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These 8 road trips in Kerala are worth bookmarking for 2022

Nothing matches the charm of a fun-filled road trip with your friends and family. Blessed with splendid views, countryside vibes and fresh air, road trips are great for our overall well-being. Make your new year celebration perfect with these spectacular road trips in Kerala.

The post-pandemic world has seen travellers embarking on self-driven road trips more often. And when it comes to taking a self-driven road trip, Kerala is one of the best bets in India. Its major attractions are located at short distances from each other, which makes the state an ideal choice for lovers of road journeys.

Here are some of the best road trips you can take in God’s Own Country

Kochi to Munnar


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If there’s one mandatory road trip every traveller must embark on at least once in their lifetime, it’s the one from Kochi to Munnar. Endless jungles, winding roads, lush plantations, enchanting waterfalls, foggy hills. What’s not to look forward to?

On your way, you could visit Kodanad, which is one of Kerala’s largest elephant training centres. Then there’s Thattekad for bird lovers. If travelling during the monsoon season, you should not miss the Vallara and Cheeyapara waterfalls en route to Munnar.

If time permits, you may also make a quick stop at the Aathirappally waterfall. Another pitstop that you should include in your list is the Karadipara viewpoint.

Distance: 127 km

Kumarakom to Thekkady

Best road trips in Kerala
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You will love this route if you enjoy going on unplanned picnics with your loved ones. The drive from Kumarakom to Thekkady offers numerous spots, where you can unwind in the lap of nature.

While spice plantations and tea estates will be your constant companions during this road trip, there are some waterfalls too that can be visited. These include the Valanjamkanam and Aruvikuzhy waterfalls. Seek the almighty’s blessings at the Pattumala Matha Church on your way to Thekkady.

You may also choose the route from Kumarakom to Thekkady via Ettumanur, Pala and Kumily. On this way, Vagamon should have your special attention. In Vagamon, you could picnic at Illaveezhapoonchira and head to Thekaddy later via Kuttikanam and Peerumedu.

Distance: 120 km

Ernakulam to Kannur

This could be a tad longish road trip in comparison to the other road trips Kerala has to offer. Kannur is located around 260km from Ernakulam, but you should not complain, thanks to the terrific coastal way to Kannur.

Attractions on this route include Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kasargod and Vadakara. You can also visit some popular destinations of Kerala on this route. These are the Bekal Fort and the Tellichery Fort.

Beach bums and water babies can have fun at Muzhappilangad Beach. It’s best to leave for Kannur early in the day so that you could make the most of your drive and reach by lunch.

Distance: 260 km

Munnar to Thekkady

One of the most picturesque routes in India, the Munnar-Thekkady road trip must be done for a quintessential Kerala experience. Endless hill slopes carpeted with tea plantations, lovely tea manors and cardamom plantations will leave you smitten and how.

The Periyar National Park also lies on this route and wildlife lovers must make sure to explore its rich biodiversity. The scenic route from Munnar to Thekkady crosses through gorgeous towns like Devikkulam, Pooppaara and Udumbanchola. However, the fastest route is through Chitirapuram, Anachal, Rajakad, Karitode and Nedumkandam.


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Important attractions on this trip include Anayirangal Dam, Eravikulam National Park, Tea Museum, Honey Bee Tree and Rose Garden.

Distance: 85.4 km

Athirapally to Valparai

Best road trips in Kerala
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What makes the drive from Athirapally to Valparai special is the Sholayar Reserve Forest. Your first stop on this trip should be the majestic Athirappily falls, a major tourist attraction. You can enjoy breakfast at one of the eateries near the falls.

Your next stop can be the cascading Vazhachal waterfalls. At Vazhachal, there’s a forest check post, which marks your entry into the Sholayar Reserve Forest. The route from here on is blessed with multiple viewpoints. You must be a little more conscious while driving on this route as you may encounter elephants and other animals.

Before making your way to Valparai through splendid tea plantations and charming little villages, you may stop at the Sholayar Dam and Urulikkal estate.

Distance: 83 km

Wayanad to Nilambur

Best road trips in Kerala
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With hardly any traffic, this route is a rider’s dream. While Wyanad is the land of tea, coffee and spices, Nilambur is well-known for its teak forests and bamboo plantations. Some of the lovely spots at the beginning of this trip include Chundail, Meppadi and Vaduvanchal.

After crossing Vaduvanchal, you will be driving through Tamil Nadu for a while before making your way back to Kerala after a short while. At the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, you will also see the starting point of the Chaliyar river. Stop for a tea break at Mangorange in the Nilgiris after crossing Cherambadi.

The drive after this will take you through the charming small towns of Pandalur, Devala, Nadukani, Vazhikaddavu, Eddakara and Chungathara and finally Nilambur. When in Nilambur, do make sure to visit the Teak Museum.

Distance: 90 km

Kozhikode to Wayanad

Picturesque villages, verdant highways and meandering hills welcome you at every step as you drive from the historic city of Kozhikode to the all-time tourist favourite Wayanad. The journey takes around two and a half hours, and you’d wish it to never end.


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Nestled in the serene Western Ghats, Wayanad is popular for its wildlife sanctuary and the fascinating age-old Edakkal Caves. Your list of places to visit on this road trip should include the Banasura Sagar Dam, the Wayanad Heritage Museum, Sultan Bathery, Pookote Lake and the Thirunelli Temple.

If you wish to explore the southern areas of Wayanad, take the Sultan Bathery route via Kalpetta. To reach the northern side, you could either take the diversion to Mananthavady from Kainatty or reach via Kuttiyadi.

Distance: 85 km

Alappuzha to Changanassery

Lined with beautiful paddy fields on either side, the Alleppey to Changanassery highway, also known as the AC Road, will charm you with its unparalleled scenic beauty.


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The highlight of this trip is exploring Kuttanad, which is famously known as the rice bowl of Kerala. The town has received worldwide fame for successfully cultivating rice below sea level. The Alleppey-Changanassery Canal will follow you all along as you soak in the serenity of this lesser-crowded route.

The route also offers some great vantage points, where you could stop for that mandatory Instagram-worthy selfie. Please note that the route is flood-prone, and rains may lead to a traffic snarl during the monsoons.

Distance: 28 km

This story was first published on Travel + Leisure India 

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