Perfect Holiday in Kerala-Weather, When to Go and what to do in God’s Own Country. It’s easy to categorise Kerala as just another tourist destination. However, this may not do justice to Gods Own Country which encompasses houseboats, homestays, tea plantations and tiger reserves and your holiday in Kerala offers a tantalising taste of India where landscapes vary greatly, from backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom, to gentle rolling hills with green tea gardens in Munnar, to sandy beaches with night life in Kovalam or pristine seaside experience in Varkala, verdant paddy fields in villages, tree houses in the mountains, colonial touch of Cochin and mystic lakes in Thekkady. Indeed initially time the country’s tourism marketing seemed focused solely on its sandy shores in Kovalam ignoring that they were one and the same with the rest of Indian states. Certainly Kerala does provide seaside experience very well but so does tourism in Munnar and backwaters of Alleppey.
Together with a contemporary mélange of British, Portuguese, French and Arabian cultural influences, rich Roman ancient history, significant heritage and with the credit as the most literate state in India Kerala reveals itself as a far more complex and intriguing destination than at first glance.
Best beaches in Kerala like Kovalam, Varkala, Cherai, Marari and others have long been tempting escapes for pallid northern Europeans. Upmarket hotels offer international levels of comfort and as this state aptly known as Gods Own country fights for guests, flight and hotel packages are even better value than ever. A consequence of this rich concentration of dramatic backdrops, both manmade and natural, is Kerala’s A-list cinematic celebrity status, playing staring rolls in movies like the Life of Pi and Cotton mary. Against all this, beyond the coastal resorts and beyond the villages aside backwaters, where the tarmac runs out and roads become ways of water, the green paddy fields awaits guests in grand indifference.
Weather in Kerala is often described as ‘pleasant, comfortable and equable’, making this as all season destination and consists of a short spring and dry, hot summer up to 35 Celsius, followed by a brief autumn and mild winter that goes down to 12 Celsius. Kerala which is the first touch point of Monsoons in Indian subcontinent should have been a dry land with hot and humid climate as the dry winds blows from the north, but for the Western Ghats which prevent this wind from entering the land Kerala has an equitable weather distribution and a comfortable climate.
When to go
Many visitors choose to visit Kerala in the heat of summer when daytime activity is necessarily limited to seeking out any patch of deep shade that combines a sea breeze with total immersion in a cool drink. That said, if water sports are your pleasure this isn’t an issue as it is available in Varkala and Kovalam- sea temperatures start heading the right side of 20 Celsius from late March and only drop back down in June when the monsoons arrive which is the best season for Ayurveda treatments for which Kerala is known all over the world. Away from the sea the surprising fertility of the soil in Kerala is best appreciated from mid-July when burgeoning green growth fills the fields with new life after the arrival and dissipation of Monsoons in Indian subcontinent. However, if culture and history is of more interest, Kerala’s archaeological sites see fewer crowds and lend themselves to more considered interpretation during the occasionally rainy or overcast days of winter and monsoons. Further south, the tail end of the year is also the peak season for a Kerala exploration, most hotels and resorts and trekking in mountains running from November to March. In short
How to get there
Three International airports are currently served in Kerala by direct flights from all across the world – Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Calicut. There are direct flights that operate from the Dubai to airports in Kerala and there are domestic connections via major airports in India like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Inevitably fewer bargains are available during peak periods such as December and school holidays – Planning and booking early is the key to get lowest rates which can be availed from any online travel portal.
Airports transfers are usually part of a holiday package but if making your own way to a resort whilst weighed down by baggage its worth arranging transport in advance. Prepaid Taxis in airport and shuttle buses are offered from most airports. Obviously you can just grab cab on arrival but some longer journeys are expensive and taxi drivers have gained a deserved notoriety for refusing to use meters and overcharging. Local buses are very cheap, less than a dollar and can be just the trick if you’re simply heading to city.
Travel preparation for a holiday
Here are some additional useful tips to help you plan your holiday to Tunisia.
Kerala is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. India does not adjust the clocks at the onset of summer or at other times.
The flight time is twelve and half hours from the UK, fifteen from Ireland.
The official currency is the Rupee(INR), which trades at approximately eighty to the GBP. Foreign currencies can be easily exchanged on arrival. ATMs are available in the main cities and towns; though check with your local bank on fees.
The official language of Kerala is Malayalam, though most people also speak English. You’ll find English-speaking staff in the resorts and tourist areas.
The cost of eating out in Kerala varies widely, from 500 INR for a seafood meal for two in the resorts to less than half that in a perfectly acceptable brassiere style restaurant serving fried fish in banana leaf.
Street food such as Kerala Porotta with chicken curry can be picked up for a few rupees. Alcohol is not that expensive. Toddy the local booze tends to be cheaper – and often very good!
Entry requirements:There is no provision of ‘Visa on Arrival’ in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports. Foreign passengers should ensure that they are in possession of valid Indian Visa before they start their journey to India except the nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who do not require visa to enter India and nationals of Maldives who do not require visa for entry in India for a period up to 90 days (a separate Visa regime exists for diplomatic/official passport holders).
Unlike neighbouring Morocco, non-Muslims are allowed to visit Tunisia’s mosques. However do respect local custom by dressing appropriately – woman should keep arms and shoulders covered.