10 Offbeat Places in Kerala for a Relaxing Vacation

Kerala beguiles with the sobriquet of ‘God’s own country’. The articulate mosaic of sun-kissed beaches, serene backwaters, plush foliage, exciting houseboats etc. act as a crowd-pulling magnet. But, the list doesn’t end here! There are some enthralling offbeat places in Kerala which await to be explored right now!


Read on to know more about these lesser known destinations which should be in your bucket list while planning your next vacations.

1. Nelliyampathy

One of the must visit offbeat destinations in Kerala, Nelliyampathy is a small, scenic yet lesser known place in Kerala. Nestled amidst the floating clouds at the Palakkad, the beautiful hill station can be reached after crossing the hairpin turns. Once here, you will be treated with salubrious weather, pleasing aroma of coffee, tea and cardamom, a chain of mighty mountains and much more. From fascinating trekking peaks for adventure enthusiasts to romantic destinations for honeymooners, Nelliyampathy has it all.

Reasons to visit Nelliyampathy

  • Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary – A nature’s bounty with varied flora and fauna
  • Nelliyampathy Hills – Wonderful place to sight tea, orange, cardamom and coffee plantations
  • Trekking – Follow the trekking trail and admire the stunning views en route
  • Raja’s Cliff – A picturesque hill town
  • Shopping – Buy natural and fresh organic items, wines, tea and coffee etc.

2. Ponmudi

Ponmudi bejewels the Thiruvananthapuram district and ranks amongst the best offbeat destinations in Kerala. Surprising narrow roads with sharp twists and turns make the journey to this amazing destination even more thrilling.  The scenic hill resort is dotted with small rivulets, colorful butterflies, striking waterfalls and attractive mountain flowers. Alternatively known as the ‘Golden Peak’, the quaint little town is a paradise for trekkers. Ponmudi is undoubtedly the best destination to plan a family vacation in Kerala.

Reasons to visit Ponmudi

  • Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam, the highest peak in the area
  • A walkthrough the Ponmudi crest and deer park
  • Golden Valley – unravel the wilderness of the gorge
  • Attend the Aranmula Boat Race
  • Don’t miss the wildlife safari at the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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3. Silent Valley National Park

Spread across the span of 236.7 square km, Silent Valley National Park ranks amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Western Ghats. The second largest park in Kerala is a home to rare species of fauna and flora. Cradled in the Nilgiri Hills, the national park is rich in biodiversity. Kerala’s best kept secret; it features evergreen sholas, exuberant waterfalls and wilderness that leaves you spellbound. Wild and unbeatably dense jungles proffer a lifetime experience to the wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Reasons to visit Silent Valley National Park

  • Spot Lion Tailed Macaques
  • Refreshing Nature Walks
  • Excellent photography opportunities
  • Locating the unique Cobra plant
  • Identifying the rare species of birds like Ceylon Frogmouth

4. Wayanad

Historical caves, enchanting waterfalls, eco-friendly resorts – Wayanad has it all! The hidden gem of Kerala offers plethora of attractions to visitors. Imbued with the emerald green hue of the plush foliage, the area exhibits breathtaking beauty. Utterly tranquil and far from the hustle-bustle of the city life, the ‘Land of Paddy Fields’ is one of the less explored tourist destinations in Kerala. Positioned on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau, the nature’s abode pleases with sights to behold.

Reasons to visit Wayanad

  • Trek to Chembra Peak
  • Stay at treehouse resorts
  • Unveil the mysteries of the Edakkal Caves
  • Discover the secrets the of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Go for trekking and hiking at the Banasura Sagar Dam
  • Reconnoiter an array of wonderful artefacts at the Wayanad Heritage Museum

5. Thenmala

The search for the Offbeat places in Kerala ends at the Thenmala. Situated in the Kollam district, the eco-tourism destination enchants with its natural resources. Enjoy strolling along the river banks, partaking in adventure activities, getting clicked with the waterfalls in the backdrop and much more. The town steals the limelight for providing honey of high quality. Appearing in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the Western Ghats, the ‘Honey Hill’, is a home to some of the unusual spots.

Reasons to visit Thenmala

  • Head towards Nakshatravanam – a repository of trees that are considered holy to the 27 constellations
  • Plan a daytrip to Deer Rehabilitation Centre
  • Mountain biking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Spend evening while watching Musical Fountain

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6. Valiyaparamba backwaters

One of the liveliest and bewitching backwaters in Kerala, Valiyaparamba backwater is formed by the confluence of four rivers. An ultimate place for tranquility seekers and nature lovers alike, the fascinating backwater is located in the Kasaragod district. Housing small archipelagos, Valiyaparamba is remarkable for fishing. Cruising along the small island in houseboats is one of the best things to do in Kerala. Besides exhibiting the rustic charm, the exotic backwater appeals in numerous other ways as well.

Reasons to visit Valiyaparamba backwaters

  • Go for rafting through sparsely inhabited villages
  • Enjoy boating through narrow stretch of Valiyaparamba backwaters
  • Take some time out for bird watching
  • Visit the Bekal Fort
  • The Malabar mangrove trail offers enthralling hiking opportunities

7. Vembanad Lake

The quest to the less travelled roads of Kerala takes you to Vembanad Lake. Blessed with rich scenic beauty, the lake hosts ancient snake boat races on Onam. All the rivers and canals of Kottayam merge into the Vembanad Lake making it the second largest lagoon in India. Considered as the heart of the Kerala Backwater tourism, the lake features numerous kettuvallams offering houseboats rides to be cherished forever. A photography session in the lap of Mother Nature is a must.

Reasons to visit Vembanad Lake

  • Attending the Snake Boat races during Onam
  • Spending a day at leisure at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
  • Witnessing the beautiful avian species
  • Enjoying a houseboat ride
  • Best sightseeing experience

8. Marari Beach

Cradled in the Alappuzha district, Marari Beach is a dream come true for anyone who wants to spend some time in seclusion. Fringed with coconut palm trees and featuring the golden sand, the beach is one of the lesser known places in Kerala. The tranquil beach derives its name from ‘Mararikulam’, a local fishing village. Titled as one of the best ‘hammock beaches’, Marari Beach is the place to be when you want a much needed break from the crowd infested locales.

Reasons to visit Marari Beach

  • Unwind and enjoy the calmness
  • Partake in parasailing, water skiing and sea surfing
  • Bow down at the Mararikulam Shiva Temple
  • Visit the traditional coir making units
  • See the working of the Chinese Fishing Nets