The Best Weekend Getaways from Kochi, India

Boating at Thekkady
Boating at Thekkady | © Pratheesh Mishra/Wikimedia Commons
Charishma Thankappan

Pressed for time on a visit to Kerala? Here are the best weekend getaways around Kochi. From backwaters to tea plantations, hill stations to beaches; there are plenty of wonderful options to choose from to make your weekends fun filled and rewarding. All within a distance of around 200kms, it’s not just the destination, but the journey that will leave you wanting to return again and again.

1. Kuttanad

© Viswaprabha/Wikimedia Commons

A water paradise with backwaters, Kuttandad is a picturesque retreat that offers a relaxing time away. It is renowned for its annual boat race on the Punnamada backwater.

Distance from Kochi: 74kms

Four of Kerala’s major rivers – Achankovil, Manimala, Meenachil, and Pamba flow into the area | © Viswaprabha/Wikimedia Commons

2. Munnar

Hill Station

© Sumittchavan/Wikimedia Commons

Perfect for a hill station retreat, Munnar has cool climes and the highest elevation in Kerala. With plentiful tea plantations, it is also a great place to catch up on some of the most impressive flora and fauna.

Distance from Kochi: 130kms

The hills of Munnar are also a trekker’s paradise | © Sumittchavan/Wikimedia Commons

3. Mararikulam

© nborun/Flickr

Located in Alappuzha district, Marari is well-known for its astonishing beaches, easily the best in the state. It is also notable for the Mararikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple.

Distance from Kochi: 43kms

Fishing is the main activity at Mararikulam and undoubtedly seafood is a must have delicacy when here | © nborun/Flickr


Acclaimed for the Thekkady Lake and Periyar National Park, this is a favourite tourist spot. Elephants, tigers, gaur, sambar, lion-tailed macaques, and nilgiri langurs can all be found here.

Distance from Kochi: 158kms

The sight of wild elephants coming down to drink water at the river is much awaited by tourists and photographers

4. Vagamon

© @indiyatrik/Instagram

Memorable for its gently rolling hills with rounded tops and lush greenery, Vagamon is a peaceful weekend getaway for the entire family. Meadows, tea estates, and pine forests are its other attractions.

Distance from Kochi: 103kms

Green meadows of Vagamon | © @indiyatrik/Instagram


A sleepy little village that shot to fame through the Malayalam film Ordinary, Gavi is a hidden beauty of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. Entry passes need to be procured from the Forest Checkpost before entering the area.

Distance from Kochi: 170kms

Camping in the forest can be done from November to March


A superb location to just lay back and rest, Varkala presents tranquil beaches with breathtaking views from the cliffs that border the shores. Indulge your vacation in wining and dining at the myriad cafes dotting the place.

Distance from Kochi: 160kms

Loosen up with an ayurvedic massage at the beach precincts

5. Malankara Dam

© Jeevan Jose/Wikimedia Commons

One of the eminent dams in Kerala, Malankara Dam affords remarkable views. Built across the Thodupuzha River, it has resulted in the creation of a dazzling lake that draws tourists.

Distance from Kochi: 67kms

View of Malankara Dam reservoir from Kudayathoor | © Jeevan Jose/Wikimedia Commons

6. Kovalam

© Kerala Tourism/Wikimedia Commons

One of the all-time favourite beach destinations for local as well as international tourists, Kovalam is well loved for its black sands. The prominent lighthouse at the beach adds to its charm.

Distance from Kochi: 211kms

The beauty of Kovalam beach is exalted as it is lined with coconut palms | © Kerala Tourism/Wikimedia Commons


The cultural capital of the state thrives with historic temples such as Vadakkunnathan and Guruvayoor. The region also has nature reserves such as Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary and Peechi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Distance from Kochi: 86kms

This neighbouring district of Kochi is recognised for its temple festivals

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