The loop of Cochin-Fort-Kochi-Marari-Alleppey lends itself very well to spend a relaxing long weekend in the belly of the state. The entire trail is about 65km long in one long stretch along the coastline. These atmospheric towns lie so close to each other that it makes perfect sense for them to be clubbed for a long weekend of unwinding. You can add a bit of all experiences in this trail, including food, shopping and a backwater cruise. We’ve made a handy itinerary for you to follow, to help plan a weekend trip to Alleppey and the places around.
- Start in Cochin
The commercial capital of Kerala is a bustling town, fun to explore, especially if you’d like to shop or eat in hip eateries. Keep some sightseeing for Museum of Kerala History & Contemporary Arts, the 1865 built Hill Palace Museum, Tripunithura, the famous Ernakulum Shiva Temple, Kerala Folklore Theatre & Museum and Marine Drive to enjoy the local thrum of the town. Sree Krishna Inn is one of the best places to dine in the city, with a traditional aura. Kairali, Kasavu Kada and silk sari shops on the main M.G Road are excellent if you’re looking to go shopping. Spend the night in Fort Kochi so that you can start early in the morning and spend the entire day exploring the colonial town, along with the Mattancherry quarters.
- Fort Kochi, Mattancherry & Mararikulam
Dutch remnants are strong in the twin towns of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, just across from Ernakulam (Cochin). The small walkable towns have a number of highlights like the Chinese fishing nets, Dutch Palace, Pardesi Synagogue, Indo Portuguese Museum, St. Francis Church (Vasco Church), Dutch Cemetery, Fort Kochi Beach, Southern Naval Command Maritime Museum, Dhobi Ghat and Thirumala Devaswom Temple (Vishnu Temple) to explore. Fort Kochi also has a number of eateries and cafes – the names Kashi Art Café, Loafers Corner, Tea Pot Café and Ginger House come first to mind. Spend the day in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry but make your way to Mararikulam in the evening for the sunset. The fishing village has morphed into a resort town with a number of resorts and villas by the beach. Watch the sun sinking into the Arabian Sea against an orange-blue sky, and then head to Alleppey.
Save the best for the last. After having trawled the streets of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry through the day, unwind in a luxury houseboat at night. If you’ve spent the sunset at Marari, chances are you’ll reach Alleppey only at night. Stay docked at night in the water but wake up to a stunning canvas of green in the morning. The backwater cruises of Alleppey are famous for navigating the slim canals and showing you a slice of life along the paddy fields and the canals. Spend the entire day cruising along, stopping to buy fresh fish that can be cooked on board and enjoying the sunset on the deck. Keep another night in the backwaters to complete the long weekend.