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7 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kerala

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Kerala, God’s own country is one of the most famous tourist places in India. For explorers from across the world, it is a promising coastal state that  lies between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, offering diverse and dynamic experiences. The land is capable of pleasing tourists throughout the seasons. Golden beaches, unique emerald backwaters, high mountain ranges, beautiful hill stations, culturally rich art forms, delightful cuisines; the options are many to relish at Kerala. There are many tourist destinations in the state that are equally ideal for families, honeymoon couples, adventurists, and solo backpackers. Listed below are the some of the best tourist spots in Kerala which makes the place a must-to-visit destination.

  1.    Alleppey, The Venice of east welcomes you!

Alleppey (Alappuzha) is an inevitable choice to be included in your bucket list if you visit Kerala. Known by the title, The Venice of East, Alleppey is a perfect destination of backwaters and beaches which is an ideal place to spend your houseboat vacation. The exploring of watery routes in the age-old transportation facility houseboat can even provide you luxuries equivalent to a 5-star hotel.

The sight of scenic landscape and backwatering through coconut groves, paddy fields, villages, water lilies, and ducks will give you a soothing effect. The excited cuisines offered there is the fresh produce from the water into your plate. The bliss you earn from there will be remembered all the time.

The main attractions of Alleppey are the Alleppey beach, Marari Baech, Punnamadas lake, Krishnapuram Palace, Ravi Karunakaran Museum, Pathirmanal island, and Sri Krishna temple Ambalappuzha. The snake boat race held at Alleppey during August o September is another attraction.

The best time to visit Alleppey: September to May

Nearest airport: Kochi International Airport is 53 km away from the place

Nearest railway station: Alleppey Railway Station.

  1.    Munnar, The Kashmir of Kerala

Munnar is one of the widely attracted tourist places in Kerala for its natural beauty. Located at an altitude of 6000 ft. above the sea level, Munnar is a town of excess charm. The mind soothing climate of the hills and mountains covered with tea plantations. About 80,000 miles of hills are covered with tea plantations. The cold climate and the mind-blowing sights make Munnar undoubtedly a place for Honeymoon. The ancient colonial ambiance of Munnar is evident through the TATA tea Museum. The comfortable stays, trekkings, camps make your days in Munnar the most memorable in your life.

The major attractions of Munnar include Anamudi, Top station, Eravikulam national park, Attukal waterfalls, TATA tea museum, Meesapulimala, Marayoor Dolmens, Mattupetty dam, Kundala lake, Blossom Park, Pothenmedu vide point, Indo-Swiss dairy farm, Life of Pi Church and Lockhart Gap.

The best time to visit Munnar: October to March

Nearest airport: Kochi International Airport which is located 143 km away

Nearest railway station: Aluva Railway Station which is located 110 km away.

  1.    Kovalam, Experience the beauty of Beach

Kovalam is one of the must-visit tourist places in Kerala for its beach beauty. Kovalam offers cherished experiences for lots of tourists. The pleasant weather, soft sand, eye catchy blue sea, a soothing sea breeze, and the tall coconut trees aside the beach makes the place a miniature of paradise.

The tourists there are allowed to involve in swimming, surfing, bask under the sun, and enjoy the lip-smacking seafood. The mind soothing body massage is another attraction where both the mind and body are nurtured. There are various accommodation facilities for every kind of visitors ranging from the cheapest to most luxurious ones. You can relax in the sunbathing and get engaged snorkeling, parasailing etc.

The main attractions of Kovalam include Hawah beach, Samudra beach, Vizhinjam marine aquarium, Fishing harbor, Akkulam Lake, Aruvikkara, Rock cut cave, Karamana River, Thiruvallam parasurama temple, Kovalam Juma masjid and Valiathura Pier.

The best time to visit: September to May

Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport which is 15km away.

Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Railway Station is 14 km away.

  1.    Fort Kochi, ¬¬¬¬The gateway of Kerala

Fort Kochi, considered as the gateway of Kerala is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Kerala. Fort Kochi is the main attraction of the Queen of the Arabian Sea with a multitude of personalities. The ancient city possesses a wide heritage and multi-ethnic culture. Being a most visited place in Kerala, Fort Kochi is an ideal destination for nature lovers, tourists and history buffs.  The mind-blowing sights, delicious seafood, museums, palaces, synagogues, heritage buildings, beaches, art galleries, churches, Hindu temples etc makes Fort Kochi a promising land for exploring. People will not leave Fort Kochi without savoring the multi cuisines and grab some reminiscence to home.

The major attractions of Fort Kochi are the Bolgatty Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Paradesi Synagogue, Santa Cruz Basilica, Hill palace, Willingdon Island, Museum of Kerala history, St. Francis Church, Marine Drive, Ernakulam Shiva temple, the sunsets and sunrise near the Chinese fishing net and Kodanad Elephant training center etc.

