Why do Kerala people love beef

10 things to do in Kerala

India just won't let go of me. And I can't even tell you exactly why. Because there is really no other country on our beautiful planet that has driven me so often and so violently to the edge of madness. In Kerala, too, I didn't just ask myself: "What the hell are you doing here?" But when I look at my photos now, I can hardly wait for the next trip to India. In this article I will show you my Kerala Top Ten sights and all the highlights in the region.


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Why Kerala is just a little bit of India

India is exhausting, loud, brightly colored, crazy and littered. The people are incredibly warm to incredibly grumpy. The food is sensational to absolutely disgusting. The temperatures are somewhere between sauna and freezing cold and the landscapes vary from fairytale to rubbish dump. India is the most diverse country I have ever experienced - the most beautiful and the worst at the same time.

If you are not ready for the madness but still want to get a taste of India, I have recently been able to recommend Goa as well as Kerala for entry. Kerala is pure India, with all its colors, smells, spices and landscapes. But Kerala is also India light, with almost no rubbish dumps, chaos, rowdiness and poverty.

The people are friendly, open and warm and I felt safe the whole time. Compared to the rest of India, the level of education is high, the hygienic conditions acceptable and the infrastructure reasonably well developed. In terms of landscape and culture, Kerala is simply sensational - all in all, it is perfect for those entering India. And these were my ten most beautiful experiences in Kerala that were forever burned in my memory:

You can find beautiful and affordable accommodations in Kerala at Booking.com. *

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Kerala is so colorful: a thousand pictures, a thousand impressions and memories

Out and about in Kochi, one of my favorite cities in South India

1. Spend the night on a houseboat

The classic in Kerala: Spend one or more nights on a houseboat in the backwaters. From simply furnished houseboats to floating hotels, there's actually nothing here that doesn't exist. We were traveling with Lakes & Lagoons Backwater Experiences and we were quite enthusiastic: A friendly and good-humored crew, delicious food and almost luxurious rooms with private bathrooms and hot water.

An incredible experience to wake up on the water in the morning and watch the sunrise. From the houseboat you can watch the locals fishing, bathing and washing clothes in the river. I would have loved to spend a week on the houseboat and was incredibly sad when it was over.

You can compare and book exciting excursions and tours by houseboat here *.

The backwaters of Kerala - time has stood still a bit here

#KeralaPirateExpress - the coolest crew on the coolest boat!

Sunset on our houseboat - we have docked for the night

2. With the kayak through the backwaters

It gets even more personal when you explore the backwaters by kayak. This way you get even closer to the wonderful landscape and can talk to the friendly locals every few meters. The kids are also really happy when you come by and are laughing and waving all the time. So my tip: Be sure to take some (sugar-free) candies with you.

But make sure that you don't get hit by a junk kayak. Because as beautiful as the backwaters are - the water is unfortunately so contaminated that you will probably grow a second head if you fall into it. Many thanks to Kalypso Adventures for the great tour!

You can compare and book exciting excursions and kayak tours in Kerala here *.

A little relaxation in the backwaters - the sun is about to go down

The kids loved posing and talking nonsense for us

The locals use the water for washing, bathing, cleaning, cooking and getting around

3. Trekking in the Western Ghats

One expects a lot from India, but the country is rarely associated with a hiking paradise. There are great trekking trails on the many hill stations that lead you over mountains and through the jungle. In Kerala I can especially recommend the Western Ghats. We were on the Butterfly Forest Trek there. It is actually “only” twelve kilometers long. But we had to climb quite a bit, so that in the end we were out for most of the day.

You definitely need a guide for longer hikes in the Western Ghats. Because there are no signposts, GPS does not work and maps are forbidden in such areas because of the many Pakistani terrorists. We were here again with Kalypso Adventures, which offer both one-day and multi-day trekking tours. Especially cool: If classic camping is too uncomfortable for you, you can also book glamping at Kalypso - with luxurious tents, camp beds and showers.

You can compare and book exciting excursions and trekking tours in Kerala here *.

After three hours of climbing, finally arrived at the summit

One would expect such landscapes everywhere, just not in India

On the Butterfly Forest Trek we always had incredible views

4. Eat, eat, eat

I don't think I have to explain too much here. The South Indian food in Kerala is sensational. Curries, seafood, naan bread and freshly squeezed juices and lassis for dessert. Everything is incredibly fresh and elaborately prepared. Even on the street and in the small restaurants in the alleys, you can safely try everything you can get your hands on.

