There are number of travellers who come to Alleppey each year; for many this is their very first trip to India. We are delighted when our beautiful green slice of India is the first thing for travel-weary eyes to see. A Kerala houseboat tour is the fastest way to jumpstart a successful holiday in India. A number of questions come our way, so we thought this would be an easy way to address them. Of course, we would be happy to e-mail more detailed answers or take phone calls in case you have any questions.
- Which is the closest airport to Alleppey?
The Cochin International Airport is the closest air head to Alleppey. It lies 83 km from the city and is well connected by local buses and cabs. In fact, you can get out of the airport, find the state taxi stand and drive to Alleppey. Alternatively, you can arrange for a cab with your accommodation, which might be easier.
- What are the other ways of getting here?
Alleppey is very well connected to South Indian cities by train and overnight bus services – especially major towns like Trivandrum, Bangalore and Chennai. This is a viable option if you are travelling within India.
- What is the main attraction of the city?
The large network of narrow backwater canals is the main attraction of Alleppey. Wikipedia’s snapshot offers this information – “The backwater network at Alleppey Kerala: Land intercepted by Lakes, Rivers and Canals. Made of 11 natural lakes, one man-made lake, 44 rivers, and innumerable canals, lagoons, creeks, deltas, the backwater region is one of the greatest natural wonders of Kerala.” Most travellers come here to cruise in the comfy houseboats and see local life. The premium houseboats in Alleppey are the greatest hook for travellers.
- How safe is the city or a houseboat experience?
Alleppey luxury houseboats are wooden miracles on water with credible architectural tenets. The houseboats are safe, but one should pay special attention when travelling with children as there are railings around the deck. When parked at night, the houseboat staff sleeps both in front and at the back of the boat and your rooms are lockable from inside. At least, in Spice Routes, we pay great attention to the safety of guests.
- Which is the best time to travel to Alleppey?
The cooler months from October to February offer the best time to travel to Alleppey. For some, the monsoons – relentless but charming – are a great time. Great deals and offers can be availed and the entire region is washed clean, making the greens stand out even more. The other busy time is during the annual snake boat races of the region that kick start close to July. The biggest one is the Nehru Snake Boat Race.
- What is the temperature like?
The average weather in Alleppey is quite warm (30- 35 degrees). What makes it a little more oppressive is the extreme humidity. The monsoon season throws a permanent overcast in the months of July, August and September. Winters (kind of) are better in November, December and January with the temperature falling to 18 degrees or so in the evenings. But the cool shade of the palm trees and intense greenery around makes it possible to get around easily.
- Is the food spicy?
The food in Alleppey is spicy but not necessarily chilli. You can be promised a variety of flavours. Lunch is especially extensive with an array of vegetables, curries and condiments. You also have soothing elements as part of the meals to neutralize the spicy parts. Most of the hospitality industry understands the need for toned down food and can customize meals accordingly.
- How will I get around?
It is likely that you will be on a houseboat for most part of your trip – but this is in the canals and the Vembanad Lake. Alleppey is a small town and one can get around on foot. There are plenty of auto-rickshaws available too.
- Do establishment accept cards?
Alleppey is a small town and if you’re around the canals, you won’t find shops around to whip out your card. However, the resorts, hotels and houseboats accept cards. Anyway, it’s likely that you may have done online booking for these. Carry cash for small purchases. There are plenty of ATMs in the town.
- What else can I see around Alleppey?
We have a special section for this on the website. Explore Alleppey and places around with the help of this piece – www.spiceroutes.in/alleppey-in-around/. Expect to see churches, temples, beaches and towns with cultural hooks around Alleppey.
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