like karimeen fry (pearl spot fish) and toddy, the indigenous alcoholic beverage. Stay the night on the houseboat to get the whole experience. This is also an appropriate respite that will allow you to relax between journeys.

There’s virtually nothing to do but rest on the boat’s deck and admire the wonderful natural beauty of the backwaters, making it one of the most relaxing vacations you’ll ever have.

Day 4: Varkala and Kovalam Beaches, bask in the glory

Varkala Cliff & Beach

Now, from Alappuzha, you need to take a three hours drive to Varkala. This is another relaxing spot, as you may relax on the famed Varkala Beach while admiring the magnificent cliffs that line it.

Well, now if you are that kind of person who prefers the beach to the countryside or has more time on your hands in Kerala, you can consider visiting the gorgeous Kerala beaches instead of or in addition to the hill region. The coast is packed with beaches, so pick the one you like and spend your days there.

While Kerala has several beaches to select from, Kovalam and Varkala are the beaches most frequently featured on Kerala itineraries. Watersports and adventure activities, such as paragliding, are available. As the day draws close, relax at one of the cliffside cafes, watch the sunset, and get a luxury resort in Kerala to enjoy the night.

Day 5: Thiruvanathapuram, Capital of Kerala

There are frequent buses from Varkala to Thiruvananthapuram that run every two hours and cover a distance of only 44 kilometers, so catch any bus in the morning that suits your needs.

Trivandrum is home to the famed Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple and museums, art galleries, and a zoo. Make sure you are well-dressed in the traditional attire for the temple. Morning and evening temple hours are 5 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., respectively. After Trivandrum touring, you may remain in Kovalam and enjoy the beaches. Make sure you stay here for at least two nights so that the first day can be given to Trivandrum sightseeing and the second to Kovalam. You can even go to Poovar while you’re in Kovalam.

Then, you can also visit the Kuthiramalika Palace (Mansion of Horses), a relic of Kerala’s illustrious royal past. Spend the evening at Shankumugham Beach, admiring the stunning sculpture of Sagarakanyaka, the mermaid.

If your final destination is Trivandrum or Kovalam, try to arrange a return flight from Trivandrum International Airpot; otherwise, you’ll have to drive back to Cochin, which will take at least 7 hours.

Final Thoughts

Kerala is a beautiful place to travel, and no wonder why it’s called the ‘God’s Own Country.’ Everything is pure and peaceful in its essence, from the hills to the backwaters to the beaches and temples. This beautiful place is a sliver of tropical paradise that has drawn tourists worldwide with its verdant coasts, leisurely backwaters, rich tea gardens, and the scent of freshly cultivated spices drifting in the air. Kerala has something for everyone, whether you wish to wander the busy streets of Kochi, a melting pot of Indian and colonial cultures, or sip a calm cup of tea in Munnar, Kerala’s favourite hill town, or simply stroll down the lovely palm-fringed beaches of Kovalam eating seafood.