The best time to visit Fort Kochi: September to March

Nearest Airport: Kochi International Airport

Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam Junction which is located 13 km away

  1.    Thekkady, Experience the wilderness

Thekkady is one of the top-ranked tourist destinations in Kerala. It is blessed with the wild beauty cuddled with the lush greenery of the Western Ghats and the dense forest. The Periyar wildlife sanctuary nearby the Periyar Lake is known for the tourist delight. It is one of the 27 Tiger reserves in India which is a home for 35 diverse species of fauna such as Tigers, wild Elephants, Sambars, and Gaurs etc. other than this, there are coffee and many spices plantations in Thekkady which is another attraction of the place. There are around 265 species of birds. You can enjoy the wild beauty of Thekkady through adventurous jungle safaris, patrols, bamboo rafting, border hiking, and camps.

The main attractions of Thekkady include Rmakkalmedu, Kumily, Elephant Junction, Periyar wildlife sanctuary, Periyar Lake, Deepa world spice and Ayurvedic Garden, Mudra cultural center, Mullaperiyar Dam, Chellarkovil, Vandanmedu, Murikkady, Periyar Tiger Trail and Kadathanadan Kalari Center.

The best time to visit Thekkady: November to May

Nearest Airport: Karipur International Airport which is situated 95 km away

Nearest Railway Station: Kottayam Railway Station which is situated 114 km away.

  1.    Wayanad, The symbol of scenic beauty

Wayanad is the proof of why Kerala is called God’s own country. It is the greenest place to visit in Kerala. The ravishing wild beauty with the adventurous trekking experiences makes the place a must-to-visit spot in Kerala. The comfortable stays in the soothing climate and wild ambiance of Wayanad are promising.

Real-time experience of the tribal heritages from more than 50 tribe dwellings in Wayanad is uniqueness about Wayanad expedition. Trekking and camping is another factor which attracts tourists from various parts of the worlds. You can even try your fortune if you spot the Neelakurinji flower which blooms once in 12 years.

Major attractions of Wayanad are Banasura Sagar Dam, Edakkal caves, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Papanashini river, Kuruva dweep, Thusharagiri waterfalls, Thirunelli temple, Lakkidi viewpoint, Puliyarmala Jian, and Padinjarathara Dam.

Best time to visit Wayanad: October to May. Also, you can enjoy the trip to Wayanad during Monsoon seasons.

Nearest Airport: Karipur International Airport which is located 95 km away

Nearest Railway Station: Kozhikode Railway Station which is located 72 km away.

  1.   Kumarakom, Enjoy the contours of Vembanad Lake

Kumarakom is a famous tourist destination in Kerala known for backwatering and bird sanctuary. The peaceful hamlet possesses enthralling sceneries, exotic environment, and cool weather. Being one of the best places to visit in Kerala, Kumarakom gives you a mind-blowing experience in backwatering through the fresh paddy fields, coconut groves, and villages. The relaxing houseboat rides are available for all type of tourists at cheap rates too expensive ones. The delightful cuisines of Kumarakom should be tried at least once.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a must-to-go place in Kerala which homes to a wide variety of bird species that mainly includes migratory birds and Siberian storks.

The major attractions of Kumarakom are The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Backwaters, Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls, Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island, Kumarakom beach, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Thriunakkara Mahadeva temple, Cheiryapally, Valiyapally etc.

The ideal time to visit Kumarakom: September to May

Nearest Airport: Kochi International Airport which is located 85 km away.

Nearest Railway station: Kottayam Railway station which is situated 16 km away.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Hiking up and around the Caldera of Santorini

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Can we think to typical summer destination where sunbathers go to revel in the sandy beaches. In fact, what draws visitors to this volcanic island is its unique architecture of white-washed houses sitting atop of the caldera, accompanied by the most amazing sunsets Instagram is so full of. 

The only way to really appreciate the beauty of this island is to explore it on foot. There are several hiking trails on Santorini that will take you up and down the winding paths connecting the points of interest you shouldn’t miss. Grab some comfortable footwear and prepare to be stunned by the scenery along the way.

Hiking Trail of Ancient Thira

This trail can be done in two ways – either from Kamari Beach to Thira or from Perissa Beach to Thira and vice versa. Seeing as Santorini is one of Greece’s most spectacular islands, it goes without saying that it is abundant in historical monuments and the ancient Thira is one of the greatest representatives. For this reason, hiking to Thira is ideal for those with a knack for history and the love of nature.

This is an easy trail lasting around an hour and a half (around 3 kilometers). You can start at Kamari known for its unique black-sand beach. You should head uphill toward Zoodohoos Pigi chapel and Ancient Thira where you can spend some time exploring the archeological sites. After that, the descent toward Perissa starts and the beach will come into view shortly. Parissa beach is 4 kilometers long, well-organized with lots of beach bars and restaurants you can enjoy after a lovely hike.