The food in Kerala is always freshly prepared and incredibly tasty

The locals love meat - but there is always something for vegetarians too

5. Ayurveda massages - Kerala highlights

Ayurveda is a pretty big deal in Kerala. Almost every hotel offers traditional Ayurveda treatments and advice from trained Ayurveda doctors. Once when we were staying in a resort for a longer period, I had my permanently tense neck treated. The result was really much, much better than with the western massages. At the end of the day, the doctor gave me an oil that supposedly removes tension. I'm still a bit skeptical about that, but maybe I'll just try it out.

Ayurvedic oils are made from many different seeds and herbs

6. Spend the night in the most beautiful eco-resorts

Like no other region in India, Kerala has dedicated itself to eco-tourism. There are an incredible number of eco-resorts here that work sustainably and support the locals. Most of them employ local people, buy food from the locals and some of them grow their own organic fruit and vegetables.

In spite of this, or perhaps because of this, some of the resorts offer pure luxury. My absolute favorites: The Kumarakom Lake Resort * in Kumarakom, the Vythiri Village Resort * in Vythiri and the Raviz Kovalam Beach * in Kovalam. Before you book a hotel in Kerala, you should definitely read through many, many reviews. Because stars can easily be bought here and accordingly don't say much about the quality.

You can find beautiful and affordable accommodations in Kerala at Booking.com. *

A lap in the infinity pool - every day starts a little better

By the way, Kerala also has really beautiful beaches and great resorts and homestays by the sea

7. The Tea Plantations - Kerala's Top Ten Attractions

The tea plantations are one of my scenic highlights and the Kerala top ten sights. You can find them all over the mountains, for example on the Munnar Hillstation or in Vythiri. But only move on the paved paths. The farmers don't like it when you walk into the plantations. Incidentally, tea is one of the Indians' absolute favorite drinks. Definitely try a traditionally prepared chai!

You can compare and book exciting excursions and tours in Kerala here *.

Munnar Hill Station: The landscape here is one of the most beautiful in all of India

I love tea - it's freshly brewed all over the streets in India

Did you know that Kerala is one of the largest tea exporters in the world?

8. Temple Visits - Kerala Highlights

Every small and large town in Kerala has regular religious ceremonies and festivals in and around the temples. With music, delicious food, traditional dances and elephants. By the way, most temples in India can also be visited as a foreigner without any problems. But don't forget to take off your shoes and wash your hands!

A religious ceremony on the street - usually there is an elephant

Women in the Temple: Most of the Hindu temples in India are public

Nobody knows exactly how many Hindu gods there are. Some followers speak of up to 330 million

9. The Markets - Kerala's Top Ten Attractions

India is a shopping paradise! In the many, many markets you can get spices, kurtas (the traditional Indian tunics), pashmina scarves, saris, jewelry, handbags, shoes, art and much more. But stay away from the markets near tourist attractions, because you will only get ripped off.

If you are given a price, you can start trading around 40 percent and then meet somewhere in the middle. The dealer will most likely tell you about his many children and his sick wife, but don't let that impress you. When I lived in Bangalore, I heard the howl about five times a day.

Bracelets, clothes, scarves - I've spent many hours shopping in India

I love getting lost in the many winding markets

10. Elephants in the Wild - Kerala Highlights

My heart melted the first time I saw an elephant in the wild in Kerala. Well, not exactly, the elephants live there with many other threatened species in the almost 1,000 square kilometer Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady. There they are left alone and do not have to pose for tourists. With a bit of luck you can see them from the boat that drives through the Periyar National Park. Or on one of the guided tours that the rangers offer there.

Simply magical: an elephant family on the way to bathe by the river

Kerala, see you again soon!

Although I was traveling in the region for over two weeks and my Kerala Top Ten sights were real highlights, I have the feeling that I haven't seen all of this wonderful place yet. I would love to come back again soon and then maybe do a longer yoga or Ayurveda retreat. Thanks to the Kerala Tourism Board for making this incredible trip possible for me and 29 other travel bloggers from 25 countries.

You can find beautiful and affordable accommodations in Kerala at Booking.com. *

Fancy an Airbnb? Here I am giving you 34 euros on your first booking. *

You can compare the current flight prices to India at Skyscanner *.

In cooperation with Kerala Tourism. Many thanks for the invitation!

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