8 Scenic Backwaters to Add to Your Kerala Travel Itinerary This Summer

As one of the picturesque states of South India, Kerala offers a labyrinthine of lagoons, estuaries, tea-estates, and of course the iconic backwaters! 

Enjoy the joy of slow living on a houseboat cruising through the backwaters in Kerala. Kerala Backwaters is the largest freshwater reservoir for Kerala which is a rich bio reserve of flora and fauna.

You can book your stay at the best hotels in Kerala for a fun summer getaway this year. 

Looking for the best backwaters in Kerala for your vacation? Check out these backwaters: 

Padanna Backwaters

Take a walk through the lanes of the Padanna village to reach the Padanna Backwaters which is located northern part of Kerala. 

If you like seafood, stop by the banks to witness oyster harvesting, which is the main occupation of the villagers in this area. Book an overnight stay at one of the houseboats sailing across the backwaters. Savor some Spaghetti Alle Vongole prepared with freshly harvested mussels and clams on the deck of the houseboat.

To get attractive offers on your stay, book hotels in Kerala at least one month before your preferred travel date.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll across Kareem’s forest, which houses plantations like coconut, spices, and cashew. For a romantic getaway, book one of the moonlit houseboat cruises in the Padanna Backwaters.

Easiest Route: 

  • The nearest railway station is Kanhangad
  • The nearest airstrip is the Calicut International Airport

Fun Activities:

  • Oyster & mussel farming
  • Visit the local Kareem’s Forest
  • Book an overnight stay at moonlit houseboat cruises

Thiruvallam Backwaters

If you love water adventure sports like canoeing, kayaking then you need to book your vacation at the Thiruvallam backwaters. Soak in the natural scenery of the surroundings while riding on kettuvaloms through the backwaters. You can book a houseboat that starts at Thiruvananthapuram and ends at Kovalam. Indulge in fun water sports while floating across tiny fishing villages across the coastline. 

You can stay at the best hotels in Kerala while checking out local sightseeing tours in the vicinity of this backwaters.

Book your stay in advance at the best hotels in Kerala to avoid peak season tariffs. 

If you want to find out the art of making houseboats, plan an insightful visit to the nearby coir manufacturing industries that showcase the craft of building a houseboat. 

Easiest Route:

  • The nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram
  • The nearest airstrip is Trivandrum International airport

Fun Activities:

  • Go for Canoeing & Kayaking across the backwaters
  • Book a ride on Kettuvaloms
  • Explore the local villages and floating villages
  • Visit local coir manufacturing industries

Ashtamudi Backwaters

The Ashtamudi backwaters are formed at the amalgamation of 8 channels flowing across Kerala. This scenic backwater has a 16km stretch of coastline which is dotted with coconut trees. You can find several luxury resorts which add to the beauty of this place. If you want to cruise through the lake while soaking in the mesmerizing beauty, book a houseboat instead. 

Easiest Route:

  • The nearest railway station is Kollam Junction
  • The nearest airstrip is Trivandrum International Airport

Fun activities:

  • Book an overnight stay in floating huts
  • Savor fresh seafood and coconut water

Pathiramanal Backwaters

Every nature and wildlife lover should book a trip to the Pathiramanal backwaters, which becomes a temporary abode of thousands of migratory birds. 

Get your binoculars to enjoy bird watching while overlooking the alluring backwaters. Explore the exquisite bird species like Cormorant, Pintail Ducks, Common Teal, Night Heron, Darter, Purple Heron, gulls, terns, and large egrets. The Pathiramanal backwaters stretch from Alappuzha to Kochi and the Kayamkulam Lake. Visit the Krishnapuram Palace to witness the opulent lifestyle of the medieval kings in Kerala. Take a stroll across the Alappuzha beach while enjoying the cool breeze brush through your hairs. 

Easiest Route:

  • The nearest railway station is Kottayam
  • The nearest airstrip is Cochin International Airport

Fun Activities:

Watch the boat race during the Onam festival

Enjoy birdwatching at Kumarakom bird sanctuary

Valiyaparamba Backwaters, Kasaragod

Visit the fascinating Valiyaparamba backwaters in Kerala on your next summer trip. The picturesque backwater reservoir is formed by four rivers encircling a tiny island. Plan a visit to the historic Bekal fort while vacationing in Valiyaparamba backwaters. 

For a romantic weekend escapade, plan a trip to Pallikere and Kappil beaches. To enjoy some fun time outdoors, check out the adventure activities at the Mangrove Trail like hiking, bird watching, and boating.

Easiest Route:

  • The nearest railway station is the Payyanur railway station
  • The nearest airstrip is the Calicut International Airport

Fun Activities:

  • Plan the historic Bekal Fort to enjoy a scenic sunset
  • Indulge in adventure activities at the Mangrove trail

Alumkadavu, Kollam

Alukadavu is accredited to be the birthplace of the magnificent houseboats floating across the scenic backwaters in Kerala. The kettuvaloms/ houseboats are created by talented craftsmen with eco-friendly materials like coconut coir and wood. If you want to be fascinated with the coir production industry, visit the coir factories nearby

Easiest Route:

  • The nearest railway station is Karunagappally railway station
  • The nearest airstrip is Trivandrum International Airport

Fun Activities:

  • Learn the art of building houseboats
  • Visit local Coir Producing Industries


On your trip to Allepey, sail through the serene backwaters reflecting the turquoise Arabian Sea while overlooking the swaying green palm and coconut trees. 

Book your stay at a houseboat while cruising through the tranquil backwaters. 

Often nicknamed the Venice of the East, Alleppey features lush paddy fields, churches from the Portuguese era, tiny fishing villages, and untouched natural beauty.

Sip in refreshing coconut water while savoring some fresh seafood caught fresh on your houseboat. Step into the old-world charm with cobbled pathways and medieval architecture. 

Fun Activities: Enjoy a sunset cruise at beaches, go shopping for local souvenirs. 

Top Tourist Spots: Punnamada Lake, Marari Beach, Alappuzha Beach, and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.

Peak travel season: September to May

Easiest route: Kochi Airport, is the nearest airport. Alleppey Railway Station; is the nearest railway station. 


Kumarakom is a tranquil hamlet offering breathtaking sceneries, pleasant weather, exquisite flora, and fauna. Take a boat ride in the serene backwaters, savor authentic Kerala cuisine, and refresh yourself with freshly harvested coconuts. You can also go fishing at the nearby Vembanad lake.

Plan a day out with local sightseeing tours and activities like boating, coconut harvesting, paddy fields, mangrove forests, and fishing.

If you are looking for more solitude and privacy, book a houseboat stay in Kumarakom. 

Fun Activities: Spas, Houseboat Ride, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Top Tourist Spots: Backwaters, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Aruvikkuzhi waterfall, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Vembanad Lake, Valiyapally, Kumarakom Beach, and Pathiramal Island.

Peak travel season: September to May

Easiest Route: The nearest airport is Kochi Airport which is 85 km away. The nearest railway station is Kottayam.  These are some of the picturesque backwaters to add to your Kerala travel itinerary this summer.

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