Hiking Trail from Pyrgos to Kamari or Perissa

Pyrgos is a small inland village that often gets overlooked in the face of Fira, Oia, or Imerovigli but it’s actually rather charming and picturesque. This is why you can choose to hike through it and avoid the crowd usually encountered on the other more popular trails. 

Once you are in Pyrgos, it will take you around 6 kilometers to get to Kamari or Perissa. First, the path will lead you to Profitis Ilias Monastery which is also the highest point of the island so you can expect to catch some stunning views of the surroundings. Continue south and after 1 kilometer, you will come across yet another picturesque church – the Church of Christ. Similar to the previous trail, you will walk through the Ancient Thira where a signpost will await, telling you there is about an hour and a half until you reach Kamari or Perissa. From there on, you can choose your path depending on the beach you want to visit.

Hiking Trail from Fira to Oia

This is one of the most scenic and extensive walks along the Santorini’s caldera that will take you from Fira (the island’s capital) all the way to the northwestern tip of the island where Oia is located. The route is approximately 6.5 miles long which translates to 2 to 5 hours of walking, depending on your fitness level and the duration of breaks you make. 

Your route should start in Fira where you will head toward the north in the direction of Firostefani. The sea should be on your left the whole time and don’t rely on the signposts too much as they are scarce. After reaching Firostefani, your next stop should be Imerovigli, a village just 8 minutes from Fira perched on a cliff of the caldera. Once in Imerovigli, you can choose between several mazy paths if you want to take a detour around the village. If not, just follow the path you came across which will push you forward toward Oia. This uphill walk will take you across one short section of the road where cars pass but that’s just a 200-meter section after which you continue via a dirt path until you finally start descending toward Oia.

Hiking Trail in Thirassia

This hiking trail is not actually located on Santorini but on its neighboring Thirassia. Not only does it represent a stunning hiking experience but it also provides hikers with a unique opportunity to gaze at the caldera from an entirely different perspective. 

Ferries run regularly from Oia to Thirassia several times a day and the tickets are rather cheap so you can easily hop to Santorini’s sister island. You can start at the village of Manolas and continue uphill until you reach the chapel of Prophet Elias. From then on, you will push ahead toward the southernmost part of the island where the monastery of Panagia is located. All the while, the majestic caldera will be visible just like the Aegean sea stretching in all directions. This track is almost 3 kilometers long and moderately difficult, easily crossed in less than an hour and 15 minutes. 

Additional Tips for Santorini Hiking

  • Stack up on water and snacks as there will be few shops along the way, some of which may not even be open at the time of your hike.
  • Embark on the journey as early as possible in order not to get scorched by the summer sun which reaches zenith as early as 11 am.
  • Prepare your route thoroughly and talk to the passers-by you meet along the trail in case you are not sure about the directions.
  • There is little to no shade along any of the trails so make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen.

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Travel Tips

Unmissable, Romantic New York For Couples

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New York is the perfect destination for couples for so many reasons! There are incredible vistas and delicious food. Then there are the quirky bars and endless entertainments. There are even some pretty romantic spots to experience together if you know where to look. Something that we aim to help you with in the post below. 

Picnic In Central Park 

A long strip of green, in the grey of the metropolis, Central Park is a must for couples visiting New York. In fact, despite its diminutive size, there is no shortage of romantic spots to hang out here. 

For those with a literary bent try Conservatory Water were bronze statues of Alice in Wonderland, and Hans Christian Anderson are to be found. Alternatively, visiting Belvedere Castle can make you feel as if you have been transported into a fairytale. A place especially beautiful when the sun goes down and the moonlight glints off windows and turrets at night, 

Of course, if you want to add an extra layer of romance, taking along your own picnic is a smart idea. You can even go to places that will pack up a luxe lunch for you if you like?

Take In A Broadway Show 

Next, if you are looking for an enjoyable couples experience in the city that never sleeps, heading to the bright lights of Broadway should be your next consideration. In fact, it is where you will find some of the most famous productions in the world are being performed. 

Of course, how much you enjoy this experience as a couple, will have a lot to do with making the right show selection. Happily, there are so many shows to choose from, it should be relatively easy to find something that will delight you both. 

You can even get things like these Book of Mormon tickets online before your trip. Something that means you won’t have to waste time queuing outside in the often bad weather to nab a seat. 

The Hayden Planetarium

Another popular location for couples to visit while in New York is the famous Hayden Planetarium. In fact, there you will find some pretty impressive science and natural history based exhibitions to geek out on.

Then there is the fantastic Dark Universe show projected onto the huge curved planetarium room. An experience that many couples enjoy together. 

Walk Brooklyn Bridge

Finally, one of the most romantic spots in the whole of New York is the Brooklyn Bridge. What many people do not realise is that it’s entirely possible to walk the bridge. In fact, doing so can make an enjoyable couples-based activity. 

