Our trip to Kerala and Goa - the latest and last adventure for this installment of the Curious Plan. Our final weeks together on this great big journey, a journey that has lasted way longer than we ever anticipated and taken us places we never imagined. 50 more sunrises and days to fill with simple exploring and making memories together. The last time in a while that it’ll be just the four of us with the freedom to fill our days however we choose. As such, a lot of time and effort has gone into crafting the perfect Kerala and Goa itinerary. We hope to find special places to stay and memorable things to do along the way but more than anything we want to relax. We’re not after in-depth cultural exploration or jamming in as much as we can, we plan to travel slow and soak up as many of India’s balmy shores as possible. When we can drag ourselves away from its golden sands, we’ll be pepping up our trip with a float through the enchanting backwaters and a meander through the spectacular scenery and lush countryside of the tea trails. We’ve opted out of any long-distance travel and are sticking to a well-worn path through Goa and Kerala. Often referred to as “India Light” it’s a gentle introduction to this enchanting country for us first-timers. Here’s our plans for seven weeks in India with kids. We flew into Mumbai but only spent 24 hours there before heading for Goa. Hot, chaotic and overcrowded it’s bustling with life and bursting with noise and colour. The traffic in Mumbai is immense; it can take up to two hours to get from the airport down to the Fort area. As we had an early flight, we opted to stay near the airport in the budget Regent Hotel. It was simple but perfectly clean and comfy for a night. If we had the chance again, we would have extended our stopover a couple of days and spent longer exploring the magic and charm of Mumbai. We chose to kick off our trip in Patnem as we wanted a few weeks of beach time to relax. Patnem was the obvious choice as a chilled out alternative to the north of Goa or even neighbouring Palolem. We’re so happy we came here and love the area - in early November the season is only just beginning so it’s lovely and quiet but around 80% of eating and sleeping places are already open for business. The sea is calm and perfect for swimming, and we virtually have the beach to ourselves. If you’re after somewhere a bit more lively, then you might prefer Palolem. We’ve discovered the north end of the beach is best for families with smaller waves, islands to explore and a lagoon for lazing in. I’m also a big fan of Agonda beach - a wide, quiet and picturesque stretch of golden sands - given the chance I’d love to have had a few long lazy days in a beachside hut here too! We flew into Mumbai but only spent 24 hours there before heading for Goa. Hot, chaotic and overcrowded it’s bustling with life and bursting with noise and colour. The traffic in Mumbai is immense; it can take up to two hours to get from the airport down to the Fort area. As we had an early flight, we opted to stay near the airport in the budget Regent Hotel. It was simple but perfectly clean and comfy for a night. If we had the chance again, we would have extended our stopover a couple of days and spent longer exploring the magic and charm of Mumbai. Next stop we head to Arambol, the most northerly of Goa’s beach resorts. We were happy to skip the package holiday favourites of Calangute and Baga and escape the crowds in the quieter more laid-back destinations. A mellow paradise with a sandy stretch of lane down to the beach called “Glastonbury Street” we couldn’t resist spending some time here. We’re staying at the decidedly cheap and cheerful “Hideaway House” and settling in for ten days. We’re looking forward to barefoot days and sunset beers at the shacks lining the cove like beach. From here it’s just a short hop along the rocky headlands to hippy-chic Mandrem for a taste of luxury beachside bliss - Jade Jagger doesn’t have a boutique here for nothing! After four weeks, we leave Goa and venture south into the state of Kerala. We spend our first four nights in the tourist hot spot of Kovalam. Just a short journey from the airport and made up of three coves—Hawa Beach, Lighthouse Beach and Samudra Beach—Kovalam has been a hot spot in Kerala for years. Lighthouse Beach is the most popular and a big hit with tourists while Samudra Beach may make a better option if we’re looking for some peace and quiet. Located just 16km from the Keralan capital Trivandrum we can also dip into the culture of its huge Hindu Temple, 200-year-old palace and numerous museums. Perched atop a dramatic red cliff framing a pristine beach Varkala is a laid back beach town in a stunningly beautiful setting. A long-time favourite with backpackers, it’s become increasingly popular with families and holidaymakers, who stay on the colourful but busy North Cliff. We’re staying at the friendly and comfortable Savasana House in a tranquil area just 5 minutes’ walk from the dramatic Papanasham beach. We’re looking forward to a week of the leisurely life unwinding on this spectacular beach. With coconut palms, quaint little beach shacks and delightful shops and stalls dotting the clifftop they’ll be plenty to explore. No trip to Kerala is complete without a boat ride meandering through its idyllic backwaters. Lined by emerald coconut plantations we’re looking forward to a sunset paddle and watching sunrise break over the waters at dawn from the deck of our cabin. With two small people to manage (and to preserve everyone’s sanity), we’ve decided against spending a night aboard a houseboat. Instead, we’re staying at the cozy Backwater Farmhouse homestay where we get to experience real Kerala with home-cooked meals and a friendly and warm local welcome as we watch the world float by. We’re looking forward to soaking up the old world charm and exploring the narrow streets of charming Cochin; India’s historic trading port. We’ll hit the exotic and colourful markets and malls in search of some bargains and can’t wait to mooch around beautiful Bazaar Road. We’re staying at Sajhome - a welcoming and comfortable homestay in the heart of historic Fort Kochi. Within striking distance of some of India’s oldest buildings, it’s centrally located and a great base to explore Cochins crumbling colonial architecture, the famous Quay and its Chinese fishing nets. Our final stop is the lush mountain slopes of Munnar. Known as Southern India’s Kashmir, Munnar is a charming little hill station in the heart of green, leafy tea country. With crisp air, cooler weather, spectacular scenery and magnificent tea plantations, Munnar is a must-see. What finer way to end of travels than with time to sit down and remember all our happiest moments over sweeping views and a steaming cup of tea. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.