11 beautiful places in Kerala that are only a car trip from Kochi

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I recently moved to Kochi in Kerala and it has been a wonderful experience exploring the places in and around the city. During my explorations, I realized that most of the beautiful places in Kerala (the whole state is beautiful) are only a drive away from Kochi.

Here is a list of 11 must-see destinations if you are in Kochi (also because it is one of the busiest airports in Kerala). Many of these places are less explored and less well known.

1. Athirapally waterfalls

Remember the waterfall we saw in the movie Bahubali? It’s Athirapally.

It is the largest waterfall in Kerala and it is located at a distance of about 60 km from Kochi. The powerful waterfalls will blow your mind. The road leading to the waterfall is heavenly. You will cross the river and the forests on your way.

2. Alleppey

Also known as the ‘Venice of the East’, Allepey is famous for its houseboat experience amid the Kerala backwaters. You can see around India’s longest lake – Vembanad Lake.

It is located at a distance of about 55 km from Kochi. You can hire barges that take you into the backwaters while enjoying the region’s rich floral and ornithological biodiversity.

3. Vaikom

Vaikom is one of the oldest townships in South India. It is only 40 km from Kochi.

On the way to Vaikom, you can visit the Matsyafed water tourism center. It is a beautiful location in the middle of the backwaters and offers affordable pedal boat and row boat rides.

There is the Shri Mahadev temple in Vaikom. It is considered to be one of the oldest temples in Kerala where poop has not been broken since its inception.

You can also visit the beach at Lake Vaikom. It is a sight to see.

4. Vagamon

It is a hill station at a distance of about 100 km from Kochi. It shouldn’t take you more than 3 hours by car. With rocky hills, meadows and pine forests, this place seems like a secret Kerala has kept from tourists.

You can indulge in all kinds of adventure activities like paragliding, rock climbing, zip lining, kayaking, etc., and take short hikes in the forests and hills.

5. Munnar

Who hasn’t heard of Munnar? The popular honeymoon destination in Kerala which attracts a large number of tourists all year round. It is about 120 km from Kochi.

The beautiful hill station is also called “Kashmir of South India”, just because there is snow. But you will always be engulfed by the clouds. There are tea gardens, huge water reservoirs, and hikes to do in Munnar.

Oh and while you’re at it, be sure to visit Eravikulam National Park which is home to the rare Nilgiri Tahr.

6. Illikkal Kallu

It is one of the less explored places in Kerala and is located at a distance of 90 km from Kochi.

The main attraction here is a majestic hill that has part of its peak ripped off. This steep rock at the top of the hill is known as Illikkal Kallu. The trip up the hill is quite exciting as you pass curves and forests.

Source: Kerala Tourism

7. Nelliyampathy Hills

It is also a lesser known destination in Kerala. It is located at a distance of 150 km from Kochi.

The hill station is a hiker’s delight and people often cycle to it from Kochi. It is also known as “Poor man’s Ooty”. But it is by no means less than Ooty.

Known for its evergreen forests, Nelliyampathy offers you a breathtaking view. On the way, you can also see the Pothundi Dam, the first earthen dam in India.

8. Kumarakom

Much like Allepey, Kumarakom is also a group of islands on the other side of Vembanad Lake. It is located at a distance of 50 km from Kochi.

The avifauna of this region is very diverse and rich, so you can indulge in bird watching while enjoying the barge ride through the backwaters.

9. Mararikulam Beach

If you are looking forward to a slightly secluded beach experience (no, it’s not a nude beach) in Kerala, this is the beach for you. It is located at a distance of about 40 km from Kochi and falls on the path between Kochi and Allepey.

The water is clean and you can plan a stay in beach cottages here.

10. Idukki

Idukki is one of the most nature-rich regions of Kerala and remains untouched by commercial tourism. It is located at a distance of about 100 km from Kochi.

The Idukki Arch Dam, also known as Asia’s first and second largest arch dam, is the main attraction here.

Then there is the Idukki Wildlife Reserve and Thoommankuthu Falls which you shouldn’t miss.

11. Thrissur

From churches and temples to backwaters, Thrissur has it all. It is just at a distance of 84 km from Kochi.

One of its main attractions is Chavakkad Beach which has pristine blue waters and is quite clean.

Are you planning a trip to Kerala soon? Otherwise, this post should be your inspiration.

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