 

Of course, you can choose to make this 30-minute journey on foot at any time of the day. Although, once the sun goes down, and all the city lights are glowing is the most magical time. An experience that makes a stroll along Brooklyn Bridge perfect for couples looking for a romantic promenade. With the added bonus of getting to look out over the glorious city that is New York! 

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Travel Tips

A Quick Guide to Some of the Best Restaurants on Timog Avenue

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Timog Avenue (and its neighboring street, Tomas Morato) is well-known among the hip and young of Metro Manila as the place to be for a night of drinks and parties. Still, there’s so much more to Timog than just craft beer, tasty cocktails, and pumping beats. Specifically, this long stretch of road in Quezon City is home to some of the best restaurants in town. It doesn’t matter if you love Japanese, Korean, Italian, or Chinese cuisine; you’re sure to find something here to satisfy your taste buds and your hungry tummy.

Are you ready for the ultimate gastronomic experience? Here’s a short list of some of the best restaurants on Timog.

Steak 77

Steak 77, as the name suggests, is one of the best places to get juicy, flavorful steaks in the city. For something straightforward, go for the Steak 77 Ribeye. It has the perfect balance of seasonings, and it doesn’t come with any sauces or unnecessary frills that will distract you from the succulent, melt-in-your mouth goodness of U.S. beef. Other must-try recipes here include the Classic Ribeye, the Classic Kagoshima Wagyu A5 Ribeye, and the US Angus Tomahawk. For some decadent indulgence, order the rich and tender Osso Buco. Steak 77 is located near Santi’s Delicatessen, across the street from Go Hotel Timog. Drop by one of these days to satisfy your steak cravings!

81 Seihai

If you love sushi and maki, then you’ll love 81 Seihai. It’s a fairly new restaurant, with big, bold, and modern Japanese decor that stretches wall-to-wall and up to the ceiling. One of the best sellers at 81 Seihai is the Flaming Maki, which features a generous blanket of melted cheese and a dusting of togarashi for a spicy kick. Of course, there are also plenty of Japanese favorites in the menu like chicken karaage, gyoza, maki, ramen, and even wagyu cubes. There’s also a wide array of main dishes if you’re looking for a full meal, like the Beef Yakiniku Steak and the Grilled Salmon Teriyaki. The highlight of the restaurant, however, are their sushi specials. Executive chef Ronnie de Guzman has more than 10 years of experience in Japanese food preparation, so you know that every dish here is always up to stellar standards. If you’re looking for a chill night out with some delicious Japanese fare to go with it, 81 Seihai is the perfect place.

Seoul in Timog

Are you a big fan of eat-all-you-can Korean barbecue? How about Korean buffets? Well, Seoul in Timog offers both. This bright, spacious, and minimalistically designed restaurant has everything you want in an “unli samgyup” place: quality cuts of meat at affordable prices. What’s even better is that their Php 499 rate is already good for the eat-all-you-can Korean barbecue AND the buffet table. Talk about value for money! In addition, you don’t have to worry about falling in line for too long, since the restaurant is quite big and can seat a lot of people. If you prefer, you can come in at odd hours. They’re open from 11 AM up to 7 AM of the following day! Make sure to try their herb-based pork for a delicate, aromatic flavor.

Causeway Seafood Restaurant

If you prefer Chinese food and dimsum in a family-style setting, Causeway Seafood Restaurant is a trusted name. You can find a wide range of Chinese favorites here, from yang chow fried rice to wonton shrimp noodles. They also serve beancurd rolls, tausi-style dishes, white chicken, sweet and sour pork, and egg yolk pie. For those who love dimsum, visit Causeway from 2 PM to 6 PM for their half-price deal. The place often gets crowded, which means the service slows down during peak hours. Despite this, people keep coming back time and again to enjoy Causeway’s delicious food!

Cucina di Paulina

This Italian restaurant with a twist is located in 8 Seas Food Park. Just head up the stairs, and you’ll be greeted by this unassuming restaurant that serves creative and delicious food. The owner, Bombay Suarez, is actually a wrestler. He’s one of the pioneers of PWR (Philippine Wrestling Revolution),and he brings his passion in the PWR ring straight into kitchen of Cucina di Paulina. You can see and taste this in dishes like the Pigzza, a putok-batok pizza topped with bacon, chicharon, ham, lechon kawali, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and sisig. Eat it at your own risk! If you’re more of a cheese aficionado than a meat-lover, then the Trio Formaggi is the pizza for you. For something lighter, go for the pasta dishes like the Pesto with Shrimp or the Truffled Chicken & Mushroom Alfredo.

These are just five of the many excellent restaurants and diners dotting the length of Timog Avenue. Give them a try the next time you’re craving some good food!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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