Luxury holidays in Kerala
When to go
Tourists tend to prefer Kerala from October to March, when it is sunny but not too hot. After April, temperatures really rise; then, from late June, the monsoon season strikes until early September. But don't be completely deterred by the rain – not only is Kerala still beautiful then, but in this July to September period, it is considered the ideal time to take Ayurvedic treatments.
PlanesKochi (Cochin) and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) are the main airports. If you're flying from the UK | Emirates is a good option | as flies in and out of both from Heathrow | Gatwick | Manchester | Birmingham and Glasgow via Dubai. Internally | South India has a busy network of air services. To access Lakshadweep | you'll need to fly from Cochin to Aggatti Island.
BoatsThe only real boating options are the backwater trips (most depart from Alleppey). You can get to Lakshadweep or Laccadives islands by boat from Agatti.
TrainsTrains are the most popular way to traverse this vast country, and most that travel through Kerala start or finish in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the state capital. Visit the Indian Railways website to book tickets online: http://irctc.co.in. Try and avoid passenger trains; air-conditioned 'superfast' express services are advisable. First-class is recommended although by western standards not necessarily luxurious.
AutomobilesThis is not somewhere you’ll want to take the wheel yourself. Ask your hotel to organise you a driver | preferably in a 4x4 for lengthy journeys – and make sure to request a car with seatbelts. The more intrepid might want to hire an Enfield Bullet – the classic motorbike of choice.
TaxisAmbassadors are the traditional taxi vehicle, and the cost of these is usually about INR 7 a mile. Ask your hotel to book one for you; for the sake of comfort you may want to ask for a Jeep fitted with seatbelts, although this will cost a little more.